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Title: Authors and their public in ancient times
Author: Putnam, George Haven
Language: English
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Transcriber’s note

Variable spelling and hyphenation have been retained. Minor punctuation
inconsistencies have been silently repaired. A list of the changes made
can be found at the end of the book. Formatting and special characters
are indicated as follows:


                       AUTHORS AND THEIR PUBLIC
                           IN ANCIENT TIMES

                     LITERARY PRODUCERS, FROM THE
                      EARLIEST TIMES TO THE FALL
                          OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

                        GEO. HAVEN PUTNAM, M.A.

                       _THIRD EDITION, REVISED_

                          G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

        NEW YORK                         LONDON
                        The Knickerbocker Press

                            COPYRIGHT, 1893
                           GEO. HAVEN PUTNAM

                   The Knickerbocker Press, New York



IN printing the second and third impressions of my essay, I have been
able to take advantage of certain corrections and suggestions submitted
by friendly critics, among whom I wish to make special acknowledgments
to Mr. Charlton T. Lewis and to Mr. Otis S. Hill, whose aid in the
verification of the quotations has been particularly valuable. I may
mention that in the printing of the first edition, I had been obliged,
in connection with the increasing limitations of my eyesight, to
confide the verification and the proof-reading of the quotations to
an assistant, whose services proved, unfortunately, incompetent and
untrustworthy. As a result, a number of errors which had been repeated
from the German editions, or which had crept into the work of the
transcriber, of the typewriter, or of the compositor, found place
with annoying persistency, in the volume as printed. While I may not
hope that the text as now printed is correct (and a book free from
typographical errors is an almost impossible production), I can feel
assured that the more serious misprints at least have been duly cared

Attention has also been given to the correction of certain errors
of statement or of interpretation, but in some of the instances in
which my critics have not been in accord with the authorities upon
which my own statements have been based, I have ventured to abide by
the conclusions of the latter. My little essay made, of course, no
pretensions to establish any conclusions or to maintain any individual
theories on questions of classical literature concerning which there
might be differences among the scholars. My purpose was simply to
trace, as far as might be practicable, from the scattered references
in the literature of the period, an outline record of the continuity
of literary activity, the methods of the production and distribution
of literature, and the nature of the relations between the authors and
their readers. For the citations utilised for this study, I was, as
stated in my bibliography, chiefly indebted to such scholars as Wilhelm
Schmitz, Joh. Müller, Paul Clement, Theodor Birt, Louis Haenny, H.
Géraud, and A. Meineke. The citations given from the Greek or Latin
authors were in the main based upon or corrected by the versions of
these German or French writers, and were specifically so credited.

The majority of my reviewers were ready to understand the actual
purpose of my book and to recognise that my part in the undertaking was
limited to certain general inferences or conclusions as to literary
methods or conditions. In one or two cases, however, the critics,
ignoring the specified purpose and the necessary limitations of the
essay, saw fit to treat it as a treatise on classical literature and
devoted their reviews almost exclusively to textual criticisms and
corrections. In these, of course (irrespective of certain obvious
errors above referred to), they found ample opportunity for differences
of opinion with the authorities whose versions I had utilised, and
ignoring the fact that my renderings were specifically credited to
the German or French editions, they criticised or corrected these as
if they had been presented by myself. It seems to me worth while,
therefore, again to point out that with these issues between the
scholarly or critical authorities I am not at all concerned, and
that in their controversies I assumed to take no part. My sketches
of literary methods, and the suggestions submitted by me as to the
relations of authors and their readers, are affected very little by
these scholastic controversies, and whatever interest or value they
may possess will be entirely independent, for instance, of such a
question as the correctness of the account given by Aulus Gellius
(cited by me from Schmitz and Blass) of the correspondence between
Aristotle and Alexander.

A similar word may be given in regard to the forms utilised for
certain terms or names which have become familiarised with our English
speech. My most captious critic stated, for instance, very flatly
that my spelling of “Piræus” was “neither Latin, Greek, nor English.”
I can only explain that the name is so spelled in the latest edition
of Lippincott’s _Gazetteer_, and for such casual references as I had
occasion to make, I had considered this work a sufficiently trustworthy
authority for the spelling of a name which has found place in English

The same critic saw fit to assume that, because I had used a German
editor’s paraphrase in Latin of some saying of Suidas, I had imagined
that this author had written in Latin; oblivious of the fact that, a
few pages farther on, I had made specific references to the various
writings of Suidas in Greek.

I refer to these details not because they are in themselves of any
continued importance, but simply as examples of what struck me as
disproportioned textual or verbal criticism of a volume which made
no claims to textual authority. The text ought of course to have been
correct, and it was certainly the case that some inexcusable errors had
crept into it. Regrettable as these errors were, however, they did not
as a fact affect the main theme of the essay or sketch. It is assuredly
in order for a reviewer to call attention to any such oversights, but
the reviewer who devotes the substance of the space at his command to
a list of typographical errors or oversights, and who has hardly a
word to say concerning the purpose of a book, or the extent to which
such purpose has been carried out, loses sight, I think, of the real
function of reviewing. He may make a good show of infallibility, or
of authoritative knowledge, for himself or for his journal, but he
certainly fails to give what the reader is entitled to expect, a just
and well proportioned impression of the work under consideration.

Since the publication of the first edition, the larger work, as an
introduction to which this essay was planned, _Books and Their Makers
in the Middle Ages_, has been brought before the public, and has been
received with a very satisfactory measure of appreciation. The readers
of this last have occasionally raised question concerning a lack of
harmony of design or of uniformity of method between the two books. It
is in order therefore again to explain that they were never intended
to serve as two sections of a continuous narrative. The record of the
making and distribution of books during the centuries after 476, I have
attempted to present with a certain degree of comprehensiveness; but
for classic times, there are no materials available for any complete or
comprehensive record. The sketch presented by me is, as stated, based
upon a few references to literary methods which are scattered through
the writings of classic authors. A much more comprehensive study of
the conditions of literary production among the ancients could very
easily, however, be prepared by a student who possessed the requisite
familiarity with the literature of the time, and who was sufficiently
free from limitations as to eyesight to be able to trace and to verify
his quotations for himself, and I trust that some competent scholar may
yet interest himself in producing such a treatise.

    NEW YORK, June 15, 1896.



THE following pages, as originally written, were planned to form a
preliminary chapter, or general introduction, to a history of the
origin and development of property in literature, a subject in which
I have for some time interested myself. The progress of the history
has, however, been so seriously hampered by engrossing business cares,
and also by an increasing necessity for economizing eyesight, that the
date of its completion remains very uncertain. I do not relinquish the
hope of being able to place before the public (or at least of that
small portion of the public which may be interested in the subject)
at some future date, the work as first planned, which shall present a
sketch of the development of property in literature from the invention
of printing to the present day, but I have decided to publish in a
separate volume this preliminary study of the literary conditions which
obtained in ancient times.

In the stricter and more modern sense of the term, literary property
stands for an ownership in a specific literary form given to certain
ideas, for the right to control such particular form of expression of
these ideas, and for the right to multiply and to dispose of copies
of such form of expression. In this immaterial signification, the
term literary property is practically synonymous with la _propriété
intellectuelle_, or _das geistige Eigenthum_.

It is proper to say at the outset that in this sense of the term, no
such thing as literary property can be said to have come into existence
in ancient times, or in fact until some considerable period had elapsed
after the invention of printing. The books first produced, after
1450, from the presses of Gutenberg and Fust and by their immediate
successors, were the Latin versions of the Bible, editions of certain
of the writings of Cicero and of other Latin authors, and a few other
works which, if not all dating back to Classic periods, were, with
hardly an exception, the works of writers who had been dead for many

The editions printed of these books constituted for their owners, the
printers, a property, which, as distinguished from their buildings and
from their presses and type, might fairly enough be described as a
“literary property.” It was, however, not until the publishers began
to make arrangements to give compensation to contemporary writers
for the preparation of original works, or for original editorial work
associated with classic texts, and not until, in connection with such
arrangements, the publishers succeeded in securing from the State
authorities, in the shape of “privileges,” a formal recognition of
their right to control the literary work thus produced, that literary
property in the sense of intellectual property (_geistiges Eigenthum_),
came into an assured and recognized, though still restricted existence.

Property of this kind, namely, in the form of a right, duly recognized
by the State, to the control of an intellectual production, assuredly
did not exist in Athens, in Alexandria, or in classic Rome. There
is evidence, however, although often of a very fragmentary and
inconclusive character, that in these cities and in other literary
centres of the later classic world, there gradually came into existence
a system or a practice under which authors secured some compensation
for their labors.

Such compensation, doubtless at best but inconsiderable as it did
not depend upon any legal right on the part of either author or
publishers, must have varied very greatly according to the personality
of the writer, the nature of the work, and the time and place of its
production. The evidences or indications of payments being made to
authors are mainly to be traced in scattered references in their own
works. Such references are in the writings of the Greek authors, but
infrequent, and in not a few instances the passages have been variously
interpreted, so that it is difficult to base upon them any trustworthy

It is only when we reach the Augustan age of Roman literature that
we find, in the works of such authors as Cicero, Martial, Horace,
Catullus, and a few others, a sufficient number of references upon
which to base some theory at least as to the nature of the relations of
the authors with their publishers, and also as to the publishing and
bookselling methods of the time.

I have attempted, in this volume, to present a sketch of these
“beginnings of literary property”--that is, to outline the gradual
evolution of the idea that the producer of a literary work, the poet,
ποιητής, the maker, is entitled to secure from the community not only
such laurel-crown of fame as may be adjudged to his work, but also some
material compensation proportioned as nearly as may be practicable to
the extent of the service rendered by him.

I have prefixed to the study of literary and publishing undertakings
in Athens, Alexandria, and Rome, in which cities definite relations
between authors and their public can first be traced, some preliminary
sketches concerning the beginnings of literature in Chaldea, Egypt,
India, Persia, China, and Japan. I admit at once that descriptions of
legendary, prehistoric, or semi-historic periods, are not directly
pertinent to my main subject. I have decided to include them,
however, at the risk of criticism on the ground both of (necessarily)
superficial treatment and of lack of relevance, because it seemed to me
that the character of the earliest literary ideals and of the legendary
literary productions of a people formed an important factor in helping
to develop its later literary conditions, and was not without influence
upon the relations of authors with their public, when such relations
finally began to take shape.

It is, for instance, a matter of very decided interest, in tracing
the literary history of a nation, to ascertain whether the source
and initiative of its earliest literature was the temple, the court,
or the popular circles outside of temple or court; whether the first
compositions were produced by the priests, or by annalists or poets
working under the immediate incentive of the favor of the monarch, or
whether, like the epics of Greece and the folk-songs of China, they
came from authors among the people, and were addressed directly to
popular sympathies and to popular ideals.

It will be noted that I take pains to speak of “authors” and “public,”
rather than of “writers” and “readers,” because it is evident that
there were literary productions in advance, and probably very far in
advance, of the discovery or evolution of written characters, and also
that long after the use of script by authors, the greater portion of
the public in all ancient lands received their literature, not through
their eyes, but through their ears,--not by reading the text, but by
listening to reciters, story-tellers, and “rhapsodists.”

In the preparation of this brief record, which makes no claim to
scholarly completeness, or to be anything more considerable than a
sketch, I have found myself hampered by lack of adequate classical
knowledge and by the lack of familiarity with the works of even the
more important of the Greek and Roman writers. It is doubtless the
case, therefore, that I have failed to discover or to utilize not a few
passages and references that would have a bearing upon the subject; and
I shall be under obligations to any scholarly reader who will take the
trouble to call my attention to such omissions.

I have given, in a brief bibliography, the titles of the more important
of the books upon the authority of which my sketch has been based. I
desire, however, to express my special indebtedness to the following
works, the full titles of which will be found in the bibliography:
Clement’s _La Propriété Littéraire chez les Grecs et chez les Romains_,
Schmitz’s _Schriftsteller in Athen_, Géraud’s _Les Livres dans
l’Antiquité_, Birt’s _Das Antike Buchwesen_, Haenny’s _Schriftsteller
und Buchhändler im alten Rom_, and Simcox’s _History of Latin

As is indicated by the titles in the list of authorities cited, the
writers who have given attention to the relations of authors of
antiquity with their readers, have been almost exclusively German or
French. I shall be well pleased if this brief study of mine may serve
as a suggestion to some competent American or English scholar for the
preparation in English of a comprehensive and final work on the subject.

  G. H. P.

    NEW YORK, November, 1893.



  CHAPTER                                           PAGE

  I. THE BEGINNINGS OF LITERATURE                    1
   1. PRELIMINARY                                    1
   2. CHALDEA                                        5
   3. EGYPT                                          10
   4. CHINA                                          21
   5. JAPAN                                          38
   6. INDIA                                          43
   7. PERSIA                                         47
   8. JUDÆA                                          49

  II. GREECE                                         54

  III. ALEXANDRIA                                   127


  V. ROME                                           163

  VI. CONSTANTINOPLE                                282

  INDEX                                             297



BARTHELÉMI, J. _The Travels of Anacharsis the Younger._ London, 1832.

BECKER, W. A. _Charicles, or Illustrations of the Private Life of the
Ancient Greeks._ Trans. by F. METCALFE. 7th Edition. London, 1886.

---- _Gallus, or Roman Scenes of the Time of Augustus._ Trans. by F.
METCALFE. 8th Edition. London, 1886.

BERGK, T. _Griechische Literatur Geschichte._ Leipzig, 1852.

BIRT, THEODOR. _Das Antike Buchwesen._ Berlin, 1882.

BREULIER, ADOLPHE. _Du Droit de Perpétuité de la Propriété
Intellectuelle._ Paris, 1851.

BRUNS, C. G. _Die Testamente der Griechischen Philosophie._ 2 vols.
Leipzig, 1872.

BUCHSENSCHUTZ. _Besitz und Erwerb im Griechischen Alterthum._ Leipzig,

BURSIAN, C. _Die Geographie Griechenlands._ München, 1882.

BURY, J. B. _A History of the Later Roman Empire._ 2 vols. London, 1889.

CAILLEMER. _La Propriété littéraire à Athènes._

CASSIODORUS. _The Letters of._ Translated, with an introduction, by
THOMAS HODGKIN. London, 1886.

CATULLUS. Edited by RIESE. Leipzig, 1884.

---- Edited by ELLIS. Oxford, 1867.

CICERO. _Letters._ Edited by WATSON. London, 1852.

CLEMENT, PAUL. _Étude sur le Droit des Auteurs, Précédée d’une
Dissertation sur la Propriété Littéraire chez les Grecs et chez les
Romains._ Grenoble, 1867.

CRUTTWELL, C. T. C. _History of Roman Literature._ New York, 1887.

DAVIDSON, J. L. S. _The Life of Cicero._ New York and London, 1894.
(From advance sheets.)

DONALDSON, J. W. _The Theatre of the Greeks._ 8th Edition. London, 1876.

_Encyclopædia Britannica._ 9th Edition. Edinburgh and New York,

FREEMAN, E. A. _History of Federal Government._ 2d Edition. London,

FROMMANN, E. _Aufsätze zur Geschichte des Buchhandels im 16ten
Jahrhundert._ Jena, 1876.

FRONTO. Edited by NABER. Leipzig, 1867.

GELLIUS, AULUS. _Noctes Atticæ._ Edited by HERTZ. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1865.

GÉRAUD, H. _Les Livres dans l’Antiquité._ Paris, 1840.

GIBBON, E. _The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire._ American
Edition. 6 vols. New York, 1889.

HAENNY, LOUIS. _Schriftsteller und Buchhändler im Alten Rom._ Leipzig,

HERODOTUS. _Histories of._ Trans. by RAWLINSON. 4 vols. New York, 1886.

HODGKIN, THOMAS. _Theodoric the Goth._ New York and London, 1890.

HORACE. Edited by MÜLLER. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1874.

---- _Odes and Epodes._ Edited by WICKHAM. London, 1874.

JEVONS, F. B. _History of Greek Literature._ New York, 1886.

JOHNSON, A. J. _The Universal Encyclopædia._ 8 vols. New York, 1884.

JUVENAL. Trans. by GIFFORD. London, 1852.

---- Edited by WEIDNER. Leipzig, 1873.

KAPP, FRIEDRICH. _Geschichte des Deutschen Buchhandels bis in das 17te
Jahrhundert._ Leipzig, 1886.

KARPELES, GUSTAV. _Allgemeine Geschichte der Litteratur._ 12 parts.
Berlin, 1890.

KLOSTERMANN, R. _Das Urheberrecht und das Verlagsrecht._ Berlin, 1871.

LAËRTIUS, DIOGENES. _De Vitis, Dogmatibus et Apothegen. Clar. Philos._
Edited by HÜBNER. 4 vols. Leipzig, 1831.

LAYARD, Sir A. H. _Nineveh and Babylon._ American Edition. New York,

LECKY, W. E. H. _A History of European Morals._ American Edition. 2
vols. New York.

LOUISY, M. P. _Le Livre, et les Arts qui s’y Rattachent._ Paris, 1886.

MAHAFFY, J. P. _Social Life in Greece from Homer to Menander._ 6th
Edition. London, 1891.

---- _Greek Life and Thought, from the Age of Alexander to the Roman
Conquest._ London, 1892.

---- _The Greek World under Roman Sway._ London, 1893.

MARTIAL. Edited by PALEY. London, 1875.

---- Edited by FRIEDLÄNDER. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1886.

MEINEKE, A. _Historia Comœdiæ Græcæ_ (in the _Comicorum Græc.
Fragmenta_). Berlin, 1857.

MÜLLER, J. _Die Lustspiele des Aristophanes._ Leipzig, 1868.

MÜLLER, MAX. _History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature._ London, 1860.

OMAN, C. W. C. _The Story of the Byzantine Empire._ New York and
London, 1892.

PLATO. _Works._ Trans. by JOWETT. 6 vols. Oxford, 1889.

PLAUTUS. Edited by FLECKEISEN. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1890.

PLINY. _Works._ Trans. by MELMOTH. 5 vols. London, 1878.

PLUTARCH’S _Lives_. Trans. by CLOUGH. 5 vols. Boston, 1878.

RAGOZIN, ZENAÏDE. _The Story of Chaldea._ New York, 1886.

---- _The Story of Assyria._ New York, 1887.

RAWLINSON, GEORGE. _History of Ancient Egypt._ 2 vols. New York, 1890.

RAWNSLEY, H. D. _Notes for the Nile, together with a Metrical Rendering
of the Hymns of Ancient Egypt and of the Precepts of Ptah-Hotep._
London and New York, 1892.

_Records of the Past._ Edited by S. BIRCH. 12 vols. London, 1882.

RENOUARD, AUGUSTIN CHARLES. _Traité des Droits d’Auteurs._ 2 vols.
Paris, 1838.

RITTER, H. _History of Ancient Philosophy_ (translation). 4 vols.
Oxford, 1849.

ROMBERG, EDOUARD. _Études sur la Propriété Artistique et Littéraire._
Bruxelles, 1892.

ROZOIR, A. _Dictionnaire de la Conversation_, etc. Paris, 1838.

SCHAEFER, A. _Demosthenes und Seine Zeit._ 3 vols. Leipzig, 1858.

SCHÖLL, A. _Aufsätze zur Klass. Liter._ Berlin, 1884.

---- _Hist. Lit. Græc._ 3 vols. Berlin, 1886.

SCHMITZ, WM. _Schriftsteller und Buchhändler in Athen und im übrigen
Griechenland._ Heidelberg, 1876.

SIMCOX, G. A. _History of Latin Literature._ 2 vols. London, 1883.

SMITH, GEORGE. _The Chaldean Account of Genesis._ London, 1880.

STATIUS. Edited by MÜLLER. Leipzig, 1871.

STRABO. _Works._ Edited by MEINEKE. 3 vols. Leipzig, 1866.

SUETONIUS. _Lives of the Twelve Cæsars._ Trans. by THOMSON. London,

SUIDAS. _Lexicon._ Edited by BRAUN. (Cited by Schmitz.) Leipzig, 1832.

WEHLE, J. H. _Das Buch, Technik der Schriftstellerei._ Leipzig, 1879.

WILLIAMS, S. WELLS. _The Middle Kingdom: A Survey of the Geography,
Government, Arts, Literature, etc., of the Chinese Empire._ Revised
Edition. 2 vols., 8vo. New York, 1883.

XENOPHON. _Works._ Trans. by J. S. WATSON. 3 vols. London, 1862.

ZELLER, E. _Die Philosophie der Griechen._ 2 vols. Leipzig, 1872.





The Beginnings of Literature.

WHEN Faust was puzzling his brain concerning the everlasting problem
of the nature and origin of things, we find him questioning the
utterance of the Hebrew seer: “In the beginning was the Word.” “No,”
he says, “this must be wrong. We cannot place the word first in the
scale of causation. The writer should have said ‘In the beginning was
the Thought.’” On further reflection, this statement also seemed to
him inadequate. Is it the Thought that creates and directs all things?
Shall we not rather say “In the beginning was the Power?” Even this
interpretation, however, fails to stand the test, and, after further
wrestling, Faust presents as his solution of the problem the statement,
“In the beginning was the ‘_Deed_.’”

I shall not undertake to consider in this monograph any questions
concerning the line of evolution of the universe, and Faust’s
questionings are recalled to me only because his final answer is in
accord with the experience of man in what he knows of the development
of himself, considered either as an individual or as a race.

Assuredly the first thing of which man was conscious was not the word,
written or spoken, nor the thought behind the word, nor the power
back of the thought, but the deed, which could be seen and felt and
estimated. Conscious thought came much later, and the word spoken and
the word written, later still. A mental conception, realized as such,
and finally taking form as a production of the mind, is a development
of a comparatively advanced stage of human existence, the youth of the
individual or of the race, while for any definition of the nature of a
mental production, and of its just relation to the individual by whom
and to the community for which it was produced, we must look still
further forward.

Literature--that is, mental conceptions in literary form--had been
known for many centuries before the literary idea, and any individual
ownership in the form in which such idea was expressed, had been
thought out and defined. Literary property--that is, an ownership,
on the part of the producer, in a definite expression of literary
ideas--dates, nevertheless, from a comparatively early period, and,
in one sense, may be said to have existed from the time in which the
first “poet” (maker or creator) received his first compensation from
a grateful public or an appreciative patron. In the more precise
interpretation of the term, it is doubtless more correct, however,
to say that literary property dates from the time when authors first
received compensation, not from the state or from individual patrons,
but from individual readers throughout the community, who were ready to
make payment in return for the benefit received. The labor, however,
of placing the literary production in the hands of the reader and
of collecting from these the compensation for the authors, required
an intermediary,--some one to create the machinery for distribution
and collection, and usually also to assume the risk and investment
required. Literary property could, therefore, come into an assured
existence only after, or simultaneously with, the evolution of the
publisher. This, then, is the chain of causation at which we have
arrived: The deed, the thought awakened by the deed, the consciousness
of the thought, the power, first of oral and then of written expression
of the thought (usually the description of the deed), which marks the
appearance of the poet, the “maker” or author; the consecration of
this expression or literary production to a definite purpose, usually
the glorification of an individual in the commemoration of his deed;
the habit of receiving from such individual a tangible recognition;
the widening of the purpose of the production and its dedication to
the community as a whole; the giving, by the community in return, of
a reward or _honorarium_; the evolution of the publisher who develops
the system under which the amount of the _honorarium_ secured for the
author is proportioned (though somewhat roughly) to the number of
persons benefited by his productions.

It is when the higher stage of civilization has been reached which
is marked by the appearance of the publisher, that we have a true
beginning of property in literature.

Centuries must, however, still elapse before we find record of any
noteworthy attempts to arrive at precise definitions of the nature and
origin of literary property, or to analyze the proper relations of the
literary producer as well to the generation for which he originally
worked, as to such later generations as derived benefit from his

=Chaldea.=--The earliest literature of which the archæologists
have thus far found trustworthy evidence appears to be that of the
Chaldeans. Their “books,” consisting of baked clay tablets, on which
the cuneiform characters had been imprinted with a stylus, were well
fitted to withstand the ravages of time, being practically imperishable
by either fire or water. The important discovery of specimens of the
earlier literature of Chaldea was due to Sir Henry Layard. In 1845
he was fortunate enough, while investigating the mounds at Koyunjik
(ancient Nineveh) now identified with the ruins of the palaces of
Sennacherib and Asshurbanipal (B.C. 650), to stumble into the chambers
which had contained the royal library. Although he was not himself able
to decipher the early cuneiform characters with which were covered the
masses of clay tablets and fragments of tablets brought to light by his
excavations, he readily recognized the importance of the discovery, and
took pains to forward to the British Museum a large number of those
in the best state of preservation. There they lay until 1870, when
George Smith undertook the task of arranging and deciphering them.
Smith had been originally employed in the Museum as an engraver, but
in the course of his work in engraving cuneiform texts, he had become
interested in their study, and by dint of persistent application he
soon came to be one of the few acknowledged authorities on the subject.

Months of patient labor were given to the piecing together of the
thousands of scattered fragments contained in Layard’s shipment. Then,
owing to the enterprise of the London _Daily Telegraph_ (which in 1876
made a novel precedent in journalism by printing from week to week, in
juxtaposition with the news of the day, decipherings of the Chaldean
writings of five thousand years back), Smith was enabled to go to
Mesopotamia, and in three successive journeys very largely to increase
the collections of tablets, which finally comprised over 10,000

Smith’s untimely death by fever during his third sojourn in the East
put a check for a time upon both the collecting and the deciphering,
but the latter was later continued by workers who became equally
skilled, and of a large number of the tablets translations have been
put into print. During the past ten years, a great development has been
given to the collecting and deciphering of the tablets by the labors
of such scholars as Dieulafoy, Fritz Hommel, John P. Peters, and others.

Smith had found specimens of Chaldean literature in such departments
as agriculture, irrigation, astrology, the science of government, the
art of war, prayers and invocations to the gods, and above all and
most frequent, records of campaigns. There were also a few tablets
which appeared to be examples of children’s primers and children’s
scribbling. As far as it was practicable to judge from those fragments
that have been preserved of the literature of the nation, the several
works had for the most part been prepared under the instructions and
often apparently for the special use of successive monarchs or of
the rulers of provinces. These books existed, therefore, in strictly
“limited editions,” comprising either single copies or but two or three
copies for the royal residences. The writers were apparently for the
most part officials in the public service and often members of the
royal household. On the campaigns, the king, or the commander who took
the place of the king, appears to have been accompanied by scribes, who
were expected to keep note of the number of cities taken, the enemies
slain, and the prisoners captured, and of the amount of the spoils
appropriated, and the records of campaign triumphs form by far the
largest portion of the literature discovered. These campaign narratives
finally came to take the shape of annual records, often beginning with
the formula “and when the springtime came, the time when kings go out
to war.”

The next largest division of the Chaldean literature is made up of
invocations to the gods, narratives of the doings of the gods, and
prayers and psalms. Many of these last bear a very close family
resemblance to the war psalms of the Hebrews, the composition of which
took place ten or twelve hundred years later. This religious literature
was the work of the priests whose annual stipends came from the royal
treasury, augmented probably by the offerings of the faithful. Remains
of these priestly libraries were discovered by Layard and Smith in the
ruins of Agadê, Sippar, and Cutha.

In the records that have come down to us, there is absolutely no trace
of compensation being paid for the different classes of literary
undertakings except in the shape of annual stipends to the writers,
whose work included other services besides their literary labors,
although it is, of course, probable that special gifts may have been
given from time to time for exceptionally eloquent and satisfactory
accounts of successful campaigns. Whatever property existed in these
productions must, therefore, have been vested in the king, but this
hardly constituted a distinctive feature of literary property, as the
kings claimed and exercised a complete control over all the property
and all the lives within their realms.

The earliest specimen of Chaldean literature which has as yet been
discovered, and which is probably the oldest example of writing at
present known, is given on a tablet of baked clay now in the British
Museum. This tablet was made up by George Smith out of a mass of
scattered fragments which had been brought from the Assyrian mounds.
In going over the collection of inscribed tiles, Smith came across
a small fragment the inscription on which evidently referred to the
Flood, and in the course of his own three sojourns in Mesopotamia he
was fortunate enough, after many months of patient labor, to find a
large portion of the fragments required to complete the tablet and to
give the main portion of the narrative. Such success could hardly have
been possible if the royal library of Nineveh had not contained several
copies of the Flood tablet, as was evinced by the finding of duplicates
or triplicates of certain of the portions. The tablet, as now put
together, comprises eighteen pieces, and presents, notwithstanding a
number of gaps, a fairly complete account of the Flood. The incidents
are so far paralleled by those given in the Genesis narrative, that it
is evident either that the two scribes derived their information from
the same sources, or that the Hebrew story has been based upon the
Chaldean record. According to Lenormant, Smith, and Hommel, the former
was inscribed about 4000 B.C., in that case ante-dating by more than
two thousand years the actual writing of the Book of Genesis. Ragozin
speaks of “the ancestors of the Hebrews, during their long sojourn in
the land of Shinar, having become familiar with the legends and stories
contained in the collection of the Assyrian priests, and after working
these over after their own superior religious lights, having shaped
from them the narrative which was written down many centuries later as
part of the Book of Genesis.”[1]

=Egypt.=--The literature of Egypt probably ranks next to that of
Chaldea in point of antiquity. In fact, not a few of the archæologists
have contended that the civilization of Egypt was of still earlier
development than that of the countries of Mesopotamia or of any other
portion of the world.

The earliest Egyptian writings were, with few exceptions, theological
in their character and appear to have originated in the temples.
First among the authors of Egypt stands, according to tradition,
Thoth-Hermes, the ibis-headed god of wisdom and of literature, the
“Lord of the Hall of Books.” His companion is the beautiful Ma, goddess
of truth and justice, a very proper associate for the founder of a
nation’s literature.

By later generations, Thoth-Hermes came to be known as Hermes
Trismegistus, the god of threefold greatness or majesty. The forty-two
works, the authorship of which is ascribed to Thoth or Trismegistus,
formed, according to Karpeles, a kind of national encyclopædia,
presenting the canon of the faith and the knowledge of ancient Egypt.

Of these so-called Hermetic books, only portions appear to have
remained in existence with the beginnings of the historic period,
but of these portions certain fragments have been preserved for
the inspection of scholars of to-day. In the examination in 1892
of some newly discovered tombs, papyri were found which proved to
contain religious writings based upon the Hermetic books, and which
were themselves the work of scribes writing during the 4th dynasty,
3733-3566 B.C.

The founder of the 4th dynasty was Khufa, better known as Cheops, the
builder of the Great Pyramid, who is also ranked as an author, and
to whose reign belongs the first record of the famous _Book of the
Dead_. This _Book of the Dead_ consisted of invocations to the deities,
psalms, prayers, and the descriptions of the experiences that awaited
the spirit of the departed in the world to come, experiences that
included an exhaustive analysis of his past life and his final judgment
for the life hereafter. The Egyptian title of the book was, according
to Karpeles, _The Manifestation to the Light_, that is, the book
revealing the light. Rawlinson specifies for it another name, _To Go
Forth from Day_. Portions of the book of the dead are said to have been
written by Thoth, and other portions are spoken of as “the composition
of a great god.” These belonged to what might be called the permanent
part of the text or Ritual. Other divisions or pages containing special
references to the deceased would, of course, be distinctive in each
case. The copies prepared for any particular funeral were more or
less comprehensive in their matter and more or less elaborate and
costly in their form according to the wealth and importance of the
departed, and according also to the probable buying capacities of the
mourners. The material written upon was always papyrus, while for
the covers, tinted or stained sheepskin was used. One copy of the
book was always placed in the tomb, as a safe-conduct for the pilgrim
soul on its journey through _Amenti_ (Hades), and for its guidance
in the world to come. This practice has secured the preservation in
the tombs of a great number of copies of the _Book of the Dead_, more
than one half of the existing papyri being transcripts of different
portions of its text. The _Book of the Dead_ enjoys the distinction
of being the first literature of the regular sale of which there is
any evidence. The undertaker, acting probably under the instructions
of the priests, made a business of disposing of copies of the “book”
among the mourners and friends of the deceased, for whom it served
as a memorial of the departed. The Egyptian undertaker, distributing
in this manner from a period three thousand years or more before
the Christian era, authorized or authenticated copies of the sacred
scriptures, accompanied in some cases by memorial pages concerning the
deceased, must take rank as the first bookseller known to history. I
speak of authenticated copies, for it is probable that the authorized
text of the scriptures was kept in the temples or in the colleges
of the priests, and that the copies were prepared by the priests
themselves or by scribes working under their supervision and direction.
In this case the proceeds of the sales were doubtless divided between
the priests and the undertakers, and the priests’ portion may to some
extent have found its way into the treasury of the temple. The scribes
employed were sometimes assistants or students attached to the temple,
but not infrequently slaves, although later the work of scribes came
to be regarded as honorable and as semi-professional in its character,
and some among them held high stations. The control exercised by the
priests over the authorized texts of their sacred scriptures, including
certain writings in addition to those belonging to the ritual of the
dead, must have given to them a practical copyright of the material.
The most complete copy of the _Book of the Dead_, ranking as one of the
oldest works of literature in the world, is now in the British Museum.
A small edition has been printed under the editorship of Mr. Budge, in
precise fac-simile.

Apart from the _Book of the Dead_, the oldest book of which there is
record in the literature of Egypt, and one of the oldest in the known
literature of the world, is a collection of _Precepts_, bearing the
name of Ptah-Hotep. Their author was a viceroy or governor of Egypt,
and was a younger son of Assa, the seventh king of the 5th dynasty,
whose reign began 3366 B.C. The Prisse papyrus, discovered at Thebes
in 1856, and now in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, is said by
its discoverer, Chabas, to be the oldest papyrus in existence, and to
have been written about 2500 B.C.[2] This papyrus contains a copy of
these _Precepts_ of Ptah-Hotep, which have apparently retained their
interest for Egyptian readers for nearly nine centuries, and which
now, more than five thousand years after their first publication, have
been issued, for the benefit of modern readers, in French and English

The _Precepts_ are characterized by simplicity, directness,
high-mindedness, great refinement of nature, and a keen sense of
humor, and they give to the reader a very pleasant impression of their
noble author. The great importance laid by Ptah-Hotep upon courtesy
of manner and of action recall to mind Lord Chesterfield, but the
courtly Egyptian had a heart and convictions. English and American
readers are under obligations to the Rev. H. D. Rawnsley not only
for placing before them this antique and distinctively interesting
production, but also for his excellent metrical versions of some of
the representative hymns of Ancient Egypt.[3] The original translation
from the papyrus of the _Precepts_ was made by P. Virey for _Records of
the Past_. It is Virey’s impression that the _Precepts_ were in part
original with the Viceroy, and in part collected by him from older
sources. In reading these pithy words of wise counsel of the shrewd and
kindly old Egyptian, one naturally recalls the proverbs ascribed to
King Solomon, the sayings of Confucius, and certain of the utterances
of Socrates. I do not mean that Ptah-Hotep, on the strength of the
fragmentary utterances that have come down to us, is to be ranked with
these great teachers, but that it is interesting to note how early in
literature favor was found for the form of expressing opinions, or
of giving counsel in the form of maxims or proverbs. The proverbs of
Solomon are said to have been written about 1000 B.C. The conversations
of Confucius were held about 500 years later, and the utterances of
Socrates were closed with his death, 399 B.C.

Rawnsley gives, among other renderings, metrical versions of the
following specimens of early Egyptian poetry: “A Festal Dirge of King
Antef,” 2533-2466 B.C.; “The Song of the Harper,” about 1700; “Hymn to
Pharaoh,” about 1400; “Dirge of Meneptah,” about 1333; “Hymn to Amen
Ra,” about 1300; “Hymn to the Nile,” about 1300; “Lamentations of Isis
and Nepathys,” about 320; “The Poem of Penta-ur on the Exploits of
Rameses II.,” written in 1326 B.C. The last-mentioned is interesting
as being almost the sole example of an Egyptian epic. It is not clear
whether Penta-ur won his position as court poet-laureate by the
production of this poem, or whether, being already laureate, the epic
was written as one of his official compositions. Under the instructions
of the king, however, whose exploits it commemorated, the poem was
made a national epic, and copies of it appear to have been officially
distributed throughout the kingdom. The reign of Rameses, which covered
the years 1350-1300 B.C., marked, according to Rawlinson and Karpeles,
the culmination of a period which was important not only for success
in war, but for literary production. Under Rameses, literary activity,
no longer confined to the temple, was in part at least transferred to
the court. He collected about him scholars and philosophers, and gave
great rewards for successful literary efforts. The approval given by
royalty to Penta-ur’s poem doubtless secured for the author much better
results than would have come to him through the royalty enjoyed under
the modern literary system.

The king took pride in the great library which had been brought
together under his instructions. Over the entrance to the great hall of
the library was engraved the inscription, “A place of healing for the

By some historians, Rameses II., this king of a long reign and of great
exploits, the patron of literature, whose massive and well-preserved
figure has only recently been disentombed, has been identified with the
Pharaoh of the Exodus. I believe, however, that the better authorities
have decided that the Exodus took place under the Pharaoh who was the
son of the great Rameses.

Rawlinson speaks of the Egyptians as possessing at a very early date
an “extensive literature, comprising books on religion, morals, law,
rhetoric, arithmetic, mensuration, geometry, medicine, books of travel,
and above all, novels!” He says further, however, that, as far as can
be judged from the specimens which have been preserved, “the merit
of the works is slight. The novels are vapid, the medical treatises
interlarded with charms and exorcisms, the travels devoid of interest,
the general style of all the books forced and stilted.”

Rawlinson adds that, while “intellectually the Egyptians must take
rank among the foremost nations of remote antiquity, they cannot
compare with the great European races whose rise was later, the Greeks
and Romans.... Egypt may in some particulars have stimulated Greek
thought, directing it in new lines, and giving it a basis to work
upon; but otherwise it cannot be said that the world owes much of its
intellectual progress to this people, about whose literary productions
there is always something that is weak and childish.”[4]

On the other hand, the long list of distinguished Greeks who sought
learning in Egypt shows the respect in which Egyptian culture was
held. In the list of the subjects considered in Egyptian literature,
Rawlinson appears also to have overlooked astronomy, in which the
investigations of Egyptian scholars were certainly of the first
importance. Notwithstanding the production of a very considerable body
of literature, there appears to be no evidence of any compensation
being secured by the authors, or of literary productions taking shape
as property. The scribes, who did the copying, must of course have
been paid, for the Egyptians were probably not able, as were later the
Romans, to secure the labor of skilled and educated slaves. These
scribes were for the most part natives and freemen, and they came
to form a very important class, in which class the most important
were those engaged in what might be called the civil service of the
government. Of payment to the authors, however, there is no trace, and
they must have written solely for their own satisfaction or for hopes
of favor. There is also nothing to inform us of the manner in which
the copies of the books which had been “manifolded” were distributed
amongst the readers, and we can only conjecture the existence of
collections or libraries from which the books could be borrowed, or a
practice on the part of the wealthy writers (a practice not unknown in
modern times) of a wide distribution of presentation copies to friends
whose appreciation was hoped for.

The royal library of Rameses contained, says Karpeles, works under
such headings as annals, sacred poetry, royal poetry (_i. e._, poetry
addressed to the king), travels, works on agriculture, irrigation, and
astronomy, correspondence and fiction.

Rawlinson speaks of some characteristic tales which were preserved
from generation to generation, such as the _Tale of the Two Brothers_
(charmingly narrated by the late Amelia B. Edwards), _The Doomed
Prince_, _The Possessed Princesses_, etc. He also refers to
collections of correspondence apparently preserved to serve as models
or patterns, after the fashion of the “complete letter-writers” of

Karpeles points out that the early Egyptian literature was particularly
rich in folk-tales, or _Märchen_. It is possible that in Egypt, as in
Greece and Persia, the folk-tales as well as the folk-songs, and such
an occasional epic as the Poem of Penta-on, were recited to the people
by peripatetic reciters or rhapsodists. There are references to such
recitations taking place at court and at the banquets of the rich.

It would have been interesting if it had occurred to some Hebrew
scribe, endowed with a sense of humor, to send for the royal library in
Thebes, as a remembrance of the guests who had gone out of Egypt, an
Egyptian rendering of the Book of Exodus, or even of the Song of Miriam.

=China.=--The dates of the beginnings of literature in China are
uncertain. If we could accept as authentic the claims of the Chinese
historians, the origins of their civilization must be traced back to
a period antedating by thousands of years the accepted records of
Chaldea and Egypt. It is, however, I understand, the present conclusion
of the archæologists that the beginnings of the development of the
civilization of the Chinese, as also of that of the East Indian
peoples, are to be placed at a time considerably later than the date
of the earliest records of the peoples of Mesopotamia. According to
certain authorities, written characters existed in China as early
as 5000 B.C. According to others, they first took shape more than a
thousand years later. The Emperor Fu-hi, reigning about 3500 years
before Christ, is credited with the invention of the Chinese alphabet.
As the Emperor was walking near his palace, possibly musing on the
inconveniences of ruling a country without an alphabet, his attention
was attracted by the beautiful markings of a very large toad that he
encountered. He took the beast home with him, and (under the guidance
of the proper deity) evolved from the designs on the toad’s back the
figures of the original Chinese characters. He very probably said
to himself (paraphrasing the old nursery saying), “It looks like an
alphabet, and it hops like an alphabet, why not call it an alphabet?”
One can imagine a scholar in later years, puzzling over the lengthy
series of Chinese characters, wishing that his Imperial Highness had
happened to meet a smaller or a less variegated toad.

About the year 3000 B.C., the Emperor Hoang-ti is said to have
invented the decimal system and the measurement of time, and also to
have completed the organization of the Empire. If this date is to be
relied upon, the organization of the Chinese State was taking shape
about eight centuries after the time of the great Sargon of Agadê, who
brought to its highest power the earlier Chaldean empire. The national
ballads or folk-songs, later collected under the title of the _Book of
Odes_, are believed by Legge to antedate the Empire--that is, to have
come into circulation while the territory was still separated into
a number of independent states or principalities. These folk-songs
were collected by the minstrels and historiographers working under
the direction of the feudatory princes, and the complete collection,
when reshaped by Confucius, is said to have comprised as many as
three thousand songs. The writer of the article on China in the
_Encyclopædia Britannica_ (9th edition) speaks of the collection as
probably antedating any other known work of literature. The folk-songs
themselves certainly existed from a very early date, but, according to
Karpeles, the collection did not take the form of a book until after
1000 B.C. Karpeles believes that the earliest known work in Chinese
literature is the _Y-king_, the _Book of the Metamorphoses_, or of
_Developments_, which dates from 1150 B.C., about two centuries earlier
than the generally accepted date of the Homeric poems. The author,
Wang-wang, having been put into prison for some political offence,
employed his enforced leisure in working out a philosophical system
based upon the maxims of the Emperor Fu-hi.[5]

The _Book of the Developments_ continued in high honor for many
centuries, and early in the fifth century B.C. was reissued by
Confucius, with an elaborate analysis and commentary, serving to
make its teachings available for later generations. He also issued a
“final edition” of the _Book of Songs_, which comprised, out of the
three thousand of the old collection, the three hundred which were
best worth preservation. Confucius takes rank in China as practically
the founder of its literature, of its system of morals, and of its
religious ideal or standard. The name Confucius is the Latinized form
of Kung Fu-tsze--Kung, the teacher or master. He was free, says one
of his disciples, from four things: foregone conclusions, arbitrary
determinations, obstinacy, and egoism. A good American of the present
time may express the regret that Confucius, or some disciples like him,
had not been spared to occupy seats in the Senate Chamber at Washington.

What is known as the religion of Confucius, comprises in substance the
old-time national or popular faith freshly interpreted into the thought
and language of the later generation, and shaped into a practical
system of morals as a guide for the action of the state and for the
daily life of the individual citizen.

It is interesting to compare the different forms taken by the earliest
literary traditions of the different peoples of antiquity. The Greek
brings to us as the corner-stone of his literature and of his beliefs,
the typical epics, the _Iliads_ and the _Odyssey_; poems of action and
prowess, commemorating the great deeds of the ancestors, and describing
the days when men were heroes, and heroes were fit companions and
worthy antagonists for the gods themselves.

The imagination of the East Indian has evolved a series of gorgeous
and grotesque dreams, in which all conditions of time and space appear
to be obliterated, and in which the universe is pictured as it might
appear in the visions of the smoker of haschisch. It is difficult to
gather from these wild fancies of the earlier Indian poets (and the
earlier writers were essentially poets) any trustworthy data concerning
the history of the past, or any practical instruction by which to guide
the life of the present. The present is but a tiny point, between the
immeasurable æons of the past and the _nirvana_ of the future, and
seems to have been thought hardly worthy the attention of thinking

The Egyptian literary idea has apparently been thought out in the
temple, and it is from the priests that the people receive the record
of the doings of its gods and of the immeasurable dynasties of monarchs
selected by the gods to express their will, while it is also to the
priests that the people must look for instruction concerning the duty
of the present.

The Assyrian records read, on the other hand, as if they were the work
of royal scribes, writing under the direct supervision of the kings
themselves. The gods are described, and their varied relations to the
world below are duly set forth. But the emphasis of the narrative
appears to be given to the glory and the achievements of such great
monarchs as Sargon and Asshurbanipal, as if a long line of scribes,
writing directly for the king’s approval, had continued the chronicles
from reign to reign.

The early literary and religious ideals of China took a very different
form. We find here no priestly autocracy, controlling all intellectual
activities and giving a revelation as to the nature of the universe,
the requirements of the gods, and the obligations of men, obligations
which have never failed to include the strictest obedience to the
behests of the priests, the representatives of the gods. There are
no court chronicles, dictated under royal supervision, and devoted
not to the needs of the people, but to the glorious achievements of
the monarchs. Nor is there any great epic, commemorating the deeds of
heroes and demi-gods. In place of these we find what may be called a
practical system of applied ethics. Confucius was evidently neither
a visionary dreamer nor a poet, nor did he undertake to establish
any priestly or theological authority for his teaching. He gives the
impression of having been an exceptionally clear-headed and capable
thinker, who devoted himself, somewhat as Socrates did a century later,
to studying out the problems affecting the life of the state and of the
individual. With Socrates, however, the chief thing appears to have
been the intellectual interest of the problem, while with Confucius,
the controlling purpose was evidently the welfare of his fellow-men.
It was his aim, as he himself expressed it, through a rewriting of
the wise teachings left us by our ancestors, so as to adapt them to
the understanding of the present generation, to guide men to wise and
wholesome lives, and to prepare them for a better future.[6]

The work of Confucius stands as the foundation-stone of the literature,
the morals, and the state-craft of China. It was continued by such
writers as Mencius, 350 B.C., and Tsengtze, 320 B.C.

The works of the earlier authors secured, we are told, an immediate
circulation, but we have no knowledge as to the methods employed for
their distribution. It seems probable that in the earlier as in the
later centuries, the authors whose works found approval with the
authorities received directly from the state compensation for their
literary and philosophic labors.

The material used for the earliest known writings was made from bamboo
fibre, and was prepared in the shape of tablets. Early in the third
century B.C. (curiously enough, during the reign of Hwang-ti, the
destroyer of literature), brushes were invented, with which characters
could be traced upon silk. The bamboo was either scratched upon with
a sharp stylus, or the characters were painted upon it with a dark
varnish. Sometimes also the characters were burned into the bamboo,
with a heated metal stylus. India ink was first used in the seventh
century. The invention of paper took place about 100 B.C., the first
material utilized for the manufacture being bark, fishing-nets, and
rags. Printing from solid blocks was done as early as the first century
A.D. The invention of the art of printing from movable type is credited
to a blacksmith named Pi-Shing. The blacksmith’s first books were
turned out towards the close of the tenth century A.D., or early in
the eleventh century, more than three centuries before the presses of
Gutenberg began their work in Mayence.

The movable type used by Pi-Shing were made of plastic clay. At the
same time, or shortly thereafter, porcelain type were utilized. The
printing from movable type never seems to have developed to such extent
as to supersede block printing. The Emperor Kang-He had engraved
about two hundred and fifty thousand copper type, which were used for
printing the publications of the government. These type were afterwards
melted for use as _cash_, but were replaced by his grandson with type
made from lead.[7]

There is record of books being printed in Corea (at that time a
province of the Empire) from movable clay type, as early as 1317 A.D.[8]

Literature has always been an honored profession in China, and seems
even in the earliest times to have attracted a larger proportion of
workers than, during the same period, were engaged in literary pursuits
in any other countries in the world. The mass of literature was very
much added to after the introduction of Buddhism into the country,
which took place during the first century of the Christian era.
Karpeles states that a selection of the early Chinese classics, with
commentaries, undertaken under the direction of one of the emperors
in the eighteenth century, would, it was calculated, comprise when
completed, 163,000 volumes. By the year 1818, there had been published
of the series, 78,731 volumes.[9] From this enormous mass of material a
few books only stand out as possessing distinctive importance by reason
of their influence on the thought and the life of many generations.

There are the five _King_ and the four _Schu_, or “books.” The term
“king” means literally a web, a thing woven, or fabricated. Its use in
this connection recalls the ῥαπτός of the Greek rhapsodists, a term
which, originally meaning a thing spun or a yarn, came also to stand
for a literary production of a certain class, a “yarn” that could be
recited. The five _King_ were the “webs” or productions of wise and
holy writers, but the names of these writers have not been preserved,
even as a tradition. The first in order is the _Y-king_, already
mentioned, the _Book of the Developments_, which is much the oldest
in the series. The second is the _Schu-king_ or _Book of Chronicles_,
which begins its narrative with the time of Noah, and gives the record
of the dynasties from 2400 to 721 B.C. In addition to the historical
chronicles, the _Schu-king_ contains, in the form of dialogues between
the emperors and the councillors, the instruction in the principles
of state-craft, in philosophy, in the science of war, in music,
in astronomy, and in general culture. The headings of some of the
chapters recall the matters treated in _The Prince_ of Machiavelli.
The following “royal maxims” do not, however, sound Machiavellian:
“Virtue,” says the great councillor Yih, speaking to the emperor, “is
the foundation of your realm”; “The ruler must lead his people in the
paths of virtue”; “Guard yourself from false shame, and if you have
committed an error, hasten to make frank acknowledgment of the same.
Otherwise you will mislead your subjects.”[10]

The third of the canonical books is the _Schi-king_ or _Book of Songs_,
already referred to. This presents the selection made by Confucius
of the hymns, ballads, and folk-songs collected from the earliest
generations. The fourth is the _Tschun-tshien_, or _Spring and Autumn
Year-Book_, which is ascribed to Confucius. It is a brief chronicle
of events covering a space of 240 years. The fifth is the _Li-ki_, or
_Book of Ritual_, or of _Conduct_. This gives detailed instructions
concerning the proper ceremonials for all events of life, from the
cradle to the grave.

With these classics should be grouped certain books prepared by the
followers of Confucius, the most important of which, the _Lün-yü_, or
_Conversations_, is a record of the instruction given by Confucius
to his pupils in the form of talks. In these conversations we find
questions shaped in a method quite Socratic. With this should be
grouped the _Mengtsze_, the record of the work of the philosopher
Mencius. His instruction seems, like that of his great forerunner, to
have been very practical in its character. Associated with the earlier
teachings of Confucius, the instruction of Mencius was accepted as the
basis of the moral and the educational system of the nation.

The enormous respect which the Chinese have given to the works
produced during their classical period is believed by authorities
like Williams and Wade to have exercised an influence on the whole
detrimental to the development and to the originality of their later

The first active literary period preceded Confucius, 500 B.C. From this
period have been preserved the classics already referred to. The next
important epoch is that of the “interpreters,” the counsellors and the
lawgivers, extending from Confucius to Mencius, 350 B.C. They were
followed by a long line of annalists and commentators, whose work came
to an abrupt close with the reign of the Emperor Che Hwang-ti, 221-226
B.C. Hwang-ti was evidently a man with opinions of his own. He objected
to what seemed to him an exaggerated and mischievous reverence for the
“good old times,” and he proposed to discourage the _laudator temporis
acti_. He issued an edict directing all books to be burned excepting
those treating of medicine, divination, and husbandry. This _index
expurgatorius_ (possibly the earliest in history) included all the
writings of Confucius and Mencius, comprising both their original work
and their compilations and editions of the earlier classics. It was
further ordered that any one who dared to mention the _Book of History_
or the _Book of Odes_ should be put to death. Any one possessing,
thirty days after the issue of the edict, a copy of the books ordered
destroyed, was to be branded and put to labor for four years upon the
great wall. This is probably the most drastic and comprehensive policy
for the suppression of a literature that the world has ever seen.
Fortunately, like similar attempts in later centuries, it was only
partially successful. While the destruction of books was enormous, and
while, of long lists of works, it is probable that all existing copies
actually did disappear, the texts of the most important, including
the specially obnoxious _Book of History_ and _Book of Songs_, were
preserved. According to one tradition, a large number of the songs were
saved only by having been retained in the memory of public reciters and
their hearers. After the death of the Emperor Che, the text of these
was taken down and again committed to writing. This instance is, one
recalls, fully in line with the methods by which in Greece, before the
general use of writing, the earlier classics were preserved in the
memories of the rhapsodists and their hearers.

It is the opinion of Dr. Williams that the command of the Emperor
Che for the destruction of all books was so thoroughly executed that
“of many classical works not a single copy escaped destruction. The
books were, however, recovered in great part by rewriting them from
the memories of old scholars.... If the same literary tragedy should
be enacted to-day, thousands of persons might easily be found in China
who could rewrite from memory the text and the commentary of their nine
classical works.”

Williams is also my authority for the statement that not only were
the books destroyed as far as copies could be found, but that nearly
five hundred _literati_ were burned alive, in order that no one might
remain to reproach in his writings the emperor for the commission of so
barbarous an act.[11]

One of the most celebrated female writers in China was Pan Whui-pan,
also known as Pan Chao, the sister of the historian Pan Ku, who wrote
the history of the Han dynasty. She was appointed historiographer after
the death of her brother, and completed, about A.D. 80, his unfinished
annals. A little later she wrote the first work in any language on
female education, which was called _Nü Kiai_ or _Female Precepts_,
and which has formed the basis of many succeeding books on female
education. In the writings of this and of other Chinese authoresses,
instructions in morals and in the various branches of domestic economy
are insisted upon as the first essentials in the education of women,
and as more important than a knowledge of the classics or of the

1050 A.D. Wang Pih-ho, of the Sung dynasty, compiled for his private
school a horn-book or manual of education, entitled the _San-tsz’
King_. The manual is interesting not merely as giving a general study
of the nature of man and the existence of modes of education, but
because it includes a list of books recommended for the student, a list
which gives an impression of the extent of the education and literature
of that date.[13]

The golden age of Chinese literary production is fixed by Sir Thomas
Wade at the period of the Tang dynasty, 620-907 A.D. In 922 A.D. an
edition of the classical writers was printed and published under the
instructions of the Emperor. The tendency of writers since the tenth
century has been to devote their energies to commentaries on the
ancient works, and to analyses and interpretations of these rather than
to original production. The writing of historical annals has, however,
gone on with great regularity, and the series of _Chronicles of the
Kingdom_ is very comprehensive in its completeness.

The rewards of authors are given in the shape of official appointments
and preferments, and of honors and honorariums bestowed directly by
the state. It seems probable that in modern as in ancient times the
writers of China could look for no direct returns from the circulation
of their productions. It is nevertheless the case that from the time
of Confucius to the present day, that is for a period of two thousand
four hundred years, the direct influence of scholars, thinkers, and
writers has been greater in China than in any other part of the world.
The state as a whole and the individual citizen, from the Emperor down,
have, as a rule, been ready to recognize and accept the authority and
the guidance of literary ideals and of intellectual standards. The case
would be paralleled if the French Academy had existed from the time of
Charlemagne to the present day, if the counsellors and rulers of the
state had always been appointed from the forty, and if the remaining
officials of all grades had been selected by competitive examinations,
instituted and supervised by the forty. The parallel would not be
complete, however, unless the Academy of to-day were still basing its
examinations on a codex of Charlemagne.

The imperial government of China and the Chinese community as a whole
have for many centuries, apparently ever since the time of the
book-burning Hwang-ti, rendered a larger measure of honor (and also of
direct reward as far as this could be given by official station) to
students and scholars, than has been given by any state in the history
of the world. The literary ideal and the literary productions, the
study of which has thus been honored, have, however, been in the main
those of a thousand years or more back. The fact, says Legge, that the
earlier literary period was so fruitful, and that the works produced in
it have been held by later generations in so great honor, is one cause
why original or creative literary productiveness has been discouraged,
and why the later literary activities continue in so large proportion
to take the shape of commentaries. It has also, he thinks, been an
important influence in keeping the language in an inflexible and
undeveloped condition. It was the language of the fathers, and it would
be sacrilege to modify it.

=Japan.=--The civilization of Japan is an off-shoot or development of
that of China, and the Japanese literature is based upon Chinese models
and standards. The literary relation strikes one as in some respects
similar to that which existed between Great Britain and the American
Colonies, or later with the American States. The literature of Japan is
described, however, as characterized by much more elasticity, variety,
and creative originality than is possessed by that of China, and in
place of stereotyping itself upon the models of old-time classics, it
has shown from century to century a wholesome power of development.

At one time, says Karpeles, Japan possessed an alphabet of its own, but
later, the Chinese characters were introduced, and were used together
with the older alphabet. It is only the very earliest writings in which
the Japanese characters alone are employed. The Japanese scribes have
from the beginning worked with brushes rather than with pens, and in so
doing, have been able to utilize such substances as silk, which would
have been unsuitable for the work of the pen. The invention of paper,
however, took place at an early date, possibly simultaneously with its
first use in China. Printing from blocks, and later from type, was
promptly introduced from China early in our era.

According to the native chroniclers, the earliest literary production
of Japan was the work of the two gods Izanaghi and Izanami. These
gods, having created the country, thought it was incomplete without
some poetry, and the poetry was therefore added. Tsurayuki, a poet of
the tenth century, takes the ground that all true expression of feeling
is poetry. The nightingale sings in the wood, the frog croaks in the
pool; each is giving utterance to a feeling, and each, therefore, is
pouring forth a poem. There is no living being, he continues, who
is not a producer of poetry. (This is as startling to us ordinary
mortals as the discovery of Molière’s Monsieur Jourdain that he had
been talking prose all his life without knowing it.) As poetry, says
Tsurayuki, begins with the expression of feeling, it must have come
into existence with the beginning of creation.[14] In the earliest
times, he says, when the gods were poets, the arrangement of sounds
into syllables had not been made, and rhythm had not been invented.
These early divine poems or utterances of the gods are, therefore,
very difficult to understand. Later, however, Susanoo-no-mikoto fixed
sounds into syllables, and then, according to the tenth-century poet,
Japanese literature had its actual beginning, but he does not give us
the date of this useful piece of work. We are inclined to wonder what
the wise Susanoo, etc., did about the announcing of his own name, say
on really formal occasions, before the little matter of the invention
of syllables had been accomplished.

While it is claimed that from prehistoric times there had been in Japan
an active production and a wide distribution of poetry (folk-songs),
the first collection of the “people’s ballads” appears to have been
made as late as 700 A.D. At this time the Emperor, whose residence was
at Nara, took an interest in literature, and during the quarter century
from 700 to 725 A.D. lived “the noble poet” Yamabe-no-Akahito, and
the “wise man of the poets,” Kakino-mo-to-Hito-Maro. (The god above
referred to, who bestowed upon Japan the invention of syllables, seems
to have done his work thoroughly.) The compilation which took shape
during this period is known as the _Man-yo-sin_, or the “collection of
ten thousand leaves.” The two later collections are known as _The Old
and the New Songs of Japan_, and _The Hundred Poets_.

A special feature in the literature of Japan is the great number of
poetesses. The fashion of women interesting themselves in the writing
of poetry was initiated by the poetic Empress Soto-oro-ime, in the
third century A.D.

The great epic of Japanese literature is the _Fei-ke-mono-gatari_,
that is _The Annals of the Fei-ke Dynasty_, which is said to have been
composed in 1083 A.D., and which was sung among the people by blind
rhapsodists. An epic of later date, in twelve books, is credited to
the poet Ikanage. The literary record shows a long series of tales
and romances, which are described as possessing a graceful fancy and
imagination much in advance of Chinese compositions of the same class.

The theatre has from early times played a very important part in the
social life of Japan, and dramatic composers are held in high honor.
The first dramas written for performance date from about 807 A.D.
The people of Japan have from the early times of Japanese literature
given cordial appreciation to literary producers, and especially poets
and dramatists. The official recognition of literature and of men of
letters appears, however, to have been much less distinctive and less
important than in China. We do not find record of official positions
and preferments being bestowed on the ground of proficiency in
philosophy or literature, or by reason of a knowledge of the learning
of the past; nor have the smaller government places been distributed by
competitive examinations arranged for students of literature.

The distribution of literature among the people appears to have been
from an early date very general, and the knowledge of the great
classics has certainly been widespread. Of the methods by which such
distribution was accomplished in the early centuries of literary
production we know nothing. It seems probable from certain references
by later authors, that in Japan, as in Greece, the rhapsodists and
reciters were the principal distributors.

Of rewards or compensations given to the earlier Japanese authors
there is no record. The national treasury does not appear to have
been utilized as in China and Assyria. It is possible that the
dramatists may have secured some share of the stage receipts, but it
is probable that the other authors must have contented themselves with
such prestige or honors as came to them from the readers of, or the
listeners to, their compositions.

=India.=--In India, the typical early literature is the myth. There is
no national epic in the Greek use of the term, in which are described
the doings of heroic men. The literary productions are the work of
poets whose imagination has been impressed with the immensity and with
the mystery of the universe, and whose poetic fancies take the form of
visions. These fancies or visions are concerned with the doings of the
gods, while man plays but a small part in the narrative.

Sanscrit literature is said to date back to the fifteenth century B.C.
The written characters have an origin common with that of the Greek
letters. The oldest existing monuments of Indian script are the edicts
of the King Açoka, cut into the stone at Girnar and elsewhere “so that
they might endure for ever”. They date back to the third century B.C.

The first literary period of India presents the poetry of the
_Vedas_, the sacred scriptures of the Sanscrit peoples. The hymns and
invocations comprising the _Vedas_ are supposed to have been collected
about 1000 B.C. This is the date that has by many authorities been
accepted for the collecting of the Homeric poems, and corresponds
nearly with the time fixed for the writing of the Chinese _Book of the
Metamorphoses_. It also tallies with the period to which is ascribed
the production of the Persian _Zend-Avesta_.

The term _Veda_ means knowledge, or sacred knowledge. The collection
of the _Vedas_ comprises four divisions. The _Rig-Veda_, or _Veda of
Praises or Hymns_; the _Sama-Veda_, or _Veda of Chants or Tunes_;
the _Yajur-Veda_, or _Veda of Prayers_; and the _Atharva-Veda_, or

The second literary period, beginning about the fifth century B.C., is
that of the _Folk-Songs_, in which the myth becomes legend, and the
gods, approaching a little closer to the earth, assume more nearly the
character of heroes. The third period is that of the classic poets,
whose productions in lyric and dramatic poetry are ranked with the
great works of literature of the world. This period appears to have
reached its height of productiveness between the sixth and tenth
centuries of our era.

The earliest prose works are the theological writings of the Brahmanic
priests, which take the form of commentaries on the _Vedas_, and which
elucidate the sacred texts, principally from a sacrificial point of
view. The production of these theological commentaries is supposed to
date back to the seventh or sixth century B.C.

Buddha, or Gautama, philosopher, poet, reformer, and redeemer of his
people, began his work towards the close of the sixth century B.C. His
teachings gave rise to an enormous production of theological literature
in India, Ceylon, China, and Japan.

The information concerning the materials used by the earlier writers
of India, and as to the methods by which their books were placed
before the public, is very meagre. According to Louisy, the use of
_diphtherai_, or dressed skins, prevailed to some extent. Prepared
palm-leaves were also utilized, particularly by the Buddhist writers of
Ceylon. There appears to have been no general or popular circulation of
the manuscripts. These were costly, and were beyond the means of any
but the very wealthy, while it was also the case that the knowledge of
reading was confined to but limited circles.

It seems probable that the manuscripts were in the main prepared in
the monasteries or temples, and that they were exchanged between the
temples. The teachings of the writers were brought before the people by
preaching or recitations. Certain of the princes also attached to their
courts poets and philosophers, and practically the only libraries or
collections of manuscripts outside of those in the temples, must have
been those contained in the palaces of the few princes who possessed
literary tastes.

There could have been no other way of securing for an author
compensation for his work excepting through princely favors or from the
treasuries of the temples.

=Persia.=--The first name that comes down to us connected with the
literature of Persia is that of Zoroaster. The Persian form of his name
is Zarathustra, meaning the gold-star. The date of his birth is said to
be more uncertain than that of Homer, but he is supposed to have lived
about 1000 B.C.

He is credited with the authorship of the _Gâthas_, hymns partly
religious, partly political. To Zoroaster were also revealed the
teachings which later took shape in the sacred scriptures of the
Persians, the _Zend-Avesta_ (commentary-lore). Of these scriptures,
only one division, the _Vendidad_, has been preserved complete. Of the
other parts only fragments remain. It is estimated that the _Vendidad_
(which means the regulations against demons) represents about one
twentieth of the original collection.

The oldest portion of the _Avesta_ is the _Yasna_, or sacrificial
liturgy. This is a grouping together of the commentaries surrounding
the _Gâthas_. A third division is the _Visparad_, or the _Seasons_, in
which are set forth the lists of the objects sacred to each season. A
fourth division is the _Yescht-Sade_, or little _Avesta_, comprising
prayers and hymns.

The monotheistic or dualistic nature of the faith as originally taught
by Zoroaster has, in the later religious writings and practices, been
overlaid and obscured by the different phases of nature worship. Fire
is accepted as the symbol of holiness, but, according to the views of
the educated Parsees, is not itself the thing worshipped.

The existing canon of the _Avesta_ was compiled and published under the
direction of King Sapor II., who reigned 309-330 A.D. Among the poems
of the _Avesta_ we find the legend of which the hero is Rustem, who
stands as the representative of Iran in its long contest with Turan.

The literature of Persia prior to the fourth century of the Christian
era was probably controlled in great part by the priests. The
exceptions would have been in the case of the court poets or court
historians, writing under the incentive of royal remuneration. It is
probable that songs and recitations were to some extent given to the
public by minstrels or rhapsodists. There is some evidence also of the
development in later centuries of the story-teller or improvisatore,
who made a business of exchanging, for the pence of the public,
stories partly original, but chiefly borrowed from older sources.
The Oriental capacity for story-telling, and the Oriental readiness
to devote an abundance of leisure time to listening to stories, is
clearly indicated not only by modern practices, but also by the
history of such collections as the _Arabian Nights_. Of this famous
series of tales, neither the nationality nor the date of origin has
been fixed with any degree of certainty. It is probable, however, that
the collection first took shape in Bagdad about 1450 A.D., the date of
the invention of printing. Von Hammer is of opinion that the Bagdad
Tales are based upon a Persian collection called _Hezar Afsaneh, The
Thousand Fanciful Stories_. From a passage in the _Golden Meadows_ of
El-Mesoudee (quoted by von Hammer) this Persian collection is known to
have been in existence as early as 987 A.D.

It seems probable, as suggested, that the practice of publicly reciting
poems or of narrating stories prevailed in Persia from a very early
date, and constituted here, as in Greece, the first method for the
distribution or the publication of literary compositions. The material
employed for manuscripts was first _diphtherai_, or skins, and later
papyrus and parchment.

=Judæa.=--There is a similar lack of evidence concerning the existence
among the Hebrews of anything that could be called literary property.
The great body of the earlier Hebrew literature belonged, of course,
to the class of sacred writings, best known to us through the books of
the _Old Testament_ and of the _Apocrypha_. In addition to these, and
partly, of course, included with these, were the various collections
of the law and of the comments on the law, while later years produced
the long series of commentaries known to the reader of to-day under
the general name of the _Talmud_. The various transcripts required
of these writings of the law and the prophets gave employment to
numbers of scribes, who, in the first place, apparently were usually
connected with the Temple, and must have derived their support from the
ecclesiastical revenues, but who later formed a separate commercial
class, receiving payment for their work as done.

Professor Peters speaks of the age of Hezekiah as the golden age of
Hebrew literature. He quotes the text, Prov. xxv., I, which says that
“the men of Hezekiah translated” or transcribed, or wrote down the
Proverbs of Solomon, as evidently an effort to collect and preserve the
literary treasures of the past. He says, further:

    “It is not unnatural to suppose that the writing down of Solomon’s
    Proverbs was for the purpose of a library in Jerusalem, such as the
    Assyrian kings had long since collected at Nineveh. The _Book of
    Amos_ was edited (somewhere about 711 B.C.) apparently for this
    library ... and I suppose Hosea and Micah also to have been edited
    about this time and for the same purpose. It was the formation
    of this library at just this time and the desire to collect and
    preserve all the literary remains of the past, which led to the
    collection and preservation of so much of the literature of the
    Northern Kingdom, but lately brought into Judah by the Israelite
    _emigrés_. No tales of the valor of the heroes of Judah, no Judæan
    folk-lore ante-dating the time of David, have been handed down to
    us; this literature belonged to the Northern Kingdom. Literary
    and antiquarian zeal led to the collection and reception of these
    northern tales and poems into Hezekiah’s library ... where their
    use in historical works, owing to the awakened zeal for a knowledge
    of the past, was assured. So with the transfer of intellectual
    activity from Samaria, a new era begins in Judah, and soon the
    charming tales and poems of the north, preserved in the library of
    Hezekiah, begin to be woven into the more solid and ambitious works
    of the historians and lawyers of Jerusalem.

    This literary awakening could not fail to act upon the priests.
    They were the custodians of those ancient religious and legal
    traditions, which, coming down from the age of Moses, had grown
    with, and been modified by, changing times and conditions. While
    some portions of the ‘law’ were written, presumably the larger part
    of it was handed down mainly by word of mouth.

    Moreover, that which was written probably existed in various
    independent codes relating to different subjects. Some of
    these--such as a tariff of offerings, or tables of civil
    and criminal law, like those contained in the _Book of the
    Covenant_--may have been published, or set up at the Temple gates,
    where they could be read by the worshippers. The greater part
    of the ‘law,’ however, seems to have been the exclusive, if not
    esoteric, possession of the priesthood of the Jerusalem Temple. The
    literary activity of the Renaissance made itself felt within the
    circle of the priests, leading them to begin to commit to writing
    their unwritten law as well as the ancient traditions, customs,
    and ceremonies. Thus was commenced the work which has given us the
    middle books of the _Pentateuch_, as well as much of Genesis and

It appears, therefore, as if the Hebrew literature of the time (the
reign of Hezekiah, covering the period referred to, lasting from 728
to 699 B.C.) consisted substantially of the “law,” that is of the
authoritative teachings of the “church,” and was almost exclusively
in the hands of the priests. They exercised a control, which amounted
practically to an ownership, over the sacred, that is the official,
records of the “law,” and it appears as if the attested copies or
transcripts could be made only with their permission and under their
supervision. It is probable, therefore, that the copyists were attached
to the Temple, and that such moneys as were received from the sale of
their transcripts belonged to the treasury of the Temple,--but the
manner of such sales can only be guessed at, as the records give us no
information. If, however, this understanding of the practice should
prove to be correct, we should have an example, if not of literary
property, at least of a species of “copyright” control.

The severe Jewish law, directing the penalty of death to be inflicted
upon prophets speaking “false words,” or uttering as inspirations of
their own, words which had originated with others, has been quoted as
an early example of regulation of plagiarism, but it appears evident,
says Rénouard,[16] that the crime here to be punished was not
plagiarism but sacrilege, “_Vates mendax qui vaticinatur et quæ non
audivit, et quæ ipsi non sunt dicta, ab hominibus est occidendus_.”[17]
The utterance of the prophet Jeremiah (c. xxiii. v. 30) evidently
refers to the same regulation.





THE literature of Greece has become the property of the world, but of
the existence of literary property in Greece--that is, of any system
or practice of compensation to writers from their readers or hearers,
either direct or indirect--the traces are very slight; so slight, in
fact, that the weight of authority is against the probability of such
practice having obtained at all.

It is fortunate for the literature of the world that the Greek poets,
dramatists, historians, and philosophers were content to do their work
for the approval of their own generation, for the chance of fame with
the generations to come, or for the satisfaction of the work itself, as
their rewards in the shape of anything more tangible than fame appear
to have been either nothing or something very inconsiderable.

Clement says: “After the most painstaking researches through the
records left us by the Greeks, we are compelled to conclude that
in none of the Greek states was any recognition ever given under
provision of law, to the right of authors to any control over their own
productions.”[18] Breulier writes: “Literary property, in any sense
in which the term is understood to-day, did not exist at Athens.”[19]
Wilhelm Schmitz concludes that “no such relation as that which to-day
exists between authors and booksellers (publishers) was known among the
Greeks. In none of the writings of the time, do we find the slightest
reference to any such publishing arrangements as Roman authors in
the time of Martial were accustomed to secure.”[20] This treatise of
Schmitz’s is a painstaking and interesting study of the conditions of
Greek literature in classic times and of the relations of Greek writers
to their public, and for certain portions of this chapter I am largely
indebted to the results of his investigations.

Géraud remarks that in the first development of written language and
literature among the Hebrews and Egyptians, it is easy to recognize
the “fatal influence of the spirit of priestly caste, an influence
from which the Greek peoples were comparatively free.”[21] The richest
literature of antiquity, he goes on to say, is that of Greece, and
it was also in Greece that the art of writing made the most rapid
advances. The teaching of the priests, whether given through the
oracles or not, was purely oral, so that the Greeks did not come into
possession of any body of sacred scriptures such as formed the original
literature of other peoples. On the other hand, the ardent nature,
inquiring and active intellect, and brilliant imagination of the
Greeks, gave an early and rapid development to the arts, to poetry, and
to speculative philosophy.

The old-time tradition credits the introduction of the alphabet
in Greece to Cadmus, and fixes the date of the first Hellenic
spelling-school at about the fifteenth century before Christ. I
believe the authorities are divided as to whether this mythical Cadmus
represents a Phœnician or an Egyptian influence, but this is a question
which need not be considered here. I understand the philologists are
in accord in the conclusion that the Cadmus story represents, not a
first instituting of a Greek alphabet, but merely certain important
modifications in the form of letters already in use. Birt asserts,
as if it were now a settled fact, that while the Greeks derived their
written characters from the Phœnicians, they were indebted to Egypt
for their first ideas in the making of books. There is a very distinct
family resemblance between the Greek characters as known in literature
and those of the Hebrew, Phœnician, and Syriac alphabets, while the
names of the Greek letters _Alpha_ and _Beta_ are found in all the
Semitic dialects. It seems further to be certain that the earlier
peoples of Greece, after for a time having written perpendicularly
according to the fashion of the Chinese, began later to write from
right to left according to the Oriental manner.

The so-called _Boustrophedon_, a term meaning “turning like oxen when
they plough,” was a method of writing from left to right, and from
right to left in alternate lines. Among the earlier specimens of
this method were the laws of Solon (about 610 B.C.) and the Sigean
inscription (about 600 B.C.). This system represents a period of
transition between the earliest style and that of which the invention
is credited to Pronapides, and is simply the modern European fashion
of writing from left to right. The inscriptions of the Etruscans are
largely written in _Boustrophedon_. Neither in Greece, however, nor
elsewhere, did this method remain in use for any writings which are to
be classed as literature.

While Greek literature, as far as known to us, must be considered as
beginning with the Homeric poems, the date of which is estimated by
the majority of the authorities at about 900 B.C., there appears to be
no trustworthy example of Greek writing earlier than about 600 B.C.
Curiously enough, this specimen was found not in Greece but in Egypt.
Jevons describes it as follows:

    “On the banks of the Upper Nile, in the temple of Abu Simbel, are
    huge statues of stone, and on the legs of the second colossus
    from the south are chipped the names, witticisms, and records
    of travellers of all ages, in alphabets known and unknown. The
    earliest of the Greek travellers who have thus left their names
    were a body of mercenaries, who seemed to have formed part of an
    expedition which was led up the Nile by King Psammitichus.”[22]

Jevons goes on to give the grounds for the conclusion (based mainly
on the formation of certain of the letters, and in part, of course,
on the references to King Psammitichus) that the inscription was
written, or rather was cut, upon the statue between 620 B.C. and 600
B.C., according as we take the king mentioned to have been the first
or second of his name.[23] We have, then, a date fixing a time at
which the art of writing certainly existed among the Greeks, while it
is further evident that if in the year 600 the art of writing was so
well established that it was understood by a number of mercenaries,
it must have been quite generally diffused through certain classes of
society, and the date for its introduction into Greece must have been
considerably earlier than 600. Jevons knows, however, of no example of
Greek writing which can be ascribed to an earlier date than that above

The conclusion, based upon this inscription, that in the year 600 B.C.
writing had for some time been known in Greece, enables us, however,
says Jevons, to accept as probably authentic a reference to writing
ascribed to an author who lived nearly a century earlier. Archilochus,
a poet who is believed to have flourished about 700 B.C., uses in one
of his fables the expression “a grievous _skytale_.”

    “A _skytale_ was a staff on which a strip of leather for writing
    purposes was rolled slant-wise. A message was then written on
    the leather, and the latter being unrolled, was given to the
    messenger. If the messenger were intercepted, the message could
    not be deciphered, for only when the leather was rolled on a staff
    of precisely the same size (_i. e._, thickness) as the proper one,
    would the letters come right. Such a staff, the duplicate of that
    used by the sender, was of course possessed by the recipient.”

This primitive method of cipher was for a long time in use with the
Spartans for conveying State messages. In the figure of speech used
by Archilochus, his fable was to outward appearance innocent of any
recondite meaning, but would prove a grievous “skytale” for the person

It seems reasonable, continues Jevons, to accept this passage as
indicating a knowledge of writing in Greece as early as 700 B.C. This
date allows a century for the diffusion of the art and for the spread
of the Ionic alphabet which are implied by the Abu Simbel inscription.
And the passage does not prove too much. It does not imply even that
Archilochus himself could write. The invention or introduction was
sufficiently novel and admirable to furnish a poet with a metaphor;
and the _skytale_ was probably then, as in later times, a government
institution. This mention of it accords with the probable supposition
that writing was used for government purposes for some time before it
became common among the people.

The next date or period which in connection with my subject it is of
interest to fix, however approximately, is that when it is possible to
speak of the existence of a reading public. On this point also I take
the liberty of quoting one or two paragraphs from Jevons in which the
probabilities are clearly presented:

    “Reading and writing were certainly taught as early as the year 500
    B.C., and half a century later, to be unable to read or write was a
    thing to be ashamed of. Herodotus speaks of boys’ schools existing
    in Chios in the time of Histiæus, who lived about 500.”[24]

    “Instruction of this kind does not, however, prove the existence
    of a reading public. Enough education to be able to keep accounts,
    to read public notices, to correspond with friends or business
    agents, may have been in the possession of every free Athenian in
    the period between 500 and 450 B.C., and the want of such education
    may have caused a man to be sneered at; but this does not prove the
    habit of reading literature.”

There are, however, various references which indicate that by the
year 450 B.C. the habit of reading was beginning to become general,
at least in certain circles of society. Jevons quotes a passage from
the _Tagenistæ_ of Aristophanes, in which, speaking of a young man
gone wrong, the dramatist ascribes his ruin to “a book, to Prodicus or
to bad company.”[25] Jevons also finds in fragments of an old comedy
such expressions as “an unlettered man,” “a man who does not know his
A B C.” A passage in the lyric fragments of the poet Theognis (who
lived 583-500) is of interest not merely as an evidence of some public
circulation of literature, but as possibly the earliest example of an
author’s attempting to control the circulation of his own productions.
Theognis says he has hit on a device which will prevent his verses
from being appropriated by any one else. He will put his name on them
as a seal (or trade-mark) and then “no one will take inferior work
for his when the good is to be had, but every one will say ‘These are
the verses of Theognis, the Megarian.’” As Jevons says: “This passage
certainly implies that Theognis committed his works to writing.” It
also appears to imply that there was likely to be sufficient literary
prestige attaching to the poetry of Theognis to tempt an unscrupulous
person to claim to be its author, while it is at least possible
to infer that the plan of Theognis had reference not only to his
prestige as an author, but also to certain author’s proceeds from the
sales of his works, which proceeds he desired to keep plagiarists
from appropriating. Clement does not, however, believe that there is
adequate ground for the latter supposition, but contends that if the
poet caused copies of his poems to be multiplied and distributed, it
was not for the purpose of having them sold, and not even in order that
they might be read, but to enable his friends to learn them and to sing
them at drinking parties or other social gatherings. In his opinion,
the nature of the poetry of Theognis shows that it was not composed for
a reading public.

Giving the fullest possible weight to the evidences for the early
development of the knowledge of reading and writing, and the possible
facilities for the multiplication and distribution of books in
manuscript, it is certain that Greek literature between the ninth
and the sixth centuries B.C. cannot have been prepared for a reading
public. The epics which have come down to posterity from that period
must have been transmitted by word of mouth and memory. Mahaffy
and Jevons are in accord in pointing out that the effort of memory
required for the composition and transmission of long poems without
the aid of writing, while implying a power never manifested among
people possessing printed books, is not in itself at all incredible.
Memory was equal to the task, and the earlier Greek poems, memorized
by the authors as composed, were preserved by successive generations
of Bards. They were also evidently composed with special reference to
the requirements of the reciters whose recitations were in the earlier
periods usually given at the banquets of the royal courts or of great
houses to which the bards were attached. The practice of reciting
before public audiences can hardly have been begun before the year 600

The early epics were as a rule much too long to be recited within
the limits of a single evening, and they must therefore have been
continued from banquet to banquet. The authors have apparently kept
this necessity in mind, and have provided for it by dividing their
narratives into clearly defined episodes, at the close of which the
reciters could leave their audiences with some such word as that given
at the close of a weekly installment in the “penny dreadful”--“to be
continued in our next.”

As the practice was introduced of entertaining larger audiences in
the open air with the recital of the Homeric and other epics, a class
of professional reciters arose, known as _Rhapsodists_, who declaimed
in a theatrical manner, with much gesture and varying inflection of
the voice. The term rhapsody is believed by Jevons to be derived from
ῥάπτω, to sew or stitch together. He quotes a line from Pindar, Ὁμηρίαι
ῥάπτων επέων ἀοιδοί, “sons of Homer, singers of stitched verses.”
Words are metaphorically said to be stitched together into verses, and
the word ῥαχ-ῳδός Jevons derives from ῥάπτω, to stitch, and ἀοιδός, a

These rhapsodists travelled from place to place to compete for the
prizes offered by the different cities, and while the national poems
(carried in their memories) were probably common to all, each reciter
doubtless had his own special method of declaiming these. This practice
helps to account for the transmission and for the diffusion of the
earlier epics. The rhapsodists may, therefore, be said to have served
in a sense as the publishers of the period. The derivation of the word
comedy throws some light on the literary customs of the time. It means
literally “a song of the village,” from κώμη, a village, and ἀείδω, I

The purposes of Greek writers were either political or purely ideal.
The possibility of earning money by means of authorship seems hardly
ever to have occurred to them, and this freedom from any commercial
motive for their work was doubtless an important cause for the high
respect accorded in Greece to its authors. In the time of Plato, the
_Sophists_, who prepared speeches and gave instruction for gain, were
subject to more or less criticism on this account--a criticism which
Plato himself seems to have initiated.[27]

At the threshold of Greek literature stands the majestic figure of
Homer; and to Pisistratus, the Tyrant of Athens, is to be credited the
inestimable service of securing the preservation of the Homeric poems
in the form in which they have been handed down to posterity. The task
of compiling or of editing the material was confided to four men, whose
names, as predecessors of a long list of Homeric editors, deserve to be
recorded: Conchylus, Onomacritus, Zopyrus, and Orpheus, and the work
was completed about 550 B.C.[28]

Another creditable literary undertaking of Pisistratus was the
collection of the poems of Hesiod, which was confided to the Milesian
Cecrops. We have the testimony of Plutarch that by these means the
Tyrant did not a little towards gaining or regaining the favor of
the Athenians, which speaks well for the early interest of the city
in literature. There are no details on record as to the means by
which these first literary products were placed at the service of the
community, but there can be no question that the service rendered
by the Tyrant and the editors selected by him, consisted simply in
providing an authoritative text, from which any who wished might
transcribe such number of copies as they desired. This Pisistratus
edition of the Homeric books is said to have served as the standard
text for the copyists and for Homeric students not only in Greece but
later in Alexandria, and is, therefore, the basis of the Homeric
literature that has come down to modern days.

Prof. Mahaffy remarks that the writings of Hesiod differed from those
of the other early Greek authors in being addressed, not to “the powers
that were,” but to the common people.[29] Referring to the style of
Hesiod’s works, Simcox says, rather naïvely, “Hesiod would certainly
have written in prose, if prose had then existed.” _Works and Days_
(the only one of Hesiod’s poems which the later Greek commentators
accept as certainly genuine) consists of ethical and economic precepts,
written in a homely and unimaginative style, and setting forth the
indisputable doctrine that labor is the only road to prosperity.
Mahaffy is my authority for the statement that Hesiod’s poems came into
use “at an early period as a favorite handbook of education.”[30]

I wish this brilliant student of Greek life had given us some clue as
to the methods by which copies of this literature were multiplied and
brought into the hands of the country people and common people to whom
it was more particularly addressed. The difficulty of circulating books
among this class of readers must have been very much greater than that
of reaching the scholarly circles of the cities.

While it was a long time before authors were to be in a position to
secure any compensation from those who derived pleasure from their
productions, they began at an early date (as in the case before
mentioned of Theognis) to raise questions with each other on the score
of plagiarisms, and to be jealous of retaining undisturbed the full
literary prestige to which they might be entitled.

Clement remarks that “an enlightened public opinion helped to
defend Greek authors against the borrowing of literary thieves, by
stigmatizing plagiarism as a crime, and by expressing for a writer
detected in appropriating the work of another a well merited contempt
instead of the approbation for which he had hoped.”[31] It seems
probable, however, that this is too favorable a view to take as to the
effectiveness of public opinion in preserving among Greek writers a
spirit of exact conscientiousness, as the complaints in the literature
of the time concerning unauthorized and uncredited “borrowings” are
numerous and bitter.

Such terms as “accidental coincidence,” “identity of thought,”
“unconscious cerebration” (in absorbing the expressions of another),
were doubtless used in these earlier as in the later days of literature
to explain certain suspicious cases of “parallelisms” or similarities.
In fact, at least one Greek author, the sophist Aretades, wrote a
volume, unfortunately lost, on the similarity or identity of thought

Clement gives some examples of borrowings or appropriations on the part
of writers and orators, and his list is so considerable as to leave the
impression that the public opinion to which he refers was either not
very active in discovering the practice, or was not a little remiss
in characterizing and in condemning it. Isocrates copies an entire
oration from Gorgias; Æschines makes free use in his discourses of
those of Lysias and Andocides. Even Demosthenes, the chief of orators,
occasionally yielded to the temptation; and among other instances,
Clement cites extracts from orations against _Aphobos_ and _Pantænetos_
which are identical with passages in the _Discourses on Ciron_ by the
old instructor of Demosthenes, Isæus.

Rozoir tells us that an anonymous work of six volumes (rolls) was
published under the title _Passages in the Writings of Menander which
are Not the Work of Menander_, and that Philostrates of Alexandria
accused Sophocles of having pillaged Æschylus, Æschylus of having
permitted himself to draw too much inspiration from Phrynichus, and,
finally, Phrynichus of having taken his material from the writers
who preceded him. Such charges become, of course, too sweeping to
be pertinent, and can probably in large part be dismissed with the
conclusion that each generation of writers ought to familiarize itself
with the work of its predecessors, and may often enough with propriety
undertake the reinterpretation for new generations of readers of themes
similar to those which have interested their fathers and grandfathers.

One evidence that the subject of plagiarism was a matter which in later
days engaged public attention is given by the Fable of Æsop on the Jay
masquerading in the plumes of the Peacock.

Clement points out that in connection with the fierce competition
between the poets of Athens for dramatic honors, no means were
neglected by the friends of each writer to bring discredit upon the
productions of his rivals, and that very many of the charges of
plagiarism can be traced to such an incentive. Aristophanes, who amused
himself by utilizing for his comedies the strifes between his literary
contemporaries, puts into the mouth of Euripides, whom he makes one of
the characters in _The Frogs_, the following biting words, addressed to

    “When I first read over the tragedy which you placed in my hands,
    I found it difficult and bombastic; I at once made a severe
    condensation, freeing the play from the weight of rubbish with
    which you had overloaded it; I then enlivened it with bright
    sayings, with pointed philosophic subtleties and with an abundance
    of brilliant witticisms drawn from a crowd of other books; and
    finally I added some pithy monologues, which are in the main the
    work of Ctesiphon.”[33]

In the same comedy, Æschylus is made to accuse Euripides of having
carried on literary free-booting in every direction. Further on,
Bacchus, in expressing his admiration for some striking thought
expressed by Euripides, asks whether it is really his or Ctesiphon’s,
and the tragedian frankly admits that the credit for the idea properly
belongs to the latter. Clement concludes that there must have been
foundation for the raillery of the comedian, and refers, in this
connection, to the remarks of Plato that if one wished to examine
the philosophy of Anaxagoras, the simplest course was to read the
tragedies of Euripides, the choruses of which reproduced faithfully the
teachings of the philosopher. Aristophanes, while scoffing sharply at
the misdeeds of others, was himself not beyond criticism, being charged
with having made free use of the comedies of Cratinus and Eupolis.[34]

The philosophers and historians appear to have been little more
conscientious than the poets in their literary standard. The historian
Theopompus included, without credit, in the eleventh book of his
_Philippics_ a whole harangue of Isocrates, and with a few changes of
names and places, he was able to make use of passages from Androtion
and Xenophon. His appropriations were so considerable that they were
collected in a separate volume to which was given the fitting title
of _The Hunters_.[35] Lysimachus wrote a book entitled The _Robberies
of Ephorus_. Timon, in some lines preserved by Aulus Gellius, charges
Plato with having obtained from a treatise of the Pythagorean
philosopher Philolaus the substance of his famous dialogue the
_Timæus_.[36] The lines, from the version of Clement, read as follows:
“You also, Plato, being ambitious to acquire knowledge, first purchased
for a great sum a small book, and then with its aid proceeded yourself
to instruct others.”

Even our moral friend Plutarch does not escape from the general charge
of borrowing from others.

“In reading,” says Rozoir, “the text of many of the _Lives_, one cannot
but be struck with the very great differences of style and of forms of
expression, differences so marked, that it is difficult to avoid the
conclusion that many portions are extracts taken literally and without
credit, from other authors.”[37]

From these examples, out of many which might be cited, it seems evident
that during the centuries in which Greek literature was at its height,
the practice of plagiarism was very general, even among authors whose
originality and creative power could not be questioned. Emerson’s
dictum that “man is as lazy as he dares to be” was assuredly as true
two thousand years ago as at the time it was uttered.

We may further conclude that while plagiarism, when detected, called
forth a certain amount of criticism and raillery, especially when the
author appropriated from was still living, it did not bring upon the
“appropriators” any such final condemnation as would cause them to
lose caste in the literary guild or to forfeit the appreciation of
the reading public. This leniency of judgment could doubtless be more
safely depended upon by writers who had given evidence of their own
creative powers. The acknowledged genius could say with Molière: “_Je
prends mon bien où je le trouve_,” and such a claim would be admitted
the more readily as, when a genius does to the work of another the
honor of utilizing it, the material so appropriated must usually
secure in its new setting a renewed vitality, a different and a larger

The case of a small writer venturing to appropriate from a greater one
was naturally judged much more harshly, and if a literary theft was
detected in a production which was submitted in open contest for public
honors, the verdict was swift and severe.

An instance of such public condemnation is referred to by
Vitruvius.[38] One of the Ptolemies had instituted at Alexandria some
literary contests in honor of Apollo and the Muses. Aristophanes, the
grammarian, who on a certain day acted as judge, gave his decision,
to the surprise of the audience, in favor of a contestant whose
composition had certainly not been the most able. When asked to defend
his decision, he showed that the competing productions were literal
copies from the works of well known writers. Thereupon the unsuccessful
competitors were promptly sentenced before the tribunal as veritable
robbers, and were ignominiously thrust out of the city.

“_Itaque rex jussit cum his agi furti, condemnatosque cum ignominia

This was, however, certainly an exceptional case, as well in the
clumsiness of the plagiarism as in the swiftness of the punishment.
The weight of evidence is, I am inclined to believe, in favor of the
view, that in the absence of any protection by law for the author’s
“rights,” whether literary or commercial, in his productions, the
protection by public opinion, even for living writers, was very
incidental and inadequate; while it seems further probable that,
especially as far as the works of dead authors were concerned, but a
small proportion of the “borrowings” were ever brought to light at all
or became the occasion for any criticism. Much, of course, depended
upon the manner in which the appropriation was made. As Le Vayer
cleverly says: “_L’on peut dérober à la façon des abeilles sans faire
tort à personne; mais le vol de la fourmi, qui enlève le grain entier,
ne doit jamais être imité._”[39]

There is one ground for forgiving these early literary “appropriators”
even of _les grains entiers_--namely, that by means of such transmissal
by later writers of extracts borrowed from their predecessors, a good
deal of valuable material has been preserved for future generations
which would otherwise have been lost altogether.

In considering such examples of plagiarism as are referred to by Greek
writers and the general attitude of these writers to the practice, it
is safe to conclude that authors cannot depend upon retaining the
literary control of their own productions and cannot be prevented from
securing honor for the productions of others unless public opinion can
be supplemented with an effective copyright law.

Suidas, the lexicographer, relates that Euphorion, the son of Æschylus,
and himself also a writer, gave to the world as his own certain
tragedies which were the work of his father, but which had not before
been made known (_nondum in lucem editis_).[40] It does not appear that
any advantage other than a brief prestige accrued to Euphorion through
his unfilial plagiarism.

Such advantage was, however, more possible for the author of a drama
than for the author of any other class of literature, for seats in
the theatre, which had at first been free, were later sold to the
spectators at a drachme (Plato’s _Apology of Socrates_). The drachme
was equal in cash to about eighteen cents, and in purchasing power to
perhaps seventy-two cents of our money. This price was, according to
Barthelémi,[41] reduced by Pericles to an obolus, equal in cash value
to about three cents.

The expenses of the presentation of a drama were very slight, and even
this smaller payment by the audience should have afforded means, after
the actors had been reimbursed, for some compensation to the dramatist.

Instances of compensation to orators are of not infrequent occurrence,
and, as Paul Clement remarks, it seems reasonably certain that
experienced orators were not in the habit of writing gratuitously the
discourses so frequently prepared for the use of others. Isocrates is
reported to have received not less than twenty talents (about $21,500)
for the discourses sent by him to Nicocles, King of Cyprus.[42]

Aristophanes speaks of the considerable sums gained by the jurists, but
the service for which Isocrates was paid was of course of a different

The intellectual or literary life of Athens, initiated by the
popularization (at least among the cultivated circles) of the poems
of Homer and Hesiod, was very much furthered through the influence of
Plato. Curiously enough, notwithstanding Plato’s great activity as
a writer, he placed a low estimate on the importance of written as
compared with that of oral instruction. This is shown in his reference
to the myth concerning the discovery of writing.[43]

The ten books of Plato’s _Republic_ were undoubtedly prepared in
the first place for presentation in the shape of lectures to a
comparatively small circle of students, and were through these students
first brought before the public. Plato’s hearers appear to have
interested themselves in the work of circulating the written reports
of his lectures, of which for some little time the number of copies
was naturally limited. We also learn that the fortunate possessors of
such manuscripts were in the habit of lending them out for hire. From
a comedy of the time has been quoted the following line: “Hermodoros
makes a trade of the sale of lectures.”[44]

Hermodoros of Syracuse was known as a student of Plato, and this
quotation is interpreted as a reference to a practice of his of
preparing for sale written reports of his instructor’s talks. Plato
had evidently not yet evolved for himself the doctrine established
over two thousand years later by Dr. Abernethy, that the privilege of
listening to lectures did not carry with it the right to sell or to
distribute the reports of the same. Abernethy’s student had at least
made payment to the doctor for his course of lectures, while if, as
seems probable, the teachings of Plato were a free gift to his hearers,
his claim to the control of all subsequent use of the material would
have been still better founded than that of the Scotch lecturer. But
the time when it was not considered incompatible with the literary
or philosophical ideal for the authors or philosophers to receive
compensation from those benefited by their instruction, had not yet
arrived. This reference to Hermodoros has interest as being possibly
the first recorded instance of moneys being paid for literary material.
The date was about 325 B.C.

Suidas calls Hermodoros a hearer (ἀκροατής) of Plato, and says,
further, that he made a traffic of his master’s teachings (λόγοισιν
Ἑρμόδωρος ἐμπορεύεται). Cicero, in writing to Atticus, makes a jesting
comparison of the relations of Hermodoros to Plato with those borne
by his publishing friend to himself, when he says: _Placetne tibi
libros “De Finibus” primum edere injussu meo? Hoc ne Hermodorus quidem
faciebat, is qui Platonis libros solitus est divulgare._[45] “Possibly
you may be inclined to publish my work _De Finibus_ without securing
the permission of the author. Even that Hermodorus, who was in the
habit of publishing the books of Plato, was not guilty of such a thing.”

The term _libros_, employed by Cicero, is of course not really
accurate, and ought properly to be interpreted as teachings, as
Hermodoros appears not to have had in his hands any of Plato’s
manuscripts, and to have used for his “publications” simply his own
reports of his instructor’s lectures. It seems probable from these
several references that Hermodoros secured from his sales certain
profits, but it was evidently not believed that he considered himself
under any obligation to divide such profits with Plato.

We have no word from Plato himself concerning the method by which
his writings were brought before the public, but we find references
in Aristotle to the “published works of Plato.”[46] Cephisodorus, a
pupil of Isocrates, makes it a ground for reproach against Aristotle
(considered at the time as a rival of his own instructor) that the
latter should have published a work on Greek proverbs, a performance
characterized as “unworthy of a philosopher.”[47]

The greater portions of the writings of Aristotle appear to have been
composed in the course of his second sojourn in Athens, during which
he was specially indebted to, and was possibly maintained by, the
affectionate liberality of his royal pupil Alexander the Great. A
curious claim was made by the latter to the ownership, or at least
to the control, of such of the philosopher’s lectures as had been
originally prepared for his own instruction. “You have not treated
me fairly,” writes Alexander to Aristotle, “in including with your
published works the papers prepared for my instruction. For if the
scholarly writings by means of which I was educated become the common
property of the world, in what manner shall I be intellectually
distinguished above ordinary mortals? I would rather be noteworthy
through the possession of the highest knowledge than by means of the
power of my position.”

Aristotle’s reply is ingenious. He says in substance: “It is true, O
beloved pupil, that through the zeal of over-admiring friends these
lectures, originally prepared for thy instruction, have been given
out to the world. But in no full sense of the term have they been
published, for in the form in which they are written they can be
properly understood only if accompanied by the interpretation of their
author, and such interpretation he has given to none but his beloved

Alexander’s claim to the continued control of literary productions
prepared for him and for the first use of which he, or his father on
his behalf, had made adequate payment, raises an interesting question.
It is probable, however, that the principle involved is at the bottom
the same as that upon which have since been decided the Abernethy case
and other similar issues between instructors and pupils; such decisions
limiting the rights of the students in the material strictly to the
special use for which he has paid, and leaving with the instructor,
when also the author, all subsequent control and all subsequent benefit.

Aristotle made a sharp distinction between his “published works”
(ἐξωτερικοὶ or ἐκδεδομένοι λόγοι) and his Academic works (ἀκροάσεις).
The former, written out in full and revised, could be purchased by the
general public (outside of the Peripatos). The latter were apparently
prepared more in the shape of notes or abstracts, to serve as the basis
of his lectures. Copies of these abstracts, such as would to-day be
known in universities as _Précis_, were distributed among (and possibly
purchased by) the students,[49] and could not be obtained except within
the Peripatos.

From the bequests made by certain of the philosophers of their books,
it appears that such a distinction between the two classes of books
was general. In these legacies the copies of current publications,
purchased for reading (Τὰ ἀνεγνωσμένα), are distinguished from
the unpublished works (ἀνέκδοτα). It was from such an unpublished
manuscript (ἀνέκδοτον)[50] that in the _Theætet._ of Plato a reading is

It is easy to understand that the more abstruse works of Plato and
Aristotle were not fitted for any such general distribution as was
secured for the then popular treatises of Democritus on the _Science
of Nature_, or for the writings of the Sophist Protagoras. It is by no
means clear by what channels were distributed these works, which appear
very shortly after their production to have come into the hands of a
large number of readers not only in Greece itself, but throughout the
Greek colonies. The sale of copies, made by students and by admiring
readers, seems hardly to furnish a sufficiently adequate publishing
machinery, but of publishers or booksellers, with staffs of trained
copyists, we have as yet no trustworthy record.

Protagoras, who came from Abdera, was said to have been intimate with
Pericles. He was the first lecturer or instructor who assumed the title
of Sophist, and what is more important for our subject, was said to
be the first who received pay for his lessons. Plato, whose view of
the responsibilities of a literary or philosophical worker seems to
have been extremely ideal, makes it a charge against Protagoras that
during the forty years in which he taught, he received more money than
Phidias. And why not, one is tempted to enquire, if his many hearers
felt that they received a fair equivalent in the services rendered? The
receipts of Protagoras appear to have come entirely from the listeners
or students who attended his lectures; at least there is nothing to
show that he himself derived any business benefit from the large sales
of the copies of these lectures. His remunerated work is therefore an
example of property produced from an intellectual product but not yet
of property resulting for the producer of a work of literature.

The history, or histories of Herodotus were first communicated to the
world in the shape of lectures or readings of the separate chapters
of the earlier portions. We find references to four such lectures
delivered respectively at Olympia,[51] Athens,[52] Corinth,[53] and
Thebes[54] between the years 455 and 450, B.C. In 447 B.C. Herodotus
was sojourning in Athens, still engaged in the work of his history, and
becoming known, through his public readings, to Pericles, Sophocles,
and other leaders of Athenian thought and culture. In 443 he joined
the colonists whom Pericles was sending out to Italy, and became one
of the first settlers at Thurium, where he remained until his death
in 424. It was at Thurium that the great work, in the shape in which
we now know it, was finally completed, about 442. The promptness
with which the _History_ became known in Greece and the very general
circulation secured for it, seems to have been in large part due to the
personal interest in it of Pericles and Sophocles and possibly also to
the financial aid of the former in providing funds for the copyists.
It is related, on uncertain authority, says Clement, that in 446, the
Athenian Assembly decreed a reward to Herodotus for his _History_,
after certain chapters of it had been read publicly. There appears to
be no other reference to any compensation secured by the author for
this great work to the preparation of which he had devoted his life and
which had cost him so many toilsome and costly journeys. The _History_
of Herodotus, the first work of any lasting importance of its class in
point of time, and in the estimate of twenty-three centuries not far
from the first by point of excellence, was practically a free gift from
the historian to his generation and to posterity.

The system of instruction or literary entertainment by means of
readings or lectures became one of the most important features of
intellectual life in Greece. Mahaffy speaks of the culture and
quickness of intellect of an Athenian audience as being far in advance
of that of a similar modern assembly. Freeman says: “The average
intelligence of the assembled Athenian citizens was unquestionably
higher than that of the House of Commons.”[55]

It is stated by Abicht[56] that the young Thucydides, then a boy of
twelve, was one of the listeners to a recital of Herodotus at the great
Olympian festival, and, moved to tears, resolved that he would devote
himself to the writing of history. Later, when he had entered upon his
own historical work, Thucydides remarks with a confidence which later
centuries have justified, that he “was not writing for the present
only, but for all time.”[57]

His _History_ was left unfinished, apparently owing to the sudden
death of the author, although the exact date of this death is not
known. It does not appear who assumed the responsibility for the first
publication of the _History_. Marcellinus speaks of a daughter of
Thucydides having undertaken the transcribing of the eighth book, and
having provided means for the issue of the same.[58] If this daughter
inherited the gold mine in Thrace which her father tells us he owned,
there should have been no difficulty in finding funds for the copyists.

According to others the work was cared for by Xenophon and Theopompus.
Demosthenes is reported to have transcribed the eight books with
his own hand eight times, and there were doubtless many other
admiring readers who contributed their share of labor in copying and
distributing the eloquent chronicles of the Peloponnesian war. In the
fourth century B.C. the dedication of literature to the public seems
to have been emphatically a labor of love. Xenophon had at one time
thought of writing a continuation of the narrative of Thucydides,
but until the time of his withdrawal to Scillus, he had neither the
leisure nor the service of the skilled slaves requisite for the work.
Xenophon takes to himself the credit of having brought into fame
the previously unknown books of Thucydides which he had been in a
position to suppress (or to supplant).[59] Xenophon’s own literary
activity, resulting in a considerable list of narratives and treatises,
was comprised between the years 387 and 355 B.C., that is during the
last thirty years of his long life. He died in 355, at the age of
ninety-eight. On the estate at Scillus which the Spartans had presented
to him, for services rendered against his native state of Athens, he
had gathered a large staff of slaves skilled as scribes, by whom were
prepared the copies of his works distributed amongst his friends. He
speaks of having taken some of the scribes with him to Corinth, where
the _Cyropædia_ was completed.

In Xenophon’s _Anabasis_ we find that each chapter or book is preceded
by a summary in which are repeated the contents of the preceding
chapter. The work was, as was customary, divided into books of suitable
length for reading aloud from evening to evening, and such summaries
were, says Isocrates, of decided convenience in recalling to the
hearers the more important occurrences related in the previous reading,
and in this manner sustained the interest in the narrative. The
dialogues of Aristotle were said to have contained proems presenting
summaries of the preceding conclusions together with an outline of the
new situation. The similar proems in the _Tusculan Disputations_ of
Cicero are not prefaces to books but to situations, and occur only in
those books in which a new situation is introduced.[60]

For the preservation of the writings of the earlier Greek authors,
we are indebted to the first book collectors or bibliophilists.
Athenæus[61] names as founders of some of the more important earlier
libraries, Polycrates of Samos (570-522 B.C.), Pisistratus of Athens
(612-527), Euclid of Megara (about 440-400), Aristotle (384-321),
and the kings of Pergamum (350-200). Pisistratus, who died 527 B.C.,
bequeathed his books to Athens for a public library, and the Athenians
interested themselves later in largely increasing the collection. This
is possibly the earliest record there is of a library dedicated to the
public. On the capture of Athens by Xerxes, the collection was taken
to Persia, to be restored two centuries later by Seleucus Nicator.[62]
The library of the kings of Pergamum, which Antony afterward presented
to Cleopatra, is said by Plutarch[63] to have grown to 200,000 rolls,
which stands of course for a much smaller number of works.

The most comprehensive of the earlier private collections of books
was undoubtedly that of Aristotle, to whose house Plato gave the name
of “the house of the reader.”[64] Diogenes Laërtius speaks of his
possessing a thousand συγγράμματα and four hundred βιβλία. According to
one account, the books of Aristotle were bequeathed to or secured by
Neleus, and by him were sold to Ptolemy Philadelphus, who transferred
them to Alexandria, together with a collection of other manuscripts
bought in Athens and in Rhodes.[65] Strabo says that the heirs of
Neleus, ignorant people, buried the manuscripts in order to keep them
from falling into the hands of the kings of Pergamum, and that they
were seriously injured through damp and worms. When again dug up, they
were, however, sold for a high price to Apellicon, who had certain of
the works reproduced, in very defective editions, from the imperfect
manuscripts. On the capture of Athens, Sulla took possession of such of
the books as still remained and carried them off to Rome, where they
were arranged by the grammarian Tyrannion, and served as the text for
the later editions issued by the Roman publishers.[66]

It is probable, says Schmitz, that Ptolemy secured only a portion
of the collection, while a number of the manuscripts came into the
possession of Apellikon, and reached Rome through Sylla. Another large
library, according to Memnon, one of the largest of the time, was that
of Clearchus,[67] Tyrant of Heraclea, who had been a student of Plato
and Isocrates.

From the instances above quoted, it appears that it was as a rule
only persons of considerable wealth who were able to bring together
collections of books. An exception to this is the case of Euripides,
who possessed no great fortune, but who had in his slave, Cephisophon,
a perfect treasure. Cephisophon not merely took charge of the household
affairs, but, as a skilled scribe, prepared for his master’s library
copies of the most noteworthy literary works of the time.[68] Educated
slaves were in the time of Euripides still scarce among the Greeks,
while later it was principally from Greece that the Roman scholars and
publishers secured the large number of copyists who were employed on
literary work in Rome.

These references to the earlier collections of books are of interest
in indicating something of the value in which literature was held as
property, and of the estimates placed on books by their readers, while
it must be admitted that they do not throw much light on the relations
of these readers with the authors to whom they were indebted, and they
are absolutely silent as to any remuneration coming to the authors for
their labors. The earlier collections were comprised almost exclusively
of works of poetry, and it is only when we get to the time of Aristotle
that we begin to find in the libraries a fair proportion of works of
philosophy and science, although Boeckh[69] mentions references to
works on agriculture as early as the lifetime of Socrates. For a long
period, however, poetry formed by far the most important division of
the libraries, indicating the great relative importance given in the
earlier development of Greek culture to this branch of literature. It
is interesting to bear in mind that at a somewhat similar stage of
their intellectual development, the literature of the Egyptians was
almost exclusively religious and astronomical, that of the Assyrians
religious and historical (provided the rather monotonous narratives of
the royal campaigns are entitled to the name of history), while that
of the Hebrews was limited to the sacred chronicles and the law.

It appears from such references as we find to the prices paid that, as
compared with other luxuries, books remained very costly up to the time
of the Roman occupation of Greece, or about 150 B.C. This is a negative
evidence that there was as yet no effective publishing machinery
through which could be provided the means required for keeping up a
staff of competent copyists, and that the multiplication of books was
therefore practically dependent upon the enterprise of such individual
owners as may have been fortunate enough to be able to secure slaves
of sufficient education to serve as scribes. Plato is reported to
have paid for three books of Philolaüs, which Dion bought for him in
Sicily, three Attic talents,[70] equal in our currency to $3240,--and
the equivalent, of course, of a much larger sum, estimated in its
purchasing power for food. Aristotle paid a similar sum for some few
books of Speusippus, purchased after the death of the latter.[71]

If such instances can be accepted as a fair expression of the market
value of literature, it is evident that the ownership of books must
have been limited to a very small circle. The cost of books depended,
of course, largely upon the cost of papyrus, for which Greece was
dependent upon Egypt. An inscription of the year 407 B.C., quoted
by Rangabé, gives the price of a sheet of papyrus (ὁ χάρτης) at one
drachme and two oboli, the equivalent of about twenty-five cents.

On the other hand, Aristophanes, in his comedy of _The Frogs_,
represented in 405 B.C., or about fifty years before the above purchase
of Aristotle, uses some lines which have been interpreted as evidence
of some general circulation, at least of dramatic compositions.
According to the scheme of the play, Æschylus and Euripides,
contestants for the public favor, have set forth each for himself the
beauties and claims of their respective masterpieces. The _Chorus_ then
speaks, cautioning the poets that it will be proper for them to present
more fully the distinctive features of their tragedies, and to explain
the same for the judgment of the audience. That the audience is capable
of such judgment is asserted in the following words (paraphrased by

    “Are you troubled with the fear that your hearers lack the
    intelligence to appreciate the fine points of your analyses? Let
    such fear vanish, for there can be no lack of understanding with
    these hearers. Some of them are men of experience in campaigns;
    others are in the habit of instructing themselves from books,
    and have come to the performance each furnished with a scroll
    with which to freshen his memory, while each also is fully armed
    with mother-wit. Have no fear therefore. They will have full
    understanding of all that you may wish to discuss before them.”

Müller proceeds to make an analysis of the purport of the references in
this passage, pointing out that the experience of old campaigners would
help them to the appreciation of the robust and stirring compositions
of Æschylus, while the scholarly habits of the lovers of books would
keep them in close sympathy with the complex intellectual problems
considered by Euripides.

The sharper edge of the comparison is directed against Euripides, who
is always referred to by Aristophanes as a book-worm. Müller further
contends that the references to each hearer being “provided with his
little book” (or book of the play) must be understood as merely a piece
of humorous exaggeration, as during the last years of the Peloponnesian
war, when the resources of Athens had been seriously diminished, when
poverty was general, and men’s minds were agitated with the excitement
of the campaign, few people could have had the money for the buying, or
the leisure for the reading, of books.

Athenæus concludes, from a fragment of the comedy writer Alexis (a
contemporary of Alexander), that it was not until the time of Alexander
that the reading of books played any important part in the intellectual
life of the Greeks.[73] In the comedy of Prodicus, entitled _The
Choice of Hercules_, portions of which have been preserved in the
_Memorabilia_ of Xenophon, Linus, the instructor of Hercules, is
represented as directing his pupil to select for his reading one out of
a number of books which are lying before him. Among the authors whose
works are specified in the list are Orpheus, Hesiod, Homer, Chœrilus,
and Epicharmus. (The last named is the first Greek writer of comedy
of whom we have any trustworthy account. His first work was produced
about 500 B.C.)[74] Hercules, passing by the poetry, seizes a volume
on cookery, the work of an actor named Simos, who was also famous as a

Artemon, a grammarian of Cassandria in Macedonia, who wrote shortly
after the death of Aristotle and who made a collection of the letters
of Aristotle, published a dissertation on the collecting and the use of
books, which gives ground for the impression that in his time there was
already in Macedonia or Northern Greece a circle of bibliophilists,
ready to give attention to the counsels of this forerunner of Dibdin,
and possibly able also to pay for the books.

A piece of evidence against the contention that the price of books
was high in the time of Plato, is supplied, according to certain
commentators, by Plato himself. From a paragraph in the _Apology_
Boeckh[76] understands that some kind of book-trade must have been
carried on in the orchestra of the theatre (during the time, of course,
when no performance was going on), and that the writings of Anaxagoras
were offered for sale for one drachme; and Buchsenschutz[77] takes
the same view of Plato’s reference. The words used by Plato are put
into the mouth of Socrates, who is represented as contending; first,
that the opinions for the utterance of which he has been charged with
heresy or impiety, are in substance the same as those already given
to the world by Anaxagoras and others; second, that these views have
been so widely published that they have become public property, for the
quoting of which no single person can properly be held responsible;
and thirdly, that they can be obtained in the theatre for a drachme.
The particular writings of Anaxagoras to which Socrates here refers,
contain his theories concerning the nature of the sun, the moon,
the earth, and the creating power of divinity. Schmitz is, however,
inclined to believe not that the books containing these doctrines
could be purchased in the theatre, but that the theories of Anaxagoras
were at the time freely quoted in the popular dramas (such as those of
Euripides), and that it was in listening to these plays in the theatre
that the public could without difficulty obtain a knowledge of the new

The usual price of admission to the Athenian theatres was, in the time
of Pericles, two oboli, or about six cents, but on special holidays,
when the performance continued three days, this price was often raised
to a drachme, or eighteen cents.[79] In the absence of any other
references to this supposed practice of turning orchestra stalls into
book-stalls, the weight of probability appears to favor the conclusions
of Schmitz rather than those of Boeckh.

Schmitz admits that it is not practicable to find in the existing
dramas of Euripides examples of such presentation of the Anaxagorian
theories of the universe, but he points out that a large portion of
the writings of this author was undoubtedly lost in the destruction of
the great war, and that this same war prevented any wide distribution
of the authenticated copies, although many of the tragedies were so
popular that the songs from them were sung throughout the land. By the
end of the war the fame of the tragedies had reached Sicily, although
very few of the manuscripts could yet have got across the sea. After
the defeat of the Athenians before Syracuse, some of those who had been
captured or who, escaping from the Syracusans, had wandered over the
island, found a temporary livelihood or even purchased their freedom
by reciting the plays of Euripides, and on their return to Athens they
took occasion to express to the poet their gratitude for the timely
service rendered by his genius.[80]

To the coast cities of Asia Minor, as well as throughout the Greek
colonies of the Mediterranean, had come the fame of the new tragedian,
although here also copies of the plays themselves appear to have been
very scarce. Plutarch relates[80] that the inhabitants of Caunus (a
city of Caria), when besought for shelter by an Athenian vessel chased
by pirates, wanted first to know whether the Athenians could recite
for them the songs of Euripides.[81] It is to be hoped that the
Caunusians did not insist upon being paid in advance, and upon having
the recitations made before they permitted the hard-pressed vessel to
gain the shelter of the harbor. In all places and among all classes
where Greek was the language, the songs of Euripides appear to have
secured an immediate popularity, while by the scholars also was given
an appreciation no less cordial. Both Plato[82] and Aristotle[83]
ranked Euripides above Sophocles and Æschylus.

Alexander the Great entertained the guests at his banquets by reciting
long passages from Euripides.[84] Throughout Greece these tragedies
appear for many years to have been the compositions most frequently
selected for public readings. Lucian relates[85] that the Cynic
Demetrius, who lived in Corinth in the first century, and whom Seneca
refers to as a new friend, heard an “uneducated man” read before an
audience _The Bacchantes_ of Euripides. As the reader came to the lines
in which the messenger announces the “terrible deed” of Agave and the
fearful fate of Pentheus, Demetrius snatched the book from his hands
with the words: “It is better for poor Pentheus to be murdered by me
than by you.” The point of interest for Lucian (who wrote about 150
A.D.) was the play on the term “murdered,” and for us the example of
the practice, in the first century, of the public reading of standard
literature, so general that an audience (rather than not to hear the
composition) would listen even to an “ignorant reader.”

Returning to the question of the distribution and price of books, we
find a reference by Xenophon[86] to some “chests full of valuable
books” having been saved “with other costly articles” from the cargo of
an Athenian vessel shipwrecked at Salmydessus, a city on the Euxine.

This appears to be the earliest reference on record to any sending of
supplies of books from Greece to the colonies, but even here there
is no evidence that the volumes were forwarded by dealers, and it
is probable that the “chests” contained the private library of some
wealthy Athenian collector who had migrated to Pontus. There is no
question, however, but that in the time of Xenophon (445-355 B.C.)
Athens was the centre not only of the literary activity of Greece, but
of any book-trade that existed.

It seems evident that in Greece, as later in Rome, the earliest
booksellers were the scribes, who with their own labor had prepared the
parchment or papyrus scrolls which constituted their stock in trade.

The next step in the development of the business was a very natural
one, namely, the introduction of the capitalist, who, instead of
working with his own hands, employed a staff of copyists and sold the
products of their labor. It is only surprising that the continued high
price paid for fair copies of noted works and the steady demand for
such copies, should not have tempted dealers more rapidly into the
business. The principal obstacle was for many years the difficulty of
securing a sufficiency of skilled copyists the accuracy of whose work
could be trusted. According to Schmitz, there is no mention of the
appearance of booksellers in Athens earlier than the fifth century B.C.

The Athenian comedy, which touched with its keen raillery every phase
of life, whether public or private, did not overlook this new mode
of occupation. The references are as a rule not complimentary, but,
as the comedians spared nothing in their mockery, the fact need not
stand to the discredit of the first booksellers. Possibly the earliest
mention of the trade is by Aristomenes, who, in a comedy entitled
_The Deceivers_ (performed about 470 B.C.), speaks of a “Dealer in
Books.” Cratinus, in his play _The Mechanics_ (written about 450
B.C.), mentions a copyist (βιβλιογράφος)[87]; Theopompus, writing
about 330 B.C., uses the term “bookseller”[88] (βιβλιοπώλης); Nicophon
gives a list of “men who support themselves with the labor of their
hands” (χειρογάστορες), and in this list groups the bibliopoles in
with the dealers in fish, fruit, figs, leather, meal, and household
utensils.[89] It would seem as if in this instance the term βιβλιοπώλης
must have been used as synonymous with or at least as including
βιβλιογράφος, the scribe and the seller of the manuscripts being one
and the same person. Antiphanes, born in Rhodes B.C. 408, who is
credited by Suidas with having written over three hundred dramas,
which were very popular in Athens, refers to “book-copyists,” and
also to books which had been “sewed and glued.”[90] The comic writer,
Plato, who was a contemporary of Socrates, makes first mention of
“written leaves,” _i. e._, papyrus. The term used by him, χάρται, was,
according to Birt, when standing alone, more usually applied to leaves
of papyrus prepared for writing, but still blank; χάρται γεγραμμένοι
standing for the inscribed leaves.

We may conclude from Nicophon’s having included the booksellers
in his list of traders that they had their shops or stalls on the
market-place. Eupolis also speaks of the “place where books are sold,”
(οὗ τὰ βιβλία ὤνια),[91] and it appears therefore that as early as 430
B.C. a special place in the market must have been reserved for the
book-trade--an Athenian Paternoster Row, or, more nearly perhaps, a
Quai Voltaire. It was, however, not until the time of Alexander the
Great that the business of making and selling books--that is, attested
copies of the works of popular writers--appears to have developed into

Until the business of book-making had become systematized, the admirers
of a poet or philosopher were obliged to supply themselves with his
works through their own handiwork, unless they were fortunate enough
to possess slaves educated as scribes. This test of the reader’s
admiration was assuredly rather a severe one. It is certain that the
number of disciples of modern authors would be enormously limited if,
as a first condition for the enjoyment of their writings, the would-be
readers were under the necessity of transcribing the copies with their
own hands. Imagine the extent of the task for the admirers of Clarissa
Harlowe, or for those who absorbed their history through the ninety odd
romances of G. P. R. James!

As the supply of educated slaves increased, there was, of course, less
need for individual scholars to devote their own handiwork to copying
of manuscripts for their libraries. It was cheaper to employ the labor
of slaves, and to use their own time for more important work. The
names of some of the slaves who did good service as scribes have been
preserved in history. Mention has already been made of Cephisophon,
the slave, secretary, and personal friend of Euripides. One of Plato’s
dialogues is distinguished by the name of _Phædon of Elis_, who had
been sold as a slave in his youth and had been employed as a scribe.
The attention of Socrates was attracted by his capable work, and he
persuaded Crito to purchase his freedom.[92]

The poet Philoxenus of Cythera was sold as a slave to Melanippides (the
younger), whom he served as a scribe, and whose poetry he was said
to have surpassed with his own productions. There are many similar
instances both of slaves who succeeded in securing an education and
in doing noteworthy literary work, and of men of education who had,
through the fortunes of war or through the loss of their property,
fallen into the position of slaves, and who were then utilized by their
masters for literary work.

There is also evidence that the state caused intelligent slaves to be
instructed in writing in order to be able to use them for work on the
public records or as clerks for the officials.[93]

It is to be borne in mind that the (to us) extraordinary extent to
which the Greeks were able to develop their power of memorizing enabled
them often to trust to their memory where modern students would be
helpless without the written (or the printed) word. “My father,” says
Niceratus in _The Banquet_ of Xenophon, “compelled me to learn by heart
all the poetry of Homer, and I could repeat without break the entire
_Iliad_ and _Odyssey_.”[94] The boys in school were given as their
daily task the memorizing of the works of the poets, and what was begun
under compulsion appears to have been continued in later life as a

Such an exceptional development of the power of memory, making of it
almost a distinct faculty from that which the present generation knows
under the name, may properly be credited with some influence upon the
slowness of the growth among the ancients of any idea of property in an
intellectual production. As long as men could carry their libraries in
their heads, and when they desired to entertain themselves with a work
of literature, needed only to think it to themselves (or even to recite
it to themselves) instead of being under the necessity of reading it
to themselves, they could hardly have the feeling that comes to the
modern reader (if he be a conscientious person) of an indebtedness to
the author, an indebtedness which is in large part connected with the
actual use of the copy of the work. In the early Greek community, a
very few copies (or even a single copy) of a great poem were sufficient
in a short space of time to place the work of the poet in the minds of
all the active-minded citizens, such men as would to-day be frequenters
of the bookstores. In the Homeric times it proved, in fact, to be
possible to permeate a community with the inspiration of the national
epics without the aid of any written copies whatever. For the service
rendered by these early bards, the community might, and very possibly
did, feel under an obligation of some kind, but the individual reciter
who had absorbed the poems into the possession of his memory, and the
readers to whom he transmitted the enjoyment of these poems, could not
have suggested to them any such feeling of personal obligation to the
poet as is experienced by the reader of to-day who is called upon to
buy from the author, through the publisher, the text of any work of
which he desires the enjoyment. The Greek of these earlier times needed
no texts and dreamed of no bookseller. He inherited from his ancestors
the poetry of the preceding generation with the same sense of natural
right as that with which he took possession of his ancestral acres; and
he absorbed into his memory for his daily enjoyment the poetry of his
own day with the same freedom and almost the same unconsciousness as
that with which he took into his lungs the air about him. In this way
the literature with which he had to do became really a part of himself,
and he may be said to have become possessed of it in a way which would
hardly be possible for one who was simply a reader of books. It is not
easy to realize how much we have lost in these days of printed books in
losing this magnificent power of memorizing our literature and carrying
it about with us, instead of going to our libraries for it and taking
it in by scraps. How much more to us, for instance, would Shakespeare’s
plays stand for, if they could be stored in our heads ready for use
when wanted, instead of being available, as at present, only in the
occasional reading circle, or the still less frequent Shakespearian

An author who seems to have taken exceptional pains to secure a
circulation for his productions was Demosthenes, but it is to be borne
in mind that his interest as a politician, or perhaps it is fairer to
say as a statesman, desiring to arouse public opinion in behalf of
his policy, was probably even keener than his ambition as an author
hoping for a popular appreciation of his eloquence. Whatever the motive
or combination of motives, it appears that after the delivery of an
oration he would act as his own reporter, writing out revised copies
and distributing the same among his friends for distribution.[95] He
had a special interest in securing a wide popular circulation for his
speeches in the matter of the guardianship, and for those against
Æschines and in behalf of Phormion, and the copies of these,[96]
prepared by his own hand or under his orders, certainly came into
the hands of many readers. Copies of the speeches made by Demosthenes
against Philip must have been brought to the latter by some of the
orator’s opponents. Such at least is the interpretation given by
Schmitz to the well known exclamation of Philip: “If I had heard him
speak these words, I should myself have been compelled to lead the
campaign against Philip.”[97]

An early reference to the practice of making publication of a book
in any formal manner (as distinguished from the permission accorded
to friends to make transcripts for their own use) is given by
Isocrates, writing about 400 B.C. He speaks of hesitating to publish
his _Panathenaicus_ (φανερὰν ποιῆσαι, διαδιδόναι). He began the work,
says Birt, when he was already ninety-four, was obliged to leave it on
account of illness, but took it up again three years later, and it was
then that (conscientious author as he was) he hesitated to give the
volume to the public, because some friend to whom he had read it was
not fully in accord with its conclusions.[98]

The development of the trade of making and selling books came but
slowly, but received no little impetus through the taste for literature
implanted by Aristotle in his royal pupil Alexander. The latter
appears to have given frequent commissions to his friend Harpalus for
the purchase of books. From the mention by Plutarch[99] it has been
thought Harpalus must have been sent from Asia with instructions to
procure for Alexander a long series of works whose titles are given.
Schmitz points out, however, that Alexander could hardly have been in
a position during his Asiatic campaigns and journeyings to collect a
library, and these commissions to Harpalus must have been made at an
earlier date, before Alexander had left Macedonia and while the “friend
of his youth” was sojourning in Athens.

The one point that is clear and that is of interest to us in this
connection is that, at about 330 B.C., Harpalus was able to purchase in
Athens, which was already referred to as the centre of the book-trade
of Greece, “many tragedies of Euripides, Æschylus, and Sophocles,
dithyrambic poems by Telestes and Philoxenus, the historical writings
of Philistus of Syracuse, together with a number of rare works.” From
Athens also, at about the same time, Mnaseas, the father of Zeno,
brought to his son, in the course of “various business journeys,”
copies of all the “published writings of Socrates.”[100] There is also
a reference in Dionysius of Halicarnassus[101] to the many volumes
of Isocrates which had been published (literally “placed among the
people”) by the Athenian booksellers. Schmitz speaks of the great
impetus given to the production of books, that is, to the reproduction
of copies of the works of the writers accepted as standard, by the
literary taste and ambition of many of the successors of Alexander,
notably the Ptolemies in Alexandria and the Attali of Pergamum. He
mentions further that as one result of the greater and more rapid
production of manuscripts there was a considerable deterioration in
the quality and standard of accuracy of the copies. The complaints
of readers and collectors concerning the errors and omissions in
the manuscripts begin from this time to be very frequent. It would,
in fact, have been very surprising if the larger portion of the
manuscripts that came into the market had not been more or less
imperfect. As soon as their production became a matter of trade instead
of, as at first, a labor of love on the part of scholars, the work of
copying came into the hands of scribes working for pay, or of slaves,
and partly from lack of literary interest, partly also doubtless from
pure ignorance, the many opportunities for blunders appear to have
been taken full advantage of. Fortunately it was only the readers who
suffered, and the authors, long since dead, were spared the misery of
knowing how grievously their productions were mutilated. Different sets
of copyists naturally came to have varying reputations for accurate
or inaccurate manuscripts. Diogenes Laërtius[102] speaks of skilled
scribes sent from Pella by Antigonus Gonatas to Zeno, the Stoic, to
be employed in making trustworthy transcripts of that philosopher’s
works, for which the Macedonian king had a great admiration. Diogenes
tells us further that when Zeno, who came from Citium in Cyprus, first
arrived in Athens, he had suffered shipwreck and had lost near the
Piræus, just as he was reaching his journey’s end, both his vessel and
the Phœnician wares which constituted its cargo. Discouraged by his
misfortune, he strolled gloomily along the avenue from the harbor (“by
the dark rows of the olive trees”) toward the city in which he was now
a poverty-stricken stranger. As he reached the market-place and passed
a bookseller’s shop, he heard the bookseller read aloud. He stopped to
listen, and there came to him words of good counsel from the _Memoirs_
of Xenophon. “Cultivate a cheerful endurance of trouble and an earnest
striving after knowledge, for these are the conditions of a useful
and happy life.” Cheered by this hopeful counsel, Zeno entered the
bookseller’s shop and inquired where he should find the teachers from
whom he could learn such wise philosophy. In reply, the bookseller,
evidently well informed as to the literary life of his city, pointed
out the cynic Crates who happened to be passing at the moment.[103]

The intellectual life of Athens, which a century before had centred
about the dramatic poets, appears at this time to have been principally
devoted to the study of philosophy. Among the other noteworthy changes
that had been brought about during the hundred odd years since the
death of Euripides, was the evolution of the bookseller or publisher
who had now evidently become a permanent institution, and whose shop is
recognized as a centre of literary information.

We can imagine some European student landing, two thousand years later,
in Boston and applying, with an inquiry similar to that put by Zeno,
at the corner shop of Ticknor & Fields. How easy would have been the
answer if at the moment had passed along Washington Street the slender
figure of Emerson!

The question has been raised whether the passage from Diogenes,
above quoted, might not indicate that booksellers or others, owning
manuscript copies of popular works, made a regular business of reading
aloud to hearers paying for the privilege. Such a practice would
apparently have fitted in very well with the customs of the time, and
would have met the needs of many of the poorer students for whom the
purchase of manuscripts was still difficult. It would also have formed
a very natural sequence to the long-standing custom of the recital from
memory of the works of the old poets. While it seems very possible from
the conditions that public readers found occupation in this way, there
is no trustworthy evidence to such effect.

While Zeno was teaching in Athens, a certain Callinus appears to have
won distinction among the scribes of Athens for the accuracy and beauty
of his manuscripts. The Peripatetic philosopher Lycon, who died about
250 B.C., bequeathed to his slave Chares such of his writings as had
already been “published,” while the unpublished works were left to
Kallinus “in order that accurate transcripts of the same might be
prepared for publication.”[104]

As the rivalry which continued for some time between the Ptolemies and
the Attali in the collecting of libraries caused the price of books in
Athens to remain high, a further result was the establishing of other
centres of book-production, of which for a long time the island of
Rhodes was the most important. By about 250 B.C., the literary activity
of the Alexandrian scholars, encouraged by Ptolemy Philadelphus,
to whom the founding of the great library was probably due, caused
Alexandria to become one of the great book-marts of the world.

After the first conquest of Greece by the Romans had been practically
completed by the capture of Corinth in 146 B.C., there appears to have
been a revival in Athens of the trade in books, owing to the increased
demand from the scholars of Rome, where Greek was accepted as the
language of refined literature and where Greek authors were diligently
studied. Lucullus is said by Plutarch[105] to have brought from Rome
(about 66 B.C.) many books gathered as booty from the cities of Asia
Minor, and many more which he had purchased in Athens, together with a
great collection of statues and paintings.

The great hall or library in which his collections were stored
became the resort of the scholarly and cultivated society of the
city, and its treasures of art and literature were, according to
Plutarch, freely placed at the disposal of any visitors fitted to
appreciate them. Sulla, without claiming to be a scholar, was also
a collector of Greek books. He secured in Athens the great library
of Apellicon of Teos, which included the writings of Aristotle and
of Theophrastus. Apellicon, who died in Athens in the year 84 B.C.,
had a mania for collecting books, and was reputed to be by no means
scrupulous as to the means by which he acquired them. If he saw a
rare work which he could not purchase, he would, if possible, steal
it; and once he was near losing his life in Athens in being detected
in such a theft. His Aristotle manuscripts, which were said to be
the work of the philosopher’s own hand, had been found in a cave at
Troas where they had suffered greatly from worms and dampness.[106]
After the manuscripts reached Rome they were transcribed by Tyrannion
the grammarian. He sent copies to Andronicus of Rhodes, which became
the basis of that philosopher’s edition of Aristotle’s works.[107]
Pomponius Atticus utilized his sojourn in Athens (in 83 B.C.) not only
to familiarize himself with the great works of Greek literature,
but to cause to be made a number of copies of some of the more
popular of these, which copies he afterwards sold in Rome “to great

There is a reference in Pliny to a miniature copy of the _Iliad_
prepared about this time, which was so diminutive that it could
be contained in a nutshell. He speaks of it as _Ilias in nuce_.
Pliny refers to Cicero as his authority for the existence of this
manuscript, in which he is interested principally as an evidence of
the possibilities of human eyesight. Its interest in connection with
our subject is of course as an example of the perfection which had
been attained in the first century before Christ in the art of book

Notwithstanding the stimulus given to the production of manuscripts by
the increasing demand for these in Italy, books continued to be dear,
even through the greater part of the first century. The men of Ephesus
who were induced under the teachings of Paul to burn their books
concerning “curious arts” counted the price of them and found it to be
fifty thousand pieces of silver.

The history of Greek literature presents few other instances of the
destruction of books, whether for the sake of conscience or for the
good of the community, or under the authority of the state. There are,
however, occasional references to the exercise on the part of the
rulers of a supervision of the literature of the people on the ground
of protecting their morals or religion. Probably the earliest instances
in history of the prosecution of a book on the ground of its pernicious
doctrines is that of the confiscation, in Athens, of the writings of
Protagoras, which were in 411 B.C. condemned as heretical.

All owners of copies of the condemned writings were warned by heralds
to deliver the same at the Agora, and search was made among the private
houses of those believed to be interested in the heretical doctrines.
The copies secured were then burned in the Agora. Diogenes Laërtius,
by whom the incident is narrated, goes on to say that the destruction
was by no means complete, even of the copies in Athens, while no
copies outside of Athens were affected.[110] The attempt to suppress
the doctrines of the philosopher by means of putting his books on an
_index expurgatorius_ was probably as little successful as were similar
attempts with the doctrines of other “heretics” in later centuries.

The fact that high prices could be depended upon for copies of
standard works ought to have insured a fair measure of accuracy in the
manuscript. Complaints, however, appear repeatedly in the writing of
the time (_i. e._, the century before and that succeeding the birth
of Christ) of the bad work furnished by the scribes. Much of the
copying appears to have been done in haste, and with bad or careless
penmanship, so that words of similar sound were interchanged and
whole lines omitted or misplaced, and the difficulties of obtaining
trustworthy texts of the works of older writers were enormously and
needlessly increased. In order to enable a number of copyists to work
together from one text, it appears that the original manuscript was
often read aloud, the work of the scribes being thus done by ear. This
would account for the interchanging of words resembling each other in

Strabo, writing shortly before the birth of Christ, refers to an
example of this unsatisfactory kind of bookmaking.

The grammarian Tyrannion, in publishing in company with certain Roman
booksellers his edition of the writings of Aristotle, confided the work
to scribes, whose copies were never even compared with the original
manuscript. And, says Strabo, editions of other important classics,
offered for sale in Alexandria and Rome, had been prepared with no more
care.[111] The reputation of the manuscripts transcribed at this period
in Athens appears to have been but little better. The making, that is
to say the duplication and publishing of books, had come to be a trade,
and a trade of considerable importance, but the men who first engaged
in it appear to have had little professional or literary standard, and
not to have realized that profits could be secured from quality of work
as well as from quantity, and that for a publisher a reputation for
accurate and trustworthy editions could itself be made valuable capital.

The publishers of Greece appear to have been characterized by modesty,
for not one of those who did their work at the time of the greatest
prosperity of the book-trade in Greece has left his name on record for
posterity. The days were still to come when every book would bear its
imprint bringing into lasting association the name of its publisher
with that of the author. The Greek publishers appear not to have
assumed, like the later Tonson, an ownership in their poets, nor do we,
on the other hand, find in the utterances of the poets any expressions
corresponding to the famous “My Murray” of Lord Byron. Curtius speaks
of a reference in an inscription to the “Ptolemy” or “Ptolemaic”
bookstore, but the name of the bookseller is not given. It is only
later, when the Greek book-trade was in its decline, that we come
across the names of two dealers in books, Callinus and Atticus. They
are mentioned as famous during the lifetime of Lucian (about 120 to 200
A.D.), the former for the beauty and the latter for the accuracy of
his manuscripts. It is an interesting coincidence that this Callinus,
noted for the beauty of his texts, bears the same name as the scribe
commended three centuries before by Zeno for the beauty and accuracy of
his manuscripts. Their copies were much prized and brought high prices,
not in Athens only, but in scholarly circles elsewhere. It is evident
that each of these booksellers began business as a scribe, selling
only the work produced by his own hands, but that as their orders
increased it became necessary for them to employ a number of copyists,
whose script, receiving a personal supervision and doubtless a careful
collation with the original texts, could be guaranteed as up to the
standard of their own handiwork. Of the other booksellers who were in
Athens in his time Lucian speaks very contemptuously. “Look,” he says,
“at these so-called booksellers, these peddlers! They are people of no
scholarly attainments or personal cultivation; they have no literary
judgment, and no knowledge how to distinguish the good and valuable
from the bad and worthless.”[112] Lucian had evidently a high standard
of what a publisher ought to be.

Some of these Athenian booksellers whom Lucian thus berates for
stupidity, appear also to have borne a poor reputation for honesty.
Among other misdeeds charged against them was one, the ethics of which
might have belonged to a much later period of bookmaking. In order to
give to modern manuscripts the appearance of age, and to secure for
them a high price as rare antiquities, they would bury them in heaps
of grain until the color had changed and they had become tattered and
worm-eaten. Lucian also satirizes the ambition of certain wealthy
and ignorant individuals to keep pace with the literary fashion of
the time, and to secure a repute for learning by paying high prices
for great collections of costly books, which, when purchased, gave
enjoyment “to none but the moths and the mice.”[113] It was partly
due to the competition of wealthy collectors of this kind that,
notwithstanding the great increase in the production of copies, the
price of books remained high, much to the detriment of all impecunious

The beauty of the calligraphy of the manuscripts of Callinus is known
to us only through Lucian, but there are several writers who bear
testimony to the accuracy of the transcripts prepared by his rival
Atticus, who must, by the way, not be confused with the Roman Atticus,
the friend of Cicero. Harpocration of Alexandria, known principally
as the author of one of the first Greek dictionaries, makes several
references to the authority of the Atticus editions of the speeches of
Æschines and Demosthenes. The famous _Codex Parisinus_ of Demosthenes
is believed by Sauppe to be based upon the excellent textual authority
of a manuscript of Atticus, and Sauppe further contends that, if
Atticus did not work from an absolute original, he must have had
before him a very well authenticated copy. In the fragment of a work
by Galen (who wrote in Rome about 165 A.D.) upon certain passages
in the _Timæus_ of Plato which had to do with medicine, Galen makes
Atticus his authority for the passages quoted by him, as if we were
indebted to this bookseller for the text of the _Timæus_ that has been

From the time of Lucian the interest in books steadily increased,
book-collecting became fashionable, especially in Rome, and
bibliophiles and bibliomaniacs were gradually evolved. At this time the
beautifully written and carefully collated manuscripts which emanated
from Athens bore a high reputation as compared with the much cheaper
but less attractive and less trustworthy copies, which were produced
in Alexandria and in Rome. In the book-shops of these two cities,
during the first two centuries, a swifter and less accurate system
of transcribing appears to have prevailed, the work being largely
done by slaves or by scribes who did not have accurate knowledge of
the literature on which they were engaged, while the necessity of a
careful collating of each copy with the original appears frequently
to have been overlooked. Origen, writing about 190 A.D., speaks of
confiding his works to the “swift writers of Alexandria” in order to
secure for them a speedy and a wide circulation. He was looking for no
other return for his labors than a large circle of readers, and a large
influence for his teachings, and the proceeds of the sales of these
“swiftly written copies” were in all probability entirely appropriated
by the booksellers who owned or who employed the scribes.

After the conquest of Greece by the Romans the centre of book
production passed from Athens first to Alexandria and later to Rome.
For centuries to come, however, the book production of the world was
chiefly concerned with the works of Greek authors, and the literary
activity of successive generations drew its inspirations from Greek
sources; and the writers of Greece, whose brilliant labors brought no
remuneration for the laborers, gave to their country and to the world a
body of literature which at least in one sense of the term can properly
be called a magnificent literary property.





DURING the middle of the third century before Christ, the centre of
literary activity was transferred from Athens to Alexandria, which
became, under Ptolemy Philadelphus, and for more than three centuries
remained, the great book-producing mart of the world. The literature
of Alexandria was not, like that of Athens, and later that of Rome,
something of slow growth and gradual development; the literary ambition
and the resources of the second Ptolemy proved sufficient to bring
together in a few years’ time a great body of writers and students and
to place at their disposal the largest collection of books known to

The most important step in the undertaking of securing for the royal
young city of the Nile the literary leadership of the world was the
establishment of the great Museum, which appears to have comprised in
one organization a great lending and reference library, a series of
art collections, a group of colleges endowed for research (of the type
of “All Souls” at Oxford), a university of instruction, and an academy
with functions like those of the Paris Academy, assuming authority to
fix a standard of language and of literary expression, and possibly
even to decide concerning the relative rank of writers. The Museum
(whose name is of course evidence of its Greek origin and character) is
said to date from the year 290 B.C., in which case the founding of it
must be credited to Ptolemy Soter, the father of Philadelphus, but its
full organization and effective work certainly belonged to the reign of
the latter.

Schools of instruction and courses of lectures had, as we have seen,
existed at Athens for a century or more, and Athens had also possessed
as early as 300 B.C., at least one public library. Alexandria, however,
presents the first example of a university established on a state
foundation, and offering to literary and scientific workers an assured
income through salaried positions. Mahaffy finds in these positions a
fair parallel to the institution of fellowships existing in the British
universities. He says: “The fellows of the Alexandrian University,
brought together into a society by the second Ptolemy, developed
that critical spirit which sifted the wheat from the chaff of Greek
literature, and preserved for us the great masterpieces in carefully
edited texts.”[115]

A peculiarity of the literature of the Alexandrian school was that
it had no connection with the country in which it was produced. No
inspiration was derived by the Alexandrian writers from Egypt. The
traditions and the accumulated learning of the civilization of the Nile
(possibly the oldest civilization the world has known), appear to have
been contemptuously ignored by the immigrant writers of the Museum,
whose interests and whose literary connections remained exclusively
Greek. The literature of Alexandria, as well during the reign of the
Ptolemies as after the absorption of Egypt into the empire of Rome,
remained a direct outgrowth of that of Greece (including, of course, in
the term, Magna Græcia as well as the Peninsula). It presented certain
distinctive characteristics of its own, but these seem to have been due
rather to the academic influence, and in the later period to the growth
of the theological spirit, than to the Egyptian environment or to the
relations of the city with imperial Rome.

Of the several divisions of the Museum, that most frequently referred
to in literature, and therefore the best known to later generations,
is the Library, but concerning this the accounts are in many respects
conflicting. John Tzetzes, a Greek scholar of the twelfth century,
writing in Constantinople, tells us on the authority of the Alexandrian
writer, Callimachus, that “the outer library” contained 42,000 rolls,
while in the inner were placed 490,000 rolls. Callimachus noted “from
an examination of the catalogue” that of the latter, 90,000, were
βίβλοι ἀμιγεῖς or “unmixed” rolls, that is, rolls containing each only
a single work, while 400,000 were βίβλοι συμμιγεῖς or “mixed” rolls,
containing each two or more distinct works.[116] Josephus quotes
Demetrius Phalerius as saying to Ptolemy Soter (the first Ptolemy)
that the library already contained 200,000 volumes, and would soon
include 500,000. In consideration of what is known of the extent of
the literature of the time in existence, these figures have been
considered by many authorities as too large to be credible. Birt
points out, however, that the wholesale purchases which Philadelphus
caused to be made throughout Greece and the Greek cities of Asia
Minor had unquestionably brought to Alexandria not only single copies
and duplicates of all the existing works, but supplies of them by
the dozens or hundreds. The unlimited prices offered from the King’s
treasury by the librarians of the Museum caused a steady flow of books
to set in towards Alexandria from all parts of the civilized world,
and in addition to the purchase of all the manuscripts that were
offered, the representatives of the King appear to have made a thorough
ransacking of all the public and private collections that could be
reached, and even to have taken by force volumes which the owners
did not wish to sell. Ptolemy is said to have refused food to the
Athenians during a famine except on condition that they would give him
certain authenticated copies of the tragedies of Æschylus, Sophocles,
and Euripides. It is fair to add that he paid for these tragedies, in
addition to the promised shipment of corn, the sum of fifteen talents
in silver, the equivalent of about $16,200.

One result of this absorption of the book supplies into Alexandria
was that the Greek world was now, and for a considerable time to come
remained, dependent upon Alexandria for copies of all of the old
writers. The measures of the King had succeeded not only in making it
necessary for students and scholars to come to Alexandria for their
reading, but in compelling book-buyers to come to Alexandrian dealers
for their books. The publishers of Alexandria secured at once a
monopoly for their editions, and through their enterprise in training
numbers of skilled scribes (including now not only educated slaves but
many of the impecunious scholars of the university) and by means of
the distributing facilities afforded by the commercial connections of
their capital, these publishers retained in their hands for about three
centuries the control of the greater part of the book production of the
world. The publishers of Athens disappeared, and the publishers who
in the last century B.C. and the first century A.D. were carrying on
book business in Rome, were obliged to have done in Alexandria the work
of transcribing such of their issues as were in the Greek language,
forming until the time of Trajan a very large, if not the larger,
portion of their total production. The writers who formed what is known
as the earlier Alexandrian school, comprised a considerable group of
poets, of whom the most noteworthy were Theocritus, Callimachus, Timon,
and Lycophron, and some original workers in original science, of whom
the most important were Euclid, the father of geometry, Nicomachus,
the first scientific arithmetician, Apollonius, whose work on conic
sections still exists, and Aratus, the astronomer. If the first named
of these scientists could have discounted some small portion even of
the compensation due to him from the many generations of students who
have utilized his problems in geometry, he would have been one of the
nabobs of literature.

The writers who were perhaps the most characteristic of the academic
circle of Alexandria, were, however, the so-called “grammarians,”
who rendered to their own generation and to posterity the invaluable
service of preparing authoritative editions of the great writers of
the past. It is to these Alexandrian editions that we are indebted for
the larger portion of the works of the Greek writers which have been
preserved, while the fact of the existence of many works of which the
texts have been lost is known only through the references to their
titles made by Alexandrian commentators. One of these grammarians was
Zenodotus, the Ephesian, who is credited with having established the
first grammar school in Alexandria (about 250 B.C.). Among others
whose names have been preserved are Eratosthenes, Crates, Apollonius,
Aristophanes, Aristarchus, and Zoilus. The term “grammarian” was
evidently used to designate philologists and _literati_, whose work
was by no means limited to the explanation of words, but corresponded
more nearly to that done by the French cyclopædists. By this group of
scholars was produced what is known as the _Alexandrian Canon_, a list
of Greek authors whose writings were thought worthy of preservation
as classics. This list included, according to Schöll,[117] five epic
poets, five iambic poets, nine lyric poets, fourteen tragic poets,
thirteen comic poets, seven poets of the group known as the Pleiades,
eight historians, ten orators, and five philosophers, or in all
seventy-nine authors, of whom fifty-six were poets. The academic or
official character thus given to the authors named in the _Canon_
was of undoubted service to the world’s literature in giving the
needed incentive for the preservation of their writings through the
multiplication of well edited copies. Moore suggests, however, that
this service may in some measure have been offset by the injury caused
to literature through the comparative neglect into which were sure
to fall a vast number of writers who had failed to be honored with
the stamp of the _Canon_, and the consequent loss of their works for

Theocritus was a native of Syracuse, and appears to have divided
his time between that city and Alexandria. In like manner Aratus,
who belonged in Macedonia, did his literary work partly under the
patronage of King Antigonus, and partly under that of Philadelphus.
It appears to have been difficult for Greek authors, in whatever city
they belonged, to escape the centripetal influence of the Alexandrian
Academy, and the attractions presented by so powerful a patron of
literature as Philadelphus, while it is also probable that the
inducements offered by the Alexandrian publishers had some part in
making it desirable for authors of note to make frequent visits to
the city. Mahaffy points out that the literature of Alexandria under
the Ptolemies possessed little popular character, and was in the main
the work of court writers and of scholastic pedants rather than of
authors in sympathetic touch with the people. As one evidence of the
accuracy of this description, he mentions the omission of any reference
in the writings of contemporary Alexandrian writers to the great
Galatian invasion which in the early part of the third century B.C.
desolated a large part of Asia Minor. While speaking appreciatively
of the service rendered to literature by the liberal patronage of
Philadelphus, Mahaffy is of opinion that the Museum fellowships came to
be utilized (as has been the case in later times with other literary
circles supported by royal bounty) by a number of lazy incompetents.
In his trenchant phrase, he refers to these deteriorated fellowships
as “literary hencoops filled with overfed and idle savants.” His
description recalls some at least of the features of the literary
circle brought together by Frederick the Great, but the Prussian
monarch was probably much more of a barbarian, even in his literary
methods, than the Ptolemies of Alexandria.

The most noteworthy literary undertaking emanating from Alexandria was
the Greek version of the Old Testament, known as the _Septuagint_,
which was begun by certain learned Jews (according to tradition
seventy Rabbis) about 285 B.C., and was completed in the course of
years by various hands. The work of the translators had, of course,
no connection with Greek literature other than as a recognition of
the necessity of putting into Greek any writings for which a general
distribution was planned. Eckhard says that the first use of the term
Γραμματεῖς, in the sense of copyists, was as applied to these Hebrew
scholars who were devoting themselves to the interpretation of the
Hebrew Scriptures. He adds that, in order to leave them undisturbed
in their scholarly undertaking, the king assigned to them a special
quarter of the city called Kiriath Sepher, or, in the _Septuagint_,
πόλις Γραμμάτων, the first literary quarter or Grub Street of which
history makes mention.[119]

Among the grammarians who rendered important service in the editing
of the older classics was Callimachus, whose name also appears in the
list of poets. This is the same Callimachus whose report concerning the
number of the books contained in the library is quoted by Tzetzes. Very
few of the other names of the Alexandrian editors have been preserved,
their editions having in most cases been modestly sent forth with the
names of the authors only.

The publishers of Alexandria must also have been modest, for not
a single firm has sent its name down to posterity. There are many
references in later literature to the existence in Alexandria of great
book-producing concerns, and, as Birt remarks, an active production
of literature must have necessitated an effective machinery for the
distribution of literature.

Strabo speaks of the excellent organization of the book scribes of
Alexandria, and states that Roman methods of bookmaking were derived
from Alexandria. The fact that for a number of centuries the entire
supply of the most important of the materials required was derived from
Egypt, gave an enormous advantage to the development of publishers
in Alexandria. Even after the perfection of the methods for the
preparation of parchment, papyrus retained its place in the preference
of writers, Greek and Roman, and until about the fourth century A.D.
the use of parchment continued very inconsiderable. But the papyrus was
produced only in Egypt. It was therefore a serious blow at the literary
undertakings of the kings of Pergamum when Philadelphus, in pursuance
of his policy of concentrating in Alexandria the production of
literature, prohibited for some years the export from Egypt of papyrus.
It was this embargo that gave a temporary stimulus in Pergamum to the
production of dressed skins, and the special interest taken by Pergamum
in this industry caused the most carefully finished of the skins (very
different in their appearance from the old time διφθέραι) to bear the
name of parchment, _pergamentum_. With the removal of the embargo,
however, the writers in Asia Minor appear in the main to have speedily
gone back to the use of the more convenient papyrus; the production of
parchment languished, and when in the latter Empire, parchment again
came into vogue, as its manufacture could as well be carried on in many
other places, it did not remain an important product of Pergamum.

Not only in Pergamum but also in Antioch was the attempt made, through
the founding of museums (_i. e._, libraries with schools attached) to
create literary centres, but these efforts met with no considerable
or lasting success. Mahaffy points out that these cities were, during
the larger portion of their existence as separate capitals, much more
frequently engaged in the excitement of campaigns than was the case
with Alexandria. The position of the latter, practically secure against
invasion and outside of the great struggles and contests which kept
Asia Minor in a state of agitation, was peculiarly advantageous for the
development of literary and scholastic interests.

Attractions were offered to literary men by the Court of Antioch, and
Syria became under Greek and Macedonian influence a home of Hellenism,
but no important literary undertaking took shape under the Seleucids
except the translation by Berosus, the Chaldean High Priest, of certain
cuneiform records, a work which was dedicated to Antiochus I.[120] The
only large example in literature of Syrian Greek is presented by the
_New Testament_, as the _Septuagint_ remained the most important record
of the Greek of Alexandria.[121] The library gathered at Antioch
appears after the Roman occupation to have been destroyed or dispersed.
The larger collection at Pergamum was, according to Plutarch, given by
Antony to Cleopatra, and was absorbed into the Museum of Alexandria.

It is probable that in Alexandria not only the publishers but also
the authors secured returns from the profits of book-production. It
is difficult to explain in any other way the gathering of authors
in Alexandria from all parts of the Greek world and their frequent
references to their business arrangements for the production of their
books. A definite piece of evidence is also afforded by the statement
of Strabo, previously referred to, that the publishing methods of
Rome were derived from those existing in Alexandria; and in Rome, as
we shall see in a later chapter, a system of compensation to authors
certainly came into practice. It is, however, unfortunately, the case,
that no trustworthy data have been found from which can be gathered the
details of the business relations of the Alexandrian authors with their
publishers. Birt points out that the government itself went into the
publishing business on a considerable scale, and its competition may
easily have caused perplexities to the publishers. We have already seen
that the Museum had, under the directions of the King, taken pains to
purchase the most authoritative texts known of the classic authors,
while in certain cases they secured the entire supplies of the copies
known to be in existence. Staffs of copyists were gathered in the
Museum, and under the editorial supervision of the salaried Fellows,
editions in more satisfactory form than had heretofore been known were
produced for the public. It is not shown whether these copies were
offered for sale directly at the Museum, or whether arrangements were
entered into with the leading booksellers for their distribution in
Alexandria and throughout the reading world. It is probable, however,
that the latter course must have been adopted, for it is not likely
that the Museum undertook to establish connections for the sale of
its editions in foreign countries, while it is certain that for their
university editions a wide and continual sale was secured.

One of the changes introduced in book-making methods under Philadelphus
was the substitution of papyrus rolls of small and convenient size for
the enormous scrolls heretofore in use. According to Birt, the average
length of these larger rolls had not exceeded five hundred inches, or
about forty-one feet, but instances are cited, in the earlier Egyptian
literature, of rolls (principally Hieratic) reaching a length of one
hundred and fifty feet. In the fifth century there was burned in
Byzantium a Homeric roll one hundred and twenty feet in length.[122] It
is possible that the writer of the Apocalypse may have had one of these
enormous scrolls in his vision when he beheld the record of the sins of
Babylon reaching to the heavens.

Callimachus, the grammarian, who seemed to have had as much
responsibility as any man of his group in shaping the literary work
of the Academy of Philadelphus, gave utterance to the dictum, “A big
book is a big nuisance,” τὸ μέγα βιβλίον ἴσον ἔλεγεν εἶναι τῷ μεγάλῳ
κακῷ,[123] and from his time the cumbersome scrolls began to disappear,
and as well for the new editions of the classics as for the literature
of the day, the small rolls came into use. These smaller rolls would
contain in poetry from 350 to 750 lines each, so that for the _Iliad_
and _Odyssey_, for instance, thirty-six rolls were required. For works
in prose each roll would usually contain from 700 to 1500 lines, while
specimens have been found with as few as 150 lines.[124] Such rolls
would comprise from ten to at the most two hundred pages.[125]

Birt is of opinion that this question of the extent of the sheets
available for the writer and the nature of the divisions in the
subject suggested by the division in the material, had a very marked
influence upon the style, proportioning, and subdivisions of works of
literature. He goes so far as to ascribe to this cause the evolution of
epigrammatic literature, _vers de société_, and light and superficial
court poetry of the Alexandrian school, which formed so sharp a
contrast to the massive tragedies of the great poets of Attica. I can
but think, however, that Birt has got the causation reversed, as it
seems more probable that a certain style of writing should have brought
about a change in the method of dividing writing paper than that the
paper-makers should have been in a position, simply by changing the
form of their rolls, to evolve a new style of literature, or even to
play any important part in such evolution.

This increasing use of small rolls must, of course, be taken into
account in calculating the number of works contained in all the
post-Alexandrian libraries as well as in the great collection of the
Museum of Philadelphus.

Birt ascribes to the limitation presented by the size of the rolls the
division of narratives into “books,” but it is certainly the case
that there are examples of such division in the works of writers of a
much earlier date, when large rolls were still customary. Xenophon’s
_Anabasis_, for instance, is so divided.[126] The books in this are
also peculiar, as before mentioned, in being preceded by summaries
of the preceding books. The length of a dramatic poem was naturally
determined by the time that could be allotted for the performance. They
contained from 1300 to 1700 lines, and each drama constituted a “book,”
although several books might, even under the new fashion of smaller
rolls, still be included in one roll.

As fresh supplies of the classic writings came to be distributed
through the civilized world, more particularly, of course, among the
Greek cities, the monopoly established by the policy of the Ptolemies
for the Alexandrian editions gradually came to an end, and the
production of books took a fresh start in other centres. The monopoly
of the paper-makers, however, continued, for nowhere but in the valley
of the Nile could the papyrus be made to grow, and during the first two
or three centuries of the Roman Empire the extent of the book-making
markets supplied by the paper industries must have been so enormous
that it is difficult to understand how the growth of the papyrus,
in the limited district suitable for it, could have been sufficient
to meet the requirements. To modern Egypt, according to Wilkinson
and other authorities, the plant is unknown, for it has entirely
disappeared from its ancient habitat on the banks of the Nile. It would
seem, therefore, that, like flax and the cotton plant, it required for
its existence certain special conditions which could be insured only
through careful cultivation. The words of the Hebrew prophet have thus
been realized: “The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the
brooks, ... shall wither, be driven away, and be no more.”[127] It is
probable that the cultivation was finally brought to a close in the
seventh century, when the Saracens took possession of Egypt.

The importance of Alexandria as one of the chief sources of
book-production endured for three centuries or more after its
conquest by the Romans in the year 30 B.C. As long as the language
and literature of the Greeks continued to be the fashion among the
cultivated circles in the Roman Empire, the supplies of books prepared
by the Greek copyists continued to be largely drawn from Alexandria.
By the close of the first century, however, the centre of literary
activity had been transferred to Rome, and it was no longer to
Alexandria but to Rome as the literary as well as the official capital
of the world, that men of letters now journeyed from all parts of the

The Alexandrian Academy of letters was succeeded by the Alexandrian
school of theology, and to the city of the Ptolemies is probably to be
credited the evolution of the _odium theologicum_, and the beginning of
the long series of fierce and bitter theological contests which have
unfortunately played so large a part in the history of the Christian
Church, and have had so marked an influence on the history of the
world. The names of Philo, Ammonius, and later of Plotinus, Iamblichus,
Clemens, Origen, and Porphyry are the best known of the Alexandrian
lecturers and writers of the first two centuries after Christ, whose
teachings in philosophy and theology exercised influence on the thought
of their time and on the metaphysical and theological conception of
generations to come. In the fourth century came the more noteworthy
Athanasius, and in the fifth Cyril, of whom such a vivid picture is
given in Kingsley’s _Hypatia_. That curious combination of Oriental
mysticism with the Hebrew and Christian creeds known as Gnosticism,
if it did not originate in Alexandria, was largely taught there
during the first two centuries A.D., among the earlier teachers being
Basilides, Valentinus, Heracleon, and Theodotus.

From the various schools of metaphysics and theology was poured out
during the first three centuries after Christ a great body of writings,
which found their way into the remotest corners of the Christian world,
and the persisting influence of which can be traced in not a few of
the creeds even of to-day. It is probable, however, that important
in other ways as this literature was, it presented few examples of
literary property in the shape of returns to its author. The writers
on metaphysical, theological, and religious subjects were, in fact, so
keenly interested in extending the knowledge of their special views and
tenets, and in furthering the influence of the creeds and systems of
belief with which they had identified themselves, that they were very
ready to facilitate by every possible means the distribution of their
works, and to give to all who desired the fullest possible freedom for
the multiplication of copies. The booksellers may have profited to some
extent by the activity of the public interest in the rivalries of the
various schools, but it appears as if the compensation of the authors
must, like that of the Athenian philosophers of five or six hundred
years earlier, have been limited to such payments as were made by the
attendants on their lectures.

Our consideration of the relations of authors with their readers,
and concerning the nature and extent of the remuneration secured for
literary undertakings, must now be transferred to imperial Rome, the
city from which what is known as classical literature derives its
largest heritage, a heritage second in importance only to that to be
credited to Athens.




Book-Terminology in Classic Times.

BEFORE proceeding to the consideration of the conditions under which
works of literature in Rome were prepared by the writers and were
brought within reach of the hearers or readers, it will be convenient
to give consideration to the different forms of books which existed
among the ancients, the various names by which these forms were known,
and the nature of the material from which they were prepared.

The history of the different materials used in the writing of books and
of the various terms employed to designate the books themselves, throws
light on the conditions and the development of the production and
distribution of literature. The baked clay tablets of the Chaldeans and
Assyrians have already been referred to. Layard speaks of those found
by him as of different sizes, the largest being flat and measuring nine
inches by six and a half, while the smallest were slightly convex, and
in some cases not more than an inch long, with but one or two lines of
writing. The cuneiform characters on most of them were singularly sharp
and well defined, but so minute in some instances as to be illegible
without the aid of a magnifying glass. Curiously enough, in the same
ruins with the tablets have been found specimens of the glass lenses
which were probably used by their readers. Specimens have also been
found of the instrument which was employed to trace the cuneiform
characters, and its form sufficiently accounts for the peculiar shape
of these characters, a shape which was imitated by the engravers on
stone. The tracer is a little iron rod (a _stylus_), not pointed but
triangular at the end. By slightly pressing this end on the cake of
soft moist clay held in the left hand, no other sign could be obtained
but that of a wedge, the direction being determined by a turn of the
wrist, presenting the instrument in various positions. The tablets,
having been thus inscribed on both sides and accurately numbered or
folioed, were baked in the oven.

An astronomical work discovered by George Smith comprised seventy such
tablets, say one hundred and forty pages. The first of these begins
with the words “When the gods Anu,” and this seems to have been taken
as the title of the work, for each successive tablet bears the notice
“First (second or third) tablet of ‘When the gods Anu.’ Further, to
guard against all chance of confusion, the last line of one tablet is
repeated as the first line of the following one--a fashion which we
still see in old books, in which the last word or two at the bottom of
a page is repeated at the top of the next.... If the tablets were to
be impressed with figures or hieroglyphics in place of or in addition
to the cuneiform characters, engraved cylinders were used of some hard
stone, such as jasper, cornelian, or agate.... Tablets have also been
found (usually in foundation stones) of gold, silver, copper, lead, and

Referring to the care with which each monarch gathered into his palace
the chronicles of his reign, building long series of inscribed tablets
into the walls and burying others beneath the foundation stones, Ménant

    “It was not mere whim which impelled the kings of Assyria to build
    so assiduously. Palaces had in those times a destination which they
    have no longer in ours. Not only was the palace indeed the dwelling
    of royalty, but, as the inscriptions indicate, it was also the
    _Book_, which each sovereign began at his accession to the throne,
    and in which he was to record the history of his reign.”

Painstaking and slow as the method appears to have been in which the
Babylonians and Assyrians recorded the earliest known literature of the
world, in one respect at least they achieved a success greater than
that of any of the literature-producing nations who were to follow
them. Their books were made to last, and through forty centuries of
vicissitudes such as would have crumbled into unrecognizable dust
the collections of the Vatican or of the British Museum, the mounds
of Mesopotamia have safely protected the libraries of the Chaldean
kings, and it is probable that, notwithstanding the completeness of the
devastation that overwhelmed the Assyrian lands, a larger proportion
of the entire body of Assyrian literature has been preserved for the
students of to-day than of any national literature which came into
existence prior to the invention of printing.

The book of Egyptian literature was nearly always written on papyrus,
that is, on the tissue prepared from the stems of the papyrus plant,
a species of reed which in ancient times abounded on the banks of the
Nile. In the earlier days, there are instances of palm-leaves being
used for certain classes of documents. According to Wilkinson, the
papyrus plant has now entirely disappeared from Egypt. So important
was the rôle played by papyrus in the history of classic literature
that ancient writers speak as if their literature could hardly have
existed, or at least could hardly have been preserved, without it.

Pliny, for instance, writes: _Papyri natura dicetur, cum chartæ usu
maxime humanitas vitæ constet, certe memoria_.[129] Birt renders this:
It is on literature that all human development depends, and assuredly
to literature is due the transmission of history.[130] Pliny here uses
the word _charta_ (_i. e._, paper made of papyrus) as a general term
for literature, and speaks as if papyrus were the only material in use
for books. He was writing about the middle of the first century.

From their own land the Greeks could secure no materials for
book-making, and their literature, which was to inspire and to
enlighten future generations, could be preserved for these generations
only by the use of substances imported from other countries. By far,
the most important of their book-making materials was the same papyrus
plant which had long been utilized by the Egyptians. To the stem of
this plant, from which the book “paper” was prepared (the English
term being, of course, derived from the Egyptian plant), the Greeks
gave the name of βύβλος, or βίβλος. These terms, with the diminutives
βύβλίον, βιβλίον, and βιβλάριον speedily came to stand for the book
itself instead of for the book-paper, the “book” comprising a series of
prepared papyrus sheets, gummed together into a roll. βύβλος usually
denoted a single work only, although such work might comprise several
volumes or rolls. Suidas, however, whose _Lexicon_ was written about
1000 A.D., asserts that it was also used for a collection of books. The
word βύβλος was in like manner used for cordage, _i. e._, the ropes of
ships, for the making of which the papyrus stem was also employed.

We have named first in order papyrus, as the material most universally
used by the Greek writers, and βύβλος as the term for book most
frequently occurring in Greek literature.

Centuries, however, before the introduction of the papyrus, or of
the dressed skins, other materials were employed for writing, such
as thinly rolled sheets of lead, used for public documents, and
slips of linen sheets, and wax tablets, used for private records and
correspondence. Wax tablets were known to Homer, and twelve hundred
years after Homer were still in use among the Romans. The Homeric
Greeks also utilized slabs of wood and the bark of trees, another
material which remained useful for many generations, and which gave to
the Romans the term for book, _liber_. Another term in which the roll
nature of the book is clearly indicated is κύλινδρος, a cylinder.[131]
This brings us back to one of the Assyrian forms, arrived at, however,
in a very different way.

The papyrus book, whether Egyptian, Greek, or Roman, was gotten up
very much like a modern mounted map. A length of the material, written
on one side only, was fastened to a wooden roller, around which it
was wound. The Egyptian name for such a roll was _tamā_. Such rolls
were often twenty, thirty, or even forty yards long.[132] Herodotus
tells us the whole of the _Odyssey_ was written on one such roll. He
also refers to an Egyptian priest rolling a book about the horns of a
sacrificial bull.[133] As the inconvenience of these long rolls became
apparent, the practice obtained of breaking up the longer works into
sections. Certain suitable sizes became normal, and the conventional
length of the roll possibly exercised some influence on the length of
what are still called the “books,” _i. e._, divisions of the classical
authors. The Egyptian rolls were kept in jars, holding each from six to

The term ἁπλὰ was applied to a “book” or writing completed on a single
strip of papyrus and comprising therefore only one leaf.[135]

The word τόμος (from which comes our English tome) occurs only after
the Alexandrian era. It means literally a slice or a cutting, and when
used with precision stood, as to-day, for a portion or division of the
entire work. A diminutive of this is τομάριον.

Ὁ χάρτης indicated originally a papyrus sheet or roll which had not
yet been written upon, but came later to be used also for a papyrus

Τεῦχος, which had for its earlier signification tool or implement,
was later used for a chest, repository, or book-case, and, after the
Alexandrian age, came finally into use as a term for a set or series of
(literary) works.

Γράμμα, meaning in the first place “that which is graven or written,”
and then “the letter” or the scripture, is used, although but rarely,
for book, occurring more often in the plural Γράμματα,[137] and still
more frequently in the form Συγγράμματα, “words written together.”
The Σύγγραμμα was a collection of manuscript rolls tied together in a
bundle or faggot, called by the Latins _fasces_.

The famous term Λόγος, meaning in the first place that which is
said, the word, the utterance, and then the story or narrative, came
occasionally to be referred to as the book, or in the plural form,
Λόγοι, as the books, writings, or works of a particular writer. It
was, however, the substance of the writings and not their physical
form which was then referred to, and the expression seems to have been
applied only to writings in prose.

The previous terms (with the exception of Λόγος, which, having to do
with the thought of the writer and not with the form of the writing,
could stand for any intellectual production) were all employed only for
books written on papyrus. A material which preceded the use of papyrus,
and which, with improved methods of preparation, long outlasted this,
although occupying a far less important place in ancient literature,
was obtained from skins or hides. The use of this material for writing
was borrowed from the Phœnicians, from whom were also purchased the
skins themselves. The dressed skins were called διφθέραι, and writings
upon skins came to be known by the same name. Ctesias speaks of the
διφθέραι βασιλικαὶ, royal books (or writings or documents) of the
Persians, and Herodotus says that such skins were used in the earlier
times for book-material not only in Greece, but even in Egypt, the
home of the papyrus. In Greece, the papyrus, introduced from Egypt
through the Phœnician traders, appears at one time to have almost
entirely replaced the dressed skins, while later, owing to the improved
methods for the preparation of the skins, these again found favor. It
was, however, not until the production of parchment (_membrana_ or
_pergamena_), that the value of skins for literary purposes began to be
properly understood, and even parchment made its way but slowly among
writers in competition with the long-established papyrus, which it was,
however, destined to outlast for many centuries. The name parchment,
_pergamena_, is derived from the city of Pergamum, where, according
to the tradition, it was first prepared under the direction of King
Eumenes II., about 190 B.C. It seems certain, however, that parchment
had been produced considerably before this date, but a great impetus
was doubtless given at this time to its use, and its manufacture was
improved, owing to the embargo placed by Ptolemy Philadelphus on the
exportation from Egypt of papyrus. Ptolemy was, it appears, jealous of
the growing fame of the great library of Pergamum, which was beginning
to rival that of Alexandria, and he hoped that by cutting off the
supply of book-material from other countries he could compel the
scholars of the world to resort to Alexandria.

Pliny, writing about 250 years later, appears not to have believed that
the new parchment could serve as in any way an adequate substitute
for the papyrus. He considered it very fortunate that the Ptolemies
had finally consented to withdraw the interdict on the exportation of
papyrus, as otherwise the history of mankind in the past (_immortalitas
hominum_) might have been utterly lost.

Excepting for the temporary impetus given to the use of the parchment
among the writers of Pergamum during the embargo on the Egyptian
papyrus, its introduction among literary circles proceeded but slowly.
It came into competition more directly with wax tablets for private
notes and memoranda than with papyrus for use in books.

For correspondence, at least for the longer letters, papyrus seems for
some centuries to have been found the most convenient material. The
author of the Second Epistle of John evidently wrote on papyrus,[138]
and in the long series of letters between Cicero and his several
correspondents, all the references are to the same material.

The Latin terms for book, like those used by the Greeks, indicate the
nature of the material used, or the method of its arrangement. The word
_liber_, which occurs perhaps the most frequently in Latin literature,
has been already referred to. It means originally bark, and by some
antiquarians is supposed to give evidence of some prehistoric use by
the Italian writers of tablets of wood or bark. It was applied finally
to books of all kinds, but when used with precision, it indicated books
of papyrus arranged in leaves as opposed to a roll or a series of
rolls. The roll, whether composed of papyrus sheets or of parchment,
was called _volumen_. Its use as a general term for a book of any kind
appears to date from the time of Cicero. _Liber_ was also used for a
division of a literary composition, in the sense in which the term
“book” is employed to-day, the entire work being called _volumen_, or
_opus_. The latter term, however, had, like λόγος, no reference to the
material or form, but only to the literary production.

The next term in order of importance was _codex_. The word, which
means originally the trunk of a tree, was in the first place used for
wooden tablets smeared, for writing purposes, with wax. It was later
applied to large documents and manuscripts, whether of papyrus or
parchment. A still later meaning was that of a collection or series
of writings, in the sense in which we should to-day speak of “a body
of literature.” A _codex rescriptus_, or palimpsest, was a parchment
on which the original writing had been erased or defaced to make room
for a later inscribing. The erasing was sometimes imperfectly done, so
that it became possible to decipher the text of the original writing
through that which had been superimposed. A number of important works
of antiquity have in this manner been recovered through the labors of
modern scholars, the list including Cicero’s _De Republica_, some of
the books of Livy, certain books of Pliny the Younger, and portions of
the _Septuagint_.

The term _libellus_, literally a small writing, was used for a
memorandum book, a petition, a memorial, a summons, a complaint in
writing, and finally for a small volume. Birt explains that in the
latter sense it always stood for a book of verse, on the ground that,
according to the usual arrangement, a volume of verse contained half
as much material as one of prose.

The wooden case containing the papyrus roll was called a _capsa_, or a
_scrinium_. The latter term was, possibly, more generally applied to
a case large enough to hold several rolls. The term _umbilicus_ was
applied to a reed or stick fastened to the last leaf or strip of the
manuscript, around which it was rolled.

It is to be borne in mind that as the inspiration for Roman
literature came from Athens and Alexandria, and the earlier Roman
authors were accustomed to use Alexandria as a convenient centre for
book-production, the Greek terms for books and for things connected
with books came into general use with Latin writers, and probably for
some time continued to be employed in place of or indifferently with
the Latin terms.





ROMAN literature may be said to date from about 250 B.C., or, to take
an event which marked an important era in the life of the Republic,
from the close of the first Punic War, 241 B.C.

With the Romans, literature was not of spontaneous growth, but was
chiefly the result of the influence exerted by the Etruscans, who were
their first teachers in everything mental and spiritual.

The earliest literary efforts of the Greeks, or at least the earliest
which are known to us, were, as we have seen, epic poems, setting forth
the deeds of the gods, demi-gods, and heroes. The earliest literary
productions of the Romans were historical narratives, bald records of
events real or imaginary.

Simcox refers to the curious feature of Latin literature, that “It
is in its best days a Roman literature without being the work of
Romans.”[139] The great writers of Athens were Athenians, but from
Ennius to Martial, a succession of writers who were not natives of Rome
lived and worked in the metropolis and owed their fame to the Roman

Authors came to Rome from all parts of the civilized world, there
to make their literary fortunes. They needed, in order to secure a
standing in the world of literature, the approval of the critics of
the capital, and in the latter period, they required also, for the
multiplying and distributing of their books, the service of the Roman

Géraud points out that the Romans came very near to the acquisition
of the art of printing. It was the aim of Trajan, in his Asiatic
expeditions, to surpass Alexander in the extent of his conquests and
journeyings eastward. “If I were but younger!” murmured Trajan, as he
stood on the shores of the mysterious Erythrean Sea (the Indian Ocean).
And there was in fact probably little but lack of time to prevent him
from passing Alexander’s limit of the Indus, and, marching across the
Indian peninsula, from arriving within the borders of the “everlasting
empire” of the Chinese. In the time of Trajan, however (100 A.D.),
the Chinese had already mastered the art of xylographic printing,
or printing from blocks. If, therefore, Trajan had arrived at the
imperial power say ten years earlier, literary property might have
saved thirteen centuries in securing the most essential condition of
substantial existence.

There are, however, compensations for all losses. If printing had come
into Europe in the first century, the world might to-day be buried
under the accumulated mass of its literature, and my subject, already
sufficiently complex, would have assumed unmanageable proportions.

With the knowledge of the language and literature of Greece, which
came to the Romans partly through the commerce of the Greek traders
of the Mediterranean, partly through the Greek colonies in Italy, and
partly, probably, through the intercourse brought about by war, a new
literary standard was given to Rome. The dry annals of events, and the
crude and barely metrical hymns or chants, which had hitherto comprised
the entire body of national literature, were now to be brought into
contrast with the great productions of the highest development of Greek
poetry, drama, and philosophy. As a result the literary thought and the
literary ideals of Rome were, for a time, centred in Athens.

It would not be quite correct to say that from the outset Athenian
literature served as a model for Roman writers. This was true only at
a later stage in the development of literary Rome. The first step was
simply the acceptance of the works of Greek writers as constituting for
the time being all the higher literature that existed. Greek became
and for a number of years remained the literary language of Rome. Such
libraries as came into existence were at first made up exclusively,
and for centuries to come very largely, of works written in Greek. The
instructors, at least of literature, philosophy, and science, taught
in Greek and were in large part themselves Greeks. In fact the Greek
language must have occupied in Italy, during the two centuries before
Christ, about the place which, centuries later, was held throughout
Europe by Latin, as the recognized medium for scholarly expression.

There is, however, this difference to note. The Latin of mediæval
Europe, though the language of scholars, was for all writers an
acquired language, and its use for the literature of the middle ages
gave to that literature an inevitable formality and artificiality of
style. The Greek used in early Rome was the natural literary language,
because it was the language of all the cultivated literature that was
known, and it was learned by the Romans of the educated classes in
their earliest years, becoming to them if not a mother tongue, at least
a step-mother tongue. In the face of this all-powerful competition
of the works of some of the greatest writers of antiquity, works
which were the result of centuries of intellectual cultivation, the
literary efforts of the earlier Roman authors seemed crude enough, and
the development of a national literature, expressed in the national
language, progressed but slowly.

With the capture of Corinth in 146 B.C., the last fragment of Greek
independence came to an end, and the absorption of Greece into the
Roman empire was completed. But while the arms of Rome had prevailed,
the intellect of Greece remained supreme, and, in fact, its range of
influence was enormously extended through the very conquests which gave
to the Romans the mastery, not only of the little Grecian peninsula,
but of the whole civilized world.

The second stage in the development of Roman literature was the
wholesale adaptation by the Roman writers of such Greek originals as
served their purpose. It was principally the dramatic authors whose
productions were thus utilized, but the appropriations extended to
almost every branch of literature. In a few cases the plays and poems
were published simply as translations, due credit being given to the
original works, but in the larger number of instances in which the
adaptation from the Greek into the Latin was made with considerable
freedom and with such modifications as might help to give a local or
a popular character to the piece, the Roman playwright would make
no reference to the Attic author, but would quietly appropriate for
himself the prestige and the profits accruing from his literary
ingenuity and industry. It is proper to remember, however, that in few
cases could living Greek authors have had any cause for complaint. It
was the writings of the dead masters, and particularly, of course, of
those whose work, while distinctive and available, was less likely
to be familiar to a Roman literary public, which furnished an almost
inexhaustible quarry for the rapacity of the plagiarists of the early

The bearing of this state of things upon the development of real Roman
literature and upon any possibility of compensation for the writers of
such literature, is obvious. Why should a Roman publisher or theatrical
manager pay for the right to publish or to perform a drama by a native
writer, when he could secure, for the small cost of a translation or
adaptation, a more spirited and satisfactory piece of work from the
Attic quarry?

What encouragement could be given, in the face of competition of
this kind, to the young Latin poet, striving to secure even a hearing
from the public? The practice of utilizing foreign dramatic material
by adapting it for home requirements, has, as we know, been very
generally followed in later times, the most noteworthy example being
the wholesale appropriations made by English dramatists from the
dramatic literature of France, prior to the establishment between the
two countries of international copyright.

There must also have been a further difficulty on the part of
the earlier Roman publishers in the way of finding funds for the
encouragement of native talent. Their own work was for many years
being carried on at a special disadvantage in connection with the
previously referred to competition of Alexandria. As late as the middle
of the first century A.D., a large portion, and probably the larger
portion, of the work of the copyists in preparing editions had to be
done in Alexandria, as there alone could be found an adequate force
of trained and competent scribes, the swiftness and accuracy of whose
work could be depended upon. Alexandria was also not simply the chief,
but practically the sole market in the world for papyrus. The earlier
Roman publisher found it, therefore, usually to his advantage to send
to Alexandria his original text, and to contract with some Alexandrian
correspondent, who controlled a book-manufacturing establishment, for
the production of the editions required, while to this manufacturing
outlay the Roman dealer had further to add the cost of his freight.
There is record of certain copying done for Roman orders during the
first and second centuries B.C. in Athens, but this seems in the main
to have been restricted to commissions from individual collectors, like
Lucullus (B.C. 115-57). The mass of the book-making orders certainly
went to Alexandria, which bore a relation to the book-trade of Rome
similar in certain respects to that borne to the London publishers in
the first half of the present century by the literary circle and by
the printers of Edinburgh. The earlier Roman publishers, therefore,
in losing the advantage of the manufacturing of books issued by them,
found their margin of possible profit seriously curtailed, and the
chances of securing for the authors any remuneration from the sales of
their books must for many years have been very slight. It seems, in
fact, probable that compensation for Roman authors began only when,
through the development of publishing machinery, it became possible
for the making of books to be done advantageously in Rome. This period
corresponds also with the time when a real national literature began
to shape itself, and when the development of a popular interest in this
literature called for the production of books in the Latin language,
which could be prepared by Latin scribes.

The two sets of influences, the one mercantile, the other intellectual
and patriotic, worked together, and were somewhat intermingled as cause
and effect. The peculiar relation borne to the earlier intellectual
development of Rome by the literature of a foreign people has never
been fully paralleled in later history. The use of Greek in Italy as
the language of learning and of literature, was, as said, very similar
to the general acceptance of Latin by the scholars of mediæval Europe
as the only tongue worthy of employment for literary purposes. But
I can find no other instance in which the literature of one people
ever became so completely and so exclusively the authority for and
the inspiration of the first literary life of another. During the
eighteenth century, North Germany had, under the direction of its
Court circles accepted French as the language of refined society, and
German literature was to some extent fashioned after French models;
but important as this influence appeared to be, at the time, say, of
Frederick the Great, it does not seem as if it could have had any
large part in shaping the work of the German writers of the following
half century.

The literary life of the American Republic has, of course, during a
large portion of its independent existence, as in the old colonial
days, drawn its inspiration from the literature of its parent state,
Great Britain. There has been, in this instance, as in the relation
between Rome and Greece, on the part of the younger community, first,
an entire acceptance of and dependence upon the literary productions
of the older state; later, a very general appropriation and adaptation
of such productions; still later (and in part _pari passu_ with such
appropriation), a large use of the older literature as the model
and standard for the literary compositions of the writers of the
younger people; while, finally, there has come in the latter half
of the nineteenth century for America, as in the second half of the
first century for Rome, the development, in the face of these special
difficulties, of a truly national literature. For America, as for Rome,
this development was in certain ways furthered by the knowledge and the
influence of the great literary works of an older civilization, while
for America, as for Rome, the overshadowing literary prestige of these
older works, and the commercial difficulties in the way of securing
public attention and a remunerative sale for books by native authors in
competition with the easily “appropriated” volumes of older writers of
recognized authority, may possibly have fully offset the advantage of
the inspiration.

In certain important respects the comparison fails to hold good. For
America the literary connection with and inspiration from Great Britain
was in every way a natural one. In changing their skies, the Americans
could not change their mother-tongue, and in the literature of England,
prior to 1776, they continued to claim full ownership and inheritance.
The peculiar condition for Rome was its acceptance, as the foundations
of its intellectual life, of the literature of a conquered people,
with which people its own kinship was remote, and whose language was
entirely distinct.

The estimate in which the Greeks were held by their conquerors is
indicated in the fact that, while the Greeks held all but themselves to
be barbarians, by the Romans the term was applied to all but themselves
and the Greeks.

While a republican form of government has not usually been considered
as unfavorable for intellectual activity, history certainly presents
not a few instances in which an absolute monarch has had it in his
power, through the direct use of the public resources, to further the
literary production of the State in a way which would hardly have been
practicable for a republic. It is not to be doubted, for instance, that
a ruler in Rome, with the largeness of mind and persistency of will of
Ptolemy Philadelphus, could by some such simple measures as those which
proved so effective in Alexandria, have hastened by half a century or
more the development of a national literature in Italy. But, until the
establishment of the Empire, the rulers of the Republic had their hands
too full with the work of defending the State and of extending its
sway, to be able to give thought to, or to find funds for any schemes
for, “Museums,” Academies, or Libraries, planned to supply instruction
for the community, and to secure employment and incomes for literary
men, under whose direction literary undertakings could be carried on at
the expense of the public treasury.

No institution of learning received any endowment from the treasury
of the Roman Republic, and the scholars who undertook literary work
received no aid or encouragement from the government. Under the
limitations and conditions controlling the literary life of the time,
it is not to be wondered at that the many attractions held out by the
Ptolemies should have caused Alexandria rather than Rome to become the
literary centre of the world, a distinction which it seems hardly to
have lost until, half a century after, through the conquest of Egypt
by Octavius (B.C. 30), it had fallen to the position of a capital of a
Roman province.

A still further consideration to be borne in mind in connection with
the slow development of Roman literature, is the attitude of Roman
writers to their work. Many of those whose names are best known to us
would have felt themselves lowered to be classed as authors. They were
statesmen, advocates, men about town, or, if you will, simple citizens,
who gave some of their leisure hours to literary pursuits. To the
Greek author, whether poet, philosopher, or historian, literature was
an avocation, an honored and honorable profession. The Roman writer
preferred as a rule to consider his writing as a pastime. Cicero says:
_Ut si occupati profuimus aliquid civibus nostris, prosimus etiam, si
possumus, otiosi._[140]

Cornelius Nepos, in writing the life of Atticus, omits the smallest
reference to the connection of Atticus with literature, as if any
association with authorship or with publishing was either of no
importance, or might even have impaired the reputation of an honored

It was this feeling that authorship was not in itself an avocation
worthy of a Roman citizen, which unquestionably stood very much in the
way of any arrangements under which authors could secure compensation
for their productions, and doubtless postponed for a considerable
period the recognition by the publishers and the reading public of any
property rights in literature. The evidences, or, as it would be more
exact to say, the indications, concerning such compensation for Roman
writers are but fragmentary and at best but inconclusive. They will be
referred to later in this chapter.

The first Latin playwright whose name has been preserved, was Titus
Livius Andronicus of Tarentum. Andronicus added to his labors as
a dramatist the work of an instructor of Greek literature, and
he prepared for school use (about 250 B.C.) an abridgment of the
_Odyssey_. A volume of this kind, written for use as a text-book, could
hardly have been undertaken for the sake of the literary prestige, but
must have been published for the purpose of securing profit from the
sale of copies. If this inference is a just one, the book will stand
as the earliest known instance in Latin literature of property in
the work of an author, and the example is peculiarly characteristic,
because the work of Andronicus, like the literature of his country,
rested upon a Greek foundation.

A large proportion of the works of the early Roman dramatists have
been identified as being versions, more or less exact, of known Greek
originals, and in a number of cases the substance of Greek productions
of which the titles and perhaps some descriptive references have come
into record but the original texts of which have disappeared, have
been preserved only by means of these Latin versions. The presumption
is strong that very few of the dramatic writings which appeared in
Rome during the century following the date of Andronicus, say 280
B.C. to 180 B.C., even of those whose Greek connection has not been
traced, were not in great part based upon Greek originals.[141] It
would not be easy to decide whether this exceptional relation between
the two literatures, and this enormous indebtedness of the younger
to the older, furthered or hindered the wholesome development of the
literary productiveness of Italy. It seems probable that the gain in
refinement, and in the cultivation of literary form, was largely offset
by the check to the work of the creative faculty and the lessening of
sturdiness and individuality. Emerson’s saying that “every man is as
lazy as he dares to be,” was probably as true of the writers of Rome as
it would have been of any other group of writers placed in a similar
position. It is much easier to build one’s house from the finished
blocks of the neighboring ruin, than to do the original hewing of new
stones out of the side of the mountain.

The next name of importance among the writers of the period of the
Punic Wars was Ennius, often spoken of as “the father of Latin
literature.” Of his dramatic work Simcox remarks: “A play of Ennius was
generally a play of Euripides simplified and amplified.”[142] It is
in order to remember that Ennius, though doing all his literary work
in Latin, was himself not a Latin, but a Calabrian--that is, at least
half Greek in his ancestry and early environment. The work by which
he is best known is the _Annals_, a historical or rather legendary
poem, giving evidence of the Greek bias of the author in undertaking
to present history (from Romulus to Scipio) as a poem rather than as
a chronicle of facts in sober prose. Ennius translated a Sicilian
Cookery-book (issued about 175 B.C.), a piece of work which, as the
translator was poor, earning a modest livelihood by teaching, could
only have been undertaken as a business commission. Whether it was paid
for by a bookseller or by a patron is not recorded, but the probability
is in favor of the latter, as Ennius, while frequently mentioning his
patrons, makes no reference to any booksellers. An early instance of
the possibility of making money by writing is afforded by Plautus,
whose comedies date between 202 and 184 B.C. He is reported to have
written plays with such success as to have been able with the proceeds
to set himself up as a miller, and when his business failed, he
returned to play-writing until he had again secured a competence.[143]
His success was the more noteworthy, as it was difficult to understand
how there could have been much demand for comedies in Rome during the
anxious years when Hannibal was encamped at Capua. Cæcilius, who was
a late contemporary of Plautus, is for us little more than a name,
as of his comedies, commended by others as great, but fragments have
been preserved. Terence was one of the writers possessing a large
appreciation of Greek literature. He translated a hundred plays,
chiefly from Menander, but there is nothing to tell us how far
his literary undertakings proved commercially successful.[144] A
historical work of substantial importance was the _Origines_ of Cato
the Censor, completed about 149 B.C. (three years before the fall of
Carthage and of Corinth), which dealt with the institutions of Rome
and with the origin of the allied Italian States. This was followed
by the _Annales Maximi_ of Mucius Scævola (issued in 133 in no less
than eighty books), by further Annals by Calpurnius Piso, and by the
Histories of Hostius (125) and of Antipater (123). I have, of course,
no intention of presenting in a sketch like this, a summary of early
Roman literature, or a schedule of Latin writers. I only desire to
point out that during the century preceding the birth of Cicero (106),
while there is no definite information concerning the existence in Rome
of any organized book trade, or of publishing machinery, by means of
which books could be manufactured and sold, and business relations be
established between the authors and their public, a number of important
literary enterprises, involving no little labor and expense, were
undertaken. I think there are fair grounds for the inference that the
continued production of books addressed to the general public implied
the existence of a distribution machinery for reaching such public,
and that there were, therefore, publishers in Rome who found it to
their advantage to pay authors for literary labor many years before
the founding of the firm of that prince of publishers, Atticus, whose
business methods are described by Cicero.

In Rome, as in Athens, the men who first interested themselves in
publishing undertakings, or at least in the publishing of higher class
literature, were men who combined with literary tastes the control of
sufficient means to pay the preparation of the editions. Their aim
was the service of literature and of the State, and not the securing
of profits, and, as a fact, these earlier publishing enterprises must
usually have resulted in a deficiency. As the size of the editions
could easily be limited to the probable demand, and further copies
could always be supplied as called for, it seems at first thought as
if the expense need not have been considerable. The high prices which,
under the competition of a literary fashion, it became necessary to
pay for educated slaves trained as scribes, constituted the most
serious item of outlay. Horace speaks of slaves competent to write
Greek as costing 8000 sesterces, about $400.[145] Calvisius, a rich
_dilettante_, paid as much as 10,000 sesterces, $500, for each of his
_servi literati_.[146] In one of the laws of Justinian, in which the
relative price of slaves is fixed for estates to be divided, _notarii_,
or scribes, are rated fifty per cent. higher than artisans.[147]

Certain proprietors found it to their advantage, partly for their own
service and partly for the sake of making a profit later through their
sale, to give to intelligent young slaves a careful education. Such a
training, in order to produce a really valuable scribe, had to include
a good deal beside reading and penmanship. A _servus literatus_, to
be competent to prepare trustworthy copies, needed to have a good
knowledge of Greek, and such acquaintance with the works of the leading
authors, Greek and Latin, as would enable him to decipher with some
critical judgment doubtful passages in difficult manuscripts. It is
probable that better work, that is more accurate work, was done by
these selected scribes of the household than by the copyists employed
by the book-dealers. Strabo tells us that as the making of books became
a common undertaking, there was constant complaint at the inaccuracies
and deficiencies of the copies offered for sale, which had in many
cases been prepared by ignorant scribes writing hastily and carelessly,
and which had not afterwards been collated with the original
text.[148] Strabo refers to book-making establishments in Rome as early
as 80 B.C., which was before the founding of the concern of Atticus,
but he does not give us the names of their managers.

Marcus Crassus, whose staff of skilled slaves included readers,
copyists, and architects, took upon himself the general supervision of
their education, and presided over their classes of instruction.[149]
As is shown by the correspondence of Cicero, Atticus, Pliny, and
others, these educated slaves frequently came into very close personal
relations with their masters, and were cherished as valued friends.
The writers who were employed in the duplicating of books were called
_librarii_, correspondence clerks, _amanuenses_, and the official
clerks of public functionaries, _scribæ_. An inscription quoted by
Gruter indicates that the work of book-copying was sometimes confided
to women--_Sextia Xanta scriba Libraria_. Copyists who devoted
themselves to deciphering and transcribing old manuscripts, were known
as _antiquarii_. The term _notarii_ was applied to those who wrote at
dictation, taking reports of speeches and of public meetings, testimony
of witnesses, notes of judicial proceedings, etc. They were called
_notarii_ because they took notes, often in a kind of shorthand. Such a
man was Tiro, a freedman of Cicero.

The man whose name is most intimately connected with the work of
publishing in the time of Cicero was Titus Pomponius Atticus, who
is perhaps best known to us through his correspondence with Cicero.
Atticus organized (about 65 B.C.) a great book-manufacturing
establishment in Rome, with connections in Athens and Alexandria. He
was himself a thorough scholar, and it was because he was so well
versed in the Greek language and literature that the name Atticus had
been given to him. It is probable that his earliest publishing ventures
were editions of the Greek classics, and it is certain that these
always formed a very important proportion of his undertakings. He had
himself brought from Greece an extensive and valuable collection of
manuscripts, which he placed at the service of Cicero and of other of
his literary friends, and the development of the work of his scribes
from the transcription of a few copies for their friends to the
publication of editions for the reading public was a very natural one.

The editions issued by Atticus, which came to be known as “Attikians,”
Ἀττικίανά, secured wide repute for their accuracy, and came to be
referred to as the authoritative texts. The term “Attikians” appears
to have been used as we might to-day, in referring to Teubner’s Greek
classics, say “the Teubners.” Haenny speaks[150] of the “Attikians”
as welcomed by scholars for their accuracy and completeness. H.
Sauppe tells us that the text of the oration of Demosthenes against
Androtion is based upon the issue of Atticus.[151] Harpocration refers
to the “Atticus texts” of this oration, and also of Æschines.[152]
Galen makes mention of the Atticus edition of Plato’s _Timæus_.[153]
Haenny points out that some question has been raised as to whether
the term “_Attikiana_” always referred to the editions of Titus
Pomponius Atticus.[154] He concludes, with Birt, that this term may,
later, having come to stand for accurate texts and carefully prepared
editions, have occasionally been applied to issues of a later period
which could properly be so described or as a term of compliment. When,
however, it was used in connection with works presumably issued between
65 and 35 B.C., it must be understood as referring to the publications
of Titus Pomponius. Fronto always spoke of him simply as Atticus,
and he is so referred to several times by Plutarch. Hemsterhuis[155]
quotes a reference by Lucian. “You appear to think,” says Lucian to the
“book-fools,” bibliomaniacs, “that it is essential for scholarship to
possess many books. Therein, however, you show your ignorance.”

Atticus brought to Rome skilled _librarii_ from Athens, and gave
personal attention to the training of young slaves for his staff of
copyists. He seems also to have sent manuscripts for copying to both
Athens and Alexandria, probably while he was still completing the
organization of his own staff. Such commissions may also have been
due to the fact previously referred to, that of many works the well
authenticated texts could be found only in those two cities, and after
the time of Philadelphus, more particularly in Alexandria.

Atticus was a large collector of books, and won also some reputation
as an author, although his principal work, a series of chronological
tables, belonged perhaps rather to records than to literature proper.
Cicero speaks warmly both of the excellent literary judgment and of
the warm liberality of his publishing friend, and it seems certain
that Atticus took an important part in furthering the development of
Latin literature, and in organizing the publishing machinery which
was thereafter to make it possible for Latin writers to secure some
remuneration for their labors. He seems, in fact, in every way to have
been a model publisher, and to have well deserved the honor of being
the first of his guild whose name has been preserved in the history of
Latin literature. While giving due credit to his wide-minded liberality
in his dealings with authors, and to his public-spirited expenditure in
behalf of literature, it is in order to bear in mind that with Atticus
publishing, while probably carried on with good business methods, was
rather a high-minded diversion than a money-making occupation. His
chief business was that of banking, in which he became very wealthy.
It is not so difficult to be a Mæcenas among publishers if one is only
a Mæcenas to begin with. It is probable from the little that can be
learned concerning the expenses of book-making and the possibilities
of book-selling, that the publishing interests of Atticus brought
him (as far at least as money is concerned) deficiencies instead
of profits, but he doubtless considered that he was, nevertheless,
a gainer by literature when he had taken into account at its full
value the friendship of Cicero. Among the earlier writings of Cicero
certainly published by Atticus were the _Letters_, the _De Oratore_,
the _Academic Discourses_, and the _Oration for Ligarius_.[156]

Cicero seems to have been especially well satisfied with the account
of sales rendered for this last, for he writes: “You have done so
well with my _Discourse for Ligarius_, that I propose hereafter to
place in your hands the sale of all my writings”--_Ligarianam præclare
vendidisti; posthac, quidquid scripsero, tibi præconium deferam_.[157]

Several pieces of information are given by this letter. It appears that
Cicero was in the habit of securing remuneration from the sale of his
published works, and that this remuneration was proportioned to the
extent of the sales, and must therefore have been in the shape either
of a royalty or of a share of the net profits. It is further clear from
the emphasis given to his decision that Atticus should publish his
future works, that some other publishing arrangements were within his
reach, and therefore that there were already other publishers whose
facilities were worth consideration in comparison with those of Atticus.

In this same letter Cicero tells his publishers that he has discovered
an error in this _Ligarian Oration_ (he had spoken of a certain
Corfidius who had been dead for some years as if he were still living),
and that before any more copies were sold, at least three of the
_librarii_ must be put to work to make the necessary correction, from
which it appears that the “remainder” of the edition comprised a good
many copies.

A passage in another letter shows that the ancient, like the modern,
publisher had to keep a record of complimentary copies given away under
instructions of the author, so as to avoid the risk of including these
among the copies accounted for as sold. “I am obliged to you,” writes
Cicero, “for sending me the work by Serapion. I have given orders that
the price of this should be paid to you at once, so that you should not
have it entered on your register of complimentary copies.”[158]

While the _De Oratore_ was in course of publication, Cicero discovered
that a quotation had been ascribed to Aristophanes which should
properly have been credited to Eupolis. Some copies had already been
sold, but Cicero begs Atticus to have the correction made in all the
copies remaining in the shop, and, as far as possible, to have the
buyers looked up so that their copies might also be corrected.

Simcox says that “Cicero’s smaller treatises, the _Lælius_ and the
_Cato_, were probably, like the _De Officiis_, based upon Greek works,
which he adapted with a well founded confidence that as a great writer
he could improve the style, and that a Roman of rank ought to be able
to improve the substance.”[159] The suggestion is interesting as
indicating a change in the mental attitude of a Roman writer towards
Greek literature.

Cicero used Atticus not only as a publisher but as a literary
counsellor and critic, and evidently placed great confidence in his
friend’s critical judgment. He speaks of waiting in apprehension
for the “crayon strokes” (across the papyrus sheets)--_Cerulas enim
tuas miniatas illas extimescebam._[160] Atticus criticises freely,
indicates misused words and erroneous historic references, and suggests

It seems evident, from the wording of certain references, that the
copies prepared for sale were usually at least themselves the property
of the bibliophile. Cicero speaks of _libri tui_,[162] and says also,
_illa quæ habes de Academicis_.[163] On the other hand, the author and
publisher, occasionally, at least, assumed equal shares of the cost
of the paper (papyrus). Cicero writes to Atticus, _quoniam impensam
fecimus in macrocolla, facile patior teneri_.[164] This share taken
by the author in the outlay in addition to his investment of literary
labor, may very properly have been taken into account in arriving at a
division of the profits, but we have no figures to show on what basis
such division was made. While the _Discourse on Ligarius_ produced,
as we have seen, a profit, the publication of the first series of
_Academic Discourses_ (_Academica Priora_) resulted in loss, and the
full amount of this loss appears to have been borne by the publisher.
Cicero, referring to the large portion of the edition remaining
unsold, writes, _tu illam jacturam feres æquo animo, quod illa, quæ
habes de Academicis, frustra descripta sunt; multo tamen hæc_ (_i.
e._, _academica posteriora_, the later or the revised series) _erunt
splendidiora, breviora, meliora_.[165] “You will bear the loss with
equanimity, since the copies that you have left on your hands of the
_Academic Discourses_ comprise in fact but a portion of the venture.
The revised editions of these will be more brilliant, more compact, and
in every way better.” Cicero wishes to show that this revision should
certainly prove popular and salable, and should more than make up the
loss incurred on the first edition.

Birt points out[166] the difference in the publishing arrangements
entered into by Cicero from those referred to by Martial. Cicero has
apparently a direct business interest in the continued sale of his
books, an interest, therefore, probably based upon a percentage.
Martial, on the other hand, appears to have accepted from the
publishers some round sum, a _præmium libellorum_, for each of his
several works, a sum which is evidently too small to make him happy.
On this ground he says it is, from a pecuniary point of view, a matter
of indifference to him whether his writings find few readers or
many--_Quid prodest? nescit sacculus ista meus._[167] Unfortunately no
catalogue or even partial list of the publishing ventures of Atticus
has been preserved, and the references in the letters of Cicero are
almost the sole source of information in regard to them. Cicero speaks
of the treatise of Aulus Hirtius upon Cato as one of the publications
of Atticus.[168] Birt finds record of the issue by him of a series
of carefully edited Greek classics (published in the original),
for the texts of which the trustworthy manuscripts of the Athenian
“calligrapher,” or copyist, Callinus were followed.[169] Birt is also
my authority for the conclusion that Atticus did not confine his book
business to his publishing house, but that he established retail shops,
_tabernarii_, in different quarters of Rome, and possibly also in one
or two of the great provincial capitals.[170]

While no publisher of the time occupied any such prominent position in
the world of letters as Atticus, it seems evident from the references
made by Roman authors to the arrangements for the sale of their books,
that other publishing concerns already existed in Rome, although no
other names have been preserved. It is probable that no one of his
contemporaries possessed the exceptional advantages afforded by the
wealth of Atticus in carrying on literary undertakings of uncertain
business value, and it is probable also that the competition of a
publisher to whom the financial result of his venture was a matter of
small importance, must frequently have been perplexing to the dealers
whose capital was limited and whose income was dependent upon their
publishing business. In fact, the exceptional business methods of
Atticus may easily for a time have discouraged or rendered difficult
the development on sound business foundations of publishing in Rome.

Important as the undertakings of Atticus unquestionably were for the
furthering of the production and the distribution of literature, in
Rome, we should have known practically nothing concerning his work
as a publisher if it were not for the fortunate preservation of the
series of letters written to him by Cicero. If these letters had been
destroyed, the name of Atticus would have come into the history of
his time only as that of a rich banker and a public-spirited citizen.
The honorable friendship between this old-time publisher and his most
important author was of service to literature in more ways than one.
Other Roman publishers of greater importance must have taken up the
work of Atticus, but no similar series of letters has been preserved
to commemorate their virtues and their services. Boissier[171] is of
opinion that Tiro acted as publisher for certain of Cicero’s writings;
he uses the phrase _Tiron et Atticus, les deux éditeurs de Cicéron_.
The evidences, however, concerning Tiro’s career as a publisher do
not appear to be conclusive. Tiro was a favorite slave of Cicero, a
Greek by birth, and evidently a man of education. He served as Cicero’s
secretary, and, as the correspondence shows, was regarded by his master
as a valued friend. As secretary, he unquestionably had during Cicero’s
lifetime a full share of responsibility in preparing Cicero’s writings
for publication, and after the death of his master he appears to have
acted as a kind of literary executor.

It is probably to this class of service that Quintilian referred when
he spoke of him as the compiler and publisher of the writings of Marcus
Tullius.[172] Gellius, in quoting the fifth oration against Verres,
speaks of the edition or the “book” as one of accepted authority,
prepared under the supervision and personal knowledge of Tiro.[173]

Haenny is of opinion that Tiro never had any publishing business,
but that his services were simply those first of a secretary and
later of an editor and literary executor. Seneca is authority for the
statement that after the death of Cicero his works and the right to
their continued publication were bought from Atticus by the bookseller
Dorus;[174] see also Birt.[175] This same Dorus was, says Seneca, the
publisher of the history of Livy: _Sic potest T. Livius a Doro accipere
aut emere libros suos_.

The writings of Catullus and the famous treatise on the _Nature of
Things_ of Lucretius were the most important of the works published
between 75 and 50 B.C. during the time of Cicero’s correspondence
with Atticus. Lucretius appears to have had little personal vanity
concerning his work, which did not appear until after his death. It is
probable, but not certain, that the former was issued by Atticus.

Géraud says that there were at this time in Rome a large number of
public writers, or professional copyists (_librarii_), who devoted
themselves to transcribing for sale the older classics, and who also
took commissions from authors for the production of small editions of
volumes prepared for private circulation.[176] Their work might in
fact be compared to that of the typewriters of to-day, whose signs are
multiplying in all our large cities. These “writers” were principally
Greeks, and it was probably for this cause that their Latin work not
infrequently evoked criticism. Cicero, writing to his brother Quintus,
concerning some Latin books which Quintus had asked him to purchase,
says it was difficult to know where to go for these, because most of
the texts offered for sale were so bad--_ita mendose et scribuntur et

These _librarii_ took upon themselves the work not only of transcribing
but of binding and decorating the covers of the books sold by them. The
contrast between a scribe of this kind, working at bookmaking in his
stall like a cobbler making shoes, and the great establishment of the
banker-publisher Atticus, must have been marked enough.

    _Non modo hoc tibi, salse, sic abibit;
    Nam, si luxerit, ad librariorum
    Curram scrinia, Cæsios, Aquinos
    Suffenum, omnia colligam venena,
    Ac te his suppliciis remunerabor._[178]

Atticus died, full of years and honors, in the year 32 B.C. If he
had only had the consideration to leave some memoirs for posterity,
we should have much more satisfactory knowledge than is now possible
concerning the relations of Roman authors with their publishers and
with the public during the first century before Christ. We have not
even, however, any of his letters to Cicero, letters which would of
course have had a special interest in making clear the nature of his
publishing arrangements with his authors.

In the year 48 B.C. appeared a work whose vitality has proved
exceptional, and which, thanks to the school-boys, is to-day, nineteen
hundred years after the death of its author, in continued demand. I
refer to Cæsar’s _Commentaries on the Gallic Wars_. This book could
certainly have been made a magnificent “property” for its author, but
as he was literally intent upon “wanting the earth,” the ownership
of one book was hardly worth any special thought. As a fact, we have
no details whatever of Cæsar’s publishing arrangements, although we
do know that by means of some distributing machinery copies of the
_Commentaries_ speedily reached the farthest (civilized) corners of the
Roman dominion.

Virgil’s _Æneid_ was, we are told, given to the world through Varius
and Tucca, about 18 B.C. The sixth book was read to Augustus and Livia
in 22, the year of the death of Marcellus. The publication of the
_Æneid_ took place at a time when the machinery for the production and
distribution of books was beginning to be adequately organized. It
seems evident that it was only after the institution of the Empire that
the publishers of Rome were in a position to reach with their editions
any wide public outside of Rome and the principal cities of Italy.

About the year 40 B.C. the poet Horace, then twenty-five years old,
came to Rome with the hope, as he states, of obtaining a living through
literature. His estate at Venusia had been confiscated, owing to his
having borne arms at Philippi on the defeated side, and he was now
dependent upon his own exertions.[179] He found at Rome a literary
circle of growing importance. It was the beginning of the Augustan
age, and literature was the fashion with the court circles of the new
Empire, and therefore with the society leaders who took the court
fashions for their model. Through the kindness of Virgil, the young
poet was introduced to Mæcenas, the wealthy statesman whose princely
patronage of literature has become proverbial.

The liberality of Mæcenas supplied the immediate needs of the poet, and
he appears never to have had an opportunity of finding out whether,
apart from the aid of patronage, he could actually have supported
himself through the sale of his poems. In fact, a little later, when
for a time at least he possesses, through the friendship of Mæcenas,
an assured income he appears to have taken the position of refusing to
permit his books to be sold, and of writing only for the perusal of his

His first expectancy, however, in regard to the possibilities of a
literary career, give grounds for the belief that at the time of the
beginning of the Empire the publishing machinery of the capital was
already adequately organized, and that the writers whom Horace found in
Rome, including Virgil, Tibullus, Propertius, Varius, Valgius, and many
others, were securing, apart from the gifts of the emperor or of other
patrons of literature, some compensation from the reading public. On
this point, however, Horace has himself given other evidence, which, if
somewhat unsatisfactory concerning the matter of author’s compensation,
is at least clear as to the existence of machinery for the making and
distributing of books, and which also indicates that his resolution not
to offer his books for sale had not been adhered to. He refers to the
brothers Sosii as his publishers, and complains that while his works
brought gold to them, for their author they earned only fame in distant
lands and with posterity.

    _Hic meret æra liber Sosiis, hic et mare transit,
    Et longum noto scriptori prorogat ævum._[181]

A complaint so worded is of course perfectly compatible with the
existence of a publishing arrangement under which Horace was to
receive an author’s share of any profits accruing. Precisely similar
complaints are frequent enough to-day when all new books are issued
under the protection of domestic copyright and under publishing
agreements, and while sometimes an indication that the publisher has
managed to secure more than his share of the proceeds of literary
labor, they are much more frequently simply the expression of the
difference between the author’s large expectations concerning the
public demand for his books and the actual extent of such demand.

If publishing statistics could be brought into print, they would show
numberless instances in which the author’s calculations concerning the
number of copies of their books which the public “could be depended
upon” to call for, or “must certainly have called for,” were as much
out of the way as have been the estimates of defeated generals as to
the numbers of the forces by which they had been overwhelmed. It is
certainly to be regretted that the brothers Sosii have not left us
some records from which could be gathered their side of the story
of their dealings with the court poet. There are instances in later
times of firms which have found the honor of being publishers for a
poet-laureate bringing more prestige than profit.

The shop of the Sosii was in the _Vicus Tuscus_, near the entrance to
the temple of Janus. In the first book of Horace’s _Epistles_ we find
the lines:

    _Vertumnum Janumque, liber, spectare videris,
    Scilicet ut prostes Sosiorum pumice mundus._[182]

Horace finds occasion to inveigh against plagiarists as well as against
publishers, and here his indignation is probably better founded. The
literature of Rome was, as before pointed out, based on a long series
of “appropriations” and adaptations from the Greeks, and the habit,
thus early initiated, doubtless became pretty deeply rooted. Virgil

    _Hos ego versiculos feci; tulit alter honores,
    Sic vos non vobis nidificatis aves._[183]

Horace writes:[184]

    _O imitatores, servum pecus ut mihi sæpe,
    Bilem, sæpe jocum vestri movere tumultus._

It seems probable that by this stage in the development of literature,
the indignation of an author against plagiarists was not merely on the
ground of interference with literary prestige or of the wrongfulness of
a writer’s securing honor falsely, but because plagiarism might involve
an actual injury to literary property. The first application to
literary theft of the term _plagium_ (from which is derived the French
_plagiaire_ and the English “plagiarism”), was made by Martial. In the
legal terminology of Rome, _plagium_ was used to designate the crime of
man-stealing, and a _plagiarius_ was one who stole from another a slave
or a child, or who undertook to buy or to sell into slavery one who
was legally free. The use of so strong a term to characterize literary
“appropriations” is sufficient evidence of the opinion of Martial that
such a proceeding was a crime. Martial’s word has been adopted, but
later generations of writers do not appear to have fully accepted his
views of the criminal nature of the practice.[185]

Simcox is of opinion[186] that the poets of the Augustan age certainly
expected to make a certain profit by the sale of their books. They also
had expectations of profiting by the gifts of the emperor or of other
rich patrons of literature, but there must have been not a few writers
who were not fortunate enough to secure the favor either of the court
or of the grandees who followed the fashion of the court, and to whom
the receipts from the booksellers would have been a matter of no little
importance and might frequently have provided only the means for
continued sojourn in the capital. It could only have been the receipts
from sales that Horace had in mind when he wrote that mediocrity in
poets is intolerable, not only to gods and men, but to booksellers, as
if to the poets the approval of the booksellers was of more importance
than that of either the gods or their fellow-men.[187] It would seem as
if either the gods or the publishers must have been too lenient during
the past eighteen centuries in their treatment of the poets, for the
amount of mediocre verse turned out from year to year is certainly no
smaller, considered in proportion to the entire mass of poetry, than it
was in the days of Horace.

The scanty references which can be traced in Latin literature of
the first century to the relations of authors with the book-trade
appear, as might be expected, almost exclusively in the writings of
the society poets. In such chronicles as those of Sallust and Livy,
narratives written for other purposes than for literary prestige or
for bookselling profits, and which had perhaps almost as much to do
with the politics of the day (“present history”) as with the history of
the State (“past politics”), there was naturally no place for such an
insignificant detail as the arrangements of the authors for placing
their books upon the market. References to booksellers would have been
equally out of place in such a national epic as the _Æneid_ or a great
didactic poem like the _Georgics_.

What little is known, therefore, concerning the bookselling methods of
the time must be gathered from the casual allusions found in the verses
of such writers as Horace, Ovid, Juvenal, and Martial, and particularly
of the last-named.

When (about 7 A.D.) Ovid was banished by the aged Augustus to Tomi,
a dreary frontier town somewhere near the mouth of the Danube, he
complains that he finds there no libraries, no booksellers. He is
surrounded by the din of weapons and the tedious talk of soldiers. He
has no single associate who is interested in literature, or whose taste
or judgment he could call upon for literary counsel.

    _Non hic librorum, per quos inviter alarque,
    Copia; pro libris arcus et arma sonant,
    Nullus in hac terra, recitem si carmina, cujus
    Intellecturis auribus utar, adest._

From expressions like these, one can gather an impression of the
circles the gay society poet had left behind him in his mourned-for
Rome--the libraries and book-shops, where he could always find
literary friends to whose appreciative criticism he could submit his
latest lines. The picture recalls the literary resorts of London in the
time of Wycherley and Congreve.

Ovid sends one of his productions to a friend in Rome, whom he requests
to supervise its publication. He writes:

“O thou who art an instructor and a priest among the learned! I commend
to your care this my offspring. Bereft of its parent (an exile), it
must place its dependence upon you its guardian. Three of my (literary)
progeny have preceded this. See that my future productions are given to
the world through yourself.”[188]

Martial presents himself to the public with a cordial appreciation of
his own merits:

    _Hic is quem legis ille, quem requiris,
    Toto notus in orbe Martialis
    Argutis epigrammaton libellis._[189]

“This is he whom you read and whom you seek--Martial, famous throughout
the world for his brilliant volumes of epigrams.” He goes on to say:

    _Ne tamen ignores ubi sim venalis, et erres
    Urbe vagus tota, me duce certus eris._[190]

“Lest, however, you should perchance not know where I am for sale, and
should go astray and wander over the whole city, you shall be made sure
of your way by my directions.” He then adds the direction:

    _Libertum docti Lucensis quære Secundum
    Limina post Pacis Palladiumque forum._

“Look for Secundus, the freedman of the learned citizen Lucensis, (you
will find him) behind the threshold of Pax and the forum of Pallas.”

Secundus appears to have been the Tauchnitz of his day, and to have
prepared editions in compact form for travellers:

    _Qui tecum cupis esse meos ubicunque libellos
    Et comites longæ quæris habere viæ,
    Hos eme, quos arctat brevibus membrana tabellis._

“You who desire to have my books with you wherever you are, and to make
them the companions of your long journeys, buy those which have been
put up in compact form” (literally, “which the parchment compresses
into small pages”).

Martial was apparently a chronic grumbler, and the record of his
various complaints about his publishers and his public has been of
not a little service in throwing light upon certain details of the
publishing methods of his time. He was evidently one of the writers
who kept a close watch on the receipts from the sales of his books.
He maintained that a poet was perfectly justified in refusing to give
presentation copies, because these interfered with the receipts from
his booksellers.

He writes, for instance, to his friend Lupercus:

    _Occurris quotiens, Luperce nobis
    Vis mittam puerum, subinde dicis,
    Cui tradas epigrammaton libellum
    Lectum quem tibi protinus remittam?
    Non est quod puerum, Luperce, vexes.
    Longum est, si velit ad Pyrum venire,
    Et scalis habito tribus, sed altis.
    Quod quæris proprius petas licebit;
    Argi nempe soles subire letum.
    Contra Cæsaris est forum taberna
    Scriptis postibus hinc et inde totis,
    Omnes ut cito perlegas poetas.--
    Illinc me pete; nec roges Atrectum,
    (Hoc nomen dominus gerit tabernæ);
    De primo dabit, alterove nido
    Rasum pumice purpuraque cultum,
    Denariis tibi quinque Martialem.
    “Tanti non es,” ais! Sapis, Luperce._[191]

    “Every time you meet me, Lupercus, you say something about sending
    a slave to my house to borrow a volume of my Epigrams. Do not give
    your slave the trouble. It is a long distance to my part of the
    city, and my rooms are high up on the third story. You can get
    what you want close to your abode. You often visit the quarter of
    the Argiletum. You will find there, near the Square of Cæsar, a
    shop the doors of which are covered on both sides with the names
    of poets, so arranged that you can at a glance run over the list.
    Enter there and mention my name. Without waiting to be asked
    twice, Atrectus, the master of the shop, will take from his first
    or second shelf a copy of Martial, well finished, and beautifully
    bound with a purple cover, and this he will give you in exchange
    for five deniers. What! Do you say it is not worth the price? O
    wise Lupercus!”

Martial takes occasion to recommend to another acquaintance (but on
an entirely different ground) the propriety of purchasing rather than
appropriating his productions.

He writes to a certain Fidentinus:

    _Fama refert nostros te, Fidentine, libellos
    Non aliter populo quam recitare tuos.
    Si mea vis dici, gratis tibi carmina mittam,
    Si dici tua vis, haec eme, ne mea sint._[192]

    “It is said, Fidentinus, that in reciting my verses you always
    speak of them as your own. If you are willing to credit them to
    me, I will send them to you gratis. If, however, you wish to have
    them called your verses, you had better buy them, when they will no
    longer belong to me.”

It is possible that Martial intends by this to suggest to Fidentinus
the purchase of the author’s “rights” in these verses, “‘rights,’ which
he was willing to sell for a price.” It is more probable, however, that
he wanted to shame the plagiarist at least into the buying of some

Martial writes in a similar strain to Quintus:

    _Exigis ut donem nostros tibi, Quinte, libellos.
    Non habeo; sed habet bibliopola Tryphon.
    Æs dabo pro nugis et emam tua carmina sanus?
    Non, inquis, faciam tam fatue. Nec ego._[193]

    “You ask, Quintus, that I shall make you a present of my poems.
    I, myself, have no copies, but the bookseller Tryphon has some.
    You may say to yourself, ‘Shall I give money for such trifles?’
    ‘Shall I, being of sound mind, buy your verses?’ ‘No, indeed,’ you
    conclude, ‘I will commit no such folly.’ Neither, then, will I.”

It was Martial’s idea that the proper use of presentation copies
was not for needy friends but for influential patrons, from whom
substantial acknowledgments could be looked for in the shape of
_honoraria_. He begs the court chamberlain, Parthenius, to bring his
modest little book (_timida brevisque charta_) to the attention of the
Emperor.[194] He asks Faustinus to give a copy to Marcellinus,[195] and
begs Rufus to present two copies to Venulejus.[196]

The hopes of the author in connection with these presentation copies
are indicated by such lines as the following:

    _Editur en sextus sine te mihi Rufe Camoni,
    Nec te lectorem sperat, amice, liber._[197]

Or by these:

    _O quantum tibi nominis paratur
    O quæ gloria! quam frequens amator!
    Te convivia, te forum sonabit,
    Ædes, compita, porticus, tabernæ,
    Uni mitteris, omnibus legeris._

It is evident that a book frequently secured through such personal
distribution on the part of the author a certain circulation and
publication before copies were placed upon the bookstands, or before
it was given into the hands of any bookseller acting as its publisher.
Haenny is of opinion that the anxiety of authors like Martial to come
into relations with patrons and to secure from them _honoraria_ may
be taken as indicating that they could depend upon no receipts from
the booksellers. It seems to me that another interpretation is equally
plausible. We find an author like Martial needy, eager for money,
taking pains to cultivate the favor of the wealthy and the influential
in the hopes of securing benefits at their hands. We find him also
doing all in his power to push the sale of his books through the
booksellers, telling the public where to go and how much they will have
to pay, himself writing the publishing announcements of his new books,
and in every way evincing the keenest interest in the sales secured for
them. It seems natural enough to conclude that he derived a direct
business advantage from these sales, and such a conclusion is in accord
with what we know of the character of the man, and is borne out by
various references in his writings.

In one epigram[198] Martial laments that no one of his readers has
felt moved, in return for the gratification secured from his writings,
to make him a present such as Virgil received from Mæcenas: _tantum
gratis pagina nostra placet_, an expression which has been interpreted
as indicating that this author received no return either direct or
indirect from those buying his books. In another utterance, however, he
mourns his loss of receipts when for a long time he has published no
new thing, but even then he considers that the loss to the public has
been much more serious.[199]

In thus speaking of his indifference to the number of his readers, he
appears to have either forgotten, or as a matter of affectation to have
ignored, the fact that while a large sale for a particular book already
paid for by the publisher, could not increase the author’s gains for
that particular work, it would certainly put him in a position to
secure a higher price from the publisher for his next similar work.

In this way the author would have a very direct pecuniary interest in
securing the largest possible number of readers even for books which
had been purchased outright by the publisher.

A. Schmidt is one of the students of the subject who believes there
is evidence to show that, according to the usual practice, the author
received compensation from the publisher not in the form of a royalty,
but as an advance payment on the delivery of the manuscript or on the
publication of the book.[200]

Among other quotations he cites the following:

    _Quamvis tam longo possis satur esse libello,
    Lector, adhuc a me disticha pauca petis,
    Sed Lupus usuram puerique diaria poscunt,
    Lector, solve. Taces, dissimulasque? Vale._

The reader, however much pleased with the poem given, is supposed to be
expecting a few additional verses; but the usurer Lupus is calling upon
the poet for his money, and the poet’s children are crying for bread.
(Therefore) O reader, make payment (to me, in need, from whom you have
received benefit). (What!) You make no response. You pretend (not to
understand). Farewell!--(“I have no use for you,” would be the modern

The passage presents difficulties, and has been variously interpreted.
Schmidt reads for “_solve_” “_salve_.” I base my reading on the text
given by Haenny.

In another epigram he notes that the edition of his _Xenii_ could be
bought from his publisher, Tryphon, for four sesterces (the equivalent
of about twelve and a half cents).

He grumbles at the price as being too high, contending that Tryphon
could have secured a fair profit from half the amount. He adds: “These
verses, O reader, you will, however, find convenient for presents for
your friends, at least if your purse is as scantily furnished as is my

    _Omnis in hoc gracili xeniorum turba libello
    Constabit nummis quatuor empta tibi.
    Quatuor est nimium? poterit constare duobus,
    Et faciet lucrum bibliopola Tryphon.
    Hæc licet hospitibus pro munere disticha mittas,
    Si tibi tam rarus quam mihi nummus erit._[201]
    _Nulla remisisti parvo pro munere dona,_

           *       *       *       *       *

    _Decipies alios verbis vultuque benigno,
    Nam mihi jam notus dissimulator eris._[202]

Here we have a reproach (which may also serve as a suggestion) to
the reader. “You have sent me no gift [or _honorarium_] as an
acknowledgment [of the pleasure given to you]. Others may be deceived
by your words and your smiling countenance [into believing you to be
a fair-minded man who would recognize his obligations]. To me it is
evident you are a dissembler.” (The term is apparently used here to
describe one shirking an obligation).

Martial is quite clear in his mind that no one who has read his
productions and has not felt an indebtedness to their author, and who
has not taken measures to discharge the same, can be an honorable man.

    _Et tantum gratis pagina nostra placet._[203]

“My book gives so much pleasure at no cost” (to the receiver).

    _Dicitur et nostros cantare Britannia versus.
    Quid prodest? nescit sacculus ista meus._[204]

“It is said that (even in distant) Britain my verses are sung. What
advantage is that? [to me]. My purse knows nothing of it.”

Such a complaint may be interpreted in one of several ways. The author
may have had payment for his Italian editions, but have been unable
to exercise control over unauthorized issues of his books in distant
parts of the empire; or he may have sold to his distributing publisher,
Tryphon, all rights in the verses, in which case the direct advantage
of extended sales would accrue only to the publisher; or there may have
been no actual sales in Britain, but single copies carried by officers
or travellers may have found their way there, and their presence,
referred to in correspondence or by returning travellers, have given to
the author the impression that a large reading public in the far north
was appreciating his poetry. A very slight reference would serve to
excite the imagination of so self-confident an author as Martial.

Martial seems to have been in the habit, not unknown to modern writers,
and particularly to English writers, of pitting one publisher against
another, in order to secure the largest bid for a new work. At one time
he had no less than four publishers in charge of the sale of his works,
Tryphon, Atrectus, Polius, and Secundus.

The last named issued a special pocket edition of the _Epigrams_.

Atrectus, Secundus, and Tryphon have already been referred to. To the
fourth, Quintus Valerianus Polius, had it seems been given over the
earlier productions of the poet, which he terms his _juvenilia_. He
commends Polius to the reading public in the following lines:

    _Quæcunque lusi juvenis et puer quondam
    Apinasque nostras, quas nec ipse jam novi
    Male collocare si bonas voles horas
    Et invidebis otio tuo, lector,
    A Valeriano Polio petes Quinto,
    Per quem perire non licet meis nugis._[205]

“The trifles that I scribbled in the callow days of my youth,
productions which I myself hardly remember, these you may secure (if
you have a grudge against your leisure and are willing to waste a few
hours) from Polius, through whose care my trifles are preserved from

It seems probable that Atrectus gave special attention to the more
elaborate and artistic editions, such as are to-day rather clumsily
described as _editions de luxe_. It is in his shop that the volumes
are to be found with the ornate purple covers. As far as can be judged
from the references, Atrectus, Polius, and Secundus had simply a
local trade. Tryphon, on the other hand, we know to have possessed a
publishing and distributing machinery. As Haenny remarks, it was no
small matter to provide with Martial’s writings not only Rome, but
Italy, the provinces, and the outlying corners of the empire. While
he was still a beginner in literature, Martial had to be satisfied
with the services of Polius, who continued later to keep in sale
the _juvenilia_. It was only after the poet had become known in the
fashionable literary world that he was able to secure the co-operation
of a leading publisher like Tryphon.

If we were to-day referring to such a publishing relation, we should
speak of securing the imprint of the publisher. As has been explained,
however, the practice of associating with a work the name of its
publisher began with printed books. The Roman publisher sent out his
manuscript copies with no indication of the address of the shop in
which they had been prepared.

The poet tells us that he prepared the advertisements for the
booksellers, putting these in the form of epigrams, but not neglecting
to specify the form and price of each book as well as the place where
it was offered for sale.

    _Qui tecum cupis esse meos ubicunque libellos,
    Et comites longæ quæris habere viæ,
    Hos eme quos arctat brevibus membrana tabellis;
    Scrinia da magnis, me manus una capit._
    _Libertum docti Lucensis quære Secundum
    Limina post Pacis, Palladiumque forum._[206]

The idea of an epigrammatic advertisement recalls the announcement
(identical with the rhyming title-page) of the first edition of
Lowell’s _Fable for Critics_.

    “Reader! Walk up at once (it will soon be too late) and buy at a
             perfectly ruinous rate,
        A Fable For Critics, or better
    (I like, as a thing that the reader’s first fancy may strike,
         an old-fashioned title-page, such as presents
    a tabular view of the volume’s contents),
    A glance at a few of our Literary progenies
              (Mrs. Malaprop’s word)
    From the tub of Diogenes,
    A vocal and musical medley, that is
    A series of Jokes by a Wonderful Quiz,
    Who accompanies himself with a rub-a-dub-dub,
    Full of spirit and grace, on the top of the tub.
    Set forth in October, the 21st day,
    In the year ’48, G. P. Putnam, Broadway.”

It is a pity that one of Martial’s advertisements could not have
been preserved to compare with the above, which strikes one as quite
Martialesque in its general style.

According to Schmidt,[207] Martial’s activities in connection with
the sale of his books did not end even with the preparation of the
advertisements. In certain cases he was himself engaged in finding
buyers for copies. It is probable that such author’s copies formed
part of the compensation paid by the publisher for the manuscript,
and while by the wealthier authors these would be bestowed “with
compliments” upon their friends, the needy writers like Martial would
be compelled to turn them into cash. In the eighteenth century in
London we find a similar condition of things in the accounts of what
was then called publishing “by subscription,” when the needy author
would, with his hat in one hand and his subscription list in the other,
wait upon his “gracious patron” in expectation of an order for so many
copies of his new volume at a guinea or more each.

In spite of the careful training given to their copyists by a few
high-class publishers like Atticus, the complaints of inaccurate and
slovenly texts, _libri mendosi_, were frequent. In order to be really
trustworthy, each individual copy of the edition ought, of course, to
have been carefully collated with and read verbatim by the original,
but for an edition of any size, prepared as rapidly as we are told some
of them were, such thorough verification was of course impracticable.
Martial states[208] that a poem of his (we infer that he means an
edition of the poem), comprising 540 lines, had been produced in one
hour, _hæc una peragit hora nec tantum nugis serviet ille meis_. Such
work would of course have been done by employing one or more readers to
dictate to a number of copyists. The number of copies in the edition is
not stated. It could only have been on rare occasions that the author
himself would undertake to correct the copies. Martial speaks of doing
such correcting work in an exceptional case.[209]

Cicero was evidently exacting concerning the accuracy of his copies.
He tells Atticus that by no means must any copies of the treatise _De
Officiis_ be allowed to go out until they had been carefully corrected.

We find an occasional reference to a “press-corrector” known to Atticus
and Cicero by his Greek name Διορθωτήρ. As the author, except in rare
cases, did not get his manuscript again into his hands after this had
gone to his publisher, and saw his work again only when the edition was
completed and about to be distributed, he was saved from the temptation
to make “betterments” by omissions or additions. All such revision
he had attended to with due care before handing over his manuscript
as “ready for publication,” and authors and publishers of classic
times were thus saved the vexation of “extra corrections,” which so
frequently forms a serious addition to the expense account and to the
annoyance account of modern book-making.

The risks of errors in the transcription must certainly have been
materially increased if in the larger publishing establishments the
practice was followed of writing from dictation, one “reader” supplying
simultaneous “copy” to a number of scribes. It seems probable that in
no other way would it have been practicable to produce with sufficient
speed and economy the editions required, and I find myself in accord
with Birt in the conclusion that dictating was the method generally
followed, at least in the more important establishments and for the
larger editions. The scribes must of necessity have had a scholarly
training, and ought also to have possessed some familiarity with the
texts to which they were listening; while with the most skilful and
scholarly scribes a careful revision of their copies would have been

Haenny is of opinion that dictation was rarely if ever employed. He
lays stress on the fact that the term employed by Cicero in referring
to the multiplication of copies was _describere_, and he contends that
this stands simply for copying and cannot be translated as writing from

One indication of the size of the editions prepared of new books
is given in the many references to the various uses found for the
“remainders” or unsold copies. The most frequent fate of unsuccessful
poetry was for the wrapping of fish and groceries, while large supplies
of surplus stock found their way from the booksellers to the fires
of the public baths.[211] Cooks also were large buyers of remainders
of editions. An author who was voluminous and who had not been able
to secure a publisher, might even, as the wags suggested, find it
convenient to be burned upon a pile of his own manuscripts. It is
evident that in these earlier days of publishing it was no easier than
at present for authors or publishers to calculate with accuracy the
extent of the public interest in their productions, while it is also
probable that then as now an author would rather pay for the making of
an abundant supply than incur the dreadful risk of not having enough
copies to meet the immediate demand.

While the Augustan age witnessed a decided development in the literary
interests of the Roman community, and while the organization of
such bookselling establishments as those of Atticus, Tryphon, and
the Sosii gave to authors the needed machinery for bringing their
writings before the public, it is probable that for the larger number
of the writers of the time the receipts from the books were very

As before pointed out, question has in fact been raised by more than
one student of the subject as to whether the Roman authors secured
from the sales of their books any money return at all. Of the writers
who find no satisfactory evidence for such returns, Haenny is by far
the most important. I am myself, however, inclined to accept the
conclusions of Birt, Schmitz, Géraud, and others to the effect that
Roman authors, from the time of Cæsar down, were able to secure from
the publishers or booksellers through whom their books were sold some
portion of the proceeds of such sales. The absence of any protection
under the law for either author or publisher, the competition of
unauthorized editions, the competition (of a different kind) of books
published solely for the amusement or the literary satisfaction of
their wealthy or fashionable authors, and written without any desire
for money return, and the lack of adequate publishing and distributing
machinery, unquestionably all operated to make the compensation of
such Roman authors as, like Martial, needed the money, fragmentary,
uncertain, and at best but inconsiderable. The weight of the
evidence, however, seems to me certainly to favor the conclusion that
compensation there was, and that it served as one of the inducements
for authorship as a career (or as a partial occupation), and served
also to attract to the capital (where alone publishing facilities could
be secured) literary aspirants from the rest of Italy and from the
provinces. Schmitz gives his views as follows[212]:

_Mihi quoque persuasum est, plurimos auctores Romanos gloriæ tantum ac
honoris causa scripta sua bibliopolis divulganda tradidisse, quod tamen
non impedit, quominus illi interdum pretium a bibliopolis acceperint.
Et vere acceperunt._

In Rome, as centuries before in Greece, the compensation for
stage-rights and the rewards for playwrights were much more assured and
more satisfactory than any that could be secured by writers of books.
Comedy writers like Plautus and Terence were able to sell their plays
to the Ædiles. Haenny contends that the payments made by the Ædiles
ought not strictly to be described as given for the purchase of the
plays, but as a recognition on the part of the community, made through
its official representatives, of a service rendered--a recognition
that took the shape of an _honorarium_. I imagine the playwrights cared
very little what the arrangement was called as long as they got the
money. As a fact, however, it was the business of the Ædiles to provide
plays for the public theatres, and I do not see why the arrangements
made by them with Plautus and Terence did not constitute as definite
an acknowledgment on the part of the State of the rights of dramatic
authors as was the case with similar arrangements made fifteen hundred
years later with Molière or Beaumarchais by the State manager of the
Théâtre Français.

Schmitz goes on to say:

_Sin autem scripta ab auctoribus cuiusvis generis vendebantur, non
video cur non bibliopolæ quoque huic illive auctori pro scriptis certam
mercedem solverint._

Is it likely, he contends, that Plautus and Terence, having been paid
for their stage-rights (which they practically transferred or sold to
the State), would have been satisfied to hand over to the publishers,
without compensation, the book-rights of these same plays, the
popularity of which had already been tested?

It seems to me possible, however, that in this contention Schmitz
proves too much. The publisher might take the ground that a play which
had been paid for by the Ædiles for the public welfare had become
public property and belonged to the common domain, and that the author
had surrendered or assigned to the State such rights in it as he had
possessed. Such a theory would have given to the publisher a fair
pretext for declining to pay compensation or _honorarium_ for any play
that had already been paid for by the Ædiles.

A similar suggestion was made as late as 1892 in the case of the
official poems written by Tennyson as poet-laureate. It was contended
that the nation paid to the laureate an annual stipend as a specific
consideration for the production of poems on certain official
occasions, and that the poems thus paid for were the property of the
nation. This theory did not prevent the laureate from securing, first
from the publication in a monthly, and later from a reissue (with other
pieces) in book-form, a large compensation for his royal birthday
odes and jubilee hymns. I am inclined to think, however, that if the
question had been put to the test, the courts would have decided that
the copyright of these productions had become vested in the nation, and
that the poems belonged to the public domain.

In calling attention to the frequently quoted twenty-fourth epigram of
Martial, Schmitz says:

    _Quantulumcunque fuit, merebatur noster libellis suis et quum
    dona ab amicis non acciperet, mereri tantum potuit a bibliopolis,
    qui carmina sua vendebant.... Quæ sententia probatur alio loco
    Martialis, quo damnum se accepisse queritur, quum carmina non
    scripserit, doletque prope jam triginta diebus vix unam paginam
    peractam esse._

The epigram in question reads as follows:

    _Dum te prosequor et domum reduco,
    Aurem dum tibi præsto garrienti,
    Et quidquid loqueris facisque laudo,
    Quot versus poterant, Labulle, nasci?
    Hoc damnum tibi non videtur esse,
    Si quod Roma legit, requirit hospes,
    Non deridet eques, tenet senator,
    Laudat causidicus, poeta carpit,
    Propter te perit? Hoc, Labulle, verum est?
    Hoc quisquam ferat? ut tibi tuorum
    Sit major numerus togatulorum,
    Librorum mihi sit minor meorum?
    Triginta prope jam diebus una est
    Nobis pagina vix peracta. Sic fit,
    Cum cenare domi poeta non vult._

In translating, I attempt only to present the general purport.

    “During the time in which I am in your company, Labullus, and while
    escorting you homeward I am listening to your chattering, and am
    expected to give attention and praise to whatever you may be saying
    or doing, how many verses do you think could I have produced? Do
    you not realize how grievous a loss it is [to both author and
    public] that what Rome reads, what the stranger asks for, what the
    knight does not scorn, what the Senator cherishes as a possession,
    what the lawyer praises, what the poet eagerly seizes, that all
    this should perish [_i. e._, fail to come into existence], O
    Labullus, through your fault? Yet is not this the case? Is it a
    thing to be approved that simply to swell the number of your
    followers, my literary productions should be diminished? During a
    whole month I have hardly been able to complete a page. This is the
    inevitable result when the poet is tempted to dine away from home.”

The interpretation placed by Schmidt on these and similar verses,
that the _damnum_ stood for a pecuniary loss to the author, and that
productions which secured for themselves popular favor brought,
therefore, to their authors pecuniary gain, is upheld by Becker.
He maintains that authors were evidently attracted to Rome by the
prospects of such receipts, and that, to a considerable extent at
least, they depended upon the same for their support. “It is not easy
to believe,” Becker continues, “that a needy author like Martial,
always in want of money, would have been willing to permit Tryphon,
Secundus, and Polius to make profits out of his productions without
arranging to secure any portion of these profits for himself.”[213]
Birt, who, as we have before seen, is a firm believer in the conclusion
that Roman writers secured compensation for their work, is of opinion
that this compensation must usually have taken the shape of a
_præmium_, as Martial puts it, a round payment or _honorarium_, made
probably on the delivery of the manuscript, rather than that of a

One of Martial’s references to the customary _præmium_ occurs in
these verses.[215] The poet has been protesting against the weary and
unprofitable role of a client or follower. He asks that Rome may spare
him from any such thankless and trivial tasks as those which come upon
the weary “congratulator,” who, for his dreary service, earns through
the day at best but a hundred miserable pennies (_plumbeos_), while
Scorpus (the gladiator) carries off in an hour, as victor, fifteen
sacks of gleaming gold. Then follow the lines:

    _Non ego meorum præmium libellorum,
    (Quid enim merentur?) Appulos velim campos,
    Non Hybla, non me spicifer capit Nilus,
    Nec quæ paludes delicata Pomptinas
    Ex arce clivi spectat uva Setini.
    Quid concupiscam quæris ergo?--dormire._

“As a reward (_præmium_) for my books (for what, indeed, are they
worth?) I ask not for the Appulian fields; neither Hybla nor the
fruitful Nile attracts me, nor the luscious grapes which from the
Setian hillside hang over the Pontine marshes. You ask what do I then
desire; I reply--to sleep.”

These lines should, of course, be interpreted in connection with the
poet’s other utterances, which, as we have seen, are not marked by any
lack of appreciation of the importance of his literary productions.
It seems probable that the query, “what, indeed, are they worth?” is
meant as a mere _façon de parler_, and is intended to be answered
with a full appreciation of the inestimable value of his poems to the
reader and to the community. I judge further that the poet in naming
the attractive things of this world which he would _not_ demand as
his reward, while, of course, speaking with a certain hyperbole of
phrase, is at the same time making a kind of undercurrent of suggestion
that fruitful hillsides, or even great provinces, would not, in fact,
be a disproportioned reward for talents and services like his. The
lines remind one of what Dickens (in his sketch of the election of a
beadle) describes as the “great negative style” of oratory. “I will not
speak of his valiant services in the militia, I will not refer to his
charming wife and nine children, two at the breast,” etc. The important
detail in the lines, however, for our present purpose is the reference
to a _præmium_ or compensation of some kind or amount as naturally
to be looked for and to be depended upon for successful literary
production. Taking this reference in connection with others of similar
purport, it is, I think, safe to conclude that, notwithstanding the
lack of protection of the law, Martial and other writers of his time
who were not too rich to require such earnings or too proud to demand
them, earned money with their pens, or rather with their _styli_.

I add references to a few other instances of payments or returns to

One of the earliest is mentioned by Suetonius.[216] Pompilius
Andronicus, the grammarian, sold his treatise for 1600 sesterces.
This sale must have comprised the original manuscript, together with
such author’s and publishing “rights” as existed. The younger Pliny
is quoted by Birt[217]--as saying that Pliny the elder had, while in
Spain, declined an offer from a certain Lucinus of 40,000 sesterces
(about $1800.00) for his commentaries. Lucinus was not a publisher, but
apparently some enthusiastic admirer of the author.

In another epigram[218] Martial makes a curious slap at two
contemporary poets:

    _Vendunt carmina Gallus et Lupercus.
    Sanos, Classice, nunc nega poetas._

“Gallus and Lupercus sell their poetry. Now deny, O Classicus! that
they are real poets (or poets in their right minds, or poets of common

As Haenny suggests (citing Schrevel), no one dares to deny the sanity
of a poet who can get money for his productions, but one might question
the sanity of the publisher who pays the money.

Haenny thinks that Martial is sneering at the practice (unworthy of
poets) of writing for gain. Such a position seems to me entirely
inconsistent with Martial’s other expressions. It seems to me much
more likely that Martial is sneering at the idea that these particular
writers have produced any poems that are worth money. Lupercus is
probably the same person whom Martial rebuked for trying to secure his,
Martial’s, poems without paying for them.

In one epigram[219] Martial advises a friend, who comes to him for
counsel concerning a profession for his son, by no means to permit him
to become a poet. If the boy has money-making desires, let him learn to
play on the cithara or the flute. If he seems to have real capacity, he
might become a herald or an architect.

In another[220] he points out that no money can be obtained from Phœbus
or from Thessalian songs. It is Minerva who has wealth--she alone lends
money to the other gods. In a third[221] he complains that in writing
poetry he may give pleasure to his readers, but he does so at a serious
sacrifice to himself, for if he chose, in place of giving his time
to verses, to serve as an advocate, to sell his influence to anxious
defendants, his clients “would become his purse.” As it is, however, he
must console himself with the thought that his readers are benefited
although the poet works practically without recompense.

Later, the poet likens his literary work to a die or a cast from a
dice-box, the result of the labor being at best an uncertainty.[222]

It was through patronage that literature became remunerative, and
fortunately for the authors the patronage of literature became, under
Octavius, fashionable. I have already referred to the familiar name
of Mæcenas, whose influence in interesting his fellow-patricians and
the young Emperor in the literary productions of the capital was most
important. The fashion of patronage thus initiated continued to a
greater or less extent until the days of Hadrian. As Simcox expresses
it, the poets got into the habit of expecting to be treated “as
semi-sacred pensioners, as they have been at the courts of the princes
of the heroic age of Greece and Scandinavia--as they are still at the
courts of certain princes in India who trace their descent up to the
heroic age.”[223] In the age of Anne, English poets passed through a
somewhat similar experience, and during the reigns of the first two
Georges, they were not infrequently haunted by the same expectations.
The bitter line, as paraphrased by Johnson, after his experience with
Lord Chesterfield, commemorating the evil of the poet’s lot, has become

    “Age, envy, want, the patron and the jail.”

In Rome when, in the decline of the literary interests of the Court,
the hopes of patronage were finally abandoned, the profession of poetry
seems for a time to have been practically given up.

Juvenal takes as the subject of his seventh satire the poverty of
men of letters. He complains that the Emperor is their sole stay,
and that authors can make no money and have as a dependence only the
unprofitable patronage of the great. The poets who recite their verses,
the historians, the lawyers, the rhetoricians who act as instructors
for the young, are made to pass in turn before him, and of each the
condition arouses the compassion of his irritable muse. In this
satire we find references to the practice among poets of giving public
readings of their productions. “Macalonus will lend you his palace and
will provide some freedmen and some obliging friends to applaud. But
among all these, you will find no one who will furnish you with means
to pay either for seats in the parquet or orchestra, or even for places
in the gallery.”[224]

Or again, it is Statius who gives a reading of his Thebaïd.

    “All the city comes to hear the reading. The audience is
    enthusiastic and applauds vociferously. But Statius would have died
    of hunger if he had not been able to sell to the actor Paris his
    tragedy of _Agave_. Paris distributes military honors and puts on
    the fingers of poets the ring of knighthood. What the nobles do not
    give, an actor may bestow.”[225]

The author of the dialogue on the decadence of oratory (attributed
to Tacitus) makes mention also of these public lectures or readings,
and of what they cost to a certain Bassus, for hiring a hall, for
programmes, and for outlays in getting an audience together.

_Rogare ultro et ambire cogitur ut sint qui dignentur audire; et ne
id quidem gratis. Nam et domum mutuatur, et auditorium exstruit, et
subsellia conducit, et libellos dispergit._[226]

Apart from the use of authorship as a profession, it was of course
pursued by many as an agreeable means of beguiling leisure, the results
being harmless for posterity if not entirely so for the neighbors of
the writer. In this respect, Rome, in the third century, was not very
different from London or New York in the nineteenth. The _dilettante_
tragedian frequently restricted his literary ambition to securing
a hearing for his productions before an audience, whether public
or private, and did not venture to plan for his works any wider

There are not a few references to banquets at which the guests paid
for their dinners by listening, with due appreciation, to the latest
tragedy of their host.

In some instances at least the guests must have found occasion really
to value their literary as well as their gastronomic entertainment,
as not a few works which had been left by their authors uncopied and
uncared for, have been preserved for posterity only through the care of
admiring friends.

Donatus says that Virgil had planned before his death to burn his
_Æneid_, unwilling that it should be published without further
revision, and that the work was only saved by the commands of
Augustus.[227] Other writers, either by reason of dread of critical
opinion or from an extreme standard of thoroughness, kept their
manuscripts in their desks for a number of years after completing them.
As Catullus says, after publication there can be no thought of further
emendation. He speaks of one of Cinna’s volumes as given to the world
after the ninth winter (_edita nonam post hiemem_).[228]

This term of nine years happens to coincide with the advice of Horace,
that a literary work should be held back for nine years--_nonum
prematur in annum_,--for the word once published can never be

Pliny permitted his friend Saturninus to help him with the revision
of his _Schedulæ_, but is not even then assured that he will be
satisfied to permit them to come before the public: _Erit enim et post
emendationem liberum nobis vel publicare vel continere_--“and after
the revision of the books it still rested with us to decide whether to
publish them or to hold them back.”[230]

Fronto, who was tutor to Marcus Aurelius, had written a pamphlet
against a certain Asclepiodotus, and had arranged with a publisher for
the issue of an edition. Hearing later that Verus (the adopted son
of Antoninus Pius) was friendly to Asclepiodotus, he hastened to the
publisher’s office to cancel the publication, but finds, to his regret,
that he is too late, a number of copies having already gone out to the
public, _curavi quidem abolere orationem, sed jam pervaserat in manus
plurimum quam ut aboleri posset_.[231]

According to Birt,[232] the oldest book-shop--that is, retail
book-shop--known to have existed in Rome was that in which Clodius
hid himself (58 A.D.). Later, we find the stalls of the bibliopoles
placed in the most frequented quarters of the city, by the Janus Gate
of the Forum, by the Temple of Peace, on the _Argiletum_, in the
_Vicus Sandalarius_, and on the _Sigillaria_. Martial speaks in fact
of the street Argiletum as being chiefly occupied by booksellers, with
whom, curiously enough, he tells us, were associated the fashionable
tailors.[233] It would be pleasing to think that there was ever a time
or a city in which the buying of books was as much of a fashionable
diversion as the buying of clothes.

Both Horace and Martial speak of the book-shops as having become places
of resort where the more active-minded citizens got into the habit of
meeting to look over the literary novelties and to discuss the latest
gossip, literary or social. On the door-posts or on columns near the
entrance were placed the advertisements of recent publications and the
announcements of works in preparation. Martial gives us the description
as follows:

    _Contra Cæsaris est forum taberna
    Scriptis postibus hinc et inde totis,
    Omnes ut cito perlegas poetas._
    _De primo dabit alterove nido
    Rasum pumice purpuraque cultum
    Denariis tibi quinque Martialem._[234]

Birt finds evidences that before the close of the first century,
the book trade in Rome and through many portions of the Empire had
developed into large proportions. Each week the packets from Alexandria
brought into Rome great cargoes of papyrus from the paper-makers of
Alexandria. These papyrus rolls, first stored in the warehouses,
speedily find their way to the workrooms of the publishers, where
hundreds of skilled slaves follow with swift pens the rapid dictation
of the readers, who relieve each other from time to time. Others
occupy themselves with the work of comparison and revision, while a
third group, the _glutinatores_, cover the completed manuscripts with
appropriate bindings. In the book-shop, _taberna_, are attractively
presented for the attention of the scholars, the _dilettanti_, the real
collectors, and their fashionable imitators, the collections of the
accepted classics and of the latest literary novelties. Here a cheap
edition of the _Æneid_ is sold for school use for a few pennies; there
great sums are expended for a veritable “original” text of some work by
Demosthenes, Thucydides, Cato, or Lucilius[235]; while a third buyer is
placing a wholesale order for a “proper assortment” of literature to
serve as an adornment for a new villa.

From the Roman bibliopoles large shipments of books are also regularly
made to other cities, such as Brundisium, _fasces librorum venalium
expositos vidimus in Brundisio_,[236] or Lugdunum[237] (Lyons), or
Vienna (in Gaul).[238]

It seems also to have been the practice (which has not been abandoned
in modern times) to ship off to the provinces the over supplies or
“remainders” of editions of books which had in the capital gone out of
fashion. _Aut fugies Uticam aut vinctus mitteris Ilerdam._[239]

Notwithstanding this extreme activity of the business of making and
selling books, Birt is inclined to conclude that the lot of the poor
student must have been a difficult one.

Such libraries as existed in Rome and Italy had not been instituted
with reference to the work of students, as had been done with the
collections in Alexandria, and the Roman State appears in fact to have
given very little attention to the requirements of higher education.

An author, named Diogenian, writing in the time of Hadrian, undertook
to supply the needs of the impecunious student of philology, the πένης
πεπαιδευμένος of Lucian, with his book entitled περιεργοπένητες, which
was so comprehensive in its information as to enable its fortunate
owner to “do without any other work on its subject.”[240]

Birt concludes from certain references that the leading publishers
in Rome had during the beginning of the second century organized
themselves into an association for the better protection of their
interests in literary property, and that each member of such
association bound himself not to interfere with the undertakings
of his fellow-members. As Roman literature increased in commercial
importance, some such arrangement or undertaking was, of course,
indispensable, as in connection with the cheapening rates for the labor
of slave copyists, indiscriminate competition could only have resulted
in anarchy in the book-world, and have retarded indefinitely the
development of literature as a profession. Birt evidently had in mind
the existence of some such Publishers’ Commission as was instituted by
the book-trade of Leipsic in the 17th century, but it is not likely
that the Roman association succeeded in securing any such definite and
effective organization.

It is on record, however, that the publisher Tryphon claimed to
possess a legal control over the writings of Quintilian, while there
is, unfortunately, nothing to show by what means he was enabled to
retain such control.[241] Tryphon took credit to himself for having
persuaded the reluctant Quintilian to permit the publication of
certain works which would otherwise have been lost to posterity.[242]
Quintilian refers to Tryphon as a trusted friend, on whose judgment
he relied.[243] Tryphon was also one of the numerous publishers of

The name of the _librarius_ Dorus, mentioned by Seneca as a
contemporary of his own, is worthy of note because he was one of the
earliest buyers of publishing rights or copyrights. Seneca understands,
namely, that Dorus had purchased from the heirs of Atticus and from
those of Cicero the publishing rights and the “remainders” of the
editions of Cicero’s works.[245]

An ownership was claimed by the State in the Sibylline books, but this
was of course never exercised in the form of a publishing right. It is
related, however, that the duumvir Attilius suffered the punishment
of death, adjudged to a parricide, because, being charged with the
custody of the Sibylline books, he suffered Petronius Sabinus to copy
some portions of the same. This might be called an infringement of a
copyright vested in the State, but in the regard of the Roman law the
deed was evidently considered simply as a sacrilege.[246]

Suetonius relates, in his _Life of Domitian_, an instance in which
the Emperor administered, on the ground of certain objectionable
passages in a work of history, a penalty so severe that it is difficult
to accept the report as accurate. He says: _Hermogenem Tarsensem
occidit propter quasdam in historia figuras; librariis etiam qui eam
descripserant cruce fixis._ “He killed Hermogenes of Tarsus on account
of certain expressions in his history; even the booksellers who had
circulated the work were crucified.”[247]

If the account is correct, we have in this instance a very early
application of the present usage in regard to the circulation of
so-called “libellous” matter. The bookseller of to-day no longer
dreads capital punishment at the hands of an irate monarch, but it is
perfectly possible for him to be forced into bankruptcy through the
penalties collected on account of the circulation (however unwittingly)
of volumes containing statements called by the law “libellous.”

The principal customers of the booksellers were the schoolmasters
and the so-called “grammarians.” To these should be added, from the
beginning of the first century, an increasing number of libraries. The
first public library in Rome is said to have been founded as early as
167 B.C., but it was not until the reign of Augustus that the Roman
libraries became important and that in the other cities also libraries
were instituted.

There was a library attached to the temple of Apollo on the Palatine
hill in Rome, which Simcox refers to as an humble imitation of the
Museum of Alexandria, but I do not know the date of its founding. It
is noted of Tibullus, who was usually indifferent to fame, that he
consented to send to this library a copy of his collected writings, and
there are other references from which it appeared that, either from
public spirit or from a desire for public appreciation, authors made a
practice of presenting copies of their books to this Palatine library,
and that in this way a considerable collection was brought together,
of which the public had the benefit; but it is certain that there
was no municipal or imperial enactment prescribing such presentation
copies, and it does not appear that any of the emperors took any such
active interest in furthering the development of literature and of the
literary education of the public as had been shown by the Ptolemies of

In Rome there were, according to Birt, twenty-nine public libraries
founded between the reign of Augustus and that of Hadrian, while there
are various references to the public libraries of the smaller cities.
Aulus Gellius[248] speaks of the library in Tibur (the modern Tivoli)
_in Herculis Templo satis commode instructa libris_. Comum (the modern
Como) possessed a library given to it by Pliny.[249] The Roman Athens
had a public library connected with the College of the Ptolemies,
and the Emperor Hadrian founded a second.[250] Strabo speaks with
appreciation of the library of Smyrna.[251]

It appears probable that, at least for the first three or four
centuries after Christ, the larger proportion of the books contained
in the public libraries (as in the private collections) were in
Greek. Cicero speaks more than once of the fact that the Greek books
were comparatively plenty, while those in Latin were scarce.[252]
Juvenal’s character, the impecunious Cordus, “possessed but few books,
and those in Greek.”[253] Suetonius, in speaking of the restoration
by Domitian of the public libraries which had been burned by Nero,
states that the Emperor collected from all sources trustworthy texts
and forwarded them to Alexandria for use in the production of the many
copies required.[254] It is evident, in the first place, that at this
time (about 90 A.D.) the supply of skilled copyists in Rome was still
inadequate for any such extended undertakings, and secondly, that there
was question merely of works in Greek, for Latin texts would hardly
have been sent to Alexandria.

Even without the aid of scholarly government supervision and of liberal
government appropriations, the public libraries of Rome and of the
leading cities of the provinces must have been of no little importance
in furthering the literary interests of the time, while they rendered
to posterity the important service of preserving not a few works which
would otherwise apparently have perished entirely. For this latter
service we are indebted, however, not only to the libraries but to the
vanity of the authors, who for the most part took pains to place in one
or more of the public libraries copies of their writings as soon as
published. Of certain works of which the originals have disappeared,
such knowledge as we have comes to us only in the fragments given
in the school readers, which for each generation of young students
were made up of extracts from the books of the previous generation of

Some of these “classical” readers of the period of the early Empire
were copied for use in the monastic schools of some centuries later,
but these were in large part speedily superseded by the collections
of legends and breviaries which came to be accepted as the proper
literature for the monastery and the convent.

In addition to the “grammarians” buying books for their professional
needs, and the city libraries purchasing for the public welfare, there
were, during the first two centuries, an increasing number of private
collectors, not a few of whom, however, bought books, not from any
scholarly interest, but simply because it became the fashion to do
so. Seneca speaks of great collections of books in the hands of men
who had never so much as read their titles.[255] Such purchases must
nevertheless have been important for the encouragement of literary work
in Rome. Many of the public baths were furnished with libraries[255];
a country house could not be complete without a library, says
Cicero[256]; each one of the villas of Italicus, according to Pliny,
had its library[257]; Trimalchio, says Petronius,[258] possessed no
less than three. A statue of Hermes, found in Rome, bears an epigram
which speaks of βύβλοι in the grove of the Muses, and which undoubtedly
had been intended to be placed in the library of some country

Among some of the larger private collections referred to are those of
the grammarian Epaphroditus, who possessed 30,000 volumes,[260] and of
Serenus Sammoaicus, who is credited with over 60,000 volumes.[261]

The impecunious Martial, on the other hand, tells us that his own
collection comprised less than 120 rolls.[262]

We have already referred to the practical interest taken by Martial
in the details of bookselling. We find him quoting the authority of
the booksellers against certain critics, who were not willing to rank
Lucian as a poet of repute, and showing that after thirty years or more
there was still a steady demand for Lucian’s poetical works.

Martial takes the ground that continued popular appreciation is
sufficient evidence of literary repute, whatever the critics may say to
the contrary.[263]

The same satirist refers more than once to many amiable and deserving
authors, who, despite their talents, succeeded in reaching no public
at all other than the unhappy guests who learned from experience to
dread the admirable dinners which had to be paid for by listening
to literary productions. The practice of recitations on the part of
the host must have been quite general, if when no such performance
was intended it was considered desirable to mention the fact in the
invitations. Martial quotes himself as promising to Stella in inviting
him to dinner, that under no provocation will he be tempted to recite
anything, not even though Stella should recite his own poem on the
“Wars of the Giants.”[264]

Martial explains the inferiority of the literary production of the
reign of Domitian by the fact that there was no Mæcenas to give
encouragement to authors. All the great poets of the Augustan age
had, as he recalls, been placed in easy circumstances (as far as they
were not so already) either through the direct bounty of Mæcenas or
as a result of his influence over the Court. According to the view of
Martial, literature possessing any lasting value is impossible without
the leisure and freedom from care which comes from an assured income.
Mæcenas, and the fashion of subsidizing literature initiated by him,
appear in a crude way, in presenting encouragement for literary work,
to have supplied the place of a copyright law.

There may, of course, often have been question as to what constituted
a “proper compensation” for a poetical effort. Tacitus speaks of a
certain Roman knight, C. Lutorius Priscus, who had won some repute from
a poem on the death of Germanicus. He thereupon composed another poem
on the death of Drusus (son of Tiberius), who was at the time seriously
ill, but who was perverse enough to recover. Priscus had, however,
already read his poem aloud, after which he was promptly put to death
under a vote of the Senate, whether on account of the badness of the
poem, or because he had prophesied the death of the Prince, Tacitus
does not state.[265]

Juvenal joins with Martial in characterizing the writing of poetry as
an unsatisfactory profession, and hints more strongly than Martial
that the profession was spoiled by amateurs. He suggests as a further
ground for the absence of first-rate poetry, that all the subjects had
been exhausted, meaning, of course, all the mythological subjects. He
arrives at the conclusion that poetry and literature in general are
dying, and considers this is not to be wondered at, since even if a man
of letters makes a sacrifice which ought not to be required of him, and
turns schoolmaster, he will be grossly underpaid, and often not able to
recover the beggarly pittance which will be due him.[266]

This inadequacy of the legitimate returns for literary work was
doubtless considered by Martial as a sufficient justification for
utilizing his unquestioned literary cleverness in ways not always
legitimate, for, as has been pointed out by Cruttwell, Simcox, and
others, not a few of the epigrams look like demands for blackmail.
“Somebody”--the poet declines to know who the somebody is--“has given
offence”; if the poet should discuss who, so much the worse for
somebody. He is full of veiled personalities of the most damaging kind.
He deprecates guessing at the persons indicated, but they must have
recognized themselves, and have seen the need of propitiating a poet
who was at once politic and vindictive. He insists repeatedly upon his
successful avoidance of all personal attacks, while he had been lavish
of personal compliments. He tells us himself that these were not given
gratis, and when somebody whom he has praised ignores the obligation
he receives, the fact is published as a general warning. We cannot
doubt that when Martial wrote that “there were no baths in the world
like the baths of Etruscus,” and that “whoever missed bathing in them
would die without bathing,” he expected to be paid in some form or
other for the valuable advertisement he was giving to Etruscus.[267] In
like manner, when he answers numerous requests for a copy of his poems
with a reference to his bookseller, adding a jocose assurance that the
poems are not really worth the money, it is fair to assume that the
bookseller had paid something for the manuscript or that the author
had some continued interest in the sales.[268]

In being obliged by the narrowness of his means to watch thus closely
the sales of his booksellers, and in believing himself compelled to
pick up _sesterces_ by writing complimentary epigrams or threatening
abusive ones, Martial may well have envied the assured position of his
contemporary Quintilian, who received from the imperial treasury as a
rhetorician a salary, which, with his other emoluments, gave him an
income of 100,000 _sesterces_ (about $4000). Quintilian appears to have
been the first rhetorician to whom an imperial salary was given.

It is evident that at this time the art of the rhetorician or reciter
was still one of importance. The great books of the Claudian period
were evidently written to be recited or to please a taste formed by the
habit of recitation.[269] After the reign of Claudius the noteworthy
works, with the exception perhaps of the _Thebaïd_ of Statius, were
certainly written to be read. How many readers they found is a more
difficult thing to determine. There was certainly, on the part of some
writers at least, no lack of persistency. Labeo, the jurist (who died
13 A.D.), is credited, for instance (or should we say debited?), with
the production of no less than four hundred works.[270]

The average editions of works addressed to the general public are
estimated by Birt to have comprised not less than five hundred copies,
and in many cases a thousand copies.[271] Pliny, writing about 60
A.D., makes reference to a volume by M. Aquilus Regulus (a memoir of
his deceased son), of which the author caused to be made one thousand
copies for distribution throughout Italy and the provinces. Pliny
thinks it rather absurd that for a volume like this, of limited and
purely personal interest, the piety and the vanity of the author should
have caused an edition to be prepared larger than that usually issued
of readable works.[272] Birt is of opinion that there is sufficient
evidence in the references of Horace, Propertius, Ovid, Martial, and
others, to show the existence of a well organized system for the
distribution and sale of books, not only in Italy, but throughout
the distant provinces of Gaul, Britain, Germany, and Scythia. Such a
distribution, even if restricted to the larger cities, would have been
impracticable with editions of much less than one thousand copies.[273]
In support of this view regarding a widespread distribution of books,
Birt quotes a passage from Pliny concerning the service to literature
rendered by Varro.

    “Varro was unwilling that the fame of great men should perish, or
    that the lapse of years should cause the memory of their deeds to
    be lost. He took pains, therefore, in the almost countless volumes
    of his writings, to preserve for posterity sketches or studies of
    more than seven hundred men who had won renown. Such a device might
    well have aroused the envy of the Gods, for these portraitures
    were not only thus ensured a permanent existence, but they were
    distributed to the farthest corners of the earth, so that the
    names of these heroes of the past would, like those of the Gods
    themselves, be known in all lands.”[274][275]

Varro, who was a contemporary of Cicero, appears to have interested
himself not only in biography, but in almost every department of
research. He is credited with forty-one books on antiquities,
seventy-six books of edifying dialogues, fifteen books of parallel
lives of illustrious Greeks and Romans, twenty-five books on the Latin
language, nine books on the “seven liberal arts,” fifteen books on
civil law, thirty political memoirs, twenty-two books of speeches,
one hundred and fifty satires, and a number of minor works.[276]
Such industry and versatility have few parallels in the history of
literature, although it is to be borne in mind that the author was
favored with length of days, and was able to be active in literary
work as late as his eighty-second year. It is evident, however, that
there must have been some measure of appreciation on the part of the
public and the publisher to have encouraged him to such long-continued

Possibly the earliest instance of any practical interest taken by
the imperial government in furthering the distribution of literature
for the higher education of the public, is presented by an edict of
the Emperor Tacitus (275 A.D.), ordering that every public library
throughout the Empire should possess not less than ten sets of the
writings of his ancestor, Tacitus, the historian. His reign of two
hundred days was, however, too brief to enable him to ensure the
execution of his decree. It seems probable that if the aged Emperor (he
was in his seventy-fifth year when he came to the throne) had been able
to carry out his plan, posterity would not have had occasion to mourn
the disappearance of so large a portion of the writings of the great

Tacitus, the historian, was born about 60 A.D., in a small town of
Umbria. His father was of equestrian rank and a man of importance, and
it is interesting to note that the son, instead of being sent to Athens
for his education, as was so frequently done with well born youths of
the preceding generation, received his university training at Massilia
(the modern Marseilles), which by the close of the first century had
become an important centre of literature and education. The supremacy
of Athens in influencing the higher education of Italy had come to a
close, and the centre of intellectual life was moving westward. Tacitus
was evidently a man of no little versatility of power. Before achieving
lasting fame through his histories and essays, he had won distinction
as a lawyer and as an orator, and had served with dignity and success
as prætor and consul. He is spoken of as a graceful poet, and was
believed also to have been the author of a clever volume of _Facetiæ_.

His _History_ was published some time during the reign of Trajan, in
some thirty books, of which less than five have been preserved. His
second historical work was published a few years later, in sixteen
books, under the title of _Annals_, and of this about nine books have
been preserved. The frequent references to these two works and to the
well known essay on the Germans, in the writings of the contemporaries
and successors of Tacitus, show how important a position they occupied
in the literature of the Empire, and show also that copies of them were
distributed widely throughout the known world. We have unfortunately
no details whatever concerning the method of their publication, and no
references to the publishers to whose charge they were confided.

If Tacitus had only, like Martial, been an impecunious writer, we
should probably have found in his correspondence with his friend
Pliny, or in other of his writings, some mention of his publishing
arrangements and of the receipts secured through the sale of his works.
It is evident, however, that his official emoluments were sufficient
to free him from any necessity of making close calculations concerning
earnings by his pen, and it is even possible that he permitted the
fortunate publishers, whoever they were to reserve to themselves the
profits, which ought to have been considerable, arising from the sales
of these important and popular works.

Notwithstanding the gradual decline of Athens towards the close of the
second century as a centre of higher education, Greek continued to be
throughout the Empire the language not only for many philosophical and
scholarly undertakings, but for not a few works planned for popular
reading. I mentioned that Massilia (Marseilles) had been selected
as the place where the young Tacitus could secure to best advantage
a refined education, but Massilia, although a thousand miles from
Greece, was a Greek city. It is probably not too much to say that
throughout the Roman world, wherever a town came into distinction in
any way as a place of intellectual activity and of literary life, it
would be found to have possessed a large Greek element. The Greek
brains must have served as yeast for the intellectual substance of the
Roman world.

Suetonius, writing, about 150 A.D., his work _Ludicra_, comprising
treatises on the sports and public games of the Greeks and Romans, gave
the work to the public in both Greek and Latin. The _Meditations_ of
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, written about 170 were issued only in Greek.
Simcox says:

    “From the reign of Hadrian onwards until the translation of the
    Empire to the East, the intellectual needs of the capital, such as
    they were, were supplied by the eastern half of the Empire; all
    the upper classes learned Greek in the nursery, and it was the
    language of fashionable conversation ... all people who professed
    to be serious entertained a Greek philosopher. Their only reason
    for keeping up Latin literature at all was that the cleverest
    people who had received a literary education wished to be poets
    or historians or orators, an ambition which was sustained by the
    competitions endowed by Domitian and by the professorships which
    were founded by his predecessors and successors.”

I have already referred to the influence of the French language in
Germany during the first half of the eighteenth century as presenting
a somewhat similar case; but the influence upon German thought and
German literature of the French language and literature, rendered
fashionable under the Court of Frederick the Great, was of course
slight and superficial as compared with the part played in the Roman
world by the language and the thought of the Greeks.

Towards the end of the second century Carthage became of literary
as well as commercial importance. Latin was the language of
administration, and the literary culture of Carthage took upon itself,
therefore, a Latin rather than a Greek form.[277] Among the authors who
gave form, each in his own very distinctive manner, to the literary
school of Carthage were Fronto and Apuleius, and a generation later the
Father of the African Church, the theologian Tertullian.

Fronto’s books appear to have been made in Carthage, but were certainly
on sale with Roman dealers, and the same was doubtless the case with
the witty and popular _Fables_ and _Metamorphoses_ of Apuleius, but
the evidence in regard to a publishing trade in Carthage is purely
inferential. Aulus Gellius, writing about 170, speaks of picking up in
a second-hand book-shop in Brundisium a volume from which he quotes
a pretty story. The incident was probably imaginary, for, as Simcox
points out, the story was taken from the elder Pliny; but the reference
shows that the business of the bookseller was, at the date specified,
already sufficiently systematized to support, even in the smaller
towns, second-hand book dealers.

It was evident that by the close of the first century the machinery
for the making and the distribution of books was sufficiently well
organized to secure for authors the opportunity of a world-wide
influence. It seems probable, however, that the works which at this
date obtained for themselves the widest circulation and influence were
not those of living writers, but were still the classics which Greece
had originated, but which were so largely given to the world through

In the fourth century a certain Firmicus Maternus published an
astrological work entitled _Mathesis_. The work was dedicated to the
proconsul Mavertius Lollianus, who had suggested its preparation, and
to him also the author appears to have assigned the control of the
publication, with the curious instruction that the two final books
(out of the eight of which the work was composed) must by no means
be permitted to come into the hands of the general public (_vulgum
profanum_), but that the reading of these should be restricted to those
who had led holy and priestly lives.[278]

Birt, who is my authority for the incident, does not make clear what
means were available for the proconsul by which to enforce this
special and difficult discrimination among readers. Birt cites the
case, however, as an evidence of the control that could be exercised,
and that from time to time was exercised, by the government over the
circulation of literature. It is certain, he says, that even the very
considerable increase in the facilities for the reproduction of books
did not prevent the authorities from undertaking to stop the sale of,
and to confiscate, works which, for one reason or another, might work
detriment to the State, or which conflicted with the personal interest
of the ruler. The earliest example on record of a confiscation dates
back to the time when the Athenian Republic was at its height. In the
year 411 B.C., as mentioned in the chapter on Greece, the writings
of the philosopher Protagoras were burned on the Agora, while the
philosopher himself was held to trial for heresy.[279]

The emperors of Rome possessed, of course, a much more unquestioned
authority and a more effective machinery for the suppression of
doctrines and for the confiscation of books than belonged to the
shifting authorities of Athens, and there are examples of a number of
imperial decrees for literary confiscation, some of which were based
on the real or apparent interests of the State, while not a few can be
credited to personal motives.

The first instance of the kind was the order of Augustus for the
burning of 2000 copies of certain pseudo-Sibylline books. Those charged
with the task were directed not only to take all the stock that could
be found in the book-shops, but to make thorough search also for
all copies existing in private collections.[280] Caligula attempted
a more difficult task, when, according to Suetonius, he undertook
to suppress the writings of Homer--_cogitavit de Homeri carminibus
abolendis_.[281] He also gave orders, says the historian, which were
fortunately only partly carried out, to have destroyed all the writings
and all the busts of Virgil and of Livy contained in the libraries.
Tiberius ordered that the writings of a certain historian of the time
of Augustus should be abolished, _abolita scripta_, by which we may
properly understand simply that the copies were to be taken out of all
public libraries.[282]

The rigorous measures adopted by Domitian to discourage the sale of
the history of Hermogenes of Tarsus, by crucifying the publisher
and all the booksellers who had copies in stock, have already been
referred to.[283] This history was found objection to on the score
of certain designs contained in it, _propter quasdam figuras_. Two
other works which failed to secure the approval of this Emperor were
the _Laudations_ by Junius Rusticus and Herennius Senecio of Paetus
Thrasea and Helvidius Priscus. The two books, that is, all the copies
of them that could be secured, were burned in the Forum after having
been solemnly condemned under a _senatus consultum_. Senecio was
nevertheless able to preserve his own copy.[284]

Not a few of the edicts of confiscation were, however, evidently
carried out by a house to house visitation, extending at least to all
domiciles known to contain collections of books. Diocletian caused
to be collected and destroyed all the ancient manuscripts in Egypt,
“which had to do with the chemistry of quicksilver and gold,” περὶ
χημείας ἀργυροῦ καὶ χρυσοῦ, _i. e._, with the subject of alchemy.[285]
The teachers in Africa of the doctrines of the Manichæans were also
ordered to burn their books. The edict of Diocletian, issued 303 A.D.,
directing the persecution of the Christians, also provided for the
destruction of the Christian Scriptures. According to Burckhardt, many
Christians came forward with the acknowledgment that they possessed
copies of the Scriptures, and, refusing to deliver the same, suffered
the martyrdom for which they sought.[286]

Constantine permitted Arius to live unmolested, but his writings were,
whenever found, committed to the flames, and any one concealing copies
was liable to death. In 448, the Emperor Theodosius issued an edict
for the destruction of all works the influence of which was opposed to
the Christian faith, an instruction which, if it had been faithfully
executed, would have annihilated a large portion of the world’s
literature. Among other writers the loss of whose works, excepting only
a few fragments, was probably due to the edict, was Porphyry of Tyre,
who died about 300 A.D., and who was the ablest of the later scholarly
opponents of the Christian doctrines.

St. Jerome relates that a certain Pammachius attempted to recall and
to cancel almost immediately after publication the edition of Jerome’s
controversial letters against the monk Jovinian, but that his efforts
were unsuccessful, for copies of the book had already been distributed
in every province.

The legislation of imperial Rome, which, as we have seen, made no
specific provision for the protection of the rights of authors, also
omitted to institute any measures for the public supervision of books.
It was under the general provisions of the criminal law that the
publication of writings on certain special subjects was prevented or
was punished, and that the authors, publishers, and sometimes even the
possessors of the works regarded as injurious to individuals or as
likely to cause detriment to the State, became subject to penalties the
severity of which varied with the times.[287] Several of the imperial
edicts characterized libellous publications as acts of _lese-majesté_
or treason.[288]

It would not be in order to bring to a close this sketch of the history
of literary property under the rule of the Romans, without reference to
the contribution made by Roman jurists to the analysis of its origin
and nature, although such contribution was but slight. The theories and
conclusions of these jurists are of interest not on the ground of their
having had any effect on the status of literary production throughout
the Empire, but on account of the far-reaching influence of Roman
jurisprudence upon the conceptions and the legislation of the mediæval
and of the modern world.

As Klostermann points out, the Roman jurists interested themselves
in the subject of property in an intellectual or immaterial creation
rather as a matter of theoretical speculation than as one calling for
legislation; and, as we have already seen, there is no record of any
such legislation, imperial or municipal, having been instituted during
the existence of the Roman State. Some of the earlier discussions as
to the nature of property in formulated ideas appear to have turned
upon the question as to whether such property should take precedence
over that in the material which happened to be made use of for the
expression of the ideas.

The disciples of Proculus (a lawyer living at about 50 A.D.) maintained
that the occupation of alien material, so as to make of it a new thing,
gave a property right to him who had reworked or reshaped it; while
the school of Sabinus (who was himself a contemporary of Proculus)
insisted that the ownership of the material must carry with it the
title to whatever was produced upon the material. Justinian, or rather,
I understand, Tribonianus, writing in the name of the Emperor (about
520 A.D.), took a middle ground, following the opinion of Gaius.
Tribonianus concluded, namely, that the decision must be influenced by
the possibility of restoring the material to its original form, and
more particularly by the question as to whether the material or that
which had been produced upon it were the more essential. The original
opinion of Gaius appears to have had reference to the ownership of a
certain table upon which a picture had been painted, and the decision
was in favor of the artist. This decision (dating from about 160 A.D.)
contains an unmistakable recognition of immaterial property, not, to
be sure, in the sense of a right to exclusive reproduction, but in the
particular application, that, while material property depends upon
the substance, immaterial property, that is to say property in the
presentation of ideas, depends upon the form.[289]

The opinion, as given in the _Institutes_ of Justinian, is as follows:

_Si quis in aliena tabula pinxerit, quidam putant tabulam picturæ
cedere, aliis videtur picturam, qualiscunque sit, tabulæ cedere; sed
nobis videtur melius esse, tabulam picturæ cedere. Ridiculum est
enim picturam Apellis vel Parrhasii in accessionem vilissimæ tabulæ

It is certainly curious that a question of this kind, first presented
for consideration in the middle of the first century, should have been
still under discussion nearly five centuries later.

An application of this same principle is presented in legal usage
to-day, under which authors and artists are empowered to take
possession of reproductions of their works even against innocent
third parties or against the owners of the material on which such
reproductions have been made.

The fact that papyrus rather than parchment was the material adopted by
authors during the fruitful period of Latin literature, had of course
an important bearing in the continued existence of their works, for
papyrus was an extremely perishable substance. Damp, worms, moths,
mice, were all deadly enemies of papyrus rolls, but even if, through
persistent watchfulness, these were guarded against, the mere handling
of the rolls, even by the most careful readers, brought them rapidly to
destruction. We find, therefore, that a constant renewal of the rolls
was required in all public libraries, just as to-day our librarians
find it necessary to replace their supply of copies of books of popular
authors which have become worn out by handling. The ancient librarian
had, however, a more arduous and a more expensive task with his
renewals. A reference of Pliny gives us an impression of the average
age that could be looked for for a papyrus book.

“_Ita sint longinqua monumenta; Tiberi Gaique Gracchorum manus. Apud
Pomponium Secundum vatem civemque clarissimum vidi annos fere post
ducentos; jam vero Ciceronis ac divi Augusti Vergilique sæpe numero

We understand, therefore, that (with certain precautions) a book could
last for one hundred years, but that a volume two centuries old was for
Pliny something so exceptional as to be almost incredible.

The papyrus rolls were of course exposed to the most serious friction
at the opening portions which were in immediate contact with one of the
rollers where two rollers were employed, and which in any case were
exposed to the most frequent handling. As a consequence, it was the
initial page of books which first came to destruction, and of not a few
works which were otherwise in readable condition these initial pages
were lacking. A quotation from Eusebius, cited by Birt, shows that it
was even a matter of surprise when a copy of the works of such a writer
as Clement was found complete, with title and preface.[292]

In many of the libraries, it was also not uncommon to find that the
different rolls of a particular work had been wrongly numbered in one
of the transcribings, and had consequently been mixed up as to their
arrangement. It was not infrequent even to find the rolls of the works
of different authors jumbled together, in such a manner that no little
scholarly skill was requisite for their proper understanding and
correct rearrangement.[293]

The papyrus manuscripts from the Athenian, Alexandrian, and Roman
workshops, as far as they have escaped destruction through imperial
edicts, civil wars, and invasions, were permitted to fall into decay,
and were not replaced. By the close of the fourth century, the great
collections of papyrus rolls, in which were contained the classics of
Greek and Roman literature, had practically disappeared. For later
book-making, parchment replaced papyrus, a change which, if it had
occurred two centuries, or even one century earlier, would, in spite
of edicts of destruction, have preserved for future generations not a
few of the lost “classics.” A small proportion of the Greek and Roman
writings, in copies dating from the later literary period, had been
placed on parchment, and some few of these have been handed down to us
through the intervention of Christian monks, who had taken possession
of the parchment for church documents or codices, but who in their own
inscribing had not destroyed, or had only partially destroyed, the
original writing. I have already made reference to this practice of
making one piece of parchment do a double service, and to the name of
_palimpsest_, by which such a doubly inscribed parchment was known.

In the early part of the fourth century several factors came into
operation which checked the development and finally undermined the
existence of the publishing and bookselling trade of Rome. First among
these factors I should name the growing power and influence of the
Christian Church.

In the centuries which elapsed between the downfall of the Roman
Empire and the invention of printing, the centres of intellectual
activities and of scholarly interests were undoubtedly the churches and
the monasteries, and it is probable that if it had not been for the
educational work done by the priests and monks, and for the interest
taken by them (however inadequately and ignorantly) in the literature
of the past, the fragments of this literature which have been preserved
for to-day would have been much less considerable and more fragmentary
than they are. As I understand the history, the literary interests of
the world owe very much to the fostering care given to them by the
Church, or by certain portions of the Church, during the troublous
centuries of the early Middle Ages. During these centuries the Church
not only supplied a standard of morality, but kept in existence
whatever intellectual life there was.

At the time, however, when the Christian Church was rapidly extending
its influence throughout the Roman Empire, and during the century after
it had succeeded in winning over to the faith the emperors themselves,
and had become the official Church of the Empire, the evidence goes
to show that its influence was decidedly detrimental to the literary
productiveness of the age and also inimical to the preservation of the
literary masterpieces of previous ages.

As the range of membership of the Church increased, so that it came
to include a larger proportion of men of cultivation and scholarship,
there came into existence a considerable body of theological and
controversial writings, the production of which has gone on steadily
increasing until very recent times. But the reading of the works of
“pagan” writers was discouraged, and the manuscripts themselves were
first neglected, and later suffered to fall into decay. Such writing
as was done by the Christian scribes was in the main limited to the
transcribing of the books then accepted as scriptures and to the
copying of prayers and hymns. The mental activities of both writers
and readers were turned in other directions. Scholars gave their
scholarship and trained copyists their clerical skill to the service
of the Church. It was not merely that the Church took possession for
its own work of so large a proportion of the best minds of the time.
It directly discouraged then, as it did for many centuries thereafter,
the study of any literature other than ecclesiastical. The writers of
Greece and Rome were, for Christian believers, if not heretical, at
least frivolous and time-wasting. Life was short and Christian duties
left no free hours for Homer or Virgil, Plato or Epictetus. By the
time of the accession of Constantine (306 A.D.) the book-shops on the
Argiletum had lessened in number and in importance, the connections of
the Roman publishers with the great towns of the provinces were for the
most part broken off, and, most important of the signs of the times,
there are no new books and no writers at work. Literary productiveness
has for the time ceased.

The second cause which contributed to the destruction of the book-trade
of Rome was the decision of Constantine to remove the capital of the
Empire to Byzantium. The transfer was completed in the year 328, and
for a number of years after that date there was no imperial Court
in Rome. The “world of fashion” had migrated to the Bosphorus, and
with the Court officials, the judges, the advocates, and the military
leaders, had gone a large proportion of the active-minded men of the
old capital, the men of intellectual interests. There remained the
Bishop of Rome (soon to become Primate of the Latin Church) and his
increasing staff of ecclesiastics, but to them, as pointed out, the
literature of the classical period was either a matter of indifference
or an abomination. The direction of the education of the young Romans
must soon have come into the hands of the priests, and this would have
increased their power to crush out the interest in, and the remembrance
of, the literary productions of paganism.

A third factor which hastened the decline of Latin literature and the
extinction of the book-trade of Rome, was the revival of the use of
Greek, which, after the establishment of the capital at Constantinople,
speedily became the official language of the Empire and the speech of
the Court and of polite society generally.

I do not forget that there shortly came into existence an Empire of the
West, under which Rome resumed (although with sadly reduced splendor)
its position as an imperial capital. But the western emperors appear on
the whole to have been a feeble lot, and they certainly did not succeed
in gathering about them any number of men of “light and learning,”
nor is there evidence of any substantial revival of the social or
intellectual activities of Rome. The times continued troublous. The
State had to fight almost continuously for its existence, and the
fighting was not infrequently near at home, the city itself being from
time to time menaced. The “peace of the Empire” existed no longer.
It was not a time for the development of literature, and literature,
excepting a small body of doctrinal and controversial publications of
the Church, practically disappeared.

After the expansion, in 379, of the prerogatives of the Roman See, the
literary activities of the ecclesiastics increased, but it does not
appear that any bookselling machinery was required or employed for
the sale or distribution of the works of devotion, of doctrine, or of
controversy. This distribution was doubtless managed directly by the
priests themselves. The capture of Rome by the Goths under Alaric,
in 410, brought destruction upon the accumulated wealth and trade of
the city, but it is not probable that the tradespeople whose shops
were despoiled included any considerable number of booksellers, as,
according to my understanding, the trade in books had in great part
disappeared some years before. The Goths doubtless had, however, not a
little to do with the destruction of as many of the classic manuscripts
as still existed in the public libraries or in private collections. It
is certain that they would have had no appreciation for and no use for
any manuscripts that fell into their hands. The more recent and still
inconsiderable collections of Church manuscripts shared, of course,
in the general destruction, but these (apart from a few relics) could
easily be replaced.

The Goths disappeared like the rolling back of a flood after its work
of devastation has been completed; and the insignificant series of
Emperors of the West resumed their sway over the ruins of the imperial

The city was restored to a semblance of its old self; but we find
no further traces of the production or of the sale of books. It is
probable that when, in 476, Odoacer, chief of the Herulians, gave
the final blow to the Empire of the West, and took possession of its
capital, he found there, outside of the few treatises and books of
worship of the Church, practically nothing in the shape of literature.

The rule of the Herulian was short; in less than twenty years he was
overthrown by the Goth, and Theodoric came into possession of Rome and
undertook the task of organizing a kingdom out of the much harried
territory of Italy.

In the later portion of his reign, after the city had been favored with
a few years of peace and of freedom from the dread of invasion, there
was some revival of intellectual and literary interests. Cassiodorus,
prætor, prefect, quæstor, and later “master of the offices,” won fame
as court orator and official letter-writer. He wrote a Gothic history
in twelve books (which has disappeared), and a collection of letters
and state-papers entitled _Variæ_, also in twelve books. Of greater
permanent importance was the work of the philosopher Boëthius. Hodgkin
says of him:

    “Boëthius was the skilful mechanic who constructed the water-clock
    and sun-dial for the King of the Burgundians ... a man of great
    and varied accomplishments--philosopher, theologian, musician, and
    mathematician. He had translated thirty books of Aristotle into
    Latin for the benefit of his countrymen; his treatise on music was
    for many centuries the authoritative exposition of the science of

His greatest work was _The Consolation of Philosophy_, which was
composed while the philosopher was in prison awaiting sentence of
death. This was rendered into English by King Alfred and by Geoffrey
Chaucer; translations were made into every European tongue, and copies
were to be found in every mediæval convent library. The _Consolation_
is written partly in prose and partly in verse. Hodgkin is of opinion
that its writer was at the time a Christian.

The production of this work is the only literary event which marks the
rule of Rome by the Goths, and in fact, unless we include the “master
of the offices,” Cassiodorus, with his court orations and courtly
letters, there appeared during the time no other writer of whose work
record has remained. We can infer that some means existed in connection
either with the Court or with the convents for the production of copies
of the _Consolation_ and of the translation of Aristotle. The latter
work, having been prepared, as its translator says, “for the benefit of
his countrymen,” was evidently planned for some general circulation.

As there is no evidence of the existence at the time of any bookselling
machinery, it is probable that for the multiplication and distribution
of his volumes, Boëthius depended upon the scribes of the Church and
upon the connections with each other of the convents throughout Europe.
It is undoubtedly through the libraries of the convents (the only
places in Europe which were to any extent protected against ravages of
war) that the _Consolation_ was preserved.

After the death of Theodoric, Italy became the camping ground and the
fighting place for successive hordes of Lombards, Saracens, and Franks.
Social organization must have almost disappeared. Of scholarly or
literary production there is again for some centuries hardly a trace.
_Inter arma silent styli._ What intellectual life, outside of the
monasteries, was still active in Europe must be looked for at the Court
of the Greek Emperors of Constantinople.




WHEN Constantine, in the year 328, removed to Byzantium the capital
of the Empire, he doubtless took with him from Rome, or was followed
by, a large proportion of the leaders of the social and intellectual
life of the city. It is said also that Greek scholars from Magna
Græcia, and from other parts of the Empire, foreseeing the probable
revival of interest in Greek learning, speedily gathered themselves at
Constantinople, and through their presence hastened the replacing of
the Latin tongue by their own vernacular.

For a century or more, however, after the establishment of
Constantinople, literary production appears to have been slight and
unimportant. There is some evidence of collections being made of copies
of the great classics, collections which later, unfortunately, in large
part perished at the hands first of Crusaders and afterwards of Turks,
and it is probable that a certain number of scribes were kept employed
in the production of such copies. Of new works or of new editions of
importance there is no record, while there is also no evidence as to
the existence of any bookselling machinery for keeping the public
supplied with the old classics.

The first revival of literary productiveness appears to have come from
the Court. About 440 A.D. the Empress Eudocia published a poetical
paraphrase of the first eight books of the Old Testament and of the
prophecies of Daniel and Zechariah. This was followed by a cento of the
verses of Homer, applied to the life of Christ; by a version of the
legend of St. Cyprian; and by a panegyric on the Persian victories of
her husband Theodosius.

An imperial author needed, of course, no bookselling machinery to
bring her writings to the attention of the public. The members of the
Court circles doubtless made for their presentation copies a full
return in the shape of loyal appreciation, while politic priests
could be depended upon to interest themselves in the reproduction and
distribution of books devoted to such sacred subjects, and emanating
from so high an authority.

After this literary outburst from the Court, there is a long period
during which there is no record of any original work of importance
being produced in Constantinople. I must not omit, however, to make
reference to the great undertaking carried out by Ulfilas (sixty years
or more before the time of Eudocia’s labors) in the translation of the
Bible into Gothic.

Ulfilas was a Goth by birth, but had been educated (as a hostage) in
Constantinople. He was made Bishop of Gothia, and the work of his
translation was probably completed in Dacia. For the preparation,
however, of the transcripts of his text he was apparently obliged to
resort to the scribes of the capital, and the “publication” of the work
may, therefore, be credited to Constantinople. A magnificent manuscript
of this Gothic version of the Gospels, a manuscript known, on account
of its beautiful silver text, as the _codex argenteus_, and which
dates from the sixth century, is now preserved in the library of the
University of Upsala in Sweden, one of the earliest homes of the Gothic
peoples. The wide circulation of these Gothic Scriptures had a great
influence in bringing the Gothic tribes into the Christian fold, and
exercised, therefore, an important effect on the history of Europe.

The greatest of the earlier authors of the Eastern Empire was
the historian Procopius. His _History of My Own Times_, which was
published about 560 A.D., during the reign of Justinian, is devoted
more particularly to an account of the wars carried on by the Empire.
Procopius had held various offices, and, during 562, was Prefect of
Constantinople. After this post had been taken from him, he wrote a
volume called _Anecdota_, or “secret history,” in which Justinian and
his empress, Theodora, are very severely handled. A third and earlier
production is a description of the edifices erected by Justinian
throughout the Empire.

By the beginning of the seventh century, says Oman, the use of the
Latin language in Constantinople had practically ceased. Oman speaks of
the seventh and eighth centuries as being the “dark age in Byzantine
literary history,” but, as far as we can judge from the records,
the “luminous” or productive periods must have been very fitful and

After the extinction of the schools of Alexandria and Athens, “the
studies of the Greeks” (says Gibbon) “retired to the monasteries, and
above all to the royal college of Constantinople, which was burned
in the reign of Leo the Isaurian, about 750 A.D.” The head of the
foundation was named “the sun of science,” and the twelve professors,
the twelve signs of the zodiac. The library comprised over 36,000
volumes. It included the famous Homeric manuscript, before referred to,
written on a parchment roll 120 feet long.

Between 886 and 963 A.D. Constantinople was ruled by the group of
so-called “literary emperors,” during whose reigns literature became
the fashion of the Court. The chief achievements of Leo the Wise and
of his son and successor Constantine Porphyrogenitus were their books.
The writings of Leo consist of a manuscript on the _Art of War_, some
theological treatises, and a book of prophecies. The former, says Oman,
contains some exceedingly valuable information, while the prophecies
have been the puzzle of commentators.[295] The works of Constantine
comprise a treatise on the administration of the Themes or provincial
districts, a biography of his grandfather, and a comprehensive manual
of the etiquette and ceremonies of the Court. Towards the close of
the eighth century or at the beginning of the ninth appeared the
commonplace books of Stobæus, one series entitled _An Anthology of
Extracts, Sentences, and Precepts_, one grouped together under the name
of _Physical, Dialectic, and Moral Selections_, and a third entitled
simply _Discourses_. The extracts are drawn from more than five hundred
authors, whose works have in great measure perished. They include, says
Heeren (who, in 1792, published an edition of Stobæus), passages from
many of the ancient comic writers. The exact date of the life or of the
work of Stobæus is not known. Photius says that his commonplace books
were prepared as an educational guide for his son Septimius.

By the ninth century there are indications of the existence of a
literary class, and there is evidence of the work of a few first-class
writers such as the patriarch Photius, 857-69, whose library catalogue
is the envy of modern scholars.[296] This catalogue, composed while
its author was an exile in Bagdad, comprises a review or analysis
of the works of two hundred and eight writers. Gibbon points out,
in connection with this catalogue of Photius, that the students
and writers of that period enjoyed the use of many works of Greek
literature which have since perished in whole or in part. He cites,
among other authors, Theopompus, Menander, Alcæus, Hyperides, and

In 867, under the direction of Basil II., were written the _Basilics_,
or code of laws. The Emperor himself was the author of a comprehensive
history of Greece and Rome, of which but fragments have been preserved.

Early in the tenth century, the exact date is uncertain, Suidas
compiled his famous lexicon. According to Gibbon, Suidas was also the
author of some fifty plays, some of which were based upon Aristophanes.
In the latter part of the eleventh century Eudocia (wife of Romanus and
the second literary empress of the name), having been imprisoned in
a convent by her son, wrote, while in confinement, a treatise on the
genealogies of the gods and heroes.

During the first years of the twelfth century Anna Comnena, daughter
of Alexius Comnenus I., wrote, in fifteen books, under the title of
_Alexias_, a life of her father. Gibbon speaks of the style of the
history as being turgid and inflated, but says that it contains some
interesting accounts of the first Crusaders.

In the twelfth century, a name of distinction is that of Eustathius I.,
Archbishop of Thessalonica, who published, about 1150, commentaries on
Homer and on Dionysius the Geographer. Gibbon says that in the former
he refers to no less than four hundred authors. At about the same time
appeared the _Chiliads_ of Tsetzes.

Oman is of opinion that the most interesting development of Byzantine
literature were the Epics or Romances of Chivalry, written at the
close of the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh centuries. He
names as one of the best representatives of these romances, the epic
of _Diogenes Akritas_, a mighty hunter, a slayer of dragons, and a
persistent and successful lover.

I have referred to the work of but a few of the more representative
of the Byzantine writers. It would be foreign to the purposes of this
sketch to undertake to present any comprehensive bibliography of
Byzantine literature, even if I had available the material for such a
bibliography. Of many of the authors whose names have been preserved,
very little except their names is known, while of the entire literature
of the Byzantine period it may, I judge, fairly be said that it
possesses but slight interest or value for later generations. The fact
that literary undertakings of importance at the time and of interest
for the readers of the day continued from generation to generation
to be presented to the public, undertakings which in not a few cases
must have involved the labor of many years, gives us the right to
conclude that some means or machinery must have existed for reaching
this public. As far, however, as my present information goes, there
are absolutely no data concerning the existence in Constantinople of
any publishing or bookselling trade, and we have no means of knowing by
what means the books of Byzantium were manifolded and distributed.

It is to be noted that a very large number of the writers named
belonged to the Court, or held high official station. The fact that
so many books were the work of the emperors themselves and of the
members of the imperial families, is exceptional both in the history
of literature and in the history of royalty. It is probable that
for the transcribing of these books and for the books of officials
generally, the services of official scribes were utilized. Authors
outside of official circles may have gone to the convent, or may also
have employed private scribes. It is fair to assume, notwithstanding
the absence of any specific mention of such establishments, that some
organization of scribes, or of work-rooms for the manifolding of books,
existed in the city.

In closing this chapter, I venture to recall to my readers the
well-known summary by Gibbon of the literature of the Byzantine Empire.

    “The Empire of the Cæsars undoubtedly checked the activity and the
    progress of the human mind. Its magnitude might indeed allow some
    scope for domestic competition; but when it was gradually reduced,
    at first to the East, and at last to Greece and Constantinople,
    the Byzantine subjects were degraded to an abject and languid
    temper, the natural effect of their solitary and insulated state.
    Alone in the universe, the self-satisfied pride of the Greeks was
    not disturbed by the comparison of foreign merit.... Their prose
    is soaring to the vicious affectation of poetry; their poetry is
    sinking below the flatness and insipidity of prose. The tragic,
    epic, and lyric muses were silent and inglorious. The bards
    of Constantinople seldom rose above a riddle or an epigram, a
    panegyric or a tale. They forgot even the rules of prosody, and
    with the melody of Homer still ringing in their ears, they confound
    all measures of feet and syllables in the impotent strains which
    have received the name of ‘political’ or city verses.”

The change first comes when there is a break in the insulation.
Gibbon continues: “The nations of Europe and Asia were mingled by the
expeditions to the Holy Land, and it is under the Comnenian dynasty
that a faint emulation of knowledge and of military virtue was
rekindled in the Byzantine Empire.”

The opinion of Lecky is still more emphatic. He says: “The universal
verdict of history is that the Byzantine State constituted the most
base and despicable form that civilization ever assumed, and there has
been no other enduring civilization so absolutely destitute of all
the forms of true greatness, none to which the epithet _mean_ may so
emphatically be applied.”[297] Is it surprising that in a State thus
demoralized there is no record of the existence of a publisher?

It is only proper to add that the historian Oman, a much sounder
authority on the subject than Mr. Lecky, and writing with information
before him that was not available for Gibbon, contends that the talk
about the exceptional demoralization of the Byzantines is largely
rubbish, and points out that if the State were really as corrupt as it
is painted by Gibbon and by Lecky, it would have fallen to pieces of
its own rottenness within two or three generations, instead of enduring
as the bulwark of Europe for over a thousand years.

The fall of Constantinople in 1453, and the introduction into Europe
of the Turks, was unquestionably a great injury to Europe and to
civilization, and the destruction of the collections of manuscripts
existing in the capital itself and in monasteries and libraries in
other cities of the Empire, was an irreparable loss for literature.
For the educational interests and the literary development of Europe
there were, however, considerations to offset this serious disaster.
Great as was the destruction of manuscripts, a number were preserved
by individual scholars and in the hidden recesses of certain convents
and monasteries. Many of these were at once taken to Italy, Germany,
and France by the scholars flying from the barbarous conquerors of
their land, and the works were thus brought to the knowledge and made
available for the use of European students. Other manuscripts were
secured from their hiding-places years after the capture of the city,
by Greek scholars sent back for the purpose on behalf of the publishers
of Italy and France, or of the universities of Bologna, Padua, and
Paris, while some few valuable parchments were hidden so safely that
they have been forgotten for centuries and are only to-day being
brought to light from the vaults and attics of old monasteries, so as
again to be included in literature accessible for the world.

In addition to the service done to the literary development of Europe
by the distribution westward of the texts of the almost forgotten
classics of the great Greek writers, there was the further important
gain for the scholarship of the continent in securing, for university
chairs, for tutorial positions, and for editorial work, the services of
hundreds of Greek scholars whose homes had been destroyed, or who were
unwilling to live under the rule of the hated Turk. Men of the highest
rank in scholarly accomplishments and possessing a thorough knowledge
of the literature of their race, either on the ground of impecuniosity
or in some instances apparently from an unselfish devotion to the cause
of scholarship, found their way to chairs in Bologna, Padua, Paris,
Oxford, and other educational centres, and to the Court circles of
the more intellectual of the princes and nobles of Italy, and spread
in hundreds of channels a knowledge of the Greek language and an
enthusiasm for the Greek literature. Mohammed II., the conqueror of
Constantinople, had therefore played a part by no means unimportant in
furthering one phase at least of the Renaissance of the intellectual
life of Europe.

It was fortunate for the continued vitality and progress of the
movement that the Greek literature thus reintroduced into Europe
found already perfected the new art of printing, by means of which
the manuscripts that the refugees from the Bosphorus had brought with
them could be made generally available for students. It was fortunate
also that, within a few years after the teaching of Greek had been
entered upon in the principal educational centres, public-spirited and
scholarly publishers were found prepared to take upon themselves the
very serious business risk involved in the casting of Greek fonts of
type and in the printing of editions of the Greek texts.

The first and most important of these publishers, the man who, on the
ground of high ideals and of great things accomplished, is properly
to be honored as _facile princeps_ in the long list of the great
publishers of Europe, was Aldus Manutius of Venice, a worthy successor
to Atticus, the friend of Cicero, who, 1550 years earlier, had done his
part in introducing to Italy and to the Roman world the classics of

It is in Venice, with the record of the service rendered by Aldus and
his successors in connection with the second introduction into Italy
and the world beyond Italy of the treasures of Greek literature; in
Bologna and Paris, with some account of the connection of the great
universities with the earlier publishing undertakings of Europe; and in
Mayence, Frankfort, and Nuremberg, with the story of Gutenberg and his
printing-press, that the history of the relations of authors with their
public must be continued.

It is my hope to be able in a later volume to trace the development
of property in literature from the time of the invention of printing
down to the present day. It was, of course, only after the general
application of printing to the production of books that authors were
placed in a position to enforce any property control over their
productions, while for a long period this control was conceded for
but brief terms and was restricted to but limited territories. More
than four centuries of further development in national morality have
been required before the civilization of the world has brought itself
to the recognition of the rights of literary producers according to
the standard of to-day, a standard which is expressed by the term
International Copyright.





  Abernethy, Dr., the case of, 78

  Abicht, cited, 86

  Abu Simbel, temple of, 58

  Açoka, the edicts of, 44

  Agadê, discoveries in, 8

  Aldus Manutius, of Venice, reintroduces Greek literature into Europe,

  Alexander, correspondence of, with Aristotle, 81; recites Euripides,
  100; buys books in Athens, 111

  Alexandria, as a book-mart, 116; literary activity of, under the
  Ptolemies, 127; concentration of existing Greek manuscripts in, 131;
  the writers of, 132; advantageous position of, 139; publishing methods
  of, 140

  Alexandrian Canon, the, 134

  Alexandrian Museum and Library, organization of, 128; wholesale
  purchases for, 131; publishing undertakings of, 141

  Alexandrian School, literature of the, 129

  Alexandrian school of theology, writers of the, 146

  Alexis, writer of comedies, 96

  Alphabet, invention of, in China, 23

  American literature, relations of, with Great Britain, 172

  Anaxagoras, charged with heresies, 97; quoted by Socrates, 98

  Andronicus of Rhodes, 117

  Andronicus of Tarentum, the first Latin playwright, 176

  Antigonus Gonatas sends scribes to Zeno, 113

  Antioch, as a literary centre, 139; the library of, dispersed, 140

  Antipater, the _Histories_ of, 180

  Antiphanes of Rhodes, 103

  _Antiquarii_, definition of, 183

  Antoninus, Marcus Aurelius, the _Meditations_ of, 260

  Apellikon, a collector of books, 117

  Appollonius, work of, on conic sections, 132

  Apuleius, the writings of, 261

  _Arabian Nights_, the, 49

  Aratus, the astronomer, 132

  Archilochus, 59

  Aretades, the sophist, 69

  Argiletum, the street the booksellers’ quarter, 239

  Aristomenes, _The Deceivers_ of, 103

  Aristophanes, charged with plagiarism, 71; _The Frogs_ of, 71, 94

  Aristophanes, the grammarian, 74

  Aristotle, criticised by Cephisodorus, 80; writings of, 80-82;
  relations with Alexander, 81; the library of, bequeathed to Neleus,
  buried by heirs of Neleus, sold to Apellikon, taken to Rome by Sylla,
  used by Tyrannion, 90, 117

  Artemon, a grammarian, 96

  Assyrian literature, preservation of, 152

  Athanasius, 146

  Athenæus, on libraries and book-collectors, 89; cited, 89, 95, 96, 100,

  Athens, the public library of, taken to Persia by Xerxes, restored by
  Seleucus, 89; the book-shops of, 114

  Attali, the rivalry of, with the Ptolemies in collecting manuscripts,

  Atticus, sojourn of, in Athens, 117; brings manuscripts to Rome, 118;
  organizes a publishing establishment, 184; issues Greek classics, 184;
  relations with Cicero, 186, 190

  “Attikians,” term given to editions issued by Atticus, 184

  Attilius, put to death for permitting the Sibylline books to be copied,

  Augustan Age, Writers of the, 202, 204

  Augustus orders the pseudo-Sibylline books to be burned, 264


  Bark of trees used for writing by the Homeric Greeks, 155

  Barthelémi, his _Travels of Anacharsis_ cited, 76

  Basil II., directs the writing of the _Basilics_, 287; writes
  histories of Rome and Greece, 288

  Berosus, translations by, 139

  Birt, cited, 89, 104, 110, 130, 141, 142, 153, 155, 249, 256, 263

  Boeckh, cited, 92, 97

  Boëthius, described by Hodgkin, 280; writings of, 280

  Bologna, influence of the University of, in publishing
    undertakings, 295

  Book collecting fashionable in Rome after the first century, 125

  Bookmaking terms in Rome borrowed from Alexandria, 162

  _Book of Odes_, the (in China), 23

  _Book of the Dead_, the, 12-14

  Books, in Alexandria, divisions of, 143; ancient, materials used for,
  149; distribution and sale of, throughout the Empire, 255; when
  considered injurious proceeded against under the criminal law, 267;
  average duration of the copies, 271

  Booksellers, crucified by Domitian, 244; in Rome, principal customers
  of, 245

  Bookselling in Athens, the business of, 102; referred to in the
  comedies, 102

  Book-shops in Rome, decrease of, after Constantine, 275

  Book terminology, 149

  Book-trade of Rome influenced by the removal of the capital, 276

  _Boustrophedon_, the, 57

  Brahmanic priests, the writings of the, 45

  Breulier, A., on literary property in Greece, cited, 55, 90

  Bruns, cited, 83

  Buchsenschutz, cited, 97

  Buddha, or Gautama, the work of, 45

  Burckhardt, cited, 265, 266

  Bursian, cited, 247

  Byzantine Court, literary interests of, 283; writers attached to the,

  Byzantine literature, characteristics of, 289; described by Gibbon, 290

  Byzantine State, characterized by Lecky, 291; character of, analyzed by
  Oman, 292

  Byzantium, the scribes of, 290


  Cæcilius, comedies of, 179

  Caligula, undertakes to suppress the writings of Homer, 264; orders
  taken from the libraries the busts and the writings of Virgil and Livy,

  Callimachus, poet and editor, describes the Alexandrian Library, 130,

  Calvisius, pays high prices for scribes, 181

  Carthage, the literary school of, 261

  Cassiodorus, writings of, 279

  Cato, the _Origines_ of, 180

  Caunus, inhabitants of, admirers of Euripides, 99

  Cecrops, the Milesian, edits poems of Hesiod, 66

  Censorship of books under the Emperors, 264

  Cephisodorus, cited, 80

  Cephisophon, slave of Euripides, 91

  Chabas, discoverer of the Prisse papyrus, 15

  Chaldea, early literature of, 5-9; authors of, 8

  Chaldean “books,” methods of preparing, 150

  Chares, slave of Lycon, 115

  Cheops, or Khufa, 12

  China, beginnings of literature in, 22; first use of written characters
  in, 23; first printing in, 29

  Chinese authors, rewards of, 37

  Chinese classics, the early, 30

  Chinese literature, the golden age of, 36

  Chinese writing materials, 28

  Church of Rome, influence of, on literary production and on the
  preservation of books, 274

  Cicero, to Atticus concerning _De Finibus_, 79; reference of, to
  Hermodorus, 79; birth of, 180; relations with Atticus, 186-190; right
  to publish the works of, purchased by Dorus, 244; _Ad Quintum_
  cited, 247; _De Finibus_ cited, 249

  Clearchus, library of, 91

  Clement, Paul, on literary property in Greece, cited, 54, 62, 77, 90;
  on plagiarism in Greece, 77

  _Codex Argenteus_, 284

  _Codex Parisinus_ of Demosthenes, authority for, 124

  College, the Royal, of Constantinople, 286

  Comedy, derivation of the term, 65

  Comnena, Anna, writes the _Alexias_, 288

  Comum, the library of, 246

  Confucius, 24, 25, 27

  Constantine orders the writings of Arius to be burned, 266

  Constantine Porphyrogenitus, the writings of, 286

  Constantinople, established as the capital of the Empire, 282; literary
  production in, 282; the Royal College of, 286; the fall of, 292;
  destruction of manuscripts in, 292

  Cordus, the impecunious, 247

  Corea, early printing in, 29

  Corinth, capture of, 116

  Crassus, Marcus, educates slaves as copyists, 183

  Cratinus, _The Mechanics_ of, 103

  Cruttwell, cited, 252

  Ctesias, cited, 158

  Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, 146


  Demetrius, the Cynic, 100

  Demetrius Phalerius, reference of, to the Alexandrian Library, 130

  Democritus, on the _Science of Nature_, 83

  Demosthenes, 69, 109

  _Developments_, the _Book of_, 24

  Dieulafoy, work of, in Chaldea, 7

  Diocletian, orders the destruction of works on alchemy, 265; orders the
  books of the Manichæans to be burned, 265; orders the Scriptures of the
  Christians to be destroyed, 266

  _Diogenes Akritas_, 289

  Diogenes Laërtius, cited, 88, 112-115, 119, 155, 263

  Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 112

  _Diphtherai_ (dressed skins), use of, 138

  Domitian, restores libraries burned by Nero, 247; orders books from
  Alexandria, 247

  Dorus purchases the “remainders” of the editions of Cicero, 244

  Drumann, cited, 118


  Eckhard on the term “grammarians,” 136

  Editions of Roman publications, 255

  Edwards, Amelia B., version of the _Tale of Two Brothers_, 20

  Egypt, early literature of, 10-20

  Egyptian _Märchen_, 21

  English dramatists, relations of, with French literature, 171

  Ennius, the “father of Latin literature,” his Sicilian cookery-book, 178

  Epaphroditus, the library of, 249

  Ephesus, curious books burned in, 118

  Etruscans, the inscriptions of, 57

  Euclid, 132

  Eudocia, the Empress, writings of, 283

  Eudocia, wife of Romanus, writes treatise on the genealogies of the
  gods, 288

  Eumenes II., furthers the production of parchment, 158

  Euphorion, plagiarism of, 76

  Eupolis, refers to booksellers, 104

  Euripides, library of, 91; popularity of the songs of, 99; recitations
  from, by Alexander, 100; the _Bacchantes_ of, 101

  Eusebius, on the duration of books, 271

  Eustathius I., writings of, 288


  _Fei-ke-mono-gatari_, the (Annals), 42

  Flood, the, Chaldean account of, 9

  Folk-songs of India, 45

  Freeman, on Athenian audiences, 86

  French, the literary language of the eighteenth century, 171

  Fronto, the writings of, 261

  Fu-hi, the Emperor, 22


  Gaius on immaterial property, 269

  Galen, cited, 124, 157

  _Gâthas_, the hymns of Persia, 47

  Gautama, or Buddha, the work of, 45

  Gellius, Aulus, cited, 81, 89, 246

  Géraud, on the influence of the priestly caste on literature, 56; on
  the journey of Trajan, 164

  Gibbon, on the Royal College of Constantinople, 285; on the library of
  Photius, 287; on the histories of Anna Comnena, 288

  Gnosticism in Alexandria, 147

  _Golden Meadows_, the, of El-Mesoudee, 49

  Gospels, the Gothic version of, 284

  “Grammarians,” the, of the Alexandrian Academy, 133

  “Grammarians” as buyers of books, 248

  Greece, the early literature of, 53; introduction of the alphabet into,
  56; reading and writing in early, 61

  Greek books, costliness of, 93

  Greek classics, distribution of, throughout the Empire, 262

  Greek manuscripts, careless copying of, referred to by Strabo, 120

  Greek language and literature, the knowledge of, throughout Europe
  furthered by the fall of Constantinople, 294

  Greek, the literary language of early Rome, 116, 166; the language of
  higher education in later Rome, 259

  Greek written characters, first example of, 58

  Greeks, the trained memories of, 106, 107, 108

  Gutenberg and his printing-press, 295


  Hammer, von, cited, 49

  Harpalus, friend of Alexander, 111; purchases books in Athens, 111

  Hebrew literature, the golden age of, 50, 52

  Hebrews, early literature of, 49

  Heeren, editor of the works of Stobæus, 287

  Hercules, prefers cookery to poetry, 96

  Hermann, cited, 98

  Hermes Trismegistus, 11

  Hermetic books of Egypt, 11

  Hermodoros sells reports of Plato’s lectures, 78

  Hermogenes of Tarsus killed by Domitian, 245

  Herodotus, the _Histories_ of, 84-86; in Thurium, 85; cited, 155

  Hesiod, poems of, 66; his _Works and Days_, 66

  _Hezar Afsaneh_, the (the thousand fanciful stories), 49

  Hezekiah, the age of, 50

  Hoang-ti, the Emperor, invents decimal system, etc., 23

  Hodgkin, T., his _Theodoric the Goth_ cited, 281

  Homeric poems, collected under Pisistratus, 66

  Hommel, Fritz, work of, in Chaldea, 7

  Horace, on the cost of learned slaves, 181; on plagiarists, 202

  Hostius, the _Histories_ of, 180

  Hwang-ti, the Emperor, issues an _index expurgatorius_, 33; orders
  destruction of classic literature, 34


  Iliad, miniature copy of the, described by Pliny, 118

  India, earliest literature of, 44

  Indian monasteries, manuscripts in the, 46

  Indian writers, compensation of, 46

  Indian writing materials, 46

  Iran and Turan, 48

  Isaiah, cited, 145

  Isocrates, price paid him for discourses, 77; cited, 88; his letters to
  Philip, 109; the _Parathenaicus_ of, 110

  Italicus, the libraries of, 249

  Izanaghi and Izanami, creators of the Japanese world, 40


  Japan, early literature of; early writing materials, 39, 40

  Japan, the theatre of, 42

  Japanese authors, the rewards of, 43

  Jerome, controversial letters of, 267

  Jevons, _Hist. Greek Lit._ cited, 58-63

  Jewish law, the, against false words, 52

  Johnson’s _Universal Cyclopedia_, cited, 156

  Josephus, reference of, to the Alexandrian Library, 130

  Judæa, early literature of, 49

  Jurists of Rome on immaterial property, 267

  Justinian, opinion in the _Institutes_ of, on immaterial property,

  Juvenal, cited, 247; on the poet’s profession, 252


  Kallinus, the scribe, 115

  Karpeles on early Egyptian literature, 12-16; on literature in China, 23

  Khufa or Cheops, 12

  Kingsley’s _Hypatia_, 146

  Kiriath Sepher, or the Quarter of the Grammarians, 136

  Klostermann, on Roman jurisprudence, 268

  Kang-Hi, the Emperor, interested in printing, 29

  Krates, the Cynic, 114


  Labeo, the jurist, writings of, 255

  Lamothe, cited, 75

  Latin, the literary language of mediæval Europe, 171

  Latin language, discontinuance of, in the Greek Empire, 285

  Latin literature affected by the removal of the capital to Byzantium,

  Layard, Sir Henry, discoveries in Chaldea, 5; cited, 149

  Lead, sheets of, used for public documents, 154

  Legge, on early Chinese literature, 23

  Leo the Isaurian, 285

  Leo the Wise, writings of, 286

  Libellous publications, punishments for the circulation of, 245; when
  held to be treasonable, 267

  Libraries, in Rome, 245; in the public baths and in country houses,
  249; renewals of books in, 270

  Library, of the Temple of Apollo, 245; of the College in Athens, 247

  _Li-ki_, the, or _Book of Conduct_, 32

  Linen sheets, use of, for private records, 154

  Linus, instructor of Hercules, 96

  “Literary Emperors,” the, of Constantinople, 286

  Literature, the beginnings of, 1

  Livy, _Histories_ of, published by Dorus, 196

  Lollianus, Mavertius, 262

  Lucian, cited, 84, 100; criticises the bad work done by the Athenian
  publishers, 123; works of, in demand thirty years after the author’s
  death, 250

  Lucretius, on _The Nature of Things_, 196

  Lucullus brings to Rome books from Athens, 116

  _Lün-yü_, the, or _Conversations_, 32

  Lycon, Peripatetic philosopher, 115

  Lycophron, 132


  Ma, Egyptian goddess of truth, 11

  Macedonia, book collectors in, 96

  Mæcenas, his influence on literary production, 251

  Mahaffy, on use of memory in Greece, 63; on the writings of Hesiod,
  66; on Athenian audiences, 86; analyzes the character of Alexandrian
  literature, 135; describes the Alexandrian University, 129

  Manuscripts, destruction of, in Constantinople, 292; taken by Greek
  scholars to Italy and Germany, 293

  _Man-yo-sin_, the (collection of ballads), 41

  Marcellinus, cited, 87

  Martial, the library of, 250; on plagiarism, 204; on the compensation
  of authors, 233, 252; on presentation copies, 208, 209, 210; on the
  prices of his books, 214; his four publishers, 216; as an advertiser
  and as a blackmailer, 206, 253

  Massilia, as a centre of higher education, 259

  Maternus, Firmicus, the _Mathesis_ of, 262

  Meineke, cited, 103, 104, 156

  Melanippides, the poetry of, 105

  Ménant, cited, 151

  Mencius, the work of, 28

  _Mengtsze_, the, 32

  _Metamorphoses_, the _Book of the_, 24

  Mnaseas, father of Zeno, 111

  Moore’s _Lectures_, cited, 134

  Müller, on Aristophanes, cited, 94, 95


  Nepos, Cornelius, his _Life of Atticus_, 175

  Niceratus, 106

  Nichomachus, the arithmetician, 132

  Nicocles pays Isocrates for discourses, 77

  Nicophon refers to booksellers, 103

  Nineveh, royal library of, 5

  _Notarii_, definition of, 183

  _Nü Kiai_, the, or _Female Precepts_, 35


  Oman, C. W. C., on Byzantine literary history, 285; the _Byzantine
  Empire_, 286

  Origen refers to the “swift writers of Alexandria,” 125


  Palimpsest, or _codex rescriptus_, 161

  Pammachius attempts to suppress letters of St. Jerome, 266

  Pan Chao, a female historian, 35

  Papyrus, cost of, in Greece, 94; monopoly of, in Alexandria, 138;
  disappearance of, in Egypt, 144; used for cordage, 154; destructibility
  of, 270

  Papyrus rolls, size of, 141

  Parchment, invention of, 137

  Paris, influence of the University of, in publishing undertakings, 295

  Paul orders books burned in Ephesus, 118

  Penta-on, the poem of, 17

  _Pergamentum_, derivation of term, 138

  Pergamum, as a literary centre, 138; the royal library of, presented by
  Antony to Cleopatra, 89; the library of, transferred to Alexandria, 140

  Pericles reduces price of seats in theatre, 76

  Persia, earliest literature of, 47

  Persian priests, 48; poets, 48; minstrels, 48; story-tellers, 48;
  reciters, 49; writing materials, 49

  Peters, Jno. P., work of, in Chaldea, 7; on the age of Hezekiah, 50, 51

  Petronius, cited, 249

  Phædon of Elis, 105

  Philoxenus of Cythera, 105

  Photius, cited, 91; the library catalogue of, 287

  Pi-Shing invents printing from movable type, 29

  Pisistratus, tyrant of Athens, 65; bequeaths his books to Athens, 89

  Piso, the annals of, 180

  Plagiarism, in Greece, 73; in Alexandria, 74; in Rome, 204

  Plato, influence of, on the literary life of Athens, 77; lectures of,
  78; the _Timæus_ of, 72, 124; reference of, to the book-trade of
  Athens, 97; writer of comedies, 103

  Plautus, earns money by his comedies, 179; loses money as a miller, 179

  Pliny, gives a library to Comum, 246; on the service to literature
  rendered by Varro, 256; on the importance of papyrus, 259; on the
  duration of books, 271; letters of, cited, 153, 249, 255, 265

  Plutarch, the plagiarism of, 73; cited, 84, 89, 110, 111, 116, 157

  Porphyry of Tyre, writings of, 266

  Priests of Egypt, connection with the _Book of the Dead_, 14

  Printing, invention of, in China, 29

  Priscus, poems of, on Germanicus and on Drusus, 251; put to death by
  the Senate, 252

  Prisse papyrus, the, 15

  Procopius, writings of, 285

  Proculus on immaterial property, 268

  Prodicus, a poem of, 96

  Pronapis initiates writing from left to right, 57

  Protagoras, receives pay for instruction, 84; writings of, burned as
  heretical, 119

  Psammaticus, king, 58

  Ptah-Hotep, the _Precepts_ of, 14, 15

  Ptolemies, rivalry of, with the Attali in collecting books, 116

  Ptolemy Soter founds the Alexandrian Museum, 128

  Ptolemy Philadelphus, develops the Alexandrian Museum into an Academy
  and University, 128; prohibits export of papyrus, 138

  Publishers of Greece do not associate their names with the works issued
  by them, 121


  Quintilian, salary of, as state rhetorician, 254


  Ragozin, _Story of Chaldea_, 10, 151

  Rameses II., Reign of, 17, 18

  Rangabé, cited, 94

  Rawlinson, George, summary of Egyptian literature, 18, 19

  Rawnsley, H. D., _Notes for the Nile_, 15; metrical versions of
  Egyptian hymns, 17

  Reciting in Greece of literary productions, 64

  Regulus, M. Aquilus, writes the memoir of his son, 255

  Renouard, on Jewish plagiarism, 52; cited, 244, 267

  Rhapsodists, the, of Greece, 64

  Rhodes, a centre of book production, 116

  Ritsche, cited, 156

  Ritter, cited, 117

  Rolls, of papyrus, size of, 141

  Roman authors, as “appropriators,” 166; their difficulties in securing
  a public, 168

  Roman jurists on immaterial property, 267

  Roman literature, beginnings of, 163

  Roman publishers, business connection of, with Alexandria, 170

  Roman Republic gives no aid to literary undertakings, 174

  Romances of chivalry in Byzantium, 289

  Rome, becomes a literary centre, 146; capture of, by Alaric, 278;
  capture of, by Odoacer, 279; capture of, by Theodoric, 279; influence
  of Greece upon the early literature of, 165

  Rozoir’s _Dictionnaire_, cited, 69

  Rustem, the legend of, 48

  Rusticus, Junius, _Laudation_ by, 265


  Sabinus, Petronius, copies the Sibylline books, 244

  Sabinus on immaterial property, 268

  Sammoaicus, the library of, 249

  Sanscrit literature, the earliest, 44

  Sapor II. and the Avesta, 48

  Sauppe on the _Codex Parisinus_ of Demosthenes, 124

  Scævola, the _Annales Maximi_ of, 180

  Schaefer, cited, 109

  _Schi-king_, the, 32

  Schmitz, W., on writers and booksellers in Greece, cited, 55, 90, 98,

  Scholars of Byzantium scattered through Europe after the capture of the
  city, 293

  Schöll, cited, 134

  _Schu_, the, (“books,”) in China, 30

  _Schu-king_, the, 31

  Scribes, in Egypt, 20; in Athens, 105; in Alexandria, 137

  Seneca, cited, 181, 244

  Senecio, Herennius, the _Laudation_ by, 265

  _Septuagint_, the, begun in Alexandria 285 B.C., 136

  _Servus literatus_, requirements for a, 182

  Sibylline books, ownership in, claimed by the State, 234

  Sigean inscription, 57

  Simcox, cited, 163, 177, 178, 179, 245, 250-253, 255, 260, 261

  Skytale, the, 60

  Smith, George, work in London and in Chaldea, 5, 7, 150

  Smyrna, the library of, 247

  Solon, the laws of, 57

  _Songs_ (Chinese), the _Book of_, 24

  Sophists, the, 65

  Sosii, the, 202

  Soto-oro-ime, Empress and poet, 41

  Stahr’s _Aristotle_, cited, 90

  Statius, the _Thebaïd_ of, 254

  Stella, his poem on the “Wars of the Giants,” 251

  St. John, Second Epistle of, written on papyrus, 160

  Stobæus, the writings of, 286

  Strabo, refers to incorrect text of Greek manuscripts, 120; refers to
  bookmaking in Alexandria, 137; complains as to the inaccuracy of books,

  Suetonius, his _Life of Domitian_, cited, 244, 247, 264; his
  _Ludicra_, 260

  Suidas, cited, 76, 154; reference of, to Hermodoros, 79; the Lexicon
  of, 288; the plays of, 288

  Susanoo arranges sounds into syllables, 40

  Sylla, a collector of Greek books, 117; purchases the manuscripts of
  Aristotle and Theophrastus, 117

  Syria, under the Seleucids, a home of Hellenism, 139


  Tablets of baked clay, 149

  Tablets of wax, known to Homer, in use with the Romans, 154

  Tacitus, the _Agricola_ of, cited, 265

  Tacitus, the Emperor, orders the histories of his ancestor to be placed
  in the public libraries, 257

  Tacitus, the historian, cited, 251; education of, 257; writings of, 258

  _Tagenistæ_, the, of Aristophanes, 61

  _Telegraph_, the London, employs George Smith in Chaldea, 6

  Temple, the copyists of the, 52

  Terence, translates plates from the Greek, 179; receives pay for
  stage-rights, 225

  Tertullian, the writings of, 261

  Testament, the New, almost the only literary production of importance
  in Syrian Greek, 139

  Theatre, in Greece, cost of admission to, 76

  Theocritus, work of, in Alexandria, 132

  Theognis, the Megarian, the device of, 61

  Theological writings distributed without profit to their authors, 147

  Theopompus, the _Philippics_ of, 72; refers to booksellers, 103

  Thoth-Hermes, god of wisdom and literature, 11

  Thucydides, listens to Herodotus, 86; the daughter of, 87

  Tiberius orders certain historical writings taken from the libraries,

  Tibullus gives copies of his books to the Palatine Library, 246

  Tibur, the library of, 246

  Timon, 132

  Tiron, the freedman and friend of Cicero, 184

  Trajan, Asiatic expeditions of, 164

  Tribonianus on immaterial property, 268

  Trimalchio, the libraries of, 249

  _Tschun-tshien_, the, 32

  Tsengtze, the work of, 28

  Type first used in China, 29

  Tyrannion edits writings of Aristotle, 90, 120

  Tzetzes, John, describes the Alexandrian Library, 130; the
  _Chiliads_ of, 288


  Ulfilas translates the Bible into Gothic, 284

  Undertakers, the, of Egypt, the first booksellers, 13


  Varro, the writings of, 256

  _Vedas_, the, 44, 45

  _Vendidad_, the, 47

  Virey, P., translation of Ptah-Hotep’s _Precepts_, 16

  Virgil, the _Æneid_ of, 198

  _Visparad_, the, 47

  Vitruvius, cited, 74


  Wade, Sir Thomas, cited, 36

  Wang Pih-ho, compiles a horn-book, 36

  Wilkinson, cited, 145, 152

  Williams, S. Wells, quoted, 27-36

  Women as scribes, 183


  Xenophon, home of, at Scillus, 88; his method in the _Anabasis_,
  88; completes the _Cyropædia_, 88; death of, 88; literary
  undertakings of, 88; reference of, to books saved from a wreck, 101


  _Yasna_, the, 47

  _Yescht-Sade_, the, 47

  Yih, the councillor, 31

  _Y-king_, the, or _Book of the Metamorphoses_, 24


  Zeller, cited, 82

  _Zend-Avesta_, the, 47

  Zeno, the shipwreck of, 113

  Zenodotus establishes the first grammar-school in Athens, 133

  Zoroaster, or Zarathustra, 47



[1] _Story of Chaldea_, 260.

[2] _Revue Archæol._, 1857.

[3] Rawnsley, _Notes for the Nile_. London and New York, 1892.

[4] _Ancient Egypt_, American edition, i., 106, 107.

[5] Karpeles, _Gesch. der Litt. des Orient._, i., 10.

[6] Karpeles, i., 11.

[7] _Middle Kingdom_, i., p. 603.

[8] _Encyclopædia Britannica_, article “China.”

[9] Karpeles, i., 12.

[10] Karpeles, i., 12.

[11] _Middle Kingdom_, i., 600.

[12] _Middle Kingdom_, i., 574.

[13] _Middle Kingdom_, i., 526.

[14] Karpeles, i., 23.

[15] Prof. J. P. Peters, _Journal of the Exegetical Society_, 1887,
116, 117.

[16] Renouard, _Traité des Droits d’Auteurs_, i., 15.

[17] Sanhedrim, c. xiv., 5.

[18] _Étude sur la Propriété Littéraire chez les Grecs et chez les
Romains_, par Paul Clement, Grenoble, 1867.

[19] _Du Droit de Perpétuité de la Propriété Intellectuelle_, par
Adolphe Breulier.

[20] _Schriftsteller und Buchhändler in Athen, und im übrigen
Griechenland_, von Wilhelm Schmitz, Heidelberg, 1876.

[21] _Essai sur les Livres dans l’Antiquité_, par H. Géraud, Paris,

[22] Jevons, _Hist. Greek Lit._, 42 _et seq._

[23] Evans found in Crete, in 1893, examples of script, believed to be
the work of scribes of Greek stock, of a much earlier date.

[24] Herod., vi., 27.

[25] Jevons, _Greek Lit._, p. 45.

[26] _Greek Literature_, 51. The word is by some authorities derived
from ῥάβδος a staff,--just as we have a stave in music. Rhapsodists
would thus mean men of the stave; ῥάβδος also (according to Liddell and
Scott, edited by Drisler) means grammatically a line or a verse and
ῥαψῳδία would mean a division of a poem for recitation.

[27] Plato, _Phædo_.

[28] _Ritschl. Philolog. Schriften_, Bd. 1.

[29] _Social Greece_, 10.

[30] _Social Greece_, 14.

[31] _Le Droit des Auteurs_, 16.

[32] Rozoir, _Dictionnaire de la Conversation_, Art. “Plagiaire.”

[33] _The Frogs_, v. 939 _et seq._

[34] _Scholia ad Equites_, v. 528 et 1291.

[35] Bayle, _Dicty._, Art. “Theopompus.”

[36] _Attic Nights_, Book iii., Chap. 17.

[37] _Dict. de la Convers._, art. “Plagiaire.”

[38] _De Archit._, liv. vii. Preface.

[39] _Oeuvres_, ii., Part 2, p. 518.

[40] From the Latin version of Breulier, Clement, II.

[41] _Travels of Anacharsis the Younger_, vi., 91.

[42] Pseudo-Plutarch, _Vitæ dec. Orat.-Isocrates_, c. viii.

[43] _Phædrus_, 274.

[44] Diogenes Laërtius, iii., 6, and _Bergk. Griech. Literatur Gesch._,

[45] _Ad Att._, xiii., 21.

[46] _Poet._, xv., and _Poli._, viii., 541.

[47] Stahr, _Aristotle_, 67.

[48] Gellius, N. A., xx. 5. Plutarch, _Alexander_, c. vii.

[49] Zeller, _Philos. d. Griechen_, ii., 112, 119.

[50] Bruns, _Die Testamente der Griech. Philos._, cited by Birt, 437.

[51] Lucian, _Herodotus_, c. i. and ii.

[52] Plutarch, _Herodotus_, c. 26.

[53] D. Chrysost., op. xxxvii., t. ii., 103.

[54] Plutarch, i., c. 31.

[55] _History of Federal Government_, i., 37.

[56] _Einleitung zu Herodot._, 13 ff.

[57] Thucydides, I, c. 22.

[58] Marcellinus, 43.

[59] Diog. Laërtius, ii., 57.

[60] Birt, 475.

[61] Athenæus, i., 4.

[62] Gellius, vii., c. 17.

[63] Plut., _Vit._, _Antonius_, c. 58.

[64] Stahr, _Aristotle_, 45.

[65] Athenæus, i., 4.

[66] Stahr, _Aristotle_, 70.

[67] Memnon, reported by Photius, 322.

[68] Aristophanes, _Frogs_, v., 944, 1408.

[69] Boeckh, _Gespräche des Sokratikers Simon_, 226.

[70] Diog. Laërt., iii., 9.

[71] Gellius, iii., c. 17.

[72] Müller, _Lustspiele des Aristophanes_, 1041 ff.

[73] Athenæus, iv., 57.

[74] Aristotle, _Poet._, v., 5.

[75] Athenæus, xii., II.

[76] Boeckh, _Staatsh._, p. 68.

[77] Buchsenschutz, _Besitz und Erwerb im Griech. Alterthum_, 572.

[78] Schmitz, _Schriftsteller in Athen_, 68.

[79] Hermann, _Staats Alterthum_, 466.

[80] Plutarch, _Nicias_.

[81] _Ibid._

[82] Plato, _De Republica_, viii., 568.

[83] Aristotle, _Poet._, xiii.

[84] Athenæus, xii., 53. Cited by Schmitz, 39.

[85] Lucian, _Adv. Indoct._, c. 19.

[86] _Anabasis_, vii., c. 5.

[87] Meineke, _Fragm. Comic._, ii., 2732; Pollux, vii., 211.

[88] Meineke, ii., 2821; Zonaras, _Lex._, 388.

[89] Meineke, ii., 2852.

[90] Meineke, iii., 114; Pollux, vii., 21; and Meineke, iii., 88;
Pollux, vii., 201.

[91] Meineke, iii., 378; Pollux, vii., 211.

[92] Diog. Laërt., ii., 105.

[93] Schol. to Demosth., _Olynth._, ii., 19. Cited by Schmitz, 44.

[94] Xenophon, _The Banquet of Philosophers_, iii., 5.

[95] Schaefer, _Demosthenes und seine Zeit._, i., 322.

[96] Isocrates, _Letters to Philip_, ii.

[97] Plutarch, _Philip_, 17.

[98] Birt, 435.

[99] Plutarch, _Alexander_, c. 8.

[100] Diog. Laërt., vii., 31.

[101] Dionysius Hal., _De Isocrate_, 18.

[102] Diog. Laërt., viii., 36.

[103] Diog. Laërt., vii., 2.

[104] Diog. Laërt., v., 73.

[105] Plutarch, _Lucullus_, c. 42.

[106] See on page 90 another version of the same story.

[107] Ritter, _Hist. Ancient Philos._, iii., 24.

[108] Drumann, v., 66, quoting Cicero, _Epist. ad Atticum_.

[109] Plin., _Hist. Nat._, vii., 85.

[110] Diog Laërt., ix., 52.

[111] Strabo, xiii., c. 54.

[112] Lucian, c. iv., as quoted by Schmitz, 55.

[113] Lucian, _Adv. Ind._, 4, quoted by Schmitz, 56.

[114] Schmitz, 57.

[115] _Greek Life and Thought_, 195.

[116] Birt, 486.

[117] _Hist. Lit. Gr._, iii., 186.

[118] Moore’s _Lectures_, 55.

[119] Géraud, 106.

[120] Mahaffy, _Social Life_, 209.

[121] Mahaffy, 209.

[122] Birt, 439.

[123] _Athenæus_, 72.

[124] Birt, 443.

[125] Birt, 501.

[126] This division was, however, probably not made by the author.

[127] Isaiah, xix., 7.

[128] Ragozin, _Chaldea_, 112 _et seq._

[129] Plin., xiii., 68.

[130] Birt, 55.

[131] Diog. Laërt., x., 26.

[132] Birt, _Das Antike Buchwesen_, 439.

[133] Herod., ii., 38.

[134] Johnson’s _Cyclo._, 300.

[135] Ritschl, _Die Alexandrin. Bibliothek._

[136] Plato, _Com._, ii., 684. Meineke.

[137] Plutarch, _Cæsar_, 60; Galen, i., 79.

[138] 2 John, 12.

[139] Simcox, _History Latin Lit._, i., 31.

[140] _Tusc._, i., 5.

[141] Simcox, 32 _et seq._

[142] Simcox, 34.

[143] Simcox, 46.

[144] But six have been preserved. Ritschl, _Op._ 3, 257.

[145] _Epistles_, ii., 2, 5.

[146] Seneca, _Epist._, 27.

[147] _Cod. Just._, vi., 43.

[148] Strabo, L. xiii., 419.

[149] Plutarch, _Crassus_, 2.

[150] Haenny, pp. 31, 32.

[151] Sauppe, _Epist. Crit._, p. 49.

[152] Harpocration, pp. 19, 24, 32, 15.

[153] Daremberg, _Commentaire_, Paris, 1848, p. 12.

[154] Haenny, 33.

[155] _Anecd._, i., 24.

[156] _Ad Atticum_, xii., xv., xvi.

[157] _Ad Atticum_, xiii., 12, 2.

[158] _Ad Atticum_, ii., 4.

[159] Simcox, i., 174.

[160] _Ad Att._, xvi., 11, 1.

[161] _Ad Atticum_, xii., 5, 3; xiii., 21, 3; xvi., 2, 6.

[162] _Ad Atticum_, xii., 6, 3.

[163] _Ad Atticum_, xiii., 13.

[164] _Ad Atticum_ xiii., 25, 3, quoted by Birt, p. 353.

[165] _Ad Atticum_, xiii., 13.

[166] Birt, 354.

[167] _Martial_, xi., 3, 6.

[168] _Ad Atticum_, xii., 41; i., 45.

[169] Birt, 284.

[170] _Ibid._, 357.

[171] _Recherches_, p. 27.

[172] _Orationes_, vi., 3, 3.

[173] _N. A._, i., 7. 1.

[174] _Benef._, vii., 6.

[175] Birt, 358, n. 2.

[176] Géraud, 171.

[177] _Ad Quintum_, III, 5, 6.

[178] Catullus, ed. Vossius, 14.

[179] _Epist._, 2, 2, 49.

[180] Simcox, i., 287.

[181] _Art. Poet._, 345.

[182] _Epist._, i., 19, 19.

[183] Lines placed on the doorway to the Palace of Augustus, quoted in
_P. Virgilii Maronis Vita_, (author unknown) Paris, 1780.

[184] _Epist._, i., 19.

[185] _Plagius_ is from πλάγιος.

[186] _Lat. Lit._, i., 349.

[187] Simcox, i., 249.

[188] _Trist._, iv., 1, 3.

[189] _Ep._, i., 1.

[190] _Ep._, i., 2.

[191] L. i., ep. 118.

[192] L. i., ep. 30.

[193] L. iv., ep. 72.

[194] xii., 1.

[195] vii., 80.

[196] iv., 82.

[197] vi., 85.

[198] v., 16, 10.

[199] xi., 25.

[200] _Gesch. der Denk- und Glaubensfreiheit im ersten Jahrhundert der
Kaiserherrschaft_, p. 138.

[201] _Ep._, xiii., 3.

[202] iv., 88, 1.

[203] v., 16, 10.

[204] xi., 3.

[205] i., 113.

[206] _Ep._, i., 2.

[207] Schmidt, p. 143; Martial, vii., 17.

[208] ii., 1, 5.

[209] vii., 11 and 17.

[210] Haenny, p. 39.

[211] Simcox, p. 249.

[212] _De Bibliopolis Romanorum_, 10-12.

[213] Gallus (Deutsche Ausgabe), ii., 450.

[214] P. 354.

[215] x. 74.

[216] _De Gramm._, Reiff., p. 106, 12.

[217] P. 355.

[218] xii., 46.

[219] v., 56.

[220] i., 76.

[221] v., 16.

[222] xiii., 11.

[223] Simcox, p. 250.

[224] Juvenal, _Sat._, vii., 39-47.

[225] Juvenal, v., 82-94.

[226] Cap. ix.

[227] Birt, 347.

[228] Catullus, 95, quoted by Birt, 345.

[229] Birt, 345.

[230] _Epist._, i., 8, 3.

[231] Fronto, _Epist. ad Verum_, ii., 9.

[232] Birt, 357; see also Cicero, _Philipp._, ii., 4.

[233] _Ep._, i., 4, 118.

[234] Martial, _Ep._, i., 117.

[235] Lucian, 58, 4.

[236] Gell., 9, 4, 1.

[237] Plin., _Ep._, 9, 11.

[238] Martial, 7, 88.

[239] Horace, _Ep._, 20, 13.

[240] Birt, 363.

[241] Birt, 359.

[242] Birt, 348.

[243] Quint., _Epist. ad Tryphon_.

[244] Mart., xiii., 3.

[245] Seneca, _De Beneficiis_, vii., 6, 1. Quoted by Birt, p. 358.

[246] Renouard, i., 15.

[247] Sueton., _Domitian_, c. 10.

[248] Aulus Gellius, 19, 5, 4, 9; 14, 3.

[249] _Epist._, i., 8, 2.

[250] Bursian, _Geog. Griechenlands_, p. 290.

[251] Strabo, p. 646.

[252] _Ad Quintum_, iii., 4.

[253] Juvenal, iii., 206.

[254] Sueton., _Domitian_, 20.

[255] Birt, p. 361.

[256] _De Fin._, ii., 7.

[257] _Epist._, iii., 7.

[258] 48, 4.

[259] Birt, 361.

[260] Suidas, _Lexicon_.

[261] Capitolinus, _Gordianus_, 18, 2.

[262] Martial, 14, 190.

[263] Simcox, ii., 49.

[264] Simcox, ii., p. 77.

[265] Tac., _Ann._, iii., 49.

[266] Simcox, ii., p. 77.

[267] Martial, vi., 12.

[268] Martial, iv., 72. Simcox, p. 107.

[269] Simcox, ii., p. 142.

[270] Simcox, ii., p. 236.

[271] Birt.

[272] Pliny, _Epist._, iv., 7.

[273] Birt, 352.

[274] Pliny, xxxv., II (trans. from Birt’s version).

[275] Ritschl, Ramsay, and other scholars take the view that Pliny was
referring to actual portraits which Varro had prepared by an admirable
invention of his own.

[276] Simcox, i., p. 206.

[277] Simcox, ii., 243.

[278] Birt, 367.

[279] Diog. Laërt., ix., 52.

[280] Sueton., _Octavius_, 31.

[281] Sueton., _Caligula_, 34.

[282] Sueton., _Tiberius_, 61.

[283] Sueton., _Domitian_, 10.

[284] Tacitus, _Agric._, 2. Plin., _Ep._, vii., 19.

[285] Burckhardt, _Constant._, p. 151.

[286] Burckhardt, 341.

[287] _Codex_, ix., 36, “De Famosis Libellis.”

[288] Renouard, 17.

[289] Klostermann, p. 37.

[290] Just. 34, _Inst. l. c._ Cited by Klostermann, 37.

[291] Plinius, xiii., 83.

[292] Euseb., _Hist. Eccles._, vi., 13.

[293] Birt, 375.

[294] _Theodoric the Goth_, pp. 263-276.

[295] Oman, _The Byzantine Empire_, p. 280.

[296] Gibbon’s _Rome_, Am. ed., v., 525.

[297] _Hist. Europ. Morals_, Amer. ed., p. 13.


The first line indicates the original, the second the correction:

p. iv

  Louis Haenny, H. Géraud, and A. Meinecke.
  Louis Haenny, H. Géraud, and A. Meineke.

p. 297

  Acoka, the edicts of, 44
  Açoka, the edicts of, 44

p. 301

  _Golden Meadows_, the, of El Mesondee, 49
  _Golden Meadows_, the, of El-Mesoudee, 49

p. 304

  Lycophon, 132
  Lycophron, 132

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