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Title: The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura
Author: Apuleius, Lucius, 125?-180
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Apologia and Florida of Apuleius of Madaura" ***

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[Transcriber's Note: Out-of-order entries in the endnotes have been









For the purposes of this translation I have used Helm's text of the
_Apologia_, and Van der Vliet's text of the _Florida_. Both texts are
published by the firm of Teubner, to whom I am indebted for permission
to use their publications as the basis of this work. Divergences from
the text are indicated in the footnotes, and I have made a few,
perhaps unnecessary, expurgations. For the elucidation of the magical
portions of the _Apologia_ I am specially indebted to Abt's commentary
(_Apologie des Apuleius_, Giessen, 1906). I also owe much to the
articles on Apuleius in Schanz's _Geschichte der römischen
Litteratur_, and in Pauly-Wissowa's _Real-Encyclopädie_, and to
Hildebrand's commentary on the works of Apuleius (Leipzig, 1842).




INTRODUCTION                                               5

THE APOLOGIA                                              19

THE FLORIDA                                              159

NOTES ON THE APOLOGIA                                    219

NOTES ON THE FLORIDA                                     235


Our authorities for the life of Apuleius are in the main the
_Apologia_, the _Florida_, and the last book of the _Metamorphoses_.
He has a passion for taking his audience into his confidence, and as a
result it is not hard to reconstruct a considerable portion of his
life. He was a native of Madaura, the modern Mdaurusch, a Numidian
town loftily situated above the valley of the Medjerda. The town was a
flourishing Roman colony (_Apol._ 24), and the family of Apuleius was
among the wealthiest and most important of the town. His father
attained to the position of _duumvir_, the highest municipal office
(_Apol._ loc. cit.), and left his son the considerable fortune of
2,000,000 sesterces (£20,000). As to the date of Apuleius' birth there
is some uncertainty. But as he was the fellow student (_Florida_ 16)
at Rome of Aemilianus Strabo (consul 156 A.D.), and was considerably
younger than his wife Pudentilla, whom he married about 155 A.D., when
she had 'barely passed the age of forty' (_Apol._ 89), the estimate
which places his birth about 125 A.D. cannot be far wrong. His name is
generally given as Lucius Apuleius, though the only authority for the
_praenomen_ is the evidence of late MSS., and it is not improbable
that the origin of the name is to be found in the curious
identification of himself with Lucius, the hero of the _Metamorphoses_
(xi. 27). At an early age the young Apuleius was sent to school at
Carthage (_Florida_ 18), whence on attaining to manhood he proceeded
to complete his education at Athens (_Florida_ loc. cit.). There he
studied philosophy, rhetoric, geometry, music, and poetry (_Florida_
20), and laid the foundations of that encyclopaedic, if superficial
knowledge, which in after years he so delighted to parade. On leaving
Athens he set forth on lengthy travels, in the course of which he
spent a large portion of his patrimony (_Apol._ 23). He speaks of the
temple of Hera at Samos as an eyewitness (_Florida_ 15), and elsewhere
mentions a visit to Hierapolis in Phrygia (_de mundo_ 17). Returning
from the East he came to Corinth, where--if we may accept his
identification of himself with the Lucius of the _Metamorphoses_--he
fell into the clutches of the priests of Isis, who played upon his
emotional and superstitious temperament to their hearts' content. He
was first initiated into the mysteries of Isis (_Metamorph._ xi. 23,
24). A few days after this auspicious event the goddess appeared to
him in a vision and bade him set forth homewards. He therefore took
ship for Rome, where for the space of a year he dwelt, a fervent
worshipper at the temple of Isis on the Campus Martius. Once more
visions of the night began to afflict him; he consulted the priests
and discovered the cause; he required yet to be initiated into the
mysteries of Osiris. The priests of Corinth had worked upon his
credulity to such good effect, that he found himself in serious
financial difficulties, but by practising as a lawyer he succeeded in
making a sufficient income to provide more than adequately for the
expenses of this fresh initiation (_Metamorph._ xi. 28, 30). While at
Rome he made the acquaintance of Aemilianus Strabo and Scipio Orfitus,
men of distinguished position, whom he was to meet again when their
official career brought them to Africa as proconsuls of that province
(_Florida_ 16, 17).

At last he returned home, and it was probably at this period of his
career that he wrote his famous novel, the _Metamorphoses_ or _Golden
Ass_.[1] It is based on the lost work of a certain Lucius of Patras,
of which we have another version in the [Greek: Loukios ê onos],
falsely attributed to Lucian. He enlarged the original by the free
insertion of sensational or humorous stories of the kind popularized
later by the _Decameron_ of Boccaccio, above all by the insertion of
the beautiful fairy-tale of Cupid and Psyche. And then at the end
comes the curious personal note, where Lucius, a Greek at the outset
of the romance, becomes strangely transformed into a native of

[Footnote 1: See Introd. to my translation of _Metamorphoses_.]

But he did not settle down in his native town. After a time he visited
Alexandria, and it was in the course of his return from the capital of
Egypt that the crisis in his life occurred, to which we owe that
remarkable human document, the _Apologia_. For on his homeward journey
he fell sick at Oea, the modern Tripoli.[2] In this town there dwelt a
wealthy lady, named Aemilia Pudentilla, the widow of Sicinius Amicus,
by whom she had two sons, Sicinius Pontianus and his younger brother,
Sicinius Pudens. Pontianus was already the friend of Apuleius; he had
made his acquaintance at Athens; an intimacy had sprung up between
them, and they had lived together in the same lodgings. Hearing,
therefore, of Apuleius' sickness, he called on him at the house of
their mutual friends the Appii, where he was lodging. The reasons for
Pontianus' visit were somewhat remarkable. His grandfather had been
anxious that Pudentilla should take a second husband in the person of
his son and her brother-in-law, Sicinius Clarus, and with this end in
view threatened to exclude her sons, whose guardian he was, from the
possession of any of their father's property, if she married
elsewhere. She therefore suffered herself to be betrothed to Sicinius
Clarus, 'a boorish and decrepit old man,' but put off the marriage,
until her father-in-law's death released her from all embarrassment.
Pontianus and Pudens succeeded to the property, and Pudentilla felt
herself free to take a husband of her own choice. She informed her
sons of her intentions. Pontianus approved, but since the property
left to himself and Pudens by their grandfather was small, and all his
expectations of wealth depended on the ultimate inheritance of his
mother's fortune (4,000,000 sesterces = £40,000), he was most anxious
that his mother should marry an honest man who might reasonably be
expected to treat his step-sons fairly. At this point, in the very
nick of time, Apuleius was detained at Oea. Pontianus saw in him a
heaven-sent step-father, and it was with this in his mind that he
called upon Apuleius. He did not declare his intentions at once. He
contented himself at first with dissuading Apuleius from pursuing his
journey homeward till the next winter came round, and persuaded him to
come and stay in his mother's house. Apuleius accepted his offer and
their old intimacy revived. At last a suitable occasion offered for
the declaration of Pontianus' wishes. Apuleius had given a public
lecture at Oea. His audience broke into frenzied applause and begged
Apuleius to become a citizen of their town.

[Footnote 2: See _Apol._ 68 sqq.]

When the audience were gone, Pontianus took Apuleius aside and, saying
that the popular enthusiasm was a sign from heaven, begged Apuleius to
marry Pudentilla. After much deliberation Apuleius consented, though
the lady was neither fair to view nor young. She had been a widow for
more than thirteen years, and was now over forty. Soon, however, he
began to love Pudentilla for her own sake; her virtues and
intelligence won his heart and overcame his desire for further travel.
The marriage was duly solemnized. But it brought Apuleius no peace.
Sicinius Aemilianus, another brother of her first husband, and
Herennius Rufinus, the disreputable father-in-law of Pontianus, were
both up in arms. Rufinus had hoped, through his son-in-law, to reap a
rich harvest from Pudentilla's fortune; Aemilianus resented the
treatment of his brother, Sicinius Clarus. They sought, therefore,
how they might have their revenge. Their first step was to win
Pontianus and Pudens to their side. This they succeeded in doing, in
spite of the generous treatment accorded by Apuleius to his step-sons.
Pontianus fell sick and died before they could carry out their
designs. He had, moreover, repented of his baseness to his former
friend, though death prevented him from showing what his repentance
was worth. Pudens, however, was completely under the thumb of
Aemilianus and Rufinus, and a number of more or less serious charges
were brought against Apuleius in his name.

He was accused of having won the heart of Pudentilla by sorcery, of
being a man of immoral life, and of having married his elderly bride
solely for the sake of her money. The trial took place at Sabrata
(_Apol._ 59), the modern Zowâra, lying on the coast some sixty miles
west of Oea. The case was tried by the proconsul himself, Claudius
Maximus. The date cannot be precisely fixed. But Claudius Maximus was
probably proconsul at some time between the years 155-158 A.D. (see
note on _Apol._ 1), at any rate not later than 161 A.D., since
Antoninus Pius is mentioned as the reigning princeps (died March 161
A.D.). Apuleius had no difficulty in disposing of the charges brought
against him, and incidentally found an opportunity for a flamboyant
display of the learning of which he was so proud. He may well on
occasion have practised magic: his insatiable curiosity must assuredly
have led him to experiment in this direction, and his subsequent
reputation confirms these suspicions. But the specific charges of
magic on this occasion were frivolous and absurd. In the first portion
of the speech Apuleius plays with his accusers, mocking them from the
heights of his superior learning. In the second portion, where he
defends his marriage with Pudentilla and justifies his dealings with
his step-sons, he clears himself in good earnest, nay does more than
clear himself. For he unveils in the most merciless fashion the
villany of his accusers--the base ingratitude of Pudens, and the
unspeakable turpitude of Rufinus.

That Apuleius was acquitted cannot be doubted. His case speaks for
itself. But it is noteworthy that we hear of him no more at Oea, where
he had resided for three years at the time of the trial. This
distressing family quarrel must have caused some bitterness of
feeling, and Augustine (_Ep._ 138. 19) mentions a quarrel with the
inhabitants of Oea on the question of the erection of a statue in his
honour. These facts may not improbably have led him to seek residence
elsewhere. Be this as it may, when we next hear of him he is in
Carthage, enjoying the highest renown as philosopher, poet, and
rhetorician. It was during this residence at Carthage that he
delivered the flamboyant orations of which fragments have been
preserved to us in the _Florida_. A few of these excerpts can be
dated. The seventeenth is written during the proconsulate of Scipio
Orfitus in 163-164 A.D. The ninth contains a panegyric of the
proconsul Severianus, who must have held office some time during the
joint reign of Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, 161-169 A.D. (see
note, p. 236). The sixteenth refers to Aemilianus Strabo, who was
consul in 156 A.D. and had not yet become proconsul of Africa. As the
interval between holding the consulate and the proconsulate was from
ten to thirteen years, this fragment may be dated, if not before 166,
at any rate before 169 A.D.

Apuleius won more than mere applause. Carthage decreed a statue in his
honour (_Florida_ 16), and conferred on him the chief-priesthood of
the province. This office entitled its holder to the first place in
the provincial council, and was the highest honour that the province
could bestow (_Florida_ 16). Civil office he never held (Augustine,
_Ep._ 138. 19), perhaps never sought. His genius, it may be said with
confidence, was far from fitting him for judicial or administrative
functions. If we may trust Apollinaris Sidonius (_Ep._ II. 10. 5),
Pudentilla showed herself a model wife by the passionate interest she
took in her husband's work. 'Pudentilla was for Apuleius what Marcia
was for Hortensius, Terentia for Cicero, Calpurnia for Piso,
Rusticiana for Symmachus: these noble women held the lamp while their
husbands read and meditated!' It is even possible that she bore him a
son, as the second book of the _de Platone_ is dedicated to 'my son
Faustinus'. Of his death we know nothing. Testimony as to his
appearance is conflicting. His accusers (_Apol._ 4) charge him with
being a 'handsome philosopher'. He replies that his body is worn by
the fatigues of study and his hair as tangled as a lump of tow!

His works were astonishingly numerous. Beside those already mentioned
there have come down to us two books on the life and philosophy of
Plato,[3] a highly rhetorical treatise on the 'Demon of Socrates', and
a free translation of the pseudo-Aristotelian treatise 'on the
Universe', though Apuleius is regrettably far from making due
acknowledgement of his debt to the original. None of these works can
be described as interesting, though the treatise on the 'Demon of
Socrates' contains some characteristic purple passages.

[Footnote 3: He regarded Plato as his master above all others. We find
_Platonicus_ attached to him as an honorific title in the MSS.]

It would, however, scarcely be an exaggeration to say that more of
Apuleius' works have perished than survived. He has told us in the
_Florida_ (20) that he has written dialogues, hymns, music, history,
and satire. And we have copious references to works from his pen,
that, perhaps fortunately, no longer exist. Beside the three poems
which survive in the _Apologia_ and a translation of a passage of
Menander, preserved in a manuscript once at Beauvais, but now lost
(Baehrens, _Poet. Lat. Min._ 4, p. 104), he mentions a hymn to
Aesculapius, written both in Latin and Greek (_Florida_ 18), and a
panegyric in verse on the virtues of Scipio Orfitus (_Florida_ 17). He
wrote also another novel entitled _Hermagoras_, a collection of famous
love-stories of the past, sundry 'histories', a translation of the
_Phaedo_, and numerous scientific works, dealing with problems of
mathematics, music, astronomy, medicine, botany, and zoology.

The glory won by Apuleius during his lifetime survived after his
death. Augustine knows his works well. He recognizes his importance as
a writer, but abhors him as a magician. Apuleius is a thaumaturge
against whom the faithful need to be warned. 'The enemies of
Christianity,' says Augustine (_Ep._ 138), 'venture to place Apuleius
and Apollonius of Tyana on the same or even a higher level than
Christ.' But in the same letter he speaks of him as a 'great orator'
whose fame still lives among his fellow countrymen of Africa. Above
all the _Golden Ass_ has kept his name alive to our own day. Even
those who know nothing of the work as a whole, or who would relegate
it to obscurity for its occasional gross indecency, know and love the
story of Cupid and Psyche, if not in the original at least in many a
work of art, and in the pages of La Fontaine, Walter Pater, or William

As might be expected from one who left so few themes untouched,
Apuleius is one of the most superficial of ancient writers. It has
been well said of him by M. Paul Monceaux, 'Apulée est un de ces
esprits encyclopédiques, âpres à la curée de toutes les connaissances,
qui se rencontrent au commencement et à la fin des civilisations.' For
the acquisition of his extraordinary reputation he needed an age and
an audience in which learning and literature alike were decadent,
though far from forgotten. He has none of the scientific spirit. He
does not really understand the authors he quotes; he has no critical
spirit, and his own investigations are prompted by indiscriminate
curiosity. But he has vast stores of miscellaneous knowledge such as
might delight the half-educated, and as a rhetorician he possesses a
strange and debased brilliance, fired by an astonishing if disorderly
imagination. The verve, the humour, and above all the welter of warmth
and colour that characterize the _Golden Ass_ make us forgive the
palpable degradation of the Latin language. Not less remarkable is the
_Apologia_. There are few speeches of antiquity that give such a vivid
impression of the character of the author and of the life of the
society in which he moved. The style, it is true, is often bombastic
and affected, many of the arguments are almost more puerile and absurd
than the accusations, while the intense conceit and complacency of the
author often make him ridiculous. A man of wide and varied knowledge,
he has no depth of intellect. He is always half charlatan, and the
reader is rarely free from the impression that he is taking liberties
with the uncertain taste and ignorance of his provincial audience. But
even the weaknesses of style and argument have their charm for the
modern reader. For, if he never entirely fails to laugh with Apuleius,
he certainly indulges in many a hearty laugh at him.

The _Florida_ are no less superficial and bombastic, and the vanity of
Apuleius is revealed even more remarkably than in the _Apologia_. But
they are never long enough to be tedious, and contain much that is
amusing, be the humour unconscious or intentional; and even if we can
rarely give whole-hearted admiration to the style, we cannot but
marvel at its dexterity, while its very _bizarrerie_ is not without
its charm.

This is hardly the place for a disquisition upon African Latin. It is
sufficient here to say that the two main features of the style of
Apuleius are its archaism and its extreme floridity. It has been
asserted that this strange style is of purely African growth,[4] and
that it owes much of its oriental wealth of colour to the Semitic
element that must still have formed so large a proportion of the
population of Africa. But there seems little really to support this
view; it is probable that, allowing for the personal factor, in this
case exceptionally important, and the eccentricities to which
Apuleius' erudition may have led him, we are confronted with no more
than an exaggerated revival of the Asiatic style of oratory. No doubt
the seed fell on good ground, but it is impossible to set one's finger
on any definitely African element.[5]

[Footnote 4: For a vivacious exposition of this view cf. Monceaux,
_Les Africains_. Paris, 1894.]

[Footnote 5: See the chapter on Apuleius in Norden's admirable work,
_Die antike Kunstprosa_, Leipzig, 1898.]

The style presents grave difficulties to the translator. The English
language will not carry the requisite amount of bombast; the
assonances and the puns are generally incapable of reproduction. Even
when this allowance has been made, it is in many cases impossible to
give anything approximating to a translation in natural English. I
can only trust that the English of this translation has not wholly
lost the colour to which Apuleius owes so much of his charm. The
sacrifice is not so great in these works as it must necessarily be in
any English translation of the more exotic and more brilliant-hued
_Metamorphoses_, better known as _The Golden Ass_. But in any case the
cooler tints and sobriety of our native language must--even in hands
less unskilled than mine--fail to do justice to the fantastic Latin of
the original. The vivacity of French coupled with the richness and
warmth of Italian would need to be combined to produce anything
approaching a really good translation, even of the least fantastic
works of Apuleius.


1. For my part, Maximus Claudius, and you, gentlemen who sit beside
him on the bench, I regarded it as a foregone conclusion that Sicinius
Aemilianus would for sheer lack of any real ground for accusation cram
his indictment with mere vulgar abuse; for the old rascal is notorious
for his unscrupulous audacity, and, further, launched forth on his
task of bringing me to trial in your court before he had given a
thought to the line his prosecution should pursue. Now while the most
innocent of men may be the victim of false accusation, only the
criminal can have his guilt brought home to him. It is this thought
that gives me special confidence, but I have further ground for
self-congratulation in the fact that I have you for my judge on an
occasion when it is my privilege to have the opportunity of clearing
philosophy of the aspersions cast upon her by the uninstructed and of
proving my own innocence. Nevertheless these false charges are on the
face of them serious enough, and the suddenness with which they have
been improvised makes them the more difficult to refute. For you will
remember that it is only four or five days since his advocates of
malice prepense attacked me with slanderous accusations, and began to
charge me with practice of the black art and with the murder of my
step-son Pontianus. I was at the moment totally unprepared for such a
charge, and was occupied in defending an action brought by the
brothers Granius against my wife, Pudentilla. I perceived that these
charges were brought forward not so much in a serious spirit as to
gratify my opponents' taste for wanton slander. I therefore
straightway challenged them, not once only, but frequently and
emphatically, to proceed with their accusation. The result was that
Aemilianus, perceiving that you, Maximus, not to speak of others, were
strongly moved by what had occurred, and that his words had created a
serious scandal, began to be alarmed and to seek for some safe refuge
from the consequences of his rashness.

2. Therefore as soon as he was compelled to set his name to the
indictment, he conveniently forgot Pontianus, his own brother's son,
of whose death he had been continually accusing me only a few days
previously. He made absolutely no mention of the death of his young
kinsman[6]; he abandoned this most serious charge, but--to avoid the
appearance of having totally abandoned his mendacious accusations--he
selected, as the sole support of his indictment, the charge of
magic--a charge with which it is easy to create a prejudice against
the accused, but which it is hard to prove. Even that he had not the
courage to do openly in his own person, but a day later presented the
indictment in the name of my step-son, Sicinius Pudens, a mere boy,
adding that he appeared as his representative. This is a new method.
He attacks me through the agency of a third person, whose tender age
he employs to shield his unworthy self against a charge of false
accusation. You, Maximus, with great acuteness saw through his designs
and ordered him to renew his original accusation in person. In spite
of his promise to comply, he cannot be induced to come to close
quarters, but actually defies your authority and continues to skirmish
at long range with his false accusations. He persistently shirks the
perilous task of a direct attack, and perseveres in his assumption of
the safe rôle of the accuser's legal representative. As a result, even
before the case came into court, the real nature of the accusation
became obvious to the meanest understanding. The man who invented the
charge and was the first to utter it had not the courage to take the
responsibility for it. Moreover the man in question is Sicinius
Aemilianus, who, if he had discovered any true charge against me,
would scarcely have been so backward in accusing a stranger of so many
serious crimes, seeing that he falsely asserted his own uncle's will
to be a forgery although he knew it to be genuine: indeed he
maintained this assertion with such obstinate violence, that even
after that distinguished senator, Lollius Urbicus, in accordance with
the decision of the distinguished consulars, his assessors, had
declared the will to be genuine and duly proven, he continued--such
was his mad fury--in defiance of the award given by the voice of that
most distinguished citizen, to assert with oaths that the will was a
forgery. It was only with difficulty that Lollius Urbicus refrained
from making him suffer for it.

[Footnote 6: I conjecture: _de morte cognati adolescentis subito
tacens tanti criminis descriptione destitit, ne tamen omnino desistere
calumnia magiam, &c._]

3. I rely, Maximus, on your sense of justice and on my own innocence,
but I hope that in this trial also we shall hear the voice of Lollius
raised impulsively in my defence; for Aemilianus is deliberately
accusing a man whom he knows to be innocent, a course which comes the
more easy to him, since, as I have told you, he has already been
convicted of lying in a most important case, heard before the Prefect
of the city. Just as a good man studiously avoids the repetition of a
sin once committed, so men of depraved character repeat their past
offence with increased confidence, and, I may add, the more often they
do so, the more openly they display their impudence. For honour is
like a garment; the older it gets, the more carelessly it is worn. I
think it my duty, therefore, in the interest of my own honour, to
refute all my opponent's slanders before I come to the actual
indictment itself. For I am pleading not merely my own cause, but that
of philosophy as well, philosophy, whose grandeur is such that she
resents even the slightest slur cast upon her perfection as though it
were the most serious accusation. Knowing this, Aemilianus' advocates,
only a short time ago, poured forth with all their usual loquacity a
flood of drivelling accusations, many of which were specially invented
for the purpose of blackening my character, while the remainder were
such general charges as the uninstructed are in the habit of levelling
at philosophers. It is true that we may regard these accusations as
mere interested vapourings, bought at a price and uttered to prove
their shamelessness worthy of its hire. It is a recognized practice on
the part of professional accusers to let out the venom of their
tongues to another's hurt; nevertheless, if only in my own interest, I
must briefly refute these slanders, lest I, whose most earnest
endeavour it is to avoid incurring the slightest spot or blemish to my
fair fame, should seem, by passing over some of their more ridiculous
charges, to have tacitly admitted their truth, rather than to have
treated them with silent contempt. For a man who has any sense of
honour or self-respect must needs--such at least is my opinion--feel
annoyed when he is thus abused, however falsely. Even those whose
conscience reproaches them with some crime, are strongly moved to
anger, when men speak ill of them, although they have been accustomed
to such ill report ever since they became evildoers. And even though
others say naught of their crimes, they are conscious enough that such
charges may at any time deservedly be brought against them. It is
therefore doubly vexatious to the good and innocent man when charges
are undeservedly brought against him which he might with justice bring
against others. For his ears are unused and strange to ill report, and
he is so accustomed to hear himself praised that insult is more than
he can bear. If, however, I seem to be anxious to rebut charges which
are merely frivolous and foolish, the blame must be laid at the door
of those, to whom such accusations, in spite of their triviality, can
only bring disgrace. I am not to blame. Ridiculous as these charges
may be, their refutation cannot but do me honour.

4. To begin then, only a short while ago, at the commencement of the
indictment, you heard them say, 'He, whom we accuse in your court, is
a philosopher of the most elegant appearance and a master of eloquence
not merely in Latin but also in Greek!' What a damning insinuation!
Unless I am mistaken, those were the very words with which Tannonius
Pudens, whom no one could accuse of being a master of eloquence, began
the indictment. I wish that these serious reproaches of beauty and
eloquence had been true. It would have been easy to answer in the
words, with which Homer makes Paris reply to Hector:--

     [Greek: ou toi apoblêt' esti theôn erikudea dôra·
     hossa ken autoi dôsin, hekôn d' ouk an tis heloito].--

which I may interpret thus: 'The most glorious gifts of the gods are
in no wise to be despised; but the things which they are wont to give
are withheld from many that would gladly possess them.' Such would
have been my reply. I should have added that philosophers are not
forbidden to possess a handsome face. Pythagoras, the first to take
the name of 'philosopher', was the handsomest man of his day. Zeno
also, the ancient philosopher of Velia, who was the first to discover
that most ingenious device of refuting hypotheses by the method of
self-inconsistency, that same Zeno was--so Plato asserts--by far the
most striking in appearance of all the men of his generation. It is
further recorded of many other philosophers that they were comely of
countenance and added fresh charm to their personal beauty by their
beauty of character. But such a defence is, as I have already said,
far from me. Not only has nature given me but a commonplace
appearance, but continued literary labour has swept away such charm as
my person ever possessed, has reduced me to a lean habit of body,
sucked away all the freshness of life, destroyed my complexion and
impaired my vigour. As to my hair, which they with unblushing
mendacity declare I have allowed to grow long as an enhancement to my
personal attractions, you can judge of its elegance and beauty. As you
see, it is tangled, twisted and unkempt like a lump of tow, shaggy and
irregular in length, so knotted and matted that the tangle is past the
art of man to unravel. This is due not to mere carelessness in the
tiring of my hair, but to the fact that I never so much as comb or
part it. I think this is a sufficient refutation of the accusations
concerning my hair which they hurl against me as though it were a
capital charge.

5. As to my eloquence--if only eloquence were mine--it would be small
matter either for wonder or envy if I, who from my earliest years to
the present moment have devoted myself with all my powers to the sole
study of literature and for this spurned all other pleasures, had
sought to win eloquence to be mine with toil such as few or none have
ever expended, ceasing neither night nor day, to the neglect and
impairment of my bodily health. But my opponents need fear nothing
from my eloquence. If I have made any real advance therein, it is my
aspirations rather than my attainments on which I must base my claim.
Certainly if the aphorism said to occur in the poems of Statius
Caecilius be true, that innocence is eloquence itself, to that extent
I may lay claim to eloquence and boast that I yield to none. For on
that assumption what living man could be more eloquent than myself? I
have never even harboured in my thoughts anything to which I should
fear to give utterance. Nay, my eloquence is consummate, for I have
ever held all sin in abomination; I have the highest oratory at my
command, for I have uttered no word, I have done no deed, of which I
need fear to discourse in public. I will begin therefore to discourse
of those verses of mine, which they have produced as though they were
something of which I ought to be ashamed. You must have noticed the
laughter with which I showed my annoyance at the absurd and illiterate
manner in which they recited them.

6. They began by reading one of my _jeux d'esprit_, a brief letter in
verse, addressed to a certain Calpurnianus on the subject of a
tooth-powder. When Calpurnianus produced my letter as evidence against
me, his desire to do me a hurt blinded him to the fact that if
anything in the letter could be urged as a reproach against me, he
shared in that reproach. For the verses testify to the fact that he
had asked me to send him the wherewithal to clean his teeth:

     _Good morrow! friend Calpurnianus, take
     The salutation these swift verses make.
     Wherewith I send, responsive to thy call,
     A powder rare to cleanse thy teeth withal.
     This delicate dust of Arab spices fine
     With ivory sheen shall make thy mouth to shine,
     Shall smooth the swollen gums and sweep away
     The relics of the feast of yesterday.
     So shall no foulness, no dark smirch be seen,
     If laughter show thy teeth their lips between._

I ask you, what is there in these verses that is disgusting in point
either of matter or of manner? What is there that a philosopher should
be ashamed to own? Unless indeed I am to blame for sending a powder
made of Arabian spices to Calpurnianus, for whom it would be more
suitable that he should

     _Polish his teeth and ruddy gums_,

as Catullus says, after the filthy fashion in vogue among the

7. I saw a short while back that some of you could scarcely restrain
your laughter, when our orator treated these views of mine on the
cleansing of the teeth as a matter for savage denunciation, and
condemned my administration of a tooth-powder with fiercer indignation
than has ever been shown in condemning the administration of a poison.
Of course it is a serious charge, and one that no philosopher can
afford to despise, to say of a man that he will not allow a speck of
dirt to be seen upon his person, that he will not allow any visible
portion of his body to be offensive or unclean, least of all the
mouth, the organ used most frequently, openly and conspicuously by
man, whether to kiss a friend, to conduct a conversation, to speak in
public, or to offer up prayer in some temple. Indeed speech is the
prelude to every kind of action and, as the greatest of poets says,
proceeds from 'the barrier of our teeth'. If there were any one
present here to-day with like command of the grand style, he might say
after his fashion that those above all men who have any care for their
manner of speaking, should pay closer attention to their mouth than to
any other portion of their body, for it is the soul's antechamber, the
portal of speech, and the gathering place where thoughts assemble. I
myself should say that in my poor judgement there is nothing less
seemly for a free-born man with the education of a gentleman than an
unwashen mouth. For man's mouth is in position exalted, to the eye
conspicuous, in use eloquent. True, in wild beasts and cattle the
mouth is placed low and looks downward to the feet, is in close
proximity to their food and to the path they tread, and is hardly
ever conspicuous save when its owner is dead or infuriated with a
desire to bite. But there is no part of man that sooner catches the
eye when he is silent, or more often when he speaks.

8. I should be obliged, therefore, if my critic Aemilianus would
answer me and tell me whether he is ever in the habit of washing his
feet, or, if he admits that he is in the habit of so doing, whether he
is prepared to argue that a man should pay more attention to the
cleanliness of his feet than to that of his teeth. Certainly, if like
you, Aemilianus, he never opens his mouth save to utter slander and
abuse, I should advise him to pay no attention to the state of his
mouth nor to attempt to remove the stains from his teeth with oriental
powders: he would be better employed in rubbing them with charcoal
from some funeral pyre. Least of all should he wash them with common
water; rather let his guilty tongue, the chosen servant of lies and
bitter words, rot in the filth and ordure that it loves! Is it
reasonable, wretch, that your tongue should be fresh and clean, when
your voice is foul and loathsome, or that, like the viper, you should
employ snow-white teeth for the emission of dark, deadly poison? On
the other hand it is only right that, just as we wash a vessel that is
to hold good liquor, he who knows that his words will be at once
useful and agreeable should cleanse his mouth as a prelude to speech.
But why should I speak further of man? Even the crocodile, the monster
of the Nile--so they tell me--opens his jaws in all innocence, that
his teeth may be cleaned. For his mouth being large, tongueless, and
continually open in the water, multitudes of leeches become entangled
in his teeth: these, when the crocodile emerges from the river and
opens his mouth, are removed by a friendly waterbird, which is allowed
to insert its beak without any risk to itself.

9. But enough of this! I now come to certain other of my verses, which
according to them are amatory; but so vilely and coarsely did they
read them as to leave no impression save one of disgust. Now what has
it to do with the malpractices of the black art, if I write poems in
praise of the boys of my friend Scribonius Laetus? Does the mere fact
of my being a poet make me a wizard? Who ever heard any orator produce
such likely ground for suspicion, such apt conjectures, such
close-reasoned argument? 'Apuleius has written verses!' If they are
bad, that is something against him _qua_ poet, but not _qua_
philosopher. If they be good, why do you accuse him? 'But they were
frivolous verses of an erotic character.' So that is the charge you
bring against me? and it was a mere slip of the tongue when you
indicted me for practising the black art? And yet many others have
written such verse, although you may be ignorant of the fact. Among
the Greeks, for instance, there was a certain Teian, there was a
Lacedaemonian, a Cean, and countless others; there was even a woman, a
Lesbian, who wrote with such grace and such passion that the sweetness
of her song makes us forgive the impropriety of her words; among our
own poets there were Aedituus, Porcius, and Catulus, with countless
others. 'But they were not philosophers.' Will you then deny that
Solon was a serious man and a philosopher? Yet he is the author of
that most wanton verse:

     _Longing for thy body and the kiss of thy sweet lips._

What is there so lascivious in all my verses compared with that one
line? I will say nothing of the writings of Diogenes the Cynic, of
Zeno the founder of Stoicism, and many other similar instances. Let me
recite my own verses afresh, that my opponents may realize that I am
not ashamed of them:

     _Critias my treasure is and you,
     Light of my life, Charinus, too
     Hold in my love-tormented heart
     Your own inalienable part.
     Ah! doubt not! with redoubled spite
     Though fire on fire consume me quite,
     The flames ye kindle, boys divine,
     I can endure, so ye be mine.
     Only to each may I be dear
     As your own selves are, and as near;
     Grant only this and you shall be
     Dear as mine own two eyes to me._

Now let me read you the others also which they read last as being the
most intemperate in expression.

     _I lay these garlands, Critias sweet,
     And this my song before thy feet;
     Song to thyself I dedicate,
     Wreaths to the Angel of thy fate.
     The song I send to hymn the praise
     Of this, the best of all glad days,
     Whereon the circling seasons bring
     The glory of thy fourteenth spring;
     The garlands, that thy brows may shine
     With splendour worthy spring's and thine,
     That thou in boyhood's golden hours
     Mayst deck the flower of life with flowers.
     Wherefore for these bright blooms of spring
     Thy springtide sweet surrendering,
     The tribute of my love repay
     And all my gifts with thine outweigh.
     Surpass the twinèd garland's grace
     With arms entwined in soft embrace;
     The crimson of the rose eclipse
     With kisses from thy rosy lips.
     Or if thou wilt, be this my meed
     And breathe thy soul into the reed;
     Then shall my songs be shamed and mute
     Before the music of thy flute._

10. These are the verses, Maximus, which they throw in my teeth, as
though they were the work of an infamous rake and had lover's garlands
and serenades for their theme. You must have noticed also that in this
connexion they further attack me for calling these boys Charinus and
Critias, which are not their true names. On this principle they may as
well accuse Caius Catullus for calling Clodia Lesbia, Ticidas for
substituting the name Perilla for that of Metella, Propertius for
concealing the name Hostia beneath the pseudonym of Cynthia, and
Tibullus for singing of Delia in his verse, when it was Plania who
ruled his heart. For my part I should rather blame Caius Lucilius,
even allowing him all the license of a satiric poet, for prostituting
to the public gaze the boys Gentius and Macedo, whose real names he
mentions in his verse without any attempt at concealment. How much
more reserved is Mantua's poet, who, when like myself he praised the
slave-boy of his friend Pollio in one of his light pastoral poems,
shrinks from mentioning real names and calls himself Corydon and the
boy Alexis. But Aemilianus, whose rusticity far surpasses that of the
shepherds and cowherds of Vergil, who is, in fact, and always has been
a boor and a barbarian, though he thinks himself far more austere than
Serranus, Curius, or Fabricius, those heroes of the days of old,
denies that such verses are worthy of a philosopher who is a follower
of Plato. Will you persist in this attitude, Aemilianus, if I can show
that my verses were modelled upon Plato? For the only verses of Plato
now extant are love-elegies, the reason, I imagine, being that he
burned all his other poems because they were inferior in charm and
finish. Listen then to the verses written by Plato in honour of the
boy Aster, though I doubt if at your age it is possible for you to
learn to appreciate literature:

     _Thou wert the morning star among the living
       Ere thy fair light had fled;--
     Now having died, thou art as Hesperus giving
       New light unto the dead._[7]

[Footnote 7: Shelley's translation.]

There is another poem by Plato dealing conjointly with the boys Alexis
and Phaedrus:

     _I did but breathe the words 'Alexis fair',
       And all men gazed on him with wondering eyes,
       My soul, why point to questing beasts their prize?
     'Twas thus we lost our Phaedrus; ah! beware!_

Without citing any further examples I will conclude by quoting a line
addressed by Plato to Dion of Syracuse:

     _Dion, with love thou hast distraught my soul._

11. Which of us is most to blame? I who am fool enough to speak
seriously of such things in a law-court? or you who are slanderous
enough to include such charges in your indictment? For sportive
effusions in verse are valueless as evidence of a poet's morals. Have
you not read Catullus, who replies thus to those who wish him ill:

     _A virtuous poet must be chaste. Agreed.
     But for his verses there is no such need._

The divine Hadrian, when he honoured the tomb of his friend the poet
Voconius with an inscription in verse from his own pen, wrote thus:

     _Thy verse was wanton, but thy soul was chaste_,

words which he would never have written had he regarded verse of
somewhat too lively a wit as proving their author to be a man of
immoral life. I remember that I have read not a few poems by the
divine Hadrian himself which were of the same type. Come now,
Aemilianus, I dare you to say that that was ill done which was done by
an emperor and censor, the divine Hadrian, and once done was recorded
for subsequent generations. But, apart from that, do you imagine that
Maximus will censure anything that has Plato for its model, Plato
whose verses, which I have just read, are all the purer for being
frank, all the more modest for being outspoken? For in these matters
and the like, dissimulation and concealment is the mark of the sinner,
open acknowledgement and publication a sign that the writer is but
exercising his wit. For nature has bestowed on innocence a voice
wherewith to speak, but to guilt she has given silence to veil its

12. I say nothing of those lofty and divine Platonic doctrines, that
are familiar to but few of the elect and wholly unknown to all the
uninitiate, such for instance as that which teaches us that Venus is
not one goddess, but two, each being strong in her own type of love
and several types of lovers. The one is the goddess of the common
herd, who is fired by base and vulgar passion and commands not only
the hearts of men, but cattle and wild beasts also, to give themselves
over to the gratification of their desires: she strikes down these
creatures with fierce intolerable force and fetters their servile
bodies in the embraces of lust. The other is a celestial power endued
with lofty and generous passion: she cares for none save men, and of
them but few; she neither stings nor lures her followers to foul
deeds. Her love is neither wanton nor voluptuous, but serious and
unadorned, and wins her lovers to the pursuit of virtue by revealing
to them how fair a thing is nobility of soul. Or, if ever she commends
beautiful persons to their admiration, she puts a bar upon all
indecorous conduct. For the only claim that physical beauty has upon
the admiration is that it reminds those whose souls have soared above
things human to things divine, of that beauty which once they beheld
in all its truth and purity enthroned among the gods in heaven.
Wherefore let us admit that Afranius shows his usual beauty of
expression when he says:

     _Only the sage can love, only desire
     Is known to others_;

although if you would know the real truth, Aemilianus, or if you are
capable of ever comprehending such high matters, the sage does not
love, but only remembers.

13. I would therefore beg you to pardon the philosopher Plato for his
amatory verse, and relieve me of the necessity of offending against
the precepts put by Ennius into the mouth of Neoptolemus by
philosophizing at undue length; on the other hand if you refuse to
pardon Plato, I am quite ready to suffer blame on this count in his
company. I must express my deep gratitude to you, Maximus, for
listening with such close attention to these side issues, which are
necessary to my defence inasmuch as I am paying back my accusers in
their own coin. Your kindness emboldens me to make this further
request, that you will listen to all that I have to say by way of
prelude to my answer to the main charge with the same courtesy and
attention that you have hitherto shown.

I beg this, since I have next to deal with that long oration, austere
as any censor's, which Pudens delivered on the subject of my mirror.
He nearly exploded, so violently did he declaim against the horrid
nature of my offence. 'The philosopher owns a mirror, the philosopher
actually possesses a mirror.' Grant that I possess it: if I denied it,
you might really think that your accusation had gone home: still it is
by no means a necessary inference that I am in the habit of adorning
myself before a mirror. Why! suppose I possessed a theatrical
wardrobe, would you venture to argue from that that I am in the
frequent habit of wearing the trailing robes of tragedy, the saffron
cloak of the mimic dance, or the patchwork suit of the harlequinade? I
think not. On the contrary there are plenty of things of which I enjoy
the use without the possession. But if possession is no proof of use
nor non-possession of non-use, and if you complain of the fact that I
look into the mirror rather than that I possess it, you must go on to
show when and in whose presence I have ever looked into it; for as
things stand, you make it a greater crime for a philosopher to look
upon a mirror than for the uninitiated to gaze upon the mystic emblems
of Ceres.

14. Come now, let me admit that I _have_ looked into it. Is it a crime
to be acquainted with one's own likeness and to carry it with one
wherever one goes ready to hand within the compass of a small mirror,
instead of keeping it hidden away in some one place? Are you ignorant
of the fact that there is nothing more pleasing for a man to look upon
than his own image? At any rate I know that fathers love those sons
most who most resemble themselves, and that public statues are decreed
as a reward for merit that the original may gladden his heart by
looking on them. What else is the significance of statues and
portraits produced by the various arts? You will scarcely maintain the
paradox that what is worthy of admiration when produced by art is
blameworthy when produced by nature; for nature has an even greater
facility and truth than art. Long labour is expended over all the
portraits wrought by the hand of man, yet they never attain to such
truth as is revealed by a mirror. Clay is lacking in life, marble in
colour, painting in solidity, and all three in motion, which is the
most convincing element in a likeness: whereas in a mirror the
reflection of the image is marvellous, for it is not only like its
original, but moves and follows every nod of the man to whom it
belongs; its age always corresponds to that of those who look into the
mirror, from their earliest childhood to their expiring age: it puts
on all the changes brought by the advance of years, shares all the
varying habits of the body, and imitates the shifting expressions of
joy and sorrow that may be seen on the face of one and the same man.
For all we mould in clay or cast in bronze or carve in stone or tint
with encaustic pigments or colour with paint, in a word, every attempt
at artistic representation by the hand of man after a brief lapse of
time loses its truth and becomes motionless and impassive like the
face of a corpse. So far superior to all pictorial art in respect of
truthful representation is the craftsmanship of the smooth mirror and
the splendour of its art.

15. Two alternatives then are before us. We must either follow the
precept of the Lacedaemonian Agesilaus, who had no confidence in his
personal appearance and refused to allow his portrait to be painted or
carved; or we must accept the universal custom of the rest of mankind
which welcomes portraiture both in sculpture and painting. In the
latter case, is there any reason for preferring to see one's portrait
moulded in marble rather than reflected in silver, in a painting
rather than in a mirror? Or do you regard it as disgraceful to pay
continual attention to one's own appearance? Is not Socrates said
actually to have urged his followers frequently to consider their
image in a glass, that so those of them that prided themselves on
their appearance might above all else take care that they did no
dishonour to the splendour of their body by the blackness of their
hearts; while those who regarded themselves as less than handsome in
personal appearance might take especial pains to conceal the meanness
of their body by the glory of their virtue? You see; the wisest man of
his day actually went so far as to use the mirror as an instrument of
moral discipline. Again, who is ignorant of the fact that Demosthenes,
the greatest master of the art of speaking, always practised pleading
before a mirror as though before a professor of rhetoric? When that
supreme orator had drained deep draughts of eloquence in the study of
Plato the philosopher, and had learned all that could be learned of
argumentation from the dialectician Eubulides, last of all he betook
himself to a mirror to learn perfection of delivery. Which do you
think should pay greatest attention to the decorousness of his
appearance in the delivery of a speech? The orator when he wrangles
with his opponent or the philosopher when he rebukes the vices of
mankind? The man who harangues for a brief space before an audience of
jurymen drawn by the chance of the lot, or he who is continually
discoursing with all mankind for audience? The man who is quarrelling
over the boundaries of lands, or he whose theme is the boundaries of
good and evil? Moreover there are other reasons why a philosopher
should look into a mirror. He is not always concerned with the
contemplation of his own likeness, he contemplates also the causes
which produce that likeness. Is Epicurus right when he asserts that
images proceed forth from us, as it were a kind of slough that
continually streams from our bodies? These images when they strike
anything smooth and solid are reflected by the shock and reversed in
such wise as to give back an image turned to face its original. Or
should we accept the view maintained by other philosophers that rays
are emitted from our body? According to Plato these rays are filtered
forth from the centre of our eyes and mingle and blend with the light
of the world without us; according to Archytas they issue forth from
us without any external support; according to the Stoics these rays
are called into action[8] by the tension of the air: all agree that,
when these emanations strike any dense, smooth, and shining surface,
they return to the surface from which they proceeded in such manner
that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection, and
as a result that which they approach and touch without the mirror is
imaged within the mirror.

[Footnote 8: _facti_ MSS.]

16. What think you? Should not philosophers make all these problems
subjects of research and inquiry and in solitary study look into
mirrors of every kind, solid and liquid? There is also over and above
these questions further matter for discussion. For instance, why is
it that in flat mirrors all images and objects reflected are shown in
almost precisely their original dimensions, whereas in convex and
spherical mirrors everything is seen smaller, in concave mirrors on
the other hand larger than nature? Why again and under what
circumstances are left and right reversed? When does one and the same
mirror seem now to withdraw the image into its depths, now to extrude
it forth to view? Why do concave mirrors when held at right angles to
the rays of the sun kindle tinder set opposite them? What is the cause
of the prismatic colours of the rainbow, or of the appearance in
heaven of two rival images of the sun, with sundry other phenomena
treated in a monumental volume by Archimedes of Syracuse, a man who
showed extraordinary and unique subtlety in all branches of geometry,
but was perhaps particularly remarkable for his frequent and attentive
inspection of mirrors. If you had only read this book, Aemilianus,
and, instead of devoting yourself to the study of your fields and
their dull clods, had studied the mathematician's slate and
blackboard, believe me, although your face is hideous enough for a
tragic mask of Thyestes, you would assuredly, in your desire for the
acquisition of knowledge, look into the glass and sometimes leave your
plough to marvel at the numberless furrows with which wrinkles have
scored your face.

But I should not be surprised if you prefer me to speak of your ugly
deformity of a face and to be silent about your morals, which are
infinitely more repulsive than your features. I will say nothing of
them. In the first place I am not naturally of a quarrelsome
disposition, and secondly I am glad to say that until quite recently
you might have been white or black for all I knew. Even now my
knowledge of you is inadequate. The reason for this is that your
rustic occupations have kept you in obscurity, while _I_ have been
occupied by my studies, and so the shadow cast about you by your
insignificance has shielded your character from scrutiny, while I for
my part take no interest in others' ill deeds, but have always thought
it more important to conceal my own faults than to track out those of
others. As a result you have the advantage of one who, while he is
himself shrouded in darkness, surveys another who chances to have
taken his stand in the full light of day. You from your darkness can
with ease form an opinion as to what I am doing in my not
undistinguished position before all the world; but your position is so
abject, so obscure, and so withdrawn from the light of publicity that
you are by no means so conspicuous.

17. I neither know nor care to know whether you have slaves to till
your fields or whether you do so by interchange of service with your
neighbours. But _you_ know that at Oea I gave three slaves their
freedom on the same day, and your advocate has cast it in my teeth
together with other actions of mine of which you have given him
information. And yet but a few minutes earlier he had declared that I
came to Oea accompanied by no more than one slave. I challenge you to
tell me how I could have made one slave into three free men. But
perhaps this is one of my feats of magic. Has lying made you blind, or
shall I rather say that from force of habit you are incapable of
speaking the truth? 'Apuleius,' you say, 'came to Oea with one slave,'
and then only a very few words later you blurt out, 'Apuleius on one
and the same day at Oea gave three slaves their freedom.' Not even the
assertion that I had come with three slaves and had given them all
their freedom would have been credible: but suppose I had done so,
what reason have you for regarding three slaves as a mark of my
poverty, rather than for considering three freed men as a proof of my
wealth? Poor Aemilianus, you have not the least idea how to accuse a
philosopher: you reproach me for the scantiness of my household,
whereas it would really have been my duty to have laid claim, however
falsely, to such poverty. It would have redounded to my credit, for I
know that not only philosophers of whom I boast myself a follower, but
also generals of the Roman people have gloried in the small number of
their slaves. Have your advocates really never read that Marcus
Antonius, a man who had filled the office of consul, had but eight
slaves in his house? That that very Carbo who obtained supreme control
of Rome had fewer by one? That Manius Curius, famous beyond all men
for the crowns of victory that he had won, Manius Curius who thrice
led the triumphal procession through the same gate of Rome, had but
two servants to attend him in camp, so that in good truth that same
man who triumphed over the Sabines, the Samnites, and Pyrrhus had
fewer slaves than triumphs? Marcus Cato did not wait for others to
tell it of him, but himself records the fact in one of his speeches
that when he set out as consul for Spain he took but three slaves from
the city with him. When, however, he came to stay at a state
residence, the number seemed insufficient, and he ordered two slaves
to be bought in the market to wait on him at table, so that he took
five in all to Spain. Had Pudens come across these facts in his
reading, he would, I think, either have omitted this particular
slander or would have preferred to reproach me on the ground that
three slaves were too large rather than too small an establishment for
a philosopher.

18. Pudens actually reproached me with being poor, a charge which is
welcome to a philosopher and one that he may glory in. For poverty has
long been the handmaid of philosophy; frugal and sober, she is strong
in her weakness and is greedy for naught save honour; the possession
of her is a prophylactic against wealth, her mien is free from care,
and her adornment simple; her counsels are beneficent, she puffs no
man up with pride, she corrupts no man with passions beyond his
control, she maddens no man with the lust for power, she neither
desires nor can indulge in the pleasures of feasting and of love.
These sins and their like are usually the nurslings of wealth. Count
over all the greatest crimes recorded in the history of mankind, you
will find no poor man among their guilty authors. On the other hand,
it is rare to find wealthy men among the great figures of history. All
those at whom we marvel for their great deeds were the nurslings of
poverty from their very cradles, poverty that founded all cities in
the days of old, poverty mother of all arts, witless of all sin,
bestower of all glory, crowned with all honour among all the peoples
of the world. Take the history of Greece: the justice of poverty is
seen in Aristides, her benignity in Phocion, her force in Epaminondas,
her wisdom in Socrates, her eloquence in Homer. It was this same
poverty that established the empire of the Roman people in its first
beginnings, and even to this day Rome offers up thanksgivings for it
to the immortal gods with libations poured from a wooden ladle and
offerings borne in an earthen platter. If the judges sitting to try
this case were Caius Fabricius, Cnaeus Scipio, Manius Curius, whose
daughters on account of their poverty were given dowries from the
public treasury and so went to their husbands bringing with them the
honour of their houses and the wealth of the state; if Publicola, who
drove out the Kings, or Agrippa, the healer of the people's strife,
men whose funerals were on account of their poverty enriched by the
gift of a few farthings per man from the whole Roman people; if
Atilius Regulus, whose lands on account of his own poverty were
cultivated at the public expense; if, in a word, all the heroes of the
old Roman stock, consuls and censors and triumphant generals, were
given a brief renewal of life and sent back to earth to give hearing
to this case, would you dare in the presence of so many poor consuls
to reproach a philosopher with poverty?

19. Perhaps Claudius Maximus seems to you to be a suitable person
before whom to deride poverty, because he himself is in enjoyment of
great wealth and enormous opulence. You are wrong, Aemilianus, you are
wholly mistaken in your estimate of his character, if you take the
bounty of his fortune rather than the sternness of his philosophy as
the standard for your judgement and fail to realize that one, who
holds so austere a creed and has so long endured military service, is
more likely to befriend a moderate fortune with all its limitations
than opulence with all its luxury, and holds that fortunes, like
tunics, should be comfortable, not long. For even a tunic, if it be
not carried high, but is allowed to drag, will entangle and trip the
feet as badly as a cloak that hangs down in front. In everything that
we employ for the needs of daily life, whatever exceeds the mean is
superfluous and a burden rather than a help. So it is that excessive
riches, like steering oars of too great weight and bulk, serve to sink
the ship rather than to guide it; for their bulk is unprofitable and
their superfluity a curse. I have noticed that of the wealthy
themselves those win most praise who live quietly and in moderate
comfort, concealing their actual resources, administering their great
possessions without ostentation or pride and showing like poor folk
under the disguise of their moderation. Now, if even the rich to some
extent affect the outward form and semblance of poverty to give
evidence of their moderation, why should we of slenderer means be
ashamed of being poor not in appearance only but in reality?

20. I might even engage with you in controversy over the word poverty,
urging that no man is poor who rejects the superfluous and has at his
command all the necessities of life, which nature has ordained should
be exceedingly small. For he who desires least will possess most,
inasmuch as he who wants but little will have all he wants. The
measure of wealth ought therefore not to be the possession of lands
and investments, but the very soul of man. For if avarice make him
continually in need of some fresh acquisition and insatiable in his
lust for gain, not even mountains of gold will bring him satisfaction,
but he will always be begging for more that he may increase what he
already possesses. That is _the_ genuine admission of poverty. For
every desire for fresh acquisition springs from the consciousness of
want, and it matters little how large your possessions are if they are
too small for _you_. Philus had a far smaller household than Laelius,
Laelius than Scipio, Scipio than Crassus the Rich, and yet not even
Crassus had as much as he wanted; and so, though he surpassed all
others in wealth, he was himself surpassed by his own avarice and
seemed rich to all save himself. On the other hand, the philosophers
of whom I have spoken wanted nothing beyond what was at their
disposal, and, thanks to the harmony existing between their desires
and their resources, they were deservedly rich and happy. For poverty
consists in the need for fresh acquisition, wealth in the satisfaction
springing from the absence of needs. For the badge of penury is
desire, the badge of wealth contempt. Therefore, Aemilianus, if you
wish me to be regarded as poor, you must first prove that I am
avaricious. But if my soul lacks nothing, I care little how much of
the goods of this world be lacking to me; for it is no honour to
possess them and no reproach to lack them.

21. But let us suppose it to be otherwise. Suppose that I am poor,
because fortune has grudged me riches, because my guardian, as often
happens, misappropriated my inheritance, some enemy robbed me, or my
father left me nothing. Is it just to reproach a man for that which is
regarded as no reproach to the animal kingdom, to the eagle, to the
bull, to the lion? If the horse be strong in the possession of his
peculiar excellences, if he is pleasant to ride and swift in his
paces, no one rebukes him for the poverty of his food. Must you then
reproach me, not for any scandalous word or deed, but simply because I
live in a small house, possess an unusually small number of slaves,
subsist on unusually light diet, wear unusually light clothing, and
make unusually small purchases of food? Yet however scanty my service,
food, and raiment may seem to you, I on the contrary regard them as
ample and even excessive. Indeed I am desirous of still further
reducing them, since the less I have to distract me the happier I
shall be. For the soul, like the body, goes lightly clad when in good
health; weakness wraps itself up, and it is a sure sign of infirmity
to have many wants. We live, just as we swim, all the better for being
but lightly burdened. For in this stormy life as on the stormy ocean
heavy things sink us and light things buoy us up. It is in this
respect, I find, that the gods more especially surpass men, namely
that they lack nothing: wherefore he of mankind whose needs are
smallest is most like unto the gods.

22. I therefore regarded it as a compliment when to insult me you
asserted that my whole household consisted of a wallet and a staff.
Would that my spirit were made of such stern stuff as to permit me to
dispense with all this furniture and worthily to carry that equipment
for which Crates sacrificed all his wealth! Crates, I tell you, though
I doubt if you will believe me, Aemilianus, was a man of great wealth
and honour among the nobility of Thebes; but for love of this habit,
which you cast in my face as a crime, he gave his large and luxurious
household to his fellow citizens, resigned his troops of slaves for
solitude, so contemned the countless trees of his rich orchards as to
be content with one staff, exchanged his elegant villas for one small
wallet, which, when he had fully appreciated its utility, he even
praised in song by diverting from their original meaning certain lines
of Homer in which he extols the island of Crete. I will quote the
first lines, that you may not think this a mere invention of mine
designed to meet the needs of my own case:

     _There is a town named Wallet in the midst
     Of smoke that's dark as wine._

The lines which follow are so wonderful, that had you read them you
would envy me my wallet even more than you envy me my marriage with
Pudentilla. You reproach philosophers for their staff and wallet. You
might as well reproach cavalry for their trappings, infantry for their
shields, standard-bearers for their banners, triumphant generals for
their chariots drawn by four white horses and their cloaks embroidered
with palm-leaves. The staff and wallet are not, it is true, carried by
the Platonic philosophers, but are the badges of the Cynic school. To
Diogenes and Antisthenes they were what the crown is to the king, the
cloak of purple to the general, the cowl to the priest, the trumpet to
the augur. Indeed the Cynic Diogenes, when he disputed with Alexander
the Great, as to which of the two was the true king, boasted of his
staff as the true sceptre. The unconquered Hercules himself, since you
despise my instances as drawn from mere mendicancy, Hercules that
roamed the whole world, exterminated monsters, and conquered races,
god though he was, had but a skin for raiment and a staff for company
in the days when he wandered through the earth. And yet but a brief
while afterwards he was admitted to heaven as a reward for his virtue.

23. But if you despise these examples and challenge me, not to plead
my case, but to enter into a discussion of the amount of my fortune,
to put an end to your ignorance on this point, if it exists, I
acknowledge that my father left my brother and myself a little under
2,000,000 sesterces--a sum on which my lengthy travels, continual
studies, and frequent generosity have made considerable inroads. For I
have often assisted my friends and have shown substantial gratitude to
many of my instructors, on more than one occasion going so far as to
provide dowries for their daughters. Nay, I should not have hesitated
to expend every farthing of my patrimony, if so I might acquire, what
is far better, a contempt for it. But as for you, Aemilianus, and
ignorant boors of your kidney, in your case the fortune makes the man.
You are like barren and blasted trees that produce no fruit, but are
valued only for the timber that their trunks contain. But I beg you,
Aemilianus, in future to abstain from reviling any one for their
poverty, since you yourself used, after waiting for some seasonable
shower to soften the ground, to expend three days in ploughing
single-handed, with the aid of one wretched ass, that miserable farm
at Zarath, which was all your father left you. It is only recently
that fortune has smiled on you in the shape of wholly undeserved
inheritances which have fallen to you by the frequent deaths of
relatives, deaths to which, far more than to your hideous face, you
owe your nickname of Charon.

24. As to my birthplace, you assert that my writings prove it to lie
right on the marches of Numidia and Gaetulia, for I publicly
described myself as half Numidian, half Gaetulian in a discourse
delivered in the presence of that most distinguished citizen Lollianus
Avitus. I do not see that I have any more reason to be ashamed of that
than had the elder Cyrus for being of mixed descent, half Mede, half
Persian. A man's birthplace is of no importance, it is his character
that matters. We must consider not in what part of the world, but with
what purpose he set out to live his life. Vendors of wine and cabbages
are permitted to enhance the value of their wares by advertising the
excellence of the soil whence they spring, as for instance with the
wine of Thasos and the cabbages of Phlius. For those products of the
soil are wonderfully improved in flavour by the fertility of the
district which produces them, the moistness of the climate, the
mildness of the winds, the warmth of the sun, and the richness of the
soil. But in the case of man, the soul enters the tenement of the body
from without. What, then, can such circumstances as these add to or
take away from his virtues or his vices? Has there ever been a time or
place in which a race has not produced a variety of intellects,
although some races seem stupider and some wiser than others? The
Scythians are the stupidest of men, and yet the wise Anacharsis was a
Scyth. The Athenians are shrewd, and yet the Athenian Meletides was a
fool. I say this not because I am ashamed of my country, since even in
the time of Syphax we were a township. When he was conquered we were
transferred by the gift of the Roman people to the dominion of King
Masinissa, and finally as the result of a settlement of veteran
soldiers, our second founders, we have become a colony of the highest
distinction. In this same colony my father attained to the post of
_duumvir_ and became the foremost citizen of the place, after filling
all the municipal offices of honour. I myself, immediately after my
first entry into the municipal senate, succeeded to my father's
position in the community, and, as I hope, am in no ways a degenerate
successor, but receive like honour and esteem for my maintenance of
the dignity of my position. Why do I mention this? That you,
Aemilianus, may be less angry with me in future and may more readily
pardon me for having been negligent enough not to select your 'Attic'
Zarath for my birthplace.

25. Are you not ashamed to produce such accusations with such violence
before such a judge, to bring forward frivolous and self-contradictory
accusations, and then in the same breath to blame me on both charges
at once? Is it not a sheer contradiction to object to my wallet and
staff on the ground of austerity, to my poems and mirror on the ground
of undue levity; to accuse me of parsimony for having only one slave,
and of extravagance in having three; to denounce me for my Greek
eloquence and my barbarian birth? Awake from your slumber and remember
that you are speaking before Claudius Maximus, a man of stern
character, burdened with the business of the whole province. Cease, I
say, to bring forward these empty slanders. Prove your indictment,
prove that I am guilty of ghastly crimes, detestable sorceries, and
black art-magic. Why is it that the strength of your speech lies in
mere noise, while it is weak and flabby in point of facts?

I will now deal with the actual charge of magic. You spared no
violence in fanning the flame of hatred against me. But you have
disappointed all men's expectations by your old wives' fables, and the
fire kindled by your accusations has burned itself away. I ask you,
Maximus, have you ever seen fire spring up among the stubble,
crackling sharply, blazing wide and spreading fast, but soon
exhausting its flimsy fuel, dying fast away, leaving not a wrack
behind? So they have kindled their accusation with abuse and fanned it
with words, but it lacks the fuel of facts and, your verdict once
given, is destined to leave not a wrack of calumny behind. The whole
of Aemilianus' calumnious accusation was centred in the charge of
magic. I should therefore like to ask his most learned advocates how,
precisely, they would define a magician. If what I read in a large
number of authors be true, namely, that magician is the Persian word
for priest, what is there criminal in being a priest and having due
knowledge, science, and skill in all ceremonial law, sacrificial
duties, and the binding rules of religion, at least if magic consists
in that which Plato sets forth in his description of the methods
employed by the Persians in the education of their young princes? I
remember the very words of that divine philosopher. Let me recall them
to your memory, Maximus: 'When the boy has reached the age of
fourteen he is handed over to the care of men known as the Royal
Masters. They are four in number, and are chosen as being the best of
the elders of Persia, one the wisest, another the justest, a third the
most temperate, a fourth the bravest. And one of these teaches the boy
the magic of Zoroaster the son of Oromazes; and this magic is no other
than the worship of the gods. He also teaches him the arts of

26. Do you hear, you who so rashly accuse the art of magic? It is an
art acceptable to the immortal gods, full of all knowledge of worship
and of prayer, full of piety and wisdom in things divine, full of
honour and glory since the day when Zoroaster and Oromazes established
it, high-priestess of the powers of heaven. Nay, it is one of the
first elements of princely instruction, nor do they lightly admit any
chance person to be a magician, any more than they would admit him to
be a king. Plato--if I may quote him again--in another passage dealing
with a certain Zalmoxis, a Thracian and also a master of this art, has
written that 'magical charms are merely beautiful words'. If that is
so, why should I be forbidden to learn the fair words of Zalmoxis or
the priestly lore of Zoroaster? But if these accusers of mine, after
the fashion of the common herd, define a magician as one who by
communion of speech with the immortal gods has power to do all the
marvels that he will, through a strange power of incantation, I really
wonder that they are not afraid to attack one whom they acknowledge
to be so powerful. For it is impossible to guard against such a
mysterious and divine power. Against other dangers we may take
adequate precautions. He who summons a murderer before the judge comes
into court with an escort of friends; he who denounces a poisoner is
unusually careful as to what he eats; he who accuses a thief sets a
guard over his possessions. But for the man who exposes a magician,
credited with such awful powers, to the danger of a capital sentence,
how can escort or precaution or watchmen save him from unforeseen and
inevitable disaster? Nothing can save him, and therefore the man who
believes in the truth of such a charge as this is certainly the last
person in the world who should bring such an accusation.

27. But it is a common and general error of the uninitiated to bring
the following accusations against philosophers. Some of them think
that those who explore the origins and elements of material things are
irreligious, and assert that they deny the existence of the gods.
Take, for instance, the cases of Anaxagoras, Leucippus, Democritus,
and Epicurus, and other natural philosophers. Others call those
magicians who bestow unusual care on the investigation of the workings
of providence and unusual devotion on their worship of the gods, as
though, forsooth, they knew _how_ to perform everything that they know
actually to _be_ performed. So Epimenides, Orpheus, Pythagoras, and
Ostanes were regarded as magicians, while a similar suspicion attached
to the 'purifications' of Empedocles, the 'demon' of Socrates and the
'good' of Plato. I congratulate myself therefore on being admitted to
such distinguished company.

I fear, however, Maximus, that you may regard the empty, ridiculous
and childish[9] fictions which my opponents have advanced in support
of their case as serious charges merely because they have been put
forward. 'Why,' says my accuser, 'have you sought out particular kinds
of fish?' Why should not a philosopher be permitted to do for the
satisfaction of his desire for knowledge what the _gourmand_, is
permitted to do for the satisfaction of his gluttony? 'What,' he asks,
'induced a free woman to marry you after thirteen years of widowhood?'
'Surely,' I answer, 'it is more remarkable that she should have
remained a widow so long.' 'Why, before she married you, did she
express certain opinions in a letter?' 'Is it reasonable,' I ask, 'to
demand of any one the reasons of another person's private opinions?'
'But,' he goes on, 'although she was your senior in years, she did not
despise your youth.' Surely this simply serves to show that there was
no need of magic to induce a woman to marry a man, or a widow to wed a
bachelor some years her junior. There are more charges equally
frivolous. 'Apuleius,' he persists, 'keeps a mysterious object in his
house which he worships with veneration.' Surely it would be a worse
offence to have nothing to worship at all. 'A boy fell to the ground
in Apuleius' presence.' What if a young man or even an old man had
fallen in my presence through a sudden stroke of disease or merely
owing to the slipperiness of the ground? Do you really think to prove
your charge of magic by such arguments as these; the fall of a
wretched boy, my marriage to my wife, my purchases of fish?

[Footnote 9: _et simplicia_, vulgo.]

28. I should run but small risk if I were to content myself with what
I have already said and begin my peroration. But since as a result of
the length at which my accusers spoke, the water-clock still allows me
plenty of time, let us, if there is no objection, consider the charges
in detail. I will deny none of them, be they true or false. I will
assume their truth, that this great crowd, which has gathered from all
directions to hear this case, may clearly understand not only that no
true incrimination can be brought against philosophers, but that not
even any false charge can be fabricated against them, which--such is
their confidence in their innocence--they will not be prepared to
admit and to defend, even though it be in their power to deny it. I
will therefore begin by refuting their arguments, and will prove that
they have nothing to do with magic. Next I will show that even on the
assumption of my being the most consummate magician, I have never
given cause or occasion for conviction of any evil practice. I will
also deal with the lies with which they have endeavoured to arouse
hostility against me, with their misquotation and misinterpretation of
my wife's letters, and with my marriage with Pudentilla, whom, as I
will proceed to prove, I married for love and not for money. This
marriage of ours caused frightful annoyance and distress to
Aemilianus. Hence springs all the anger, frenzy, and raving madness
that he has shown in the conduct of this accusation. If I succeed in
making all these points abundantly clear and obvious, I shall then
appeal to you, Claudius Maximus, and to all here present to bear me
out, that the boy Sicinius Pudens, my step-son, through whom and with
whose consent his uncle now accuses me, was quite recently stolen from
my charge after the death of Pontianus his brother, who was as much
his superior in character as in years, and that he was fiercely
embittered against myself and his mother through no fault of mine:
that he abandoned his study of the liberal arts and cast off all
restraint, and--thanks to the education afforded him by this
villainous accusation--is more likely to resemble his uncle Aemilianus
than his brother Pontianus.

29. I will now, as I promised, take Aemilianus' ravings one by one,
beginning with that charge which you must have noticed was given the
place of honour in the accuser's speech, as his most effective method
of exciting suspicion against me as a sorcerer, the charge that I had
sought to purchase certain kinds of fish from some fishermen. Which of
these two points is of the slightest value as affording suspicion of
sorcery? That fishermen sought to procure me the fish? Would you have
me entrust such a task to gold-embroiderers or carpenters, and, to
avoid your calumnies, make them change their trades so that the
carpenter would net me the fish, and the fisherman take his place and
hew his timber? Or did you infer that the fish were wanted for evil
purposes because I paid to get them? I presume, if I had wanted them
for a dinner-party, I should have got them for nothing. Why do not you
go farther and accuse me on many similar grounds? I have often bought
wine and vegetables, fruit and bread. The principles laid down by you
would involve the starvation of all purveyors of dainties. Who will
ever venture to purchase food from them, if it be decided that all
provisions for which money is given are wanted not for food but for
sorcery? But if there is nothing in all this that can give rise to
suspicion, neither the payment of the fishermen to ply their usual
trade, to wit, the capture of fish--I may point out that the
prosecution never produced any of these fishermen, who are, as a
matter of fact, wholly creatures of their imagination--nor the
purchase of a common article of sale--the prosecution have never
stated the amount paid, for fear that if they mentioned a small sum,
it would be regarded as trivial, or if they mentioned a large sum it
would fail to win belief,--if, I say, there is no cause for suspicion
on any of these grounds, I would ask Aemilianus to tell me what,
failing these, induced them to accuse me of magic.

30. 'You seek to purchase fish,' says he. I will not deny it. But, I
ask you, is any one who does that a magician? No more, in my opinion,
than if I should seek to purchase hares or boar's flesh or fatted
capons. Or is there something mysterious in fish and fish alone,
hidden from all save sorcerers only? If you know what it is, clearly
you are a magician. If you do not know, you must confess that you are
bringing an accusation of the nature of which you are entirely
ignorant. To think that you should be so ignorant not only of all
literature, but even of popular tales, that you cannot even invent
charges that will have some show of plausibility! For of what use for
the kindling of love is an unfeeling chilly creature like a fish, or
indeed anything else drawn from the sea, unless indeed you propose to
bring forward in support of your lie the legend that Venus was born
from the sea? I beg you to listen to me, Tannonius Pudens, that you
may learn the extent of the ignorance which you have shown by
accepting the possession of a fish as a proof of sorcery. If you had
read your Vergil, you would certainly have known that very different
things are sought for this purpose. He, as far as I recollect,
mentions 'soft garlands' and 'rich herbs and 'male incense' and
'threads of diverse hues', and, in addition to these, 'brittle
laurel,' 'clay to be hardened,' and 'wax to be melted in the fire'.
There are also the objects mentioned by him in a more serious poem.

     _Rank herbs are sought, with milky venom dark
     By brazen sickles under moonlight mown;
     Sought also is that wondrous talisman,
     Torn from the forehead of the foal at birth
     Ere yet its dam could snatch it._

But you who take such exception to fish attribute far different
instruments to magicians, charms not to be torn from new-born
foreheads, but to be cut from scaly backs; not to be plucked from the
fields of earth, but to be drawn up from the deep fields of ocean; not
to be mowed with sickles, but to be caught on hooks. Finally, when he
is speaking of the black art, Vergil mentions poison, you produce an
_entrée_; he mentions herbs and young shoots, you talk of scales and
bones; he crops the meadow, you search the waves. I would also have
quoted for your benefit similar passages from Theocritus with many
others from Homer and Orpheus, from the comic and tragic poets and
from the historians, had I not noticed ere now that you were unable to
read Pudentilla's letter which was written in Greek. I will,
therefore, do no more than cite one Latin poet. Those who have read
Laevius[10] will recognize the lines.

[Footnote 10: MSS. _Laelius_.]

     _Love-charms the warlocks seek through all the world:
     The 'lover's knot' they try, the magic wheel,
     Ribbons and, nails and roots and herbs and shoots,
     The two-tailed lizard that draws on to love,[11]
     And eke the charm that glads the whinnying mare._

[Footnote 11: _Saurae inlices bicodulae._ Helm, wrongly I think,
places a comma between _saurae_ and _inlices_.]

31. You would have made out a far more plausible case by pretending
that I made use of such things instead of fish, if only you had
possessed the slightest erudition. For the belief in the use of these
things is so widespread that you might have been believed. But of what
use are fish save to be cooked and eaten at meals? In magic they seem
to me to be absolutely useless. I will tell you why I think so. Many
hold Pythagoras to have been a pupil of Zoroaster, and, like him, to
have been skilled in magic. And yet it is recorded that once near
Metapontum, on the shores of Italy, his home, which his influence had
converted into a second Greece, he noticed certain fishermen draw up
their net. He offered to buy whatever it might contain, and after
depositing the price ordered all the fish caught in meshes of the net
to be released and thrown back into the sea. He would assuredly never
have allowed them to slip from his possession had he known them to
possess any valuable magical properties. For being a man of abnormal
learning, and a great admirer of the men of old, he remembered that
Homer, a poet of manifold or, rather I should say, absolute knowledge
of all that may be known, spoke of the power of all the drugs that
earth produces, but made no mention of the sea, when speaking of a
certain witch, he wrote the line:

     _All drugs, that wide earth nourishes, she knew._

Similarly in another passage he says:

               _Earth the grain-giver
     Yields up to her its store of drugs, whereof
     Many be healing, mingled in the cup,
     And many baneful._

But never in the works of Homer did Proteus anoint his face nor
Ulysses his magic trench, nor Aeolus his windbags, nor Helen her
mixing bowl, nor Circe her cup, nor Venus her girdle, with any charm
drawn from the sea or its inhabitants. You alone within the memory of
man have been found to sweep as it were by some convulsion of nature
all the powers of herbs and roots and young shoots and small pebbles
from their hilltops into the sea, and there confine them in the
entrails of fish. And so whereas sorcerers at their rites used to call
on Mercury the giver of oracles, Venus that lures the soul, the moon
that knows the mystery of the night, and Trivia the mistress of the
shades, you will transfer Neptune, with Salacia and Portumnus and all
the company of Nereids from the cold tides of the sea to the burning
tides of love.

32. I have given my reasons for refusing to believe that magicians and
fish have anything to do with one another. But now, if it please you,
we will assume with Aemilianus that fish are useful for making magical
charms as well as for their usual purposes. But does that prove that
whoever acquires fish is _ipso facto_ a magician? On those lines it
might be urged that whoever acquires a sloop is a pirate, whoever
acquires a crowbar a burglar, whoever acquires a sword an assassin.
You will say that there is nothing in the world, however harmless,
that may not be put to some bad use, nothing so cheerful that it may
not be given a gloomy meaning. And yet we do not on that account put a
bad interpretation on everything, as though, for instance, you should
hold that incense, cassia, myrrh, and similar other scents are
purchased solely for the purpose of funerals; whereas they are also
used for sacrifice and medicine. But on the lines of your argument
you must believe that even the comrades of Menelaus were magicians;
for they, according to the great poet, averted starvation at the isle
of Pharos by their use of curved fish-hooks. Nay, you will class in
the same category of sorcerers seamews, dolphins, and the lobster;
_gourmands_ also, who sink whole fortunes[12] in the sums they pay to
fishermen; and fishermen themselves, who by their art capture all
manner of fish. 'But what do you want fish for?' you insist. I feel
myself under no necessity to tell you, and refuse to do so. But I
challenge you to prove unsupported that I bought them for the purpose
you assert; as though I had bought hellebore or hemlock or opium or
any other of those drugs, the moderate use of which is salutary,
although they are deadly when given with other substances or in too
large quantities. Who would endure it if you made this a ground for
accusing me of being a poisoner, merely because those drugs are
capable of killing a man?

[Footnote 12: _merguntur_ MSS.]

33. However, let us see what these fish were, fish so necessary for my
possession and so hard to find, that they were well worth the price I
paid for their acquisition. They have mentioned no more than three. To
one they gave a false name; as regards the other two they lied. The
name was false, for they asserted that the fish was a sea-hare,
whereas it was quite another fish, which Themison, my servant, who
knows something of medicine, as you heard from his own lips, bought of
his own suggestion for me to inspect. For, as a matter of fact, he has
not as yet ever come across a sea-hare. But I admit that I search for
other kinds of fish as well, and have commissioned not only fishermen
but private friends to search for all the rarest kinds of fish,
begging them either to describe the appearance of the fish or to send
it me, if possible, alive, or, failing that, dead. Why I do so I will
soon make clear. My accusers _lied_--and very cunning they thought
themselves--when they closed their false accusation by pretending that
I had sought for two sea-beasts known by gross names. That fellow
Tannonius wished to indicate the nature of the obscenity, but failed,
matchless pleader that he is, owing to his inability to speak. After
long hesitation he indicated the name of one of them by means of some
clumsy and disgusting circumlocution. The other he found impossible to
describe with decency, and evaded the difficulty by turning to my
works and quoting a certain passage from them in which I described the
attitude of a statue of Venus.

34. He also with that lofty puritanism which characterizes him,
reproached me for not being ashamed to describe foul things in noble
language. I might justly retort on him that, though he openly
professes the study of eloquence, that stammering voice of his often
gives utterance to noble things so basely as to defile them, and that
frequently, when what he has to say presents not the slightest
difficulty, he begins to stutter or even becomes utterly tongue-tied.
Come now! Suppose I had said nothing about the statue of Venus, nor
used the phrase which was of such service to you, what words would you
have found to frame a charge, which is as suited to your stupidity as
to your powers of speech? I ask you, is there anything more idiotic
than the inference that, because the names of two things resemble each
other, the things themselves are identical? Or did you think it a
particularly clever invention on your part to pretend that I had
sought out these two fish for the purpose of using them as magical
charms? Remember that it is as absurd an argument to say that these
sea-creatures with gross names were sought for gross purposes, as to
say that the sea-comb is sought for the adornment of the hair, the
fish named sea-hawk to catch birds, the fish named the little boar for
the hunting of boars, or the sea-skull to raise the dead. My reply to
these lying fabrications, which are as stupid as they are absurd, is
that I have never attempted to acquire these playthings of the sea,
these tiny trifles of the shore, either gratis or for money.

35. Further, I reply that you were quite ignorant of the nature of the
objects which you pretended that I sought to acquire. For these
worthless fish you mention can be found on any shore in heaps and
multitudes, and are cast up on dry land by the merest ripple without
any need for human agency. Why do you not say that at the same time I
commissioned large numbers of fishermen to secure for me at a price
striped sea-shells from the shore, smooth pebbles, crabs' claws,
sea-urchins' husks, the tentacles of cuttlefish, shingle, straws,
cordage, not to mention[13] worm-eaten oyster-shells, moss, and
seaweed, and all the flotsam of the sea that the winds drive, or the
salt wave casts up, or the storm sweeps back, or the calm leaves high
and dry all along our shores? For their names are no less suitable
than those I mentioned above for the purpose of awakening suspicions.
You have said that certain objects drawn from the sea have a certain
value for gross purposes on account of the similarity of their names.
On this analogy why should not a stone be good for diseases of the
bladder, a shell for the making of a will, a crab for a cancer,
seaweed for an ague? Really, Claudius Maximus, in listening to these
appallingly long-winded accusations to their very close you have shown
a patience that is excessive and a kindness which is too
long-suffering. For my part when they uttered these charges of theirs,
as though they were serious and cogent, while I laughed at their
stupidity, I marvelled at your patience.

[Footnote 13: _ne pergam_ (Helm).]

36. However, since he takes so much interest in my affairs, I will now
tell Aemilianus why I have examined so many fishes already and why I
am unwilling to remain in ignorance of some I have not yet seen.
Although he is in the decline of life and suffering from senile decay,
let him, if he will, acquire some learning even at the eleventh hour.
Let him read the works of the philosophers of old, that now at any
rate he may learn that I am not the first ichthyologist, but follow in
the steps of authors, centuries my seniors, such as Aristotle,
Theophrastus, Eudemus, Lycon, and the other successors of Plato, who
have left many books on the generation, life, parts and differences of
animals. It is a good thing, Maximus, that this case is being tried
before a scholar like yourself, who have read Aristotle's numerous
volumes 'on the generation, the anatomy, the history of animals',
together with his numberless 'Problems' and works by others of his
school, treating of various subjects of this kind. If it is an honour
and glory to them that they should have put on record the results of
their careful researches, why should it be disgraceful to me to
attempt the like task, especially since I shall attempt to write on
those subjects both in Greek and Latin and in a more concise and
systematic manner, and shall strive either to make good omissions or
remedy mistakes in all these authors? I beg of you, if you think it
worth while, to permit the reading of extracts from my 'magic' works,
that Aemilianus may learn that my sedulous researches and inquiries
have a wider range than he thinks. Bring a volume of my Greek
works--some of my friends who are interested in questions of natural
history may perhaps have them with them in court--take by preference
one of those dealing with problems of natural philosophy, and from
among those that volume in particular which treats of the race of
fish. While he is looking for the book, I will tell you a story which
has some relevance to this case.

37. The poet Sophocles, the rival and survivor of Euripides--for he
lived to extreme old age--on being accused by his own son of insanity
on the ground that the advance of age had destroyed his wits, is said
to have produced that matchless tragedy, his _Oedipus Coloneus_, on
which he happened to be engaged at the time, and to have read it aloud
to the jury without adding another word in his defence, except that he
bade them without hesitation to condemn him as insane if an old man's
poetry displeased them. At that point--so I have read--the jury rose
to their feet as one man to show their admiration of so great a poet,
and praised him marvellously both for the shrewdness of his argument
and for the eloquence of his tragic verse. And indeed they were not
far off unanimously condemning the accuser as the madman instead.

Have you found the book? Thank you. Let us try now whether what I
write may serve me in good stead in a law-court. Read a few lines at
the beginning, then some details concerning the fish. And do you while
he reads stop the water-clock. (_A passage from the book is read._)

38. You hear, Maximus. You have doubtless frequently read the like in
the works of ancient philosophers. Remember too that these volumes of
mine describe fishes only, distinguishing those that spring from the
union of the sexes from those which are spontaneously generated from
the mud, discussing how often and at what periods of the year the
males and females of each species come together, setting forth the
distinction established by nature between those of them who are
viviparous and those who are oviparous--for thus I translate the
Greek phrases [Greek: zôotoka] and [Greek: ôotoka]--together with the
causes of this distinction and the organic differences by which it is
characterized, in a word--for I would not weary you by discussing all
the different methods of generation in animals--treating of the
distinguishing marks of species, their various manners of life, the
difference of their members and ages, with many other points necessary
for the man of science but out of place in a law-court. I will ask
that a few of my Latin writings dealing with the same science may be
read, in which you will notice some rare pieces of knowledge and names
but little known to the Romans; indeed they have never been produced
before to-day, but yet, thanks to my toil and study they have been so
translated from the Greek, that in spite of their strangeness they are
none the less of Latin mintage. Do you deny this, Aemilianus? If so,
let your advocates tell me in what Latin author they have ever before
read such words as those which I will cause to be recited to you. I
will mention only aquatic animals, nor will I make any reference to
other animals save in connexion with the characteristics which
distinguish them from aquatic creatures. Listen then to what I say.
You will cry out at me saying that I am giving you a list of magic
names such as are used in Egyptian or Babylonian rites. [Greek:
Selacheia malacheia malakostraka chondrakantha ostrakoderma
karcharodonta amphibia lepidôta pholidôta dermoptera steganopoda
monêrê synagelastika]. I might continue the list, but it is not worth
wasting time over such trifles, and I need time to deal with other
charges. Meanwhile read out my translation into Latin of the few names
I have just given you. (_The translation is read. The Latin names are

39. What think you? Is it disgraceful for a philosopher who is no rude
and unlearned person of the reckless Cynic type, but who remembers
that he is a disciple of Plato, is it disgraceful for such an one to
know and care for such learning or to be ignorant and indifferent? to
know how far such things reveal the workings of providence, or to
swallow all the tales his father and mother told him of the immortal
gods? Quintus Ennius wrote a poem on dainties: he there enumerates
countless species of fish, which of course he had carefully studied. I
remember a few lines and will recite them:

     _Clipea's sea-weasels are of all the best,
     For 'mice' the place is Aenus; oysters rough
     In greatest plenty from Abydos come.
     The sea-comb's found at Mitylene and
     Ambracian Charadrus, and I praise
     Brundisian sargus: take him, if he's big.
     Know that Tarentum's small sea-boar is prime;
     The sword-fish at Surrentum thou shouldst buy;
     Blue fish at Cumae. What! have I passed by
     Scarus? the brain of Jove is not less sweet.
     You catch them large and good off Nestor's home.
     Have I passed by the black-tail and the 'thrush',
     The sea-merle and the shadow of the sea?
     Best to Corcyra go for cuttlefish,
     For the acarnè and the fat sea-skull
     The purple-fish, the little murex too,
     Mice of the sea and the sea-urchin sweet._

He glorified many fish in other verses, stating where each was to be
found and whether they were best fried or stewed, and yet he is not
blamed for it by the learned. Spare then to blame me, who describe
things known to few under elegant and appropriate names both in Greek
and Latin.

40. Enough of this! I call your attention to another point. What if I
take such interest and possess such skill in medicine as to search for
certain remedies in fish? For assuredly as nature with impartial
munificence has distributed and implanted many remedies throughout all
other created things, so also similar remedies are to be found in
fish. Now, do you think it more the business of a magician than of a
doctor, or indeed of a philosopher, to know and seek out remedies? For
the philosopher will use them not to win money for his purse, but to
give assistance to his fellow men. The doctors of old indeed knew how
to cure wounds by magic song, as Homer, the most reliable of all the
writers of antiquity, tells us, making the blood of Ulysses to be
stayed by a chant as it gushed forth from a wound. Now nothing that is
done to save life can be matter for accusation. 'But,' says my
adversary, 'for what purpose save evil did you dissect the fish
brought you by your servant Themison?' As if I had not told you just
now that I write treatises on the organs of all kind of animals,
describing the place, number and purpose of their various parts,
diligently investigating Aristotle's works on anatomy and adding to
them where necessary. I am, therefore, greatly surprised that you are
only aware of my having inspected one small fish, although I have
actually inspected a very large number under all circumstances
wherever I might find them, and have, moreover, made no secret of my
researches, but conducted them openly before all the world, so that
the merest stranger may, if it please him, stand by and observe me. In
this I follow the instruction of my masters, who assert that a free
man of free spirit should as far as possible wear his thoughts upon
his face. Indeed I actually showed this small fish, which you call a
sea-hare, to many who stood by. I do not yet know what name to call
it[14] without closer research, since in spite of its rarity and most
remarkable characteristics I do not find it described by any of the
ancient philosophers. This fish is, as far as my knowledge extends,
unique in one respect, for it contains twelve bones resembling the
knuckle-bones of a sucking-pig, linked together like a chain in its
belly. Apart from this it is boneless. Had Aristotle known this,
Aristotle who records as a most remarkable phenomenon the fact that
the fish known as the small sea-ass alone of all fishes has its
diminutive heart placed in its stomach, he would assuredly have
mentioned the fact.

[Footnote 14: _vocem_ (Colvius).]

41. 'You dissected a fish,' says he. Who can call this a crime in a
philosopher which would be no crime in a butcher or cook? 'You
dissected a fish.' Perhaps you object to the fact that it was raw. You
would not regard it as criminal if I had explored its stomach and cut
up its delicate liver after it was cooked, as you teach the boy
Sicinius Pudens to do with his own fish at meals. And yet it is a
greater crime for a philosopher to eat fish than to inspect them. Are
augurs to be allowed to explore the livers of victims and may not a
philosopher look at them too, a philosopher who knows that he can draw
omens from every animal, that he is the high-priest of every god? Do
you bring that as a reproach against me which is one of the reasons
for the admiration with which Maximus and myself regard Aristotle?
Unless you drive his works from the libraries and snatch them from the
hands of students you cannot accuse me. But enough! I have said almost
more on this subject than I ought.

See, too, how they contradict themselves. They say that I sought my
wife in marriage with the help of the black art and charms drawn from
the sea at the very time when they acknowledge me to have been in the
midmost mountains of Gaetulia, where, I suppose, Deucalion's deluge
has made it possible to find fish! I am, however, glad that they do
not know that I have read Theophrastus' 'On beasts that bite and
sting' and Nicander 'On the bites of wild animals'; otherwise they
would have accused me of poisoning as well! As a matter of fact I have
acquired a knowledge of these subjects thanks to my reading of
Aristotle and my desire to emulate him. I owe something also to the
advice of my master Plato, who says that those who make such
investigations as these 'pursue a delightful form of amusement which
they will never regret'.

42. Since I have sufficiently cleared up this business of the fish,
listen to another of their inventions equally stupid, but much more
extravagant and far more wicked. They themselves knew that their
argument about the fish was futile and bound to fail. They realized,
moreover, its strange absurdity (for who ever heard of fish being
scaled and boned for dark purposes of magic?), they realized that it
would be better for their fictions to deal with things of more common
report, which have ere now been believed. And so they devised the
following fiction which does at least fall within the limits of
popular credence and rumour. They asserted that I had taken a boy
apart to a secret place with a small altar and a lantern and only a
few accomplices as witnesses, and there so bewitched him with a
magical incantation that he fell in the very spot where I pronounced
the charm, and on being awakened was found to be out of his wits. They
did not dare to go any further with the lie. To complete their story
they should have added that the boy uttered many prophecies. For this
we know is the prize of magical incantations, namely divination and
prophecy. And this miracle in the case of boys is confirmed not only
by vulgar opinion but by the authority of learned men. I remember
reading various relations of the kind in the philosopher Varro, a
writer of the highest learning and erudition, but there was the
following story in particular. Inquiry was being made at Tralles by
means of magic into the probable issue of the Mithridatic war, and a
boy who was gazing at an image of Mercury reflected in a bowl of water
foretold the future in a hundred and sixty lines of verse. He records
also that Fabius, having lost five hundred denarii, came to consult
Nigidius; the latter by means of incantations inspired certain boys so
that they were able to indicate to him where a pot containing a
certain portion of the money had been hidden in the ground, and how
the remainder had been dispersed, one denarius having found its way
into the possession of Marcus Cato the philosopher. This coin Cato
acknowledged he had received from a certain lackey as a contribution
to the treasury of Apollo.

43. I have read this and the like concerning boys and art-magic in
several authors, but I am in doubt whether to admit the truth of such
stories or no, although I believe Plato when he asserts that there are
certain divine powers holding a position and possessing a character
midway between gods and men, and that all divination and the miracles
of magicians are controlled by them. Moreover it is my own personal
opinion that the human soul, especially when it is young and
unsophisticated, may by the allurement of music or the soothing
influence of sweet smells be lulled into slumber and banished into
oblivion of its surroundings so that, as all consciousness of the body
fades from the memory, it returns and is reduced to its primal nature,
which is in truth immortal and divine; and thus, as it were in a kind
of slumber, it may predict the future. But howsoever these things may
be, if any faith is to be put in them, the prophetic boy must, as far
as I can understand, be fair and unblemished in body, shrewd of wit
and ready of speech, so that a worthy and fair shrine may be provided
for the divine indwelling power--if indeed such a power does enter
into the boy's body--or that the boy's mind when wakened may quickly
apply itself to its inherent powers of divination, find them ready to
its use and reproduce their promptings undulled and unimpaired by any
loss of memory. For, as Pythagoras said, not every kind of wood is fit
to be carved into the likeness of Mercury. If that be so, tell me who
was that healthy, unblemished, intelligent, handsome boy whom I deemed
worthy of initiation into such mysteries by the power of my spells. As
a matter of fact, Thallus, whom you mentioned, needs a doctor rather
than a magician. For the poor wretch is such a victim to epilepsy that
he frequently has fits twice or thrice in one day without the need for
any incantations, and exhausts all his limbs with his convulsions. His
face is ulcerous, his head bruised in front and behind, his eyes are
dull, his nostrils distended, his feet stumbling. He may claim to be
the greatest of magicians in whose presence Thallus has remained for
any considerable time upon his feet. For he is continually lying
down, either a seizure or mere weariness[15] causing him to collapse.

[Footnote 15: _seu_ (Casaubon).]

44. Yet you say that it is my incantations that have overwhelmed him,
simply because he has once chanced to have a fit in my presence. Many
of his fellow servants, whose appearance as witnesses you have
demanded, are present in court. They all can tell you why it is they
spit upon Thallus, and why no one ventures to eat from the same dish
with him or to drink from the same cup. But why do I speak of these
slaves? You yourselves have eyes. Deny then, if you dare, that Thallus
used to have fits of epilepsy long before I came to Oea, or that has
frequently been shown to doctors. Let his fellow slaves who are in
your service deny this: I will confess myself guilty of everything, if
he has not long since been sent away into the country, far from the
sight of all of them, to a distant farm, for fear he should infect the
rest of the household. They cannot deny this to be the fact. For the
same reason it is impossible for us to produce him here to-day. The
whole of this accusation has been reckless and sudden, and it was only
the day before yesterday that Aemilianus demanded that we should
produce fifteen slaves before you. The fourteen living in the town are
present to-day. Thallus only is absent owing to the fact that he has
been banished to a place some hundred miles distant. However, we have
sent a man to bring him here in a carriage. I ask you, Maximus, to
question these fourteen slaves whom we have produced as to where the
boy Thallus is and what is the state of his health; I ask you to
question my accuser's slaves. They will not deny that this boy is of
revolting appearance, that his body is rotten through and through with
disease, that he is liable to fits, and is a barbarian and a
clodhopper. This is indeed a handsome boy whom you have selected as
one who might fairly be produced at the offering of sacrifice, whom
one might touch upon the head and clothe in a fair white cloak in
expectation of some prophetic reply from his lips. I only wish he were
present. I would have entrusted him to your tender mercies,
Aemilianus, and would be ready to hold him myself that you might
question him. Here in open court before the judges he would have
rolled his wild eyes upon you, he would have foamed at the mouth, spat
in your face, drawn in his hands convulsively, shaken his head and
fallen at last in a fit into your arms.

45. Here are fourteen slaves whom you bade me produce in court. Why do
you refuse to question them? You want one epileptic boy who, you know
as well as I, has long been absent from Oea. What clearer evidence of
the falseness of your accusations could be desired? Fourteen slaves
are present, as you required; you ignore them. One young boy is
absent: you concentrate your attack on him. What is it that you want?
Suppose Thallus were present. Do you want to prove that he had a fit
in my presence? Why, I myself admit it. You say that this was the
result of incantation. I answer that the boy knows nothing about it,
and that I can prove that it was not so. Even you will not deny that
Thallus was epileptic. Why then attribute his fall to magic rather
than disease? Was there anything improbable in his suffering that fate
in _my_ presence, which he has often suffered on other occasions in
the presence of a number of persons? Nay, even supposing I had thought
it a great achievement to cast an epileptic into a fit, why should I
use charms when, as I am told by writers on natural history, the
burning of the stone named _gagates_ is an equally sure and easy proof
of the disease? For its scent is commonly used as a test of the
soundness or infirmity of slaves even in the slave-market. Again, the
spinning of a potter's wheel will easily infect a man suffering from
this disease with its own giddiness. For the sight of its rotations
weakens his already feeble mind, and the potter is far more effective
than the magician for casting epileptics into convulsions. You had no
reason for demanding that I should produce these slaves. I have good
reason for asking you to name those who witnessed that guilty ritual
when I cast the moribund Thallus into one of his fits. The only
witness you mention is that worthless boy, Sicinius Pudens, in whose
name you accuse me. He says that he was present. His extreme youth is
no reason why we should reject his sworn evidence, but the fact that
he is one of my accusers _does_ detract from his credibility. It would
have been easier for you, Aemilianus, and your evidence would have
carried much more weight, had you said that you were present at the
rite and had been mad ever since, instead of entrusting the whole
business to the evidence of boys as though it were a mere joke. A boy
had a fit, a boy saw him. Was it also some boy that bewitched him?

46. At this point Tannonius Pudens, like the old hand he is, saw that
this lie also was falling flat and was doomed to failure by the frowns
and murmurs of the audience, and so, in order to check the suspicions
of some of them by kindling fresh expectations, he said that he would
produce other boys as well whom I had similarly bewitched. He thus
passed to another line of accusation. I might ignore it, but I will go
out of my way to challenge it as I have done with all the rest. I want
those boys to be produced. I hear they have been bribed by the promise
of their liberty to perjure themselves. But I say no more. Only
produce them. I demand and insist, Tannonius Pudens, that you should
fulfil your promise. Bring forward those boys in whose evidence you
put your trust; produce them, name them. You may use the time allotted
to my speech for the purpose. Speak, I say, Tannonius. Why are you
silent? Why do you hesitate? Why look round? If _he_ does not remember
his instructions, or has forgotten his witnesses' names, do you at any
rate, Aemilianus, come forward and tell us what instructions you gave
your advocate, and produce those boys. Why do you turn pale? Why are
you silent? Is this the way to bring an accusation? Is this the way
to indict a man on so serious a charge? Is it not rather an insult to
so distinguished a citizen as Claudius Maximus, and a false and
slanderous persecution of myself? However, if your representative has
made a slip in his speech, and there are no such boys to produce, at
any rate make some use of the fourteen whom I have brought into court.
If you refuse, why did you demand the appearance of such a housefull?

47. You have demanded fifteen slaves to support an accusation of
magic; how many would you be demanding if it were a charge of
violence? The inference is that fifteen slaves know something, and
that something is still a mystery. Or is it nothing mysterious and yet
something connected with magic? You must admit one of these two
alternatives: either the proceeding to which I admitted so many
witnesses had nothing improper about it, or, if it had, it should not
have been witnessed by so many. Now this magic of which you accuse me
is, I am told, a crime in the eyes of the law, and was forbidden in
remote antiquity by the Twelve Tables because in some incredible
manner crops had been charmed away from one field to another. It is
then as mysterious an art as it is loathly and horrible; it needs as a
rule night-watches and concealing darkness, solitude absolute and
murmured incantations, to hear which few free men are admitted, not to
speak of slaves. And yet you will have it that there were fifteen
slaves present on this occasion. Was it a marriage? or any other
crowded ceremony? or a seasonable banquet? Fifteen slaves take part
in a magic rite as though they had been created _quindecimvirs_ for
the performance of sacrifice! Is it likely that I should have
permitted so large a number to be present on such an occasion, if they
were too many to be accomplices? Fifteen free men form a borough,
fifteen slaves a household, fifteen fettered serfs a chain-gang. Did I
need such a crowd to help me by holding the lustral victims during the
lengthy rite? No! the only victims you mentioned were hens! Were they
to count the grains of incense? or to knock Thallus down?

48. You assert also that by promising to heal her I inveigled to my
house a free woman who suffered from the same disease as Thallus; that
she, too, fell senseless as a result of my incantations. It appears to
me that you are accusing a wrestler not a magician, since you say that
all who visited me had a fall. And yet Themison, who is a physician
and who brought the woman for my inspection, denied, when you asked
him, Maximus, that I had done anything to the woman other than ask her
whether she heard noises in her ears, and if so, which ear suffered
most. He added that she departed immediately after telling me that her
right ear was most troubled in that way. At this point, Maximus,
although I have for the present been careful to abstain from praising
you, lest I should seem to have flattered you with an eye to winning
my case, yet I cannot help praising you for the astuteness of your
questions. After they had spent much time in discussing these points
and asserting that I had bewitched the woman, and after the doctor who
was present on that occasion had denied that I had done so, you, with
shrewdness more than human, asked them what profit I derived from my
incantations. They replied, 'The woman had a fit.' 'What then?' you
asked, 'Did she die?' 'No,' said they. 'What is your point then? How
did the fact of her having a fit profit Apuleius?' That third question
showed brilliant penetration and persistence. You knew that it was
necessary to submit all facts to stringent examination of their
causes, that often facts are admitted while motives remain to seek,
and that the representatives of litigants are called pleaders of
_causes_, because they set forth the causes of each particular act. To
deny a fact is easy and needs no advocate, but it is far more arduous
and difficult a task to demonstrate the rightness or wrongness of a
given action. It is waste of time, therefore, to inquire whether a
thing was done, when, even if it were done, no evil motive can be
alleged. Under such circumstances, if no criminal motive is
forthcoming, a good judge releases the accused from all further
vexatious inquiry. So now, since they have not proved that I either
bewitched the woman or caused her to have a fit, I for my part will
not deny that I examined her at the request of a physician; and I will
tell you, Maximus, why I asked her if she had noises in her ears. I
will do this not so much to clear myself of the charge which you,
Maximus, have already decided to involve neither blame nor guilt, as
to impart to you something worthy of your hearing and interesting to
one of your erudition. I will tell you in as few words as possible. I
have only to call your attention to certain facts. To instruct you
would be presumption.

49. The philosopher Plato, in his glorious work, the _Timaeus_, sets
forth with more than mortal eloquence the constitution of the whole
universe. After discoursing with great insight on the three powers
that make up man's soul, and showing with the utmost clearness the
divine purpose that shaped our various members, he treats of the
causes of all diseases under three heads. The first cause lies in the
elements of the body, when the actual qualities of those elements,
moisture and cold and their two opposites, fail to harmonize. That
comes to pass when one of these elements assumes undue proportions or
moves from its proper place. The second cause of disease lies in the
vitiation of those components of the body which, though formed out of
the simple elements, have coalesced in such a manner as to have a
specific character of their own, such as blood, entrails, bone,
marrow, and the various substances made from the blending of each of
these. Thirdly, the concretion in the body of various juices, turbid
vapours, and dense humours is the last provocative of sickness.

50. Of these causes that which contributes most to epilepsy, the
disease of which I set out to speak, is a condition when the flesh is
so melted by the noxious influence of fire as to form a thick and
foaming humour. This generates a vapour, and the heat of the air thus
compressed within the body causes a white and eruptive ferment. If
this ferment succeeds in escaping from the body, it is dispersed in a
manner that is repulsive rather than dangerous. For it causes an
eczema to break out upon the surface of the skin of the breast and
mottles it with all kinds of blotches. But the person to whom this
happens is never again attacked with epilepsy, and so he rids himself
of a most sore disease of the spirit at the price of a slight
disfigurement of the body. But if, on the other hand, this dangerous
corruption[16] be contained within the body and mingle with the black
bile, and so run fiercely through every vein, and then working its way
upwards to the head flood the brain with its destructive stream, it
straightway weakens that royal part of man's spirit which is endowed
with the power of reason and is enthroned in the head of man, that is
its citadel and palace. For it overwhelms and throws into confusion
those channels of divinity and paths of wisdom. During sleep it makes
less havoc, but when men are full of meat and wine it makes its
presence somewhat unpleasantly felt by a choking sensation, the herald
of epilepsy. But if it reaches such strength as to attack the heads of
men when they are wide awake, then their minds grow dull with a sudden
cloud of stupefaction and they fall to the ground, their bodies
swooning as in death, their spirit fainting within them. Men of our
race have styled it not only the 'Great sickness' and the 'Comitial
sickness', but also the 'Divine sickness', in this resembling the
Greeks, who call it [Greek: hiera nosos], the holy sickness. The name
is just; for this sickness does outrage to the rational part of the
soul, which is by far the most holy.

[Footnote 16: _putredo_ (conj. Helm).]

51. You recognize, Maximus, the theory of Plato, as far as I have been
able to give it a lucid explanation in the time at my disposal. I put
my trust in him when he says that the cause of epilepsy is the
overflowing of this pestilential humour into the head. My inquiry
therefore was, I think, reasonable when I asked the woman whether her
head felt heavy, her neck numb, her temples throbbing, her ears full
of noises. The fact that she acknowledged these noises to be more
frequent in her right ear was proof that the disease had gone home.
For the right-hand organs of the body are the strongest, and therefore
their infection with the disease leaves small hope of recovery. Indeed
Aristotle has left it on record in his _Problems_ that whenever in the
case of epileptics the disease begins on the right side, their cure is
very difficult. It would be tedious were I to repeat the opinion of
Theophrastus also on the subject of epilepsy. For he has left a most
excellent treatise on convulsions. He asserts, however, in another
book on the subject of animals ill-disposed towards mankind, that the
skins of newts--which like other reptiles they shed at fixed intervals
for the renewal of their youth--form a remedy for fits. But unless you
snatch up the skin as soon as it be shed, they straightway turn upon
it and devour it, whether from a malign foreknowledge of its value to
men or from a natural taste for it. I have mentioned these things, I
have been careful to quote the arguments of renowned philosophers, and
to mention the books where they are to be found, and have avoided any
reference to the works of physicians or poets, that my adversaries may
cease to wonder that philosophers have learnt the causes of remedies
and diseases in the natural course of their researches. Well then,
since this woman was brought to be examined by me in the hope that she
might be cured, and since it is clear both from the evidence of the
physician who brought her and from the arguments I have just set forth
that such a course was perfectly right, my opponents must needs assert
that it is the part of a magician and evildoer to heal disease, or, if
they do not dare to say that, must confess that their accusations in
regard to this epileptic boy and woman are false, absurd, and indeed

52. Yes, Aemilianus, if you would hear the truth, _you_ are the real
sufferer from the falling sickness, so often have your false
accusations failed and cast you helpless to the ground. Bodily
collapse is no worse than intellectual, and it is as important to keep
one's head as to keep one's feet, while it is as unpleasant to be
loathed by this distinguished gathering as to be spat upon in one's
own chamber. But you perhaps think yourself sane because you are not
confined within doors, but follow the promptings of your madness
whithersoever it lead you: and yet compare your frenzy with that of
Thallus; you will find that there is but little to choose between
you, save that Thallus confines his frenzy to himself, while you
direct yours against others; Thallus distorts his eyes, you distort
the truth; Thallus contracts his hands convulsively, you not less
convulsively contract with your advocates; Thallus dashes himself
against the pavement, you dash yourself against the judgement-seat. In
a word, whatever he does, he does in his sickness erring
unconsciously; but you, wretch, commit your crimes with full knowledge
and with your eyes open, such is the vehemence of the disease that
inspires your actions. You bring false accusations as though they were
true; you charge men with doing what has never been done; though a
man's innocence be clear to you as daylight, you denounce him as
though he were guilty.

53. Nay, further, though I had almost forgotten to mention it, there
are certain things of which you confess your ignorance, and which
nevertheless you make material for accusation as though you knew all
about them. You assert that I kept something mysterious wrapped up in
a handkerchief among the household gods in the house of Pontianus. You
confess your ignorance as to what may have been the nature or
appearance of this object; you further admit that no one ever saw it,
and yet you assert that it was some instrument of magic. You are not
to be congratulated on this method of procedure. Your accusation
reveals no shrewdness, and has not even the merit of impudence. Do not
think so for a moment. No! it shows naught save the ill-starred
madness of an embittered spirit and the pitiable fury of cantankerous
old age. The words you used in the presence of so grave and
perspicacious a judge amounted to something very like this. 'Apuleius
kept certain things wrapped in a cloth among the household gods in the
house of Pontianus. Since I do not know what they were, I therefore
argue that they were magical. I beg you to believe what I say, because
I am talking of that of which I know nothing.' What a wonderful
argument, in itself an obvious refutation of the charge. 'It must have
been this, because I do not know what it was.' You are the only person
hitherto discovered who knows that which he does not know. You so far
surpass all others in folly, that whereas philosophers of the most
keen and penetrating intellect assert that we should not trust even
the objects that we see, you make statements about things which you
have never seen or heard. If Pontianus still lived and you were to ask
him what the cloth contained, he would reply that he did not know.
There is the freedman who still has charge of the keys of the place;
he is one of your witnesses, but he says that he has never examined
these objects, although, as the servant responsible for the books kept
there, he opened and shut the doors almost daily, continually entered
the room, not seldom in my company but more often alone, and saw the
cloth lying on the table unprotected by seal or cord. Quite natural,
was it not? Magical objects were concealed in the cloth, and for that
reason I took little care for its safe custody, but left it about
anyhow for any one to examine and inspect, if he liked, or even to
carry it away! I entrusted it to the custody of others, I left it to
others to dispose of at their pleasure! What credence do you expect us
to give you after this? Are we to believe that you, on whom I have
never set eyes save in this court, know that of which Pontianus, who
actually lived under the same roof, was ignorant? or shall we believe
that you, who have never so much as approached the room where they
were placed, have seen what the freedman never saw, although he had
every opportunity to inspect them during the sedulous performance of
his duties? In a word, that which you never saw must have been what
you assert it to have been! And yet, you fool, if this very day you
had succeeded in getting that handkerchief into your hands, I should
deny the magical nature of whatever you might produce from it.

54. I give you full leave; invent what you like, rack your memory and
your imagination to discover something that might conceivably seem to
be of a magical nature. Even then, should you succeed in so doing, I
should argue the point with you. I should say that the object in
question had been substituted by you for the original, or that it had
been given as a remedy, or that it was a sacred emblem that had been
placed in my keeping, or that a vision had bidden me to carry it thus.
There are a thousand other ways in which I might refute you with
perfect truth and without giving any explanation which is abnormal or
lies outside the limits of common observation. You are now demanding
that a circumstance, which, even if it were proved up to the hilt,
would not prejudice me in the eyes of a good judge, should be fatal to
me when, as it is, it rests on vague suspicion, uncertainty, and
ignorance. You will perhaps, as is your wont, say, 'What, then, was it
that you wrapped in a linen cloth and were so careful to deposit with
the household gods?' Really, Aemilianus! is this the way you accuse
your victims? You produce no definite evidence yourself, but ask the
accused for explanations of everything. 'Why do you search for fish?
Why did you examine a sick woman? What had you hidden in your
handkerchief?' Did you come here to accuse me or to ask me questions?
If to accuse me, prove your charges yourself; if to ask questions, do
not anticipate the truth by expressing opinions on that concerning
which your ignorance compels you to inquire. If this precedent be
followed, if there is no necessity for the accuser to prove anything,
but on the contrary he is given every facility for asking questions of
the accused, there is not a man in all the world but will be indicted
on some charge or other. In fact, everything that he has ever done
will be used as a handle against any man who is charged with sorcery.
Have you written a petition on the thigh of some statue? You are a
sorcerer! Else why did you write it? Have you breathed silent prayers
to heaven in some temple? You are a sorcerer! Else tell us what you
asked for? Or take the contrary line. You uttered no prayer in some
temple! You are a sorcerer! Else why did you not ask the gods for
something? The same argument will be used if you have made some votive
dedication, or offered sacrifice, or carried sprigs of some sacred
plant. The day will fail me if I attempt to go through all the
different circumstances of which, on these lines, the false accuser
will demand an explanation. Above all, whatever object he has kept
concealed or stored under lock and key at home will be asserted by the
same argument to be of a magical nature, or will be dragged from its
cupboard into the light of the law-court before the seat of judgement.

55. I might discourse at greater length on the nature and importance
of such accusations, on the wide range for slander that this path
opens for Aemilianus, on the floods of perspiration that this one poor
handkerchief, contrary to its natural duty, will cause his innocent
victims! But I will follow the course I have already pursued. I will
acknowledge what there is no necessity for me to acknowledge, and will
answer Aemilianus' questions. You ask, Aemilianus, what I had in that
handkerchief. Although I might deny that I had deposited any
handkerchief of mine in Pontianus' library, or even admitting that it
was true enough that I did so deposit it, I might still deny that
there was anything wrapped up in it. If I should take this line, you
have no evidence or argument whereby to refute me, for there is no one
who has ever handled it, and only one freedman, according to your own
assertion, who has ever seen it. Still, as far as I am concerned I
will admit the cloth to have been full to bursting. Imagine yourself,
please, to be on the brink of a great discovery, like the comrades of
Ulysses who thought they had found a treasure when they stole the bag
that contained all the winds. Would you like me to tell you what I had
wrapped up in a handkerchief and entrusted to the care of Pontianus'
household gods? You shall have your will. I have been initiated into
various of the Greek mysteries, and preserve with the utmost care
certain emblems and mementoes of my initiation with which the priests
presented me. There is nothing abnormal or unheard of in this. Those
of you here present who have been initiated into the mysteries of
father Liber alone, know what you keep hidden at home, safe from all
profane touch and the object of your silent veneration. But I, as I
have said, moved by my religious fervour and my desire to know the
truth, have learned mysteries of many a kind, rites in great number,
and diverse ceremonies. This is no invention on the spur of the
moment; nearly three years since, in a public discourse on the
greatness of Aesculapius delivered by me during the first days of my
residence at Oea, I made the same boast and recounted the number of
the mysteries I knew. That discourse was thronged, has been read far
and wide, is in all men's hands, and has won the affections of the
pious inhabitants of Oea not so much through any eloquence of mine as
because it treats of Aesculapius. Will any one, who chances to
remember it, repeat the beginning of that particular passage in my
discourse? You hear, Maximus, how many voices supply the words. I will
order this same passage to be read aloud, since by the courteous
expression of your face you show that you will not be displeased to
hear it. (_The passage is read aloud._)

56. Can any one, who has the least remembrance of the nature of
religious rites, be surprised that one who has been initiated into so
many holy mysteries should preserve at home certain talismans
associated with these ceremonies, and should wrap them in a linen
cloth, the purest of coverings for holy things? For wool, produced by
the most stolid of creatures and stripped from the sheep's back, the
followers of Orpheus and Pythagoras are for that very reason forbidden
to wear as being unholy and unclean. But flax, the purest of all
growths and among the best of all the fruits of the earth, is used by
the holy priests of Egypt, not only for clothing and raiment, but as a
veil for sacred things. And yet I know that some persons, among them
that fellow Aemilianus, think it a good jest to mock at things divine.
For I learn from certain men of Oea who know him, that to this day he
has never prayed to any god or frequented any temple, while if he
chances to pass any shrine, he regards it as a crime to raise his hand
to his lips in token of reverence. He has never given firstfruits of
crops or vines or flocks to any of the gods of the farmer, who feed
him and clothe him; his farm holds no shrine, no holy place, nor
grove. But why do I speak of groves or shrines? Those who have been on
his property say they never saw there one stone where offering of oil
has been made, one bough where wreaths have been hung. As a result,
two nicknames have been given him: he is called Charon, as I have
said, on account of his truculence of spirit and of countenance, but
he is also--and this is the name he prefers--called Mezentius, because
he despises the gods. I therefore find it the easier to understand
that he should regard my list of initiations in the light of a jest.
It is even possible that, thanks to his rejection of things divine, he
may be unable to induce himself to believe that it is true that I
guard so reverently so many emblems and relics of mysterious rites. I
care not a straw what Mezentius may think of me; but to others I make
this announcement clearly and unshrinkingly. If any of you that are
here present had any part with me in these same solemn ceremonies,
give a sign and you shall hear what it is I keep thus. For no thought
of personal safety shall induce me to reveal to the uninitiated the
secrets that I have received and sworn to conceal.

57. I have, I think, Maximus, said enough to satisfy the most
prejudiced of men and, as far as the handkerchief is concerned, have
cleared myself of every speck of guilt. I shall run no risk in passing
from the suspicions of Aemilianus to the evidence of Crassus, which my
accusers read out next as if it were of the utmost importance. You
heard them read from a written deposition, the evidence of a gorging
brute, a hopeless glutton, named Junius Crassus, that I performed
certain nocturnal rites at his house in company with my friend Appius
Quintianus, who had taken lodgings there. This, mark you, Crassus says
that he discovered (in spite of the fact that he was as far away as
Alexandria at the time!) from finding the feathers of birds and traces
of the smoke of a torch. I suppose that while he was enjoying a round
of festivities at Alexandria--for Crassus is one who is ready even to
encroach upon the daylight with his gluttonies--I suppose, I say, that
there from his reeking tavern he espied, with eye keen as any
fowler's, feathers of birds wafted towards him from his house, and saw
the smoke of his home rising far off from his ancestral roof-tree. If
he saw this with his eyes, he saw even further than Ulysses prayed and
yearned to see. For Ulysses spent years in gazing vainly from the
shore to see the smoke rising from his home, while Crassus during a
few months' absence from home succeeded, without the least difficulty,
in seeing this same smoke as he sat in a wine-shop! If, on the other
hand, it was his nose discerned the smoke, he surpasses hounds and
vultures in the keenness of his sense of smell. For what hound, what
vulture hovering in the Alexandrian sky, could sniff out anything so
far distant as Oea? Crassus is, I admit, a _gourmand_ of the first
order, and an expert in all the varied flavours of kitchen-smoke, but
in view of his love of drinking, his only real title to fame, it would
have been easier for the fumes of his wine, rather than the fumes of
his chimney, to reach him at Alexandria.

58. Even he saw that this would pass belief. For he is said to have
sold this evidence before eight in the morning while he was still
fasting from food and drink! And so he wrote that he had made his
discovery in the following manner. On his return from Alexandria he
went straight to his house, which Quintianus had by this time left.
There in the entrance-hall he came across a large quantity of birds'
feathers: the walls, moreover, were blackened with soot. He asked the
reason of this from the slave whom he had left at Oea, and the latter
informed him of the nocturnal rites carried out by myself and
Quintianus. What an ingenious lie! What a probable invention! That I,
had I wished to do anything of the sort, should have done it there
rather than in my own house! That Quintianus, who is supporting me
here to-day, and whom I mention with the greatest respect and honour
for the close love that binds him to me, for his deep erudition and
consummate eloquence, that this same Quintianus, supposing him to have
dined off some birds or, as they assert, killed them for magical
purposes, should have had no slave to sweep up the feathers and throw
them out of doors! Or further that the smoke should have been strong
enough to blacken the walls and that Quintianus should have suffered
such defacement of the room in which he slept, while it was still in
his occupation! Nonsense, Aemilianus! There is no probability in the
story, unless indeed Crassus on his return went not to the bedroom,
but after his fashion made straight for the kitchen. And what made
his slave suspect that the walls had been blackened by night in
particular? Was it the colour of the smoke? Does night smoke differ
from day smoke in being darker? And why did so suspicious and
conscientious a slave allow Quintianus to leave the house before
having it cleaned? Why did those feathers lie like lead and await the
arrival of Crassus for so long? Let not Crassus accuse his slave. It
is much more likely that he himself fabricated this mendacious
nonsense about feathers and soot, being unable even in his evidence to
divorce himself further from his kitchen.

59. And why did you read out this evidence from a written deposition?
Where in the world is Crassus? Has he returned to Alexandria out of
disgust at the state of his house? Is he washing his walls? or, as is
more likely, is the glutton feeling ill after his debauch? I myself
saw him yesterday here at Sabrata hiccoughing in your face,
Aemilianus, in the most conspicuous manner in the middle of the
market-place. Pray, Maximus, ask your slaves whose duty it is to keep
you informed of people's names--although, I admit, Crassus is better
known to the keepers of taverns--yet ask them, I say, whether they
have ever seen Junius Crassus, a citizen of Oea, in this place. They
will answer 'yes'. Let Aemilianus then produce this most admirable
young man on whose testimony he relies. You notice the time of day. I
tell you that Crassus has long since been snoring in a drunken slumber
or has taken a second bathe and is now evaporating the sweat of
intoxication at the bath that he may be equal to a fresh drinking bout
after supper. He presents himself in writing only. That is the way he
speaks to you, Maximus. Even he is not so dead to sense of shame as to
be able to lie to your face without a blush. But there is perhaps
another reason for his absence. He may have been unable to abstain
from the wine-cup[17] sufficiently long to keep sober against this
moment; or it may be that Aemilianus took good care not to subject him
to your severe and searching gaze, lest you should damn the brute with
his close-shaven cheeks and his disgusting appearance by a mere glance
at his face, when you saw a young man with his features stripped of
the beard and hair that should adorn them, his eyes heavy with wine,
his lids swollen, his broad[18] grin, his slobbering lips, his harsh
voice, his trembling hands, his breath[19] reeking of the cook-shop.
He has long since devoured his fortune; nothing is left him of his
patrimony save a house that serves him for the sale of his false
witness, and never did he make a more remunerative contract than he
has done with regard to this evidence he offers to-day. For he sold
Aemilianus his drunken fictions for 3,000 sesterces, as every one at
Oea is aware.

[Footnote 17: _a bria_ (Hildebrand).]

[Footnote 18: _rictum diductum_ (Jahn).]

[Footnote 19: _ructus popinam_ (Pricaeus).]

60. We all knew of this before it actually took place. I might have
prevented the transaction by denouncing it, but I knew that so foolish
a lie would be prejudicial to Aemilianus, who wasted his money to
secure it, rather than to myself, who treated it with the contempt it
deserved. I wished not only that Aemilianus should lose his money, but
that Crassus should have his reputation ruined by his disgraceful
perjury. It was but the day before yesterday that the transaction took
place in the most open manner at the house of Rufinus, of whom I shall
soon have something to say. Rufinus and Calpurnianus acted as
middlemen and arranged the bargain.[20] The former carried out the
task with all the more readiness because he was certain that his wife,
at whose misconduct he knowingly connives, would be sure to recover
from Crassus a large proportion of his fee for perjury. I noticed that
you also, Maximus, suspected with your usual acuteness that they, as
soon as this written evidence was produced, had formed a league and
conspiracy against me; and I saw from your face that the whole affair
excited your disgust. Finally my accusers, in spite of their being
paragons of audacity and monsters of shamelessness, did not dare to
read out Crassus' evidence in full or to build anything upon it; for
they saw that at the mention of his name you smelt a rat. I have
mentioned these facts not because I am afraid of these dreadful
feathers and stains of soot--least of all with you to judge me--but
that Crassus might meet with due punishment for having sold mere smoke
to a helpless rustic like Aemilianus.

[Footnote 20: _depectoribus_ (Kronenberg).]

61. Their next[21] charge concerns the manufacture of a seal which
they produced when they read Pudentilla's letters. This seal, they
assert, I had fashioned of the rarest wood by some secret process for
purposes of the black art. They add that, although it is loathly and
horrible to look upon, being in the form of a skeleton, I yet give it
especial honour and call it in the Greek tongue, [Greek: basileus], my
king. I think I am right in saying that I am following the various
stages of their accusation in due order and reconstructing the whole
fabric of their slander detail by detail.

[Footnote 21: _inde_ (Acidalius).]

Now how can the manufacture of this seal have been secret, as you
assert, when you are sufficiently well acquainted with the maker to
have summoned him to appear in court? Here is Cornelius Saturninus,
the artist, a man whose skill is famous among his townsfolk and whose
character is above reproach. A little while back, in answer, Maximus,
to your careful cross-examination, he explained the whole sequence of
events in the most convincing and truthful manner. He said that I
visited his shop and, after looking at many geometrical patterns all
carved out of boxwood in the most cunning and ingenious manner, was so
much attracted by his skill that I asked him to make me certain
mechanical devices and also begged him to make me the image of some
god to which I might pray after my custom. The particular god and the
precise material I left to his choice, my only stipulation being that
it should be made of wood. He therefore first attempted to work in
boxwood. Meanwhile, during my absence in the country, Sicinius
Pontianus, my step-son, wishing to gratify me,[22] procured some ebony
tablets from that excellent lady Capitolina and brought them to his
shop, exhorting him to make what I had ordered out of this rarer and
more durable material: such a gift, he said, would be most gratifying
to me. Our artist did as Pontianus suggested, as far as the size of
the ebony tablets permitted. By careful dove-tailing of minute
portions of the tablets he succeeded in making a small figure of

[Footnote 22: _gratum factum_ (Van der Vliet).]

62. You heard all the evidence just as I repeat it. Moreover it
receives exact confirmation from the answers given to you in
cross-examination by Capitolina's son, a youth of the most excellent
character, who is here in court to-day. He said that Pontianus asked
for the tablets, that Pontianus took them to the artist Saturninus.
Nor does he deny that Pontianus received the completed signet from
Saturninus and afterwards gave it me. All these things have been
openly and manifestly proved. What remains, in which any suspicion of
sorcery can lie concealed? Nay, what is there that does not absolutely
convict you of obvious falsehood? You said that the seal was of secret
manufacture, whereas Pontianus, a distinguished member of the
equestrian order, gave the commission for it. The figure was carved in
public by Saturninus as he sat in his shop. He is a man of sterling
character and recognized honesty. The work was assisted by the
munificence of a distinguished married lady, and many both among the
slaves and the acquaintances who frequented my house were aware both
of the commission for the work and its execution. You were not ashamed
falsely to pretend that I had searched high and low for the requisite
wood through all the town, although you know that I was absent from
Oea at that time, and although it has been proved that I gave a free
hand as to the material.

63. Your third lie was that the figure which was made was the lean,
eviscerated frame of a gruesome corpse, utterly horrible and ghastly
as any goblin. If you had discovered such definite proof of my
sorceries, why did you not insist on my producing it in court? Was it
that you might have complete freedom for inventing lies in the absence
of the subject of your slanders? If so, the opportunity afforded you
for mendacity has been lost you, thanks to a certain habit of mine
which comes in most opportunely. It is my wont wherever I go to carry
with me the image of some god hidden among my books and to pray to him
on feast days with offerings of incense and wine and sometimes even of
victims. When, therefore, I heard persistent though outrageously
mendacious assertions that the figure I carried was that of a
skeleton, I ordered some one to go and bring from my house my little
image of Mercury, the same that Saturninus had made for me at Oea. You
there, give it them! Let them see it, hold it, examine it. There you
see the image which that scoundrel called a skeleton. Do you hear
these cries of protest that arise from all present? Do you hear the
condemnation of your lie? Are you not at last ashamed of all your
slanders? Is this a skeleton, this a goblin, is this the familiar
spirit you asserted it to be? Is this a magic symbol or one that is
common and ordinary? Take it, I beg you, Maximus, and examine it. It
is good that a holy thing should be entrusted to hands as pure and
pious as yours. See there, how fair it is to view, how full of all a
wrestler's grace and vigour! How cheerful is the god's face, how
comely the down that creeps on either side his cheeks, how the curled
hair shows upon his head beneath the shadow of his hat's brim, how
neatly the tiny pair of pinions project about his brows, how daintily
the cloak is drawn about his shoulders! He who dares call this a
skeleton, either never sees an image of a god or if he does ignores
it. Indeed, he who thinks this to represent a goblin must have goblins
on the brain.

64. But in return for that lie, Aemilianus, may that same god who goes
between the lords of heaven and the lords of hell grant you the hatred
of the gods of either world and ever send to meet you the shadows of
the dead with all the ghosts, with all the fiends, with all the
spectres, with all the goblins of all the world, and thrust upon your
eyes all the terror that walketh by night, all the dread dwellers in
the tomb, all the horrors of the sepulchre, although your age and
character have brought you near enough to them already. But we of the
family of Plato know naught save what is bright and joyous, majestic
and heavenly and of the world above us. Nay, in its zeal to reach the
heights of wisdom, the Platonic school has explored regions higher
than heaven itself and has stood triumphant on the outer circumference
of this our universe. Maximus knows that I speak truth, for in his
careful study of the _Phaedrus_ he has read of the 'place that is
higher than heaven, being builded on heaven's back.' Maximus also
clearly understands--I am now going to reply to your accusation about
the name--who he is whom not I but Plato was first to call the 'King'.
'All things,' he says, 'depend upon the King of all things and for him
only all things exist.' Maximus knows who that 'King' is, even the
cause and reason and primal origin of all nature, the lord and father
of the soul, the eternal saviour of all that lives, the unwearying
builder of his world. Yet builds he without labour, yet saves he
without care, he is father without begetting, he knows no limitation
of space or time or change, and therefore few may conceive and none
may tell of his power.

65. I will even go out of my way to aggravate the suspicion of
sorcery; I will not tell you, Aemilianus, who it is that I worship as
my king. Even if the proconsul should ask me himself who my god is, I
am dumb.

About the name I have said enough for the present. For the rest I know
that some of my audience are anxious to hear why I wanted the figure
made not of silver or gold, but only of wood, though I think that
their desire springs not so much from their anxiety to see me cleared
of guilt as from eagerness for knowledge. They would like to have this
last doubt removed, even although they see that I have amply rebutted
all suspicion of any crime. Listen, then, you who would know, but
listen with all the sharpness and attention that you may, for you are
to hear the very words that Plato wrote in his old age in the last
book of the _Laws_. 'The man of moderate means when he makes offerings
to the gods should do so in proportion to his means. Now, earth and
the household hearths of all men are holy to all the gods. Let no one
therefore dedicate any shrines to the gods over and above these.' He
forbids this with the purpose of preventing men from venturing to
build private shrines; for he thinks that the public temples suffice
his citizens for the purposes of sacrifice. He then continues, 'Gold
and silver in other cities, whether in the keeping of private persons
or of temples, are invidious possessions; ivory taken from a body
wherefrom the life has passed is not a welcome offering; iron and
bronze are instruments of war. Whatsoever a man dedicates, let it be
of wood and wood only, or if it be of stone, of stone only.' The
general murmur of assent shows, O Maximus, and you, gentlemen, who
have the honour to assist him, that I am adjudged to have made
admirable use of Plato, not only as a guide in life, but as an
advocate in court, to whose instructions, as you see, I give implicit

66. It is now time for me to turn first and foremost to the letters of
Pudentilla, or rather to retrace the whole course of events a little
further back still. For I desire to make it abundantly clear that I,
whom they keep accusing of having forced my way into Pudentilla's
house solely through love of money, ought really never to have come
near that house, had the thought of money ever crossed my mind. My
marriage has for many reasons brought me the reverse of prosperity
and, but for the fact that my wife's virtues are compensation for any
number of disadvantages, might be described as disastrous.

Disappointment and envy are the sole causes that have involved me in
this trial, and even before that gathered many mortal perils about my
path. What motives for resentment has Aemilianus against me, even
assuming him to be correctly informed when he accuses me of magic? No
least word of mine has ever injured him in such a way as to give him
the appearance of pursuing a just revenge. It is certainly no lofty
ambition that prompts him to accuse me, ambition such as fired Marcus
Antonius to accuse Cnaeus Carbo, Caius Mucius to accuse Aulus
Albucius, Publius Sulpicius to accuse Cnaeus Norbanus, Caius Furius to
accuse Manius Aquilius, Caius Curio to accuse Quintus Metellus. They
were young men of admirable education and were led by ambition to
undertake these accusations as the first step in a forensic career,
that by the conduct of some _cause célèbre_ they might make themselves
a name among their fellow citizens. This privilege was conceded by
antiquity to young men just entering public life as a means of winning
glory for their youthful genius. The custom has long since become
obsolete, but even if the practice were still common, it would not
apply to Aemilianus. It would not have been becoming to him to make
any display of his eloquence, for he is rude and unlettered; nor to
show a passion for renown, since he is a mere barbarian bumpkin; nor
thus to open his career as an advocate, for he is an old man on the
brink of the grave. The only hypothesis creditable to him would be
that he is perhaps giving an example of his austerity of character and
has undertaken this accusation through sheer hatred of wrongdoing and
to assert his own integrity. But I should hardly accept such an
hypothesis even in the case of a greater Aemilianus, not our African
friend here, but the conqueror of Africa and Numantia, who held,
moreover, the office of censor at Rome. Much less will I believe that
this dull blockhead, I will not say, hates sin, but recognizes it when
he sees it.

67. What then was his motive? It is as clear as day to any one that
envy is the sole motive that has spurred him and Herennius Rufinus,
his instigator--of whom I shall have more to say later--and the rest
of my enemies, to fabricate these false charges of sorcery.

Well, there are five points which I must discuss. If I remember
aright, their accusations as regards Pudentilla were as follows.
Firstly, they said that after the death of her first husband she
resolutely set her face against re-marriage, but was seduced by my
incantations. Secondly, there are her letters, which they regard as an
admission that I used sorcery. Thirdly and fourthly, they object that
she made a love-match at the advanced age of sixty and that the
marriage contract was sealed not in the town but at a country house.
Lastly, there is the most invidious of all these accusations, namely,
that which concerns the dowry. It is into this charge they have put
all their force and all their venom; it is this that vexes them most
of all. They assert that at the very outset of our wedded life I
forced my devoted wife in the absolute seclusion of her country house
to make over to me a large dowry. I will show that all these
statements are so false, so worthless, so unsubstantial, and I shall
refute them so easily and unquestionably, that in good truth, Maximus,
and you, gentlemen, his assessors, I fear you may think that I have
suborned my accusers to bring these charges, that I might have the
opportunity of publicly dispelling the hatred of which I am the
victim. I will ask you to believe _now_, what you will understand when
the facts are before you, that I shall need to put out all my strength
to prevent you from thinking that such a baseless accusation is a
cunning device of my own rather than a stupid enterprise of my

68. I shall now briefly retrace events and force Aemilianus himself
to admit, when he has heard the facts, that his envy was groundless
and that he has strayed far from the truth. In the meantime I beg you,
as you have already done, or if possible yet more than you have
already done, to give the best of your attention to me as I trace the
whole case to its fount and source.

Aemilia Pudentilla, now my wife, was once the wife of a certain
Sicinius Amicus. By him she had two sons, Pontianus and Pudens. These
two boys were left by their father's death under the guardianship of
their paternal grandfather--for Amicus predeceased his father--and
were brought up by their mother with remarkable care and affection for
about fourteen years. She was in the flower of her age, and it was not
of her own choosing that she remained a widow for so long. But the
boys' grandfather was eager that she should, in spite of her
reluctance, take his son, Sicinius Clarus, for her second husband[23]
and with this in view kept all other suitors at a distance. He further
threatened her that if she married elsewhere he would by his will
exclude her sons from the possession of any of their father's
heritage. When she saw that nothing could move him to alter the
condition that he had laid down, such was her wisdom, and so admirable
her maternal affection, that to prevent her sons' interests suffering
any damage in this respect, she made a contract of marriage with
Sicinius Clarus in accordance with her father-in-law's bidding, but by
various evasions managed to avoid the marriage until the boys'
grandfather died, leaving them as his heirs, with the result that
Pontianus, the elder son, became his brother's guardian.

[Footnote 23: _iterum_ (Riese).]

69. She was now freed from all embarrassment, and being sought in
marriage by many distinguished persons resolved to remain a widow no
longer. The dreariness of her solitary life she might have borne, but
her bodily infirmities had become intolerable. This chaste and saintly
lady, after so many years of blameless widowhood, without even a
breath of scandal, owing to her long absence from a husband's
embraces, began to suffer internal pains so severe that they brought
her to the brink of the grave. Doctors and wise women agreed that the
disease had its origin in her long widowhood, that the evil was
increasing daily and her sickness steadily assuming a more serious
character; the remedy was that she should marry before her youth
finally departed from her. There were many who welcomed this
recommendation, but none more so than that fellow Aemilianus, who a
little while back asserted with the most unhesitating mendacity that
Pudentilla had never thought of marriage until I compelled her to be
mine by my exercise of the black art; that I alone had been found to
outrage the virgin purity of her widowhood by incantations and love
philtres. I have often heard it said with truth that a liar should
have a good memory. Had you forgotten, Aemilianus, that before I came
to Oea, you wrote to her son Pontianus, who had then attained to man's
estate and was pursuing his studies at Rome, suggesting that she
should marry? Give me the letter, or better give it to Aemilianus and
let him refute himself in his own voice with his own words.

Is this your letter? Why do you turn pale? We know you are past
blushing. Is this your signature? Read a little louder, please, that
all may realize how his written words belie his speech and how much
more he is at variance with himself than with me.

70. Did you, Aemilianus, write what has just been read out? 'I know
that she is willing to marry and that she ought to do so, but I do not
know the object of her choice.' You were right there. You knew nothing
about it. For Pudentilla, though she admitted that she wished to marry
again, said nothing to you about her suitor. She knew the intrusive
malignity of your nature too well. But you still expected her to marry
your brother Clarus and were induced by your false hopes to go further
and to urge her son to assent to the match. And of course, if she had
wedded Clarus, a boorish and decrepit old man, you would have asserted
that she had long desired to marry him of her own free will without
the intervention of any magic. But now that she has married a young
man of the elegance which you attribute to him, you say that she had
always refused to marry and must have done so under compulsion! You
did not know, you villain, that the letter you had written on the
subject was being preserved, you did not know that you would be
convicted by your own testimony. The fact is that Pudentilla, knowing
your changeableness and unreliability no less than your shamelessness
and mendacity, rather than forward the letter preferred to keep it as
clear evidence of your intentions, and wrote a letter of her own on
the same subject to her son Pontianus at Rome, in which she gave full
reasons for her determination. She told him pretty fully about the
state of her health; there was no longer any reason for her to persist
in remaining a widow; she had so remained for thus long and had
sacrificed her health solely to procure him the inheritance of his
grandfather's fortune, a fortune to which she had by the exercise of
the greatest care made considerable additions: Pontianus himself was
now by the grace of heaven ripe for marriage and his brother for the
garb of manhood. She begged them to suffer her at length to solace her
lonely existence and to relieve her ill health: they need have no
fears as to her final choice or as to her motherly affection; she
would still be as a wife what she had been as a widow. I will order a
copy of this letter to her son to be read aloud. (_The letter is

71. This letter makes it, I think, sufficiently clear that it needed
no incantations of mine to move Pudentilla from her resolve to remain
a widow, but that she had been for some time by no means averse to
marriage, when she chose me--it may be in preference to others. I
cannot see why such a choice by so excellent a woman should be brought
against me as matter for reproach rather than honour. But I admit
feeling surprise that Aemilianus and Rufinus should be annoyed at the
lady's decision, when those who were actually suitors for her hand
acquiesce in her preference for myself. She was indeed guided in
making her choice less by her personal inclination than by the advice
of her son, a fact which Aemilianus cannot deny. For Pontianus on
receiving his mother's letter hastily flew hither from Rome, fearing
that, if the man of her choice proved to be avaricious, she might, as
often happens, transfer her whole fortune to the house of her new
husband. This anxiety tormented him not a little. All his own
expectations of wealth together with those of his brother depended on
his mother. His grandfather had left but a moderate fortune, his
mother possessed 4,000,000 sesterces. Of this sum, it is true, she
owed a considerable portion to her sons, but they had no security for
this, relying--naturally enough--on her word alone. He gave but silent
expression to his fears; he did not venture to show any open
opposition for fear of seeming to distrust her.

72. Things being in this delicate position owing to the matrimonial
intentions of the mother and the fears of the son, chance or destiny
brought me to Oea on my way to Alexandria. Did not my respect for my
wife prevent me, I would say 'Would God it had never happened'. It was
winter when this occurred. Overcome by the fatigues of the journey, I
was laid up for a considerable number of days in the house of my
friends the Appii, whom I name to show the affection and esteem with
which I regard them. There Pontianus came to see me; for not so very
long before certain common friends had introduced him to me at Athens,
and we had afterwards lodged together and come to know each other
intimately. He greeted me with the utmost courtesy, inquired anxiously
after my health, and touched dexterously on the subject of love. For
he thought that he had found an ideal husband for his mother to whom
he could without the slightest risk entrust the whole fortune of the
house. At first he sounded me as to my inclinations in somewhat
ambiguous language, and seeing that I was desirous of resuming my
journey and was not in the least disposed to take a wife, he begged me
at any rate to remain at Oea for a little while, as he himself was
desirous of travelling with me. Since my physical infirmity had made
it impossible for me to profit by the present winter, he urged that it
would be well to wait for the next owing to the danger presented by
the passage of the Syrtes and the risk of encountering wild beasts.
His urgent entreaty induced my friends the Appii to allow me to leave
them and to become his guest in his mother's house. I should find the
situation healthier, he said, and should get a freer view of the
sea--a special attraction in my eyes.

73. He had shown the greatest eagerness in inducing me to come to this
decision, and strongly recommended his mother and his brother--that
boy there--to my consideration. I gave them some help in our common
studies and a marked intimacy sprang up between us. Meanwhile I
gradually recovered my health. At the instance of my friends I gave a
discourse in public. This took place in the basilica, which was
thronged by a vast audience. I was greeted with many expressions of
approval, the audience shouted 'bravo! bravo!' like one man, and
besought me to remain and become a citizen of Oea. On the dispersal of
the audience Pontianus approached me, and by way of prelude said that
such universal enthusiasm was nothing less than a sign from heaven. He
then revealed to me that it was his cherished design--with my
permission--to bring about a match between myself and his mother, for
whose hand there were many suitors. He added that I was the only
friend in the world in whom he could put implicit trust and
confidence. If I were to refuse to undertake such a responsibility,
simply because it was no fair heiress that was offered me, but a woman
of plain appearance and the mother of children--if I were moved by
these considerations and insisted on reserving myself for a more
attractive and wealthier match, my behaviour would be unworthy of a
friend and a philosopher. It would take too long--even if I were
willing--to tell you what I replied and how long and how frequently we
conversed on the subject, with how many pressing entreaties he plied
me, never ceasing until he finally won my consent. I had had ample
opportunity for observing Pudentilla's character, for I had lived for
a whole year continually in her company and had realized how rich was
her endowment of good qualities; but my desire for travel led me to
desire to refuse the match as an impediment. But I soon began to love
her for her virtues as ardently as though I had wooed her of my own
initiative. Pontianus had also persuaded his mother to give me the
preference over all her other suitors, and showed extraordinary
eagerness for the marriage to take place at the earliest possible
date. We could scarcely induce him to consent to the very briefest
postponement to such time as he himself should have taken a wife and
his brother in due course have assumed the garb of manhood. That done,
we would be married at once.

74. Would to heaven it were possible without serious damage to my case
to pass by what I have now to relate. I freely forgave Pontianus when
he begged for pardon, and I have no wish to seem to reproach him now
for the fickleness of his conduct. I acknowledge the truth of a
circumstance brought against me by my accusers, I admit that
Pontianus, after taking to himself a wife, broke his pledged word and
suddenly changed his mind; that he tried to prevent the fulfilment of
this project with no less obstinacy than he had shown zeal in
forwarding it. He was ready to make any sacrifice, to go any lengths,
to prevent our marriage taking place. Nevertheless this discreditable
change of attitude, this deliberate quarrel with his mother, must not
be laid to his charge, but to that of his father-in-law, Herennius
Rufinus, whom you see before you, a man than whom no more worthless,
wicked, and grime-stained soul lives upon this earth. I will--since I
cannot avoid it--give a brief description of this man's character,
using such moderation as I may, lest, if I pass him by in silence, the
energy which he has shown in engineering this accusation against me
should have been spent all in vain.

This is the man who poisoned that worthless boy against me, who is the
prime mover in this accusation, who has hired advocates and bought
witnesses. This is the furnace in which all this calumny has been
forged, this the firebrand, this the scourge that has driven
Aemilianus here to his task. He makes it his boast before all men in
the most extravagant language that it is through his machinations that
my indictment has been procured. In truth he has some reason for
self-congratulation. For he is the organizer of every lawsuit, the
deviser of every perjury, the architect of every lie, the seed-ground
of every wickedness, the vile haunt and hideous habitation of lust and
gluttony, the mark of every scandal since his earliest years: in
boyhood, ere he became so hideously bald, the ready servant of the
vilest vices; in youth a stage dancer limp and nerveless enough in all
conscience, but, they tell me, clumsy and inartistic in his very
effeminacy. Except for his immodesty he is said not to have possessed
a single quality that should distinguish an actor.

75. He is older now--God's curse upon him! I crave your pardon for my
warmth of language. But his house is the dwelling-place of panders,
his whole household foul with sin, himself a man of infamous
character, his wife a harlot, his sons like their parents. His door
night and day is battered with the kicks of wanton gallants, his
windows loud with the sound of loose serenades, his dining-room wild
with revel, his bedchambers the haunt of adulterers. For no one need
fear to enter it save he who has no gift for the husband. Thus does he
make an income from his own dishonour. What else should the wretch do?
He has lost a considerable fortune, though I admit that he only got
that fortune unexpectedly through a fraudulent transaction on the part
of his father. The latter, having borrowed money from a number of
persons, preferred to keep their money at the cost of his own good
name. Bills poured in on every side with demands for payment. Every
one that met him laid hands on him as though he were a madman.
'Steady, now!' says he, 'I can't find the cash.' So he resigned his
golden rings and all the badges of his position in society and thus
came to terms with his creditors. But he had by a most ingenious fraud
transferred the greater part of his property to his wife, and so,
although he himself was needy, ill-clad and protected by the very
depth of his fall, managed to leave this same Rufinus--I am telling
you the truth and nothing but the truth--no less than 3,000,000
sesterces to be squandered on riotous living. This was the sum that
came to him unencumbered from his mother's property, over and above
the daily dowry brought him by his wife. Yet all this money has been
ravenously devoured by this glutton in a few short years, all this
fortune has been destroyed by the infinite variety of his
gormandizing; so that you might really think him to be afraid of
seeming in any way to be the gainer by his father's dishonesty. This
honourable fellow actually took care that what had been ill-gained
should be ill-spent, nor was anything left him from his too ample
fortune, save his depraved ambition and his boundless appetite.

76. His wife, however, was getting old and worn out and refused to
continue to support the whole household by her own dishonour. But
there was a daughter who, at her mother's instigation, was exhibited
to all the wealthy young men, but in vain. Had she not come across so
easy a victim as Pontianus she would perhaps still have been sitting
at home a widow who had never been a bride. Pontianus, in spite of
urgent attempts on our part to dissuade him, gave her the right--false
and illusory though it was--to be called a bride. He did this knowing
that, but a short time before he married her, she had been seduced and
deserted by a young man of good family to whom she had been previously
betrothed. And so his new bride came to him, not as other brides come,
but unabashed and undismayed, her virtue lost, her modesty gone, her
bridal-veil a mockery. Cast off by her previous lover, she brought to
her wedding the name without the purity of a maid. She rode in a
litter carried by eight slaves. You who were present saw how
impudently she made eyes at all the young and how immodestly she
flaunted her charms. Who did not recognize her mother's pupil, when
they saw her dyed lips, her rouged cheeks, and her lascivious eyes?
Her dowry was borrowed, every farthing of it, on the eve of her
wedding, and was indeed greater than could be expected of so large and
impoverished a family.

77. But though Rufinus' fortune is small, his hopes are boundless.
With avarice rivalled only by his need he had already devoured
Pudentilla's 4,000,000 in vain anticipation. With this in view he
decided that I must be got out of the way, in order that he might find
fewer obstacles in his attempt to hoodwink the weak Pontianus and the
lonely Pudentilla. He began, therefore, to upbraid his son-in-law for
having betrothed his mother to me. He urged him to draw back without
delay from so perilous a path, while there was yet time; to keep his
mother's fortune himself rather than deliberately transfer it to the
keeping of a stranger. He threatened that, if he refused, he would
take away his daughter, the device of an old hand to influence a young
man in love. To be brief, he so wrought upon the simple-minded young
man, who was, moreover, a slave to the charms of his new bride, as to
mould him to his will and move him from his purpose. Pontianus went to
his mother and told her what Rufinus had said to him. But he made no
impression on her steadfast character. On the contrary, she rebuked
him for his fickleness and inconstancy, and it was no pleasant news he
took back to his father-in-law. His mother had shown a firmness of
purpose not to be expected of one of her placid disposition, and to
make matters worse his expostulations had made her angry, which was
likely seriously to increase her obstinacy: in fact, she had finally
replied, that it was no secret to her that his expostulations were
instigated by Rufinus, a fact which made the support and assistance of
a husband against his desperate greed all the more necessary to her.

78. When he heard this, the ruffian was stung to fury and burst into
such wild and ungovernable rage that in the presence of her own son he
heaped insults, such as he might have used to his own wife, on the
purest and most modest of women. In the presence of many witnesses,
whom, if you desire it, I will name, he loudly denounced her as a
wanton and myself as a sorcerer and poisoner, threatening to murder me
with his own hands. I can hardly restrain my anger, such fierce
indignation fills my soul. That you, the most effeminate of men,
should threaten any man with death at your hand! Your hand! What hand!
The hand of Philomela or Medea or Clytemnestra? Why, when you dance in
those characters you show such contemptible timidity, you are so
frightened at the sight of steel, that you will not even carry a
property sword? But I am digressing. Pudentilla, seeing to her
astonishment that her son had fallen lower than she could have deemed
possible, went into the country and by way of rebuke wrote him the
notorious letter, in which, according to my accusers, she confessed
that my magical practices had made her lose her reason and fall in
love with me. And yet, Maximus, the day before yesterday at your
command I took a copy of the letter in the presence of witnesses and
of Pontianus' secretary. Aemilianus also was there and countersigned
the copy. What is the result? In contradiction to my accusers'
assertion everything is found to tell in my favour.

79. And yet, even if she had spoken somewhat strongly and had called
me a magician, it would be a reasonable explanation that she had, in
defending her conduct to her son, preferred to allege compulsion on my
part rather than her own inclination. Is Phaedra the only woman whom
love has driven to write a lying letter? Is it not rather a device
common to all women that, when they have begun to feel strong desire
for anything of this kind, they should prefer to make themselves out
the victims of compulsion? But even supposing she had genuinely
regarded me as a magician, would the mere fact of Pudentilla's writing
to that effect be a reason for actually regarding me as a magician?
You, with all your arguments and your witnesses and your diffuse
eloquence, have failed to prove me a magician. Could she prove it with
one word? A formal indictment, written and signed before a judge, is a
far more weighty document than what is written in a private letter!
Why do not you prove me a magician by my own deeds instead of having
recourse to the mere words of another? If your principle be followed,
and whatever any one may have written in a letter under the influence
of love or hatred be admitted as proof, many a man will be indicted on
the wildest charges. 'Pudentilla called you a magician in her letter;
therefore you are a magician!' If she had called me a consul, would
that make me one? What if she had called me a painter, a doctor, or
even an innocent man? Would you accept any of these statements, simply
because she had made them? You would accept none of them. Yet it is a
gross injustice to believe a person when he speaks evil of another and
to refuse to believe him when he speaks well. It is a gross injustice
that a letter should have power to destroy and not to save. 'But,'
says my accuser, 'she was out of her wits, she loved you
distractedly.' I will grant it for the moment. But are all persons,
who are the objects of love, magicians, just because the person in
love with them chances to say so in a letter? If, indeed, Pudentilla
wrote in a letter to another person what would clearly be prejudicial
to myself, I think she could hardly have been in love with me at the
moment in question.

80. Tell me now, what is your contention? Was she mad or sane when she
wrote? Sane, do you say? Then she was not the victim of magic. Insane?
In that case she did not know what she was writing and must not be
believed. Nay, even supposing her to have been insane, she would not
have been aware of the fact. For just as to say 'I am silent' is to
make a fool of oneself, since these very words actually break silence,
and the act of speaking impugns the substance of one's speech, so it
is even more absurd to say 'I am mad'. It cannot be true unless the
speaker knows what he says, and he who knows what madness is, is
_ipso facto_ sane. For madness cannot know itself any more than
blindness can see itself. Therefore Pudentilla was in possession of
her senses, if she thought she was out of them. I could say more on
this point, but enough of dialectic! I will read out the letter which
gives crying witness to a very different state of things and might
indeed have been specially prepared to suit this particular trial.
Take it and read it out until I interrupt. (_The letter is read._)

Stop a moment before you go on to what follows. We have come to the
crucial point. So far, Maximus, as far at any rate as I have noticed,
the lady has made no mention of magic, but has merely repeated in the
same order the statements which I quoted a short time ago about her
long widowhood, the proposed remedy for her ill health, her desire to
marry, the good report she had heard of me from Pontianus, his own
advice that she should marry me in preference to others.

81. So much for what has been read. There remains a portion of the
letter which, although like the first part it was written in my
defence, also turns against me. For although it was specially written
to rebut the charge of magic brought against me, a remarkable piece of
ingenuity on the part of Rufinus has altered its meaning and brought
me into discredit with certain citizens of Oea as being a proved
sorcerer. Maximus, you have heard much from the lips of others, you
have learned yet more by reading, and your own personal experience
has taught you not a little. But you will say that never yet have you
come across such insidious cunning or such marvellous dexterity in
crime. What Palamedes, what Sisyphus, what Eurybates or Phrynondas
could ever have devised such guile? All those whom I have mentioned,
together with all the notorious deceivers of history, would seem mere
clowns and pantaloons, were they to attempt to match this one single
instance of Rufinus' craftiness. O miracle of lies! O subtlety worthy
of the prison and the stocks! Who could imagine that what was written
as a defence could without the alteration of a single letter be
transformed into an accusation! Good God! it is incredible. But I will
make clear to you how the incredible came to pass.

82. The mother was rebuking her son because, after extolling me to her
as a model of all the virtues, he now, at Rufinus' instigation,
asserted that I was a magician. The actual words were as follows:
'Apuleius is a magician and has bewitched me to love him. Come to me,
then, while I am still in my senses!' These words, which I have quoted
in Greek, have been selected by Rufinus and separated from their
context. He has taken them round as a confession on the part of
Pudentilla, and, with Pontianus at his side all dissolved in tears,
has shown them through all the market-place, allowing men only to read
that portion which I have just cited and suppressing all that comes
before and after. His excuse was that the rest of the letter was too
disgusting to be shown; it was sufficient that publicity should be
given to Pudentilla's confession as to my sorcery. What was the
result? Every one thought it probable enough. That very letter, which
was written to clear my character, excited the most violent hatred
against me amongst those who did not know the facts. This foul villain
went rushing about in the midst of the market-place like any
bacchanal; he kept opening the letter and proclaiming, 'Apuleius is a
sorcerer! She herself describes her feelings and her sufferings! What
more do you demand?' There was no one to take my part and reply, 'Give
us the whole letter, please! Let me see it all, let me read it from
beginning to end. There are many things which, produced apart from
their context, may seem open to a slanderous interpretation. Any
speech may be attacked, if a passage depending for its sense on what
has preceded be robbed of its commencement, or if phrases be expunged
at will from the place they logically occupy, or if what is written
ironically be read out in such a tone as to make it seem a defamatory
statement.' With what justice this protest or words to that effect
might have been uttered the actual order of the letter will show.

83. Now, Aemilianus, try to remember whether the following were not
the words of which, together with myself, you took a copy in the
presence of witnesses, 'For since I desired to marry for the reasons
of which I told you, you persuaded me to choose Apuleius in preference
to all others, since you had a great admiration for him and were eager
through me to become yet more intimate with him. But now that certain
ill-natured persons have brought accusations against us and attempt to
dissuade you, Apuleius has suddenly become a magician and has
bewitched me to love him. Come to me, then, while I am still in my

I ask you, Maximus, if letters--some of which are actually called
vocal[24]--could find a voice, if words, as poets say, could take them
wings and fly, would they not, when Rufinus first made disingenuous
excerpts from that letter, read but a few lines and deliberately said
nothing of much that bore a more favourable meaning, would not the
remaining letters have cried out that they were unjustly kept out of
sight? Would not the words suppressed by Rufinus have flown from his
hands and filled the whole market-place with tumult, crying that they
too had been sent by Pudentilla, they too had been entrusted with
something to say, and calling upon men to listen to _them_ instead of
giving ear to a dishonest villain who was attempting to prove a lie by
means of another's letter? for Pudentilla had never accused Apuleius
of magic, while Rufinus' accusation was tantamount to an acquittal.
All these things were not said then, but now, when they are of more
effectual service to me, their truth appears clearer than day.
Rufinus, your cunning stands revealed, your fraud stares us in the
face, your lies are laid bare; truth dethroned for a while rises once
more and slander sinks[25] downward to the bottomless pit.

[Footnote 24: i.e. vowels.]

[Footnote 25: _se ecfert--calumnia se mergit_ (Salmasius).]

84. You challenged me with Pudentilla's letter: with that letter I win
the day. If you like to hear the conclusion, I will not grudge it
you. Tell me, what were the words with which she ended the letter,
that poor bewitched, lunatic, insane, infatuated lady? 'I am not
bewitched, I am not in love; it is my destiny.'[26] Would you have
anything more? Pudentilla throws your words in your teeth and publicly
vindicates her sanity against your slanderous aspersions. The motive
or necessity of her marriage, whichever it was, she now ascribes to
fate, and between fate and magic there is a great gulf, indeed they
have absolutely nothing in common. For if it be true that the destiny
of each created thing is like a fierce torrent that may neither be
stayed nor diverted, what power is left for magic drugs or
incantations? Pudentilla, therefore, not only denied that I was a
magician, but denied the very existence of magic. It is a good thing
that Pontianus, following his usual custom, kept his mother's letter
safe in its entirety: it is a good thing that the speed with which
this case has been hurried on left you no opportunity for adding to
that letter at your leisure. For this I have to thank you and your
foresight, Maximus. You saw through their slanders from the beginning
and hurried on the case that they might not gather strength as the
days went by; you gave them no breathing space and wrecked their
designs. Suppose now that the mother, after her wont, _had_ made
confession of her passion for me in some private letter to her son.
Was it just, Rufinus, was it consistent, I will not say with filial
piety but with common humanity, that these letters should be
circulated and, above all, published and proclaimed abroad by her own
son? But perhaps I am no better than a fool to ask you to have regard
for another's sense of decency when you have so long lost your own.

[Footnote 26: [Greek: tên heimarmenên echô] (Rossbach).]

85. Why should I only complain of what is past? The present is equally
distressing. To think that this unhappy boy should have been so
corrupted by you as to read aloud in the proconsular court, before a
man of such lofty character as Claudius Maximus, a letter from his
mother, which he chooses to regard as amatory, and in the presence of
the statues of the emperor Pius to accuse his mother of yielding to a
shameful passion and reproach her with her _amours_? Who is there of
such gentle temper, but that this would wake him to fury? Vilest of
creatures, do you pry into your mother's heart in such matters, do you
watch her glances, count her sighs, sound her affections, intercept
her letters, and accuse her of being in love? Do you seek to discover
what she does in the privacy of her own chamber, do you demand--I will
not say that she should be above love affairs--but that she should
cease to be a woman? Cannot you conceive the possibility that she
should show any affection save the affection of a mother for her son?
Ah! Pudentilla, you are unhappy in your offspring! Far better have
been barren than have borne such children! Ill-omened were the long
months through which you bore them in your womb and thankless your
fourteen years of widowhood! The viper, I am told, reaches the light
of day only by gnawing through its mother's womb; its parent must die
ere it be born. But your son is full-grown and the wounds he deals are
far bitterer, for they are inflicted on you while you yet live and see
the light of day. He insults your reserve, he arraigns your modesty,
he wounds you to the heart and outrages your dearest affections. Is
this the gratitude with which a dutiful son like yourself repays his
mother for the life she gave him, for the inheritance she won him, for
her long fourteen years of seclusion? Is the result of your uncle's
teaching this, that, if you were sure your sons would be like
yourself, you should be afraid to take a wife? There is a well-known

     _I hate the boy that's wise before his time._

Yes, and who would not loathe and detest a boy that is 'wicked before
his time', when he sees you, like some frightful portent, old in sin
but young in years, with the bodily powers of a boy, yet deep in
guilt, with the bright face of a child, but with wickedness such as
might match grey hairs? Nay, the most offensive thing about him is
that his pernicious deeds go scot free; he is too young to punish, yet
old enough to do injury. Injury, did I say? No! crime, unfilial,
black, monstrous, intolerable crime!

86. The Athenians, when they captured the correspondence of their
enemy, Philip of Macedon, and the letters were being read in public
one by one, out of reverence for the common rights of humanity forbade
one letter to be read aloud, a letter addressed by Philip to his wife
Olympias. They spared the enemy that they might not intrude on the
privacy of husband and wife; they placed the law that is common to all
mankind above the claims of private vengeance. So enemy dealt with
enemy! How have you dealt with the mother that bore you? You see how
close is my parallel. Yet you read out aloud letters written by your
mother which, according to your assertion, concern her love affairs,
and you do so before this gathering here assembled, a gathering before
which you would not dare to read the verses of some obscene poet, even
if bidden to do so, but you would be restrained by some sense of
shame. Nay, you would never have touched your mother's letters, had
you ever been in touch with letters in the wider sense of the term.
But you have also dared to submit a letter of your own to be read, a
letter written about your mother in outrageously disrespectful,
abusive, and unseemly language, written too at a time when you were
still being brought up under her loving care. This letter you sent
secretly to Pontianus, and you have now produced it to avoid the
reproach of having sinned only once and to rescue so good a deed from
oblivion![27] Poor fool, do you not realize that your uncle permitted
you to do this, that he might clear himself in public estimation by
using your letter as proof that even before you migrated to his house,
even at the time when you caressed your mother with false words of
love, you were already as cunning as any fox and devoid of all filial

[Footnote 27: _oblivio_ (Casaubon).]

87. I cannot bring myself to believe Aemilianus such a fool as to
think that the letter of a mere boy, who is also one of my accusers,
could seriously tell against me.

There is also that forged letter by which they attempted to prove that
I beguiled Pudentilla with flattery. I never wrote it and the forgery
is not even plausible. What need had I of flattery, if I put my trust
in magic? And how did they secure possession of that letter which
must, as is usual in such affairs, have been sent to Pudentilla by
some confidential servant? Why, again, should I write in such faulty
words, such barbarous language, I whom my accusers admit to be quite
at home in Greek? And why should I seek to seduce her by flattery so
absurd and coarse? They themselves admit that I write amatory verse
with sufficient sprightliness and skill. The explanation is obvious to
every one; it is this. He who could not read the letter which
Pudentilla wrote in Greek altogether too refined for his
comprehension, found it easier to read this letter and set it off to
greater advantage because it was his own.

One more point and I shall have said enough about the letters.
Pudentilla, after writing in jest and irony those words 'Come then,
while I am yet in my senses', sent for her sons and her
daughter-in-law and lived with them for about two months. I beg this
most dutiful of sons to tell us whether he then noticed his mother's
alleged madness to have affected for the worse either her words or her
deeds. Let him deny that she showed the utmost shrewdness in her
examination of the accounts of the bailiffs, grooms, and shepherds,
that she earnestly warned his brother Pontianus to be on his guard
against the designs of Rufinus, that she rebuked him severely for
having freely published the letter she had sent him without having
read it honestly as it was written! Let him deny that, after what I
have just related to you, his mother married me in her country house,
as had been agreed some time previously!

88. The reason for our decision to be married by preference at her
country house not far from Oea was to avoid a fresh concourse of
citizens demanding largesse. It was but a short time before that
Pudentilla had distributed 50,000 sesterces to the people on the
occasion of Pontianus' marriage and this boy's assumption of the garb
of manhood. We wished also to avoid the frequent and wearisome
dinner-parties which custom generally imposes on newly-married
couples. This is the whole reason, Aemilianus, why our marriage
contract was signed not in the town but at a country house in the
neighbourhood--to avoid squandering another 50,000 sesterces and to
escape dining in your company or at your house. Is that sufficient? I
must say that I am surprised that you object so strongly to the
country house, considering that you spend most of your time in the
country. The Julian marriage-law nowhere contains a clause to the
effect that no man shall wed in a country house. Indeed, if you would
know the truth, it is of far better omen for the expectation of
offspring that one should marry one's wife in a country house in
preference to the town, on rich soil in preference to barren ground,
on the greensward of the meadow rather than the pavement of the
market-place. She that would be a mother should marry in the very
bosom of her mother, among the standing crops, on the fruitful
plough-land, or she should lie beneath the elm that weds the vine, on
the very lap of mother earth, among the springing herbage, the
trailing vine-shoots and the budding trees. I may add that the
metaphor in the line so well known in comedy

     _That in the furrow children true be sown_

bears out this view most strongly. The ancient Romans also, such as
Quintius, Serranus and many others, were offered not only wives but
consulships and dictatorships in the open field. But I am becoming
long-winded. I will restrain myself for fear of gratifying you by my
praise of country life.

89. As to Pudentilla's age, concerning which you lied so boldly as to
assert that she had married at the age of sixty, I will reply in a few
words. It is not necessary to speak at length in discussing a matter
where the truth is so obvious.

Her father acknowledged her for his daughter in the usual fashion; the
documents in which he did so are preserved partly in the public record
office, partly in his house. Here they are before your very eyes.
Please hand the documents to Aemilianus. Let him examine the linen
strip that bears the seal; let him recognize the seal stamped upon
it, let him read the names of the consuls for the year, let him count
up the years. He gave her sixty years. Let him bring out the total at
fifty-five, admitting that he lied and gave her five too many. Nay,
that is hardly enough. I will deal yet more liberally with him. He
gave Pudentilla such a number of years that I will reward him by
returning ten. Mezentius has been wandering with Ulysses; let him at
least prove that she is fifty. To cut the matter short, as I am
dealing with an accuser who is used to multiplying by four, I will
multiply five years by four and subtract twenty years at one fell
swoop. I beg you, Maximus, to order the number of consuls since her
birth to be reckoned. If I am not mistaken, you will find that
Pudentilla has barely passed her fortieth year. The insolent audacity
of this falsehood! Twenty years' exile would be a worthy punishment
for such mendacity! Your fiction has added a good half to the sum,
your fabrication is one and a half times the size of the original. Had
you said thirty years when you ought to have said ten, it might have
been supposed that you had made a slip in the gesture used for your
calculation, that you had placed your forefinger against the middle
joint of your thumb, when you should have made them form a circle. But
whereas the gesture indicating forty is the simplest of all such
gestures, for you have merely to hold out the palm of your hand--you
have increased the number by half as much again. There is no room for
an erroneous gesture; the only possible hypothesis is that, believing
Pudentilla to be thirty, you got your total by adding up the number of
consuls, two to each year.

90. I have done with this. I come now to the very heart of the
accusation, to the actual motive for the use of magic. I ask Rufinus
and Aemilianus to answer me and tell me--even assuming that I am the
most consummate magician--what had I to gain by persuading Pudentilla
to marry me by means of my love philtres and my incantations. I am
well aware that many persons, when accused of some crime or other,
even if it has been shown that there was some real motive for the
offence, have amply cleared themselves of guilt by this one line of
defence, that the whole record of their lives renders the suspicion of
such a crime incredible and that even though there may have been
strong temptation to sin, the mere fact of the existence of the
temptation should not be counted against them. We have no right to
assume that everything that might have been done actually has been
done. Circumstances may alter; the one true guide is a man's
character; the one sure indication that a charge should be rejected or
believed is the fact that through all his life the accused has set his
face towards vice or virtue as the case may be. I might with the
utmost justice put in such a plea for myself, but I waive my right in
your favour, and shall think that I have made out but a poor case for
myself, if I do no more than amply clear myself of all your charges
and show that there exists not the slightest ground for suspecting me
of sorcery. Consider what confidence in my innocence and what contempt
of you is implied by my conduct. If you can discover one trivial
reason that might have led me to woo Pudentilla for the sake of some
personal advantage, if you can prove that I have made the very
slightest profit out of my marriage, I am ready to be any magician you
please--the great Carmendas himself or Damigeron or Moses[28] of whom
you have heard, or Jannes or Apollobex or Dardanus himself or any
sorcerer of note from the time of Zoroaster and Ostanes till now.

[Footnote 28: _is Moses_ (Jan. Parrhasius).]

91. See, Maximus, what a disturbance they have raised, merely because
I have mentioned a few magicians by name. What am I to do with men so
stupid and uncivilized? Shall I proceed to prove to you that I have
come across these names and many more in the course of my study of
distinguished authors in the public libraries? Or shall I argue that
the knowledge of the names of sorcerers is one thing, participation in
their art another, and that it is not tantamount to confessing a crime
to have one's brain well stored with learning and a memory retentive
of its erudition? Or shall I take what is far the best course and,
relying on your learning, Maximus, and your perfect erudition, disdain
to reply to the accusations of these stupid and uncultivated fellows?
Yes, that is what I will do. I will not care a straw for what they may
think. I will go on with the argument on which I had entered and will
show that I had no motive for seducing Pudentilla into marriage by the
use of love philtres.

My accusers have gone out of their way to make disparaging remarks
both about her age and her appearance; they have denounced me for
desiring such a wife from motives of greed and robbing her of her vast
and magnificent dowry at the very outset of our wedded life. I do not
intend to weary you, Maximus, with a long reply on these points. There
is no need for words from me, our deeds of settlement will speak more
eloquently than I can do. From them you will see that both in my
provision for the future and in my action at the time my conduct was
precisely the opposite of that which they have attributed to me,
inferring my rapacity from their own. You will see that Pudentilla's
dowry was small, considering her wealth, and was made over to me as a
trust not as a gift, and moreover that the marriage only took place on
this condition that if my wife should die without leaving me any
children, the dowry should go to her sons Pontianus and Pudens, while
if at her death she should leave me one son or daughter, half of the
dowry was to go to the offspring of the second marriage, the remainder
to the sons of the first.

92. This, as I say, I will prove from the actual deed of settlement.
It may be that Aemilianus will still refuse to believe that the total
sum recorded is only 300,000 sesterces, and that the reversion of this
sum is given by the settlement to Pudentilla's sons. Take the deeds
into your own hands, give them to Rufinus who incited you to this
accusation. Let him read them, let him blush for his arrogant temper
and his pretentious beggary. _He_ is poor and ill-clad and borrowed
400,000 sesterces to dower his daughter, while Pudentilla, a woman of
fortune, was content with 300,000, and her husband, who has often
refused the hand of the richest heiresses, is also content with this
trifling dowry, a mere nominal sum. He cares for nothing save his wife
and counts the mutual love and harmony of his wedded life as his sole
treasure, his only wealth. Who that had the least experience of life,
would dare to pass any censure if a widow of inconsiderable beauty and
considerable age, being desirous of marriage, had by the offer of a
large dowry and easy conditions invited a young man, who, whether as
regards appearance, character or wealth, was no despicable match, to
become her husband? A beautiful maiden, even though she be poor, is
amply dowered. For she brings to her husband a fresh untainted spirit,
the charm of her beauty, the unblemished glory of her prime. The very
fact that she is a maiden is rightly and deservedly regarded by all
husbands as the strongest recommendation. For whatever else you
receive as your wife's dowry you can, when it pleases you and if you
desire to feel yourself under no further obligation, repay in full
just as you received it; you can count back the money, restore the
slaves, leave the house, abandon the estates. Virginity only, once it
has been given, can never be repaid; it is the one portion of the
dowry that remains irrevocably with the husband. A widow on the other
hand, if divorced, leaves you as she came. She brings you nothing that
she cannot ask back, she has been another's and is certainly far from
tractable to your wishes; she looks suspiciously on her new home,
while you regard her with suspicion because she has already been
parted from one husband: if it was by death she lost her husband, the
evil omen of her ill-starred union minimizes her attractions, while,
if she left him by divorce, she possesses one of two faults: either
she was so intolerable that she was divorced by her husband, or so
insolent as to divorce him. It is for reasons of this kind among
others that widows offer a larger dowry to attract suitors for their
hands. Pudentilla would have done the same had she not found a
philosopher indifferent to her dowry.

93. Consider. If I had desired her from motives of avarice, what could
have been more profitable to me in my attempt to make myself master in
her house than the dissemination of strife between mother and sons,
the alienation of her children from her affections, so that I might
have unfettered and supreme control over her loneliness? Such would
have been, would it not, the action of the brigand you pretend me to
be. But as a matter of fact I did all I could to promote, to restore
and foster quiet and harmony and family affection, and not only
abstained from sowing fresh feuds, but utterly extinguished those
already in existence. I urged my wife--whose whole fortune according
to my accusers I had by this time devoured--I urged her and finally
persuaded her, when her sons demanded back the money of which I spoke
above, to pay over the whole sum at once in the shape of farms, at a
low valuation and at the price suggested by themselves, and further to
surrender from her own private property certain exceedingly fertile
lands, a large house richly decorated, a great quantity of wheat,
barley, wine and oil, and other fruits of the earth, together with not
less than four hundred slaves and a large number of valuable cattle.
Finally I persuaded her to abandon all claims on the portion she had
given them and to give them good hopes of one day coming into the rest
of the property. All these concessions I extorted from Pudentilla with
difficulty and against her will--I have her leave to tell the whole
story as it happened--I wrung them from her by my urgent entreaty,
though she was angry and reluctant. I reconciled the mother with her
sons, and began my career as a step-father by enriching my step-sons
with a large sum of money.

94. All Oea was aware of this. Every one execrated Rufinus and
extolled my conduct. Pontianus together with his very inferior brother
had come to visit us, before his mother had completed her donation. He
fell at our feet and implored us to forgive and forget all his past
offences; he wept, kissed our hands and expressed his penitence for
listening to Rufinus and others like him. He also most humbly begged
me to make his excuses to the most honourable Lollianus Avitus to whom
I had recommended him not long before when he was beginning the study
of oratory. He had discovered that I had written to Avitus a few days
previously a full account of all that had happened. I granted him this
request also and gave him a letter with which he set off to Carthage,
where Lollianus Avitus, the term of his proconsulate having nearly
expired, was awaiting your arrival, Maximus. After reading my letters
he congratulated Pontianus with the exquisite courtesy which always
characterizes him for having so soon rectified his error and entrusted
him with a reply. Ah! what learning! what wit! what grace and charm
dwelt in that reply! Only a 'good man and an orator' could have
written it. I know, Maximus, that you will readily give a hearing to
this letter. Indeed, if it is to be read, I will recite it myself.
Give me Avitus' letter. That I should have received it has always
flattered me. To-day it shall do more than flatter, it shall save me!
You may let the water-clock continue, for I would gladly read and
re-read the letter of that excellent man to the third and fourth time
at the cost of any amount of the time allowed me. (_The letter is

95. I know that after reading this letter I should bring my speech to
a close. For what ampler commendation, what purer testimony could I
produce in my support, what more eloquent advocacy? I have in the
course of my life listened with rapt attention to many eloquent
Romans, but never have I admired any so much as Avitus. There is in my
opinion no one living of any attainments or promise in oratory who
would not far sooner be Avitus, if he compare him with himself
impartially and without envy. For practically all the different
excellencies of oratory are united in him. Whatever speech Avitus
composes will be found so absolutely perfect and complete in all
respects that it would satisfy Cato by its dignity, Laelius with its
smoothness, Gracchus with its energy, Caesar with its warmth,
Hortensius with its arrangement, Calvus with its point, Sallust with
its economy and Cicero with its wealth of rhetoric. In fact, not to go
through all his merits, if you were to hear Avitus, you would wish
nothing added, withdrawn or altered of anything that he says.

I see, Maximus, with what pleasure you listen to the recital of the
virtues which you recognize your friend Avitus to possess. Your
courtesy invited me to say a few words about him. But I will not
trespass on your kindness so far as to permit myself to commence a
discourse on his extraordinary virtues at this period of the case. It
is wearing to its end and my powers are almost exhausted. I will
rather reserve the praise of Avitus' virtues for some day when my time
is free and my powers unimpaired.

96. _Now_, I grieve to say, it is my duty to turn from the description
of so great a man to discuss these pestilent fellows here.

Do you dare then, Aemilianus, to match yourself against Avitus? Will
you attack with accusations of magic and the black art him whom Avitus
describes as a good man, and whose disposition he praises so warmly in
his letter? Or have you greater reason to be vexed at my forcing my
way into Pudentilla's house and pillaging her goods than Pontianus
would have had, Pontianus, who not only in my presence but even before
Avitus in my absence, made amends for the strife of a few days that
had sprung up between us at your instigation, and expressed his
gratitude to me in the presence of so great a man? Suppose I had read
a report of what took place in Avitus' presence instead of reading
merely his letter. What is there in the whole affair that could give
you or any one else[29] a handle for accusing me? Pontianus himself
considered himself in my debt for the money given him by his mother;
Pontianus rejoiced with the utmost sincerity in his good fortune in
having me for his step-father. Ah! would that he had returned from
Carthage safe and sound! or since it was not fated that that should
be, would that you, Rufinus, had not poisoned his judgement at the
last! What gratitude he would have expressed to me either personally
or in his will! However, as things are, I beg you, Maximus,--it will
not take long--to allow the reading of these letters full of
expressions of respect and affection for myself, which he sent me,
some of them from Carthage, some as he drew near on his homeward
journey, some written while he still enjoyed his health, and some when
the sickness was already upon him. Thus his brother, my accuser, will
realize with what[30] lack of success he pursues his literary studies
compared with his brother of blessed memory. (_Pontianus' letters are

[Footnote 29: _quas vel tu vel quisquis_ (Van der Vliet). There is no
doubt as to the sense required: the precise correction must remain

[Footnote 30: _quam in omnibus minor Minervae_ (H.E.B.).]

97. Did you hear the phrases which your brother Pontianus used in
speaking of me? He called me his father, his master, his instructor
not only on various occasions in his lifetime but actually on his
deathbed. I might follow this[31] by producing similar letters from
you, if I thought that the delay thus caused would be worth while. But
I should prefer to produce your brother's recent will, unfinished
though it may be, in which he made most dutiful and respectful mention
of myself. But Rufinus never allowed this will to be drawn up or
completed owing to his chagrin at the loss of the inheritance which he
had regarded in the light of a rich payment[32] for his daughter's
embraces during the few months in which he was Pontianus'
father-in-law. He had further consulted certain Chaldean soothsayers
as to what profit his daughter, whom he regarded in the light of an
investment, would bring him in. They, I am told, prophesied
truly--would they had not--that her first husband would die in a few
months. The rest of the prophecy dealing with the inheritance was as
usual fabricated to suit the desires of their client. But Rufinus
gaped for his prey in vain like a wild beast that has gone blind. For
Pontianus not only did not leave Rufinus' daughter as his heir--he
had discovered her evil character--but he did not even make her a
respectable legacy. He left her by way of insult linen to the value of
200 denarii, to show that he had not forgotten or ignored her, but
that he set this value on her as an expression of his resentment. As
his heirs--in this just as in the former will which has been read
aloud--he appointed his mother and his brother, against whom, mere boy
as he is, Rufinus is, as you see, bringing his old artillery into
play: I refer to his daughter. He thrusts her upon his embraces
although she is considerably his elder and but a brief while ago was
his brother's wife.

[Footnote 31: _post quae_ (Beyte).]

[Footnote 32: Omitting Helm's insertion of _praemium_ after _quam_.]

98. Pudens was so captivated and possessed by the charms of that
harlot and by the beguiling words of the pander, her father, that the
moment his brother had breathed his last, he left his mother and
migrated to his uncle's house. The design was to facilitate the
carrying out of the schemes already afoot by removing him from our
influence. For Aemilianus is backing Rufinus and desires his success.
(_A movement among the audience._) Ah! Thank you! You rightly remind
me that this excellent uncle has hopes of his own mixed up in this
affair, for he knows that if this boy dies intestate he will be his
heir-at-law, whatever he may be in point of equity. I wish I had not
let this slip. I am a man of great self-control and it is not my way
to blurt out openly the silent suspicions that must have occurred to
every one. You did wrong in suggesting this point to me. But to be
frank, if you will have the truth, many have been wondering at the
sudden affection which you, Aemilianus, have begun to show for this
boy since the death of his brother Pontianus, whereas formerly you
were such a stranger to him that frequently, even when you met him,
you failed to recognize the face of your brother's son. But now you
show yourself so patient towards him, you so spoil him by your
indulgence and grant his every whim to such an extent that your
conduct makes the more suspicious think their suspicions well
grounded. You took him from us a mere boy and straightway gave him the
garb of manhood. While he was under our guardianship, he used to go to
school: now he has bidden a long farewell to study and betaken himself
to the delights of the tavern. He despises serious friends, and, boy
as he is, spends his tender years in revelling with the most abandoned
youths among harlots and wine-cups. He rules your house, orders your
slaves, directs your banquets. He is a frequent visitor to the
gladiatorial school and there--as a boy of position should!--he learns
from the keeper of the school the names of the gladiators, the fights
they have fought, the wounds they have received. He never speaks any
language save Punic, and though he may occasionally use a Greek word
picked up from his mother, he neither will nor can speak Latin. You
heard, Maximus, a little while ago, you heard my step-son--oh! the
shame of it!--the brother of that eloquent young fellow Pontianus,
hardly able to stammer out single syllables, when you asked him
whether his mother had given himself and his brother the gifts which,
as I told you just now, she actually gave them with my hearty support.

99. I call you, therefore, Claudius Maximus, and you, gentlemen, his
assessors, and you that with me stand before this tribunal, to bear
witness that this boy's disgraceful falling away in morals is due to
his uncle here and that candidate for the privilege of becoming his
father-in-law, and that I shall henceforth count it a blessing that
such a step-son has lifted the burden of superintending him from my
shoulders, and that from this day forth I will never intercede for him
with his mother. For recently--I had almost forgotten to mention
it--when Pudentilla, who had fallen ill after the death of her son
Pontianus, was writing her will, I had a prolonged struggle to prevent
her disinheriting this boy on account of the outrageous insult and
injury he had inflicted on her. I prayed her with the utmost
earnestness to erase that most important clause, which, I can assure
you, she had already written, every word of it! Finally, I even
threatened to leave her, if she refused to accede to my request, and
begged her to grant me this boon, to conquer her wicked son by
kindness, and to save me from all the ill feeling which her action
would create. I did not desist till she complied. I regret that I
should have smoothed Aemilianus' way for him and showed him such an
unexpected path[33] to wealth. Look, Maximus, see how confused he is
at hearing this, see how he casts his eyes upon the ground. He had
not unnaturally expected something very different. He knew that my
wife was angry with her son on account of his insolent behaviour and
that she returned my devotion. He had reason also for fear in regard
to myself; for any one else, even if like myself he had been above
coveting the inheritance, would gladly have seen so undutiful a
step-son punished. It was this anxiety above all others that spurred
them on to accuse me. Their own avarice led them falsely to conjecture
that the whole inheritance had been left to me. As far as the past is
concerned, I will dispel your fears on that point. I was proof against
the temptation both of enriching myself and of revenging myself. I--a
step-father, mind you--contended for my wicked step-son with his
mother, as a father might contend against a stepmother in the
interests of a virtuous son; nor did I rest satisfied till, with a
perfectly extravagant sense of fairness, I had restrained my good
wife's lavish generosity towards myself.

[Footnote 33: _semitam_ (codd. inferiores).]

100. Give me the will which was made in the interests of so unfilial a
son by his mother. Each word of it was preceded by an entreaty from
myself, whom my accusers speak of as a mere robber. Order the tablets
to be broken open, Maximus. You will find that her son is the heir,
that I get nothing save some trifling complimentary legacy inserted to
avoid the non-appearance of my name, the husband's name, mark you, in
my wife's will, supposing she succumbed to any of the ills to which
this flesh is heir. Take up your mother's will. You are right, in one
respect it is undutiful. She excludes her devoted husband from the
inheritance in favour of her most unfilial son? Nay, it is not her son
to whom she leaves her fortune; she leaves it rather to the greedy
Aemilianus and the matchmaking Rufinus and that drunken gang, that
hang about you and prey upon you. Take it, O best of sons! Lay aside
your mother's love-letters for a while and read her will instead. If
she ever wrote anything while not in her right mind, you will find it
here, nor will you have to go far to find it. 'Let Sicinius Pudens, my
son, be my heir.' I admit it! he who reads this, will think it
insanity. Is this same son your heir, who at his own brother's funeral
attempted with the help of a gang of the most abandoned youths to shut
you out of the house which you yourself had given him, who is so
deeply and bitterly incensed to find that his brother left you co-heir
with himself, who hastened to desert you when you were plunged in
grief and mourning, and fled from your bosom to Aemilianus and
Rufinus, who afterwards uttered many insults against you to your face,
and manufactured others with the help of his uncle, who has dragged
your name through the law-courts, has attempted by using your own
letters publicly to besmirch your fair fame, and has accused upon a
capital charge the husband of your choice, with whom, as Pudens
himself objected, you were madly in love! Open the will, my good boy,
open it, I beg you. You will find it easier then to prove your
mother's insanity.

Why do you draw back? Why do you refuse to look at it, now that you
are free from all anxiety about the inheritance of your mother's

101. He may do as he likes, Maximus, but for my part I cast these
tablets at your feet and call you to witness that henceforth I shall
show greater indifference as to what Pudentilla may write in her will.
He may approach his mother himself for the future; he has made it
impossible for me to plead for him again. He is now a man and his own
master; henceforth let him himself dictate to his mother the terms[34]
of an unpalatable will, himself smooth away her anger. He who can
plead in court, will be able to plead with his mother. I am more than
satisfied not only to have refuted the miscellaneous accusations
brought against myself, but also to have utterly swept away the
hateful charge on which the whole trial is based, the charge of having
attempted to secure the inheritance for myself.

[Footnote 34: Omit _qui_ inserted by Helm after _ut_.]

I will bring one final proof to show the falsity of that last charge
before I bring my speech to a close. I wish to pass nothing over in
silence. You asserted that I bought a most excellent farm in my own
name, but with a large sum of money which belonged to my wife. I say
that a tiny property was bought for 60,000 sesterces, and bought not
by me but by Pudentilla in her own name, that Pudentilla's name is in
the deed of sale, and that the taxes paid on the land are paid in the
name of Pudentilla. The honourable Corvinus Celer, the state treasurer
to whom the tax is paid, is here in court. Cassius Longinus also is
present, my wife's guardian and trustee, a man of the loftiest and
most irreproachable character. I cannot speak of him save with the
deepest respect. Ask him, Maximus, what was the purchase which he
authorized, and what was the trifling sum for which this wealthy lady
bought her little estate. (_Cassius Longinus and Corvinus Celer give

Is it as I said? Is my name ever mentioned in the deed of sale? Is the
price paid for this trifling property such as should excite any
prejudice against me, or did my wife give me even so much as this
small gift?

102. What is there left, Aemilianus, that in your opinion I have
failed to refute? What had I to gain by my magic that should lead me
to attempt to win Pudentilla by love-philtres? What had I to gain from
her? A small dowry instead of a large one? Truly my incantations were
miraculous. That she should refund her dowry to her sons rather than
leave it in my possession? What magic can surpass this? That she
should at my exhortation present the bulk of her property to her sons
and leave me nothing, although before her marriage with myself she had
shown them no special generosity? What a criminal use of
love-philtres! or perhaps I had better call it a generous action which
has not received its deserts! By her will, which she drew up in a fit
of violent irritation against her son, she leaves as her heir that
same son with whom she had quarrelled, rather than myself to whom she
was devoted! For all my incantations it was only with difficulty that
I persuaded her to this. Suppose that you were pleading your case, not
before Claudius Maximus, a man of the utmost fairness and unswerving
justice, but before a judge of depraved morals and of ferocious
temper, one in fact who naturally inclined to the side of the accuser
and was only too ready to condemn the accused! Give him some hint to
follow! Give him even the slightest reasonable opportunity for
declaring in your favour! At least invent something, devise some
suitable reply to questions such as have been put to you. Nay, since
every action must necessarily have some motive, answer me this, you
who say that Apuleius tried to influence Pudentilla's heart by magical
charms, answer me this! What did he seek to get from her by so doing?
Was he in love with her beauty? You say not! Did he covet her wealth?
The evidence of the marriage settlement denies it, the evidence of the
deed of gift denies it, the evidence of the will denies it! It shows
not only that I did not court the generosity of my wife, but that I
even repulsed it with some severity. What other motives can you
allege? Why are you struck dumb? Why this silence? What has become of
that ferocious utterance with which you opened the indictment, couched
in the name of my step-son? 'This is the man, most excellent Maximus,
whom I have resolved to indict before you.'

103. Why did you not add 'He whom I indict is my teacher, my
step-father, my mediator'? But how did you proceed? 'He is guilty of
the most palpable and numerous sorceries.' Produce one of these many
sorceries or at least some doubtful instance from those which you
style so palpable. Nay, see whether I cannot reply to your various
charges with two words to each. 'You clean your teeth.' Excusable
cleanliness. 'You look into mirrors.' Philosophers should. 'You write
verse.' 'Tis permitted. 'You examine fish.' Following Aristotle. 'You
worship a piece of wood.' So Plato. 'You marry a wife.' Obeying law.
'She is older than you.' Nothing commoner. 'You married for money.'
Take the marriage-settlement, remember the deed of gift, read the

If I have rebutted all their charges, word by word, if I have refuted
all their slanders, if I am beyond reproach, not only as regards their
accusations but also as regards their vulgar abuse, if I have done
nothing to impair the honour of philosophy, which is dearer to me than
my own safety, but on the contrary have smitten my adversary hip and
thigh and vanquished him at all points, if all my contentions are
true, I can await your estimate of my character with the same
confidence with which I await the exercise of your power; for I regard
it as less serious and less terrible to be condemned by the proconsul
than to incur the disapproval of so good and so perfect a man.


_The exordium to a discourse delivered in a town through which
Apuleius passes in the course of a journey._

1. It is the usual practice of wayfarers with a religious disposition,
when they come upon a sacred grove or holy place by the roadside, to
utter a prayer, to offer an apple, and pause for a moment from their
journeying. So I, on entering the revered walls of your city, feel
that, for all my haste, it is my duty to ask your favour, to make an
address, and to break the speed of my journey. I cannot conceive aught
that could give a traveller juster cause to halt in sign of reverence;
no altar crowned with flowers, no grotto shadowed with foliage,[35] no
oak bedecked with horns, no beech garlanded with the skins of beasts,
no mound whose engirdling hedge proclaims its sanctity, no tree-trunk
hewn into the semblance of a god, no turf still wet with libations, no
stone astream with precious unguents. For these are but small things,
and though there be a few that seek them out and do them worship, the
majority note them not and pass them by.

[Footnote 35: _frondibus_, cod. Florent. 29. 2 man. primi

_Man's sight compared with that of the eagle._

2. But such was not the opinion of my master Socrates. For once when
he saw a youth of handsome appearance who remained for a long time
without uttering a syllable, he said to him, 'Say something, that I
may see what you are like.' For Socrates felt that a man who spoke not
at all was in a sense invisible, since he held that it was not with
the bodily vision, but with the mind's eye and the sight of the soul
that men should be regarded. In this he disagreed with the soldier in
Plautus, who says,

     _One man that has eyes is better by far as a witness than
     ten that have ears._

Indeed, for the purpose of examining men he had practically reversed
the meaning of the line to

     _One man that has ears is better by far as a witness than
     ten that have eyes._

Moreover, if the judgements of the eye were of greater value than
those of the soul, we should assuredly have to yield the palm for
wisdom to the eagle. For we men cannot see things far removed from us
nor yet things that are very near us, but all of us to a certain
extent are blind. And if you confine us to the eyes alone with their
dim earthly vision, the words of the great poet will be very true,
that a cloud as it were is shed upon our eyes and we cannot see beyond
a stone's cast. The eagle, on the other hand, soars exceeding high in
heaven to the very clouds, and rides on his pinions through all that
space where there is rain and snow, regions beyond whose heights
thunderbolts and lightnings have no place, even to the very floor of
heaven and the topmost verge of the storms of earth. And having
towered thus high, with gentle motion he turns his great body to glide
to left or right, directing his wings, that are as sails, whither he
will by the movement of his tail, which, small though it be, serves as
a rudder. Thence he gazes down on the world, staying awhile in that
far height[36] the ceaseless oarage of his wings and, poised almost
motionless with hovering flight, looks all around him and seeks what
prey he shall choose whereon to swoop[37] sudden like a thunderbolt
from heaven on high. In one glance he sees all cattle in the field,
all beasts upon the mountains, all men in their cities, all threatened
at once by his intended swoop, and thence he falls to pierce with his
beak and clutch with his claws the unsuspecting lamb, the timid hare,
or whatsoever living creature chance offers to his hunger or his

[Footnote 36: _inhibens_ (Heinsius) _pinnarum eminus_ (MSS.).]

[Footnote 37: _fulminis vicem de caelo improvisa, simul._ Van der
Vliet places a comma after _vicem_ and gives none after _improvisa_.]

_The story of Marsyas and his challenge to Apollo._

3. Hyagnis, according to tradition, was the father and instructor of
the piper Marsyas, and skilled in song beyond all others in the years
when music was still in its infancy. It is true that as yet the sound
of his breath lacked the finer modulations; he knew but a few simple
modes and his pipe had but few stops. For the art was but newly born
and only just beginning to grow. There is nothing that can attain
perfection in its first beginnings; everything must commence by
mastering the elements in hope, ere it can attain experience and
success. Well, then, before Hyagnis the majority of musicians could do
no more than the shepherds or cowherds of Vergil who

     _Made sorry strains on pipes of scrannel straw._

If any of them seemed to have made some real advance in art, even he
played only on one pipe or one trumpet. Hyagnis was the first to
separate his hands when he played, the first to fill two pipes with
one breath, the first to finger stops with either hand and make sweet
harmony of shrill treble and booming bass. Marsyas was his son, and
though he possessed his father's skill upon the pipe, he was in all
else a barbarous Phrygian, with a filthy beard and the grim and shaggy
face of a wild beast. All his body was covered with hair and bristles,
and yet--good heavens! he is said to have striven for mastery with
Apollo. 'Twas hideousness contending with beauty, a rude boor against
a sage, a beast against a god. The Muses and Minerva, hiding their
amusement, stood by to judge, that they might make a mockery of the
monster's uncouth presumption and punish his stupidity. But Marsyas,
like the peerless fool he was, never perceived that he was an object
of ridicule, and before he began to blow upon his pipes stammered out
in his barbarous jargon some insane boasts about himself and Apollo.
He prided himself on the mane thrown back from his brow, on his
unkempt beard, his shaggy breast, his skill upon the pipes and his
lack of wealth. By contrast--oh the absurdity of it!--he blamed Apollo
for the opposite of these qualities, for being Apollo, for wearing his
hair long, for having a fair face and smooth body, for his skill in so
many arts, and for the opulence of his fortune. 'In the first place,'
he said, 'his hair is smoothed and plastered into tufts and curls that
fall about his brow and hang before his face. His body is fair from
head to foot, his limbs shine bright, his tongue gives oracles, and he
is equally eloquent in prose or verse, propose which you will. What of
his robes so fine in texture, so soft to the touch, aglow with purple?
What of his lyre that flashes gold, gleams white with ivory, and
shimmers with rainbow gems? What of his song, so cunning and so sweet?
Nay, all these allurements suit with naught save luxury. To virtue
they bring shame alone!' And then he proceeded to display his own body
as the model of perfection. The Muses laughed when they heard him
denounce Apollo for possessing gifts such as the wise would pray to
possess, and when this boastful piper had been defeated in the contest
and had been skinned as though he were a two-footed bear, they left
him with his entrails torn and exposed to the air. Thus did Marsyas
sing for his own undoing, and such was his fall. As for Apollo he was
ashamed of so inglorious a victory.

_The piper Antigenidas._

4. There was a certain piper named Antigenidas, whose every note made
honeyed harmony. He had skill, too, to make music in every mode,
choose which you would, the simple Aeolian or the complex Ionian, the
mournful Lydian, the solemn Phrygian, or the warlike Dorian. Being
therefore the most famous of all that played upon the pipe, he said
that nothing so tormented him, nothing so vexed his heart and soul, as
the fact that the musicians who played the trumpet at funerals were
dignified by the name of pipers. But he would have endured this
identity of names with equanimity, had he ever seen the performance of
mimes; for he would have noted that the magistrates, who preside in
the theatre, and the characters on the stage, who come in for a good
cudgelling, are clad in practically the same purple garments. So too,
had he ever watched our games! For he would have seen one presiding,
another fighting, yet both of them sharing the same common humanity.
He would have noted that the Roman toga is worn alike by him who
performs a vow to heaven and by him that lies dead upon the bier, that
the Grecian pallium serves to shroud the dead no less than to clothe
the philosopher.

_Fragment from the opening of a discourse delivered in a theatre._

5. You have, I feel assured, come to this theatre with the best will
in the world. For you know that the importance of an oration does not
depend on the place in which it is delivered, but that the first thing
that has to be considered is, 'What form of entertainment is the
theatre going to provide?' If it is a mime, you will laugh; if a
rope-walker, you will tremble lest he fall; if a comedian, you will
applaud him, while, if it be a philosopher, you will learn from him.

_India and the Gymnosophists._

6. India is a populous country of enormous extent. It lies far to the
east of us, close to the point where ocean turns back upon himself and
the sun rises, on that verge where meet the last of lands and the
first stars of heaven. Far away it lies, beyond the learned Egyptians,
beyond the superstitious Jews and the merchants of Nabataea, beyond
the children of Arsaces in their long flowing robes, the Ityreans, to
whom earth gives but scanty harvest, and the Arabs, whose perfumes are
their wealth. Wherefore I marvel not so much at the great stores of
ivory possessed by these Indians, their harvests of pepper, their
exports of cinnamon, their finely-tempered steel, their mines of
silver and their rivers of gold. I marvel not so much that in the
Ganges they have the greatest of all rivers which

     _Lord of all the waters of the East
     Is cloven and parted in a hundred streams.
     A hundred vales are his, a hundred mouths,
     And hundred-fold the flood that meets the main_;

nor wonder I that the Indians that dwell at the very portals of day
are yet of the hue of night, nor that in their land vast serpents
engage in combat with huge elephants, to the equal danger and the
common destruction of either; for they envelop and bind their prey in
slippery coils so that they cannot disengage their feet nor in any
wise break the scaly fetters of these clinging snakes, but must needs
find vengeance by hurling their vast bulk to the ground and crushing
the foe that grips them by the weight of their whole bodies. But it is
of the marvels of men rather than of nature that I would speak.[38]
For the dwellers in this land are divided into many castes. There is
one whose sole skill lies in tending herds of oxen, whence they are
known as the oxherds. There are others who are cunning in the barter
of merchandise, others who are sturdy warriors in battle and have
skill to fight at long range with arrows or hand to hand with swords.
There is, further, one caste that is especially remarkable. They are
called gymnosophists. At these I marvel most of all. For they are
skilled--not in growing the vine, or grafting fruit-trees, or
ploughing the soil. They know not how to till the fields, or wash
gold, or break horses, or tame bulls, or to clip or feed sheep or
goats. What, then, is their claim to distinction? This: one thing they
know outweighing all they know not. They honour wisdom one and all,
the old that teach and the young that learn. Nor is there aught I more
commend in them than that they hate that their minds should be
sluggish and idle. And so, when the table is set in its place, before
the viands are served, all the youths leave their homes and
professions to flock to the banquet. The masters ask each one of them
what good deed he has performed between the rising of the sun and the
present hour. Thereupon one tells how he has been chosen as arbiter
between two of his fellows, has healed their quarrel, reconciled their
strife, dispelled their suspicions and made them friends instead of
foes. Another tells how he has obeyed some command of his parents,
another relates some discovery that his meditations have brought him
or some new knowledge won from another's exposition. And so with the
rest of them,[39] they tell their story. He who can give no good
reason for joining in the feast is thrust fasting from the doors to go
to his work.

[Footnote 38: _libentius ego_ (MSS.).]

[Footnote 39: _denique ceteri commemorant_ (MSS.).]

_On Alexander and false philosophers._

7. The famous Alexander, by far the noblest of all kings, won the
title of the Great from the deeds that he had done and the empire he
had built, and thus it was secured that the man who had won glory
without peer should never be so much as named without a word of
praise. For he alone since time began, alone of all whereof man's
memory bears record, after he had conquered a world-wide empire such
as none may ever surpass, proved himself greater than his fortune. By
his energy he challenged the most glorious successes that fortune
could bestow, equalled them by his worth, surpassed them by his
virtues, and stood alone in peerless glory, so that none might dare
even hope for such virtue or pray for such fortune. The life of this
Alexander is marked by so many lofty deeds and glorious acts, be it of
prowess in the battle or statecraft in the council chamber, that you
may marvel at them till you are weary. It is the story of all these
great achievements that my friend Clemens, most learned and sweetest
of poets, has attempted to glorify in the exquisite strains of his

Now among the most remarkable acts recorded of Alexander is this.
Desiring that his likeness should be handed down to posterity with as
little variation as possible, he refused to permit it to be profaned
by a multitude of artists, and issued a proclamation to all the world
over which he ruled that no one should rashly counterfeit the king's
likeness in bronze or with the painter's colours, or with the
sculptor's chisel. Only Polycletus might portray him in bronze, only
Apelles depict him in colour, only Pyrgoteles carve his form with the
engraver's chisel. If any other than these three, each supreme in his
peculiar art, should be discovered to have set his hand to reproduce
the sacred image of the king, he should be punished as severely as
though he had committed sacrilege. This order struck such fear into
all men that Alexander alone of mankind was always like his portraits,
and that every statue, painting, or bronze revealed the same fierce
martial vigour, the same great and glorious genius, the same fresh and
youthful beauty, the same fair forehead with its back-streaming hair.
And would that philosophy could issue a like proclamation that should
have equal weight, forbidding unauthorized persons to reproduce her
likeness; then the study and contemplation of wisdom in all her
aspects would be in the hands of a few good craftsmen who had been
carefully trained, and unlettered fellows of base life and little
learning would ape the philosopher no longer (though their imitation
does not go beyond the professor's gown), and the queen of all
studies, whose aim is no less excellence of speech than excellence of
life, would no longer be profaned by evil speech and evil living: and,
mark you, profanation of either kind is far from hard. What is more
readily come by than madness of speech and worthlessness of character?
The former springs from contempt of others, the latter from contempt
of self. For to show little care for one's own character is
self-contempt, while to attack others with uncouth and savage speech
is an insult to those that hear you. For is it not the height of
insolence, think you, that a man should deem you to rejoice in hearing
abuse of the best of men, and should believe that you do not
understand evil and wicked words, or, if you do understand them, hold
them to be good? What boor, what porter, what taverner is so poor of
speech that could not curse more eloquently than these folk, if he
would consent to assume the professor's gown?

_A eulogy of the proconsul of Africa._

8. He owes more to his personal character than to his rank, although
even his rank is one that is shared by few. For out of numberless
multitudes of men not many are senators, of senators but few are of
noble birth, of the noble but few attain to the rank of consul, of
consuls but few are good, and of the good but few are learned. But to
confine what I have to say to his high office, 'tis not lightly that
any man may assume the insignia of his rank either as regards clothing
or foot-gear.

_A defence of himself against his critics and a laudation of the
proconsul Severianus._

9. If it should so chance that in this magnificent gathering there
should sit any of those that envy or hate me, since in a great city
persons may always be found who prefer to abuse rather than imitate
persons better than themselves, and, since they cannot be like them,
affect to hate them. They do this of course in order to illumine the
obscurity that shrouds their own names by the splendour that falls
from mine; if then, I say, any one of these envious persons sullies
this distinguished audience with the stain of his presence, I would
ask him for a moment to cast his eyes round this incredibly vast
concourse. When he has contemplated a throng such as before my day
never yet gathered to listen to a philosopher, let him consider in his
heart how great a risk to his reputation is undertaken by a man who is
not used to contempt in appearing here to-day; for it is an arduous
task, and far from easy of accomplishment, to satisfy even the
moderate expectations of a few. Above all it is difficult for me, for
the fame I have already won and your own kindly anticipation of my
skill will not permit me to deliver any ill-considered or superficial
utterance. For what man among you would pardon me one solecism or
condone the barbarous pronunciation of so much as one syllable? Who of
you will suffer me to stammer in disorderly and faulty phrases such as
might rise to the lips of madmen? In others of course you would pardon
such lapses, and very rightly so. But you subject every word that _I_
utter to the closest examination, you weigh it carefully, you try it
by the plumb-line and the file, you test it by the polish of the lathe
and the sublimity of the tragic buskin. Such is the indulgence
accorded to mediocrity, such the severity meted out to distinction. I
recognize, therefore, the difficulty of the task that lies before me,
and I do not ask you to alter the opinions you entertain of me. Yet I
would not have you deceived by false and petty resemblances, for, as I
have often said, there are certain strolling beggars who assume a
professor's gown to win their livelihood. Not only the proconsul, but
the town crier also ascends the tribunal and appears wearing the toga
like his master. But the crier stands upon his feet for hours
together, or strides to and fro, or bawls his news with all the
strength of his lungs. The proconsul, on the contrary, speaks quietly
and with frequent pauses, sits while he speaks, and often reads from a
written document. This is only natural. For the garrulous voice of the
crier is the voice of a hired servant, the words read by the
proconsul from a written document constitute a judgement, which, once
read, may not have one letter added to it or taken away, but so soon
as it is delivered, is set down in the provincial records. My literary
position will provide a humble analogy. All that I utter before you is
forthwith taken down and read. I can withdraw or change nothing, nor
make the least correction. I must therefore be all the more careful in
what I say before you, and that too with regard to more than one form
of composition. For there is greater variety in the works of my muse
than in all the elaborate achievements of Hippias. If you will give me
your best attention I will explain what I mean with greater detail and

Hippias was one of the sophists, and surpassed all his fellows in the
variety of his accomplishments, while as an orator he was second to
none. He was a contemporary of Socrates, and a native of Elis. Of his
family nothing is known. But his fame was great, his fortune moderate;
moreover he had a noble wk and an extraordinary memory, pursued many
branches of study, and had many rivals. This Hippias, of whom I speak,
once came to Pisa during the Olympian games arrayed in raiment that
was as remarkable to the eye as it was wonderful in its workmanship.
For he had purchased nothing of what he wore: it was all the work of
his own hands, the clothes in which he was clad, the shoes wherewith
he was shod, and the jewels that made him conspicuous. Next his skin
he wore an undershirt of triple weft and the finest texture, double
dyed with purple. He had woven it for himself in his own house with
his own hands. He had for girdle a belt, broidered in Babylonian
fashion with many varied colours. In this also no man else had helped
him. For outer garment he had a white cloak cast about his shoulders;
this cloak also is known to have been the work of his own hands. He
had fashioned even the shoes that covered his feet and the ring of
gold with its cunningly engraved signet which he displayed on his left
hand. Himself he had wrought the circle of gold, had closed the bezel
around the gem and engraved the stone. I have not yet told you all the
tale of his achievements. But I will not shrink from enumerating all
the marvels that he thought it no shame to show. For he proclaimed
before that vast concourse that his own hands had fashioned the
oil-flask which he carried. It was in shape a flattened sphere, and
its outlines were round and smooth. Beside it he showed an exquisite
flesh-scraper, the handle[40] of which was straight, while the tongue
was curved and grooved with hollow channels, so that the hand might
have a firm grip and the sweat might be carried off in a trickling
stream from the blade. Who could withhold praise from a man who had
such manifold knowledge of so many arts, who had won such glory in
every branch of knowledge, who was, in fact, a very Daedalus,[41] such
skill had he to fashion so many useful instruments? Nay, I myself
praise Hippias, but I prefer to imitate his fertile genius in respect
of the learning, rather than of the furniture with which it was so
richly equipped. I have, I confess, but indifferent skill in these
sedentary arts. When I want clothes I buy them from the weaver, when I
want sandals, such as I am now wearing, I purchase them from the
shoemaker. I do not carry a ring, since I regard gold and precious
stones of as little value as pebbles or lead. As for flesh-scrapers
and oil-flasks and other utensils of the bath I procure them in the
market. I will not go to the extent of denying that I am wholly
ignorant how to use a shuttle, an awl, a file, a lathe, and other
tools of the kind, but I confess that I infinitely prefer to all these
instruments one simple pen, with which I may write poems of all kinds,
such as may suit with the reciter's wand and the accompaniment of the
lyre or grace the comic or the tragic stage. Satires also do I write
and riddles, histories also on diverse themes, speeches that the
eloquent and dialogues that philosophers have praised. Nay, and I
write all these and much besides with equal fluency in Greek and
Latin, with equal pleasure, like ardour and uniform skill. Most
excellent proconsul, I would I could offer all these works of mine not
in fragments and quotations but in entirety and completeness! Would I
might enjoy the priceless boon of your testimony to the merits of all
the offspring of my muse! It is not that I lack praise, for my glory
has long bloomed fresh and bright before the eyes of all your
predecessors, till to-day it is presented to you! But there is none
whose admiration I would more gladly win than yours, for I admire you
beyond all other men by reason of your surpassing virtues. Such is the
ordinance of nature. Praise implies love and, love once given to
another, we demand his praise in return. And I acknowledge that I love
you; no private tie of interest binds me to you, it is in your public
capacity that you have won my devotion. I have never received any
favour at your hands, for I have never asked for one. But philosophy
has taught me not only to love my benefactors, but even such as may
have done me injury, to attach greater importance to justice than to
my private interests, and to prefer the furtherance of the public
welfare to the service of my own. And so it comes about that while
most men love you for the actual benefits conferred upon them by your
goodness, I love you for the zeal with which that goodness is
inspired. And the secret of my devotion is this. I have seen your
moderation in dealing with the affairs of the inhabitants of this
province, a moderation which has won the affection of those who have
come into contact with you by the benefits you have conferred on them,
of those with whom you have never come into contact by the good
example you have set. For while many have received your benefits, all
have profited by your example. Who would not gladly learn from you by
what moderation one may acquire your pleasing gravity, your severity
tempered with mercy, your unruffled resolution and the kindly energy
of your character? Africa has within my knowledge had no proconsul
whom she reverenced more or feared less. Your year of office stands
alone; for in it shame rather than fear has been the motive to set a
check on crime. No other invested with your power has more often
blessed, more rarely terrified: no governor has ever brought a son
with him more like his father's virtues than is yours; and for this
reason no proconsul has ever resided longer at Carthage than have you.
For during the period which you devoted to visiting the province,
Honorinus remained with us; wherefore, though we have never regretted
our governor's absence more, we have felt it less. For the son has all
his father's sense of justice, the youth has all an old man's wisdom,
the deputy has all the consul's authority. In a word, he presents such
a perfect pattern and likeness of your virtues, that the glory
acquired by one so young would, I vow, be a greater source of wonder
than your own, save for one fact; he has inherited it from you. Would
we might live in the joy of his perpetual presence! What need have we
of change of governors? What profit of these short years, these
fleeting months of office? Ah! how swiftly pass the days, when the
good are with us, how quickly spent the term of power for all the best
of those who have ruled over us! Ah! Severianus, the whole province
will sigh for your departure. But Honorinus at least is called away
by the honours which are his due; the praetorship awaits him; the
favour of the two Caesars forms him for the consulate; to-day our love
enfolds him, and the hopes of Carthage promise that in the years to
come he will be here once more. Your example is our sole comfort; he
who has served as deputy shall soon return to us as proconsul!

[Footnote 40: _clausulae_ vulgo.]

[Footnote 41: _Daedalum_ (Krüger).]

_On Providence and its marvels._

     10. _First hail we thee, O Sun,
         Whose fiery course and rushing steeds reveal
         The glowing splendour of thy ardent flame._

Hail we also the Moon, who learns of his light how she herself may
shine, and the influences also of the five planets--Jupiter that
brings blessings, Venus that brings pleasure, Mercury the giver of
swiftness, Saturn the worker of bane, Mars with his temper of fire.
There are also other divine influences, that lie midway 'twixt earth
and heaven, influences that we may feel but not see, such as the power
of Love and the like, whose force we feel, though we have never seen
their form. So too on earth 'tis this force that, in accordance with
the wise behests of providence, here bids the lofty peaks of mountains
rise, there has spread forth the low flat levels of the plain, has
marked out the streams of rivers and the greensward of the meadows,
has given birds the power to fly, reptiles to crawl, wild beasts to
run, and men to walk.

_A comparison between those who lack wealth and those who lack

11. He whose soul is barren of virtue is like those poor wretches that
till a barren inheritance of stony fields, mere heaps of rocks and
thorns. Since they may win no harvest from their own wildernesses, and
find no fruit in a soil where only

     _Wild oats and darnel rank have mastery_,

conscious of their own poverty they go forth to steal the fruits of
others and rifle their gardens, that they may mingle their neighbours'
flowers with their own thistles.

_On the Parrot._

12. The parrot is an Indian bird, in size very slightly smaller than a
dove. But there is nothing dovelike in its hue. For it has nothing of
the milky whiteness or dull blue, blended or distinct, nor yet of the
pale yellow or iridescence that characterize the dove. The parrot is
green from the roots of its feathers to their very tips, save only for
the markings on the neck. For its tiny neck is girdled and crowned
with a slender band of crimson like a collar of gold, which is of
equal brilliance through all its extent. Its beak is extraordinarily
hard. If after it has soared to a great height it swoops headlong on
to some rock, it breaks the force of its fall with its beak, which it
uses as an anchor. Its head is not less hard than its beak. When it is
being taught to imitate human speech, it is beaten over the head with
an iron wand, that it may recognize its master's command. This is the
rod of its school-days. It can be taught to speak from the day of its
birth to its second year, while its mouth is still easily formed and
its tongue sufficiently soft to learn the requisite modulations. On
the other hand, if caught when it is old, it is hard to teach and
forgets what it has learned. The parrot which is most easily taught
the language of man is one that feeds on acorns and manlike has five
toes on each foot. All parrots do not possess this last peculiarity,
but there is one point which all have in common: their tongue is
broader than that of any other bird. Wherefore they articulate human
words more easily owing to the size of their palate and the organ of
speech. When it has learnt anything, it sings or rather speaks it out
with such perfect imitation that, if you should hear it, you would
think a man was speaking; on the contrary if you hear a crow[42]
attempting to speak, you would still call the result croaking rather
than speech. But crow and parrot are alike in this; they can only
utter words that they have been taught. Teach a parrot to curse and it
will curse continually, making night and day hideous with its
imprecations. Cursing becomes its natural note and its ideal of
melody. When it has repeated all its curses, it repeats the same
strain again. Should you desire to rid yourself of its bad language,
you must either cut out its tongue or send it back as soon as possible
to its native woods.

[Footnote 42: _corvinam quidem si audias idem conantem, crocire non
loqui._ The text is corrupt, Van der Vliet's suggestion probably gives
the correct sense.]

_A comparison between the eloquence of the philosopher and the song of

13. ... For the eloquence bestowed on me by philosophy has no
resemblance to the song that nature has given to certain birds which
sing but for a brief space and at certain times only. For instance,
the swallows sing at morn, the cicalas at noon, the night-owl late in
the dark, the screech-owl at even, the horned-owl at midnight, the
cock before the dawn. Indeed these animals seem to have made a compact
together as to the various times and tones of their song. The crowing
of the cock is a sound should wake men from their beds, the horned-owl
groans, the screech-owl shrieks, the night-owl cries 'tuwhit, tuwhoo',
the cicalas chatter, and the swallows twitter shrill. But the wisdom
and eloquence of the philosopher are ready at all times, waken awe in
them that hear, are profitable to the understanding, and their music
is of every tone.

_On Crates the Cynic._

14. These arguments and the like which he had heard from the lips of
Diogenes, together with others which suggested themselves to him on
other occasions, had such influence with Crates, that at last he
rushed out into the market-place and there renounced all his fortune
as being a mere filthy encumbrance, a burden rather than a benefit.
His action having caused a crowd to collect, he cried in a loud voice,
saying, 'Crates, even Crates sets thee free.' Thenceforth he lived not
only in solitude, but naked and in perfect freedom and, so long as he
lived, his life was happy. And such was the passion he inspired that a
maiden of noble birth, spurning suitors more youthful and more wealthy
than he, actually went so far as to beg him to marry her. In answer
Crates bared his shoulders which were crowned with a hump, placed his
wallet, staff and cloak upon the ground, and said to the girl, 'There
is all my gear! and your eyes can judge of my beauty. Take good
counsel, lest later I find you complaining of your lot.' But Hipparche
accepted his conditions, replying that she had already considered the
question and taken sufficient counsel, for nowhere in all the world
could she find a richer or a fairer husband. 'Take me where you will!'
she cried....

_Of the isle of Samos and Pythagoras._

15. Samos is an island of no great size in the Icarian sea, and lies
over against Miletus to the west, with but a small space of sea
between them. In whichever direction you sail from this island, though
you make no great haste, the next day will see you safe in harbour.
The land does not respond readily to the cultivation of corn, and it
is waste of time to plough it. But the olive grows better in it, and
those who grow vines or vegetables have no fault to find with it. Its
farmers are entirely taken up with hoeing the ground and the
cultivation of trees, for it is from these rather than from cereals
that Samos derives its wealth. The native population is numerous, and
the island is visited by many strangers. The capital town is unworthy
of its reputation, but the abundant ruins of its walls testify to its
former size.

It possesses, however, a temple of Juno famous from remote antiquity:
to reach it, if I remember aright, one must follow the shore for not
more than twenty furlongs from the city. The treasury of the goddess
is extraordinarily rich, containing great quantities of gold and
silver plate, in the form of platters, mirrors, cups, and all manner
of utensils. There is also a great quantity of brazen images of
different kinds. These are of great antiquity, and remarkable for
their workmanship; I may mention one of them in particular, a statue
of Bathyllus standing in front of the altar; it was the gift of the
tyrant Polycrates, and I think I have never seen anything more
perfect. Some hold that it represents Pythagoras, but this opinion is
incorrect. The statue represents a youth of remarkable beauty; his
hair is parted evenly in the midst of his forehead and streams over
either cheek. Behind his hair is longer and reaches down to his
shoulders, covering the neck whose sheen one may detect between the
tresses. The neck is plump, the jaws full, the cheeks fine, and there
is a dimple in the middle of his chin. His pose is that of a player on
the lyre. He is looking at the goddess, and has the appearance of one
that sings, while his embroidered tunic streams to his very feet. He
is girt in the Greek style, and a cloak covers either arm down to the
wrists. The rest of the cloak hangs down in graceful folds. His lyre
is fastened by an engraven baldric, which holds it close to the body.
His hands are delicate and taper. The left touches the strings with
parted fingers, the right is in the attitude of one that plays and is
approaching the lyre with the plectrum, as though ready to strike as
soon as the voice ceases for a moment to sing. Meanwhile the song
seems to well forth from the delicate mouth, whose lips are half open
for the effort. This statue may represent one of the youthful
favourites of the tyrant Polycrates[43] hymning his master's love in
Anacreontic[44] strain. But it is far from[45] likely that it is a
statue of the philosopher Pythagoras. It is true he was a native of
Samos, remarkable for his unusual beauty, and skilled beyond all men
in harping and all manner of music, and living at the period when
Polycrates was lord of Samos. But the philosopher was far from being a
favourite of this tyrant. Indeed Pythagoras fled secretly from the
island at the very beginning of the tyrant's reign. He had recently
lost his father Mnesarchus, who was, I read, a skilful jeweller
excelling in the carving of gems, though it was fame rather than
wealth that he sought in the exercise of his art. There are some who
assert that Pythagoras was about this time carried to Egypt among the
captives of King Cambyses, and studied under the _magi_ of Persia,
more especially under Zoroaster the priest of all holy mysteries;
later they assert he was ransomed by a certain Gillus, King of Croton.
However, the more generally accepted tradition asserts that it was of
his own choice he went to study the wisdom of the Egyptians. There he
was initiated by their priests into the mighty secrets of their
ceremonies, passing all belief; there he learned numbers in all their
marvellous combinations, and the ingenious laws of geometry. Not
content with these sciences, he next approached the Chaldaeans and the
Brahmins, a race of wise men who live in India.[46] Among these
Brahmins he sought out the gymnosophists. The Chaldaeans taught him
the lore of the stars, the fixed orbits[47] of the wandering lords of
heaven, and the influence of each on the births of men. Also they
instructed him in the art of healing, and revealed to him remedies in
the search for which men have lavished their wealth and wandered far
by land and sea.[48] But it was from the Brahmins that he derived the
greater part of his philosophy, the arts of teaching the mind and
exercising the body, the doctrines as to the parts of the soul and its
various transmigrations, the knowledge of the torments and rewards
ordained for each man, according to his deserts, in the world of the
gods below. Further he had for his master Pherecydes, a native of the
island of Syros and the first who dared throw off the shackles of
verse and write in the free style of unfettered prose. Pherecydes died
of a horrible disease, for his flesh rotted and was devoured of lice;
Pythagoras buried him with reverent care. He is said also to have
studied the laws of nature under Anaximander of Miletus, to have
followed the Cretan Epimenides, a famous prophet skilled also in rites
of expiation, that he might learn from him and also Leodamas, the
pupil of Creophylus, the reputed guest and rival of the poet Homer.
Taught by so many sages, and having drained such deep and varied
draughts of learning through all the world, and being moreover dowered
with a vast intellect whose grandeur almost passes man's
understanding, he was the founder of the science and the inventor of
the name of philosophy. The first of all his lessons to his disciples
was the lesson of silence. With him meditation was a necessary
preliminary to wisdom, meditation set a bridle on all speech, robbed
words, which poets style winged, of their pinions and restrained them
within the white barrier of the teeth. This, I tell you, was for him
the first axiom of wisdom, 'Meditation is learning, speech is
unlearning.' His disciples, however, did not refrain from speech all
their lives, nor did their master impose dumbness on all for a like
space of time. For those of more solid character a brief term of
silence was considered sufficient discipline; the more talkative were
punished by exile from speech for as much as five years. I may add
that my master Plato deviates little or not at all from the principles
of this school, and in most of his utterances is a follower of
Pythagoras. And that I too might win from my instructors the right to
be called one of his followers, I have learned this double lesson in
the course of my philosophical studies--to speak boldly when there is
need of speech and gladly to be mute when there is need of silence. As
a result of this self-command, I think I may say that I have won from
your predecessors no less praise for my seasonable silence than
approval for the timeliness of my speech.

[Footnote 43: _qui_ vulgo.]

[Footnote 44: _Anacreonteum_ vulgo.]

[Footnote 45: _ceterum multum abest_ (MSS.).]

[Footnote 46: Omitting _illa_ before _Indiae gens est_.]

[Footnote 47: _statos ambitus_ (Krüger).]

[Footnote 48: _mortalibus_ MSS. _late pecuniis_ (Stewech).]

_An oration of thanks to Aemilianus Strabo and the senate of Carthage
for decreeing a statue in his honour._

16. Before I begin, illustrious representatives of Africa, to thank
you for the statue, with the demand for which you honoured me while I
was still with you, setting the seal upon your kindness by actually
decreeing its erection during my absence, I wish first to explain to
you why I absented myself for a considerable number of days from the
sight of my audience and betook myself to the Persian baths, where the
healthy may find delightful bathing, and the sick a no less welcome
relief. For I have resolved to make it clear to you, to whose service
I have dedicated myself irrevocably and for ever, that every moment of
my life is well spent. There shall be no action of mine, important or
trivial, but you shall be informed of it and pass judgement upon it.
Well then! to come to the reason for my sudden departure from the
presence of this most distinguished assembly, I will tell you a story
of the comic poet Philemon which is not so very unlike my own and will
serve to show you how sudden and unexpected are the perils that
threaten the life of man. You all are well acquainted with his
talents, listen then to a few words concerning his death, or perhaps
you would like a few words on his talents as well.

This Philemon was a poet, a writer of the middle comedy, and composed
plays for the stage in competition with Menander and contested against
him. He may not have been his equal, he was certainly his rival. Nay,
on not a few occasions--I am almost ashamed to mention it--he actually
defeated him. However this may be, you will certainly find his works
full of humour: the plots are full of wittily contrived intrigue, the
_dénouements_ clear, the characters suited to the situations, the
words true to life, the jests never unworthy of true comedy, the
serious passages never quite on the level of tragedy. Seductions are
rare in his plays; if he introduces love affairs, it is as a
concession to human weakness. That does not, however, prevent the
presence in his plays of the faithless pander, the passionate lover,
the cunning slave, the coquetting mistress, the jealous wife whose
word is law, the indulgent mother, the crusty uncle, the friend in
need, the warlike soldier, aye and hungry parasites, skinflint
parents, and saucy drabs. One day, long after these excellences had
made him famous as a writer of comedy, he happened to give a
recitation of a portion of a play which he had just written. He had
reached the third act, and was beginning to arouse in his audience
those pleasurable emotions so dear to comedy, when a sudden shower
descended and forced him to put off the audience gathered to hear him
and the recitation which he had just begun. A similar event befell me,
you will remember, quite recently when I was addressing you. However,
Philemon, at the demand of various persons, promised to finish his
recitation the next day without further postponement. On the morrow,
therefore, a vast crowd assembled to hear him with the utmost
enthusiasm. Everybody who could do so took a seat facing the stage and
as near to it as he could get. Late arrivals made signs to their
friends to make room for them to sit: those who sat at the end of a
row complained of being thrust off their seat into the gangway; the
whole theatre was crammed with a vast audience. A hum of
conversation[49] arose. Those who had not been present the previous
day began to ask what had been recited; those who had been present
began to recall what they had heard, and finally when everybody had
made themselves acquainted with what had preceded, all began to look
forward to what was to come. Meanwhile the day wore on and Philemon
failed to come at the appointed time. Some blamed the poet for the
delay, more defended him. But when they had sat there for quite an
unreasonable length of time and still Philemon did not make his
appearance, some of the more active members of the audience were sent
to fetch him. They found him lying in his bed--dead. He had just
breathed his last, and lay there upon the couch stiff and stark in the
attitude of one plunged in meditation. His fingers still were twined
about his book, his mouth still pressed against the page he had been
reading. But the life had left him; he had forgotten his book, and
little recked he now of his audience. Those who had entered the room
stood motionless for a space, struck dumb by the strange suddenness of
the blow and the wondrous beauty of his death. Then they returned and
reported to the people that the poet Philemon, for whom they were
waiting that there in the theatre he might finish the drama of his
imagination, had finished the one true play, the drama of life, in his
own home. To this world he had said 'farewell' and 'applaud', but to
his friends 'weep and make your moan'. 'The shower of yesterday,' they
continued, 'was an omen of our tears; the comedy has ended in the
torch of funeral or ever it could come to the torch of marriage. Nay,
since so great a poet has laid aside the mask of this life, let us go
straight from the theatre to perform his burial. 'Tis his bones we now
must gather to our hearts; his verse must for awhile take second

[Footnote 49: _loqui_ (Van der Vliet).]

It was long ago that I first learned the story I have just told you,
but the peril I have undergone during the last few days[50] has
brought it afresh to my mind. For when my recitation was--as I am sure
you remember--interrupted by the rain, at your desire I put it off
till the morrow, and in good truth it was nearly with me as it was
with Philemon. For on that same day I twisted my ankle so violently at
the wrestling school that I almost tore the joint from my leg.
However, it returned to its socket, though my leg is still weak with
the sprain. But there is more to tell you. My efforts to reduce the
dislocation were so great that my body broke out into a profuse sweat
and I caught a severe chill. This was followed by agonizing pain in my
bowels, which only subsided when its violence was on the point of
killing me. A moment more and like Philemon I should have gone to the
grave, not to my recital, should have finished not my speech but my
destiny, should have brought not my tale but my life to a close. Well
then, as soon as the gentle temperature and still more the soothing
medical properties of the Persian baths had restored to me the use of
my foot--for though it gave naught save the most feeble support, it
sufficed me in my eagerness to appear before you--I set forth to
perform my pledge. And in the interval you have conferred such a boon
upon me that you have not only removed my lameness but have made me
positively nimble.

[Footnote 50: The reading is uncertain. Van der Vliet's suggestion
seems to give the outline of the sense desired.]

Was I not right to make all speed that I might express my boundless
gratitude for the honour which you have conferred unasked. True,
Carthage is so illustrious a city that it were an honour to her that a
philosopher should beg to be thus rewarded, but I wished the boon you
have bestowed on me to have its full value with no taint of
detraction, to suffer no loss of grace by any petition on my part, in
a word to be wholly disinterested. For he that begs pays so heavily,
and so large is the price that he to whom the petition is addressed
receives, that, where the necessaries of life are concerned, one had
rather purchase them one and all than ask them as a gift. Above all,
this principle applies to cases where honours are concerned. He to
whom they come as the result of importunate petition owes[51] no
gratitude for his success to any save himself. On the other hand, he
who receives honours without descending to vexatious canvassing is
obliged to the givers for two reasons; he has not asked and yet he has
received. The thanks, therefore, which I owe you are double or rather
manifold, and my lips shall proclaim them at all times and places. But
on the present occasion I will, as is my wont, make public
protestation of my gratitude from a written address which I have
specially composed in view of this distinction. For assuredly that is
the method in which a philosopher should return thanks to a city that
has decreed him a public statue. My discourse will, however, depart
slightly from this method as a mark of respect to the exalted
character and position of Aemilianus Strabo. I hope that I may be able
to compose a suitable discourse if only you will permit me to submit
it to your approbation[52] to-day. For Strabo is so distinguished a
scholar, that his own talents bring him even greater honour than his
noble rank and his tenure of the consulate. In what terms, Aemilianus
Strabo, who of all men that have been, are, or yet shall be, are most
renowned among the virtuous, most virtuous among the renowned, most
learned amongst either, in what terms can I hope to thank or
commemorate the gracious thoughts you have entertained for me? How may
I hope adequately to celebrate the honour to which your kindness has
prompted you? How may my speech repay you worthily for the glory
conferred by your action? It baffles my imagination. But I will seek
earnestly and strive to find a way

     _While breath still rules these limbs and memory
     Is conscious of its being._

[Footnote 51: _unam gratiam_ vulgo.]

[Footnote 52: _vobis comprobari_ (Krüger).]

For at the present moment, I will not deny it, the gladness of my
heart is too loud for my eloquence, I cannot think for pleasure,
delight is master of my soul and bids me rejoice rather than speak.
What shall I do? I wish to show my gratitude, but my joy is such that
I have not yet leisure to express my thanks. No one, however sour and
stern he be, will blame me if the honour bestowed on me makes me no
less nervous[53] than appreciative, if the testimony to my merits,
delivered by a man of such fame and learning, has transported me with
exultation. For he delivered it in the senate of Carthage, a body
whose kindness is only equalled by its distinction; and he that spoke
was one who had held the consulship, one by whom it were an honour
even to be known. Such was the man who appeared before the most
illustrious citizens of the province of Africa to sing my praise!

[Footnote 53: _non minus uereor quam intellego_ (Krüger).]

I have been told that two days ago he sent a written request in which
he demanded that my statue should be given a conspicuous place, and
above all told of the bonds of friendship which began under such
honourable circumstances, when we served together beneath the banner
of literature and studied under the same masters; he then recorded[54]
all the good wishes for his success with which I had welcomed each
successive step of his advance in his official career. He had already
done me a compliment in remembering that I had once been his fellow
student: it was a fresh compliment that so great a man should record
my friendship for him as though I were his equal. But he went further.
He stated that other peoples and cities had decreed not only statues,
but other distinctions as well in my honour. Could anything be added
to such a panegyric as this, delivered by the lips of an ex-consul?
Yes: for he cited the priesthood I had undertaken, and showed that I
had attained the highest honour that Carthage can bestow. But the
greatest and most remarkable compliment[55] paid me was this: after
producing such a wealth of flattering testimonials he commended me to
your notice by himself voting in my favour. Finally, he, a man in
whose honour every province rejoices through all the world to erect
four or six horse chariots, promised that he would erect my statue at
Carthage at his own expense.

[Footnote 54: _nunc postea vota omnia mea_ (MSS.).]

[Footnote 55: om. _honos_ following MSS.]

What lacks there to sanction and establish my glory and to set it on
the topmost pinnacle of fame? I ask you, what is there lacking?
Aemilianus Strabo, who has already held the consulship and is
destined, as we all hope and pray, soon to be a proconsul, proposed
the resolution conferring these honours upon me in the senate-house of
Carthage. You gave your unanimous assent to the proposal. Surely in
your eyes this was more than a mere resolution, it was a solemn
enactment of law. Nay more, all the Carthaginians gathered in this
august assembly showed such readiness in granting a site for the
statue that they might make it clear to you that, if they put off a
resolution for the erection of a second statue, as I hope,[56] to the
next meeting of the senate, they were influenced by the desire to show
the fullest reverence and respect to their honourable consular, and to
avoid seeming to emulate rather than imitate his beneficence. That is
to say, they wished to set apart a whole day for the business of
conferring on me the public honour still in store. Moreover, these
most excellent magistrates, these most gracious chiefs of your city,
remembered that the charge with which you men of Carthage had
entrusted them was in full harmony with their desires. Would you have
me be ignorant, be silent, as to these details? It would be rank
ingratitude. Far from that, I offer my very warmest thanks to the
whole assembly for their most lavish favour. I could not be more
grateful. For they have honoured me with the most flattering applause
in that senate-house, where even to be named is the height of honour.
And so I have in some sense achieved--pardon my vanity--that which was
so hard to achieve, and seemed indeed not unnaturally to be beyond my
powers. I have won the affections of the people, the favour of the
senate, the approbation of the magistrates and the chief men of the
city. What lacks there now to the honour of my statue, save the price
of the bronze and the service of the artist? These have never been
denied me even in small cities. Much less shall Carthage deny it,
Carthage, whose senate, even where greater issues are at stake,
decrees and counts not the cost. But I will speak of this more fully
at a later date, when you have given fuller effect to your resolution.
Moreover, when the time comes for the dedication of my statue, I will
proclaim my gratitude to you yet more amply in another written
discourse, will declare it to you, noble senators, to you, renowned
citizens, to you, my worthy friends. Yes, I will commit my gratitude
to the retentive pages of a book, that it may travel through every
province and, worlds and ages hence, record my praises of your
kindness to all peoples and all time.

[Footnote 56: _quantum spero_ (MSS.).]

_Fragment of a panegyric on Scipio Orfitus._

17. I leave it to those who are in the habit of obtruding themselves
upon their proconsul's leisure moments[57] to attempt to commend their
wits by the exuberance of their speech, and to glorify themselves by
affecting to bask in the smiles of your friendship. Both of these
offences are far from me, Scipio Orfitus. For on the one hand my poor
wit, such as it is, is too well known to all men to have any need of
further commendation; on the other hand, I prefer to enjoy rather than
to parade the friendship of yourself and such as you; I desire such
friendship, but I do not boast of it, for desire can in no case be
other than genuine, whereas boasting may always be false. With this in
view I have ever cultivated the arts of virtue, I have always sought
both here in Africa and when I moved among your friends in Rome to win
a fair name both for my character and studies, as you yourself can
amply testify, with the result that you should be no less eager to
court my friendship than I to long for yours. Reluctance to excuse the
rarity of a friend's appearances is a sign that you desire his
continual presence; if you delight in the frequency of his visits or
are angry with him for neglecting to come, if you welcome his company
and regret its cessation, it is clear proof of love, since it is
obvious that his presence must be a pleasure whose absence is a pain.
But the voice, if it be refrained in continued silence, is as useless
as the nostrils when choked by a cold in the head, the ears when they
are blocked with dirt, the eyes when they are sealed by cataract. What
can the hands do, if they are fettered, or what the feet, if they are
shackled? What can[58] the mind that rules and directs us do, if it be
relaxed in sleep or drowned in wine or crushed beneath the weight of
disease? Nay, as the sword acquires its sheen by usage, and rusts if
it lie idle, so the voice is dulled by its long torpor if it be hidden
in the sheath of silence. Desuetude must needs beget sloth, and sloth
decay. If the tragic actor declaim not daily, the resonance of his
voice is dulled and its channels grow hoarse. Wherefore he purges his
huskiness by loud and repeated recitation. However, it is vain toil
and useless labour[59] for a man to attempt to improve the natural
quality of the human voice. There are many sounds that surpass it. The
trumpet's blare is louder, the music of the lyre more varied, the
plaint of the flute more pleasing, the murmurs of the pipe sweeter,
the message of the bugle further heard. I forbear to mention the
natural sounds of many animals which challenge admiration by their
different peculiarities, as, for instance, the deep bellow of the
bull, the wolf's shrill howl, the dismal trumpeting of the elephant,
the horse's lively neigh, the bird's piercing song, the angry roar of
the lion, together with the cries of other beasts, harsh or musical,
according as they are roused by the madness of anger or the charms of
pleasure. In place of such cries the gods have given man a voice of
narrower compass; but if it give less delight to the ear, it is far
more useful to the understanding. Wherefore it should be all the more
cultivated by the most frequent use, and that nowhere else[60] than in
the presence of an audience presided over by so great a man, and in
the midst of so numerous and distinguished a gathering of learned men
who come kindly disposed to hear. For my part, if I were skilled to
make ravishing music on the lyre, I should never play save before
crowded assemblies. It was in solitude that

     _Orpheus to woods, to fish Arion sang._

[Footnote 57: om. _et negotiosis_ following MSS.]

[Footnote 58: _quid si etiam_ (Krüger).]

[Footnote 59: _cassus labor supervacaneo studio. Plurifariam
superatur_, (MSS.). The reading is uncertain, but the above
punctuation will yield adequate sense.]

[Footnote 60: om. _usquam libentius_ with MSS.]

For if we may believe legend, Orpheus had been driven to lonely exile,
Arion hurled from his ship. One of them soothed savage beasts, the
other charmed beasts that were compassionate: both musicians were
unhappy, inasmuch as they strove not for honour nor of their free
choice, but for their safety and of hard necessity. I should have
admired them more if they had pleased men, not beasts. Such solitude
were far better suited to birds, to blackbird and nightingale and
swan. The blackbird whistles like a happy boy in distant wilds, the
nightingale trills its song of youthful passion in the lonely places
of Africa, the swan by far-off rivers chants the music of old age. But
he who would produce a song that shall profit boys, youths, and
greybeards, must sing it in the midst of thousands of men, even as now
I sing the virtues of Orfitus. It is late, perhaps, but it is meant in
all earnestness, and may prove no less pleasing than profitable to the
boys, the youths, and the old men of Carthage. For all have enjoyed
the indulgence of the best of all proconsuls: he has tempered their
desires and restrained them with gentle remedies, he has given to boys
the boon of plenty, to young men merriment, and to the old security.
But now, Scipio, that I have come to touch on your merits, I fear lest
either your own noble modesty or my own native bashfulness may close
my mouth. But I cannot refrain from touching on a very few of the many
virtues which we so justly admire in you. Citizens whom he has saved,
show with me that you recognize them!

_A discourse pronounced before the Carthaginians, incidentally
treating of Thales and Protagoras._

18. You have come in such large numbers to hear me that I feel I ought
rather to congratulate Carthage for possessing so many friends of
learning among her citizens than demand pardon for myself, the
professed philosopher who ventures to speak in public. For the crowd
that has collected is worthy of the grandeur of our city, and the
place chosen for my speech is worthy of so great a multitude.
Moreover, in a theatre we must consider, not the marble of its
pavements, not the boards of the stage, nor the columns of the
back-scene, nay, nor yet the height of its gables, the splendour of
its fretted roofs, the expanse of its tiers of seats; we need not call
to mind that this place is sometimes the scene for the foolery of the
mime, the dialogue of comedy, the sonorous rant of tragedy, the
perilous antics of the rope-walker, the juggler's sleight of hand, the
gesticulation of the dancer, with all the tricks of their respective
arts that are displayed before the people by other artists. All these
considerations may be put on one side; all that we need consider is
this, the discourse of the orator and the reasons for the presence of
the audience. Wherefore, just as poets in this place shift the scene
to various other cities--take, for instance, the tragic poet who makes
his actor say

     _Liber, that dwellest on these heights august
     Of famed Cithaeron_

or the comic poet who says

     _Plautus but asks you for a tiny space
     Within the circuit vast of these fair walls,
     Whither without the aid of architect
     He may transport old Athens,--_

even so I beg your leave to shift my scene, not, however, to any
distant city overseas, but to the senate-house or public library of
Carthage. I ask you, therefore, if any of my utterances be worthy of
the senate-house, to imagine that you are listening to me within the
very walls of the senate-house; if my words reveal learning, I beg you
to regard them as though you were reading them in the public library.
Would that I could find words enough to do justice to the magnitude of
this assembly and did not falter just when I would be most eloquent.
But the old saying is true, that heaven never blesses any man with
unmixed and flawless prosperity; even in the keenest joys there is
ever some slight undertone of grief, some blend of gall and honey;
there is no rose without a thorn. I have often experienced the truth
of this, and never more than at the present moment. For the more I
realize how ready you are to praise me, the more exaggerated becomes
the awe in which I stand of you, and the greater my reluctance to
speak. I have spoken to strange audiences often, and with the utmost
fluency, but now that I am confronted with my own folk, I hesitate.
Strange to say, I am frightened by what should allure, curbed by what
should spur me on, and restrained by what should make me bold. There
is much that should give me courage in your presence. I have made my
home in your city which I knew well as a boy, and where my student
days were spent. You know my philosophic views, my voice is no
stranger to you, you have read my books and approved of them. My
birthplace is represented in the council of Africa, that is, in your
own assembly; my boyhood was spent with you, you were my teachers, it
was here that my philosophy found its first inspiration, though 'twas
Attic Athens brought it to maturity, and, during the last six years,
my voice, speaking in either language, has been familiar to your ears.
Nay more, my books have no higher title to the universal praise that
is theirs, than the fact that you have passed a favourable judgement
upon them. All these great and varied allurements, appealing as they
do to you as well as to me, hamper and intimidate me just in
proportion as they attract you to the pleasure of hearing me. I should
find it far easier to sing your praises before the citizens of some
other city than to your face. To such an extent is it true that
modesty is a serious obstacle to one confronted by his fellow
citizens, while truth may speak unfettered in the presence of
strangers. But always and everywhere I praise you as my parents and
the first teachers of my youth, and do my best to repay my debt. But
the reward I offer you is not that which the sophist Protagoras
stipulated to receive and never got, but that which the wise Thales
got without ever stipulating for it. What is it you want? Ah! I
understand. I will tell you both stories.

Protagoras was a sophist with knowledge on an extraordinary number of
subjects, and one of the most eloquent among the first inventors of
the art of rhetoric. He was a fellow citizen and contemporary of the
physicist Democritus, and it was from Democritus he derived his
learning. The story runs that Protagoras made a rash bargain with his
pupil Euathlus, contracting for an exceptionally high fee on the
following conditions. The money was to be paid if Euathlus was
successful in the first suit he pleaded in court. The young man
therefore first learned all the methods employed to win the votes of
the jurors, all the tricks of opposing counsel, and all the artifices
of oratory. This he did with ease, for he was a very clever fellow
with a natural aptitude for strategy. When he had satisfied himself
that he had learned all he desired to know, he began to show
reluctance to perform his part of the contract. At first he baffled
his teacher's requests for payment by interposing various ingenious
delays, and for a considerable time refused either to plead in court
or to pay the stipulated fee. At last Protagoras called him into
court, set forth the conditions under which he had accepted him as a
pupil, and propounded the following dilemma. 'If I win,' he said, 'you
must pay the fee, for you will be condemned to do so. If you win, you
will still have to pay under the terms of your contract. For you will
have won the first suit you have ever pleaded. So if you win, you lose
under the terms of the contract: if you are defeated, you lose by the
sentence of the court.' What more would you have? The jury thought the
argument a marvel of shrewdness and quite irrefutable. But Euathlus
showed himself a very perfect pupil of so cunning a master, and turned
back the dilemma on its inventor. 'In that case,' he replied, 'I owe
your fee under neither count. For either I win and am acquitted by the
court, or lose and am released from the bargain, which states that I
do not owe you the fee if I am defeated in my first case in court. And
this is my first case! So in any case I come off scot free; if I lose,
I am saved by the contract; if I win, by the verdict of the jury.'
What think you? Does not the opposition of these sophistic arguments
remind you of brambles, that the wind has entangled one with another?
They cling together; thorns of like length on either side, each
penetrating to an equal depth, each dealing wound for wound. So we
will leave Protagoras' reward to shrewd and greedy folk. It involves
too many thorny difficulties. Far better is that other reward, which
they say was suggested by[61] Thales.

[Footnote 61: _Thalem ... suasisse_ (MSS.).]

Thales of Miletus was easily the most remarkable of the famous seven
sages. For he was the first of the Greeks to discover the science of
geometry, was a most accurate investigator of the laws of nature, and
a most skilful observer of the stars. With the help of a few small
lines he discovered the most momentous facts: the revolution of the
years, the blasts of the winds, the wanderings of the stars, the
echoing miracle of thunder, the slanting path of the zodiac, the
annual turnings of the sun, the waxing of the moon when young, her
waning when she has waxed old, and the shadow of her eclipse; of all
these he discovered the laws. Even when he was far advanced into the
vale of years, he evolved a divinely inspired theory concerning the
period of the sun's revolution through the circle in which he moves
in all his majesty. This theory, I may say, I have not only learned
from books, but have also proved its truth by experiment. This theory
Thales is said to have taught soon after its discovery to Mandraytus
of Priene. The latter, fascinated by the strangeness and novelty of
his newly acquired knowledge, bade Thales choose whatever recompense
he might desire in return for such precious instruction. 'It is enough
recompense,' replied Thales the wise, 'if you will refrain from
claiming as your own the theory I have taught you, whenever you begin
to impart it to others, and will proclaim me and no other as the
discoverer of this new law.' In truth that was a noble recompense,
worthy of so great a man and beyond the reach of time. For that
recompense has been paid to Thales down to this very day, and shall be
paid to all eternity by all of us who have realized the truth of his
discoveries concerning the heavens.

Such is the recompense I pay you, citizens of Carthage, through all
the world, in return for the instruction that Carthage gave me as a
boy. Everywhere I boast myself your city's nursling, everywhere and in
every way I sing your praises, do zealous honour to your learning,
give glory to your wealth and reverent worship to your gods. Now,
therefore, I will begin by speaking of the god Aesculapius. With what
more auspicious theme could I engage your ears? For he honours the
citadel of our own Carthage with the protection of his undoubted
presence. See, I will sing to you both in Greek and Latin a hymn
which I have composed to his glory and long since dedicated to him.
For I am well known as a frequenter of his rites, my worship of him is
no new thing, my priesthood has received the smile of his favour, and
ere now I have expressed my veneration for him both in prose and
verse. Even so now I will chant a hymn to his glory both in Greek and
Latin. I have prefaced it with a dialogue likewise in both tongues, in
which Sabidius Severus and Julius Persius shall speak together. They
are men who are deservedly bound alike to one another, and to you and
the public weal by the closest ties of friendship. Both are equally
distinguished for their learning, their eloquence, and their
benevolence. It is difficult to say whether they are more remarkable
for their great moderation, their ready energy, or the distinction of
their career. They are united one to another by the most complete
harmony. There is but one point on which rivalry exists between them,
namely this: they dispute which has the greater love for Carthage; for
this they contend with all their strength and all their soul, and
neither is vanquished in the contest. Thinking, then, that you would
be most delighted to listen to their converse, and that such a theme
suited my powers and would be a welcome offering to the god, I begin
at the outset of my book by making one of my fellow students of Athens
demand of Persius in Greek what was the subject of the declamation
delivered by myself on the previous day in the temple of Aesculapius.
As the dialogue proceeds I introduce Severus to their company. His
part is written in the language of Rome. For Persius, although a
master of Latin, shall yet to-day speak to you in the Attic tongue.

_A story of the physician Asclepiades._

19. The famous Asclepiades, who ranks among the greatest of doctors,
indeed, if you except Hippocrates, as the very greatest, was the first
to discover the use of wine as a remedy. It requires, however, to be
administered at the proper moment, and it was in the discovery of the
right moment that he showed especial skill, noting most carefully the
slightest symptom of disorder or undue rapidity of the pulse. It
chanced that once, when he was returning to town from his country
house, he observed an enormous funeral procession in the suburbs of
the city. A huge multitude of men who had come out to perform the last
honours stood round about the bier, all of them plunged in deep sorrow
and wearing worn and ragged apparel. He asked whom they were burying,
but no one replied; so he went nearer[62] to satisfy his curiosity and
to see who it might be that was dead, or, it may be, in the hope to
make some discovery in the interests of his profession. Be this as it
may, he certainly snatched the man from the jaws of death as he lay
there on the verge of burial. The poor fellow's limbs were already
covered with spices, his mouth filled with sweet-smelling unguent. He
had been anointed and was all ready for the pyre. But Asclepiades
looked upon him, took careful note of certain signs, handled his body
again and again and perceived that the life was still in him, though
scarcely to be detected. Straightway he cried out 'He lives! Throw
down your torches, take away your fire demolish the pyre, take back
the funeral feast and spread it on his board at home'. While he spoke
a murmur arose; some said that they must take the doctor's word,
others mocked at the physician's skill. At last, in spite of the
opposition offered even by his relations, perhaps because they had
already entered into possession of the dead man's property, perhaps
because they did not yet believe his words, Asclepiades persuaded them
to put off the burial for a brief space. Having thus rescued him from
the hands of the undertaker, he carried the man home, as it were from
the very mouth of hell, and straightway revived the spirit within him,
and by means of certain drugs called forth the life that still lay
hidden in the secret places of the body.

[Footnote 62: _uti_ (Beyte) _cognosceret more ingenii_ (MSS.). _more
ingenii_ may be corrupt. If it may stand, it must mean 'as his nature
prompted him', i.e. to satisfy his curiosity.]

_A panegyric on his own talents._

20. There is a remarkable saying of a wise man concerning the
pleasures of the table to the effect that, 'The first glass quenches
thirst, the second makes merry, the third kindles desire, the fourth
madness.' But in the case of a draught from the Muses' fountain the
reverse is true. The more cups you drink and the more undiluted the
draught the better it will be for your soul's good. The first cup is
given by the master that teaches you to read and write and redeems you
from ignorance[63], the second is given by the teacher of literature
and equips you with learning, the third arms you with the eloquence of
the rhetorician. Of these three cups most men drink. I, however, have
drunk yet other cups at Athens--the imaginative draught of poetry, the
clear draught of geometry, the sweet draught of music, the austerer
draught of dialectic, and the nectar of all philosophy, whereof no man
may ever drink enough. For Empedocles composed verse, Plato dialogues,
Socrates hymns, Epicharmus music, Xenophon histories, and Xenocrates
satire. But your friend Apuleius cultivates all these branches of art
together and worships all nine Muses with equal zeal. His enthusiasm
is, I admit, in advance of his capacity, but that perhaps makes him
all the more praiseworthy, inasmuch as in all high enterprises it is
the effort that merits praise, success is after all a matter of
chance. As an illustration I may remind you, that the law punishes
even the premeditation of crime, though the criminal's purpose may
never have been carried out; the hand may be pure, but there is blood
upon the soul, and that suffices. As, then, to call down the doom of
law it suffices to purpose deeds meet for punishment, so to win praise
it is sufficient to essay deeds worthy of the voice of fame; and what
greater or surer claim to praise may any man have than to glorify
Carthage? For you, her citizens, are full of learning to a man, your
boys learn, your young men display, and your old men teach all manner
of knowledge. Carthage is the venerable instructress of our province,
Carthage is the heavenly muse of Africa, Carthage is the fount whence
all the Roman world draws draughts of inspiration.

[Footnote 63: _litteratoris, ruditate_ (Krüger).]

_An excuse for delay caused by social duties._

21. Sometimes even when haste is most incumbent on us, the delays that
slow our progress may bring such honour, that often we shall be glad
to have been thwarted of our purpose. For instance, take the case of
persons who are compelled to journey in such high haste, that they
prefer the perils of the saddle to a seat in a carriage on account of
the trouble caused by their baggage, the weight of the vehicle, the
delays to progress, the roughness of the track, not to mention the
boulders that beset the route, the tree trunks fallen across the way,
the rivers that intersect the level, and the steep slopes of the
mountains. Well, then, those who wish to avoid all these obstacles
select a horse of tried endurance, mettle, and speed, that is to say,
one strong to bear and swift to go, like the horse described by
Lucilius that

     _With one sole stride o'erpasses plain and hill._

None the less, if as this horse bears them along on the wings of his
speed, they chance to see some great personage, a man of noble birth,
high wisdom, and universal fame, then, however pressing their haste,
they refrain their speed that they may do him honour, slacken their
pace and rein in their horse: then straightway leaping to the ground
they transfer to their left hand the switch, which they carry
wherewith to beat the horse, and with right hand thus left free
approach the great man and salute him. If it please him for a while to
ask questions of them, they will walk with him for a while and talk
with him: in fact they will gladly suffer any amount of delay in the
performance of the duty which they owe him.

_On the Virtues of Crates._

22. Crates, the well-known disciple of Diogenes, was honoured at
Athens by the men of his own day as though he had been a household
god. No house was ever closed to him, no head of a family had ever so
close a secret as to regard Crates as an unseasonable intruder: he was
always welcome; there was never a quarrel, never a lawsuit between
kinsfolk, but he was accepted as mediator and his word was law. The
poets tell that Hercules of old by his valour subdued all the wild
monsters of legend, beast or man, and purged all the world of them.
Even so our philosopher was a very Hercules in the conquest of anger,
envy, avarice, lust, and all the other monstrous sins that beset the
human soul. He expelled all these pests from their minds, purged
households, and tamed vice. Nay, he too went half-naked and was
distinguished by the club he carried, aye, and he sprang from that
same Thebes, where Hercules, men say, was born. Even before he became
Crates pure and simple, he was accounted one of the chief men in
Thebes: his family was noble, his establishment numerous, his house
had a fair and ample porch: his lands were rich and his clothing
sumptuous. But later, when he understood that the wealth which had
been transmitted to him, carried with it no safeguard whereon he might
lean as on a staff in the ways of life, but that all was fragile and
transitory, that all the wealth that is in all the world was of no
assistance to a virtuous life....

_On the uncertainty of fortune._

23. Imagine some good ship, wrought by skilled hands, well built
within and fairly adorned without, with rudder answering to the touch,
taut rigging, lofty mast, resplendent tops, and shining sails; in a
word, supplied with all such gear as may serve either for use or the
delight of the eye. Imagine all this and then think how easily, if the
tempest and no helmsman be her guide, the deep may engulf her or the
reefs grind her to pieces with all her goodly gear. Again, when
physicians enter a sick man's house to visit him, none of them bids
the invalid be of good cheer on account of the exquisite balconies
with which they see the house to be adorned, nor on account of the
fretted ceilings all overlaid with gold, or the multitudes of handsome
boys and youths that stand about the couch in his chamber. Rather the
physician sits down by the man's bedside, takes his hand, feels it and
explores the beat and movements of the pulse. If he discovers any
irregularity or disorder, he informs his patient that he is seriously
ill. Our rich man is bidden fast: on that day mid all the abundant
store of his own house, he touches not even bread: and meanwhile all
his slaves feast and are merry, and their servile state makes no
difference to them.

_An improvisation._

24. You have asked me to give you an improvisation. Listen then. You
have heard me speak prepared, now hear me unprepared. I think I risk
but little in making an attempt to speak without premeditation in view
of the extraordinary approval which I have won by my set speeches. For
having pleased you by more serious efforts, I have no fear of
displeasing you when I speak on a frivolous subject. But in order that
you may know me in all my infinite variety, make trial of me in what
Lucilius called

     _The improviser's formless art_,

and see whether I have the same skill at short notice as I have after
preparation; if indeed there be any of you who have never heard the
trifles I toss off on the spur of the moment. You will listen to them
with the same critical exactitude that I have bestowed on their
composition, but with greater complaisance, I hope, than I can feel in
reciting them. For prudent judges are wont to judge finished works by
a somewhat severe standard, but are far more complaisant to
improvisations. For you weigh and examine all that is actually
written, but in the case of extempore speaking pardon and criticism go
hand in hand, as it is right they should. For what we read forth from
manuscript will remain such as it was when set down, even though you
say nothing, but those words which I must utter now and the travail of
whose birth you must share with me, will be just such as your favour
shall make them. For the more I modify my style to suit your taste,
the more I shall please you.[64] I see that you hear me gladly. From
this moment it lies with you to furl or spread my sails, that they
hang not slack and drooping nor be reefed and brailed.

[Footnote 64: _modificabor, tanto a vobis in maius tolletur._ So all
editions before Van der Vliet. The words _tanto ... tolletur_ have no
MS. support, but some such insertion is necessary for the sense.]

I will try to apply the saying of Aristippus. Aristippus was the
founder of the Cyrenaic school of philosophy and was a disciple of
Socrates--a fact which he regarded as the greater honour of the two. A
certain tyrant asked him what benefit he had derived from so long and
so devoted a study of philosophy. 'It has given me the power,' replied
Aristippus, 'to converse with all men without fear or concern.'

My speech has begun with a certain abruptness of expression due to the
suddenness with which the subject suggested itself to me. It is as
though I were building a loose wall in which one must be content to
pile the stones haphazard without filling the interior with rubble,
levelling the front, or making all lines true to rule. For in building
up this speech I shall not bring stones from my own quarry, hewn
foursquare and planed on all sides with their outer edge cut smooth
and level, so that the nail slips lightly over it. No! at every point
I must fit in material that is rough and uneven, or slippery and
smooth, or jagged, projecting and angular, or round and rolling. There
will be no correction by rule, no measure or proportion, no attention
to the perpendicular. For it is impossible to produce a thing on the
spur of the moment and to give it careful consideration, nor is there
anything in the world that can hope at one and the same time to be
praised for its care and admired for its speed.

_The fable of the fox and the crow._

25. I have complied with the desire of certain persons who just now
begged me to speak extempore. But, by Hercules, I fear that I may
suffer the fate that befell the crow in Aesop's fable: namely, that in
the attempt to win this new species of glory I may lose the little I
have already acquired. What is this parable, you ask me? I will gladly
turn fabulist for awhile. A crow and a fox caught sight of a morsel of
food at the same moment and hurried to seize it. Their greed was
equal, but their speed was not. Reynard ran, but the crow flew, with
the result that the bird was too quick for the quadruped, sailed down
the wind on extended pinions, outstripped and forestalled him. Then,
rejoicing at his victory in the race for the booty, the crow flew into
a neighbouring oak and sat out of reach on the topmost bough. The fox
being unable to hurl a stone, launched a trick at him and reached him.
For coming up to the foot of the tree, he stopped there, and seeing
the robber high above him exulting in his booty, began to praise him
with cunning words. 'Fool that I was thus vainly to contend with
Apollo's bird! For his body is exquisitely proportioned, neither
exceeding small nor yet too large, but just of the size demanded by
use and beauty; his plumage is soft, his head sharp and fine, his beak
strong. Nay, more, he has wings with which to follow, keen eyes with
which to see, and claws with which to seize his prey. As for his
colour, what can I say? There are two transcendent hues, the blackness
of pitch and the whiteness of snow, the colours that distinguish night
and day. Both of these hues Apollo has given to the birds he loves,
white to the swan and black to the crow. Would he had given the latter
a voice like the sweet song he has conferred upon the swan, that so
fair a bird, so far excelling all the fowls of the air, might not
live, as now he lives, voiceless, the darling of the god of eloquence,
but himself mute and tongueless.' When the crow heard that, though
possessed of so many qualities, there yet lacked this one, he was
seized with a desire to utter as loud a cry as possible, that the swan
might not have the advantage of him in this respect at any rate, and
forgetting the morsel which he held in his beak, he opened his mouth
to its widest extent, and thus lost by his song what his wings had won
him, while the fox recovered by craft what his feet had lost him. Let
us reduce this fable to the smallest number of words possible. The
crow, to prove himself musical--for the fox pretended that this, the
absence of a voice, was the sole slur on such exquisite beauty--began
to croak, and delivered over the spoil which he carried in his mouth
to the enemy who had thus ensnared him.

_A transition from Greek to Latin._

26. I have known for a long time what it is your demonstrations
demand: namely, that I should deal with the rest of my material in
Latin. For I remember that at the very beginning, when you were
divided in opinion, I promised that neither party among you, neither
those who insisted on Greek nor those who insisted on Latin, should go
away without hearing the language he desired. Wherefore, if it seems
good to you, let us consider that my speech has been Attic long
enough. It is time to migrate from Greece to Latium. For we are now
almost half through our inquiry and, as far as I can see, the second
half does not yield to the first part which I have delivered in Greek.
It is as strong in argument, as full of epigram, as rich in
illustration and as admirable in style.



CHAPTER 1. _Claudius Maximus_, proconsul of Africa, is spoken of as
having succeeded Lollianus Avitus. Lollianus Avitus was consul in 144
A.D. As ten to thirteen years usually elapsed between tenure of the
consulate and proconsulate, Lollianus Avitus may have been proconsul
154-7 A.D., and Claudius Maximus 155-8 A.D.

_gentlemen who sit beside him on the bench._ The governor of the
province, when holding his assize, would be assisted by a _consilium_
of assessors drawn partly from his staff, partly from the local
_conventus civium Romanorum_.

_Granii._ Nothing is known of this suit. Granii are mentioned as
connexions of Lollius Urbicus (C.I.L. viii. 6705).

CHAPTER 2. _Lollius Urbicus_ is described a few lines lower down as
_praefectus urbi_, which is borne out by an inscription (C.I.L. vi.
28). The lawsuit of Aemilianus must therefore have been heard at Rome.
The explanation of the words _quam quidem vocem_, &c., which follow,
imply that Lollius was now in Numidia. This is possible enough since
an inscription (C.I.L. viii. 6705) proves him to have been a native of
Tiddis in Numidia. The _praefectus urbi_ was assisted by a
_consilium_, not by _iudices_. Here the members of the _consilium_ are
described as _consulares_. [Cp. Karlowa, Röm. Rechtgesch., p. 551.]

CHAPTER 4. _not merely in Latin but also in Greek._ Cp. Florida,
chaps. 18 and 26.

_Tannonius Pudens_, an advocatus of the accusers and, presumably, a

_Homer_, sc. Il. iii. 65.

_Pythagoras_, inventor of the term [Greek: philosophia]; cp. Diog.
Laert. i, proem. 12. He was a native of Samos and migrated to Croton.
See Florida, chap. 15. Floruit circa 530 B.C.

_Zeno_ of Velia or Elea in Lucania was the founder of dialectic.
Floruit circa 450 B.C.

_self inconsistency._ The phrase _argumenta ambifariam dissolvere_ is
very obscure. I am indebted to Professor Cook Wilson for the following
note. 'A comparison of the passage with the captious argument of
Protagoras (Florida, chap. 17, _ambifariam proposuit_), which is in
the form of a dilemma, might suggest that _ambifariam_ in both places
means "by dilemma". But this is not a natural way of describing the
method of Zeno. The characteristic of his philosophy was, according to
tradition, that he tried to prove the thesis of Parmenides negatively
by disproving the hypothesis contradictory to it. The disproof
consisted in showing that the hypothesis in question involved a
contradiction. If, therefore, _ambifariam_ means "by dilemma" it would
appear that Apuleius did not understand the true characteristic of
Zeno's method; for _dissolvere_ should refer to Zeno's method of
disproof, which is not properly called dilemma.

'But perhaps it is not necessary to assume such a mistake on the part
of Apuleius. _Ambifariam_ may mean "ambiguously" in the sense of
involving both sides of a contradiction (i.e. both of two
contradictory propositions). This would suit the Protagoras passage
well, for the argument, as the context shows, involves a
contradiction. Zeno's argumentation also could be correctly described
as _ambifariam dissolvere_, because he refuted the thesis opposed to
that of Parmenides by showing that it involves a contradiction. Then
the meaning of the passage would be that Zeno's cleverness
(_sollertissimum artificium_) lay in the use of the _reductio ad
absurdum_ argument. In that case the translation would be as given in
the text.' I find a confirmation of Professor Cook Wilson's view in
the following line, cited from Timon of Phlius by Diog. Laert. ix. v.
2, where the word [Greek: amphoteroglôssos] is used with reference to
Zeno's methods of argument, sc. [Greek: amphoteroglôssou te mega
sthenos ouk alapadnon].

_Plato_, sc. Parmenides, 127_b_.

_capital charge._ There is an untranslatable pun here, _capitalis_
bearing the double meaning 'capital' and 'pertaining to the head'.

CHAPTER 5. _Statius Caecilius_, one of the most famous writers of
comedy. He died 168 B.C.

CHAPTER 6. _tooth-powder_, clearly a magical compound according to the

_Catullus_, sc. xxxix. 17-21.

CHAPTER 7. _the barrier of the teeth._ Homer, Odyss. i. 64.

CHAPTER 8. _the crocodile._ See Herodotus ii. 68.

CHAPTER 9. _Teian_, sc. Anacreon, circa 520 B.C.

_Lacedaemonian_, sc. Alcman, circa 650 B.C.

_Cean_, sc. Simonides, circa 520 B.C.

_Lesbian_, sc. Sappho, circa 600 B.C.

_Aedituus_, _Porcius_, _Catulus_, erotic epigrammatists of the
Republican period, 130-100 B.C. The latter was Marius' colleague in
the Cimbrian wars.

_Solon._ The line ascribed to Solon is almost too gross in the
original to be genuine.

_Diogenes_, the founder of the Cynic school (died 324 B.C.), wrote
'concerning marriage and the begetting of children' in an erotic
fashion. Diog. Laert. vi. 2. 12.

_Zeno_ of Citium, founder of the Stoic school (died 264 B.C.), wrote
an 'art of love'. Diog. Laert. vii. 21. 29.

CHAPTER 10. _Ticidas_, an erotic poet, contemporary with Catullus and,
like him, belonging to the Alexandrian school.

_Lucilius_, the first of Rome's great satirists (148-103 B.C.),
famous for the extraordinary vigour with which he lashed the vices of
the age. The allusion in the present passage is unknown, though a
fragment is preserved containing the name of Macedo and possibly also
of Gentius (cp. Baehrens, Fragm. Poet. Rom., p. 168).

_the Mantuan poet._ Vergil, Ecl. ii.

_Serranus_, the cognomen of Atilius Regulus, consul 257 B.C., the
famous Regulus of the first Punic war.

_Curius_ Dentatus, thrice consul, and victor over the Samnites and

_Fabricius_, general in the war against Pyrrhus. Consul in 282 and 278
B.C. These three great soldiers were selected as types of Roman
virtue. Cp. Verg. Aen. vi. 485.

_Dion_, brother-in-law and son-in-law of Dionysius II, tyrant of
Syracuse, the friend and pupil of Plato, and for a brief space tyrant
of Syracuse.

CHAPTER 11. _Catullus_ xvi. 5.

_Hadrian_, Emperor, 117-138 A.D.

_Voconius_, mentioned here only.

CHAPTER 12. _Venus is not one goddess but two._ For this doctrine see
Plato's Symposium, p. 181.

_Afranius_, the most famous writer of purely Roman comedy (_fabulae
togatae_), floruit circa 110 B.C.

CHAPTER 13. _Ennius_ (239-169 B.C.), the 'father of Roman Poetry'. Cp.
Cic. de Or. ii. 156 'ac sic decrevi philosophari potius ut Neoptolemus
apud Ennium "paucis: nam omnino haud placet"'.

_the mirror_, clearly regarded by the accusers, though Apuleius does
not say so, as a magical instrument.

CHAPTER 15. _The Lacedaemonian Agesilaus_, the greatest of the Spartan
kings, 440-360 B.C. Cp. Cic. ad Fam. v. 12.

_Socrates._ Cp. Diog. Laert. ii. 5, 33.

_Demosthenes_ and _Plato_. Cp. Quint. xii. 2. 22 and 10. 23.

_Eubulides_, a sophist of Miletus. Cp. Diog. Laert. ii. 10. 4.

_the orator when he wrangles_, &c. The pun on _iurgari_, 'wrangles,'
and _obiurgari_, 'rebukes,' can scarcely be reproduced. 'Disproves'
and 'disapproves' would weaken the translation.

_Epicurus_ of Samos, born 342 B.C. For his views on vision cp. Lucret.
iv. 156, on mirrors, 293.

_Plato._ Cp. Timaeus, p. 46 A, 'Within the eyes they (the gods)
planted that variety of fire which does not burn, but it is called
light homogeneous with the light without. We are enabled to see in the
daytime, because the light within our eyes pours out through the
centre of them and commingles with the light without. The two being
thus confounded together transmit movements from every object they
touch through the eye inward to the soul, and thus bring about the
sensation of the sight.' Grote's Plato iii. 265.

_Archytas_ of Tarentum, a Pythagorean (circa 400 B.C.). _The
Stoics_--believed that sight consisted in a refined fluid or visual
effluence proceeding from the central intelligence through the eyes.
'In the process of seeing, the [Greek: horatikon pneuma] (visual
effluence) coming into the eyes from the [Greek: hêgemonikon] (central
intelligence) gives a spherical form to the air before the eye by
virtue of its [Greek: tonikê kinêsis] (i.e. the tension it sets up),
and by means of the sphere of air comes in contact with things; and
since by this process rays of light emanate from the eye, darkness
must be visible.' Zeller, The Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics, p.
209, note. Cp. Plut. Plac. Phil. iv. 15.

CHAPTER 16. _two rival images of the sun._ Apparently an allusion to
the phenomenon of mock suns. Archimedes had, according to Apuleius,
treated of the rainbow and the mock sun in connexion with his
researches into mirrors.

CHAPTER 17. _Marcus Antonius_, the orator, born 143 B.C., Consul 99

_Carbo_, consul 85-82 B.C., one of the leaders of the Marian party
and the chief opponent of Sulla after Marius' death.

_Manius Curius._ See note on chap. 10.

_Marcus Cato_, consul in 195 B.C., conducted a successful campaign in
Spain in that and the following year.

CHAPTER 18. _Aristides_, the Athenian statesman and general, surnamed
the just, died circa 468 B.C.

_Phocion_, an Athenian general and statesman, born 402 B.C., died 317
B.C. He was famous for his virtue and his poverty.

_Epaminondas_, the great Theban general who fell at Mantinea, 362 B.C.
He was of noble birth but poor.

_Fabricius._ See note on chap. 10.

_Gnaeus Scipio._ Cp. Val. Max. iv. 4. 10. 'In the second Punic war
Gnaeus Scipio wrote to the senate from Spain, begging that he might be
replaced in his command. For his daughter was now of marriageable age,
but could not be provided with a dowry during his absence from Rome.'

_Publicola_ (_Valerius_), colleague of Brutus in the consulship in the
first year of the Republic.

_Agrippa_, Menenius, consul 503 B.C., mediator between the _plebs_ and
the nobles in 493 B.C., in which year he died.

_Atilius Regulus._ See note on _Serranus_, chap. 10.

CHAPTER 20. _Philus_, a sceptical academician, one of the circle of
Scipio Africanus the younger.

_Laelius_, the intimate friend of the younger Africanus.

_Crassus_, the famous financier, triumvir with Caesar and Pompey.

CHAPTER 22. _Crates._ See Florida 14 for some account of him. The rest
of the poem on his wallet is preserved by Diog. Laert. vi. 5. 1, but
is scarcely worth quoting.

_Antisthenes_, the founder of the Cynic school of philosophy,
flourished circa 366 B.C. He was the teacher of Diogenes.

CHAPTER 24. _Lollianus Avitus._ See note on Claudius Maximus, chap.

_Anacharsis_, a Scythian prince who travelled far in search of
knowledge. He came to Athens in the time of Solon and created a great
impression by his wisdom.

_Meletides_ (or more properly Melitides) was an Athenian of proverbial
stupidity, whose name was synonymous for blockhead. Eustathius on
Odyss. x. 552, says that he could not count above five or distinguish
between his father and mother!

_Syphax_, king of the Massaesyli in W. Numidia, fought for the
Carthaginians during the second Punic war, and was finally defeated
and captured by Scipio in 203 B.C. After his fall _Masinissa_, King of
the Massyli, was left supreme in Numidia.

_duumvir._ The chief magistrates in a _colonia_ were styled _duumviri
iure dicundo_.

_the dignity of my position._ This is generally interpreted as meaning
that Apuleius himself had become _duumvir_. It is more likely,
considering his age and his continued absences from Madaura, that it
means merely the position acquired for him by his father's
distinguished office.

CHAPTER 25. _Magician is the Persian word for priest._ 'The name
_magi_ applied to all workers of miracles, strictly designates the
priests of Mazdeism, and well-attested tradition made certain Persians
the inventors of genuine magic, the magic which the Middle Ages styled
the black art. If they did not invent it, for it is as old as
humanity, they were at least the first to give magic a doctrinal basis
and to assign it a place in a well-defined theological system.... By
the Alexandrian period, books attributed to Zoroaster, Hostanes, and
Hystaspes were translated into Greek.' Cumont, Les Religions
Orientales dans le Paganisme Romain, p. 227. Cp. Pliny, N.H. xxx. 7.
_Plato_, Alcibiades i. 121 E.

_Zoroaster, son of Oromazes_, the founder of the ancient religion of
Persia (Mazdeism).

CHAPTER 26. _Plato._ The allusion is to Charmides, p. 157 A. Socrates
offers Charmides a charm to cure the headache. But the charm will do
more than cure the headache. 'I learnt it, when serving with the army,
of one of the physicians of the Thracian King Zamolxis. He was one of
those who are said to give immortality. This Thracian said to me ...
"Zamolxis, our king, who is also a god, says that as you ought not to
attempt to cure the eyes without the head or the head without the
eyes, so neither ought you to attempt to cure the body without the
soul," ... "For all good and evil, whether in the body or in human
nature, originates, as he declared, in the soul, and overflows from
thence, as from the head into the eyes. And therefore if the head and
body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul; that is the
first thing. And the cure has to be effected by the use of certain
charms, _and these charms are fair words_; and by them temperance is
implanted in the soul, and where temperance is, there health is
speedily implanted, not only to the head, but to the whole body."'
(Jowett's Translation.) Apuleius scarcely makes a fair use of Plato's
words, which he has so far detached from their context as to give them
almost entirely a new meaning.

_Zamolxis_, probably an indigenous deity of the Getae. Greek legend
made him a Getan slave of Pythagoras, who on manumission went home,
became priest of the chief deity of the Getae, and taught the
Pythagorean doctrine of the immortality of the soul.

CHAPTER 27. _Anaxagoras_ of Clazomenae, born about 499 B.C. He came to
Athens and had great influence there, being the friend of Pericles and
Euripides. He was, however, banished for unorthodoxy and died at
Lampsacus aged 72.

_Leucippus_, the founder of the atomic theory. His exact date and
place of birth are uncertain.

_Democritus_ of Abdera, born about 450 B.C. He developed the atomic
theory of Leucippus.

_Epicurus_, like Democritus and Leucippus, maintained the atomic
theory. Cp. note on chap. 15.

_Epimenides_, a seer and prophet of Crete who purified Athens of the
plague with which she was afflicted in consequence of the crime of
Cylon, circa 596 B.C.

_Ostanes_, or Hostanes, a famous semi-fabulous magician of Persia.

_the 'purifications' of Empedocles._ Empedocles of Agrigentum
(flourished circa 450 B.C.) wrote a poem of 3,000 lines, entitled
'purifications' ([Greek: katharmoi]). In this he recommended good
moral conduct as a means of averting epidemics and other evils. But as
a fragment quoted by Diog. Laert. viii. 59, shows, he claimed also to
have power over the winds.

_the 'demon' of Socrates_, the divine sign or voice [Greek:
daimonion], which is represented by Socrates as having guided his
actions, is never spoken of by him in terms that would lead us to
suppose that he regarded it as a familiar spirit, though it is so
treated by later writers (e.g. Plutarch, de genio Socratis, and
Apuleius, de deo Socratis).

_the 'good' of Plato._ The reference is probably to the identification
of [Greek: to agathon] with the [Greek: dêmiourgos] the creator spoken
of in the Timaeus.

CHAPTER 30. _Vergil._ Cp. Ecl. viii. 64-82. Aen. iv. 513-16.

_the wondrous talisman._ The allusion is to the _hippomanes_ or growth
said to be found on the forehead of a new-born foal. Unless the mother
was prevented she devoured it.

_Theocritus_, sc. Id. ii.

_Homer_, e.g. the adventures with Circe.

_Orpheus._ See the Orphica (Abel), _Fr._ 172; Argonaut. 955 sqq.
Lithica 172 sqq.

_Laevius._ The MSS. give Laelius. But no poet Laelius is known. There
was, however, a poet _Laevius_ at the beginning of the first century

_the lover's knot._ The Latin is _antipathes_, explained by Abt
(Apologie des Apuleius, p. 103) as _quod mutuum affectum provocat_.

_the magic wheel_ spun rapidly to draw the beloved to the lover. Cp.
Theocr. ii. 30. 'And as this brazen wheel spins, so may Delphis be
spun by Aphrodite to my door.'

_nails._ Portions of the beloved were valuable ingredients in charms.
Cp. Apul. Metamorph. bk. iii, 16, 17, where hair from the beloved's
head is required.

_ribbons_ used as fillets during the ritual. Cp. chap. 30, 'soft

_the two-tailed lizard._ Theocr. ii. 57, testifies to the use of the
lizard as a love charm. A magic papyrus from Egypt (Griffiths
Thompson, col. xiii (23), p. 97) mentions a two-tailed lizard as an
ingredient in a charm to cause death.

_the charm that glads_, &c., sc. _hippomanes_; see note on preceding

CHAPTER 31. _Homer._ Iliad xi. 741. Odyssey iv. 229.

_Proteus._ Odyssey iv. 364.

_Ulysses._ Odyssey xi. 25.

_Aeolus._ Odyssey x. 19.

_Helen._ Odyssey iv. 59.

_Circe._ Odyssey x. 234.

_Venus._ Iliad xiv. 214.

_Mercury._ Cp. the magic hymn contained in a magical papyrus (Papyr.
Lond. 46. 414). 'Thou art told of as foreknower of the fates and as
the godlike dream sending oracles both by day and night.'

_Trivia_ = Hecate.

_Salacia_, a Roman sea-goddess, the wife of Neptune.

_Portumnus_, the Roman harbour-god.

CHAPTER 32. _Menelaus._ Hom. Odyss. iv. 368.

CHAPTER 35. _A shell for the making of a will._ The pun _testa ad
testamentum_ cannot be reproduced in English.

_seaweed for an ague._ Here again there is an untranslatable jest.
_Alga_ (seaweed) suggests _algere_, 'to be cold,' one of the symptoms
of the ague (_querceram_).

CHAPTER 36. _Theophrastus_ of Eresus, the favourite pupil of

_Eudemus_ of Rhodes, also a disciple of Aristotle.

_Lycon_ of Troas, a distinguished Peripatetic philosopher (floruit
circa 272 B.C.).

CHAPTER 39. _Quintus Ennius_, 239-169 B.C. The lines which follow are
all that survive of the Hedyphagetica. They seem to be closely
imitated from the Gastronomia of Archestratus quoted by Athenaeus iii,
pp. 92. 300. 318. There is great uncertainty as to the text, and but
few of the fish mentioned can be identified with any certainty.

CHAPTER 40. _Homer._ Odyssey xix. 456.

CHAPTER 41. _And yet it is a greater crime_, &c. An allusion to the
vegetarianism of the Pythagoreans and others.

_Nicander_ of Colophon, an Alexandrian didactic poet. The [Greek:
thêriaka] survives, is over 1,000 lines long, and deals with the bites
of wild beasts.

_Plato._ The words are not actually found in Plato's extant works;
Apuleius is probably slightly misquoting Timaeus 59_c_.

CHAPTER 42. _Varro_ (Marcus Terentius), 116-28 B.C. The most learned
and voluminous of Roman authors.

_an image of Mercury._ Clearly the reference is to some such practice
as that of 'screeing' in the ink-pool. Cp. Kinglake, Eothen, chap. 18.

_Cato_ (the famous Marcus Cato, see chap. 17, note) was priest of
Apollo and received offerings to the god.

CHAPTER 43. _Plato._ Sympos. 202, where [Greek: daimones] are spoken
of as powers 'which interpret and convey to the gods the prayers and
sacrifices of men and to men the commands and rewards of gods.' Also
cp. de deo Socratis, chap. 6.

_fair and unblemished of body._ Beauty and virginity are insisted on
in various passages in the magical papyri (see Abt op. cit., p. 185)
as necessary in the boy through whom the god is to speak. Cp. also
Benvenuto Cellini's Autobiography (Symond's Translation, p. 126, ed.

_Pythagoras._ 'I think also it was said by the Pythagoreans respecting
those who teach for the sake of reward, that they show themselves to
be worse than statuaries or those artists who perform their work
sitting. For these, when some one orders them to make a statue of
Hermes, search for wood adapted to the reception of the proper form;
but those pretend that they can readily produce the works of virtue
from every nature.' Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, chap. 34 (Taylor's

CHAPTER 44. _as might fairly be produced at a sacrifice_, &c. The
divination is preceded by sacrifice just as in Benvenuto Cellini (loc.
cit.) the sorcerer first burns incense. The head is touched as being
the source from which the oracle is to proceed (_arx et regia_, chap.
50). The clean robe is necessary, to ritual purity and is mentioned
more than once in the magic papyri.

CHAPTER 45. _Gagates_ is, according to Pliny, N.H. xxxvi. 141, 2, a
black smooth stone, resembling pumice. It is light and fragile and
differs but little from wood. When powdered it emits a strong odour;
when burned it smells sulphurous, and, wonderful to relate, it is
kindled by water and extinguished by oil.

CHAPTER 47. _Twelve Tables._ In this, the earliest Roman code,
punishment was imposed on any person _qui fruges excantassit_, or _qui
malum carmen incantassit_. Pliny, N.H. xxviii. 2. 17.

_Quindecimvirs._ The _quindecimviri sacris faciundis_ were priests of
Apollo and had charge of the Sibylline books.

CHAPTER 49. _The Timaeus_, pp. 82-6.

The _three powers that make up the soul_ are those mentioned in the
Timaeus, 35 sqq., i.e. _Same_, _Other_, and _Essence_.

CHAPTER 50. _The Comitial sickness_, so called because, if a case of
epilepsy occurred during the meeting of the _comitia_, the assembly
was immediately broken up.

CHAPTER 51. _The Problems._ Aristot. Fr. ed. Rose, p. 181.

_Theophrastus_, cp. fragm. 175_w_. Diog. Laert. v. 2. 13.

CHAPTER 52. _Thallus contracts his hands_, &c. 'Thallus manus
contrahit, tu patronos.' The pun is (_a_) bad and (_b_) untranslatable
into reasonably good English. The literal meaning is 'Thallus
contracts his hands, you collect advocates'.

CHAPTER 55. _The comrades of Ulysses_, &c. Odyss. x. 28-55.

_Aesculapius._ Cp. Florida 18.

_the mysteries of father Liber._ The mysterious object is probably the
mystic casket (_cista_) containing the [Greek: phallos], emblem of

CHAPTER 56. _The followers of Orpheus and Pythagoras_ abstained from
the slaying of animals for the service of man. Cp. Herodotus ii. 81.

_Mezentius._ Cp. Verg. Aen. vii. 647 'contemptor divom'.

CHAPTER 57. _Ulysses._ Odyss i. 58.

CHAPTER 62. _High and low through all the town._ The pun on _oppido_,
'exceedingly,' and _oppido_, 'town,' does not admit of reproduction.

CHAPTER 64. _The Phaedrus_, 247. 'For the immortal souls, when they
are at the end of their course, go out and stand upon the back of
heaven, and the revolution of the spheres carries them round and they
behold the world beyond. Now of the heaven which is above the heavens,
no earthly poet has sung or ever will sing in a worthy manner. But I
must tell, for I am bound to speak truly when speaking of the truth.
The colourless and formless and intangible essence is visible to the
mind, which is the only lord of the soul. Circling around this in the
region above the heavens is the place of true knowledge.' (Jowett's

_The King._ The passage quoted is from Plato, Epist. ii, p. 312 (403).
It goes on to say 'and he is the cause of all things that are
beautiful'. Compare the [Greek: nous basileus] identified with the
cosmic soul in the Philebus 29E-30A.

CHAPTER 65. _The Laws_, pp. 955, 6. It is possible that [Greek:
monoxylon] may mean 'of one wood only'.

CHAPTER 66. _Marcus Antonius_, _Cnaeus Carbo_, &c. Of these _causes
célèbres_ nothing is known worthy of mention here. Apuleius errs in
saying that Mucius accused Albucius. As a matter of fact Albucius
accused Mucius on the ground of extortion. Cp. Cic. Brut. 26. 102. For
the suit between Metellus and Curio cp. Ascon. in Cornel. 63. Cnaeus
Norbanus should probably be Caius Norbanus, and Caius Furius, Lucius
Fufius. Cp. Cic. de Off. ii. 14. 49, de Or. ii. 21. 89, and Cic. Brut.
62. 222, de Off. ii. 14. 50.

CHAPTER 73. _A discourse in public._ Fragments of such discourses are
to be found in the Florida.

CHAPTER 75. _His gold rings._ By the time of Hadrian the wearing of a
gold ring (_ius anuli aurei_) was no more than a sign of free birth,
and the only privilege conferred was that of obtaining office. See
_Anulus_, Dict. Ant.

CHAPTER 78. _When you dance in those characters._ Tragedy proper had
been replaced on the Roman stage by the _saltica fabula_, in which the
_pantomimus_ executed a mimetic dance illustrating a libretto sung by
a chorus.

CHAPTER 81. _Palamedes_ was famous for having detected the pretended
madness of Ulysses, by which he sought to avoid going upon the
expedition to Troy. Ulysses was ploughing and Palamedes placed the
infant Telemachus in front of the ploughshare. Ulysses revealed his
sanity by stopping the plough.

_Sisyphus_, King of Corinth, was famous as a master of all manner of
deceit, outwitting even the arch-thief Autolycus. He was finally cast
into Tartarus for having discovered the amour of Zeus with the nymph

_Eurybates_ (or Eurybatus) coupled with Phrynondas by Plato
(Protagoras 327). He was an Ephesian sent by Croesus to Greece with a
large sum of money to hire mercenaries. He betrayed his trust and went
over to Cyrus.

_Phrynondas_, a stranger (probably a Boeotian) who lived at Athens
during the Peloponnesian war and became proverbial as a scoundrel.

_clowns and pantaloons._ _Maccus_ and _Bucco_ were stock characters in
the Atellan farce.

CHAPTER 85. _The viper._ This superstition arises from the fact that
the viper does not lay eggs, but is viviparous.

_a well-known line._ The author is unknown.

CHAPTER 87. _Quite at home in Greek._ See note on chap. 4.

CHAPTER 88. _The line so well known in comedy._ The reading nearest to
the MSS. would be [Greek: paidôn ep' apotô, gnêsiôn epi spora] (Van
der Vliet). Unless, however, the phrase [Greek: paidôn ep' apotô
gnêsiôn] is a stock phrase which occurred in more than one comedy,
which might perhaps be argued from the plural _comoediis_, there can
be no doubt that the words [Greek: epi spora] are interpolated,
inasmuch as the line occurs in the fragment of the [Greek:
perikeiromenê] of Menander, discovered at Oxyrhynchus by Drs.
Greenfell and Hunt (Ox. Pap. ii, No. 211, p. 11 sqq.), and runs as

                 [Greek: tautên gnêsiôn
     paidôn ep' apotô soi didômi. Pol. lambanô].

_Serranus._ See note on chap. 10.

CHAPTER 89. _Multiplying by four._ The pun in the word _quadruplator_
cannot be reproduced in English. The name was given to a public
informer who sued for a fourfold penalty.

_a slip in the gesture._ Bede (Op. Colon., MDCXII, vol. i, p. 132 _b_)
says, 'When you say ten, you will place the nail of the forefinger
against the middle joint of the thumb, when you say thirty, you will
join the nails of thumb and forefinger in a gentle embrace.' Here the
MSS. read _adperisse_, which suggests _aperuisse_. But _aperuisse_
does not naturally express the gesture described by Bede, and Helm's
emendation _adgessisse_ seems necessary.

CHAPTER 90. _Carmendas_, _Damigeron_, &c. _Carmendas_ is unknown.
_Damigeron_ is mentioned elsewhere as a magician (Tertull. de Anima,
57), but nothing is known of him. _Moses_ appears as a magician in the
magical papyri (Griffiths Thompson pap. col. v, p. 47 (13)). The
miracles wrought by Moses in Egypt sufficiently account for this.
_Jannes_, one of the Egyptian magicians worsted by Moses. Cp. Epistle
to Timothy ii. 3. 8. _Apollobex_, a magician named _Apollobeches_ is
mentioned by Pliny, N.H. xxx. 9, as also is _Dardanus_. For _Ostanes_
and _Zoroaster_ see chaps. 25 and 27, notes.

CHAPTER 95. _Cato_, the earliest of the great orators of Rome: for his
excellences see Cicero, Brutus, 65 sqq. (Cp. note on chap. 17).

_Laelius_, see note on chap. 20. Cicero selects _lenitas_ as the chief
characteristic of his style (de Orat. iii. 7. 28).

_Gracchus_ (Caius Sempronius) was famous for the fire of his oratory
(cp. Cic. Brut. 125, 126, de Orat. iii. 56. 214).

_Caesar_ is generally praised chiefly for _elegantia_ in his oratory,
rather than for his warmth (cp. Cic. Brut. 252, 261, Quint. x. 1.

_Hortensius_, Cicero's chief rival: a master of the Asiatic style (cp.
Cic. Brut. 228, 9. 302, 3. 325-8).

_Calvus_, a contemporary of Cicero. One of the chief representatives
of the Attic style (cp. Cic. Brut. 283).

_Sallust_, the famous historian.

CHAPTER 98. _The garb of manhood._ He had already assumed the _toga
virilis_, cp. chap. 88. This must be taken metaphorically = 'You let
him behave like a man.'

CHAPTER 101. _He who can plead in court_, &c. There is a play on
_perorare_ (= to plead in court) and _exorare_ (= to win over his
mother by prayer).

CHAPTER 102. _What a criminal use of love-philtres_, &c. There is a
pun on _veneficium_ and _beneficium_ which cannot be reproduced.


CHAPTER 2. _Plautus._ Truculentus, ii. 6. 8.

_the great poet._ Homer, Iliad, iii. 12.

CHAPTER 3. _Vergil._ Ecl. iii. 27.

CHAPTER 4. _Antigenidas_, a famous musician of the first half of the
fourth century B.C. Others attribute the grievance to his pupil
Ismenias. This story is also told by Dio Chrysostom xlix.

CHAPTER 6. _Nabataea_, a district at the north-east end of the Red

_Arsaces_, a king of Persia (perhaps Artaxerxes II, 379 B.C.) from
whom the Parthian kings traced their descent. Here _Arsacidae_ =

_Ityraea_, a district under Mount Hermon to the north of Bashan.

_Ganges._ The quotation is from Statius, Silvae, ii. 4. 25.

_wash gold._ Lat. _colare_ = to strain, sift.

CHAPTER 7. _Alexander._ This story of his portraits is told by many
writers, though Lysippus is substituted for Polycletus by the more
accurate, inasmuch as Polycletus was a sculptor of the fifth century,
and contemporary with Pheidias! This is quite characteristic of

_Apelles_, the greatest of Greek painters, floruit circa 332 B.C.

_Pyrgoteles_, one of the most famous gem-engravers of Greece. Little
is known of him beyond this story.

_the professor's gown._ Cp. Aulus Gellius, ix. 2, where a man with a
long beard and huge cloak tries to persuade Herodes Atticus that he is
a philosopher. Herodes replies, 'I see the cloak and the gown, but not
the philosopher.'

CHAPTER 9. _Hippias of Elis_, one of the early sophists (middle of the
fifth century B.C.); cp. Plat. Hipp. Min. 368 B.

_the reciter's wand._ It was the custom in Greece for a reciter to
hold in his hand a wand or [Greek: rhabdos].

_Severianus_, proconsul of Africa between 161 and 169 A.D., as is
shown by the words _the two Caesars_, M. Aurelius and L. Verus.

CHAPTER 10. _The Sun._ The passage quoted is from some unknown
tragedy, perhaps a Phoenissae, cp. Eur. Phoen. 1.

_Mercury._ Those born under Mercury had a 'mercurial' disposition,
those under Mars a 'martial' temper (cp. _ignita_).

_other divine influences that lie midway._ Cp. note on Apologia, chap.

CHAPTER 11. _darnel._ The quotation is from Vergil, Georgic i. 154.
Cp. also Ecl. v. 37.

CHAPTER 14. _Crates._ Cp. Florida 22, and Apologia, chap. 22.

CHAPTER 15. _Polycrates_, floruit circa 530 B.C.

_Pythagoras._ See note on Apologia, chap. 4.

_Pherecydes._ See note on Apologia, ch. 27.

_Anaximander_, an Ionian philosopher, born 610 B.C.

_Epimenides._ See note on Apologia, chap. 27.

_Creophylus_, an early epic poet, reputed author of the 'Capture of
Oechalia', which he was said to have received from Homer as the dowry
of the latter's daughter.

_Leodamas._ Nothing is known of this Leodamas. Apuleius may have made
a slip and written Leodamas for Hermodamas, who is mentioned by Diog.
Laert. viii. 2, as the descendant of Creophylus.

CHAPTER 16. _Philemon_ was a writer of the 'new', not the 'middle' comedy.

_'farewell' and 'applaud'._ Cp. the well-known epitaph:--'iam mea
peracta, mox vestra agetur fabula: valete et plaudite.'

_Aemilianus Strabo_ was _consul suffectus_ in 156 A.D. See
Prosopographia imp. Rom. part 3. nr. 674, p. 275.

_while breath still_, &c., from Vergil, Aeneid iv. 336.

_priesthood_ of the province of Africa. See Introduction, p. 12.

CHAPTER 17. _Scipio Orfitus_, proconsul of Africa, 163, 4 A.D. See
Prosopographia imp. Rom. part 1, nr. 1184, p. 464.

_Orpheus to woods_, &c., from Vergil, Eclogue vii. 56.

CHAPTER 18. _the tragic poet._ Unknown.

_Plautus._ Truculentus, prologue 1-3.

_no rose without a thorn._ The Latin is _ubi uber, ibi tuber_.
Wherever you get rich soil, there you will find pignuts.

_the council of Africa_ was theoretically an association for the
worship of the imperial house. It had some political importance,
however, inasmuch as it might criticize the governor and forward its
criticisms to the Emperor at Rome.

_Protagoras_, a famous sophist of Abdera (latter half of fifth

_dilemma._ See note on Apologia, chap. 9, _self-inconsistency_. A
closely parallel story is told of Corax and Tisias, rhetoricians
slightly earlier in date.

_Thales of Miletus_, the first of the great mathematicians and
physical philosophers of Greece: one of the seven sages. He flourished
towards the end of the seventh century B.C.

CHAPTER 19. _Asclepiades_, a famous physician from Bithynia, of the
first half of the first century B.C.

CHAPTER 20. _The first cup_, &c. The wise author of this saying was,
according to Diog. Laert, i. 72, Anacharsis.

_Empedocles._ See note on Apologia, chap. 27.

_Epicharmus_, a famous comic poet of Megara in Sicily. He flourished
early in the fifth century B.C.

_Xenocrates._ Diog. Laert. mentions five writers of this name, none of
them of any great importance. It is possible that we should read
_Xenophanes_, who, according to Diog. Laert. ix. 10, wrote _silli_, a
form of lampoon or satire. He was the founder of the Eleatic school
and probably flourished about 500 B.C.

CHAPTER 22. _Crates pure and simple_, i.e. by his renunciation of the
world described in chap. 15.

CHAPTER 24. The MSS. give this as a prologue to the de deo Socratis.
It belongs, however, manifestly to the Florida.

_Aristippus_, founder of the Cyrenaic school, a friend and younger
contemporary of Socrates.

       *       *       *       *       *


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