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Title: Social life at Rome in the Age of Cicero
Author: Fowler, W. Warde, 1847-1921
Language: English
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  'Ad illa mihi pro se quisque acriter intendat animum,
  quae vita, quae mores fuerint.'--LIVY, _Praefatio_.







This book was originally intended to be a companion to Professor
Tucker's _Life in Ancient Athens_, published in Messrs. Macmillan's
series of Handbooks of Archaeology and Art; but the plan was abandoned
for reasons on which I need not dwell, and before the book was quite
finished I was called to other and more specialised work. As it
stands, it is merely an attempt to supply an educational want. At our
schools and universities we read the great writers of the last age of
the Republic, and learn something of its political and constitutional
history; but there is no book in our language which supplies a picture
of life and manners, of education, morals, and religion in that
intensely interesting period. The society of the Augustan age, which
in many ways was very different, is known much better; and of late my
friend Professor Dill's fascinating volumes have familiarised us with
the social life of two several periods of the Roman Empire. But the
age of Cicero is in some ways at least as important as any period of
the Empire; it is a critical moment in the history of Graeco-Roman
civilisation. And in the Ciceronian correspondence, of more than nine
hundred contemporary letters, we have the richest treasure-house of
social life that has survived from any period of classical antiquity.

Apart from this correspondence and the other literature of the time,
my mainstay throughout has been the _Privatleben der Römer_ of
Marquardt, which forms the last portion of the great _Handbuch der
Römischen Altertümer_ of Mommsen and Marquardt. My debt is great also
to Professors Tyrrell and Purser, whose labours have provided us with
a text of Cicero's letters which we can use with confidence; the
citations from these letters have all been verified in the new Oxford
text edited by Professor Purser. One other name I must mention with
gratitude. I firmly believe that the one great hope for classical
learning and education lies in the interest which the unlearned public
may be brought to feel in ancient life and thought. We have just lost
the veteran French scholar who did more perhaps to create and
maintain such an interest than any man of his time; and I gladly here
acknowledge that it was Boissier's _Cicéron et ses amis_ that in my
younger days made me first feel the reality of life and character
in an age of which I then hardly knew anything but the perplexing
political history.

I have to thank my old pupils, Mr. H.E. Mann and Mr. Gilbert Watson,
for kind help in revising the proofs.





Virgil's hero arrives at Rome by the Tiber: we follow his example;
justification of this; view from Janiculum and its lessons; advantages
of the position of Rome, for defence and advance; disadvantages as to
commerce and salubrity; views of Roman writers; a walk through the
city in 50 B.C.; Forum Boarium and Circus maximus; Porta Capena; via
Sacra; summa sacra via and view of Forum; religious buildings at
eastern end of Forum; Forum and its buildings in Cicero's time; ascent
to the Capitol; temple of Jupiter and the view from it.



Spread of the city outside original centre; the plebs dwelt mainly
in the lower ground; little known about its life: indifference
of literary men; housing: the insulae; no sign of home life; bad
condition of these houses; how the plebs subsisted; vegetarian diet;
the corn supply and its problems; the corn law of Gaius Gracchus;
results, and later laws; the water-supply; history of aqueducts;
employment of the lower grade population; aristocratic contempt for
retail trading; the trade gilds; relation of free to slave labour;
bakers; supply of vegetables; of clothing; of leather; of iron, etc.;
gave employment to large numbers; porterage; precarious condition of
labour; fluctuation of markets; want of a good bankruptcy law.



Meaning of equester ordo; how the capitalist came by his money;
example of Atticus; incoming of wealth after Hannibalic war;
suddenness of this; rise of a capitalist class; the contractors; the
public contracting companies; in the age and writings of Cicero; their
political influence; and power in the provinces; the bankers and
money-lenders; origin of the Roman banker; nature of his business;
risks of the money-lender; general indebtedness of society; Cicero's
debts; story of Rabirius Postumus; mischief done by both contractors
and money-lenders.



The old noble families; their exclusiveness; Cicero's attitude
towards them; new type of noble; Scipio Aemilianus: his "circle"; its
influence on the Ciceronian age in (1) manners; (2) literary capacity;
(3), philosophical receptivity; Stoicism at Rome; its influence on the
lawyers; Sulpicius Rufus, his life and work; Epicureanism, its general
effect on society; case of Calpurnius Piso; pursuit of pleasure and
neglect of duty; senatorial duties neglected; frivolity of the younger
public men; example of M. Caelius Rufus; sketch of his life and
character; life of the Forum as seen in the letters of Caelius.



Meaning of matrimonium: its religious side; shown from the oldest
marriage ceremony; its legal aspect; marriage cum manu abandoned;
betrothal; marriage rites; dignified position of Roman matron; the
ideal materfamilias; change in the character of women; its causes; the
ladies of Cicero's time; Terentia; Pomponia; ladies of society and
culture: Clodia; Sempronia; divorce, its frequency; a wonderful Roman
lady: the Laudatio Turiae; story of her life and character as recorded
by her husband.



An education of character needed; Aristotle's idea of education;
little interest taken in education at Rome; biographies silent;
education of Cato the younger; of Cicero's son and nephew; Varro
and Cicero on education; the old Roman education of the body and
character; causes of its breakdown; the new education under Greek
influence; schools, elementary; the sententiae in use in schools;
arithmetic; utilitarian character of teaching; advanced schools;
teaching too entirely linguistic and literary; assumption of toga
virilis; study of rhetoric and law; oratory the main object; results
of this; Cicero's son at the University of Athens: his letter to Tiro.



The demand for labour in second century B.C.; how it was supplied; the
slave trade; kidnapping by pirates, etc.; breeding of slaves; prices
of slaves; possible number in Cicero's day; economic aspect of
slavery: did it interfere with free labour?; no apparent rivalry
between them; either in Rome; or on the farm; the slave-shepherds
of South Italy; they exclude free labour; legal aspect of slavery:
absolute power of owner; prospect of manumission; political results of
slave system; of manumission; ethical aspect: destruction of family
life; no moral standard; effects of slavery on the slave-owners.



Out-of-door life at Rome; but the Roman house originally a home;
religious character of it; the atrium and its contents; development of
atrium: the peristylium; desire for country houses: crowding at Rome;
callers, clients, etc.; effects of this city life on the individual;
country house of Scipio Africanus; watering-places in Campania;
meaning of villa in Cicero's time: Hortensius' park; Cicero's villas:
Tusculum; Arpinum; Formiae; Puteoli; Cumae; Pompeii; Astura; constant
change of residence, and its effects.



Roman division of the day; sun-dials; hours varied according to the
season; early rising of Romans; want of artificial light; Cicero's
early hours; early callers; breakfast, followed by business; morning
in the Forum; lunch (prandium); siesta; the bath; dinner: its hour
becomes later; dinner-parties: the triclinium; drinking after dinner;
Cicero's indifference to the table; his entertainment of Caesar at



The Italian festa, ancient and modern; meaning of the word feriae;
change in its meaning; holidays of plebs; festival of Anna Perenua;
The Saturnalia; the ludi and their origin; ludi Romani and plebeii;
other ludi; supported by State; by private individuals; admission
free; Circus maximus and chariot-racing; gladiators at funeral games;
stage-plays at ludi; political feeling expressed at the theatre;
decadence of tragedy in Cicero's time; the first permanent theatre, 55
B.C.; opening of Pompey's theatre; Cicero's account of it; the great
actors of Cicero's day: Aesopus; Roscius; the farces; Publilius Syrus
and the mime.



Absence of real religious feeling; neglect of worship, except in the
family; foreign cults, e.g. of Isis; religious attitude of Cicero and
other public men: free thought, combined with maintenance of the ius
divinum; Lucretius condemns all religion as degrading: his failure to
produce a substitute for it; Stoic attitude towards religion: Stoicism
finds room for the gods of the State; Varro's treatment of theology on
Stoic lines; his monotheistic conception of Jupiter Capitolinus;
the Stoic Jupiter a legal rather than a moral deity; Jupiter in the
Aeneid; superstition of the age; belief in portents, visions, etc.;
ideas of immortality; sense of sin, or despair of the future.










Translations of passages in foreign languages in this book will be
found in the Appendix following page 362.



The modern traveller of to-day arriving at Rome by rail drives to his
hotel through the uninteresting streets of a modern town, and thence
finds his way to the Forum and the Palatine, where his attention
is speedily absorbed by excavations which he finds it difficult to
understand. It is as likely as not that he may leave Rome without once
finding an opportunity of surveying the whole site of the ancient
city, or of asking, and possibly answering the question, how it
ever came to be where it is. While occupied with museums and
picture-galleries, he may well fail "totam aestimare Romam."[1]
Assuming that the reader has never been in Rome, I wish to transport
him thither in imagination, and with the help of the map, by an
entirely different route. But first let him take up the eighth book of
the _Aeneid_, and read afresh the oldest and most picturesque of all
stories of arrival at Rome;[2] let him dismiss all handbooks from his
mind, and concentrate it on Aeneas and his ships on their way from the
sea to the site of the Eternal City.

Virgil showed himself a true artist in bringing his hero up the Tiber,
which in his day was freely used for navigation up to and even above
the city. He saw that by the river alone he could land him exactly
where he could be shown by his friendly host, almost at a glance,
every essential feature of the site, every spot most hallowed by
antiquity in the minds of his readers. Rowing up the river, which
graciously slackened its swift current, Aeneas presently caught sight
of the walls and citadel, and landed just beyond the point where
the Aventine hill falls steeply almost to the water's edge. Here in
historical times was the dockyard of Rome; and here, when the poet was
a child, Cato had landed with the spoils of Cyprus, as the nearest
point of the river for the conveyance of that ill-gotten gain to the
treasury under the Capitol.[3] Virgil imagines the bank clothed with
wood, and in the wood--where afterwards was the Forum Boarium, a
crowded haunt--Aeneas finds Evander sacrificing at the Ara maxima of
Hercules, of all spots the best starting-point for a walk through the
heart of the ancient city. To the right was the Aventine, rising to
about a hundred and thirty feet above the river, and this was the
first of the hills of Rome to be impressed on the mind of the
stranger, by the tale of Hercules and Cacus which Evander tells his
guest. In front, but close by, was the long western flank of the
Palatine hill, where, when the tale had been told and the rites of
Hercules completed, Aeneas was to be shown the cave of the Lupercal;
and again to the left, approaching the river within two hundred yards,
was the Capitol to be:

  Hinc ad Tarpeiam sedem et Capitolia ducit,
  Aurea nunc, olim silvestribus horrida dumis.

Below it the hero is shown the shrine of the prophetic nymph Carmenta,
with the Porta Carmentalis leading into the Campus Martius; then the
hollow destined one day to be the Forum Romanum, and beyond it, in
the valley of the little stream that here found its way down from the
plain beyond, the grove of the Argiletum. Here, and up the slope of
the Clivus sacer, with which we shall presently make acquaintance,
were the lowing herds of Evander, who then takes his guest to repose
for the night in his own dwelling on the Palatine, the site of the
most ancient Roman settlement.[4]

What Evander showed to his visitor, as we shall presently see,
comprised the whole site of the heart and life of the city as it was
to be, all that lay under the steep sides of the three almost isolated
hills, the Capitoline, Palatine, and Aventine. The poet knew that he
need not extend their walk to the other so-called hills, which come
down as spurs from the plain of the Campagna,--Quirinal, Esquiline,
Caelian. Densely populated as those were in his own day, they were not
essential organs of social and politics life; the pulse of Rome was to
be felt beating most strongly in the space between them and the river
where too the oldest and most cherished associations of the Roman
people, mythical and historical, were fixed. I propose to take the
reader, with a single deviation, over the same ground, and to ask him
to imagine it as it was in the period with which we are concerned in
this book. But first, in order to take in with eye and mind the whole
city and its position, let us leave Aeneas, and crossing to the right
bank of the Tiber by the Pons Aemilius,[5] let us climb to the fort of
the Janiculum, an ancient outwork against attack from the north, by
way of the via Aurelia, and here enjoy the view which Martial has made
forever famous:

  Hinc septem dominos videre montes
  Et totam licet aestimare Romam,
  Albanos quoque Tusculosque colles
  Et quodcunque iacet sub urbe frigus.

No one who has ever stood on the Janiculum, and looked down on the
river and the city, and across the Latin plain to the Alban mountain
and the long line of hills--the last spurs of the Apennines--enclosing
the plain to the north, can fail to realise that _Rome was originally
an outpost of the Latins_, her kinsmen and confederates, against the
powerful and uncanny Etruscan race who dwelt in the undulating hill
country to the north. The site was an outpost, because the three
isolated hills make it a natural point of defence, and of attack
towards the north if attack were desirable; no such point of similar
vantage is to be found lower down the river, and if the city had been
placed higher up, Latium would have been left open to attack,--the
three hills would have been left open to the enemy to gain a firm
footing on Latin soil. It was also, as it turned out, an admirable
base of operations for carrying on war in the long and narrow
peninsula, so awkward, as Hannibal found to his cost, for working out
a definite plan of conquest. From Rome, astride of the Tiber, armies
could operate on "interior lines" against any combination--could
strike north, east, and south at the same moment. With Latium faithful
behind her she could not be taken in the rear; the unconquerable
Hannibal did indeed approach her once on that side, but fell away
again like a wave on a rocky shore. From the sea no enemy ever
attempted to reach her till Genseric landed at Ostia in A.D. 455.

Thus it is not difficult to understand how Rome came to be the leading
city of Latium; how she came to work her conquering way into Etruria
to the north, the land of a strange people who at one time threatened
to dominate the whole of Italy; how she advanced up the Tiber valley
and its affluents into the heart of the Apennines, and southward into
the Oscan country of Samnium and the rich plain of Campania. A glance
at the map of Italy will show us at once how apt is Livy's remark that
Rome was placed in the centre of the peninsula.[6] That peninsula
looks as if it were cleft in twain by the Tiber, or in other words,
the Tiber drains the greater part of central Italy, and carries the
water down a well-marked valley to a central point on the western
coast, with a volume greater than that of any other river south of the
Po. A city therefore that commands the Tiber valley, and especially
the lower part of it, is in a position of strategic advantage with
regard to the whole peninsula. Now Rome, as Strabo remarked, was the
only city actually situated on the bank of the river; and Rome was not
only on the river, but from the earliest times astride of it. She held
the land on both banks from her own site to the Tiber mouth at Ostia,
as we know from the fact that one of her most ancient priesthoods[7]
had its sacred grove five miles down the river on the northern bank.
Thus she had easy access to the sea by the river or by land, and an
open way inland up the one great natural entrance from the sea into
central Italy.[8] Her position on the Tiber is much like that of
Hispalis (Seville) on the Baetis, or of Arles on the Rhone, cities
opening the way of commerce or conquest up the basins of two great
rivers. In spite of some disadvantages, to be noticed directly, there
was no such favourable position in Italy for a virile people apt to
fight and to conquer. Capua, in the rich volcanic plain of Campania,
had far greater advantages in the way of natural wealth; but Capua was
too far south, in a more enervating climate, and virility was never
one of her strong points. Corfinium, in the heart of the Apennines,
once seemed threatening to become a rival, and was for a time the
centre of a rebellious confederation; but this city was too near the
east coast--an impossible position for a pioneer of Italian dominion.
Italy looks west, not east; almost all her natural harbours are on her
western side; and though that at Ostia, owing to the amount of silt
carried down by the Tiber, has never been a good one, it is the only
port which can be said to command an entrance into the centre of the

No one, however, would contend that the position of Rome is an ideal
one. Taken in and by itself, without reference to Italy and the
Mediterranean, that position has little to recommend it. It is too far
from the sea, nearly twenty miles up the valley of a river with an
inconveniently rapid current, to be a great commercial or industrial
centre; and such a centre Rome has never really been in the whole
course of her history. There are no great natural sources of wealth in
the neighbourhood--no mines like those at Laurium in Attica, no vast
expanse of corn-growing country like that of Carthage. The river too
was liable to flood, as it still is, and a familiar ode of Horace
tells us how in the time of Augustus the water reached even to the
heart of the city.[9] Lastly, the site has never really been a healthy
one, especially during the months of July and August,[10] which are
the most deadly throughout the basin of the Mediterranean. Pestilences
were common at Rome in her early history, and have left their mark in
the calendar of her religious festivals; for example, the Apolline
games were instituted during the Hannibalic war as the result of a
pestilence, and fixed for the unhealthy month of July. Foreigners from
the north of Europe have always been liable to fever at Rome; invaders
from the north have never been able to withstand the climate for long;
in the Middle Ages one German army after another melted away under her
walls, and left her mysteriously victorious.

There are some signs that the Romans themselves had occasional
misgivings about the excellence of their site. There was a tradition,
that after the burning of the city by the Gauls, it was proposed that
the people should desert the site and migrate to Veii, the conquered
Etruscan city to the north, and that it needed all the eloquence of
Camillus to dissuade them. It has given Livy[11] the opportunity of
putting into the orator's mouth a splendid encomium on the city and
its site; but no such story could well have found a place in Roman
annals if the Capitol had been as deeply set in the hearts of the
people as was the Acropolis in the hearts of the Athenians. At a later
time of deep depression Horace[12] could fancifully suggest that the
Romans should leave their ancient home like the Phocaeans of old, and
seek a new one in the islands of the blest. Some idea was abroad that
Caesar had meant to transfer the seat of government to Ilium, and
after Actium the same intention was ascribed to Augustus, probably
without reason; but the third ode of Horace's third book seems to
express the popular rumour, and in an interesting paper Mommsen[13]
has stated his opinion that the new master of the Roman world may
really have thought of changing the seat of government to Byzantium,
the supreme convenience and beauty of which were already beginning to
be appreciated.[14]

Virgil, on the other hand, though he came from the foot of the Alps
and did not love Rome as a place to dwell in, is absolutely true to
the great traditions of the site. For him "rerum facta est pulcherrima
Roma" (_Georg_. ii. 534); and in the _Aeneid_ the destiny of Rome is
so foretold and expressed as to make it impossible for a Roman reader
to think of it except in connexion with the city. He who needs to be
convinced of this has but to turn once more to the eighth _Aeneid_,
and to add to the charming story of Aeneas' first visit to the seven
hills, the splendid picture of the origin and growth of Roman dominion
engraved on the shield which Venus gives her son. Cicero again, though
he was no Roman by birth, was passionately fond of Rome, and in his
treatise _de Republica_, praised with genuine affection her "nativa
praesidia."[15] He says of Romulus, "that he chose a spot abounding in
springs, healthy though in a pestilent region; for her hills are open
to the breezes, yet give shade to the hollows below them." And Livy,
in the passage already quoted, in language even more perfect than
Cicero's, wrote of all the advantages of the site, ending by
describing it as "regionum Italiae medium, ad incrementum urbis natum
unice locum." It is curious that all these panegyrics were written by
men who were not natives of Rome; Virgil came from Mantua, Livy from
Padua, Cicero from Arpinum. They are doubtless genuine, though in
some degree rhetorical; those of Cicero and Livy can hardly be called
strictly accurate. But taken together they may help us to understand
that fascination of the site of Rome, to which Virgil gave such
inimitable expression.

On this site, which once had been crowded only when the Roman farmers
had taken refuge within the walls with their families, flocks, and
herds on the threatening appearance of an enemy, by the time of Cicero
an enormous population had gathered. Many causes had combined to bring
this population together, which can be only glanced at here. As in
Europe and America at the present day, so in all the Mediterranean
lands since the age of Alexander, there had been a constantly
increasing tendency to flock into the towns; and the rise of huge
cities, such as Antioch, Alexandria, Carthage, Corinth, or Rhodes,
with all the inevitably ensuing social problems and complications, is
one of the most marked characteristics of the last three centuries
B.C. In Italy in particular, apart from the love of a pleasant social
life free from manual toil, with various convenient resorts and
amusements, the long series of wars had served to increase the
population, in spite of the constant loss by the sword or pestilence;
for the veteran soldier who had been serving, perhaps for years,
beyond sea, found it hard to return to the monotonous life of
agriculture, or perhaps found his holding appropriated by some
powerful landholder with whom it would be hopeless to contest
possession. The wars too brought a steadily increasing population
of slaves to the city, many of whom in course of time would be
manumitted, would marry, and so increase the free population. These
are only a few of the many causes at work after the Punic wars which
crammed together in the site of Rome a population which, in the latter
part of the last century B.C., probably reached half a million or even

Let us now descend from the Janiculum, and try to imagine ourselves in
the Rome of Cicero's time, say in the last year of the Republic, 50
B.C., as we walk through the busy haunts of this crowded population.
We will not delay on the right bank of the Tiber, which had probably
long been the home of tradesmen in their gilds,[17] and where farther
down the rich were buying land for gardens[18] and suburban villas;
but cross by the Pons Aemilius, with the Tiber island on our left, and
the opening of the Cloaca maxima, which drained the water from the
Forum, facing us, as it still does, a little to our right. We find
ourselves close to the Forum Boarium, an open cattle-market, with
shops (tabernae) all around it, as we know from Livy's record of
a fire here, which burnt many of these shops and much valuable
merchandise.[19] Here by the river was in fact the market in the
modern sense of the word; the Forum Romanum, which we are making for,
was now the centre of political and judicial business, and of social

We might go direct to the great Forum, up the Velabrum, or valley
(once a marsh), right in front of us between the Capitol on the left
and the Palatine on the right. But as we look in the latter direction,
we are attracted by a long low erection almost filling the space
between the Palatine and the Aventine, and turning in that direction
we find ourselves at the lower end of the Circus Maximus, which as
yet is the chief place of amusement of the Roman people. Two famous
shrines, one at each end of it, remind us that we are on historic
ground. At the end where we stand, and where are the _carceres_, the
starting-point for the competing chariots, was the Ara maxima of
Hercules, which prompted Evander to tell the tale of Cacus to his
guest; at the other end was the subterranean altar of Consus the
harvest-god, with which was connected another tale, that of the rape
of the Sabines. All the associations of this quarter point to the
agricultural character of the early Romans; both cattle and harvesting
have their appropriate myth. But nothing is visible here now, except
the pretty little round temple of a later date, which is believed to
have been that of Portunus, the god of the landing-place from the

The Circus, some six hundred yards long, at the time of Cicero was
still mainly a wooden erection in the form of a long parallelogram,
with shops or booths sheltering under its sides; we shall visit it
again when dealing with the public entertainments.[21] Above it on the
right is the Aventine hill, a densely populated quarter of the lower
classes, crowned with the famous temple of Diana, a deity specially
connected with the plebs.[22] The Clivus Patricius led up to this
temple; down this slope, on the last day of his life, Gaius Gracchus
had hurried, to cross the river and meet his murderers in the grove of
Furrina, of which the site has lately been discovered. If we were to
ascend it we should see, on the river-bank below and beyond it,
the warehouses and granaries for storing the corn for the city's
food-supply, which Gracchus had been the first to extend and organise.

But to ascend the Aventine would take us out of our course. Pushing
on to the farther end of the Circus, where the chariots turned at the
_metae_, we may pause a moment, for in front of us is a gate in the
city wall, the Porta Capena, by which most travellers from the south,
using the via Appia or the via Latina, would enter the city.[23]
Outside the wall there was then a small temple of Mars, from which the
procession of the Equites started each year on the Ides of Quinctilis
(July) on its way to the Capitol, by the same route that we are about
to take. We shall also be following the steps of Cicero on the happy
day September 4, 57 B.C., when he returned from exile. "On my arrival
at the Porta Capena," he writes to Atticus, "the steps of the temples
were already crowded from top to bottom by the populace; they showed
their congratulations by the loudest applause, and similar crowds and
applause followed me right up to the Capitol, and in the Forum and on
the Capitol itself there was again a wonderful throng" (_ad Att._ iv.

We are now, as the map will show, at the south-eastern angle of the
Palatine, of which, in fact, we are making the circuit;[24] a and here
we turn sharp to the left, by what is now the via di San Gregorio,
along a narrow valley or dip between the Palatine and Caelian
hills--the latter the first we have met of the "hills" which are not
isolated, but spurs of the plain of the Campagna. The Caelian need not
detain us; it was thickly populated towards the end of the Republican
period, but was not a very fashionable quarter, nor one of the chief
haunts of social life. It held many of those large lodging-houses
(insulae) of which we shall hear more in the next chapter; one of
these stood so high that it interfered with the view of the augur
taking the auspices on the Capitol, and was ordered to be pulled
down.[25] Going straight on reach the north-eastern angle of the
Palatine, where now stands the arch of Constantine, with the Colosseum
beyond it, and turning once more to the left, we begin to ascend a
gentle slope which will take us to a ridge between the Palatine and
the Esquiline[26]--another of the spurs of the plain beyond--known by
the name of the Velia. And now we are approaching the real heart of
the city.

At this point starts the Sacra via,[27] so called because it is the
way to the most sacred spots of the ancient Roman city,--the temples
of Vesta and the Penates, and the Regia, once the dwelling of the Rex,
now of the Pontifex Maximus; and it will lead us, in a walk of about
eight hundred yards, through the Forum to the Capitol. It varied in
breadth, and took by no means a straight course, and later on was
crowded, cramped, and deflected by numerous temples and other
buildings; but as yet, so far as we can guess, it was fairly free and
open. We follow it and ascend the slope till we come to a point known
as the _summa sacra via_, just where the arch of Titus now stands, and
where then was the temple of Jupiter Stator, and where also a shrine
of the public Penates and another of the Lares (of which no trace is
now left) warn us that we are close on the penetralia of the Roman
State. Here a way to the left leads up to the Palatine the residence
then of many of the leading men of Rome, Cicero being one of them.

But our attention is not long arrested by these objects; it is soon
riveted on the Forum below and in front of us, to which the Sacred Way
leads by a downward slope, the Clivus sacer. At the north-western end
it is closed in by the Capitoline hill, with its double summit, the
arx to the right, and the great temple of Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva
facing south-east towards the Aventine. It is of this view that
Virgil must have been thinking when he wrote of the happy lot of the
countryman who

  nec ferrea iura
  insanumque forum aut populi tabularia vidit.[28]

For the Forum is crowded with bustling human figures, intent on the
business of politics, or of the law-courts (ferrea iura), or of
money-making, and just beyond it, immediately under the Capitol, are
the record-offices (tabularia) of the Roman Empire. The whole Sacra
via from this point is crowded; here Horace a generation later was to
meet his immortal "bore," from whom he only escaped when the "ferrea
iura" laid a strong hand on that terrible companion. Down below, at
the entrance to the Forum by the arch of Fabius (fornix Fabiana), the
jostling was great. "If I am knocked about in the crowd at the arch,"
says Cicero, to illustrate a point in a speech of this time, "I do not
accuse some one at the top of the via Sacra, but the man who jostles

The Forum--for from this point we can take it all in, geologically and
historically--lies in a deep hollow, to the original level of which
excavation has now at last reached. This hollow was formed by a stream
which came down between the Esquiline and the Quirinal beyond it,
and made its exit towards the river on the other side by way of the
Velabrum. As the city extended itself, amalgamating with another
community on the Quirinal, this hollow became a common meeting-place
and market, and the stream was in due time drained by that Cloaca
which we saw debouching into the Tiber near the bridge we crossed.
The upper course of this stream, between Esquiline and Quirinal, is a
densely populated quarter known as the Argiletum, and higher up as the
Subura,[30] where artisans and shops abounded. The lower part of its
course, where it has become an invisible drain, is also a crowded
street, the vicus Tuscus, leading to the Velabrum, and so to our
starting-point at the Forum Boarium.

Let us now descend the Clivus sacer, crossing to the right-hand side
of the slope, which the via Sacra now follows, and reach the Forum by
the fornix Fabiana. Close by to our left is the round temple of
Vesta, where the sacred fire of the State is kept ever burning by its
guardians, the Vestal Virgins, and here too is their dwelling, the
Atrium Vestae, and also that of the Pontifex Maximus (Regia), in whose
potestas they were; these three buildings, then insignificant to look
at, constituted the religious focus of the oldest Rome.[31] A little
farther again to the left is the temple of Castor and the spring of
Juturna, lately excavated, where the Twins watered their steeds after
the battle of the lake Regillus. In front of us we can see over the
heads of the crowd the Rostra at the farther end of the Forum, where
an orator is perhaps addressing a crowd (_contio_) on some political
question of the moment, and giving some occupation to the idlers
in the throng; and to the right of the Rostra is the Comitium
or assembling-place of the people, with the Curia, the ancient
meeting-hall of the senate. In Cicero's day the mere shopman had been
got rid of from the Forum, and his place is taken by the banker and
money-lender, who do their business in _tabernae_ stretching in rows
along both sides of the open space. Much public business, judicial and
other, is done in the Basilicae,--roofed halls with colonnades, of
which there are already five, and a new one is arising on the south
side, of which the ground-plan, as it was extended soon afterwards by
Julius Caesar, is now completely laid bare. But it is becoming evident
that the business of the Empire cannot be much longer crowded into
this narrow space of the Forum, which is only about two hundred yards
long by seventy; and the next two generations will see new Fora
laid out larger and more commodious, by Julius and Augustus in the
direction of the Quirinal.

Now making our way towards the Capitol, we pass the famous temple or
rather gate of the double-headed Janus, standing at the entrance
to the Forum from the Argiletum and the Porta Esquilina; then the
Comitium and Curia (which last was burnt by the mob in 52 B.C., at the
funeral of Clodius), and reach the foot of the Clivus Capitolinus,
just where was (and is) the ancient underground prison, called
Tullianum, from the old word for a spring (_tullus_), the scene of the
deaths of Jugurtha and many noble captives, and of the Catilinarian
conspirators on December 5, 63. Here the via Sacra turns, in front of
the temple of Concordia, to ascend the Capitol. Behind this temple,
extending farther under the slope, is the Tabularium, already
mentioned, which is still much as it was then; and below us to the
south is the temple of Saturnus, the treasury (_aerarium_) of the
Roman people. Thus at this end of the Forum, under the Capitol,
are the whole set of public offices, facing the ancient religious
buildings around the Vesta temple at the other end.

The way now turns again to the right, and reaches the depression
between the two summits of the Capitoline hill. Leaving the arx on the
left, we reach by a long flight of steps the greatest of all Roman
temples, placed on a long platform with solid substructures of
Etruscan workmanship, part of which is still to be seen in the garden
of the German Embassy. The temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, with
his companions Juno and Minerva, was in a special sense the religious
centre of the State and its dominion. Whatever view he might take of
the gods and their cults, every Roman instinctively believed that this
great Jupiter, above all other deities, watched over the welfare of
Rome, and when a generation later Virgil placed the destiny of Rome's
mythical hero in the hands of Jupiter, every Roman recognised in this
his own inherited conviction. Here, on the first day of their office,
the higher magistrates offered sacrifice in fulfilment of the vows of
their predecessors, and renewed the same vows themselves. The consul
about to leave the city for a foreign war made it his last duty to
sacrifice here, and on his return he deposited here his booty. Here
came the triumphal procession along the Sacred Way, the conquering
general attired and painted like the statue of the god within the
temple; and upon the knees of the statue he placed his wreath of
laurel, rendering up to the deity what he had himself deigned to
bestow. Here too, from a pedestal on the platform, a statue of Jupiter
looked straight over the Forum,[32] the Curia, and the Comitium; and
Cicero could declare from the Rostra, and know that in so declaring he
was touching the hearts of his hearers, that on that same day on which
it had first been so placed, the machinations of Catiline and his
conspirators had been detected.[33] "Ille, ille Iupiter restitit;
ille Capitolium, ille haec templa, ille cunctam urbem, ille vos omnes
salvos esse voluit."

The temple had been destroyed by fire in the time of Sulla, and its
restoration was not as yet finally completed at the time of our
imaginary walk.[34] It faced towards the river and the Aventine, i.e.
south-east, according to the rules of augural lore, like all Roman
public buildings of the Republican period. From the platform on which
it stands we look down on the Forum Boarium, from which we started,
connected with the Forum by the Velabrum and the vicus Tuscus; and
more to the right below us is the Campus Martius, with access to the
city by that Porta Carmentalis which Evander showed to Aeneas. This
spacious exercise-ground of Roman armies is already beginning to be
built upon; in fact the Circus Flaminius has been there for more than
a century and a half, and now the new theatre of Pompeius, the first
stone theatre in Rome, rises beyond it towards the Vatican hill. But
there is ample space left; for it is nearly a mile from the Capitol
to that curve of the Tiber above which the Church of St. Peter now
stands; and on this large expanse, at the present day, the greater
part of a population of nearly half a million is housed. I do not
propose to take the reader farther. We have been through the heart of the
city, as it was at the close of the Republican period, and from the
platform of the great temple we can see all else that we need to keep
in mind in these chapters.



The walk we have been taking has led us only through the heart of
the city, in which were the public buildings, temples, basilicas,
porticos, etc., of which we hear so much in Latin literature. It was
on the hills which are spurs of the plain beyond, and which look down
over the Forum and the Campus Martius, the Caelian, Esquiline, and
Quirinal, with the hollows lying between them, and also on the
Aventine by the river, that the mass of the population lived. The most
ancient fortification of completed Rome, the so-called Servian wall
and _agger_, enclosed a singularly large space, larger, we are told,
than the walls of any old city in Italy;[35] it is likely that a
good part of this space was long unoccupied by houses, and served to
shelter the cattle of the farmers living outside, when an enemy was
threatening attack. But in Cicero's time, as to-day, all this space
was covered with dwellings; and as the centre of the city came to be
occupied with public buildings, erected on sites often bought from
private owners, the houses were gradually pushed out along the roads
beyond the walls. Exactly the same process has been going on for
centuries in the University city of Oxford where the erection of
colleges gradually absorbed the best sites within the old walls, so
that many of the dwelling-houses are now quite two miles from the
centre of the city. The fact is attested for Rome by the famous
municipal law of Julius Caesar, which directs that for a mile outside
the gates every resident is to look after the repair of the road in
front of his own house.[36]

As a general rule, the heights in Rome were occupied by the better
class of residents, and the hollows by the lower stratum of
population. This was not indeed entirely so, for poor people no doubt
lived on the Aventine, the Caelian, and parts of the Esquiline. But
the Palatine was certainly an aristocratic quarter; the Carinae, the
height looking down on the hollow where the Colosseum now stands, had
many good houses, e.g. those of Pompeius and of Quintus Cicero, and
we know of one man of great wealth, Atticus, who lived on the
Quirinal.[37] It was in the narrow hollows leading down from these
heights to the Forum, such as the Subura between Esquiline and
Quirinal, and the Argiletum farther down near the Forum, that we meet
in literature what we may call the working classes; the Argiletum, for
example, was famous both for its booksellers and its shoemakers,[38]
and the Subura is the typical street of tradesmen. And no doubt the
big lodging-houses in which the lower classes dwelt were to be found
in all parts of Rome, except the strictly aristocratic districts like
the Palatine.

The whole free population may roughly be divided into three classes,
of which the first two, constituting together the social aristocracy,
were a mere handful in number compared with the third. At the top of
the social order was the governing class, or _ordo senatorius_: then
came the _ordo equester_, comprising all the men of business, bankers,
money-lenders, and merchants (_negotiatores_) or contractors for the
raising of taxes and many other purposes (_publicani_). Of these two
upper classes and their social life we shall see something in later
chapters; at present we are concerned with the "masses," at least
320,000 in number,[39] and the social problems which their existence
presented, or ought to have presented, to an intelligent Roman
statesman of Cicero's time.

Unfortunately, just as we know but little of the populous districts of
Rome, so too we know little of its industrial population. The upper
classes, including all writers of memoirs and history, were not
interested in them. There was no philanthropist, no devoted inquirer
like Mr. Charles Booth, to investigate their condition or try to
ameliorate it. The statesman, if he troubled himself about them at
all, looked on them as a dangerous element of society, only to be
considered as human beings at election time; at all other times merely
as animals that had to be fed, in order to keep them from becoming an
active peril. The philosopher, even the Stoic, whose creed was by far
the most ennobling in that age, seems to have left the dregs of the
people quite out of account; though his philosophy nominally took the
whole of mankind into its cognisance, it believed the masses to be
degraded and vicious, and made no effort to redeem them.[40] The Stoic
might profess the tenderest feeling towards all mankind, as Cicero
did, when moved by some recent reading of Stoic doctrine; he might say
that "men were born for the sake of men, that each should help the
other," or that "Nature has inclined us to love men, for this is the
foundation of all law";[41] but when in actual social or political
contact with the same masses Cicero could only speak of them with
contempt or disgust. It is a melancholy and significant fact that what
little we do know from literature about this class is derived from the
part they occasionally played in riots and revolutionary disorders.
It is fortunately quite impossible that the historian of the future
should take account of the life of the educated and wealthy only; but
in the history of the past and especially of the last three centuries
B.C., we have to contend with this difficulty, and can only now and
then find side-lights thrown upon the great mass of mankind. The
crime, the crowding, the occasional suffering from starvation and
pestilence, in the unfashionable quarters of such a city as Rome,
these things are hidden from us, and rarely even suggested by the
histories we commonly read.

The three questions to which I wish to make some answer in this
chapter are: (1) how was this population housed? (2) how was it
supplied with food and clothing? and (3) how was it employed?

1. It was of course impossible in a city like Rome that each man,
married or unmarried, should have his own house; this is not so even
in the great majority of modern industrial towns, though we in England
are accustomed to see our comparatively well-to-do artisans dwelling
in cottages spreading out into the country. At Rome only the wealthy
families lived in separate houses (_domus_), about which we shall have
something to say in another chapter. The mass of the population lived,
or rather ate and slept (for southern climates favour an out-of-door
life), in huge lodging-houses called islands (_insulae_), because they
were detached from other buildings, and had streets on all sides of
them, as islands have water.[42] These _insulae_ were often three or
four stories high;[43] the ground-floor was often occupied by shops,
kept perhaps by some of the lodgers, and the upper floors by single
rooms, with small windows looking out on the street or into an
interior court. The common name for such a room was _coenaculum_, or
dining-room, a word which seems to be taken over from the _coenaculum_
of private houses, i.e. an eating-room on the first floor, where there
was one. Once indeed we hear of an _aedicula_, in an insula, which was
perhaps the equivalent of a modern "flat"; it was inhabited by a young
bachelor of good birth, M. Caelius Rufus, the friend of Cicero, and
in this case the insula was probably one of a superior kind.[44]
The common lodging-house must have been simply a rabbit-warren, the
crowded inhabitants using their rooms only for eating and sleeping,
while for the most part they prowled about, either idling or getting
such employment as they could, legitimate or otherwise.

In such a life there could of course have been no idea of home, or of
that simple and sacred family life which had once been the ethical
basis of Roman society.[45] When we read Cicero's thrilling language
about the loss of his own house, after his return from exile, and then
turn to think of the homeless crowds in the rabbit-warrens of Rome, we
can begin to feel the contrast between the wealth and poverty of that
day. "What is more strictly protected," he says, "by all religious
feeling, than the house of each individual citizen? Here is his altar,
his hearth, here are his Di Penates: here he keeps all the objects
of his worship and performs all his religious rites: his house is
a refuge so solemnly protected, that no one can be torn from it by
force."[46] The warm-hearted Cicero is here, as so often, dreaming
dreams: the "each individual citizen" of whom he speaks is the citizen
of his own acquaintance, not the vast majority, with whom his mind
does not trouble itself.

These insulae were usually built or owned by men of capital, and were
often called by the names of their owners. Cicero, in one of his
letters,[47] incidentally mentions that he had money thus invested;
and we are disposed to wonder whether his insulae were kept in good
repair, for in another letter he happens to tell his man of business
that shops (tabernae) belonging to him were tumbling down and
unoccupied. It is more than likely that many of the insulae were badly
built by speculators, and liable to collapse. The following passage
from Plutarch's _Life of Crassus_ suggests this, though, if Plutarch
is right, Crassus did not build himself, but let or sold his sites and
builders to others: "Observing (in Sulla's time) the accidents that
were familiar at Rome, conflagrations and tumbling down of houses
owing to their weight and crowded state, he bought slaves who were
architects and builders. Having collected these to the number of more
than five hundred, it was his practice to buy up houses on fire, and
houses next to those on fire: for the owners, frightened and anxious,
would sell them cheap. And thus the greater part of Rome fell into
the hands of Crassus: but though he had so many artisans, he built no
house except his own, for he used to say that those who were fond of
building ruined themselves without the help of an enemy."[48] The
fall of houses, and their destruction in the frequent fires, became
familiar features of life at Rome about this time, and are alluded to
by Catullus in his twenty-third poem, and later on by Strabo in his
description of Rome (p. 235). It must indeed have often happened that
whole families were utterly homeless;[49] and in those days there
were no insurance offices, no benefit societies, no philanthropic
institutions to rescue the suffering from undeserved misery. As we
shall see later on, they were constantly in debt, and in the hands of
the money-lender; and against his extortions their judicial remedies
were most precarious. But all this is hidden from our eyes: only now
and again we can hear a faint echo of their inarticulate cry for help.

2. The needs of these poorer classes in respect of food and drink were
very small; it was only the vast number of them that made the supply
difficult. The Italians, like the Greeks,[50] were then as now almost
entirely vegetarians; cattle and sheep were used for the production
of cheese, leather, and wool or for sacrifices to the gods; the only
animal commonly eaten, until luxury came in with increasing wealth,
was the pig, and grain and vegetables were the staple food of the poor
man, both in town and country. Among the lesser poems ascribed to
Virgil there is one, the _Moretum_, which gives a charming picture of
the food-supply of the small cultivator in the country. He rises very
early, gropes his way to the hearth, and stirs the embers into flame:
then takes from his meal-bin a supply of grain for three days and
proceeds to grind it in a hand-mill, knead it with water, shape it
into round cakes divided into four parts like a "hot-cross bun," and,
with the help of his one female slave, to bake these in the embers. He
has no sides of smoked bacon, says the poet, hanging from his roof,
but only a cheese, so to add to his meal he goes into his garden and
gathers thence a number of various herbs and vegetables, which he then
makes into the hotch-potch, or _pot-au-feu_ which gives the name to
the poem. This bit of delicate genre-painting, which is as good in its
way as anything in Crabbe's homely poems, has indeed nothing to tell
us of life in an insula at Rome; but it may serve to show what was the
ordinary food of the Italian of that day.[51] The absence of the sides
of bacon ("durati sale terga suis," line 57) is interesting. No doubt
the Roman took meat when he could get it; but to have to subsist on
it, even for a short time, was painful to him, and more than once
Caesar remarks on the endurance of his soldiers in submitting to eat
meat when corn was not to be had.[52]

The corn which was at this time the staple food of the Romans of the
city was wheat, and wheat of a good kind; in primitive times it had
been an inferior species called _far_, which survived in Cicero's day
only in the form of cakes offered to the gods in religious ceremonies.
The wheat was not brought from Italy or even from Latium; what each
Italian community then grew was not more than supplied its own
inhabitants,[53] and the same was the case with the country villas
of the rich, and the huge sheep-farms worked by slaves. By far the
greater part of Italy is mountainous, and not well suited to the
production of corn on a large scale; and for long past other causes
had combined to limit what production there was. Transport too,
whether by road or river, was full of difficulty, while on the other
hand a glance at the map will show that the voyage for corn-ships
between Rome and Sicily, Sardinia, or the province of Africa (the
former dominion of Carthage), was both short and easy--far shorter and
easier than the voyage from Cisalpine Gaul or even from Apulia, where
the peninsula was richest in good corn-land. So we are not surprised
to find that, according to tradition, which is fully borne out by more
certain evidence,[54] corn had been brought to Rome from Sicily as
early as 492 B.C. to relieve a famine, or that since Sicily, Sardinia,
and Africa had become Roman provinces, their vast productive capacity
was utilised to feed the great city.

Nor indeed need we be surprised to find that the State has taken over
the task of feeding the Roman population, and of feeding it cheaply,
if only we are accustomed to think, not merely to read, about life in
the city at this period. Nothing is more difficult for the ordinary
reader of ancient history than to realise the difficulty of feeding
large masses of human beings, whether crowded in towns or soldiers in
the field. Our means of transport are now so easily and rapidly set
in action and maintained, that it would need a war with some great
sea-power to convince us that London or Glasgow might, under certain
untoward circumstances, be starved; and as our attention has never
been drawn to the details of food-supply, we do not readily see why
there should have been any such difficulty at Rome as to call for the
intervention of the State. Perhaps the best way to realise the problem
is to reflect that every adult inhabitant needed about four and a half
pecks of corn per month, or some three pounds a day; so that if the
population of Rome be taken at half a million in Cicero's time, a
million and a half pounds would be demanded as the daily consumption
of the people.[55] I have already said that in the last three
centuries B.C. there was a universal tendency to leave the country for
the towns; and we now know that many other cities besides Rome
not only felt the same difficulty, but actually used the same
remedy--State importation of cheap corn.[56] Even comparatively small
cities like Dyrrhachium and Apollonia in Epirus, as Caesar tells us
while narrating his own difficulty in feeding his army there, used for
the most part imported corn.[57] And we must remember that while some
of the greatest cities on the Mediterranean, such as Alexandria and
Antioch, were within easy reach of vast corn-fields, this was not the
case with Rome. Either she must organise her corn-supply on a secure
basis, or get rid of her swarms of poor inhabitants; the latter
alternative might have been possible if she had been willing to let
them starve, but probably in no other way. To attempt to put them out
upon the land again was hopeless; they knew nothing of agriculture,
and were unused to manual labour, which they despised.

Thus ever since Rome had been a city of any size it had been the duty
of the plebeian aediles to see that it was adequately supplied with
corn, and in times of dearth or other difficulty these magistrates had
to take special measures to procure it. With a population steadily
rising since the war with Hannibal, and after the acquisition of two
corn-growing provinces, to which Africa was added in 146 B.C., it was
natural that they should turn their attention more closely to the
resources of these; and now the provincial governors had to see that
the necessary amount of corn was furnished from these provinces at a
fixed price, and that a low one.[58] In 123 B.C. Gaius Gracchus took
the matter in hand, and made it a part of his whole far-reaching
political scheme. The plebs urbana had become a very awkward element
in the calculations of a statesman, and to have it in a state of
starvation, or even fearing such a state, was dangerous in the
extreme, as every Roman statesman had to learn in the course of the
two following centuries. The aediles, we may guess, were quite unequal
to the work demanded of them; and at times victorious provincial
governors would bring home great quantities of corn and give it away
gratis for their private purposes, with bad results both economic
and moral. Gracchus saw that the work of supply needed thorough
organisation in regard to production, transport, warehousing, and
finance, and set about it with a delight in hard work such as no Roman
statesman had shown before, believing that if the people could be
fed cheaply and regularly, they would cease to be "a troublesome
neighbour."[59] We do not know the details of his scheme of
organisation except in one particular, the price at which the corn
was to be sold per _modius_ (peck): this was to be six and one-third
_asses_, or rather less than half the normal market-price of the day,
so far as it can be made out. Whether he believed that the cost of
production could be brought down to this level by regularity of demand
and transport we cannot tell; it seems at any rate probable that he
had gone carefully into the financial aspect of the business.[60] But
there can hardly be a doubt that he miscalculated, and that the result
of the law by which he sought to effect his object was a yearly
loss to the treasury, so that after his time, and until his law was
repealed by Sulla, the people were really being fed largely at the
expense of the State, and thus lapsing into a state of semipauperism,
with bad ethical consequences.

One of these consequences was that inconsiderate statesmen would only
too readily seize the chance of reducing the price of the corn still
lower, as was done by Saturninus in 100 B.C., for political purposes.
To prevent this Sulla abolished the Gracchan system _in toto_; but it
was renewed in 73 B.C., and in 58 the demagogue P. Clodius made the
distribution of corn gratuitous. In 46 Caesar found that no less than
320,000 persons were receiving corn from the State for nothing; by a
bill, of which we still possess a part,[61] he reduced the number to
150,000, and by a rigid system of rules, of which we know something,
contrived to ensure that it should be kept at that point. With the
policy of Augustus and his successors in regard to the corn-supply
(_annona_) I am not here concerned; but it is necessary to observe
that with the establishment of the Empire the plebs urbana ceased to
be of any importance in politics, and could be treated as a petted
population, from whom no harm was to be expected if they were kept
comfortable and amused. Augustus seems to have found himself compelled
to take up this attitude towards them, and he was able to do so
because he had thoroughly reorganised the public finance and knew what
he could afford for the purpose. But in time of Cicero the people were
still powerful legislation and elections, and the public finance was
disorganised and in confusion; and the result was that the corn-supply
was mixed up with politics,[62] and handled by reckless politicians
in a way that was as ruinous to the treasury as it was to the moral
welfare of the city. The whole story, from Gracchus onwards, is a
wholesome lesson on the mischief of granting "outdoor relief" in any
form whatever, without instituting the means of inquiry into each
individual case. Gracchus' intentions were doubtless honest and good;
but "ubi semel recto deerratum est, in praeceps pervenitur."

The drink of the Roman was water, but he mixed it with wine whenever
he had the chance. Fortunately for him he had no other intoxicating
drink; we hear neither of beer nor spirits in Roman literature. Italy
was well suited to the cultivation of the vine; and though down to the
last century of the Republic the choice kinds of wine came chiefly
from Greece, yet we have unquestionable proof that wine was made in
the neighbourhood of Rome at the very outset of Roman history. In the
oldest religious calendar[63] we find two festivals called Vinalia,
one in April and the other in August; what exactly was the relation of
each of them to the operations of viticulture is by no means clear,
but we know that these operations were under the protection of
Jupiter, and that his priest, the Flamen Dialis, offered to him the
first-fruits of the vintage. The production of rough wine must indeed
have been large, for we happen to know that it was at times remarkably
cheap. In 250 B.C., in many ways a wonderfully productive year, wine
was sold at an _as_ the _congius_, which is nearly three quarts;[64]
under the early Empire Columella (iii. 3. 10) reckoned the amphora
(nearly 6 gallons) at 15 sesterces, i.e. about eightpence That the
common citizen did expect to be able to qualify his water with wine
seems proved by a story told by Suetonius, that when the people
complained to Augustus that the price of wine was too high, he
curtly and wisely answered that Agrippa had but lately given them an
excellent water-supply.[65] It looks as though they were claiming to
have wine as well as grain supplied them by the government at a low
price or gratuitously; but this was too much even for Augustus. For
his water the Roman, it need hardly be said, paid nothing. On the
whole, at the time of which we are speaking he was fairly well
supplied with it; but in this, as in so many other matters of urban
administration, it was under Augustus that an abundant supply was
first procured and maintained by an excellent system of management.
Frontinus, to whose work _de Aqueductibus_ we owe almost all that we
know about the Roman water-supply, tells us that for four hundred and
forty-one years after the foundation of the city the Romans contented
themselves with such water as they could get from the Tiber, from
wells, and from natural springs, and adds that some of the springs
were in his day still held in honour on account of their health-giving
qualities.[66] Cicero describes Rome, in his idealising way, as "locum
fontibus abundantem," and twenty-three springs are known to have
existed; but as early 312 B.C. it was found necessary to seek
elsewhere for a purer and more regular supply. More than six miles
from Rome, on the via Collatina, springs were found and utilised for
this purpose, which have lately been re-discovered at the bottom of
some stone quarries; and hence the water was brought by underground
pipes along the line of the same road to the city, and through it to
the foot of the Aventine, the plebeian quarter. This was the Aqua
Appia, named after the famous censor Appius Claudius Caecus, whom
Mommsen has shown to have been a friend of the people.[67] Forty years
later another censor, Manius Curius Dentatus, brought a second supply,
also by an underground channel, from the river Anio near Tibur
(Tivoli), the water of which, never of the first quality, was used for
the irrigation of gardens and the flushing of drains. In 144 B.C.
it was found that these two old aqueducts were out of repair and
insufficient, and this time a praetor, Q. Marcius Rex (probably
through the influence of a family clique), was commissioned to set
them in order and to procure a fresh supply. He went much farther than
his predecessors had gone for springs, and drew a volume of excellent
and clear cold water from the Sabine hills beyond Tibur, thirty-six
miles from the city, which had the highest reputation at all times;
and for the last six miles of its course it was carried above ground
upon a series of arches.[68] One other aqueduct was added in 125 B.C.
the Aqua Tepula, so called because its water was unusually warm; and
the whole amount of water entering Rome in the last century of the
Republic is estimated at more than 700,000 cubic metres per diem,
which would amply suffice for a population of half a million. At the
present day Rome, with a population of 450,000, receives from all
sources only 379,000.[69] Baths, both public and private, were already
beginning to come into fashion; of these more will be said later
on. The water for drinking was collected in large _castella_, or
reservoirs, and thence distributed into public fountains, of which
one still survives--the "Trofei di Mario," in the Piazza Vittorio
Emmanuele on the Esquiline.[70] When the supply came to be large
enough, the owners of insulae and domus were allowed to have water
laid on by private pipes, as we have it in modern towns; but it is not
certain when this permission was first given.

3. But we must return to the individual Roman of the masses, whom we
have now seen well supplied with the necessaries of life, and try
to form some idea of the way in which he was employed, or earned a
living. This is by no means an easy task, for these small people, as
we have already seen, did not interest their educated fellow-citizens,
and for this reason we hear hardly anything of them in the literature
of the time. Not only a want of philanthropic feeling in their
betters, but an inherited contempt for all small industry and retail
dealing, has helped to hide them away from us: an _inherited_
contempt, because it is in fact a survival from an older social
system, when the citizen did not need the work of the artisan and
small retailer, but supplied all his own wants within the circle of
his household, i.e. his own family and slaves, and produced on his
farm the material of his food and clothing. And the survival was all
the stronger, because even in the late Republic the abundant supply of
slaves enabled the man of capital still to dispense largely with the
services of the tradesman and artisan.

Cicero expresses this contempt for the artisan and trading classes in
more than one striking passage. One, in his treatise on Duties, is
probably paraphrased from the Greek of Panaetius, the philosopher who
first introduced Stoicism to the Romans, and modified it to suit
their temperament, but it is quite clear that Cicero himself entirely
endorses the Stoic view. "All gains made by hired labourers," he says,
"are dishonourable and base, for what we buy of them is their labour,
not their artistic skill: with them the very gain itself does but
increase the slavishness of the work. All retail dealing too may be
put in the same category, for the dealer will gain nothing except
by profuse lying, and nothing is more disgraceful than untruthful
huckstering. Again, the work of all artisans (_opifices_) is sordid;
there can be nothing honourable in a workshop."[71]

If this view of the low character of the work of the artisan and
retailer should be thought too obviously a Greek one, let the reader
turn to the description by Livy[72]--a true gentleman--of the low
origin of Terentius Varro, the consul who was in command at Cannae; he
uses the same language as Cicero. "He sprang from an origin not merely
humble but sordid: his father was a butcher, who sold his own meat,
and employed his son in this slavish business." The story may not be
true, and indeed it is not a very probable one, but it well represents
the inherited feeling towards retail trade of the Roman of the higher
classes of society,--a feeling so tenacious of life, that even in
modern England, where it arose from much the same causes as in the
ancient world, it has only within the last century begun to die

Yet in Rome these humble workers existed and made a living for
themselves from the very beginning, as far as we can guess, of real
city life. They are the necessary and inevitable product of the growth
of a town population, and of the resulting division of labour. The
following passage from a work on industrial organisation in England
may be taken as closely representing the same process in early
Rome:[74] "The town arose as a centre in which the surplus produce of
many villages could be profitably disposed of by exchange. Trade
thus became a settled occupation, and trade prepared the way for
the establishment of the handicrafts, by furnishing capital for the
support of the craftsmen, and by creating a regular market for their
products. It was possible for a great many bodies of craftsmen,--the
weavers, tailors, butchers, bakers, etc., to find a livelihood, each
craft devoting itself to the supply of a single branch of those wants
which the village household had attempted very imperfectly to satisfy
by its own labours."

As in mediaeval Europe, so in early Rome, the same conditions produced
the same results: we find the craftsmen of the town forming themselves
into _gilds_, not only for the protection of their trade, but from a
natural instinct of association, and providing these gilds, on the
model of the older groups of family and gens, with a religious centre
and a patron deity. The gilds (_collegia_) of Roman craftsmen were
attributed to Numa, like so many other religious institutions; they
included associations of weavers, fullers, dyers, shoemakers, doctors,
teachers, painters, etc.,[75] and were mainly devoted to Minerva as
the deity of handiwork. "The society that witnessed the coming of
Minerva from Etruria ... little knew that in her temple on the
Aventine was being brought to expression the trade-union idea."[76]
These _collegia opificum_, most unfortunately, pass entirely out
of our sight, until they reappear in the age of Cicero in a very
different form, as clubs used for political purposes, but composed
still of the lowest strata of the free population (_collegia
sodalicia_).[77] The history and causes of their disappearance and
metamorphosis are lost to us; but it is not hard to guess that the
main cause is to be found in the great economic changes that followed
the Hannibalic war,--the vast number of slaves imported, and
the consequent resuscitation of the old system of the economic
independence of the great households; the decay of religious practice,
which affected both public and private life in a hundred different
ways; and that steady growth of individualism which is characteristic
of eras of town life, and especially of the last three centuries B.C.
It is curious to notice that by the time these old gilds emerge into
light again as clubs that could be used for political purposes, a new
source of gain, and one that was really sordid, had been placed within
the reach of the Roman plebs urbana: it was possible to make money by
your vote in the election of magistrates. In that degenerate when the
vast accumulation of capital made it possible for a man to purchase
his way to power, in spite of repeated attempts to check the evil by
legislation, the old principle of honourable association was used to
help the small man to make a living by choosing the unprincipled and
often the incompetent to undertake the government of the Empire.

Apart, however, from such illegal means of making money, there was
beyond doubt in the Rome of the last century B.C. a large amount of
honest and useful labour done by free citizens. We must not run away
with the idea that the whole labour of the city was performed by
slaves, who ousted the freeman from his chance of a living. There was
indeed a certain number of public slaves who did public work for the
State; but on the whole the great mass of the servile population
worked entirely within the households and on the estates of the rich,
and did not interfere to any sensible degree with the labour of the
small freeman. As has been justly observed by Salvioli,[78] never at
any period did the Roman proletariat complain of the competition of
slave labour as detrimental to its own interests. Had there been no
slave labour there, the small freeman might indeed have had a wider
field of enterprise, and have been better able to accumulate a small
capital by undertaking work for the great families, which was done,
as it was, by their slaves. But he was not aware of this, and the two
kinds of labour, the paid and the unpaid, went on side by side without
active rivalry. No doubt slavery helped to foster idleness, as it did
in the Southern States of America before the Civil War;[79] no doubt
there were plenty of idle ruffians in the city, ready to steal,
to murder, or to hire themselves out as the armed followers of a
political desperado like Clodius; but the simple necessities of the
life of those who had no slaves of their own gave employment, we may
be certain, to a great number of free tradesmen and artisans and
labourers of a more unskilled kind.

To begin with, we may ask the pertinent question, how the corn sold
cheap by the State was made into bread for the small consumer. Pliny
gives us very valuable information, which we may accept as roughly
correct, that until the year 171 B.C. there were no bakers in
Rome.[80] "The Quirites," he says, "made their own bread, which was
the business of the women, as it is still among most peoples." The
demand which was thus supplied by a new trade was no doubt caused by
the increase of the lower population of the city, by the return of old
soldiers, often perhaps unmarried, and by the manumission of slaves,
many of whom would also be inexperienced in domestic life and its
needs; and we may probably connect it with the growth of the system of
insulae, the great lodging-houses in which it would not be convenient
either to grind your corn or to bake your bread. So the bakers, called
_pistores_ from the old practice of pounding the grain in a mortar
(_pingere_), soon became a very important and flourishing section of
the plebs, though never held in high repute; and in connexion with the
distributions of corn some of them probably rose above the level of
the small tradesman, like the _pistor redemptor_, Marcus Vergilius
Eurysaces, whose monument has come down to us.[81] It should be noted
that the trade of the baker included the grinding of the corn; there
were no millers at Rome. This can be well illustrated from the
numerous bakers' shops which have been excavated at Pompeii.[82] In
one of these, for example, we find the four mills in a large apartment
at the rear of the building, and close by is the stall for the donkeys
that turned them, and also the kneading-room, oven, and store-room.
Small bakeries may have had only hand-mills, like the one with which
we saw the peasant in the _Moretum_ grinding his corn; but the donkey
was from quite early times associated with the business, as we know
from the fact that at the festival of Vesta, the patron deity of all
bakers, they were decorated with wreaths and cakes.[83]

The baking trade must have given employment to a large number of
persons. So beyond doubt did the supply of vegetables, which were
brought into the city from gardens outside, and formed, after the
corn, the staple food of the lower classes. We have already seen
in the _Moretum_ the countryman adding to his store of bread by a
hotch-potch made of vegetables, and the reader of the poem will have
been astonished at the number mentioned, including garden herbs for
flavouring purposes. The ancients were fully alive to the value of
vegetable food and of fruit as a healthy diet in warm climates, and
the wonderfully full information we have on this subject comes from
medical writers like Galen, as well as from Pliny's _Natural History_,
and from the writers on agriculture. The very names of some Roman
families, e.g. the Fabii and Caepiones, carry us back to a time when
beans and onions, which later on were not so much in favour, were a
regular part of the diet of the Roman people. The list of vegetables
and herbs which we know of as consumed fills a whole page in
Marquardt's interesting account of this subject, and includes most
of those which we use at the present day.[84] It was only when the
consumption of meat and game came in with the growth of capital
and its attendant luxury, that a vegetarian diet came to be at all
despised. This is another result of the economic changes caused by the
Hannibalic war, and is curiously illustrated by the speech of the cook
of a great household in the _Pseudolus_ of Plautus, who prides himself
on not being as other cooks are, who make the guests into beasts of
the field, stuffing them with all kinds of food which cattle eat, and
even with things which cattle would refuse![85] we may take it that at
all times the Roman of the lower class consumed fruit and vegetables
largely, and thus gave employment to a number of market-gardeners and
small purveyors. Fish he did not eat; like meat, it was too expensive;
in fact fish-eating only came in towards the end of the republican
period, and then only as a luxury for those who could afford to keep
fish-ponds on their estates. How far the supply of other luxuries,
such as butchers' meat, gave employment to freemen, is not very clear;
and perhaps we need here only take account of such few other products,
e.g. oil and wine, as were in universal demand, though not always
procurable by the needy. There were plenty of small shops in Rome
where these things were sold; we have a picture of such a shop
(_caupona_) in another of the minor Virgilian poems, the _Copa_, i.e.
hostess, or perhaps in this case the woman who danced and sang for the
entertainment of the guests. She plied her trade in a smoky tavern
(fumosa taberna), all the contents of which are charmingly described
in the poem.[86]

Let us now see how the other chief necessity of human life, the supply
of clothing, gave employment to the free Roman shopkeeper.

The clothing of the whole Roman population was originally woollen;
both the outer garment, the _toga_, the inner (_tunica_) were of this
material, and the sheep which supplied it were pastured well and
conveniently in all the higher hilly regions of Italy. Other
materials, linen, cotton, and silk, came in later with the growth
of commerce, but the manufacture of these into clothing was chiefly
carried on by slaves in the great households, and we need not take
any account of them here. The preparation of wool too was in well
regulated households undertaken even under the Empire by the women
of the family, including the materfamilias herself, and in many an
inscription we find the _lanificium_ recorded as the honourable
practice of matrons.[87] But as in the case of food, so with the
simple material of clothing, it was soon found impossible in a city
for the poorer citizens to do all that was necessary within their
own houses; this is proved conclusively by the mention of gilds of
fullers[88] (_fullones_) among those traditionally ascribed to Numa.
Fulling is the preparation of cloth by cleansing in water after it
has come from the loom; but the fuller's trade of the later republic
probably often comprised the actual manufacture of the wool for
those who could not do it themselves. He also acted as the washer of
garments already in use, and this was no doubt a very important part
of his business, for in a warm climate heavy woollen material is
naturally apt to get frequently impure and unwholesome. Soap was
not known till the first century of the Empire, and the process of
cleansing was all the more lengthy and elaborate; the details of the
process are known to us from paintings at Pompeii, where they adorn
the walls of fulleries which have been excavated. A plan of one of
them will be found in Mau's _Pompeii_, p. 388. The ordinary woollen
garments were simply bleached white, not dyed; and though dyers are
mentioned among the ancient gilds by Plutarch, it is probable that he
means chiefly fullers by the Greek word [_Greek: Bapheis_].

Of the manufacture of leather we do not know so much. This, like that
of wool, must have originally been carried on in the household, but
it is mentioned as a trade as early as the time of Plautus.[89] The
shoemakers' business was, however, a common one from the earliest
times, probably because it needs some technical skill and experience;
the most natural division of labour in early societies is sure to
produce this trade. The shoemakers' gild was among the earliest,
and had its centre in the _atrium sutorium_;[90] and the individual
shoemakers carried on their trade in booths or shops. The Roman shoe,
it may be mentioned here, was of several different kinds, according
to the sex, rank, and occupation of the wearer; but the two most
important sorts were the _calceus_, the shoe worn with the toga in the
city, and the mark of the Roman citizen; and the _pero_ or high boot,
which was more serviceable in the country.

Among the old gilds were also those of the smiths (_fabri ferrarii_)
and the potters (_figuli_), but of these little need be said here,
for they were naturally fewer in number than the vendors of food and
clothing, and the raw material for their work had, in later times at
least, to be brought from a distance. The later Romans seem to have
procured their iron-ore from the island of Elba and Spain, Gaul,
and other provinces,[91] and to have imported ware of all kinds,
especially the finer sorts, from various parts of the Empire; the
commoner kinds, such as the _dolia_ or large vessels for storing wine
and oil, were certainly made in Rome in the second century B.C., for
Cato in his book on agriculture[92] remarks that they could be best
procured there. But both these manufactures require a certain amount
of capital, and we may doubt whether the free population was largely
employed in them; we know for certain that in the early Empire
the manufacture of ware, tiles, bricks, etc., was carried on by
capitalists, some of them of noble birth, including even Emperors
themselves, and beyond doubt the "hands" they employed were chiefly

But industries of this kind may serve to remind us of another kind of
employment in which the lower classes of Rome and Ostia may have found
the means of making a living. The importation of raw materials, and
that of goods of all kinds, which was constantly on the increase
throughout Roman history, called for the employment of vast numbers of
porters, carriers, and what we should call dock hands, working both
at Ostia, where the heavier ships were unladed or relieved of part of
their cargoes in order to enable them to come up the Tiber,[94] and
also at the wharves at Rome under the Aventine. We must also remember
that almost all porterage in the city had to be done by men, with the
aid of mules or donkeys; the streets were so narrow that in trying to
picture what they looked like we must banish from our minds the
crowds of vehicles familiar in a modern city. Julius Caesar, in his
regulations for the government of the city of Rome, forbade waggons to
be driven in the streets in the day-time.[95] Even supposing that a
large amount of porterage was done by slaves for their masters, we may
reasonably guess that free labour was also employed in this way at
Rome, as was certainly the case at Ostia, and also at Pompeii, where
the pack-carriers (_saccarii_) and mule-drivers (_muliones_) are among
the corporations of free men who have left in the form of _graffiti_
appeals to voters to support a particular candidate for election to a

Thus we may safely conclude that there was a very considerable amount
of employment in Rome available for the poorer citizens, quite apart
from the labour performed by slaves. But before closing this chapter
it is necessary to point out the precarious conditions under which
that employment was carried on, as compared with the industrial
conditions of a modern city. It is true enough that the factory system
of modern times, with the sweating, the long hours of work, and the
unwholesome surroundings of our industrial towns, has produced much
misery, much physical degeneracy; and we have also the problem of the
unemployed always with us. But there were two points in which the
condition of the free artisan and tradesman at Rome was far worse
than it is with us, and rendered him liable to an even more hopeless
submersion than that which is too often the fate of the modern

First, let us consider that markets, then as now, were liable to
fluctuation,--probably more liable then than now, because the
supply both of food and of the raw material of manufacture was more
precarious owing to the greater difficulties of conveyance. Trade
would be bad at times, and many things might happen which would compel
the man with little or no capital to borrow money, which he could only
do on the security of his stock, or indeed, as the law of Rome still
recognised, of his person. Money-lenders were abundant, as we shall
find in the next chapter, interest was high, and to fall into
the hands of a money-lender was only another step on the way to
destruction. At the present day, if a tradesman fails in business, he
can appeal to a merciful bankruptcy law, which gives him every chance
to satisfy his creditors and to start afresh; or in the case of a
single debt, he can be put into a county court where every chance is
given him to pay it within a reasonable time. All this machinery, most
of which (to the disgrace of modern civilisation) is quite recent in
date was absent at Rome. The only magistrates administering the civil
law were the praetors, and though since the reforms of Sulla there
were usually eight of these in the city, we can well imagine how hard
it would be for the poor debtor in a huge city to get his affairs
attended to. Probably in most cases the creditor worked his will with
him, took possession of his property without the interference of the
law, and so submerged him, or even reduced him to slavery. If he chose
to be merciful he could go to the praetor, and get what was called a
_missio in bona_, i.e. a legal right to take the whole of his debtor's
property, waiving the right to his person. And it must be noted that
no more humane law of bankruptcy was introduced until the time of
Augustus. No wonder that at least three times in the last century
of the Republic there arose a cry for the total abolition of debts
(_tabulae novae_): in 88 B.C., after the Social War; in 63, during
Cicero's consulship, when political and social revolutionary projects
were combined in the conspiracy of Catiline; and in 48, when the
economic condition of Italy had been disturbed by the Civil War, and
Caesar had much difficulty in keeping unprincipled agitators from
applying violent and foolish remedies. But to this we shall return in
the next chapter.

Secondly, let us consider that in a large city of to-day the person
and property of all, rich or poor are adequately protected by a sound
system of police and by courts of first instance which are sitting
every day. Assault and murder, theft and burglary, are exceptional. It
might be going too far to say that at Rome they were the rule; but it
is the fact that in what we may call the slums of Rome there was no
machinery for checking them. No such machinery had been invented,
because according to the old rules of law, still in force, a father
might punish his children, a master his slaves, and a murderer or
thief might be killed by his intended victim if caught red-handed.
This rude justice would suffice in a small city and a simple social
system; but it would be totally inadequate to protect life and
property in a huge population, such as that of the Rome of the last
century B.C. Since the time of Sulla there had indeed been courts for
the trial of crimes of violence, and at all times the consuls with
their staff of assistants had been charged with the peace of the city;
but we may well ask whether the poor Roman of Cicero's day could
really benefit either by the consular imperium or the action of the
Sullan courts. A slave was the object of his master's care, and
theft from a slave was theft from his owner,--if injured or murdered
satisfaction could be had for him. But in that age of slack and sordid
government it is at least extremely doubtful whether either the person
or the property of the lower class of citizen could be said to have
been properly protected in the city. And the same anarchy prevailed
all over Italy,--from the suburbs of Rome, infested by robbers, to
the sheep-farm of the great capitalist, where the traveller might be
kidnapped by runaway slaves, to vanish from the sight of men without
leaving a trace of his fate.

It is the great merit of Augustus that he made Rome not only a city of
marble, but one in which the person and property of all citizens
were fairly secure. By a new and rational bankruptcy law, and by a
well-organised system of police, he made life endurable even for the
poorest. If he initiated a policy which eventually spoilt and degraded
the Roman population, if he failed to encourage free industry as
persistently as it seems to us that he might have done, he may perhaps
be in some degree excused, as knowing the conditions and difficulties
of the problem before him better than we can know them.



The highest class in the social scale at Rome was divided, roughly
rather than exactly, into two sections, according as they did or did
not aim at being elected to magistracies and so entering the senate.
To the senatorius ordo, which will be dealt with in the next chapter,
belonged all senators, and all sons of senators whether or no they had
as yet been elected to the quaestorship, which after Sulla was the
magistracy qualifying for the senate. But outside the senatorial ranks
there were numbers of wealthy and well educated men, most of whom
were engaged in one way or another in business; by which term is here
meant, not so much trading and mercantile operations, as banking,
money-lending, the undertaking of State contracts, and the raising of
taxes. The general name for this class was, strange to say, equites,
or knights, as they are often but unfortunately called in modern
histories of Rome. They were in fact at this time the most unmilitary
part of the population, and they inherited the title only because the
property qualification for the equites equo privato, i.e. the cavalry
who served with their horses, had been taken as the qualification also
for equestrian judices, to whom Gaius Gracchus had given the decision
of cases in the quaestio de repetundis.[97] This law of Gracchus had
had the result of constituting an ordo equester alongside of the ordo
senatorius, with a property qualification of 400,000 sesterces, or
about £3200, not of income but of capital. Any one who had this sum
could call himself an eques, provided he were not a senator, even if
he had never served in the cavalry or mounted a horse.

We are concerned here with the business which these men carried on,
not with their history as a body in the State; this latter difficult
subject has been handled by Dr. Greenidge in his _Roman Public
Life_, and by many other writers. We have to take them here as the
representatives of capital and the chief uses to which it was put in
the age of Cicero; for, as a matter of fact, they were then doing by
far the greatest part of the money-making of the Empire. They were not
indeed always doing it for themselves; they often represented men of
senatorial rank, and acted as their agents in the investment of money
and in securing the returns due. For the senator was not allowed, by
the strict letter of the law, to engage in business which would take
him out of Italy;[98] his services were needed at home, and if indeed
he had performed his proper work with industry and energy he never
could have found time to travel on his own business. At the time of
which we are speaking there were ways in which he could escape
from his duties,--ways only too often used; but many senators did
undoubtedly employ members of the equestrian order to transact their
business abroad, so that it is not untrue to say that the equites
had in their hands almost the whole of the monetary business of the

The property qualification may seem to us small enough, but it is of
course no real index to the amount of capital which a wealthy eques
might possess. Nothing is more astonishing in the history of the last
century of the republic than the vast sums of money in the hands of
individuals, and the enormous sums lent and borrowed in private by the
men whose names are familiar to us as statesmen. It is told of Caesar
that as a very young man he owed a sum equivalent to about £280,000;
of Crassus that he had 200 million sesterces invested in land
alone.[99] Cicero, though from time to time in difficulties, always
found it possible to borrow the large sums which he spent on houses,
libraries, etc. These are men of the ordo senatorius; of the equites
proper, the men who dealt rather in lending than borrowing, we have
not such explicit accounts, because they were not in the same degree
before the public. But of Atticus, the type of the best and highest
section of the ordo equester, and of the amount and the sources of his
wealth, we happen to know a good deal from the little biography of him
written by his contemporary and friend Cornelius Nepos, taken together
with Cicero's numerous letters to him. His father had left him the
moderate fortune of £16,000. With this he bought land, not in Italy
but in Epirus, where it was probably to be had cheap. The profits
arising from this land, with which he took no doubt much trouble and
pains, he invested again in other ways. He lent money to Greek cities:
to Athens indeed without claiming any interest; to Sicyon without much
hope of repayment; but no doubt to many others at a large profit. He
also undertook the publishing of books, buying slaves who were skilled
copyists; and in this, as in so many other ways, his friendship was of
infinite value to Cicero. When we reflect that every highly educated
man at this time owned a library and wished to have the last new
book, we can understand how even this business might be extensive and
profitable, and are not astonished to find Cicero asking Atticus to
see that copies of his Greek book on his own consulship were to be had
in Athens and other Greek towns.[100] This shrewd man also invested in
gladiators, whom he could let out at a profit, as no doubt he would
let out his library slaves.[101] Lastly, he owned houses in Rome; in
fact he must have been making money in many different ways, spending
little himself, and attending personally and indefatigably to all his
business, as indeed with true and disinterested friendship he
attended to that of Cicero In him we see the best type of the Roman
businessman: not the bloated millionaire living in coarse luxury, but
the man who loved to be always busy for himself or his friends, and
whose knowledge of men and things was so thorough that he could make
a fortune without anxiety to himself or discomfort to others. What
amount of capital he realised in these various ways we do not know,
but the mass of his fortune came to him after he had been pursuing
them for many years, in the form of a legacy from an uncle. This uncle
was a typical capitalist and money-lender of a much lower and coarser
type than his nephew; Nepos aptly describes him as "familiarem L.
Luculli, divitem, _difficillima natura_." The nephew was the only man
who could get on with this Peter Featherstone of Roman life, and this
simple fact tells us as much about the character and disposition of
Atticus as anything in Cicero's correspondence with him. The happy
result was that his uncle left him a sum which we may reckon at about
£80,000 (_centies sestertium_),[102] and henceforward he may be
reckoned, if not as a millionaire, at any rate as a man of large
capital, soundly invested and continually on the increase.

There is no doubt then as to the fact of the presence of capital on a
large scale in the Rome of the last century B.C., or of the business
talents of many of its holders, or again of the many profitable ways
in which it might be invested. But in order to learn a little more of
the history of capital at Rome, which is of the utmost importance for
a proper understanding not only of the economic, but of the social and
ethical characteristics of the age, it is necessary to go as far back
as the war with Hannibal at least.

That there had been surplus capital in the hands of individuals long
before the war with Hannibal is a well known fact, proved by the old
Roman law of debt, and by the traditions of the unhappy relations
of debtor and creditor. But in order not to go back too far, we may
notice a striking fact which meets us at the very outset of that
momentous war. In 215 B.C., and again the next year, the treasury was
almost empty; then for the first time, so far as we know, private
individuals came to the rescue, and lent large sums to the State;[103]
these were partners in certain associations to be described later on
in this chapter, which had made money by undertaking State contracts
in the previous wars. The presence of Hannibal in Italy strained the
resources of the State to the utmost in every way; it cut the Romans
off from their supply of the precious metals, forced them to reduce
the weight of the _as_ to one ounce, and, curiously enough, also to
issue gold coins for the first time,--a measure probably taken on
account of the dearth of silver,--and to make use of the uncoined gold
in the treasury or in private hands. At the end of the war the supply
of silver was recovered; henceforward all reckonings were made in
silver, and the gold coinage was not long continued.

At this happy time, when Rome felt that she could breathe again after
the final defeat of her deadly enemy, began the great inpouring of
wealth of which the capitalism of Cicero's time is the direct result.
The chief sources of this wealth, so far as the State was concerned,
were the indemnities paid by conquered peoples, especially Carthage
and Antiochus of Syria, and the booty brought home by victorious
generals. Of these Livy has preserved explicit accounts, and the best
example is perhaps that of the booty brought by Scipio Asiaticus
from Asia Minor in 189 B.C., of which Pliny remarks that it first
introduced luxury into Italy.[104] It has been roughly computed that
the total amount from indemnities may be taken at six million of our
pounds, in the period of the great wars of the second century B.C.,
and from booty very much the same sum. Besides this we have to take
account of the produce of the Spanish silver mines, of which the
Romans came into possession with the Carthaginian dominions in Spain;
the richest of these were near Carthago Nova, and Polybius tells us
that in his day they employed 40,000 miners, and produced an immense

All this went into the aerarium, except what was distributed out of
the booty to the soldiers, both Romans and socii, the former naturally
taking as a rule double the amount paid to the latter. But the influx
of treasure into the State coffers soon began to tell upon the
financial welfare of the whole citizen community; the most striking
proof of this is the fact that, in 167 B.C., after the second
Macedonian war, the _tribulum_ or property-tax was no longer imposed
upon all citizens. Henceforward the Roman citizen had hardly any
burdens to bear except the necessity of military service, and there
are very distinct signs that he was beginning to be unwilling to
bear even that one. He saw the prominent men of his time enriching
themselves abroad and leading luxurious lives, and the spirit of ease
and idleness began inevitably to affect him too. Polybius indeed,
writing about 140-130 B.C., declines to state positively that the
great Romans were corrupt or extortionate,[106] and those who were his
intimate friends, Aemilius Paullus and his sons, were distinguished
for their "abstinentia": but the mere occurrence of this word
"abstinentia" in the epitomes of Livy's lost books which dealt with
this time, betrays the fact too obviously. In 149 was passed the
first of the long series of laws intended, but in vain, to check the
tendency of provincial governors to extort money from their subjects;
and as this law established for the first time a standing court to try
offences of this kind, the inference is inevitable that such offences
were common and on the increase.

The remarkable fact about this inpouring of wealth is its
extraordinary suddenness. Within the lifetime of a single individual,
Cato the Censor, who died an old man in 149 B.C., the financial
condition of the State and of individuals had undergone a complete
change. Cato loved to make money and knew very well how to do it, as
his own treatise on agriculture plainly shows; but he wished to do it
in a legitimate way, and to spend profitably the money he made, and
he spared no pains to prevent others from making it illegally and
spending it unprofitably. He saw clearly that the sudden influx of
wealth was disturbing the balance of the Roman mind, and that the
desire to make money was taking the place of the idea of duty to the
State. He knew that no Roman could serve two masters, Mammon and the
State, and that Mammon was getting the upper hand in his views of
life. If the accumulation of wealth had been gradual instead of
sudden, natural instead of artificial, this could hardly have
happened; as in England from the fourteenth century onwards, the
steady growth of capital would have produced no ethical mischief, no
false economic ideas, because it would have been an _organic_ growth,
resting upon a sound and natural economic basis.[107] As the French
historian has said with singular felicity,[108] "Money is like water
of a river: if it suddenly floods, it devastates; divide it into a
thousand channels where it circulates quietly, and it brings life and
fertility to every spot."

It was in this period of the great wars, so unwholesome and perilous
economically, that the men of business, as defined at the beginning of
this chapter--the men of capital outside the ordo senatorius--first
rose to real importance. In the century that followed, and as we see
them more especially in Cicero's correspondence, they became a great
power in the State, and not only in Rome, but in every corner of the
Empire. We have now to see how they gained this importance and
this power, and what use they made of their capital and their
opportunities. This is not usually explained or illustrated in the
ordinary histories of Rome, yet it is impossible without explaining it
to understand either the social or the public life of the Rome of this

The men of business may be divided into two classes, according as they
undertook work for the State or on their own account entirely. It does
not follow that these two classes were mutually exclusive; a man might
very well invest his money in both kinds of undertaking, but these two
kinds were totally distinct, and called by different names. A public
undertaking was called _publicum_,[109] and the men who undertook it
_publicani_; a private undertaking was _negotium_, and all private
business men were known as _negotiatores_. The publicani were always
organised in joint-stock companies (_societates publicanorum_);
the negotiatores might be in private partnership with one or more
partners,[110] but as a rule seem to have been single individuals. We
will deal first with the publicani.

In a passage of Livy quoted just now it is stated that at the
beginning of the Hannibalic war money was advanced to the State by
societates publicanorum; Livy also happens to mention that three of
these competed for the privilege. Thus it is clear that the system of
getting public work done by contract was in full operation before that
date, together with the practice on the part of the contractors of
uniting in partnerships to lessen the risk. System and practice are
equally natural, and it needs but a little historical imagination to
realise their development. As the Roman State became involved in wars
leading to the conquest of Italy, and in due time to the acquisition
of dominions beyond sea, armies and fleets had to be equipped and
provisioned, roads had to be made, public rents to be got in, new
buildings to be erected for public convenience or worship, corn had to
be procured for the growing population, and, above all, taxes had
to be collected both in Italy and in the provinces as these were
severally acquired.[111] The government had no apparatus for carrying
out these undertakings itself; it had not, as we have, separate
departments or bureaux with a permanent staff of officials attached to
each, and even if it had been so provided, it would still have
found it most convenient, as modern governments also do, to get the
necessary work carried out in most cases by private contractors. Every
five years the censors let the various works by auction to contracting
companies, who engaged to carry them out for fixed sums, and make what
profit they could out of the business (_censoria locatio_). This saved
an immense amount of trouble to the senate and magistrates, who were
usually busily engaged in other matters; nor was there at first any
harm in the system, so long as the Romans were morally sound, and
incapable of jobbing or scamping their work. The very fact that they
united into companies for the purpose of undertaking these contracts
shows that they were aware of the risk involved, and wished as far as
possible to neutralise it; it did not mean greed for money, but rather
anxiety not to lose the capital invested.

But as Rome advanced her dominion in the second century B.C., and
had to see to an ever-increasing amount of public business, it was
discovered that the business of contracting was one which might indeed
be risky, but with skill and experience, and especially with a trifle
of unscrupulousness, might be made a perfectly safe and paying
investment. This was especially the case with the undertakings for
raising the taxes in the newly acquired provinces as well as in Italy,
more particularly in those provinces, viz. Sicily and Asia, which paid
their taxes in the form of tithe and not in a lump sum. The collection
of these revenues could be made a very paying concern seeing that it
was not necessary to be too squeamish about the rights and claims of
the provincials. And, indeed, by the time of the Gracchi all these
joint-stock companies had become the one favourite investment in
which every one who had any capital, however small, placed it without
hesitation. Polybius, who was in Rome at this time for several years,
and was thoroughly acquainted with Roman life, has left a valuable
record in his sixth book (ch. xvii.) of the universal demand for
shares in these companies; a fact which proves that they were believed
to be both safe and profitable.

These societates were managed by the great men of business, as our
joint-stock companies are directed by men of capital and consequence.
Polybius tells us that among those who were concerned, some took the
contracts from the censors: these were called _mancipes_, because
the sign of accepting the contract at the auction was to hold up the
hand.[112] Others, Polybius goes on, were in association with these
mancipes, and, as we may assume, equally responsible with them; these
were the _socii_. It was of course necessary that security should be
given for the fulfilment of the contract, and Polybius does not omit
to mention the _praedes_ or guarantors[113]. Lastly, he says that
others again gave their property on behalf of these official members
of the companies, or in their name, for the public purpose in hand.
These last words admit of more than one interpretation, but as in the
same passage Polybius tells us that all who had any money put it into
these concerns, we may reasonably suppose that he means to indicate
the _participes_, or small holders of shares, which were called
_partes_, or if very small, _particulae_[114]. The socii and
participes seem to be distinguished by Cicero in his Verrine orations
(ii. 1. 55), where he quotes an addition made by Verres illegally as
praetor to a lex censoria: "qui de censoribus redemerit, eum socium ne
admittito neve partem dato." If this be so, we may regard the socius
as having a share both in the management and the liability, while the
particeps merely put his money into the undertaking[115]. The actual
management, on which Polybius is silent, was in Rome in the hands of a
_magister_, changing yearly, like the magistrates of the State, and
in the provinces of a _pro-magister_ answering to the pro-magistrate,
with a large staff of assistants[116]. Communications between
the management at home and that in the provinces were kept up by
messengers (_tabellarii_), who were chiefly slaves; and it is
interesting incidentally to notice that these, who are constantly
mentioned in Cicero's letters, also acted as letter-carriers for
private persons to whom their employers were known.

Such a business as this, involving the interests of so many citizens,
must have necessitated something very like the Stock Exchange or
Bourse of modern times; and in fact the basilicas and porticoes which
we met with in the Forum during our walk through Rome did actually
serve this purpose.[117] The reader of Cicero's letters will have
noticed how often the Forum is spoken of as the centre of life at
Rome--going down to the Forum was indeed the equivalent of "going into
the City," as well as of "going down to Westminster." All who had
investments in the societates would wish to know the latest news
brought by _tabellarii_ from the provinces, e.g. of the state of the
crop in Sicily or Asia, or of the disposition of some provincial
governor towards the publicani of his province, or again of the
approach of some enemy, such as Mithridates or Ariovistus, who by
defeating a Roman army might break into Roman territory and destroy
the prospects of a successful contractual enterprise. Assuredly
Cicero's love for the Forum was not a political one only; he loved it
indeed as the scene of his great triumphs as an advocate, but also
no doubt because he was concerned in some of the companies which had
their headquarters there. When urging the people to give Pompeius
extraordinary powers to drive Mithridates out of reach of Roman Asia,
where he had done incalculable damage, he dwells both with knowledge
and feeling on the value of the province, not only to the State, but
to innumerable private citizens who had their money invested in its
revenues[118]. "If some," he pleads, "lose their whole fortunes,
they will drag many more down with them. Save the State from such a
calamity: and believe me (though you see it well enough) that the
whole system of credit and finance which is carried on here at Rome in
the Forum, is inextricably bound up with the revenues of the Asiatic
province. If those revenues are destroyed, our whole system of credit
will come down with a crash. See that you do not hesitate for a moment
to prosecute with all your energies a war by which the glory of the
Roman name, the safety of our allies, our most valuable revenues,
and the fortunes of innumerable citizens, will be effectually

This is a good example of the way in which political questions might
be decided in the interests of capital, and it is all the more
striking, because a few years earlier Sulla had done all he could to
weaken the capitalists as a distinct class. Pompeius went out with
abnormal powers, and might be considered for the time as their
representative; the result in this case was on the whole good, for the
work he did in the East was of permanent value to the Empire. But the
constitution was shaken and never wholly recovered, and nothing that
he was able to do could restore the unfortunate province of Asia
to its former prosperity. Four years later the company which had
contracted for raising the taxes in the province sought to repudiate
their bargain. This was disgraceful, as Cicero himself expressly
says;[120] but it is quite possible that they had great difficulty
in getting the money in, and feared a dead loss,[121] owing to
the impoverishment of the provincials. This matter again led to a
political crisis; for the senate, urged by Cato, was disposed to
refuse the concession, and the alliance between the senatorial class
and the business men (_ordinum concordia_), which it had been Cicero's
particular policy to confirm, in order to mass together all men of
property against the dangers of socialism and anarchy, was thereby
threatened so seriously that it ceased to be a factor in politics.

These companies and their agents were indeed destined to be a thorn in
Cicero's side as a provincial governor himself. When called upon to
rule Cilicia in 51 B.C. he found the people quite unable to pay their
taxes and driven into the hands of the middleman in order to do
so;[122] his sympathies were thus divided between the unfortunate
provincials, for whom he felt a genuine pity, and the interests of
the company for collecting the Cilician taxes, and of those who had
invested their money in its funds. In his edict, issued before his
entrance into the province, he had tried to balance the conflicting
interests; writing of it to Atticus, who had naturally as a capitalist
been anxious to know what he was doing, he says that he is doing all
he can for the publicani, coaxing them, praising them, yielding to
them--but taking care that they do no mischief;[123] words which
perhaps did not altogether satisfy his friend. All honest provincial
governors, especially in the Eastern provinces, which had been the
scene of continual wars for nearly three centuries, found themselves
in the same difficulty. They were continually beset by urgent appeals
on behalf of the tax-companies and their agents--appeals made
without a thought of the condition of a province or its tax-paying
capacity--so completely had the idea of making money taken possession
of the Roman mind. Among the letters of Cicero are many such appeals,
sent by himself to other provincial governors, some of them while he
was himself in Cilicia. We may take two as examples, before bringing
this part of our subject to a close.

The first of these letters is to P. Silius Nerva, propraetor of
Bithynia, a province recently added to the Empire by Pompeius. Cicero
here says that he is himself closely connected with the partners
in the company for collecting the pasture-dues (scriptura) of the
province, "not only because that company as a body is my client, but
also because I am very intimate with most of the individual partners."
Can we doubt that he was himself a shareholder? He urges Nerva to do
all he can for Terentius Hispo, the pro-magister of the company,
and to try to secure for him the means of making all the necessary
arrangements with the taxed communities--relying, we are glad to find,
on the tact and kindness of the governor.[124] The second letter, to
his own son-in-law, Furius Crassipes, quaestor of Bithynia, shall be
quoted here in full from Mr. Shuckburgh's translation:[125]

"Though in a personal interview I recommended as earnestly as I could
the publicani of Bithynia, and though I gathered that by your own
inclination no less than from my recommendation, you were anxious to
promote the advantage of that company in every way in your power, I
have not hesitated to write you this, since those interested thought
it of great importance that I should inform you what my feeling
towards them was. I wish you to believe that, while I have ever had
the greatest pleasure in doing all I can for the order of publicani
generally, yet this particular company of Bithynia has my special
good wishes. Owing to the rank and birth of its members, this company
constitutes a very important part of the state: for it is made up of
members of the other companies: and it so happens that a very large
number of its members are extremely intimate with me, and especially
the man who is at present at the head of the business, P. Rupilius,
its pro-magister. Such being the case, I beg you with more than common
earnestness to protect Cn. Pupius, an employé of the company,[126] by
every sort of kindness and liberality in your power, and to secure, as
you easily may, that his services shall be as satisfactory as possible
to the company, while at the same time securing and promoting the
property and interests of the partners--as to which I am well aware
how much power a quaestor possesses. You will be doing me in this
matter a very great favour, and I can myself from personal experience
pledge you my word that you will find the partners of the Bithynia
company gratefully mindful of any services you can do them."

If Cicero, the most tender-hearted of Roman public men, could urge
the claims of the companies so strongly, and, as in this last letter,
without any allusion to the interests of the province and its people,
we may well imagine how others, less scrupulous, must have combined
with the capitalists to work havoc in regions that only needed peace
and mild government to recover from centuries of misery. Such a letter
is the best comment we can have on the pernicious system of raising
taxes by contract--a system which was to be modified, regulated, and
eventually reduced to harmless dimensions under the benevolent and
scientific government of the early Empire.

We must now turn to the other department of the activity of the men of
business, that of banking and money-lending (_negotiatores_).

On the north or sunny side of the Forum we noticed in our walk round
the city the shops of the bankers (_tabernae argentariae_).
The _argentarii_ were originally, as their name suggests, only
money-changers, a class of small business men that arose in response
to a need felt as soon as increasing commerce and extended empire
brought foreign coin in large quantities to Rome. The Italian
communities outside the Roman State issued their own coinage until
they were admitted to the civitas after the Social War,--a fact which
alone is sufficient to show the need of men who made it their business
to know the current value of various coins in Roman money; and as
Rome became involved in the affairs of the East, there were always
circulating in the city the tetradrachms of Antioch and Alexandria,
the Rhodian drachmas, and the cistophori of the kings of Pergamus,
afterwards coined in the province of Asia.[127] No doubt the
money-changing business was a profitable one, and itself led to the
formation of capital which could be used in taking deposits and making
advances; and, as Professor Purser puts it,[128] the mere possession
of a quantity of coin for purposes of change would be likely to
develop spontaneously the profession of banking. In the same way the
_nummularii_, or assayers of the coin, having a mass of it in their
hands, would tend to develop a private business as well as their
official public one. All these, argentarii or nummularii, might be
called _foeneratores_, from the interest (_foenus_) which they charged
in their transactions. The profession was a respectable one, for
honesty and exactness in accounts were absolutely necessary to success
in it.[129] If the reader will turn to Cicero's speech in defence
of Caecina (6. 16), he will find these accounts appealed to, though
apparently not actually produced in court; but in the _Noctes Atticae_
of Aulus Gellius (xiv. 2) a judge who is describing a civil case which
came before him, mentions, among the documents produced, _mensae
rationes_, i.e. the accounts kept by the banker.

Your argentarius seems to have been ready to undertake for you almost
all that a modern banker will do for his customer. He would take
deposits of money, either for the depositor's use or to bear interest,
and would make payments on his behalf on receipt of a written order,
answering to our cheque;[130] this was a practice probably introduced
from Greece, for in the Eastern Mediterranean the whole business of
credit and exchange had long been reduced to a system. Again, if you
wished to be supplied with money during a journey, or to pay a sum to
any one at a distance, e.g. in Greece or Asia, your argentarius
would arrange it for you by giving you letters of credit or bills of
exchange on a banker at such towns as you might mention, and so save
you the trouble of carrying a heavy weight of coin with you. When,
Cicero sent his son to the University of Athens, he wished to give
him a generous allowance,--too generous, as we should think, for it
amounted to about £640 a year,--and he asked Atticus whether it could
be managed for him by _permutatio_, i.e. exchange, and received an
affirmative answer[131]. So too when his beloved freedman secretary
Tiro fell ill of fever at Patrae, Cicero finds it easy to get a local
banker there to advance him all the money he needed, and to pay the
doctor, engaging himself to repay the money to any agent whom the
banker might name[132].

Your argentarius would also attend for you, or appoint an agent to
attend, at any public auction in which you were interested as seller
or purchaser, and would pay or receive the money for you,--a practice
which must have greatly helped him in getting to know the current
value of all kinds of property, and indeed in learning to understand
human nature on its business side. In the passage from the _pro
Caecina_ quoted just now, a lady, Caesennia, wished to buy an estate;
she employs an agent, Aebutius, no doubt recommended by her banker,
and to him the estate is knocked down. He undertakes that the
argentarius of the vendor, who is present at the auction, shall be
paid the value, and this is ultimately done by Caesennia, and the sum
entered in the banker's books (tabulae).

But perhaps the most important part of the business was the finding
money for those who were in want of it, i.e. making advances on
interest. The poor man who was in need of ready money could get it
from the argentarius in coin if he had any security to offer, and,
as we saw in the last chapter, might get entangled more and more
hopelessly in the nets of the money-lender. Whether the same
argentarius did this small business and also the work of supplying the
rich man with credit, we do not know; it may have been the case that
the great money-lenders like Atticus themselves employed argentarii,
and so kept them going. That Atticus would undertake, anyhow, for a
friend like Cicero, any amount of money-finding, we know well from
many letters of Cicero, written when he was anxious to buy a piece
of land at any cost on which to erect a shrine to his beloved
daughter[133]; and we may be pretty sure that Atticus could not have
done all that Cicero importunately pressed upon him if he had not had
a number of useful professional agents at command. From these same
letters we also learn that finding money by no means necessarily meant
finding coin; in a society where every one was lending or borrowing,
and probably doing both at the same time, what actually passed was
chiefly securities, mortgages, debts, and so on. If you wanted to hand
over a hundred thousand or so to a creditor, what your agent had as
often as not to do was to persuade that creditor to accept as payment
the debts owing to yourself from others, i.e. you would hand over to
him, if he would accept them, the bonds or other securities given you
by your own debtors.[134]

It is plain then that the money-lenders had an enormous business, even
in Rome alone, and risky as it undoubtedly was, it must often have
been a profitable one. And it was not only at Rome that men were
borrowing and lending, but over the whole Empire. For reasons which it
would need an economic treatise to explain, private men, cities, and
even kings were in want of money; it was needed to meet the increased
cost of living and the constantly increasing standard of living among
the educated;[135] it was needed by the cities of Greece and the East
to repair the damages done in the wars of the last three hundred
years; it was needed by the poorer provincials to pay the taxes for
which neither the publicani nor the Roman government could afford to
wait; and it was needed by the kings who had come within the dismal
shadow of the Roman Empire, in order to carry on their own government,
or to satisfy the demands of the neighbouring provincial governor, or
to bribe the ruling men at Rome to get some decree passed in their
favour. Cicero, at the end of his life, looking back to his own
consulship in 63, says that at no time in his recollection was the
whole world in such a condition of indebtedness,[136] and in a famous
passage in his second Catilinarian oration he has drawn a picture of
the various classes of debtors in Rome and Italy at that time (_Cat._
ii. § 18 foll.). He tells us of those who have wealth and yet will not
pay their debts; of those who are in debt and look to a revolution to
absolve them; of the veterans of the Sullan army, settled in colonies
such as Faesulae, who had rushed into debt in order to live luxurious
lives; of old debtors of the city, getting deeper and deeper into the
quagmire, who joined the conspiracy as a last desperate venture. There
was in fact in that famous year a real social fermentation going on,
caused by economic disturbance of the most serious kind; the germs of
the disease can be traced back to the Hannibalic war and its effects
on Italy, but all the symptoms had been continually exacerbated by the
negligence and ignorance of the government, and brought to a head by
the Social and Civil Wars in 90-82 B.C. In 63 the State escaped an
economic catastrophe through the vigilance of Cicero and the alliance
of the respectable classes under his leadership. In 49, and again in
48, it escaped a similar disaster through the good sense of Caesar and
his agents, who succeeded in steering between Scylla and Charybdis by
saving the debtors without ruining the lenders.[137]

Wonderful figures are given by later writers, such as Plutarch, of the
debts and loans of the great men of this time, and they may stand as
giving us a general impression of private financial recklessness. But
the only authentic information that has come down to us is what
Cicero drops from time to time in his correspondence about his own
affairs,[138] and even this needs much explanation which we are unable
to apply to it. What is certain is that Cicero never had more than a
very moderate income on which he could depend, and that at times he
was hard up for money, especially of course after his exile and the
confiscation of his property; and that on the other hand he never had
any difficulty in getting the sums he needed, and never shows the
smallest real anxiety about his finances. His profession as a
barrister only brought him a return indirectly in the form of an
occasional legacy or gift, since fees were forbidden by a lex Cincia;
his books could hardly have paid him, at least in the form of money;
his inherited property was small, and his Italian villas were not
profitable farms, nor was it the practice to let such country houses,
as we do now, when not occupying them; he declined a provincial
government, the usual source of wealth, and when at last compelled
to undertake one, only realised what was then a paltry sum,--some
£17,500, all of which, while in deposit at Ephesus, was seized by
the Pompeians in the Civil War.[139] Yet even early in life he could
afford the necessary expenses for election to successive magistracies,
and could live in the style demanded of an important public man.
Immediately after his consulship he paid £28,000 for Crassus' house
on the Palatine, and it is here that we first discover how he managed
such financial operations. Here are his own words in a letter to a
friend of December 62 B.C.:[140] "I have bought the house for 3,500
sestertia ... so you may now look on me as so deeply in debt as to be
eager to join a conspiracy if any one would admit me! ... Money is
plentiful at 6 per cent, and the success of my measures (in the
consulship) has caused me to be regarded as a good security."

The simple fact was that Cicero was always regarded as a safe man to
lend money to, by the business men and the great capitalists; partly
because he was an honest man,--a _vir bonus_ who would never dream of
repudiation or bankruptcy; partly because he knew every one, and had
a hundred wealthy friends besides the lender of the moment and among
them, most faithful of all, the prudent and indefatigable Atticus.
Undoubtedly then it was by borrowing, and regularly paying interest
on the loans, that he raised money whenever he wanted it. He may have
occasionally made money in the companies of tax-collectors; we have
seen that he probably had shares in some of their ventures. But there
is no clear evidence in his letters of this source of wealth,[141] and
there is abundant evidence of the borrowing. After his return from
exile, though the senate had given him somewhat meagre compensation
for the loss of his property, he began at once to borrow and to build:
"I am building in three places," he writes to his brother,[142] "and
am patching up my other houses. I live somewhat more lavishly than I
used to do; I am obliged to do so." Here again we know from whom he
borrowed,--it was this same brother, who of course had no more certain
income than his own, probably less. But he had been governor of Asia
for three years (61-58 B.C.), and must have realised large sums even
in that exhausted province; and at this moment he was legatus to
Pompeius as special commissioner for organising the supply of
corn, and thus was in immediate contact with one of the greatest
millionaires of the day. In order to repay his brother all Marcus
had to do was to borrow from other friends. "In regard to money I am
crippled. But the liberality of my brother I have repaid, in spite of
his protests, by the aid of my friends, that I might not be drained
quite dry myself" (_ad Att._ iv. 3). Two years later an unwary reader
might feel some astonishment at finding that Quintus himself was now
deep in debt;[143] but as he continues to read the correspondence his
astonishment will vanish. With the prospect before him of a prolonged
stay in Gaul with Caesar, Quintus might doubtless have borrowed to any
extent; and in fact with Caesar's help--the proceeds of the Gallic
wars--both brothers found themselves in opulence. The Civil War, and
the repayment of his debts to Caesar, nearly ruined Marcus towards the
end of his life, but nothing prevented his contriving to find money
for any object on which he had set his heart; when in his grief for
the loss of his daughter he wishes to buy suburban gardens where a
shrine to her memory may (strange to say) attract public notice, he
tells Atticus to buy what is necessary _at any cost_. "Manage the
business your own way; do not consider what my purse demands--about
that I care nothing--but what I _want_."[144]

Such being the financial method of Cicero and his brother, we cannot
be surprised to find that the younger generation of the family
followed faithfully in the footsteps of their elders. We have seen
that the young Marcus had a large allowance at Athens and on the whole
he seems to have kept fairly well within it, in spite of some trouble;
but his cousin the younger Quintus, coming to see his uncle in
December 45, showed him a gloomy countenance, and on being asked the
meaning of it, said that he was going with Caesar to the Parthian war
in order to avoid his creditors, and presumably to make money to pay
them with.[145] He had not even enough money for the journey out. His
uncle did not offer to give him any, but he does not seem to have
thought very seriously of the young man's embarrassments.

One more example of the financial dealings of the business men of this
extraordinary age, and we will bring this chapter to an end. It is a
story which has luckily been preserved in Cicero's speech in defence
of a certain Rabirius Postumus in the year 54, who was accused under
Caesar's law de pecuniis repetundis (extortion in the provinces). It
is a remarkable revelation of all the most striking methods of making
and using money in the last years of the Republic.

The father of this Rabirius, says Cicero, had been a distinguished
member of the equestrian order, and "fortissimus et maximus
publicanus"; not greedy of money, but most liberal to his friends--in
other words, he was not a miser, for that character was rare in this
age, but lent his money freely in order to acquire influence and
consideration. The son took up the same line of business, and engaged
in a wide sphere of financial operations. He dealt largely in the
stock of the tax-companies; he lent money to cities in several
provinces; he lent money to Ptolemy Auletes, King of Egypt, both
before he was expelled from his kingdom by sedition, and afterwards
when he was in Rome in 59 and 58, intriguing to induce the senate
to have him restored. Rabirius never doubted that he would be so
restored, and seems to have failed to see the probability of such a
policy being contested or quarrelled about, as actually happened in
the winter of 57-56. He lent, and persuaded his friends to lend:[146]
he represented the king's cause as a good investment; and then, like
the investing agent of to-day who slips so easily from carelessness
into crime, he had to go on lending more and more, because he feared
that if he stopped the king might turn against him.

He had staked the mass of his substance on a desperate venture. But
time went on and Ptolemy was not restored, and without the revenues of
his kingdom he of course could not pay his creditors. At last, at the
end of the year 56, Gabinius, then governor of Syria, had pressure
put on him by the creditors--among them perhaps both Caesar and
Pompeius--to march into Egypt without the authority of the senate. He
took Rabirius with him, and, in order to secure the repayment,
the latter was made superintendent (dioikaetaes) of the Egyptian
revenues[147]. Unluckily for him, his wily debtor did after all turn
against him, and he escaped from Egypt with difficulty and with the
loss of all his wealth. When Gabinius was accused de repetundis and
found guilty of accepting enormous sums from Ptolemy, Rabirius was
involved in the same prosecution as having received part of the money;
Cicero defended him, and as it seems with success, on the plea that
equites were not liable to prosecution under the lex Julia. Towards
the end of his speech he drew a clever picture of his unlucky client's
misfortunes, and declared that he would have had to quit the Forum,
i.e. to leave the Stock Exchange in disgrace, if Caesar had not come
to his rescue by placing large sums at his disposal.

What Rabirius did was simply to gamble on a gigantic scale, and get
others to gamble with him. The luck turned against him, and he came
utterly to grief. There seems indeed to have been a perfect passion
for dealing with money in this wild way among the men of wealth and
influence; it was the fancy of the hour, and no disgrace attached to
it if a man could escape ruin. Thus the vast capital accumulated--the
sources of which were almost entirely in the provinces and the
kingdoms on the frontiers--was hardly ever used productively. It never
returned to the region whence it came, to be used in developing
its resources; the idea of using it even in Italy for industrial
undertakings was absent from the mind of the gambler. Those numberless
villas, of which we shall speak in another chapter, were homes of
luxury and magnificence, not centres of agricultural industry. There
are indeed some signs that in this very generation the revival of
Italian agriculture was beginning, and more especially the cultivation
of the olive and the vine; Varro, some twenty years later, could claim
that Italy was the best cultivated country in the world.[148] It may
be that the din of the "insanum forum" and its wild speculation has
prevented our hearing of the quiet efforts in the country to put
capital to a legitimate productive use. But of the social life of the
city the Forum was the heart, and of any prudent or scientific use of
capital the Forum knew hardly anything.

Of the two classes of business men we have been describing, the
tax-farmers and the money-lenders, it is hard to say which wrought the
most mischief in the Empire; they played into each other's hands in
wringing money out of the helpless provincials. Together too they did
incalculable harm, morally and socially, among the upper strata of
Roman society at home. Economic maladies react upon the mental, and
moral condition of a State. Where the idea of making money for its
own sake, or merely for the sake of the pleasure derivable from
excitement, is paramount in the minds of so large a section of
society, moral perception quickly becomes warped. The sense of justice
disappears, because when the fever is on a man he does not stop to ask
whether his gains are ill-gotten; and in this age the only restriction
on the plundering of the subjects of the Empire was a legal one, and
that of no great efficacy. There are many repulsive things in the
exquisite poetry of Catullus, but none of them jar on the modern mind
quite so sharply as his virulent attacks on a provincial governor in
whose suite he had gone to Bithynia in the hope of enriching himself,
and under whose just administration he had failed to do so. There
is lost also the sense of a duty arising out of the possession of
wealth--the feeling that it should do some good in the world, or at
least be in part applied to some useful purpose. Lastly, the exciting
pursuit of wealth helps to produce a curious restlessness and
instability of character, of which we have many examples in the age
we are studying. "Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel," are words
that might be applied to many a young man among Cicero's acquaintance,
and to many women also.

No sudden operation could cure these evils--they needed the careful
and gradual treatment of a wise physician. As in so many other ways,
so here Augustus showed his wonderful instinct as a social reformer.
The first requisite of all was an age of comparative peace--a healthy
atmosphere in which the patient could recover his natural tone. Next
in importance was the removal of the incitement to enrich yourself and
to spend illegally or unprofitably, and the revival of a sense of duty
towards the State and its rulers. Provincial governors were made
more really responsible, and a scientific census revealed the actual
tax-paying capacity of the provincials; tax-farming was more closely
superintended and gradually disappeared. It is true enough that even
under the Empire great fortunes were made and lost, but the gambling
spirit, the wild recklessness in monetary dealings, are not met with
again. The Roman Forum ceased to be insane, and Italy became once more
the home of much happy and useful country life. The passionate and
reckless self-consciousness of Catullus is succeeded in the next
generation by the calm sweet hopefulness of Virgil; in passing from
the one poet to the other, we feel that we are leaving behind us an
age of over-sensitive self-seeking and entering on one in which duty
and honour, labour on the land and hard work for the State, may be
reckoned as things more likely to make life worth living than all the
accumulated capital of a Crassus.



Above the men of business of equestrian rank, in social standing
though not necessarily in wealth, there was in Cicero's time an
aristocracy which a Roman of that day would perhaps have found it a
little difficult to explain or define to a foreigner. Fortunately all
foreigners coming to Rome would know what was meant by the senate,
the great council which received envoys from all nations outside the
Empire; and the stranger might be told in the first place that all
members of that august assembly, with their families, were considered
as elevated above the equestrian order, and as forming the main body
of the aristocracy proper. But if the informant were by chance a
conservative Roman of old family, he might proceed to qualify this
definition. "There are now in the senate," he might say, "plenty of
men who are only there because they have held the quaestorship, which
Sulla made the qualification for a seat, and there are many equites
whom Sulla made into senators by the form of a vote of the people;
such men, even the great orator Cicero himself, I do not reckon as
really members of the nobility, because they do not belong to old
families who have done the State good service in past time. They have
no images of their ancestors in their houses; they come from municipal
towns, or spring from some low family in the city; they may have
raised themselves by their talents, perhaps only by their money,
but they have no guarantee of antiquity, their names are not in our
annals. All we true conservative Romans (and a, Roman is hardly a
Roman if not conservative) profoundly believe that a man whose family
has once attained to high public honour and done good public service,
will be a safer person to elect as a magistrate than one whose family
is unknown and untried--a belief which is surely based on a truth of
human nature. I should count a man who happens not to be in the senate
himself, for want of wealth or inclination, but whose family has its
images and its traditions of great ancestors, as far more truly an
"optimate" than most of these new men. Fortunately our most famous
families, whose names are known all over the Empire, are still to be
found in the senate, and indeed form a powerful body there, capable of
resisting to the last the revolutionary dangers that threaten us. The
people still elect to magistracies the Aemilii, Lutatii, Claudii,
Cornelii, Julii, and many more families that have been famous in our
history, and will, I trust, continue to elect them so long as our
Republic lasts."[149]

There was indeed a glamour about these splendid names, as there is
about the titles of our ancient noble families; their holders may
almost be said to have claimed high office as a right, like the Whig
families Of the Revolution for a century after their triumph. Though
we may use the word in a wider sense in this chapter, these grand old
families were the true aristocracy, and inspired just that respect in
the minds of men outside their circle which is still so familiar to us
in England. Cicero was to such men an "outsider," a _novus homo_; and
the close reader of Cicero's letters, if he is looking out (as he
should be) for Cicero's constantly changing attitude of mind as he
addresses himself to various correspondents, cannot fail to see how
comparatively awkward and stilted he often is when writing to one of
these great nobles, with whom he has never been really intimate; and
how easily his pen glides along when he is letting himself talk to
Atticus, or Poetus, or M. Marius, men who were outside the pale of
nobility. It is true that he is sometimes embarrassed in other ways
when writing to great personages, as, for example, Lentulus Spinther,
consul in 57, or to Appius Claudius, consul in 53; but had they been
men of his own kind he never would have felt that embarrassment in the
same degree. When writing to such men he rarely or never indulges
in those little sportive jokes or allusions which enliven his more
intimate correspondence, nor does he tell the truth so strictly, for
they might not always care to hear it.

Here is a specimen which will give some idea of his manner in writing
to an aristocrat: he is congratulating L. Aemilius Paullus, who
secured his election to the consulship in the summer of 51 B.C.:

"Though I never doubted that the Roman people, considering your
eminent services to the Republic and _the splendid position of your
family_, would enthusiastically elect you consul by a unanimous vote,
yet I felt extreme delight when the news reached me; and I pray
the gods to render your official career fortunate, and to make the
administration of your office worthy of your own position and _that
of your ancestors_.... And would that it had been in my power to have
been at home to see that wished-for day, and to have given you the
support which your noble services and kindness to me deserved! But
since the unexpected and unlooked-for accident of my having to take
a province has deprived me of that opportunity, yet, that I may be
enabled to see you as consul actually administering the state in a
manner worthy of your position, I earnestly beg you to take care to
prevent my being treated unfairly, or having additional time added
to my year of office. If you do that, you will abundantly crown your
former acts of kindness to me."[150]

This Aemilius Paullus, like Spinther and many others, belonged to
a respectable but somewhat characterless type of aristocrat; these
formed a considerable and a powerful section of the senate, where they
were an obstacle to reform and administrative efficiency. They were
really a survival from the old type of Roman noble, which had done
excellent work in its day; men in whom the individual had been kept in
strict subordination to the State, and whose personal idiosyncrasies
and ambitions only excited suspicion. But towards the end of the
Republican period the individual had free play; at no time in ancient
history do we meet with so many various and interesting kinds of
individuality, even among the nobilitas itself. This is not merely the
result of the abundant literature in which their traits have come down
to us; it was a fact of the age, in which the idea of the State had
fallen into the background, and the individual found no restraint
on his thoughts and little on his actions, no hindrance to the
development of his capacity either for good or evil. Sulla,
Catiline, Pompeius, Cato, Clodius, Caesar, all have their marked
characteristics, familiar to all who read the history of the Roman
revolution. Caesar is the most remarkable example of strong character
among the men of high aristocratic descent, and it is interesting to
notice how entirely he was without the exclusive tendency which we
associate with aristocrats. He was intimate with men of all ranks; his
closest friends seem to have been men who were noble. While the high
aristocrats looked down as a rule on Cicero the novus homo, and for
some years positively hated him[151], Caesar, though differing from
him _toto coelo_ in politics, was always on pleasant terms of personal
intercourse with him; he had a charm of manner, a literary taste, and
a genuine admiration for genius, which was invariably irresistible
to the sensitive "novus homo." With Pompey, though he trusted him
politically as he never trusted Caesar, Cicero was never so intimate.
They had not the same common interests; Cicero could laugh at Pompey
behind his back, but hardly once in his correspondence does he attempt
to raise a jest about Caesar.

Thus in the governing or senatorial aristocracy we find men of a great
variety of character, from the old-fashioned nobilis, exclusive in
society and obstructive in politics, to the man of individual genius
and literary ability, whether of blue blood like Caesar, or like
Cicero the scion of a municipal family which has never gained or
sought political distinction. But for the purposes of this chapter
we may discern and discuss two main types of character in this
aristocracy: first, that on which the new Greek culture had worked to
advantage, not destroying the best Roman qualities, but drawing them
into usefulness in new ways; secondly, that on which the same culture
had worked to its harm by taking advantage of weak points in the Roman
armour, sapping the true Roman quality without substituting any other
excellence. We will briefly trace the growth of these two types, and
take an example of each among Cicero's intimate friends, not from
the famous personages familiar to every one, but from eminent and
interesting men of whom the ordinary student knows comparatively

Ever since the Hannibalic war, and probably even before it, Roman
nobles had felt the power of Greek culture; they had begun to think,
to learn about peoples who were different from themselves in habits
and manners, and to advance, the best of them at least, in wisdom and
knowledge; and this is true in spite of the unquestioned fact that it
was in this same era that the seeds were sown of moral and political
degeneracy. We shall have abundant opportunity of noting the effects
of this degeneracy in the last age of the Republic, but it is pleasant
to dwell for a moment on that more wholesome Greek influence which
enticed the finer minds among the Roman nobility into a new region of
culture, stimulating thought and strengthening the springs of conduct.

Even the old Cato himself, most rigid of Roman conservatives, was not
unmoved by this influence,[152] and it was to him that Rome owed the
introduction of Ennius, the greatest literary figure of that age, into
Roman society[153]. But the first genuine example of the new culture,
of the Hellenic enthusiasm of the age, is to be found in Aemilius
Paullus, the conqueror of Macedonia, a true Roman aristocrat who was
delighted to learn from Greeks. Plutarch's _Life_ of this man is a
valuable record of the tendencies of the time. After his failure to
obtain a second consulship, Plutarch tells us[154] that he retired
into private life, devoting himself to religious duties and to the
education of his children, training these in the old Roman habits in
which he had himself been trained, but also in Greek culture, and that
with even greater enthusiasm. He had about them Greek teachers, not
only of grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy, but of the fine arts, and
even of out-door pursuits, such as hunting (to which the Romans were
not greatly addicted), and of the care of horses and dogs; and he made
a point of being present himself at all their exercises, bodily and
mental. The result of this wholesome Xenophontic education is seen in
his son, the great Scipio Aemilianus, who was adopted into the family
of the Scipios in the lifetime of his father. Whatever view we may
take of this great man's conduct in war and politics, there can hardly
be a doubt that the Romans themselves were right in treasuring his
memory as one of the best of their race. When we put all the facts of
his life together, from his early youth, of which his friend Polybius
has left us a most beautiful picture,[155] to his sudden and probably
violent death in the maturity of his powers, we are compelled to
believe that he was really a man of wide sympathies, a strong sense of
justice which guided him steadily through good report and ill, perfect
purity of life, and hatred of all that was low and bad, whether
in rich or poor. He was not, like his father, a Roman aristocrat
patronising Greek culture;[156] in him we see a perfectly natural
and mature combination of the noblest qualities of the Roman and the
wholesomest qualities of the Greek. "It was an awakening truth,"
says a great authority, "in the minds of Romans like Scipio, that
intellectual culture must be built upon a foundation of moral
rectitude: and such a foundation they could find in the storehouse of
their own domestic traditions."[157] When Cicero, who held him to
be the greatest of Romans, wrote his dialogue on the State (_de
Republica_), with the new idea pervading it of the moral and political
ascendancy of a single man, he made Scipio the hero and the one
ascendant figure in his work, and ended it with an imitation of the
Platonic "myth," in the form of a "dream of Scipio."

Scipio gathered round him a circle of able and cultured men, both
Roman and Greek, including almost every living Roman of ability, and
among the Greeks the historian Polybius and the philosopher Panaetius,
of whom we shall have more to learn in the course of this volume. Of
this circle the best and ablest men of Cicero's earlier days were
mentally the children, and his own views both of literature and
politics were largely formed upon the Scipionic tradition. Indeed to
understand the mental and moral furniture of the Roman mind in the
Ciceronian age, it is absolutely necessary to study that of the
generation which made that mind what it was; but here space can only
be found to point out how the enlightenment of the Scipionic circle
opened out new ways in manners, in literature, in philosophical
receptivity, and lastly in the study of the law, which was destined to
be Rome's greatest contribution to civilisation.

Manners, the demeanour of the individual in social intercourse, are a
valuable index, if not an entirely conclusive one, of the mental and
moral tone of society in any age. Ease and courteousness of bearing
mean, as a rule, that the sense of another's claims as a human being
are always present to the mind. Whatever be the shortcomings of the
last age of the Republic, we must give due credit to the fact that in
their outward demeanour towards each other the educated men of that
age almost invariably show good breeding. It is true enough that
public vituperation, in senate or law-courts, was a fact of every day,
and the wealth of violent personal abuse which a gentleman like Cicero
could expend on one whom for the time he hated, or who had done
him some wrong, passes all belief.[158] But the history of this
vituperation is a curious one; it was a traditional method of hostile
oratory, and sprang from an old Roman root, the tendency to defamation
and satire, which may itself be attributed in part to the Italian
custom of levelling abuse at a public man (e.g. at his triumph) in
order to avert evil from him.[159] To single out a man's personal
ugliness, to calumniate his ancestry in the vilest terms,--these were
little more than traditional practices, oratorical devices, which the
rhetorical education of the day encouraged, and which no one took
very seriously.[160] But we are concerned in this chapter mainly with
private life; and there we find almost universal consideration and
courtesy. In the whole of the Ciceronian correspondence there is
hardly a letter that does not show good breeding, and there are many
that are the natural result of real kindly feeling and true sympathy.

A good example of the best type of Roman manners is to be found in
Plutarch's _Life_ of Gaius Gracchus, the younger contemporary of
Scipio, who had married his sister. Plutarch draws a picture of him so
vivid that by common consent it is ascribed to the memoirs of some one
who knew him. "In all his dealings with men," says the biographer, "he
was always dignified yet always courteous"; that is, while he inspired
respect, men felt also that he would do anything in his power for
them. That this was said of him by a Roman, and not invented for him
by Plutarch, seems probable because the combination is one peculiarly
Roman; so Livy, when he wishes to describe the finest type of Roman
character, says that a certain man was "haud minus libertatis alienae
quam suae dignitatis memor."[161] This same combination meets us also
in the little pictures of the social life of cultivated men which
Cicero has left us in some of his dialogues. There the speakers are
usually of the nobility, often distinguished members of senatorial
families, as in the _de Oratore_, where the chief _personae_ are
Crassus, Antonius, and Scaevola, the conservative triumvirate of the
day. They all seem grave, or but seldom gently jocular, respectful to
each other, and perhaps a trifle tedious; they never quarrel, however
deeply they may differ, and we may guess that they did not hold their
opinions strongly enough to urge them to open rupture. We seem to see
the same grave faces, with rather noses and large mouths, which meet
us in the sculptures of Augustus' Ara Pacis,[162]--full of dignity,
but a little wanting in animation.

There is one singular exception to the good manners of the period; but
as the result rather of affectation than of nature, it may help to
prove our rule. Again and again in Plutarch's _Life_ of Cato the
younger the mention of his rudeness proves the strength of the
tradition about him. It was said that this lost him the consulship,
as he declined to make himself agreeable in the style expected from
candidates[163]. Even in a letter to Cicero, an old friend, though not
actually rude, he is absurdly patronising and impertinent to a man
many years his senior, and writes in very bad taste. Probably the
enmity between him and Caesar arose or was confirmed in this way,
as Cato always made a point of being rudest to those whom he most
disliked. He fancied that he was imitating his great ancestor, and
asserting the virtue of good old Roman bluntness against modern Greek
affectation; he did not in the least see that he was himself a curious
example of Roman affectation, shown up by the real amenities of
intercourse, for which Romans had largely to thank Greece[164].

In literature too the average capacity of this aristocracy was high,
though the greatest literary figures of the age, if we except Caesar,
do not, strictly speaking, belong to it; Cicero was a novus homo, and
Lucretius and Catullus were not of the senatorial order. But the new
education, as we shall see later on, was admirably calculated to
train men in the art of speaking and writing, if not in the habit of
independent thinking; and among the nobles who reaped the full fruits
of this education every one could write in Latin and probably also
in Greek, and if he aimed at public distinction, could speak without
disgracing himself in the senate and the courts. Oratory was, in fact,
the staple product of the age, and the chief _raison d'être_ of its
literary activity. Long ago the practice had begun of writing out
successful speeches delivered in the senate, in the courts, or at
funerals; the means of publication were easy, as a consequence of the
number of Greek slaves who could act as copyists, and thus oratory
formed the basis of a prose literature which is essentially
Roman,[165] rooted in the practical necessities of the life of the
Roman noble, though deeply tinged with the Greek ideas and forms of
expression acquired in the process of education in vogue. Treatises on
rhetoric, the art of effective expression in prose, form an important
part of it; two of them still survive from the time of Sulla,--the
_Rhetorica ad Herennium_ of an unknown author, and Cicero's early
treatise _de Inventione_. Later on Cicero wrote his admirable dialogue
_de Oratore_ and other works on the same subject, ending with his
_Brutus_, a catalogue raisonnée, invaluable to us, of all the great
Roman orators down to his own time.

In history writing the standard was not so high. The rhetorical
education made men good professional orators, but indifferent and
dilettante historians, and the example of more accurate historical
investigation and reflection set by Polybius was not followed, except
perhaps by Caelius Antipater in the Gracchan age.[166] History was
affected for the worse by the rhetorical art, as indeed poetry was
destined also to be; Sallust, though we owe much to him, was in fact
an amateur, who thought more of style and expression than of truth
and fact. Caesar, who did not profess to be a historian, but only to
provide the materials for history,[167] stands alone in making facts
more important than words, and rarely troubles his reader with
speeches or other rhetorical superfluities.[168] Biographies and
autobiographies were fashionable; of the former only those of
Cornelius Nepos, one of Cicero's many friends, have come down to us,
and none of the latter, but we know a long list of eminent men who
wrote their own memoirs, including Catulus the elder, Rutilius the
famous victim of equestrian judges, Sulla, and Lucullus. But far above
all other prose writers of the age stand two men, neither of them
Roman by birth, but yet members of the senatorial order; the one a man
of encyclopaedic learning, with what we may almost call a scientific
interest in the subjects which he treated in awkward and homely Latin,
the other a man of comparatively little learning, but gifted with so
exquisite a sense of the beautiful in expression, and at the same
time with a humanity so real and in that day so rare, that it is not
without good cause that he has recently been called the most highly
cultured man of all antiquity.[169] Of Varro's numerous works we have
unluckily but few survivals; of Cicero's we have still such a mass
as will for ever provide ample material for studying the life, the
manners, the thought of his day.

A large part of this mass consists of the correspondence of which we
are making such frequent use in these chapters. Letter-writing is
perhaps the most pleasing and genuine of all the literary activities
of the time; men took pains to write well, yet not with any definite
prospect of publication, such as was the motive a century later in
the days of Seneca and Pliny. The nine hundred and odd letters of the
Ciceronian collection are most of them neither mere communications
nor yet rhetorical exercises, but real letters, the intercourse of
intimate friends at a distance, in which their inmost thoughts can
often be seen. Cicero is indeed apt to become rhetorical even in his
letters, when writing under excitement about politics; but the most
delightful letters in the collection are those in which he writes
to his friends in happy and natural language of his daily life and
occupations, his books, his villas, his children, his joys and
sorrows. It is strange that the great historian of Rome in our time
entirely failed to see the charm and the value of these letters, as of
all Cicero's writings; his countrymen have now agreed to differ from
him, and to restore a great writer to his true position.

In philosophical receptivity too the brightest and finest minds among
this aristocracy show an ability which is almost astonishing, when we
consider that there had been no education in Rome worth the name until
the second century B.C.[170] I use the word receptivity, because the
Romans of our period never really learnt to think for themselves; they
never grappled with a problem, or struck out a new line of thought.
But so far as we can judge by Cicero's philosophical works, the only
ones of his age which have come down to us, the power to read with
understanding and to reproduce with skill was unquestionably of a high
order. The opportunities for study were not wanting; private libraries
were numerous, and all Cicero's friends who had collected books were
glad to let him have the use of them.[171] Greek philosophers were
often domesticated in wealthy families, and could discourse with the
statesman when he had leisure from public business. Much of this was
no more than fashion, and real endeavour and earnestness were rare;
but the fact remains that one philosophical system, more especially on
its ethical side, took real possession of the best type of Roman mind,
and had permanent and saving influence on it.

Stoicism was brought to Rome by Panaetius of Rhodes, the intimate
friend of Scipio, a mild and tactful Greek whose Rhodian birth gave
him perhaps some advantage in associating with the old allies of his
state. He came to Rome at a critical moment, when even the best men
were drifting into pure material self-seeking; and the results of his
teaching were during two centuries so wholesome and inspiring that we
may almost think of him as a missionary. The ground had been prepared
for him in some sense by Polybius, who introduced him to Scipio and
his circle, and who was then engaged in writing his history. From
Polybius the Romans, the best of them at least, first learnt to
realise their own empire and the great change it had wrought in the
world; to think about what they had done and the qualities that
enabled them to do it. From Panaetius they were to learn a
philosophical creed which might direct and save them in the future,
which might serve as ballast in public and private life, just when the
ship was beginning to drift in moral helplessness. He was the founder
of a school of practical wisdom, singularly well adapted to the Roman
character and intellect, which were always practical rather than
speculative; and far better suited to ordinary human life than the old
rigid and austere Stoic ethics, of which the younger Cato was the
only eminent Roman disciple. From what we know of Panaetius' ethical
teaching,--and in the first two books of Cicero's work, _de Officiis_,
we have a fairly complete view of it,--we do not find the old doctrine
that absolute wisdom and justice are the only ends to pursue, and
everything else indifferent; a doctrine which put the old-fashioned
Stoic out of court in public life. The relative element, the useful,
played a great part in the teaching of Panaetius. Though his system
is based on the highest principles to which moral teaching could then
appeal, it did not exclude the give and take, the compromise without
which no practical man of affairs can make way, nor yet the wealth and
bodily comforts that secure leisure for thought.[172]

Panaetius' mission was carried on by another Rhodian philosopher, the
famous Posidonius, who lived long enough to know Cicero himself
and many of his contemporaries; a man less inspiring perhaps than
Panaetius, but of greater knowledge and attainment; a traveller,
geographer, and a man of the world, whose writings on many subjects,
though lost to us, really lie at the back of a great part of the Roman
literary output of his time.[173] He was the disciple of Panaetius;
envoy from Rhodes to Rome in the terrible year 86; and later on the
inmate of Roman families, and the admired friend of Cicero Pompeius,
and Varro. Philosophy was only one of the many pursuits of this
extraordinary man, whose literary and historical influence can be
traced in almost every leading Roman author for a century at least;
but his philosophical importance was during his lifetime perhaps
predominant. The generation that knew him was rich in Stoics; for
example, Aelius Stilo, the master of Varro, "doctissimus eorum
temporum," as Gellius calls him;[2] Rutilius, who was mentioned just
now as having written memoirs; and among others probably the great
lawyer Mucius Scaevola. Cato, as we have seen, was not a follower of
the Roman school of Stoicism, but of the older and uncompromising
doctrine; but Cicero, though never a professed Stoic, was really
deeply influenced, and towards the end of his life almost fascinated,
by a creed which suited his humanity while it stimulated his instinct
for righteousness.[174] And, like Cicero, many other men of serious
character felt the power of Stoicism almost unconsciously, without
openly professing it.

Stoicism then was in several ways congenial to the Roman spirit, but
in one direction it had an inspiring influence which has been of
lasting moment to the world. Up to the time of Panaetius and the
Scipionic circle the Roman idea and study of law had been of a crabbed
practical character, wanting in breadth of treatment, destitute of any
philosophical conception of the moral principles which lie behind all
law and government. The Stoic doctrine of universal law ruling the
world--a divine law, emanating from the universal Reason--seems to
have called up life in these dry bones. It might be held by a Roman
Stoic that human law comes into existence when man becomes aware of
the divine law, and recognises its claim upon him. Morality is thus
identical with law in the widest sense of the word, for both are
equally called into being by the Right Reason, which is the universal
primary force.[175] It is not possible here to show how this grand and
elevating idea of law may have affected Roman jurisprudence, but we
will just notice that the first quasi-philosophical treatment of law
is found following the age of Panaetius and the Scipionic circle; that
the phrase _ius gentium_ then begins to take the meaning of general
principles or rules common to all peoples, and founded on "natural
reason";[176] and that this led by degrees to the later idea of the
Law of Nature, and to the cosmopolitanism of the Roman legal system,
which came to embrace all peoples and degrees in its rational and
beneficent influence. If the Greek had a genius for beauty, and the
Jew for righteousness, the Roman had a genius for law; and the power
of Stoicism in ennobling and enriching his native conception of it is
probably not to be easily over-estimated.

Thus behind the stormy scenes of public life in this period there is a
process going on which will be of value not only to the Roman Empire
but to modern civilisation. It was carried on more especially by two
men of the highest character, Q. Mucius Scaevola, Cicero's adviser
in his early days, and often his model in later life; and Servius
Sulpicius Rufus, his exact contemporary and lifelong friend. Neither
Scaevola nor Sulpicius were, so far as we know, professed disciples
of Stoicism; but that they applied perhaps half unconsciously the
principles of Stoicism to their own legal studies is almost certain.
The combination of legal training and Stoic influence (whether direct
or unconscious) seems to have been capable of bringing the Roman
aristocratic character to a high pitch of perfection; and it will be
pleasant to take this friend of Cicero, whose public career we can
clearly trace, and one or two of whose letters we still possess, as
our example of a really well spent life in an age when time and talent
were constantly abused and wasted.

Sulpicius and Cicero were born in the same year, 106; they went hand
in hand in early life, and remained friends till their deaths in 43,
Sulpicius dying a few months before Cicero. They were both attached
in early youth to the Scaevola just mentioned, the first of the great
series of scientific Roman lawyers. But the consulship of Cicero
made a wide divergence in their lives. In that year Sulpicius was a
candidate for the consulship and failed; and then, resigning further
attempts to obtain the highest honour, he retired for the next twelve
years into private life, devoting himself to the work which has made
his name immortal. His writings are lost; nothing remains of them but
a few chance fragments and allusions; but he was reckoned the second
of the great writers on legal subjects, and it is probable that he
contributed as much as any of them to the work of making Roman
law what it has been as a power in the world, a factor in modern
civilisation. For he treated it, as his friend said of him,[177] with
the hand and mind of an artist, laying out his whole subject and
distributing it into its constituent parts, by definition and
interpretation making clear what seemed obscure, and distinguishing
the false from the true in legal principle. In the splendid panegyric
pronounced on him in the senate after his death,[178] Cicero again
emphatically declared him to be unrivalled in jurisprudence. In
beautiful but untranslatable language he claims that he was "non magis
iuris consultus, quam iustitiae,"--an encomium which all great
lawyers might well envy; he aimed rather at enabling men to be rid of
litigation than at encouraging them to engage in it.

From such passages we might conjecture, even if we knew nothing
more about him, that Sulpicius was a man of very fine clay, of real
_humanitas_ in the widest sense of that expressive word; and this
is entirely borne out in other ways.[179] Emerging at last from
retirement, he stood again for the consulship in 52 B.C., and was
elected. The year of his office, 51, was the first in which the
enemies of Caesar, with Cato at their head, began to attack his
position and clamour for his recall from his command; this violent
hostility Sulpicius tried, not without temporary success, to restrain,
and the fact that a man of so just a mind should have taken this
line is one of the best arguments for the reasonableness of Caesar's
cause.[180] When war broke out he was greatly perplexed how to act;
his breadth of view made decision difficult, and he seems to have
been at all times more a student than a man of action. With some
heart-burnings he joined Caesar in the struggle, and accepted from him
the government of Achaia; it was at this time that he wrote the famous
letter of consolation to Cicero on the death of his beloved daughter
Tullia, which is full of true feeling and kindliness, though evidently
composed with effort, if not with difficulty. After Caesar's death he
of course acted with Cicero against Antony, and in the spring of
43, making always for peace and good-will, he gave his life for his
country in a way that claims our admiration more really than the
suicide of Cato the professional Stoic; he headed an embassy to
Antony, though dangerously ill at the time, and died in this last
effort to obtain a hearing for the voice of justice. He has a
_monumentum aere perennius_ in the speech of his old friend urging the
senate to vote him a public funeral and a statue, as one who had laid
down his life for his country.

We must now turn to consider how the mischievous side of the new Greek
culture, in combination with other tendencies of the time, found its
way into weak points in the armour of the Roman aristocracy.

The pursuit of ease and pleasure, to which the attainment of wealth
and political power were too often merely subordinated, is a leading
characteristic of the time. It is seen in many different forms, in
many different types of character; but at the root of the whole
corruption is the spirit of the coarser side of Epicureanism. As with
Roman Stoicism, so too with Roman Epicureanism, it is not so much the
professed holding of philosophical tenets that affected life; in the
case of the latter system, it was the coincidence of its popularity
with the decay of the old Roman faith and morality, and with the
abnormal opportunities of self-indulgence. Cato as a professed Stoic,
Lucretius as an enthusiastic Epicurean, stand quite apart from
the mass of men who were actuated one way or the other by these
philosophical creeds. The majority simply played with the philosophy,
while following the natural bent of their individual character; but
such dilettanteism was often quite enough to affect that character
permanently for good or evil.

"Epicureanism popularised inevitably turns to vice." Was it really
popular at Rome? Cicero tells us in a valuable passage[181] that one
Amafinius had written on it, and that a great number of copies of his
book were sold, partly because the arguments were easy to follow,
partly because the doctrine was pleasant, and partly too because men
failed to get hold of anything better. The date of this Amafinius is
uncertain, but it is probable that Cicero is here speaking of the
latter part of the second century B.C.; and he goes on to say that
other writers took up the same line of teaching, and established it
over the whole of Italy (Italiam totam occupaverunt). If this was
in the time of the Social and Civil Wars, of the proscriptions, of
increasing crime and self-seeking, we can well understand that the
doctrine was popular. We have a remarkable example of it in the life
of a public man of Cicero's own time, the object of the most envenomed
invective that he ever uttered.[182] We cannot believe a tithe of what
he says about this man, Calpurnius Piso, consul in 58; but in this
particular matter of the damage done him by Epicurean teaching we have
independent evidence which confirms it. Piso, then a young man, made
acquaintance with a Greek of this school of thought, learnt from him
that pleasure was the sole end of life, and failing to appreciate the
true meaning and bearing of the doctrine, fell into the trap. It was
a dangerous doctrine, Cicero says, for a youth of no remarkable
intelligence; and the tutor, instead of being the young man's guide to
virtue, was used by him as an authority for vice.[183] This Greek was
a certain Philodemus, a few of whose poems are preserved in the _Greek
Anthology_; and a glance at them will show at once how dangerous such
a man would be as the companion of a Roman youth. He may not himself
have been a bad man--Cicero indeed rather suggests the contrary,
calling him _vere humanus_--but the air about him was poisonous. In
his pupil, if we can trust in the smallest degree the picture drawn of
him by Cicero, we may see a specimen of the young men of the age whose
talents might have made them useful in the world, but for the strength
of the current that drew them into self-indulgence.

Not only the pursuit of pleasure, but its correlative, the avoidance
of work and duty, can be abundantly illustrated in this age; and this
too may have had a subtle connexion with Epicurean teaching, which had
always discouraged the individual from distraction in the service of
the State, as disturbing to the free development of his own virtue.
Sulla did much hard work, but made the serious blunder of retiring to
enjoy himself just when his new constitutional machinery needed the
most careful watching and tending. Lucullus, after showing a wonderful
capacity for work and a greater genius for war than perhaps any man of
his time, retired from public life as a millionaire and a quietist,
to enjoy the wealth that has become proverbial, and a luxury that is
astonishing, even if we make due allowance for the exaggeration of our
accounts of it. To his library we have already been introduced; those
who would see him in his banqueting-hall, or rather one of the many
in his palace, may turn to the fortieth chapter of Plutarch's most
interesting _Life_ of him, and read the story there told of the dinner
he gave to Cicero and Pompeius in the "Apollo" dining-room.[184]

The same cynical carelessness about public affairs and neglect of
duty, as compared with private ease or advantage, seems to have been
characteristic of the ordinary senator. Active and busy in his own
interest, he was indifferent to that of the State. There are distinct
signs that the attendance in the senate was not good. When Cicero was
away in Cilicia his correspondent writes of difficulties in getting
together a sufficient number even for such important business as the
settlement of provincial governments.[185] On the other hand, much
private business was done, and many jobs perpetrated, in a thin
senate; in 66 a tribune proposed that no senator should be dispensed
from the action of a law unless two hundred were present.[186] It was
in such a thin senate, we may be sure, that the virtuous Brutus was
dispensed from the law which forbade lending to foreign borrowers in
Rome, and thus was enabled to lend to the miserable Salaminians of
Cyprus at 48 per cent, and to recover his money under the bond.[187]
Writing to his brother in December 57, Cicero speaks of business done
in a senate full for the time of year, which was midwinter, just
before the Saturnalia, when only two hundred were present out of about
six hundred. In February 54, a month when the senate had always much
business to get through, it was so cold one day that the few members
present clamoured for dismissal and obtained it.[188] And when the
senate did meet there was a constant tendency to let things go. No
reform of procedure is mentioned as even thought of, at a time when
it was far more necessary than in our Parliament; business was talked
about, postponed obstructed, and personal animosities and private
interests seem, so far as we can judge from the correspondence of the
time, to have been predominant. With wearisome iteration the letters
speak of nothing done, of business postponed, or of the passing of
some senatus consultum, the utter futility of which is obvious even
now.[189] Even the magistrates seem to have been growing careless; we
hear of a praetor presiding in the court de repetundis who had not
taken the trouble to acquaint himself with the text of the law which
governed its procedure;[190] and that praetors were worse than
careless about their action in civil cases is proved by another law of
the same tribune Cornelius mentioned just now, "that praetors should
abide by the rules laid down in their edicts."[191]

But all these futilities, and much of the same kind outside of the
senate, together with the quarrels of individuals, the chances and
incidents of elections, and all such gossip as forms the staple
commodity of the society papers of to-day, were a source of infinite
delight to another type of pleasure-loving public man, the last to be
illustrated here.

If the older noble families were apathetic and idle, there were plenty
of young men, rising most often from the class below, whose minds were
intensely active--active in the pursuit of pleasure, but pleasure in
the comparatively harmless form of amusement and excitement. One of
these, the son of a banker at Puteoli, Marcus Caelius Rufus, stands
out as a living portrait in his own letters to Cicero, of which no
fewer than seventeen are preserved.[192] Of his early years too we
know a good deal, told us in the speech in defence of him spoken by
Cicero in the year 56; and these combined sources of information make
him the most interesting figure in the life of his age. M. Boissier
has written a delightful essay on him in his _Cicéron et ses amis_,
and Professor Tyrrell has done the like in the introduction to the
fourth volume of his edition of Cicero's letters; but they have
treated him less as a type of the youth of his day than as the friend
and pupil of Cicero. Caelius will always repay fresh study; he was
amusing and interesting to his contemporaries, and so he will be for
ever to us. He is a veritable Proteus--you never know what shape he
will take next;

  Omnia transformat sese in miracula rerum----

we can trace no less than six such transformations in the story of
his life. And this instability, let us note at once, was not the
restlessness of a jaded _roué_, but the coruscation of a clever mind
wholly without principle, intensely interested in his _monde_, in the
life in which he moved, with all its enjoyment and excitement.

Caelius' father brought his son to Cicero, as soon as he had taken
his toga virilis, to study law and oratory, and Cicero was evidently
attracted by the bright and lively boy; he never deserted him, and
the last letter of Caelius to his old preceptor was written only just
before his own sad end. But Cicero was not the man to keep an unstable
character out of mischief; he loved young men, especially clever ones,
and was apt to take an optimistic view of them, as he did of his own
son and nephew. Caelius, always attracted by novelty, left Cicero and
attached himself to Catiline; and for this vagary, as well as for his
own want of success in controlling his pupil, Cicero rather awkwardly
and amusingly apologises in the early chapters of his speech in his
defence. Wild oats must be sown, he says; when a youth has given full
fling to his propensities to vice, they will leave him, and he may
become a useful citizen,--a dangerous view of a preceptor's duty,
which reminds us of the treatment, of the boy Nero by his philosopher
guardian long afterwards.[193]

Caelius escaped the fate of Catiline and his crew only to fall into
the hands of another clique not less dangerous for his moral welfare.
He became one of a group of brilliant young men, among whom were
probably Catullus and Calvus the poets, who were lovers, and
passionate lovers, of the infamous Clodia; they were needy, she found
them money, and they hovered about her like moths about a candle. In
such a life of passion and pleasure quarrels were inevitable. If the
Lesbia of Catullus be Clodia, as we may believe, she had thrown the
poet over with a light heart. It was apparently of his own free will
that Caelius deserted her: in revenge she turned upon him with an
accusation of theft and attempt to poison. What truth there was in the
charges we do not really know, but Cicero defended him successfully,
and in this way we come to know the details of this unsteady life.

In gratitude, and possibly in shame, Caelius now returned to his old
friend, and abandoned the whole ring of his vicious companions for
diligent practice in the courts, where he obtained considerable fame
as an orator. A fragment of a speech of his preserved by Quintilian
shows, as Professor Tyrrell observes, wonderful power of graphic
and picturesque utterance.[194] Cicero, writing of him after his
death,[195] says that he was at this time on the right side in
politics, and that as tribune of the plebs in 56 he successfully
supported the good cause, and checked revolutionary and seditious
movements. All was going well with him until Cicero went as governor
to Cilicia in 51. Cicero seems to have felt complete confidence
in him, and invited him to become his confidential political
correspondent; fifteen out of his seventeen letters were written in
this capacity. These letters show us the man as clearly as if we had
his diary before us. Caelius is no idle scamp or lazy Epicurean; his
mind is constantly active: nothing escapes his notice: the minutest
and most sordid things delight him. He is bright, happy, witty,
frivolous, and doubtless lovable. It is amusing to see how Cicero
himself now and again catches the infection, and tries (in vain) to
write in the same frivolous manner.[196] Caelius has some political
insight; he sees civil war approaching, but he takes it all as a game,
and on the eve of events which were to shake the world he trifles
with the symptoms as though they were the silliest gossip of the
capital.[197] In none of these letters is there the smallest vestige
of principle to be found. On the very eve of civil war he tells
Cicero[198] that as soon as war breaks out the right thing to do is to
join the stronger side. Judging Caesar's side to be the stronger, he
joined it accordingly, and did his best to induce Cicero to do the
same. As M. Boissier happily says, he never cared to "ménager ses

He had, however, to discover that if to change over to Caesar was the
safer course, to turn a political somersault once more, to try and
undermine the work of the master, meant simply ruin. We have the story
of his sixth and last transformation from Caesar himself, who was not,
however, in Italy at the time.[199] Credit in Italy had been seriously
upset by the outbreak of Civil War, and Caesar had been at much pains
to steady it by an ordinance which has been alluded to in the last
chapter.[200] In 48 Caelius was praetor; in the master's absence he
suddenly took up the cause of the debtors, and tried to evoke appeals
against the decisions of his colleague Trebonius,--a great lawyer and
a just man. Failing in this, he started as a downright revolutionary,
proposing first the abolition of house-rent, and finally the abolition
of all debts; and Milo, in exile at Massilia, was summoned to help
him to raise Italy against Caesar. This was too much, and both were
quickly caught and killed as they were stirring up gladiators and
other slave-bands among the latifundia of South Italy.

Caelius' letters give us a chance of seeing what that life of the
Forum really was which so fascinated the young men of the day, and
some of the old, such as Cicero himself. We can see these children
playing on the very edge of the crater, like the French noblesse
before the Revolution. In both cases there was a semi-consciousness
that the eruption was not far off,--but they went on playing. What was
it that so greatly amused and pleased them?

What Caelius is always writing of is mainly elections and canvassing,
accusations and trials, games and shows. Elections he treats as pure
sport, as a kind of enjoyable gambling, or as a means of spiting some
one whom you want to annoy. With elections accusations were often
connected: if a man were accused before his election he could not
continue to stand; if condemned after it he was disqualified; here
were ways in which personal spite might deprive him of success at the
last moment.[201] Accusations, too were of course the best means by
which an ambitious young man could come to the front. The whole number
of trials mentioned by Caelius is astonishing; sometimes there is such
a complication of them as is difficult to follow. Every one is ready
to lay an accusation, without the smallest regard for truth. Young
Appius Claudius accuses Servilius, and makes a mess of the attack,
while the praetor mismanages the conduct of the trial, so that nothing
comes of it; but finally Appius is himself accused by the Servilii
_de vi_, in order to keep him from further attacks on Servilius![202]
Appius the father quarrelled with Caelius and egged on others to
accuse him, though he was curule aedile at the time. "Their impudence
was so boundless that they secured that an information should be
laid against me for a very serious crime (under the Scantinian law).
Scarcely had Pola got the words out of his mouth, when I laid an
information under the same law against the censor, Appius. I never saw
a more successful stroke!"[203]

Of the games, and the panthers to be exhibited at them, about which
Caelius is for ever worrying his friend in Cilicia, we shall see
something in another chapter. There is plenty of other gossip in these
letters, and gossip often about unsavoury matters which need not be
noticed here. It lets in a flood of light upon the causes of the
general incompetence and inefficiency; the life of the Forum was a
demoralising one:

  Uni se atque eidem studio omnes dedere et arti
  uerba dare ut caute possint, pugnare dolose:
  blanditia certare, bonum simulare uirum se:
  insidias facere, ut si hostes sint omnibus omnes.[204]

From what has been said in this sketch it should be clear that we have
in the aristocracy of this period a complicated society, the various
aspects of which can hardly be united in a single picture. It is
partly a hereditary aristocracy, with all the pride and exclusiveness
of a group of old families accustomed to power and consequence. It is
in the main a society of gentlemen, dignified in manner, and kindly
towards each other, and it is also a society of high culture and
literary ability, though poor in creative genius, and unimaginative.
On the other hand, it is a class which has lost its interest in
the State, and is energetic only when pursuing its own interests:
pleasure-loving, luxurious, gossiping, trifling with serious matters,
short-sighted in politics because anxious only for personal advance.
"Rari nantes in gurgite vasto" are the men who are really in earnest,
but they are there; we must not forget that in Lucretius and Cicero
this society produced one of the greatest poets and one of the most
perfect prose writers that the world treasures; in Sulpicius a lawyer
of permanent value to humanity, and in Caesar not only an author and a
scholar but a man of action unrivalled in capacity and industry.



In order to appreciate the position of women of various types in the
society we are examining, it is necessary to make it clear what Roman
marriage originally and ideally meant. In any society, it will be
found that the position and influence of woman can be fairly well
discerned from the nature of the marriage ceremony and the conditions
under which it is carried out. At Rome, in all periods of her history,
a _iustum matrimonium_, i.e. a marriage sanctioned by law and
religion, and therefore entirely legal in all its results, was a
matter of great moment, not to be achieved without many forms and
ceremonies. The reason for this elaboration is obvious, at any rate
to any one who has some acquaintance with ancient life in Greece or
Italy. As we shall see later on, the house was a residence for the
divine members of the family, as well as the human; the entrance,
therefore, of a bride into the household,--of one, that is, who had no
part nor lot in that family life--meant some straining of the relation
between the divine and human members. The human part of the family
brings in a new member, but it has to be assured that the divine part
is willing to accept her before the step taken can be regarded as
complete. She has to enter the family in such a way as to be able to
share in its sacra, i.e. in the worship of the household spirits,
the ancestors in their tombs, or in any special cult attached to the
family. In order to secure this eligibility, she was in the earliest
times subjected to a ceremony which was clearly of a sacramental
character, and which had as its effect the transference of the bride
from the hand (manus) of her father, i.e. from absolute subjection to
him as the head of her own family, to the hand of her husband, i.e. to
absolute subjection to him as the head of her new family.

This sacramental ceremony was called _confarreatio_, because a sacred
cake, made of the old Italian grain called _far_, and offered to
Jupiter Farreus,[205] was partaken of by bride and bridegroom, in the
presence of the Pontifex Maximus, the Flamen Dialis, and ten other
witnesses. At such a ceremony the auspices had of course been taken,
and apparently a victim was also slain, and offered probably to Ceres,
the skin of which was stretched over two seats (sellae), on which the
bride and bridegroom had to sit.[206] These details of the early form
of patrician marriage are only mentioned here to make the religious
character of the Roman idea of the rite quite plain; in other words,
to prove that the entrance of a bride into a family from outside was
a matter of very great difficulty and seriousness, not to be achieved
without special aid and the intervention of the gods. We may even
go so far as to say that the new materfamilias was in some sort
a priestess of the household, and that she must undergo a solemn
initiation before assuming that position. And we may still further
illustrate the mystical religious nature of the whole rite, if
we remember that throughout Roman history no one could hold the
priesthood of Jupiter (flaminium diale), or that of Mars or Quirinus,
or of the Rex sacrorum, who had not been born of parents wedded by
confarreatio, and that in each case the priest himself must be married
by the same ceremony.[207] This last mentioned fact may also serve to
remind us that it was not only the family and its sacra, its life and
its maintenance, that called for the ceremonies making up a iustum
matrimonium, but also the State and its sacra, its life and its
maintenance.[208] As confarreatio had as its immediate object the
providing of a materfamilias fully qualified in all her various
functions, and as its further object the providing of persons legally
qualified to perform the most important sacra of the state; so
marriage, in whatever form, had as its object at once the maintenance
of the family and its sacra and the production of men able to serve
the State in peace and war. To be a Roman citizen you must be the
product of a iustum matrimonium. From this initial fact flow all the
_iura_ or rights which together make up citizenship; whether the
private rights, which enable you to hold and transfer and to inherit
property under the shelter of the Roman law,[209] or the public
rights, which protect your person against violence and murder, and
enable you to give your vote in the public assembly and to seek
election to magistracies.[210]

Marriage then was a matter of the utmost importance in Roman life, and
in all the forms of it we find this importance marked by due solemnity
of ritual. In two other forms, besides confarreatio, the bride could
be brought under the hand of her husband, viz., _coemptio_ and _usus_,
with which we are not here specially concerned; for long before the
last century of the Republic all three methods had become practically
obsolete, or were only occasionally used for particular purposes. In
the course of time it had been found more convenient for a woman to
remain after her marriage in the hand of her father, or if he were
dead, in the "tutela" of a guardian (tutor), than to pass into that
of her husband; for in the latter case her property became absolutely
his. The natural tendency to escape from the restrictions of marital
_manus_ may be illustrated by a case such as the following: a woman
under the _tutela_ of a guardian wishes to marry; if she does so, and
passes under the _manus_ of her husband, her _tutor_ loses all control
over her property, which may probably be of great importance for
the family she is leaving; he therefore naturally objects to such a
marriage, and urges that she should be married without _manus_.[211]
In fact the interests of her own family would often clash with those
of the one she was about to enter, and a compromise could be effected
by the abandonment of marriage _cum manu_.

Now this, the abandonment of marriage _cum manu_, means simply that
certain legal consequences of the marriage ceremony were dropped,
and with them just those parts of the ceremony which produced these
consequences. Otherwise the marriage was absolutely as valid for all
purposes private and public as it could be made even by confarreatio
itself. The sacramental part was absent, and the survival of the
features of marriage by purchase, which we may see in the form of
coemptio, was also absent; but in all other respects the marriage
ceremony was the same as in marriage _cum manu_. It retained all
essential religious features, losing only a part of its legal
character. It will be as well briefly to describe a Roman wedding of
the type common in the last two centuries of the Republic.

To begin with, the boy and girl--for such they were, as we should look
on them, even at the time of marriage--have been betrothed, in all
probability, long before. Cicero tells us that he betrothed his
daughter Tullia to Calpurnius Piso Frugi early in 66 B.C.; the
marriage took place in 63. Tullia seems to have been born in 76, so
that she was ten years old at the time of betrothal and thirteen at
that of marriage. This is probably typical of what usually happened;
and it shows that the matter was really entirely in the hands of the
parents. It was a family arrangement, a _mariage de convenance_,
as has been and is the practice among many peoples, ancient and
modern.[212] The betrothal was indeed a promise rather than a definite
contract, and might be broken off without illegality; and thus if
there were a strong dislike on the part of either girl or boy a way of
escape could be found.[213] However this may be, we may be sure that
the idea of the marriage was not that of a union for love, though it
was distinguished from concubinage by an "affectio maritalis" as well
as by legal forms, and though a true attachment might, and often did,
as in modern times in like circumstances, arise out of it. It was the
idea of the service of the family and the State that lay at the root
of the union. This is well illustrated, like so many other Roman
ideas, in the _Aeneid_ of Virgil. Those who persist in looking on
Aeneas with modern eyes, and convict him of perfidy towards Dido,
forget that his passion for Dido was a sudden one, not sanctioned by
the gods or by favourable auspices, and that the ultimate union with
Lavinia, for whom he forms no such attachment, was one which would
recommend itself to every Roman as justified by the advantage to the
State. The poet, it is true, betrays his own intense humanity in
his treatment of the fate of Dido, but he does so in spite of his
theme,--the duty of every Roman to his family and the State. A Roman
would no doubt fall in love, like a youth of any other nation, but his
passion had nothing to do with his life of duty as a Roman. This idea
of marriage had serious consequences, to which we shall return later

When the day for the wedding arrives, our bride assumes her bridal
dress, laying aside the toga praetexta of her childhood and dedicating
her dolls to the Lar of her family; and wearing the reddish veil
(_flammeum_) and the woollen girdle fastened with a knot called the
knot of Hercules,[214] she awaits the arrival of the bridegroom in
her father's house. Meanwhile the auspices are being taken;[215] in
earlier times this was done by observing the flight of birds, but now
by examination of the entrails of a victim, apparently a sheep. If
this is satisfactory the youthful pair declare their consent to the
union and join their right hands as directed by a pronuba, i.e. a
married woman, who acts as a kind of priestess. Then after another
sacrifice and a wedding feast, the bride is conducted from her old
home to that of her husband, accompanied by three boys, sons of living
parents, one carrying a torch while the other two lead her by either
hand; flute-players go before, and nuts are thrown to the boys. This
_deductio_, charmingly described in the beautiful sixty-fifth poem of
Catullus, is full of interesting detail which must be omitted here.
When the bridegroom's house is reached, the bride smears the doorposts
with fat and oil and ties a woollen fillet round each: she is
then lifted over the threshold, is taken by her husband into the
partnership of fire and water--the essentials of domestic life--and
passes into the atrium. The morrow will find her a materfamilias,
sitting among her maids in that atrium, or in the more private
apartments behind it:

  Claudite ostia, virgines
  Lusimus satis. At boni
  Coniuges, bene vivite, et
  Munere assiduo valentem
  Exercete iuventam.

Even the dissipated Catullus could not but treat the subject of
marriage with dignity and tenderness, and in this last stanza of his
poem he alludes to the duties of a married pair in language which
would have satisfied the strictest Roman. He has also touched another
chord which would echo in the heart of every good citizen, in the
delicious lines which just precede those quoted, and anticipate the
child--a son of course--that is to be born, and that will lie in
his mother's arms holding out his little hands, and smiling on his
father.[216] Nothing can better illustrate the contrast in the mind
of the Roman between passionate love and serious marriage than a
comparison of this lovely poem with those which tell the sordid
tale of the poet's intrigues with Lesbia (Clodia). The beauty and
_gravitas_ of married life as it used to be are still felt and still
found, but the depths of human feeling are not stirred by them. Love
lies beyond, is a fact outside the pale of the ordered life of the
family or the State.

No one who studies this ceremonial of Roman marriage, in the light of
the ideas which it indicates and reflects, can avoid the conclusion
that the position of the married woman must have been one of
substantial dignity, calling for and calling out a corresponding type
of character. Beyond doubt the position of the Roman materfamilias was
a much more dignified one than that of the Greek wife. She was far
indeed from being a mere drudge or squaw; she shared with her husband
in all the duties of the household, including those of religion, and
within the house itself she was practically supreme.[217] She lived in
the atrium, and was not shut away in a women's chamber; she nursed her
own children and brought them up; she had entire control of the female
slaves who were her maids; she took her meals with her husband, but
sitting, not reclining, and abstaining from wine; in all practical
matters she was consulted, and only on questions political or
intellectual was she expected to be silent. When she went out arrayed
in the graceful _stola matronalis_, she was treated with respect,
and the passers-by made way for her; but it is characteristic of
her position that she did not as a rule leave the house without the
knowledge of her husband, or without an escort.[218]

In keeping with this dignified position was the ideal character of the
materfamilias. Ideal we must call it, for it does not in all respects
coincide with the tradition of Roman women even in early times; but
we must remember that at all periods of Roman history the woman whose
memory survives is apt to be the woman who is not the ideal matron,
but one who forces herself into notice by violating the traditions of
womanhood. The typical matron would assuredly never dream of playing
a part in history; her influence was behind the scenes, and therefore
proportionally powerful. The legendary mother of Coriolanus (the
Volumnia of Shakespeare), Cornelia the mother of the Gracchi, Aurelia,
Caesar's mother, and Julia his daughter, did indirectly play a far
greater part in public life than the loud and vicious ladies who have
left behind them names famous or infamous; but they never claimed the
recognition of their power.

This peculiar character of the Roman matron, a combination of dignity,
industry, and practical wisdom, was exactly suited to attract the
attention of a gentle philosopher like Plutarch, who loved, with
genuine moral fervour, all that was noble and honest in human nature.
Not only does he constantly refer to the Roman ladies and their
character in his _Lives_ and his _Morals_, but in his series of more
than a hundred "Roman questions" the first nine, as well as many
others, are concerned with marriage and the household life; and in
his treatise called _Coniugalia praecepta_ he reflects many of
the features of the Roman matron. From him, in Sir Thomas North's
translation, Shakespeare drew the inspiration which enabled him to
produce on the Elizabethan stage at least one such typical matron. In
Coriolanus he has followed Plutarch so closely that the reader may
almost be referred to him as an authority; and in the contrast between
the austere and dignified Volumnia and the passionate and voluptuous
Cleopatra of the later play, the poet's imagination seems to have been
guided by a true historical instinct.

We need not doubt that the austere matron of the old type survived
into the age we are specially concerned with; but we hardly come
across her in the literature of the time, just because she was living
her own useful life, and did not seek publicity. Chance has indeed
preserved for us on stone the story of a wonderful lady, whose early
years of married life were spent in the trying time of the civil wars
of 49-43 B.C., and who, if a devoted husband's praises are to be
trusted, as indeed they may be, was a woman of the finest Roman cast,
and endowed with such a combination of practical virtues as we should
hardly have expected even in a Roman matron. But we shall return to
this inscription later on.

The ladies whom we meet with in Cicero's letters and in the other
literature of the last age of the Republic are not of this type. Since
the second Punic war the Roman lady has changed, like everything else
Roman. It is not possible here to trace the history of the change
in detail, but we may note that it seems to have begun within the
household, in matters of dress and expense, and later on affected the
life and bearing of women in society and politics. Marriages cum manu
became unusual: the wife remained in the potestas of her father, who
in most cases, doubtless, ceased to trouble himself about her, and as
her property did not pass to her husband, she could not but obtain a
new position of independence. Women began to be rich, and in the
year 169 B.C. a law was passed (lex Voconia) forbidding women of the
highest census[219] (who alone would probably be concerned) to inherit
legacies. Even before the end of the great war, and when private
luxury would seem out of place, it had been proposed to abolish the
Oppian law, which placed restrictions on the ornaments and apparel of
women; and in spite of the vehement opposition of Cato, then a young
man, the proposal was successful.[220] At the same time divorce, which
had probably never been impossible though it must have been rare,[221]
began to be a common practice. We find to our surprise that the
virtuous Aemilius Paullus, in other respects a model paterfamilias,
put away his wife, and when asked why he did so, replied that a woman
might be excellent in the eyes of her neighbours, but that only a
husband could tell where the shoe pinched.[222] And in estimating the
changed position of women within the family we must not forget the
fact that in the course of the long and unceasing wars of the second
century B.C., husbands were away from home for years together, and in
innumerable cases must have perished by the sword or pestilence, or
fallen into the hands of an enemy and been enslaved. It was inevitable
that as the male population diminished, as it undoubtedly did in
that century, the importance of woman should proportionately have
increased. Unfortunately too, even when the husbands were at home,
their wives sometimes seem to have wished to be rid of them. In 180
B.C. the consul Piso was believed to have been murdered by his wife,
and whether the story be true or not, the suspicion is at least
significant.[223] In 154 two noble ladies, wives of consulares, were
accused of poisoning their husbands and put to death by a council of
their own relations.[224] Though the evidence in these cases is not
by any means satisfactory, yet we can hardly doubt that there was a
tendency among women of the highest rank to give way to passion and
excitement; the evidence for the Bacchanalian conspiracy of 186 B.C.,
in which women played a very prominent part, is explicit, and shows
that there was a "new woman" even then, who had ceased to be satisfied
with the austere life of the family and with the mental comfort
supplied by the old religion, and was ready to break out into
recklessness even in matters which were the concern of the State.[225]
That they had already begun to exercise an undue influence over their
husbands in public affairs seems suggested by old Cato's famous dictum
that "all men rule over women, we Romans rule over all men, and our
wives rule over us."[226]

But it would be a great mistake to suppose that the men themselves
were not equally to blame. Wives do not poison their husbands without
some reason for hating them, and the reason is not difficult to guess.
It is a fact beyond doubt that in spite of the charm of family life as
it has been described above, neither law nor custom exacted conjugal
faithfulness from a husband.[227] Old Cato represents fairly well the
old idea of Roman virtue, yet it is clear enough, both from Plutarch's
_Life_ of him (e.g. ch. xxiv.) and from fragments of his own writings,
that his view of the conjugal relation was a coarse one,--that he
looked on the wife rather as a necessary agent for providing the State
with children than as a helpmeet to be tended and revered. And this
being so, we are not surprised to find that men are already beginning
to dislike and avoid marriage; a most dangerous symptom, with which a
century later Augustus found it impossible to cope. In the year 131,
just after Tiberius Gracchus had been trying to revive the population
of Italy by his agrarian law, Metellus Macedonicus the censor did what
he could to induce men to marry "liberorum creandorum causa"; and a
fragment of a speech of his on this subject became famous afterwards,
as quoted by Augustus with the same object. It is equally
characteristic of Roman humour and Roman hardness. "If we could do
without wives," he said to the people, "we should be rid of that
nuisance: but since nature has decreed that we can neither live
comfortably with them nor live at all without them, we must e'en look
rather to our permanent interests than to a passing pleasure."[228]

Now if we take into account these tendencies, on the part both of men
and women in the married state, and further consider the stormy
and revolutionary character of the half century that succeeded the
Gracchi,--the Social and Civil Wars, the proscriptions of Marius and
Sulla,--we shall be prepared to find the ladies of Cicero's time by no
means simply feminine in charm or homely in disposition. Most of them
are indeed mere names to us, and we have to be careful in weighing
what is said of them by later writers. But of two or three of them we
do in fact know a good deal.

The one of whom we really know most is the wife of Cicero, Terentia:
an ordinary lady, of no particular ability or interest, who may stand
as representative of the quieter type of married woman. She lived with
her husband about thirty years, and until towards the end of that
period, a long one for the age, we find nothing substantial against
her. If we had nothing but Cicero's letters to her, more than twenty
in number, and his allusions to her in other letters, we should
conclude that she was a faithful and on the whole a sensible wife. But
more than once he writes of her delicate health,[229] and as the poor
lady had at various times a great deal of trouble to go through, it is
quite possible that as she grew older she became short in her temper,
or trying in other ways to a husband so excitable and vacillating. We
find stories of her in Plutarch and elsewhere which represent her as
shrewish, too careful of her own money, and so on;[230] but facts are
of more account than the gossip of the day, and there is not a sign in
the letters that Cicero disliked or mistrusted her until the year 47.
Had there really been cause for mistrust it would have slipped out in
some letter to Atticus. Then, after his absence during the war,
he seems to have believed that she had neglected himself and his
interests: his letters to her grow colder and colder, and the last is
one which, as has been truly said, a gentleman would not write to
his housekeeper. The pity of it is that Cicero, after divorcing her,
married a young and rich wife, and does not seem to have behaved very
well to her. In a letter to Atticus (xii. 32) he writes that Publilia
wanted to come to him with her mother, when he was at Astura devoting
himself to grief for his daughter, and that he had answered that he
wished to be let alone. The letter shows Cicero at his worst, for once
heartless and discourteous; and if he could be so to a young lady who
wished to do her duty by him, what may he not have been to Terentia? I
suspect that Terentia was quite as much sinned against as sinning;
and may we not believe that of the innumerable married women who
were divorced at this time some at least were the victims of their
husbands' callousness rather than of their own shortcomings?

The wife of Cicero's brother Quintus does, however, seem to have been
a difficult person to get on with. She was a sister of Atticus, but
she did not share her brother's tact and universal good-will. Marcus
Cicero has recorded (_ad Att._ v. I) a scene in which her ill-temper
was so ludicrous that the divorce which took place afterwards needs no
explanation. The two brothers were travelling together, and Pomponia
was with them; something had irritated her. When they stopped to lunch
at a place belonging to Quintus at Arcanum, he asked his wife to
invite the ladies of the party in. "Nothing, as I thought, could be
more courteous, and that too not only in the actual words, but in his
intention and the expression of his face. But she, in the hearing of
us all, exclaimed, 'I am only a stranger here!'" Apparently she had
not been asked by her husband to see after the luncheon; this had been
done by a freedman, and she was annoyed. "There," said Quintus, "that
is what I have to put up with every day!" When he sent her dishes from
the triclinium, where the gentlemen were having their meal, she would
not taste them. This little domestic contretemps is too good to be
neglected, but we must turn to women of greater note and character.

Terentia and Pomponia and their kind seem to have had nothing in the
way of "higher education," nor do their husbands seem to have expected
from them any desire to share in their own intellectual interests. Not
once does Cicero allude to any pleasant social intercourse in which
his wife took part; and, to say the truth, he would probably have
avoided marriage with a woman of taste and knowledge. There were such
women, as we shall see, probably many of them; ever since the incoming
of wealth and of Greek education, of theatres and amusements and all
the pleasant out-of-door life of the city, what was now coming to be
called _cultus_ had occupied the minds and affected the habits of
Roman ladies as well as men. Unfortunately it was seldom that it was
found compatible with the old Roman ideal of the materfamilias and
her duties. The invasion of new manners was too sudden, as was the
corresponding invasion of wealth; such a lady as Cornelia, the famous
mother of the Gracchi, "who knew what education really meant, who had
learned men about her and could write well herself, and yet could
combine with these qualities the careful discharge of the duties
of wife and mother,"[231]--such ladies must have been rare, and in
Cicero's time hardly to be found. More and more the notion gained
ground that a clever woman who wished to make a figure in society, to
be the centre of her own _monde_, could not well realise her ambition
simply as a married woman. She would probably marry, play fast and
loose with the married state, neglect her children if she had any, and
after one or two divorces, die or disappear. So powerfully did this
idea of the incompatibility of culture and wifehood gain possession
of the Roman mind in the last century B.C., that Augustus found his
struggle with it the most difficult task he had to face; in vain he
exiled Ovid for publishing a work in which married women are most
frankly and explicitly left out of account, while all that is
attractive in the other sex to a man of taste and education is assumed
to be found only among those who have, so far at least, eschewed the
duties and burdens of married life. The culta puella and the cultus
puer of Ovid's fascinating yet repulsive poem[232] are the products of
a society which looks on pleasure, not reason or duty, as the main
end of life,--not indeed pleasure simply of the grosser type, but the
gratification of one's own wish for enjoyment and excitement, without
a thought of the misery all around, or any sense of the self-respect
that comes of active well-doing.

The most notable example of a woman of _cultus_ in Cicero's day was
the famous Clodia, the Lesbia (as we may now almost assume) who
fascinated Catullus and then threw him over. She had been married to a
man of family and high station, Metellus Celer, who had died, strange
to say, without divorcing her. She must have been a woman of great
beauty and charm, for she seems to have attracted round her a little
côterie of clever young men and poets, to whom she could lend money or
accord praise as suited the moment. Whether Cicero himself had once
come within reach of her attractions, and perhaps suffered by them, is
an open question, and depends chiefly on statements of Plutarch which
may (as has been said above) have no better foundation than the gossip
of society. But we know how two typical young men of the time, Caelius
and Catullus, flew into the candle and were singed; we know how
fiercely she turned on Caelius, exposing herself and him without a
moment's hesitation in a public court; and we know how cruelly she
treated the poet, who hated her for it even while he still loved

  Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris;
  Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.


She was, as M. Boissier has well said,[234] the exact counterpart
of her still more famous brother: "Elle apportait dans sa conduite
privée, dans ses engagements d'affection, les mêmes emportements et
les mêmes ardeurs que son frère dans la vie publique. Prompte à tous
les excès et ne rougissant pas de les avouer, aimant et haïssant avec
fureur, incapable de se gouverner et détestant toute contrainte, elle
ne démentait pas cette grande et fière famille dont elle descendait."
All this is true; we need not go beyond it and believe the worst that
has been said of her.

We have just a glimpse of another lady of _cultus_, but only a
glimpse. This was Sempronia, the wife of an honest man and the mother
of another;[235] but according to Sallust, who introduces her to us as
a principal in the conspiracy of Catiline, she was one of those who
found steady married life incompatible with literary and artistic
tastes. "She could play and dance more elegantly than an honest woman
should ... she played fast and loose with her money, and equally so
with her good fame."[236] She had no scruples, he says, in denying a
debt, or in helping in a murder: yet she had plenty of _esprit_, could
write verses and talk brilliantly, and she knew too how to assume an
air of modesty on occasion. Sallust loved to colour his portraits
highly, and in painting this woman he saw no doubt a chance of
literary effect; but that she was really in the conspiracy we cannot
doubt, and that she had private ends to gain by it is also probable.
She seems to be the first of a series of ladies who during the next
century and later were to be a power in politics, and most of whom
were at least capable of crime, public and private. There is indeed
one instance a few years earlier of a woman exercising an almost
supreme influence in the State, and a woman too of the worst kind.
Plutarch tells us in the most explicit way that when Lucullus in 75
B.C. was trying to secure for himself the command against Mithridates,
he found himself compelled to apply to a woman named Praecia, whose
social gifts and good nature gave her immense influence, which she
used with the pertinacity peculiar to such ladies. Her reputation,
however, was very bad, and among other lovers she had enslaved
Cethegus (afterwards the conspirator), whose power at the time was
immense at Rome. Thus, says Plutarch, the whole power of the State
fell into the hands of Praecia, for no public measure was passed if
Cethegus was not for it, in other words, if Praecia did not recommend
it to him. If the story be true, as it seems to be, Lucullus gained
her over by gifts and flattery, and thus Cethegus took up his cause
and got him the command.[237]

Even if we put aside as untrustworthy a great deal of what is told us
of the relations of men and women in this period, it must be confessed
that there is quite sufficient evidence to show that they were loose
in the extreme, and show an altogether unhealthy condition of family
and social life. The famous tigress of the story of Cluentius, Sassia,
as she appears in Cicero's defence of him, was beyond doubt a criminal
of the worst kind, however much we may discount the orator's rhetoric;
and her case proves that the evil did not exist only at Rome, but was
to be found even in a provincial town of no great importance. Divorce
was so common as to be almost inevitable. Husbands divorced
their wives on the smallest pretexts, and wives divorced their
husbands.[238] Even the virtuous Cato seems to have divorced his wife
Marcia in order that Hortensius should marry her, and after some years
to have married her again as the widow of Hortensius, with a large
fortune.[239] Cicero himself writes sometimes in the lightest-hearted
way of conjugal relations which we should think most serious;[240]
and we find him telling Atticus how he had met at dinner the actress
Cytheris, a woman of notoriously bad character. "I did not know she
was going to be there," he says, "but even the Socratic Aristippus
himself did not blush when he was taunted about Lais."[241] Caesar's
reputation in such matters was at all times bad, and though many of
the stories about him are manifestly false, his conquest by Cleopatra
was a fact, and we learn with regret that the Egyptian queen was
living in a villa of his in gardens beyond the Tiber during the year
46, when he was himself in Rome.

It will be a relief to the reader, after spending so much time in this
unwholesome atmosphere, to turn for a moment in the last place to a
record, unique and entirely credible, of a truly good and wholesome
woman, and of a long period of uninterrupted conjugal devotion. About
the year 8 B.C., not long before Ovid wrote those poems in which
married life was assumed to be hardly worth living, a husband in
high life at Rome lost the wife who had for forty-one years been his
faithful companion in prosperity, his wise and courageous counsellor
in adversity. He recorded her praises and the story of her devotion to
him in a long inscription, placed, as we may suppose, on the wall of
the tomb in which he laid her to rest, and a most fortunate chance has
preserved for us a great part of the marble on which this inscription
was engraved. It is in the form of a laudatio, or funeral encomium;
yet we cannot feel sure that he actually delivered it as a speech,
for throughout it he addresses, not an audience, but the lost wife
herself, in a manner unique among such documents of the kind as have
come down to us. He speaks to her as though she were still living,
though passed from his sight; and it is just this that makes it more
real and more touching than any memorial of the dead that has come
down to us from either Italy or Greece.[242]

In such a record names are of no great importance; it is no great
misfortune that we do not know quite for certain who this man and his
wife were. But there is a very strong probability that her name was
Turia, and that he was a certain Q. Lucretius Vespillo, who served
under Pompeius in Epirus in 48 B.C., whose romantic adventures in the
proscriptions of 43 are recorded by Appian,[243] and who eventually
became consul under Augustus in 19 B.C. We may venture to use these
names in telling the remarkable story. For telling it here no apology
is needed, for it has never been told in English as a whole, so far as
I am aware.

It begins when the pair were about to be married, probably in 49 B.C.,
and with a horrible family calamity, not unnatural at the moment of
the outbreak of a dangerous civil war. Both Turia's parents were
murdered suddenly and together at their country residence--perhaps,
as Mommsen suggested, by their own slaves. Immediately afterwards
Lucretius had to leave with Pompeius' army for Epirus, and Turia was
left alone, bereft of both her parents, to do what she could to secure
the punishment of the murderers. Alone as she was, or aided only by a
married sister, she at once showed the courage and energy which are
obvious in all we hear of her. She seems to have succeeded in tracking
the assassins and bringing them to justice: "even if I had been there
myself," says her husband, "I could have done no more."

But this was by no means the only dangerous task she had to undertake
in those years of civil war and insecurity. When Lucretius left her
they seem to have been staying at the villa where her parents had been
murdered; she had given him all her gold and pearls, and kept him
supplied in his absence with money, provisions, and even slaves, which
she contrived to smuggle over sea to Epirus.[244] And during the march
of Caesar's army through Italy she seems to have been threatened,
either in that villa or another, by some detachment of his troops, and
to have escaped only through her own courage and the clemency of one
whose name is not mentioned, but who can hardly be other than the
great Julius himself, a true gentleman, whose instinct and policy
alike it was throughout this civil war to be merciful to opponents.

A year later, while Lucretius was still away, yet another peril came
upon her. While Caesar was operating round Dyrrhachium, there was a
dangerous rising in Campania and Southern Italy, for which our giddy
friend Caelius Rufus was chiefly responsible; gladiators and ruffianly
shepherd slaves were enlisted, and by some of these the villa where
she was staying was attacked, and successfully defended by her--so
much at least it seems possible to infer from the fragment recently

One might think that Turia had already had her full share of trouble
and danger, but there is much more to come. About this time she had to
defend herself against another attack, not indeed on her person, but
on her rights as an heiress. An attempt was made by her relations to
upset her father's will, under which she and Lucretius were appointed
equal inheritors of his property. The result of this would have been
to make her the sole heiress, leaving out her husband and her
married sister; but she would have been under the legal _tutela_ or
guardianship of persons whose motive in attacking the will was to
obtain administration of the property.[245] No doubt they meant to
administer it for their own advantage; and it was absolutely necessary
that she should resist them. How she did it her husband does not tell
us, but he says that the enemy retreated from his position, yielding
to her firmness and perseverance (constantia). The patrimonium came,
as her father had intended, to herself and her husband; and he dwells
on the care with which they dealt with it, he exercising a _tutela_
over her share, while she exercised a _custodia_ over his. Very
touchingly he adds, "but of this I leave much unsaid, lest I should
seem to be claiming a share in the praise that is due to you alone."

When Lucretius returned to Italy, apparently pardoned by Caesar
for the part he had taken against him, the marriage must have been
consummated. Then came the murder of the Dictator, which plunged Italy
once more into civil war, until in 43 Antony Octavian and Lepidus made
their famous compact, and at once proceeded to that abominable work of
proscription which made a reign of terror at Rome, and spilt much
of the best Roman blood. The happiness of the pair was suddenly
destroyed, for Lucretius found himself named in the fatal lists.[246]
He seems to have been in the country, not far from Rome, when he
received a message from his wife, telling him of impending peril that
he might have to face at any moment, and warning him strongly against
a certain rash course--perhaps an attempt to escape to Sextus Pompeius
in Sicily, a course which cost the lives of many deluded victims.
She implored him to return to their own house in Rome, where she had
devised a secure hiding-place for him. She meant no doubt to die with
him there if he were discovered.

He obeyed his good genius and made for Rome, by night it would seem,
with only two faithful slaves. One of these fell lame and had to
be left behind; and Lucretius, leaning on the arm of the other,
approached the city gate. Suddenly they became aware of a troop of
soldiers issuing from it, and Lucretius took refuge in one of the many
tombs that lined the great roads outside the walls. They had not been
long in this dismal hiding when they were surprised by a party of
tomb-wreckers--ghouls who haunted these roads by night and lived by
robbing tombs or travellers. Luckily they wanted rather to rob than to
murder, and the slave gave himself up to them to be stripped, while
his master, who was no doubt disguised, perhaps as a slave, contrived
to slip out of their hands and reached the city gate safely. Here he
waited, as we might expect him to do, for his brave companion, and
then succeeded in making his way into the city and to his house, where
his wife concealed him between the roof and the ceiling of one of
their bedrooms, until the storm should blow over.

But neither life nor property was safe until some pardon and
restitution were obtained from one at least of the triumvirs. When at
last these were conceded by Octavian, he was himself absent in the
campaign that ended with Philippi, and Lepidus was consul in charge
of Rome. To Lepidus Turia had to go, to beg the confirmation of
Octavian's grace, and this brutal man received her with insult and
injury. She fell at his feet, as her husband describes with bitter
indignation, but instead of being raised and congratulated, she was
hustled, beaten like a slave, and driven from his presence. But
her perseverance had its ultimate reward. The clemency of Octavian
prevailed on his return to Italy, and this treatment of a lad; was
among the many crimes that called for the eventual degradation of

This was the last of their perilous escapes. A long period of happy
married life awaited them, more particularly after the battle of
Actium, when "peace and the republic were restored." One thing only
was wanting to complete their perfect felicity--they had no children.
It was this that caused Turia to make a proposal to her husband which,
coming from a truly unselfish woman, and seen in the light of Roman
ideas of married life, is far from unnatural; but to us it must seem
astonishing, and it filled Lucretius with horror. She urged that he
should divorce her, and take another wife in the hope of a son and
heir. If there is nothing very surprising in this from a Roman point
of view, it is indeed to us both surprising and touching that she
should have supported her request by a promise that she would be as
much a mother to the expected children as their own mother, and would
still be to Lucretius a sister, having nothing apart from him, nothing
secret, and taking away with her no part of their inheritance.

To us, reading this proposal in cold blood just nineteen hundred years
after it was made, it may seem foolishly impracticable; to her, whose
whole life was spent in unselfish devotion to her husband's interests,
whose warm love for him was always mingled with discretion, it was
simply an act of pietas--of wifely duty. Yet he could not for a moment
think so himself: his indignation at the bare idea of it lives for
ever on the marble in glowing words. "I must confess," he says, "that
the anger so burnt within me that my senses almost deserted me: that
you should ever have thought it possible that we could be separated
but by death, was most horrible to me. What was the need of children
compared with my loyalty to you: why should I exchange certain
happiness for an uncertain future? But I say no more of this: you
remained with me, for I could not yield without disgrace to myself and
unhappiness to both of us. The one sorrow that was in store for me was
that I was destined to survive you."

These two, we may feel sure, were wholly worthy of each other. What
she would have said of him, if he had been the first to go, we can
only guess; but he has left a portrait of her, as she lived and worked
in his household, which, mutilated though it is, may be inadequately
paraphrased as follows:

"You were a faithful wife to me," he says, "and an obedient one: you
were kind and gracious, sociable and friendly: you were assiduous at
your spinning (lanificia): you followed the religious rites of your
family and your state, and admitted no foreign cults or degraded magic
(superstitio): you did not dress conspicuously, nor seek to make
a display in your household arrangements. Your duty to our whole
household was exemplary: you tended my mother as carefully as if she
had been your own. You had innumerable other excellences, in common
with all other worthy matrons, but these I have mentioned were
peculiarly yours."

No one can study this inscription without becoming convinced that it
tells an unvarnished tale of truth--that here was really a rare and
precious woman; a Roman matron of the very best type, practical,
judicious, courageous, simple in her habits and courteous to all her
guests. And we feel that there is one human being, and one only,
of whom she is always thinking, to whom she has given her whole
heart--the husband whose words and deeds show that he was wholly
worthy of her.



From what has been said in preceding chapters of the duties and the
habits of the two sections of the upper stratum of society, it will
readily be inferred that the kind of education called for was one
mainly of character. In these men, whether for the work of business or
of government, what was wanted was the will to do well and justly,
and the instinctive hatred of all evil and unjust dealing. Such an
education of the will and character is supplied (whatever be its
shortcomings in other ways) by our English public school education,
for men whose work in life is in many ways singularly like that of the
Roman upper classes. Such an education, too, was outlined by Aristotle
for the men of his ideal state; and Mr. Newman's picture of the
probable results of it is so suggestive of what was really needed at
Rome that I may quote it here.[247]

"As its outcome at the age of twenty-one we may imagine a bronzed and
hardy youth, healthy in body and mind, able to bear hunger and hard
physical labour ... not untouched by studies which awake in men the
interest of civilised beings, and prepare them for the right use of
leisure in future years, and though burdened with little knowledge,
possessed of an educated sense of beauty, and an ingrained love of
what is noble and hatred of all that is the reverse. He would be
more cultivated and human than the best type of young Spartan, more
physically vigorous and reverential, though less intellectually
developed, than the best type of young Athenian--a nascent soldier and
servant of the state, not, like most young Athenians of ability, a
nascent orator. And as he would be only half way through his education
at an age when many Greeks had finished theirs, he would be more
conscious of his own immaturity. We feel at once how different he
would be from the clever lads who swarmed at Athens, youths with an
infinite capacity for picking holes, and capable of saying something
plausible on every subject under the sun."

If we note, with Mr. Newman, that Aristotle here makes if anything too
little of intellectual training (as indeed may also be said of our
own public schools), and add to his picture something more of that
knowledge which, when united with an honest will and healthy body,
will almost infallibly produce a sound judgment, we shall have a type
of character eminently fitted to share in the duties and the trials of
the government of such empires as the Roman and the British. But at
Rome, in the age of Cicero, such a type of character was rare indeed;
and though this was due to various causes, some of which have been
already noticed,--the building up of a Roman empire before the Romans
were ripe to appreciate the duties of an imperial state, and the
sudden incoming of wealth in an age when the idea of its productive
use was almost unknown,--yet it will occur to every reader that there
must have been also something wrong in the upbringing of the youth of
the upper classes to account for the rarity of really sound character,
for the frequent absence of what we should call the sense of duty,
public and private. I propose in this chapter to deal with the
question of Roman education just so far as to show where in Cicero's
time it was chiefly defective. It is a subject that has been very
completely worked out, and an excellent summary of the results will
be found in the little volume on Roman education written by the late
Professor A.S. Wilkins, just before his lamented death: but he was
describing its methods without special reference to its defects, and
it is these defects on which I wish more particularly to dwell.[248]

Let us notice, in the first place, how little is said in the
literature of the time, including biographies, of that period of life
which is now so full of interest to readers of memoirs, so full of
interest to ourselves as we look back to it in advancing years. It
may be that we now exaggerate the importance of childhood, but it is
equally certain that the Romans undervalued the importance of it. It
may be that we over-estimate the value of our public-school life, but
it is certain that the Romans had no such school life to be proud of.
Biography was at this time a favourite form of literature, and some of
the memoirs then written were available for use by later writers, such
as Valerius Maximus, Suetonius, and Plutarch; yet it is curious how
little has come down to us of the childhood or boyhood of the great
men of the time. Plutarch indeed was deeply interested in education,
including that of childhood, and we can hardly doubt that he would
have used in his Roman Lives any information that came in his way. He
does tell us something, for which we are eternally indebted to him, of
old Cato's method of educating his son,[249] and something too, in his
_Life of Aemilius Paullus_,[250] of the education of the eldest son of
that family, the great Scipio Aemilianus. But in each of these Lives
we shall find that this information is used rather to bring out the
character of the father than to illustrate the upbringing of the son;
and as a rule the Lives begin with the parentage of the hero, and then
pass on at once to his early manhood.

The Life of the younger Cato, however, is an exception to the rule,
which we must ascribe to the attraction which all historians and
philosophers felt to this singular character. Plutarch knew the naiue
and character of Cato's paedagogus, Sarpedon,[251] and tells us that
he was an obedient child, but would ask for the reason of everything,
in those questions beginning with "why" which are often embarrassing
to the teacher. Two stories in the second and third chapters of this
Life are also found in that insipid medley of fact and fable drawn
up in the reign of Tiberius, by Valerius Maximus, for educational
purposes;[252] a third, which is peculiarly significant, and seems to
bear the stamp of truth, is only to be found in Plutarch. I give it
here in full:

"On another occasion, when a kinsman on his birthday invited some boys
to supper and Cato with them, in order to pass the time they played in
a part of the house by themselves, younger and older together: and the
game consisted of accusations and trials, and the arresting of those
who were convicted. Now one of the boys convicted, who was of a
handsome presence, being dragged off by an older boy to a chamber and
shut up, called on Cato for aid. Cato seeing what was going on came to
the door, and pushing through those who were posted in front of it
to prevent him, took the boy out; and went off home with him in a
passion, accompanied by other boys."

This is a unique picture of the ways and games of boys in the last
century of the Republic. Like the children of all times, they play at
that in which they see their fathers most active and interested; and
this particular game must have been played in the miserable years of
the civil wars and the proscriptions, as Cato was born in 95 B.C.
Whether the part played by Cato in the story be true or not, the
lesson for us is the same, and we shall find it entirely confirmed
in the course of this chapter. The main object of education was the
mastery of the art of oratory, and the chief practical use of that
art was to enable a man to gain a reputation as an advocate in the
criminal courts.[253]

Cicero had one boy, and for several years two, to look after, one his
own son Marcus, born in 65 B.C., and the other Quintus, the son of
his brother, a year older. Of these boys, until they took the toga
virilis, he says hardly anything in his letters to Atticus, though
Atticus was the uncle of the elder boy. Only when his brother Quintus
was with Caesar in Gaul do we really begin to hear anything about
them, and even then more than once, after a brief mention of the young
Quintus, he goes off at once to tell his brother about the progress
of the villas that are being built for him. But it is clear that the
father wished to know about the boy as well as about the villas;[254]
and in one letter we find Cicero telling Quintus that he wishes to
teach his boy himself, as he has been teaching his own son. "I'll do
wonders with him if I can get him to myself when I am at leisure, for
at Rome there is not time to breathe (nam Romae respirandi non est
locus)."[255] It is clear that the boys, who were only eleven and
twelve in this year 54, were being educated at home, and as clear too
that Cicero, who was just then very much occupied in the courts, had
no time to attend to them himself. Young Quintus, we hear, gets on
well with his rhetoric master; Cicero does not wholly approve the
style in which he is being taught, and thinks he may be able to teach
him his own more learned style, though the boy himself seems to prefer
the declamatory method of the teacher.[256] The last entry in these
letters to the absent father is curious:[257] "I love your Cicero as
he deserves and as I ought. But I am letting him leave me, because I
don't want to keep him from his masters, and because his mother is
going away,--and without her I am nervous about his greediness!" Up to
this point he has written in the warmest terms of the boy, but here,
as so often in Cicero's letters about other people, disapprobation is
barely hinted in order not to hurt the feelings of his correspondent.

The one thing that is really pleasing in these allusions is the
genuine desire of both parents that their boys shall be of good
disposition and well educated. But of real training or of home
discipline we unluckily get no hint. We must go elsewhere for what
little we know about the training of children. Let us now turn to
this for a while, remembering that it means parental example and
the discipline of the body as well as the acquisition of elementary
knowledge. Unfortunately, no book has survived from that age in which
the education of children was treated of. Varro wrote such a book,
but we know of it little more than its name, _Catus, sive de liberis
educandis_.[258] In the fourth book of his _de Republica_ Cicero seems
to have dealt with "disciplina puerilis," but from the few fragments
that survive there is little to be learnt, and we may be pretty sure
that Cicero could not write of this with much knowledge or experience.
The most famous passage is that in which he quotes Polybius as blaming
the Romans for neglecting it;[259] certainly, he adds, they never
wished that the State should regulate the education of children, or
that it should be all on one model; the Greeks took much unnecessary
trouble about it. The Greeks of his own time whom Cicero knew did not
inspire him with any exalted idea of the results of Greek education;
but we should like to know whether in this book of his work on the
State he did not express some feeling that on the children themselves,
and therefore on their training, the fortunes of the State depend.
Such had been the feeling of the old Romans, though their State laid
down no laws for education, but trusted to the force of tradition and
custom. Old Cato believed himself to be acting like an old Roman when
he looked after the washing and dressing of his baby, and guided the
child with personal care as he grew up, writing books for his use in
large letters with his own hand.[260] But since Cato's day the idea
of the State had lost strength; and this had an unfortunate effect
on education, as on married life. The one hope of the age, the Stoic
philosophy, was concerned with those who had attained to reason, i.e.
to those who had reached their fourteenth year; in the Stoic view
the child was indeed potentially reasonable, and thus a subject of
interest, but in the Stoic ethics education does not take a very
prominent place.[261] We are driven to the conclusion that a real
interest in education as distinct from the acquisition of knowledge
was as much wanting at Rome in Cicero's day as it has been till lately
in England; and that it was not again awakened until Christianity had
made the children sacred, not only because the Master so spoke of
them, but because they were inheritors of eternal life.

Yet there had once been a Roman home education admirably suited
to bring up a race of hardy and dutiful men and women. It was an
education in the family virtues, thereafter to be turned to account
in the service of the State. The mother nursed her own children and
tended them in their earliest years. Then followed an education which
we may call one in bodily activity, in demeanour, in religion, and in
duty to the State. It is true that we have hardly any evidence of this
but tradition; but when Varro, in one of the precious fragments of his
book on education, describes his own bringing up in his Sabine home at
Reate, we may be fairly sure that it adequately represents that of
the old Roman farmer.[262] He tells us that he had a single tunic
and toga, was seldom allowed a bath, and was made to learn to ride
bareback--which reminds us of the life of the young Boer of the
Transvaal before the late war. In another fragment he also tells us
that both boys and girls used to wait on their parents at table.[263]
Cato the elder, in a fragment preserved by Festus,[264] says that
he was brought up from his earliest years to be frugal, hardy, and
industrious, and worked steadily on the farm (in the Sabine country),
in a stony region where he had to dig and plant the flinty soil. The
tradition of such a healthy rearing remained in the memory of the
Romans, and associated itself with the Sabines of central Italy, the
type of men who could be called _frugi_:

  rusticorum mascula militum
  proles, Sabellis docta ligonibus
  versare glebas et severae
  matris ad arbitrium recisos
  portare fustis.[265]

It was an education also in demeanour, and especially in
obedience[266] and modesty. In that chapter of Plutarch's _Life of
Cato_ which has been already quoted, after describing how the father
taught his boy to ride, to box, to swim, and so on, he goes on, "And
he was as careful not to utter an indecent word before his son, as he
would have been in the presence of the Vestal Virgins." The _pudor_ of
childhood was always esteemed at Rome: "adolescens pudentissimus" is
the highest praise that can be given even to a grown youth;[267] and
there are signs that a feeling survived of a certain sacredness of
childhood, which Juvenal reflects in his famous words, "Maxima debetur
puero reverentia." The origin of this feeling is probably to be found
in the fact that both boys and girls were in ancient times brought
up to help in performing the religious duties of the household, as
camilli and camillae (acolytes); and this is perhaps the reason why
they wore, throughout Roman history, the toga praetexta with the
purple stripe, like magistrates and sacrificing priests.[268] It is
hardly necessary to say that this religious side of education was an
education in the practice of cult, and not in any kind of creed or
ideas about the gods; but so far as it went its influence was good, as
instilling the habit of reverence and the sense of duty from a very
early age. Though the Romans of Cicero's time had lost their old
conviction of the necessity of propitiating the gods of the State, it
is probable that the tradition of family worship still survived in the
majority of households.

Again, we may be sure that the idea of duty to the State was not
omitted in this old-fashioned education. Cato wrote histories for his
son in large letters, "so that without stirring out of the house,
he might gain a knowledge of the illustrious actions of the ancient
Romans, and of the customs of his country": but it is significant that
in the next two or three generations the writers of annals took to
glorifying--and falsifying--the achievements of members of their own
families, rather than those of the State as a whole. Boys learnt the
XII Tables by heart, and Cicero tells us that he did this in his own
boyhood, though the practice had since then been dropped.[269] That
ancient code of law would have acted, we may imagine, as a kind of
catechism of the rules laid down by the State for the conduct of its
citizens, and as a reminder that though the State had outgrown the
rough legal clothing of its infancy, it had from the very beginning
undertaken the duty of regulating the conduct of its citizens in their
relations with each other. Again, when a great Roman died, it is said
to have been the practice for parents to take their boys to hear the
funeral oration in praise of one who had done great service to the

All this was admirable, and if Rome had not become a great imperial
state, and if some super-structure of the humanities could have been
added in a natural process of development, it might have continued
for ages as an invaluable educational basis. But the conditions under
which alone it could flourish had long ceased to be. It is obvious
that it depended entirely on the presence of the parents and their
interest in the children; as regards the boys it depended chiefly on
the father. Now ever since the Roman dominion was extended beyond sea,
i.e. ever since the first two Punic wars, the father of a family must
often have been away from home for long periods; he might have to
serve in foreign wars for years together, and in numberless cases
never saw Italy again. Even if he remained in Rome, the ever
increasing business of the State would occupy him far more than
was compatible with a constant personal care for his children. The
conscientious Roman father of the last two centuries B.C. must have
felt even more keenly than English parents in India the sorrow of
parting from their children at an age when they are most in need of
parental care. We have to remember that in Cicero's day letter-writing
had only recently become possible on an extended scale through the
increasing business of the publicani in the provinces (see above, p.
74); the Roman father in Spain or Asia seldom heard of what his wife
and children were doing, and the inevitable result was that he began
to cease to care. In fact more and more came to depend on the mothers,
as with our own hard-working professional classes; and we have seen
reason to believe that in the last age of the Republic the average
mother was not too often a conscientious or dutiful woman. The
constant liability to divorce would naturally diminish her interest in
her children, for after separation she had no part or lot in them. And
this no doubt is one reason why at this particular period we hear so
little of the life of children. There is indeed no reason to suppose
that they themselves were unhappy; they had plenty of games, which
were so familiar that the poets often allude to them--hoops, tops,
dolls, blind man's buff, and the favourite games of "nuts" and
"king."[271] But the real question is not whether they could enjoy
their young life, but whether they were learning to use their bodies
and minds to good purpose.

When a boy was about seven years old, the question would arise in
most families whether he should remain at home or go to an elementary
school.[272] No doubt it was usually decided by the means at the
command of the parents. A wealthy father might see his son through his
whole education at home by providing a tutor (paedagogus), and more
advanced teachers as they were needed. Cato indeed, as we have seen,
found time to do much of the work himself, but he also had a slave
who taught his own and other children. Aemilius Paullus had
several teachers in his house for this purpose, under his own
superintendence.[273] Cicero too, as we have seen, seems to have
educated his son at home, though he himself is said to have attended a
school. But we may suppose that the ordinary boy of the upper classes
went to school, under the care of a paedagogus, after the Greek
fashion, rising before daylight, and submitting to severe discipline,
which, together with the absolute necessity for a free Roman of
attaining a certain level of acquirement, effectually compelled him to
learn to read, write, and cipher.[274] This elementary work must
have been done well; we hear little or nothing of gross ignorance or
neglected education.

There were, however, very serious defects in this system of elementary
education. Not only the schoolmaster himself, but the paedagogus who
was responsible for the boy's conduct, was almost always either a
slave or a freedman; and neither slave nor freedman could be an object
of profound respect for a Roman boy. Hence no doubt the necessity of
maintaining discipline rather by means of corporal punishment (to
which the Romans never seem to have objected, though Quintilian
criticises it)[275] than by moral force; a fact which is attested both
in literature and art. The responsibility again which attached to the
paedagogus for the boy's morals must have been another inducement to
the parents to renounce their proper work of supervision.[276] And
once more, the great majority of teachers were Greeks. As the boy was
born into a bilingual Graeco-Roman world, of which the Greeks were the
only cultured people, this might seem natural and inevitable; but we
know that in his heart the Roman despised the Greek. Of witnesses in
their favour we might expect Cicero to be the strongest, but Cicero
occasionally lets us know what he really thinks of their moral
character. In a remarkable passage in his speech for Flaccus, which
is fully borne out by remarks in his private letters, he says that he
grants them all manner of literary and rhetorical skill, but that
the race never understood or cared for the sacred binding force of
testimony given in a court of law.[277] Thus the Roman boy was in the
anomalous position of having to submit to chastisement from men whom
as men he despised. Assuredly we should not like our public schoolboys
to be taught or punished by men of low station or of an inferior
standard of morals It is men, not methods, that really tell in
education; the Roman schoolboy needed some one to believe in some one
to whom to be wholly loyal; the very same overpowering need which
was so obvious in the political world of Rome in the last century

Of this elementary teaching little need be said here, as it did not
bear directly on life and conduct. There is, however, one feature of
it which may claim our attention for a moment. Both in reading and
writing, and also for learning by heart, _sententiae_ [Greek: gnomai]
were used, which remind us of our copy-book maxims. Of these we have a
large collection, more than 700, selected from the mimes of Publilius
Syrus, who came to Rome from Syria as a slave in the age of which we
are writing, and after obtaining his freedom gained great reputation
as the author of many popular plays of this kind, in which he
contrived to insert these wise saws and maxims. It is not likely that
they found their way into the schools all at once, but in the early
Empire we find them already alluded to as educational material by
Seneca the elder,[279] and we may take them as a fair example of the
maxims already in use in Cicero's time, making some allowance for
their superior neatness and wisdom. Here are a few specimens, taken
almost at random; it will be seen that they convey much shrewd good
sense, and occasionally have the true ring of humanity as well as the
flavour of Stoic _sapientia_. I quote from the excellent edition by
Mr. Bickford-Smith.[280]

  Avarus ipse miseriae causa est suae.
  Audendo virtus crescit, tardando timor.
  Cicatrix conscientiae pro vulnere est.
  Fortunam[281] citius reperias quam retineas.
  Cravissima est probi hominis iracundia.
  Homo totiens moritur, quotiens amittit suos.
  Homo vitae commodatus, non donatus est.
  Humanitatis optima est certatio.
  Iucundum nil est, nisi quod reficit varietas.
  Malum est consilium quod mutari non potest.
  Minus saepe pecces, si scias quod nescias.
  Perpetuo vincit qui utitur clementia.
  Qui ius iurandum servat, quovis pervenit.
  Ubi peccat aetas maior, male discit minor.

I have quoted these to show that Roman children were not without
opportunity even in early schooldays of laying to heart much that
might lead them to good and generous conduct in later life, as well as
to practical wisdom. But we know the fate of our own copy-book maxims;
we know that it is not through them that our children become good men
and women, but by the example and the un-systematised precepts of
parents and teachers. No such neat [Greek gnomai] can do much good
without a sanction of greater force than any that is inherent in
them and such a sanction was not to be found in the ferula of the
grammaticus or the paedagogus. Once more it is men and not methods
that supply the real educational force.

Probably the greatest difficulty which the Roman boy had to face in
his school life was the learning of arithmetic; it was this, we may
imagine, that made him think of his master, as Horace did of the
worthy Orbilius,[282] as a man of blows (plagosus). This is not the
place to give an account of the methods of reckoning then used; they
will be found fully explained in Marquardt's _Privatleben_,
and compressed into a page by Professor Wilkins in his _Roman
Education_[283]. It is enough to say that they were as indispensable
as they were difficult to learn. "An orator was expected, according to
Quintilian (i. 10. 35), not only to be able to make his calculations
in court, but also to show clearly to his audience how he arrived at
his results." From the small inn-keeper to the great capitalist, every
man of business needed to be perfectly at home in reckoning sums of
money. The magistrates, especially quaestors and aediles, had staffs
of clerks who must have been skilled accountants; the provincial
governors and all who were engaged in collecting the tributes of the
provinces, as well as in lending the money to enable the tax-payers to
pay (see above, 71 foll.), were constantly busy with their ledgers.
The humbler inhabitants of the Empire had long been growing familiar
with the Roman aptitude for arithmetic.[284]

  Grais ingenium, Grais dedit ore rotundo
  Musa loqui, praeter laudem nullius avaris.
  Romani pueri longis rationibus assem
  discunt in partes centum diducere. "Dicat
  films Albini: si de quincunce remota est
  uncia, quid superat? poteras dixisse." "triens." "eu!
  rem poteris servare tuam."[285]

This familiar passage may be quoted once more to illustrate the
practical nature of the Roman school teaching and the ends which it
was to serve. Utilitarian to the backbone, the ordinary Roman, like
the ordinary British, parent, wanted his son to get on in life; it
was only the parent of a higher class who sacrificed anything to the
Muses, and then chiefly because in a public career it was _de rigueur_
that the boy should not be ignorant or boorish.

When the son of well-to-do parents had mastered the necessary
elements, he was advanced to the higher type of school kept by a
_grammaticus_, and there made his first real acquaintance with
literature; and this was henceforward, until he began to study
rhetoric and philosophy, the staple of his work. We may note, by the
way, that science, i.e. the higher mathematics and astronomy,
was reckoned under the head of philosophy, while medicine and
jurisprudence had become professional studies,[286] to learn which it
was necessary to attach yourself to an experienced practitioner, as
with the art of war In the grammar schools, as we may call them, the
course was purely literary and humanistic, and it was conducted both
in Greek and Latin, but chiefly in Greek, as a natural result of the
comparative scantiness of Latin literature.[287] Homer, Hesiod, and
Menander were the favourite authors studied; only later on, after the
full bloom of the Augustan literature, did Latin poets, especially
Virgil and Horace, take a place of almost equal importance. The study
of the Greek poets was apparently a thorough one. It included the
teaching of language, grammar, metre, style, and subject matter, and
was aided by reading aloud, which was reckoned of great importance,
and learning by heart, on the part of the pupils. In the discussion
of the subject matter any amount of comment was freely allowed to
the master, who indeed was expected to have at his fingers' ends
explanations of all sorts of allusions, and thus to enable the boys to
pick up a great deal of odd knowledge and a certain amount of history,
mixed up of course with a large percentage of valueless mythology.
"In grammaticis," says Cicero, "poetarum pertractatio, historiarum
cognitio, verborum interpretatio, pronuntiandi quidam sonus."[288] The
method, if such it can be called, was not at all unlike that pursued
in our own public schools, Eton, for example, before new methods and
subjects came in. Its great defect in each case was that it gave but
little opportunity for learning to distinguish fact from fancy,
or acquiring that scientific habit of mind which is now becoming
essential for success in all departments of life, and which at Rome
was so rare that it seems audacious to claim it even for such a man of
action as Caesar, or for such a man of letters as Varro. In England
this defect was compensated to some extent by the manly tone of school
life, but at Rome that side of school education was wanting, and the
result was a want of solidity both intellectual and moral.

The one saving feature, given a really good and high-minded teacher,
might be the appeal to the example of the great and good men of the
past, both Greek and Roman, and the study of their motives in action,
in good fortune and ill. This is the kind of teaching which we find
illustrated in the book of Valerius Maximus, which has already been
alluded to, who takes some special virtue or fine quality as the
subject of most of his chapters,[289]--fortitudo, patientia,
abstinentia, moderatio, pietas erga parentes, amicitia, and so on,
and illustrates them by examples and stories drawn mainly from Roman
history, partly also from Greek. This kind of appeal to the young mind
was undoubtedly good, and the finest product of the method is the
immortal work of Plutarch, the Lives of the great men of Greece and
Rome, drawn up for ethical rather than historical purposes. But here
again we must note a serious drawback. Any one who turns over the
pages of Valerius will see that these stories of the great men of the
past are so detached from their historical surroundings that they
could not possibly serve as helps in the practical conduct of life;
they might indeed do positive mischief, by leading a shallow reasoner
to suppose that what may have been justifiable at one time and under
certain circumstances, regicide, for example, or exposure of oneself
in battle, is justifiable at all times and in all circumstances. Such
an appeal failed also by discouraging the habit of thinking about the
facts and problems of the day; and right-minded men like Cicero and
Cato the younger both suffered from this weakness of a purely literary
early training. Another drawback is that this teaching inevitably
exaggerated the personal element in history, at the very time too when
personalities were claiming more than their due share of the world's
attention; and thus the great lessons which Polybius had tried to
teach the Graeco-Roman world, of seeking for causes in historical
investigation, and of meditating on the phenomena of the world you
live in, were passed over or forgotten.

But so far as the study of language, of artistic diction, of
elocution, and intelligent reading could help a boy to prepare himself
for life, this education was good; more especially good as laying a
foundation for the acquirement of that art of oratory which, from old
Cato's time onwards, had been the chief end to be aimed at by all
intending to take part in public life. Cato indeed had well said to
his son, "Orator est, Marce fili, vir bonus dicendi peritus,"[290]
thus putting the ethical stamp of the man in the first place; and
his "rem tene, verba sequentur" is a valuable bit of advice for all
learners and teachers of literature. But more and more the end of all
education had come to be the art of oratory, and particularly the art
as exercised in the courts of law, where in Cicero's time neither
truth nor fact was supreme, and where the first thing required was
to be a clever speaker,--a vir bonus by all means if you were so
disposed. But to this we shall return directly.

In such schools, if he were not educated at home, the boy remained
till he was invested with the toga virilis, or pura. In the late
Republic this usually took place between the fourteenth and
seventeenth years;[291] thus the two young Ciceros seem both to have
been sixteen when they received the toga virilis, while Octavian and
Virgil were just fifteen, and the son of Antony only fourteen. In
former times it seems probable that the boy remained "praetextatus"
till he was seventeen, the age at which he was legally capable of
military service, and that he went straight from the home to the
levy;[292] in case of severe military pressure, or if he wished it
himself, he might begin his first military exercises and even his
active service, in the praetexta. But as in so many other ways, so
here the life of the city brought about a change; in a city boys are
apt to develop more rapidly in intelligence if not in body, and as the
toga virilis was the mark of legal qualification as a man, they might
be of more use to the family in the absence of the father if invested
with it somewhat earlier than had been the primitive custom. But there
was no hard and fast rule; boys develop with much variation both
mentally and physically, and, like the Eton collar of our own
schoolboys, the toga of childhood might be retained or dropped
entirely at the discretion of the parents.

There is, however, a great difference in the two cases in regard
to the assumption of the manly dress. With us it does not mean
independence; as a rule the boy remains at school for a year or two at
least under strict discipline. At Rome it meant, on the contrary, that
he was "of age," and in the eye of the law a man, capable of looking
after his own education and of holding property. This was a survival
from the time when at the age of puberty the boy, as among all
primitive peoples, was solemnly received into the body of citizens and
warriors; and the solemnity of the Roman ceremony fully attests this.
After a sacrifice in the house, and the dedication of his boyish toga
and bulla to the Lar familiaris, he was invested with the plain toga
of manhood (libera, pura), and conducted by his father or guardian,
accompanied (in characteristic Roman fashion, see below, p. 271)
by friends and relations, to the Forum, and probably also to the
tabularium under the Capitol, where his name was entered in the list
of full citizens.[293]

With the new arrangement, under which boys might become legally men
at an earlier age than in the old days, it is obvious that there must
often have been an interval before they were physically or mentally
qualified for a profession. As the sole civil profession to which boys
of high family would aspire was that of the bar, a father would send
his son during that interval to a distinguished advocate to be taken
as a pupil. Cicero himself was thus apprenticed to Mucius Scaevola the
augur: and in the same way the young Caelius, as soon as he had taken
his toga virilis, was brought by his father to Cicero. The relation
between the youth and his preceptor was not unlike that of the
_contubernium_ in military life, in which the general to whom a lad
was committed was supposed to be responsible for his welfare and
conduct as well as for his education in the art of war: thus Cicero
says of Caelius[294] that at that period of his life no one ever saw
him "except with his father or with me, or in the very well-conducted
house of M. Crassus" (who shared with Cicero in the guardianship).
"Fuit assiduus mecum," he says a little farther on. This kind of
pupilage was called the _tirocinium fori_, in which a lad should be
pursuing his studies for the legal profession, and also his bodily
exercises in the Campus Martius, so that he might be ready to serve
in the army for the single campaign which was still desirable if not
absolutely necessary. When he had made his first speech in a court of
law, he was said _tirocinium ponere_,[295] and if it were a success,
he might devote himself more particularly henceforward to the art and
practice of oratory. No doubt all really ambitious young men, who
aimed at high office and an eventual provincial government, would,
like Caesar, endeavour to qualify themselves for the army as well as
the Forum. Cicero, however, whose instincts were not military, served
only in one campaign, at the age of seventeen, and apparently he
advised Caelius to do no more than this. Caelius served under
Q. Pompeius proconsul of Africa, to whom he was attached as
_contubernalis_, choosing this province because his father had estates
there.[296] It was only on his return with a good character from
Pompeius that he proceeded to exhibit his skill as an orator by
accusing some distinguished person--in this case the Antonius who was
afterwards consul with Cicero.[297]

To attain the skill in oratory which would enable the pupil to make
a successful appearance in the Forum, he must have gone through an
elaborate training in the art of rhetoric. Cicero does not tell us
whether he himself gave Caelius lessons in rhetoric, or whether he
sent him to a professional teacher; he had himself written a treatise
on a part of the subject--the _de Inventione_ of 80 B.C., the earliest
of all his prose works--and was therefore quite able to give the
necessary instruction if he found time to do so. It is not the object
of this chapter to explain the meaning of rhetoric as the Graeco-Roman
world then understood it, or the theory of a rhetorical education;
for this the reader must be referred to Professor Wilkins' little
book,[298] or, better still, to the main source of our knowledge, the
_Institutio Oratoris_ of Quintilian. Something may, however, be said
here of the view taken of a rhetorical training by Cicero himself,
very clearly expressed in the exordium of the treatise just mentioned,
and often more or less directly reiterated in his later and more
mature works on oratory.

"After much meditation," he says, "I have been led to the conclusion
that wisdom without eloquence is of little use to a state, while
eloquence without wisdom is often positively harmful, and never of any
value. Thus if a man, abandoning the study of reason and duty, which
is always perfectly straight and honourable, spends his whole time in
the practice of speaking, he is being brought up to be a hindrance
to his own development, and a dangerous citizen." This reminds us of
Cato's saying that an orator is "vir bonus dicendi peritus." Less
strongly expressed, the same view is also found in the exordium of
another and more mature treatise on rhetoric, by an author whose name
is unknown, written a year or two before that of Cicero: "Non enim
parum in se fructus habet copia dicendi et commoditas orationis, si
recta intelligentia et definita animi moderatione gubernetur."[299]
We may assume that in Cicero's early years the best men felt that the
rhetorical art, if it were to be of real value to the individual and
the state, must be used with discretion, and accompanied by high aims
and upright conduct.

Yet within a generation of the date when these wise words were
written, the letters of Caelius show us that the art was used utterly
without discretion, and to the detriment both of state and individual.
The high ideal of culture and conduct had been lost in the actual
practice of oratory, in a degenerate age, full of petty ambitions
and animosities. We ourselves know only too well how a thing good in
itself as a means is apt to lose its value if raised into the place of
an end;--how the young mind is apt to elevate cricket, football, golf,
into the main object of all human activity. So it was with rhetoric;
it was the indispensable acquirement to enable a man to enjoy
thoroughly the game in the Forum, and thus in education it became the
staple commodity. The actual process of acquiring it was no doubt an
excellent intellectual exercise,--the learning rules of composition,
the exercises in applying these rules, i.e. the writing of themes or
essays (proposita, communes loci), in which the pupil had "to find and
arrange his own facts,"[300] and then the declamatio, or exercise in
actual speaking on a given subject, which in Cicero's day was called
causa, and was later known as controversia.[301] Such practice must
have brought out much talent and ingenuity, like that of our own
debating societies at school and college. But there were two great
defects in it. First, as Professor Wilkins points out, the subjects
of declamation were too often out of all relation to real life, e.g.
taken from the Greek mythology; or if less barren than usual, were far
more commonplace and flat than those of our debating societies. To
harangue on the question whether the life of a lawyer or a soldier is
the best, is hardly so inspiring as to debate a question of the day
about Ireland or India, which educates in living fact as well as in
the rules of the orator's art. Secondly, the whole aim and object of
this "finishing" portion of a boy's education was a false one. Even
the excellent Quintilian, the best of all Roman teachers, believed
that the statesman (civilis vir) and the orator are identical: that
the statesman must be vir bonus because the vir bonus makes the best
orator; that he should be sapiens for the same reason.[302] And the
object of oratory is "id agere, ut iudici quae proposita fuerint,
vera et honesta _videantur_":[303] i.e. the object is not truth, but
persuasion. We might get an idea of how such a training would fail
in forming character, if we could imagine all our liberal education
subordinated to the practice of journalism. But fortunately for us, in
this scientific age, words and the use of words no longer serve as the
basis of education or as the chief nurture of young life. We need to
see facts, to understand causes, to distinguish objective truth from
truth reflected in books. But the perfect education must be a skilful
mingling of the two methods; and it may be as well to take care that
we do not lose contact with the best thoughts of the best men, because
they are contained in the literature we show some signs of neglecting.
We may say of science what Cicero said of rhetoric, that it cannot do
without sapientia.

Of schools of philosophy I have already said something in the last
chapter, and as the study of philosophy was hardly a part of the
regular curriculum of education properly so called, I shall pass it
over here. The philosopher was usually to be found in wealthy houses,
and if he were a wholesome person, and not a Philodemus, he might
assuredly exercise a good influence on a young man. Or a youth might
go to Athens or Rhodes or to some other Greek city, to attend the
lectures of some famous professor. Cicero heard Phaedrus the Epicurean
at Rome and then Philo the Academician, who had a lasting influence on
his pupil, and then, at the age of twenty-seven, went to Greece for
two years, studying at Athens, Rhodes, and elsewhere. Caesar also went
to Rhodes, and he and Cicero both attended the lectures of Molo in
rhetoric, in which study, as well as in philosophy, lectures were to
be heard in all the great Greek cities.[304] Cicero sent his own son
to "the University in Athens" at the age of twenty, giving him an
ample allowance and doubtless much good advice. The young man soon
outran his allowance and got into debt; the good advice he seems to
have failed to utilise, and in fact gave his father considerable

The following letter, which seems to show that a youth who had
excellent opportunities might still be lacking in principle and
self-control, is the only one which survives of the letters of
undergraduates of that day. It was written by the young Cicero, after
he had repented and undertaken to reform, not to his father himself,
but to the faithful friend and freedman of his father, Tiro, who
afterwards edited the collection of letters in which he inserted
it.[305] It is on the whole a pleasing letter, and seems to show real
affection for Tiro, who had known the writer from his infancy. It is
a little odd in the choice of words, perhaps a trifle rhetorical. The
reader shall be left to decide for himself whether it is perfectly
straight and genuine. In any case it may aptly conclude this chapter.

"I had been anxiously expecting letter-carriers day after day, when at
last they arrived forty-six days after they left you. Their arrival
was most welcome to me. I took the greatest possible pleasure in
the letter of the kindest and best beloved of fathers, but your own
delightful letter put the finishing touch to my joy. So I no longer
repent of dropping letter-writing for a time, but am rather glad I did
so, for my silence has brought me a great reward in your kindness. I
am very glad indeed that you accepted my excuse without hesitation.

"I am sure, my dearest Tiro, that the reports about me which reach you
answer your best wishes and hopes. I will make them good, and I will
do my best that this beginning of a good report about me may daily be
repeated. So you may with perfect confidence fulfil your promise of
being the trumpeter (buccinator) of my reputation. For the errors of
my youth have caused me so much remorse and suffering, that it is not
only my heart that shrinks from what I did--my very ears abhor the
mention of it. I know for a fact that you have shared my trouble and
sorrow, and I don't wonder; you always wished me to do well not only
for my sake but for your own. So as I have been the means of giving
you pain, I will now take care that you shall feel double joy on my

"Let me tell you that my attachment to Cratippus is that of a son
rather than a pupil: I enjoy his lectures, but I am especially charmed
by his delightful manners. I spend whole days with him, and often part
of the night, for I get him to dine with me as often as I can. We have
grown so intimate that he often drops in upon us unexpectedly while we
are at dinner, lays aside the stiff air of a philosopher, and joins
in our jests with the greatest good will. He is such a man, so
delightful, so distinguished, that you ought to make his acquaintance
as soon as ever you can. As for Bruttius, I never let him leave me.
He is a man of strict and moral life, as well as being the most
delightful company. Surely it is not necessary that in our daily
literary studies there should never be any fun at all. I have taken a
lodging close to him, and as far as I can with my pittance I subsidise
his narrow means. I have also begun practising declamation in Greek
with Cassius; in Latin I like having my practice with Bruttius. My
intimate friends and daily company are those whom Cratippus brought
with him from Mitylene,--good scholars, of whom he has the highest
opinion. I also see a great deal of Epicrates the leading man at
Athens, and Leonides, and people of that sort. So now you know how I
am going on.

"You say something in your letter about Gorgias. The fact is that I
found him very useful in my daily practice of declamation, but I put
my father's injunctions before everything else, and he had written
telling me to give up Gorgias at once. I wouldn't shilly-shally about
it, for fear my making a fuss might put some suspicion in my father's
head. Moreover it occurred to me that it would be offensive for me
to express an opinion on a decision of my father's. However, your
interest and advice are welcome and acceptable.

"Your apology for want of time I readily accept, for I know how busy
you always are. I am very glad you have bought an estate, and you have
my best wishes for the success of your purchase. Don't be surprised at
my congratulations coming at this point in my letter, for it was at
the corresponding point in yours that you told me of this. You must
drop your city manners (urbanitates); you are a 'rusticus Romanus!'
How clearly I see your dearest face before me at this moment! I seem
to see you buying things for the farm, talking to your bailiff, saving
the seeds at dessert in your cloak. But as to the matter of money, I
am sorry I was not there to help you. Don't doubt, my dear Tiro,
about my helping you in the future, if fortune will but stand by me,
especially as I know that this estate has been bought for our mutual
advantage. As to my commissions about which you are taking trouble,
many thanks! I beg you to send me a secretary at the first
opportunity, if possible a Greek: for he will save me much trouble in
copying out notes. Above all, take care of your health, that we may
have some literary talk together some day. I commend Anteros to you.



In the last age of the Republic the employment of slave labour reached
its high-water mark in ancient history.[306] We have already met with
evidence of this in examining the life of the upper classes; in the
present chapter we must try to sketch, first, the conditions under
which it was possible for such a vast slave system to arise and
flourish, and secondly, the economical and ethical results of it
both in city and country. The subject is indeed far too large and
complicated to be treated in a single short chapter, but our object
throughout this book is only to give such a picture of society in
general as may tempt a student to further and more exact inquiry.

We have seen that the two upper classes of society were engaged in
business of various kinds, and especially in banking and carrying
out public contracts, or in the work of government, and in Italian
agriculture. All this business, public and private, called for a
vast amount of labor, and in part, of skilled labour; the great men
provided the capital, but the details of the work, as it had gradually
developed since the war with Hannibal, created a demand for workmen
of every kind such as had never before been known in the Graeco-Roman
world. Clerks, accountants, messengers, as well as operatives, were
wanted both by the Government and by private capitalists. In the
households of the rich the great increase of wealth and luxury had
led to a constant demand for helps of all kinds, each with a certain
amount of skill in his own particular department; and on the estates
in the country, which were steadily growing bigger, and were tending
to be worked more and more on capitalistic lines, labour, both skilled
and unskilled, was increasingly required. Thus the demand for labour
was abnormally great, and had been created with abnormal rapidity,
and the supply could not possibly be provided by the free population
alone. The lower classes of city and country were not suited to the
work wanted, either by capacity or inclination. It was not for a free
Roman to be at the beck and call of an employer, like the clerks and
underlings of to-day, or to act as servant in a great household; and
for a great part of the necessary work he was not sufficiently well
educated. Far less was it possible for him to work on the great
cattle-runs. And the State wanted the best years of his life for
service in the army, which, as has been well remarked, was the real
industry of the Roman freeman. But luckily in one sense, and in
another unluckily, for Rome, there was an endless supply of labour
to be had, of every quality and capacity, for the very same abnormal
circumstances which had created the demand also provided the supply.
The great wars and the wealth accruing from them in various ways had
produced a capitalist class in need of labour, and also created a
slave-market on a scale such as the world has never known before or

Ever since the time of Alexander and the wars of his successors with
each other and their neighbours, it is probable that the supply of
captives sold as slaves had been increasing; and in the second century
B.C. the little island of Delos had come to be used as a convenient
centre for the slave trade. Strabo tells us in a well-known passage
that 10,000 slaves might be sold there in a single day.[307] But Rome
herself was in the time of Cicero the great emporium for slaves; the
wars which were most productive of prisoners had been for long in the
centre and the west of the Mediterranean basin. All armies sent out
from Rome were accompanied by speculators in this trade, who bought
the captives as they were put up to auction after a battle, and then
undertook the transport to Rome of all who were suited for employment
in Italy or were not bought up in the province which was the seat of
war. The enormous number of slaves thus made available, even if we
make allowance for the uncertainty of the numbers as they have
come down to us, surpasses all belief; we may take a few examples,
sufficient to give some idea of a practice which had lasting and
lamentable results on Roman society.

After the campaign of Pydna and the overthrow of the Macedonian
kingdom, Aemilius Paullus, one of the most humane of Romans, sold into
slavery, under orders from the senate, 150,000 free inhabitants of
communities in Epirus which had sided with Perseus in the war.[308]
After the war with the Cimbri and Teutones, 90,000 of the latter and
60,000 of the former are said to have been sold;[309] and though the
numbers may be open to suspicion, as they amount again to 150,000, the
fact of an enormous capture is beyond question. Caesar, like Aemilius
Paullus one of the most humane of Romans, tells us himself that on a
single occasion, the capture of the Aduatuci, he sold 53,000 prisoners
on the spot.[310] And of course every war, whether great or small,
while it diminished the free population by slaughter, pestilence, or
capture, added to the number of slaves. Cicero himself, after
his campaign in Cilicia and the capture of the hill stronghold
Pindonissus, did of course as all other commanders did; we catch a
glimpse of the process in a letter to Atticus: "mancipia venibant
Saturnalibus tertiis."[311] It is hardly necessary to point out that
we should be getting our historical perspective quite wrong if we
allowed ourselves to expect in these cultured Roman generals any
sign of compassion for their victims; it was a part of their mental
inheritance to look on men who had surrendered as simply booty, the
property of the victors; Roman captives would meet with the same fate,
and even for them little pity was ever felt. When Caesar in 49 within
a few months dismissed two surrendered armies of Roman soldiers, once
at Corfinium and again in Spain, he was doubtless acting from motives
of policy, but the enslavement of Roman citizens by their fellows
would, we may hope, have been repugnant to him, if not to his own

War then was the principal source of the supply of slaves, but it was
not the only one. When a slave-trade is in full swing, it will be
fostered in all possible ways. Brigandage and kidnapping were rife
all over the Empire and in the countries beyond its borders in the
disturbed times with which we are dealing. The pirates of Cilicia,
until they were suppressed by Pompeius in 66, swarmed all over the
Mediterranean, and snapped up victims by raids even on the coasts of
Italy, selling them in the market at Delos without hindrance. Cicero,
in his speech in support of the appointment of Pompey, mentions that
well-born children had been carried off from Misenum under the very
eyes of a Roman praetor.[313] Caesar himself was taken by them when a
young man, and only escaped with difficulty. In Italy itself, where
there was no police protection until Augustus took the matter in hand,
kidnapping was by no means unknown; the _grassatores_, as they were
called, often slaves escaped from the prisons of the great estates,
haunted the public roads, and many a traveller disappeared in this
way and passed the rest of his life in a slave-prison.[314] Varro,
in describing the sort of slaves best suited for work on the great
sheep-runs, says that they should be such as are strong enough to
defend the flocks from wild beasts and brigands--the latter doubtless
quite as ready to seize human beings as sheep and cattle. And
slave-merchants seem to have been constantly carrying on their trade
in regions where no war was going on, and where desirable slaves could
be procured; the kingdoms of Asia Minor were ransacked by them, and
when Marius asked Nicomedes king of Bithynia for soldiers during the
struggle with the Cimbri, the answer he got was that there were none
to send--the slave-dealers had been at work there.[315] Every one will
remember the line of Horace in which he calls one of these wretches a
"king of Cappadocia."[316]

There were two other sources of the slave supply of which however
little need be said here, as the contribution they made was
comparatively small. First, slaves were bred from slaves, and on rural
estates this was frequently done as a matter of business.[317] Varro
recommends the practice in the large sheep-farms,[318] under certain
conditions; and some well-known lines of Horace suggest that on
smaller farms, where a better class of slaves would be required, these
home-bred ones were looked on as the mark of a rich house, "ditis
examen domus."[319] Secondly, a certain number of slaves had become
such under the law of debt. This was a common source of slavery in the
early periods of Roman history, but in Cicero's day we cannot speak of
it with confidence. We have noticed the cry of the distressed freemen
of the city in the conspiracy of Catiline, which looks as though the
old law were still put in force; and in the country there are signs
that small owners who had borrowed from large ones were in Varro's
time in some modified condition of slavery,[320] surrendering their
labour in lieu of payment. But all these internal sources of slavery
are as nothing compared with the supply created by war and the

This supply being thus practically unlimited, prices ran comparatively
low, and no Roman of any considerable means at all need be, or was,
entirely without slaves. He had only to go, or to send his agent, to
one of the city slave-markets, such as the temple of Castor,[321]
where the slave-agents (mangones) exhibited their "goods" under the
supervision of the aediles; there he could pick out exactly the kind
of slave he wanted at any price from the equivalent of £10 upwards.
The unfortunate human being was exhibited exactly as horses are now,
and could be stripped, handled, trotted about, and treated with every
kind of indignity, and of course the same sort of trickery went on in
these human sales as is familiar to all horse-dealers of the present
day.[322] The buyer, if he wanted a valuable article, a Greek, for
example, who could act as secretary or librarian, like Cicero's
beloved Tiro, or even a household slave with a special character for
skill in cooking or other specialised work of a luxurious family,
would have to give a high price; even as long ago as the time of the
elder Cato a very large sum might be given for a single choice slave,
and Cato as censor in 184 attempted to check such high prices by
increasing the duties payable on the sales.[323] Towards the close
of the Republican period we have little explicit evidence of prices;
Cicero constantly mentions his slaves, but not their values. Doubtless
for fancy articles huge prices might be demanded; Pliny tells us that
Antony when triumvir bought two boys as twins for more than £800
apiece, who were no doubt intended for handsome pages, perhaps to
please Cleopatra.[324] But there can be no doubt that ordinary slaves
capable of performing only menial offices in town or country were to
be had at this time quite cheap, and the number in the city alone must
have been very great.

It is unfortunately quite impossible to make even a probable estimate
of the total number in Rome; the data are not forthcoming. Beloch[325]
remarks aptly that though some families owned hundreds of slaves, the
number of such families was not large, quoting the words of Philippus,
tribune in 104 B.C., to the effect that there were not more than
two thousand persons of any substance in the State.[326] The great
majority of citizens living in Rome had, he thinks, no slaves. He is
forced to take as a basis of calculation the proportion of bond to
free in the only city of the Empire about which we have certain
information on this point; at Pergamum there was one slave to two free
persons.[327] Assuming the whole free population to have been about
half a million in the time of Augustus, or rather more, including
peregrini, he thus arrives at a slave population of something like
280,000; this may not be far off the mark, but it must be remembered
that it is little more than a guess.

What has been said above will have given the reader some idea of the
conditions of life which created a great demand for labour in the
last two centuries B.C., and of the circumstances which produced an
abundant supply of unfree labour to satisfy that demand. I propose
now to treat the whole question of Roman slavery from three points of
view,--the economic, the legal, and the ethical. In other words, we
have to ask: (1) how the abundance of slave labour affected the social
economy of the free population; (2) what was the position of the slave
in the eye of the law, as regards treatment and chance of manumission;
(3) what were the ethical results of this great slave system, both on
the slaves themselves and on their masters.

1. From an economical point of view the most interesting question is
whether slave labour seriously interfered with the development of free
industry; and unfortunately this question is an extremely difficult
one to answer. We can all guess easily that the opportunities of free
labour must have been limited by the presence of enormous numbers of
slaves; but to get at the facts is another matter. In regard to rural
slavery we have some evidence to go upon, as we shall see directly,
and this has of late been collected and utilised; but as regards
labour in the city no such research has as yet been made,[328] and the
material is at once less fruitful and more difficult to handle. A few
words on this last point must suffice here.

We have seen in Chapter II. that there was plenty of employment at
Rome for freemen. Friedländer, than whom no higher authority can be
quoted for the social life of the city, goes so far as to assert that
even under the early Empire a freeman could always obtain work if he
wished for it;[329] and even if we take this as a somewhat exaggerated
statement, it may serve to keep us from rushing to the other extreme
and picturing a population of idle free paupers. In fact we are bound
on general evidence to assume for our own period that he is in the
main right; the poor freeman of Rome had to live somehow, and the
cheap corn which he enjoyed was not given him gratis until a few years
before the Republic came to an end.[330] How did he get the money to
pay even the sum of six asses and a third for a modius of corn, or to
pay for shelter and clothing, which were assuredly not to be had for
nothing? We know again, that the gilds of trades (see above, p. 45)
continued to exist in the last century of the Republic,[331] though
the majority had to be suppressed owing to their misuse as political
clubs. Supposing that the members of these collegia were small
employers of labour, it is reasonable to assume that the labour they
employed was at least largely free; for the capital needed to invest,
at some risk, in a sufficient number of slaves, who would have to be
housed and fed, and whose lives would be uncertain in a crowded and
unhealthy city, could not, we must suppose, be easily found by such
men. Here and there, no doubt, we find traces of slave labour in
factories, e.g. as far back as the time of Plautus, if we can take him
as writing of Rome rather than translating from the Greek:

  An te ibi vis inter istas versarier
  Prosedas, pistorum amicas, reginas alicarias,
  Miseras schoeno delibutas servilicolas sordidas?[332]

  _Poenulus_, 265 foll.

But on the whole, we may with all due caution, in default of complete
investigation of the question, assume that the Roman slaves were
confined for the most part to the great and rich families, and were
not used by them to any great extent in productive industry, but
in supplying the luxurious needs of the household[333]. In all
probability research will show that free labour was far more available
than we are apt to think. We hear of no outbreak of feeling against
slave labour, which might suggest a rivalry between the two.
Slave labour, we may think, had filled a gap, created by abnormal
circumstances, and did not oust free labour entirely; but it tended
constantly to cramp it, and doubtless started notions of work in
general which helped to degrade it[334]. Those immense _familiae
urbanae_, of which the historian of slavery has given a detailed
account in his second volume[335], belong rather to the early Empire
than to the last years of the Republic--the evidence for them is
drawn chiefly from Seneca, Juvenal, Tacitus, Martial, etc.; but such
evidence as we have for the age of Cicero seems to suggest that the
vast palaces of the capitalists, which Sallust describes as being
almost like cities[336], were already beginning to be served by a
familia urbana which rendered them almost independent of any aid from
without by labour or purchase. Not only the ordinary domestic helpers
of all kinds, but copyists, librarians, paedagogi as tutors for the
children, and even doctors might all be found in such households in
a servile condition, without reckoning the great numbers who seem
to have been always available as escorts when the great man was
travelling in Italy or in the provinces. Valerius Maximus tells
us[337] that Cato the censor as proconsul of Spain took only three
slaves with him, and that his descendant Cato of Utica during the
Civil Wars had twelve; as both these men were extremely frugal, we can
form an idea from this passage both of the increasing supply of slaves
and of the far larger escorts which accompanied the ordinary wealthy

As regards the familia rustica, the working population of the farm,
the evidence is much more definite. The old Roman farm, in which the
paterfamilias lived with his wife, children, and slaves, was, no
doubt, like the old English holding in a manor, for the most part
self-sufficing, doing little in the way of sale or purchase, and
worked by all the members of the familia, bond and free. In the middle
of the second century B.C., when Cato wrote his treatise on husbandry,
we find that a change has taken place; the master can only pay the
farm an occasional visit, to see that it is being properly managed by
the slave steward[338] (vilicus), and the business is being run upon
capitalistic lines, i.e. with a view to realising the utmost possible
profit from it by the sale of its products. Thus Cato is most
particular in urging that a farm should be so placed as to have easy
communication with market towns, where the wine and oil could be sold,
which were the chief products, and where various necessaries could be
bought cheap, such as pottery and metal-work of all kinds.[339] Thus
the farm does not entirely depend on the labour of its own familia;
nevertheless it rests still upon an economic basis of slave labour.
For an olivetum of 240 jugera Cato puts the necessary hands as
thirteen in number, all non-free; for a vineyard of 100 jugera at
sixteen; and these figures are no doubt low, if we remember his
character for parsimony and profit-making.[340] Free labour was to be
had, and was occasionally needed; at the very outset of his work
Cato (ch. 4) insists that the owner should be a good and friendly
neighbour, in order that he may easily obtain, not only voluntary
help, but hired labourers (operarii). These were needed especially at
harvest time, when extra hands were wanted, as in our hop-gardens, for
the gathering of olives and for the vintage. Sometimes the work was
let out to a contractor, and he gives explicit directions (in chs. 144
and 145) for the choice of these and the contracts to be made with
them; whether in this case the contractor (redemptor) used entirely
free or slave labour does not appear distinctly, but it seems clear
that a proportion at least was free.[341] What the free labourers did
at other times of the year, whether or no they were small cultivators
themselves, Cato does not tell us.

For the age with which we are more specially concerned, we have the
evidence of Varro's three books on husbandry, written in his old age,
after the fall of the Republic. Here we find the economic condition of
the farm little changed since the time of Cato. The permanent labour
is non-free, but in spite of the vast increase in the servile labour
available in Italy, there is still a considerable employment of
freemen at certain times, on all farms where the olive and vine were
the chief objects of culture. In the 17th chapter of his first book,
in which he gives interesting advice for the purchase of suitable
slaves, he begins by telling us that all land is cultivated either
by slaves or freemen, or both together, and the free are of three
kinds,--either small holders (pauperculi) with their children; or
labourers who live by wage (conducticii), and are especially needed in
hay harvest or vintage; or debtors who give their labour as payment
for what they owe (obaerati).[342] Varro too, like Cato, recognises
the necessity of purchasing many things which cannot well be
manufactured on a farm of moderate size, and thus the landowner may in
this way also have been indirectly an employer of free labour; but so
far as possible the farm should supply itself with the materials
for its own working,[343] for this gives employment to the slaves
throughout the year,--and they should never be allowed to be

Thus it is abundantly clear that even in the time of Cicero there was
a certain demand for free labour in the ordinary Italian oliveyard and
vineyard, and that the necessary supply was forthcoming, though the
permanent industrial basis was non-free, and the tendency was to use
slave-labour more exclusively. The rule that the slave cannot be
allowed to be unemployed was a most important factor in the economical
development, and drove the landowner, who never seems to have had any
doubt about the comparative cheapness of slave-labour,[345] gradually
to make his farm more and more independent of all aid from outside. In
the work of Columella, written towards the end of the first century
A.D., it is plain that the work of the farm is carried on more
exclusively by slave-labour than was the case in the last two
centuries B.C.[346]

To this not unpleasant picture of the conditions of Italian
agricultural slavery a few words must be added about the great
pastoral farms of Southern Italy. If a man invested his capital in a
comparatively small estate of olives and vineyards, such as that which
Cato treats of, and which seems to have been his own; or even in a
latifundium of the kind which Varro more vaguely pictures, containing
also parks and game and a moderate amount of pasture, he would need
slaves mainly of a certain degree of skill. But on the largest areas
of pasture, chiefly in the hill districts of Southern Italy, where
there was little cultivation except what was necessary for the
consumption of the slaves themselves, these were the roughest and
wildest type of bondsmen. The work was that of the American ranche,
the life harsh, and the workmen dangerous. It was in these districts
and from these men that Spartacus drew the material with which he made
his last stand against Roman armies in 72-71 B.C.; and it was in
this direction that Caelius and Milo turned in 48 B.C. in quest of
revolutionary and warlike bands. These roughs could even be used as
galley-slaves; more than once in the Commentaries on the Civil War
Caesar tells us that his opponents drafted them into the vessels which
were sent to relieve the siege of Massilia[347]. It was here too, in
the neighbourhood of Thurii, that a bloody fight took place between
the slaves of two adjoining estates, strong men of courage, as Cicero
describes them, of which we learn from the fragments of his lost
speech _pro Tullio_. They were of course armed, and as we may
guess from Varro's remarks on the kind of slaves suitable for
shepherding,[348] this was usually the practice, in order to defend
the flocks from wild beasts and robbers, particularly when they were
driven up to summer pasture (as they still are) in the saltus of
the Apennines. The needs of these shepherds would be small, and the
latifundia of this kind were probably almost self-sufficing, no free
labour being required. After their day's work the slaves were fed and
locked up for the night, and kept in fetters if necessary;[349] they
were in fact simply living tools, to use the expression of Aristotle,
and the economy of such estates was as simple as that of a workshop.
The exclusion of free labour is here complete: on the agricultural
estates it was approaching a completion which it fortunately never
reached. Had it reached that completion, the economic influence of
slavery would have been altogether bad; as it was, the introduction
of slave-labour on a large scale did valuable service to Italian
agriculture in the last century B.C. by contributing the material for
its revival at a time when the necessary free labour could not have
been found. However lamentable its results may have been in other
ways, especially on the great pastures, the economic history of Italy,
when it comes to be written, will have to give it credit for an
appreciable amount of benefit.

2. The legal and political aspect of slavery. A slave was in the eye
of the law not a _persona_, but a _res_, i.e. he had no rights as a
human being, could not marry or hold property, but was himself simply
a piece of property which could be conveyed (res mancipi)[350]. During
the Republican period the law left him absolutely at the disposal of
his master, who had the power of life and death (jus vitae necisque)
over him, and could punish him with chastisement and bonds, and use
him for any purpose he pleased, without reference to any higher
authority than his own. This was the legal position of all slaves; but
it naturally often happened that those who were men of knowledge or
skill, as secretaries, for example, librarians, doctors, or even
as body-servants, were in intimate and happy relations with their
owners[351], and in the household of a humane man no well-conducted
slave need fear bodily degradation. Cicero and his friend Atticus both
had slaves whom they valued, not only for their useful service, but
as friends. Tiro, who edited Cicero's letters after his death, and to
whom we therefore owe an eternal debt of gratitude, was the object
of the tenderest affection on the part of his owner, and the letters
addressed to him by the latter when he was taken ill at Patrae in 50
B.C. are among the most touching writings that have come down to us
from antiquity. "I miss you," he writes in one of them[352], "yes, but
I also love you. Love prompts the wish to see you in good health: the
other motive would make me wish to see you as soon as possible,--and
the former one is the best." Atticus, too, had his Tiro, Alexis,
"imago Tironis," as Cicero calls him in a letter to his friend,[353]
and many others who were engaged in the work of copying and
transcribing books, which was one of Atticus' many pursuits. All such
slaves would sooner or later be manumitted, i.e. transmuted from a
_res_ to a _persona_; and in the ease with which this process of
transmutation could be effected we have the one redeeming point of the
whole system of bondage. According to the oldest and most efficient
form (vindicta), a legal ceremony had to be gone through in the
presence of a praetor; but the praetor could easily be found, and
there was no other difficulty. This was the form usually adopted by an
owner wishing to free a slave in his own lifetime; but great numbers
were constantly manumitted more irregularly, or by the will of the
master after his death.[354]

Thus the leading facts in the legal position of the Roman slave were
two: (1) he was absolutely at the disposal of his owner, the law never
interfering to protect him; (2) he had a fair prospect of manumission
if valuable and well-behaved, and if manumitted he of course became a
Roman citizen (libertus or libertinus) with full civil rights,[355]
remaining, however, according to ancient custom, in a certain position
of moral subordination to his late master, owing him respect, and aid
if necessary. Let us apply these two leading facts to the conditions
of Roman life as we have already sketched them. We shall find that
they have political results of no small importance.

First, we must try to realise that the city of Rome contained at
least 200,000 human beings over whom the State had no direct control
whatever. All such crimes, serious or petty, as are now tried and
disposed of in our criminal courts, were then, if committed by a
slave, punishable only by the master; and in the majority of cases, if
the familia were a large one, they probably never reached his ears.
The jurisdiction to which the slave was responsible was a private one,
like that of the great feudal lord of the Middle Ages, who had his own
prison and his own gallows. The political result was much the same in
each case. Just as the feudal lord, with his private jurisdiction and
his hosts of retainers, became a peril to good government and national
unity until he was brought to order by a strong king like our Henry
II. or Henry VII., so the owner of a large familia of many hundreds
of slaves may almost be said to have been outside of the State;
undoubtedly he became a serious peril to the good order of the
capital. The part played by the slaves in the political disturbances
of Cicero's time was no mean one. One or two instances will show this.
Saturninus, in the year 100, when attacked by Marius under orders
from the senate, had hoisted a pilleus, or cap of liberty which the
emancipated slave wore, as a signal to the slaves of the city that
they might expect their liberty if they supported him;[356] and Marius
a few years later took the same step when himself attacked by Sulla.
Catiline, in 63, Sallust assures us, believed it possible to raise the
slaves of the city in aid of his revolutionary plans, and they flocked
to him in great numbers; but he afterwards abandoned his intention,
thinking that to mix up the cause of citizens with that of slaves
would not be judicious.[357] It is here too that the gladiator slaves
first meet us as a political arm; Cicero had the next spring to defend
P. Sulla on the charge, among others, of having bought gladiators
during the conspiracy with seditious views, and the senate had to
direct that the bands of these dangerous men should be dispersed to
Capua and other municipal towns at a distance. Later on we frequently
hear of their being used as private soldiery, and the government in
the last years of the Republic ceased to be able to control them.[358]
Again, in defending Sestius, Cicero asserts that Clodius in his
tribunate had organised a levy of slaves under the name of collegia,
for purposes of violence, slaughter, and rapine; and even if this
is an exaggeration, it shows that such proceedings were not deemed
impossible.[359] And apart from the actual use of slaves for
revolutionary objects, or as private body-guards, it is clear from
Cicero's correspondence that as an important part of a great man's
retinue they might indirectly have influence in elections and on
other political occasions. Quintus Cicero, in his little treatise on
electioneering,[360] urges his brother to make himself agreeable to
his tribesmen, neighbours, clients, freedmen, and even slaves, "for
nearly all the talk which affects one's public reputation emanates
from domestic sources." And Marcus himself, in the last letter he
wrote before he fled into exile in 58, declares that all his friends
are promising him not only their own aid, but that of their clients,
freedmen, and slaves,--promises which doubtless might have been kept
had he stayed to take advantage of them.[361]

The mention of the freedmen in this letter may serve to remind us of
the political results of manumission, the second fact in the legal
aspect of Roman slavery. The most important of these is the rapid
importation of foreign blood into the Roman citizen body, which long
before the time of Cicero largely consisted of enfranchised slaves or
their descendants; it was to this that Scipio Aemilianus alluded in
his famous words to the contio he was addressing after his return from
Numantia, "Silence, ye to whom Italy is but a stepmother" (Val.
Max. 6. 2. 3). Had manumission been held in check or in some way
superintended by the State, there would have been more good than harm
in it. Many men of note, who had an influence on Roman culture, were
libertini, such as Livius Andronicus and Caecilius the poets; Terence,
Publilius Syrus, whose acquaintance we made in the last chapter; Tiro
and Alexis, and rather later Verrius Flaccus, one of the most learned
men who ever wrote in Latin. But the great increase in the number of
slaves, and the absence of any real difficulty in effecting their
manumission, led to the enfranchisement of crowds of rascals as
compared with the few valuable men. The most striking example is the
enfranchisement of 10,000 by Sulla, who according to custom took
his name Cornelius, and, though destined to be a kind of military
guarantee for the permanence of the Sullan institutions, only became
a source of serious peril to the State at the time of Catiline's
conspiracy. Caesar, who was probably more alive to this kind of
social danger than his contemporaries, sent out a great number of
libertini,--the majority, says Strabo, of his colonists,--to his new
foundation at Corinth[362]. But Dionysius of Halicarnassus, writing
in the time of Augustus, when he stayed some time in Rome, draws a
terrible picture of the evil effects of indiscriminate manumission,
unchecked by the law[363].

"Many," he says, "are indignant when they see unworthy men manumitted,
and condemn a usage which gives such men the citizenship of a
sovereign state whose destiny is to govern the world. As for me, I
doubt if the practice should be stopped altogether, lest greater evil
should be the result; I would rather that it should be checked as far
as possible, so that the state may no longer be invaded by men of such
villainous character. The censors, or at least the consuls, should
examine all whom it is proposed to manumit, inquiring into their
origin and the reasons and mode of their enfranchisement, as in their
examination of the equites. Those whom they find worthy of citizenship
should have their names inscribed on tables, distributed among the
tribes, with leave to reside in the city. As to the crowd of villains
and criminals, they should be sent far away, under pretext of founding
some colony."

These judicious remarks of a foreigner only expressed what was
probably a common feeling among the best men of that time. Augustus
made some attempt to limit the enfranchising power of the owner; but
the Leges Aelia Sentia and Furia Caninia do not lie within the compass
of this book. No great success could attend these efforts; the
abnormal circumstances which had brought to Rome the great familiae
of slaves reacted inevitably upon the citizen body itself through the
process of manumission. Rome had to pay heavily in this, as in so many
other ways, for her advancement to the sovereignty of the civilised
world. I may be allowed to translate the eloquent words in which
the French historian of slavery, in whose great work the history of
ancient slavery is treated as only a scholar-statesman can treat it,
sums up this aspect of the subject:

"Emancipation, prevalent as it might appear to be towards the
beginning of the Empire, was not a step towards the suppression of
slavery, but a natural and inevitable sequence of the institution
itself,--an outlet for excess in an epoch overabundant in slaves: a
means of renewing the mass, corrupted by the deleterious influence
of its own condition, before it should be totally ruined. As water,
diverted from its free course, becomes impure in the basin which
imprisons it, and when released, will still retain its impurity; so
it is not to be thought that instincts perverted by slavery, habits
depraved from childhood, could be reformed and redressed in the slave
by a tardy liberation. Thrust into the midst of a society itself
vitiated by the admixture of slavery, he only became more
unrestrainedly, more dangerously bad. Manumission was thus no remedy
for the deterioration of the citizens: it was powerless even to better
the condition of the slave."[364]

3. The ethical aspect of Roman slavery. What were the moral effects of
the system (1) on the slaves themselves; (2) on the freemen who owned

First, as regards the slaves themselves, there are two facts to be
fully realised; when this is done, the inferences will be sufficiently
obvious. Let us remember that by far the greater number of the
slaves, both in the city and on the land, were brought from countries
bordering on the Mediterranean, where they had been living in some
kind of elementary civilisation, in which the germs of further
development were present in the form of the natural ties of race and
kinship and locality, of tribe or family or village community, and
with their own religion, customs, and government. Permanent captivity
in a foreign land and in a servile condition snapped these ties once
and for all. To take a single appalling instance, the 150,000 human
beings who were sold into slavery in Epirus by the conqueror of Pydna,
or as many of them as were transported out of their own country--and
these were probably the vast majority,--were thereby deprived for the
rest of their lives of all social and family life, of their ancestral
worship, in fact of everything that could act as a moral tie, as a
restraining influence upon vicious instincts. With the lamentable
effect of this on the regions thus depopulated we are not here
concerned, but it was beyond doubt most serious, and must be taken
into account in reckoning up the various causes which later on brought
about the enfeeblement of the whole Roman Empire.[365] The point for
us is that a large proportion of the population of Rome and of Italy
was now composed of human beings destitute of all natural means of
moral and social development. The ties that had been once broken
could never be replaced. There is no need to dwell on the inevitable
result,--the introduction into the Roman State of a poisonous element
of terrible volume and power.

The second fact that we have to grasp is this. In the old days, when
such slaves as there then were came from Italy itself, and worked
under the master's own eye upon the farm, they might and did share
to some extent in the social life of the family, and even in its
religious rites, and so might under favourable circumstances come
within the range of its moral influences[366]. But towards the close
of the Republican period those moral influences, as we have seen,
were fast vanishing in the majority of families which possessed large
numbers of slaves. The common kind of slave in the city, who was not
attached to his owner as was a man of culture like Tiro, had no moral
standard except implicit obedience; the highest virtue was to obey
orders diligently, and fear of punishment was the only sanction of his
conduct. The typical city slave, as he appears in Plautus, though by
no means a miserable being without any enjoyment of life, is a liar
and a thief, bent on overreaching, and destitute of a conscience[367].
We need but reflect that the slave must often have had to do vile
things in the name of his one virtue, obedience, to realise that
the poison was present, and ready to become active, in every Roman
household. "Nec turpe est quod dominus iubet."[368]

On the latifundia in the country the master was himself seldom
resident, and the slaves were under the control of one or more of
their own kind, promoted for good conduct and capacity. The slaves of
the great sheep and cattle farms were, as we saw, of the wildest
sort, and we may judge of their morality by the story of the
Sicilian slave-owner who, when his slaves complained that they were
insufficiently clothed, told them that the remedy was to rob the
travellers they fell in with.[369] The _ergastula_, where slaves were
habitually chained and treated like beasts, were sowing the seeds
of permanent moral contamination in Italy.[370] But on the smaller
estates of olive-yard and vineyard their condition was better, and
a humane owner who chose his overseers carefully might possibly
reproduce something of the old feeling of participation in the life as
well as the industry of the economic unit. In an interesting chapter
Varro advises that the vilicus should be carefully selected, and
should be conciliated by being allowed a wife and the means of
accumulating a property (_peculium_); he even urges that he should
enforce obedience rather by words than blows.[371] But of the
condition of the ordinary slave on the farm this is the only hint he
gives us, and it never seems to have occurred to him, or to any other
Roman of his day, that the work to be done would be better performed
by men not deprived by their condition of a moral sense; that slave
labour is unwillingly and unintelligently rendered, because the
labourer has no hope, no sense of dutiful conduct leading him to
rejoice in the work of his hands. Nor did any writer recognise the
fact that slaves were potentially moral beings, until Christianity
gave its sanction to dutiful submission as an act of morality that
might be consecrated by a Divine authority.[372]

Lastly, it is not difficult to realise the mischievous effects of such
a slave system as the Roman upon the slave-owning class itself. Even
those who themselves had no slaves would be affected by it; for
though, as we have seen, free labour was by no means ousted by it,
it must have helped to create an idle class of freemen, with all its
moral worthlessness. Long ago, in his remarkable book on _The Slave
Power_ in America before the Civil War, Professor Cairnes drew a
striking comparison between the "mean whites" of the Southern States,
the result of slave labour on the plantations, and the idle population
of the Roman capital, fed on cheap corn and ready for any kind of
rowdyism.[373] But in the case of the great slave-owners the mischief
was much more serious, though perhaps more difficult to detect. The
master of a horde of slaves had half his moral sense paralysed,
because he had no feeling of responsibility for so many of those with
whom he came in contact every day and hour. When most members of a
man's household or estate are absolutely at his mercy, when he has no
feeling of any contractual relation with them, his sense of duty and
obligation is inevitably deadened, even towards others who are not
thus in his power. Can we doubt that the lack of a sense of justice
and right dealing, more especially towards provincials, but also
towards a man's fellow-citizens, which we have noticed in the two
upper sections of society, was due in great part to the constant
exercise of arbitrary power at home, to the habit of looking upon the
men who ministered to his luxurious ease as absolutely without claim
upon his respect or his benevolence? or that the recklessness of human
life which was shown in the growing popularity of bloody gladiatorial
shows, and in the incredible cruelty of the victors in the Civil
Wars, was the result of this unconscious cultivation, from childhood
onwards, of the despotic temper?[374] Even the best men of the age,
such as Cicero, Caesar, Lucretius, show hardly a sign of any sympathy
with, or interest in, that vast mass of suffering humanity, both bond
and free with which the Roman dominion was populated; to disregard
misery, except when they found it among the privileged classes, had
become second nature to them. We can better realise this if we reflect
that even at the present day, in spite of the absence of slavery and
the presence of philanthropical societies, the average man of wealth
gives hardly more than a passing thought to the discomfort and
distress of the crowded population of our great cities. The ordinary
callousness of human nature had, under the baleful influence of
slavery, become absolute blindness, nor were men's eyes to be opened
until Christianity began to leaven the world with the doctrine of
universal love.



We saw that the poorer classes in Rome were lodged in huge _insulae_,
and enjoyed nothing that can be called home life. The wealthy
families, on the other hand, lived in _domus_, i.e. separate
dwellings, accommodating only one family, often, even in the
Ciceronian period, of great magnificence. But even these great houses
hardly suggest a life such as that which we associate with the word
home. As Mr. Tucker has pointed out in the case of Athens,[375] the
warmer climates of Greece and Italy encouraged all classes to spend
much more of their time out of doors and in public places than we
do; and the rapid growth of convenient public buildings, porticoes,
basilicas, baths, and so on, is one of the most striking features in
the history of the city during the last two centuries B.C. Augustus,
part of whose policy it was to make the city population comfortable
and contented, carried this tendency still further, and under the
Empire the town house played quite a subordinate part in Roman
social life. The best way to realise this out-of-door life, lazy and
sociable, of the Augustan age, is to read the first book of Ovid's
_Ars Amatoria_,--a fascinating picture of a beautiful city and its
pleasure-loving inhabitants. But with the Augustan age we are not here

Yet the Roman house, like the Italian house in general, was in origin
and essence really a home. The family was the basis of society, and by
the family we must understand not only the head of the house with
his wife, children, and slaves, but also the divine beings who dwelt
there. As the State comprised both human and divine inhabitants, so
also did the house, which was indeed the germ and type of the State.
Thus the house was in those early times not less but even more than a
house is for us, for in it was concentrated all that was dear to
the family, all that was essential to its life, both natural and
supernatural. And the two--the natural and supernatural--were not
distinct from each other, but associated, in fact almost identical;
the hearth-fire was the dwelling of Vesta, the spirit of the flame;
the Penates were the spirits of the stores on which the family
subsisted, and dwelt in the store-cupboard or larder; the
paterfamilias had himself a supernatural side, in the shape of his
Genius; and the Lar familiaris was the protecting spirit of the
farmland, who had found his way into the house in course of time,
perhaps with the slave labourers, who always had a share in his

It would probably be unjust to the Roman of the late Republic to
assume that this beautiful idea of the common life of the human and
divine beings in a house was entirely ignored or forgotten by him. No
doubt the reality of the belief had vanished; it could not be said of
the city family, as Ovid, said of the farm-folk:[377]

  ante focos olim scamnis considere longis
  mos erat _et mensae credere adesse deos_.

The great noble or banker of Cicero's day could no longer honestly
say that he believed in the real presence of his family deities; the
kernel of the old feeling had shrunk away under the influence of Greek
philosophy and of new interests in life, new objects and ambitions.
But the shell remained, and in some families, or in moments of anxiety
and emotion, even the old feeling of _religio_ may have returned.
Cicero is appealing to a common sentiment, in a passage already
once quoted (_de Domo_, 109), when he insists on the real religious
character of a house: "his arae sunt, his foci, his di penates: his
sacra, religiones, caerimoniae continentur." And this was in the heart
of the city; in the country-house there was doubtless more leisure and
opportunity for such feeling. In the second century B.C. old Cato had
described the paterfamilias, on his arrival at his farm from the
city, saluting the Lar familiaris before he goes about his round of
inspection; and even Horace hardly shows a trace of the agnostic when
he pictures the slaves of the farm, and the master with them, sitting
at their meal in front of the image of the Lar[378]. We may perhaps
guess that with the renewal of the love of country life, and with
that revival of the cultivation of the vine and olive, and indeed of
husbandry in general, which is recognisable as a feature of the last
years of the Republic, and which is known to us from Varro's work
on farming, and from Virgil's _Georgics_, the old religion of the
household gained a new life.

It is not necessary here to give any detailed account of the shape
and divisions of a Roman house of the city; full and excellent
descriptions may be found in Middleton's article "Domus" in the
_Dictionary of Antiquities_, and in Lanciani's _Ruins and Excavations
of Ancient Rome_; and to these should be added Mau's work on Pompeii,
where the houses were of a Roman rather than a Greek type. What we are
concerned with is the house as a home or a centre of life, and it is
only in this aspect of it that we shall discuss it here.

The oldest Italian dwelling was a mere wigwam with a hearth in the
middle of the floor, and a hole at the top to let the smoke out. But
the house of historical times was rectangular, with one central room
or hall, in which was concentrated the whole indoor life of the
family, the whole meaning and purpose of the dwelling. Here the human
and divine inhabitants originally lived together. Here was the hearth,
"the natural altar of the dwelling-room of man," as Aust beautifully
expresses it;[379] this was the seat of Vesta, and behind it was the
_penus_ or store-closet, the seat of the Penates; thus Vesta and the
Penates are in the most genuine sense the protecting and nourishing
deities of the household. Here, too, was the Lar of the familia with
his little altar, behind the entrance, and here was the _lectus
genialis_,[380] and the Genius of the paterfamilias. As you looked
into the atrium, after passing the _vestibulum_ or space between
street and doorway, and the _ostium_ or doorway with its _janua_, you
saw in front of you the impluvium, into which the rainwater fell from
the _compluvium_, i.e. the square opening in the roof with sloping
sides; on either side were recesses (_alae_), which, if the family
were noble, contained the images of the ancestors. Opposite you was
another recess, the _tablinum_, opening probably into a little garden;
here in the warm weather the family might take their meals.

This is the atrium of the old Roman house, and to understand that
house nothing more is needed. And indeed architecturally, the atrium
never lost its significance as the centre of the house; it is to the
house as the choir is to a cathedral.[381] And it is easy to see how
naturally it could develop into a much more complicated but convenient
dwelling; for example, the alae could be extended to form separate
chambers or sleeping-rooms, the tablinum could be made into a
permanent dining-room, or such rooms could be opened out on either
side of it. A second story could be added, and in the city, where
space was valuable, this was usually the case. The garden could be
converted, after the Greek fashion, and under a Greek name, into a
_peristylium_, i.e. an open court with a pretty colonnade round it,
and if there were space enough, you might add at the rear of this
again an _exedra_, or an _oecus_, i.e. open saloons convenient for
many purposes. Thus the house came to be practically divided into two
parts, the atrium with its belongings, i.e. the Roman part, and the
peristylium with its developments, forming the Greek part; and the
house reflects the composite character of Roman life in its later
period, just as do Roman literature and Roman art. The Roman part was
retained for reception rooms, and the Lar, the Penates, and Vesta,
with their respective seats, retired into the new apartments for
privacy. When the usual crowd of morning callers came to wait upon a
great man, they would not as a rule penetrate farther than the atrium,
and there he might keep them waiting as long as he pleased. The Greek
part of the house, the peristylium and its belongings, was reserved
for his family and his most intimate friends. In Pompeii, which was an
old Greek town with Roman life and habits superadded, we find atrium
and peristylium both together as early as the second century B.C.[382]
At what period exactly the house of the noble in Rome began thus to
develop is not so certain. But by the time of Cicero every good domus
had without doubt its private apartments at the rear, varying in shape
and size according to the ground on which the house stood.[383]

The accompanying plan will give a sufficiently clear idea of the
development of the domus from the atrium, and its consequent division
into two parts; it is that of "the house of the silver wedding" at


But in spite of all the convenience and comfort of the fully developed
dwelling of the rich man at Rome, there was much to make him sigh for
a quieter life than he could enjoy in the noisy city. He might
indeed, if he could afford it, remove outside the walls to a "domus
suburbana," on one of the roads leading out of Rome, or on the hill
looking down on the Campus Martius, like the house of Sallust the
historian, with its splendid gardens, which still in part exists in
the dip between the Quirinal and the Pincian hills.[384] But nowhere
within three miles or more of Rome could a man lose his sense of being
in a town, or escape from the smoke, the noise, the excitement of the
streets. After what has been said in previous chapters, the
crowd in the Forum and its adjuncts can be left to the reader's
imagination; but if he wishes to stimulate it, let him look
at the seventh chapter of Cicero's speech for Plancius, where
the orator makes use of the jostling in the Forum as an
illustration so familiar that none can fail to understand it.[385] A
relief, of which a figure is given in Burn's _Roman Literature and
Roman Art_, p. 79, gives a good idea of the close crowding, though no
doubt it was habitual with Roman artists to overcrowd their scenes
with human figures. Even as early as the first Punic war a lady could
complain of the crowded state of the Forum, and, with the grim humour
peculiar to Romans, could declare that her brother, who had just lost
a great number of Roman lives in a defeat by the Carthaginians, ought
to be in command of another fleet in order to relieve the city of more
of its surplus population. What then must the Forum have been two
centuries later, when half the business of the Empire was daily
transacted there! And even outside the walls the trouble did not
cease; all night long the wagons were rolling into the city, which
were not allowed in the day-time, at any rate after Caesar's municipal
law of 46 B.C. Like the motors of to-day, one might imagine that their
noise would depreciate the value of houses on the great roads. The
callers and clients would be here of a morning, as in the house within
the walls; the bore might be met not only in the Via Sacra, like
Horace's immortal friend, but wherever the stream of life hurried with
its busy eddies[386]. Lucilius drew a graphic picture of this feverish
life, which is fortunately preserved; it refers of course to a time
before Cicero's birth (Fragm. 9, Baehrens):

  nunc vero a mani ad noctem, festo atque profesto,
  totus item pariter populus, plebesque patresque,
  iactare indu foro se omnes, decedere nusquam:
  uni se atque eidem studio omnes dedere et arti,
  verba dare ut oaute possint, pugnare dolose:
  blanditia certare, bonum simulare virum se:
  insidias facere, ut si hostes sint omnibus omnes.

That this exciting social atmosphere, with its jostling and
over-reaching in the Forum, and its callers and dinner-parties in the
house, had some sinister influence on men's tempers and nerves, there
can be no doubt. Cicero dearly loved the life of the city, but he paid
for it by a sensibility which is constantly apparent in his letters,
and diminished his value as a statesman. When he wrote from Cilicia to
his more youthful friend Caelius, urging him to stick to the city, in
words that are almost pathetic, it never occurred to him that he was
prescribing exactly that course of treatment which had done himself
much damage[387]. The clear sight and strong nerve of Caesar, as
compared with so many of his contemporaries, was doubtless largely due
to the fact that between 70 and 50 B.C., i.e. in the prime of life, he
spent some twelve of the twenty years in the fresher air of Spain and
Gaul. Some men were fairly worn out with dissipation and the resulting
ennui, and could get no relief even in a country villa. Lucretius has
drawn a wonderful picture of such an unfortunate, who hurries from
Rome into the country, and finding himself bored there almost as soon
as he arrives, orders out his carriage to return to the city. To fill
oneself with good things, yet never to be satisfied (explere bonis
rebus, satiareque nunquam), was even for the true Epicurean a most
dismal fate.[388]

But there was at this time, and had been for many generations, a
genuine desire to escape at times from town to country; and Cicero, in
spite of his pathetic exhortation to Caelius, was himself a keen
lover of the ease and leisure which he could find only in his
country-houses. The first great Roman of whom we know that he had a
rural villa, not only or chiefly for farming purposes, but as a refuge
from the city and its tumult, was Scipio Africanus the elder. His
villa at Liternum on the Campanian coast is described by Seneca in his
86th epistle; it was small, and without the comforts and conveniences
of the later country-house; but its real significance lies not so much
in the increasing wealth that could make a residence possible without
a farm attached to it, but in the growing sense of individuality that
made men wish for such a retreat. There are other signs that Scipio
was a man of strong personality, unlike the typical Roman of his day;
he put a value upon his own thoughts and habits, apart from his duty
to the State, and retired to Liternum to indulge them. The younger
Scipio too (Aemilianus), though no blood-relation of his, had the same
instinct, but in his case it was rather the desire for leisure and
relaxation,--the same love of a real holiday that we all know so well
in our modern life. "Leisure," says Cicero, is not "contentio animi
sed relaxatio"; and in a charming passage he goes on to describe
Scipio and Laelius gathering shells on the sea-shore, and becoming
boys again (repuerascere).[389] This desire for ease and relaxation,
for the chance of being for a while your true self,--a self worth
something apart from its existence as a citizen, is apparent in the
Roman of Cicero's day, and still more in the hard-working functionary
of the Empire. Twice in his life the morbid emperor Tiberius shrank
from the eyes of men, once at Rhodes and afterwards at Capreae,--a
melancholy recluse worn out by hard work.

Everyman had to provide his own "health resort" in those days: there
was nothing to correspond to the modern hotel. Even at the great
luxurious watering-places on the Campanian coast, Baiae and Bauli, the
houses, so far as we know, were all private residences.[390] I do not
propose to include in this chapter any account of these centres of
luxury and vice, which were far indeed from giving any rest or relief
to the weary Roman; the society of Baiae was the centre of scandal and
gossip, where a woman like Clodia, the Lesbia of Catullus, could live
in wickedness before the eyes of all men.[391] Let us turn to a more
agreeable subject, and illustrate the country-house and the country
life of the last age of the Republic by a rapid visit to Cicero's
own villas. This has fortunately been made easy for us by the very
delightful work of Professor O.E. Schmidt, whose genuine enthusiasm
for Cicero took him in person to all these sites, and inspired him to
write of them most felicitously.[392]

There being no hotels, among which the change-loving Roman of Cicero's
day could pick and choose a retreat for a holiday, he would buy a site
for a villa first in one place, then in another, or purchase one ready
built, or transform an old farm-house of his own into a residence with
"modern requirements." In choosing his sites he would naturally look
southwards, and find what he sought for either in the choicer parts of
Latium, among the hills and woods of the Mons Albanus and Tusculum,
or in the rich Campanian land, the paradise of the lazy Roman; in the
latter case, he would like to be close to the sea on that delicious
coast, and even in Latium there were spots where, like Scipio and
Laelius, he might wander on the sea-shore. All this country to the
south was beginning to be covered with luxurious and convenient
houses; in the colder and mountainous parts of central Italy the villa
was still the farm-house of the older useful type, of which the object
was the cultivation of olive and vine, now coming into fashion, as
we have already seen. For Cicero and his friends the word _villa_ no
longer suggested farming, as it invariably did for the old Roman, and
as we find it in Cato's treatise on agriculture; it meant gardens,
libraries, baths, and collections of works of art, with plenty of
convenient rooms for study or entertainment. Sometimes the garden
might be extended into a park, with fishponds and great abundance of
game; Hortensius had such a park near Laurentum, fifty jugera enclosed
in a ring-fence, and full of wild beasts of all sorts and kinds. Varro
tells us that the great orator would take his guests to a seat on an
eminence in this park, and summon his "Orpheus" thither to sing and
play: at the sound of the music a multitude of stags, boars, and other
animals would make their appearance--having doubtless been trained
to do so by expectation of food prepared for them.[393] Such was the
taste of the great master of "Asiatic" eloquence. We are reminded of
the fairy tale of the Emperor of China and the mechanical nightingale.

His great rival in oratory had simpler tastes, in his country life as
in his rhetoric. Cicero had no villa of the vulgar kind of luxury; he
preferred to own several of moderate comfort rather than one or two of
such magnificence. He had in all six, besides one or two properties
which were bought for some special temporary object; and it is
interesting to see what relation these houses had to his life and
habits. At no point could he afford to be very far from Rome, or from
a main road which would take him there easily. The accompanying little
map will show that all his villas lay on or near to one or other of
the two great roads that led southwards from the capital. The via
Latina would take him in an hour or two to Tusculum, where, since
the death of Catulus in 68, he owned the villa of that excellent
aristocrat.[394] The site of the villa cannot be determined with
certainty, but Schmidt gives good reasons for believing that it was
where we used formerly to place it, on the slope of the hill above
Frascati. That it really stood there, and not in the hollow by
Grottaferrata,[395] we would willingly believe, for no one who
has ever been there can possibly forget the glorious view or the
refreshing air of those flowery slopes. No wonder the owner was fond
of it. He tells Atticus, when he first came into possession of it,
that he found rest there from all troubles and toils (_ad Att._ i. 5.
7.), and again that he is so delighted with it that when he gets
there he is delighted with himself too (_ad Att._ i. 6). Much of his
literary work was done here, and he had the great advantage of
being close to the splendid library of Lucullus' neighbouring
villa, which was always open to him.[396] At Tusculum he spent
many a happy day, until his beloved daughter died there in 45,
after which he would not go there for some time; but he got the better
of this sorrow, and loved the place to the end of his life.


If this villa was where we hope it was, the great road passed at no
great distance from it, in the valley between Tusculum and the Mons
Albanus; and by following this for some fifty miles to the south-east
through Latium, Cicero would strike the river Liris not far from
Fregellae, and leaving the road there, would soon arrive at his native
place Arpinum, and his ancestral property. For this old home he always
had the warmest affection; of no other does he write in language
showing so clearly that his heart could be moved by natural beauty,
especially when combined with the tender associations of his
boyhood[397]. In the charming introduction to the second book of
his work _de Legibus_ (on the Constitution), he dwells with genuine
delight on this feeling and these associations; and there too we get
a hint of what Dr. Schmidt tells us is the peculiar charm of the
spot,--the presence and the sound of water; for if he is right, the
villa was placed between two arms of the limpid little river Fibrenus,
which here makes a delta as it joins the larger Liris[398].

But of this house we know for certain neither the site nor the
plan,--not so much indeed as we know about a villa of the brother
Quintus, not far away, the building of which is described with such
exactness in a letter written to the absent owner[399], that Schmidt
thinks himself justified in applying it by analogy to the villa of
the elder brother. But such reasoning is hardly safe. What we do know
about the old house is that it was originally a true villa rustica,--a
house with land cultivated by the owner that Cicero's father, who had
weak health and literary tastes, had added to it considerably, and
that Cicero himself had made it into a comfortable country residence,
with all necessary conveniences. He did not farm the ancestral land
attached to it, either himself or by a bailiff, but let it in small
holdings[400] (praediola), and we could wish that he had told us
something of his tenants and what they did with the land. It was not,
therefore, a real farm-house, but a farm-house made into a pleasant
residence, like so many manor-houses still to be seen in England.
Its atrium had no doubt retired (so to speak) into the rear of the
building, and had become a kitchen, and you entered, as in most
country-houses of this period, through a vestibule directly into a
peristyle: some idea of such an arrangement may be gained from the
accompanying ground-plan of the villa of Diomedes just outside
Pompeii, which was a city house adapted to rural conditions (villa

If Cicero wished to leave Arpinum for one of his villas on the
Campanian coast, he would simply have to follow the valley of the
Liris until it reached the sea between Minturnae and Formiae, and at
the latter place, a lively little town with charming views over the
sea, close to the modern Gaeta, he would find another house of his
own,--the next he added to his possessions after he inherited Arpinum.
Formiae was a very convenient spot; it lay on the via Appia, and was
thus in direct communication both with Rome and the bay of Naples,
either by land or sea. When Cicero is not resting, but on the move or
expecting to be disturbed, he is often to be found at Formiae, as in
the critical mid-winter of 50-49 B.C.; and here at the end of March
49 he had his famous interview with Caesar, who urged him in vain to
accompany him to Rome. Here he spent the last weary days of his life,
and here he was murdered by Antony's ruffians on December 7, 43.

[Illustration: PLAN OF THE VILLA OF DIOMEDES. From Man's _Pompeii_.]

This villa was in or close to the little town, and therefore did not
give him the quiet he liked to have for literary work. It would seem
that the _bore_ existed elsewhere than at Rome; for in a short letter
written from Formiae in April 59, he tells Atticus of his troubles
of this kind: "As to literary work, it is impossible! My house is a
basilica rather than a villa, owing to the crowds of visitors from
Formiae ... C. Arrius is my next door neighbour, or rather he almost
lives in my house, and even declares that his reason for not going to
Rome is that he may spend whole days with me here philosophising. And
then, if you please, on the other flank is Sebosus, that friend of
Catulus! Which way am I to turn? I declare that I would go at once to
Arpinum, if this were not the most, convenient place to await your
visit: but I will only wait till May 6: you see what bores are
pestering my poor ears."[402]

But his Campanian villas would be almost as easy to reach as Arpinum,
if he wished to escape from Formiae and its bores. To the nearest of
these, the one at or near Cumae, it was only about forty miles' drive
along the coast road, past Minturnae, Sinuessa, and Volturnum, all
familiar halting-places. Of this "Cumanum," however, we know very
little: that volcanic region has undergone such changes that we
cannot recover the site, and its owner never seems to have felt any
particular attachment to it. It was in fact too near Baiae and Bauli
to suit a quiet literary man; the great nobles in their vast luxurious
palaces were too close at hand for a _novus homo_ to be perfectly
at his ease there. Yet near the end of his life Cicero added to
his possessions another property in this neighbourhood, at or near
Puteoli, which was now fast becoming a city of great importance; but
this can be explained by the fact that a banker of Puteoli named
Cluvius, an old friend of his, had just died and divided his property
by will between Caesar and Cicero,--truly a tremendous will! Cicero
seems to have purchased Caesar's share, and to have looked on the
property as a good investment. He began to build a villa here, but had
little chance of using it. It may have been here that he entertained
Caesar and his retinue at the end of the year 45,[403] as described by
him in the famous letter of December 21 (_ad Att_. xiii. 52); when two
thousand men had somehow to be provided for, and in spite of literary
conversation, Cicero could write that his guest was not exactly one
whom you would be in a hurry to see again.

Across the bay, and just within view from the higher ground between
Baiae and Cumae, lay the little town of Pompeii, under the sleeping
Vesuvius. Here, probably just outside the town, Cicero had a villa of
which he seems to have been really fond, and the society of a quiet
and gentle friend, M. Marius. Whether we can find the remains of this
villa among the excavations of Pompeii is very doubtful: but our
excellent guide Schmidt assures us that he has good reason for
believing that one particular house, just outside the city on the left
side of the road in front of the Porta Herculanea, which has for no
very convincing reason ever since its excavation in 1763 been called
the Villa di Cicerone, really is the house we wish it to be. But alas!
an honest man must confess that the identification wants certainty,
and the chance of finding any object or inscription which may confirm
it is now very small.

If Cicero were summoned suddenly back to Rome for business, forensic
or political, he would hasten first to Formiae and sleep there, and
thence hurry, by the via Appia and the route so well known to us
from Horace's journey to Brundisium, to another house in the little
sea-coast town of Antium. This was his nearest seaside residence, and
he often used it when unable to go far from Rome. After the death of
his daughter in 45 he seems to have sold this house to Lepidus, and,
unable to stay at Tusculum, where she died, he bought a small villa
on a little islet called Astura, on the very edge of the Pomptine
marshes, and in that melancholy and unwholesome neighbourhood he
passed whole days in the woods giving way to his grief. Yet it was
a "locus amoenus, et in mari ipso, qui et Antio et Circeiis aspici
possit.[404]" It suited his mood, and here he stayed long, writing
letter after letter to Atticus about the erection of a shrine to the
lost one in some gardens to be purchased near Rome.

This sketch of the country-houses of a man like Cicero may help us
to form some idea of the changeful life of a great personage of the
period. He did not look for the formation of steady permanent habits
in any one place or house; from an early age he was accustomed to
travel, going to Greece or Asia Minor for his "higher education,"
acting perhaps as quaestor, and again as praetor or consul, in some
province, then returning to Rome only to leave it for one or other of
his villas, and rarely settling down in one of these for any length of
time. It was not altogether a wholesome life, so far as the mind
was concerned; real thought, the working out of great problems of
philosophy or politics, is impossible under constant change of scene,
and without the opportunity of forming regular habits.[405] And the
fact is that no man at this time seriously set himself to think out
such problems. Cicero would arrive at Tusculum or Arpinum with some
necessary books, and borrowing others as best he could, would sit down
to write a treatise on ethics or rhetoric with amazing speed, having
an original Greek author constantly before him. At places like Baiae
serious work was of course impossible, and would have been ridiculed.
There was no original thinker in this age. Caesar himself was probably
more suited by nature to reason on facts immediately before him than
to speculate on abstract principles. Varro, the rough sensible scholar
of Sabine descent, was a diligent collector of facts and traditions,
but no more able to grapple hard with problems of philosophy or
theology than any other Roman of his time. The life of the average
wealthy man was too comfortable, too changeable, to suggest the
desirability of real mental exertion.

Nor has this life any direct relation to material usefulness and the
productive investment of capital. Cicero and his correspondents never
mention farming, never betray any interest in the new movement,
if such there was, for the scientific cultivation of the vine and
olive.[406] For such things we must go to Varro's treatise, written,
some years after Cicero's death, in his extreme old age. In the third
book of that invaluable work we shall find all we want to know about
the real _villa rustica_ of the time,--the working farm-house with its
wine-vats and olive-mills, like that recently excavated at Boscoreale
near Pompeii. Yet it would be unfair to such men as Cicero and his
friends, the wiser and quieter section of the aristocracy, to call
their work altogether unproductive. True, it left little permanent
impress on human modes of thought; it wrought no material change for
the better in Italy or the Empire. We may go so far as to allow
that it initiated that habit of dilettantism which we find already
exaggerated in the age lately illuminated for us by Professor Dill in
his book on _Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius_, and far more
exaggerated in the last age of Roman society, which the same author
has depicted in his earlier work. But it may be doubted whether under
any circumstances the Romans could have produced a great prophet or a
great philosopher; and the most valuable work they did was of
another kind. It lay in the humanisation of society by the rational
development of law, and by the communication of Greek thought and
literature to the western world. This was what occupied the best days
of Cicero and Sulpicius Rufus and many others; and they succeeded at
the same time in creating for its expression one of the most perfect
prose languages that the world has ever known or will know. They did
it too, helping each other by kindly and cheering intercourse,--the
_humanitas_ of daily life. It is exactly this humanitas that the
northern mind of Mommsen, in spite of its vein of passionate romance,
could not understand; all the softer side of that pleasant existence
among the villas and statues and libraries was to him simply
contemptible. Let us hope that he has done no permanent damage to
the credit of Cicero, and of the many lesser men who lived the same
honourable and elegant life.



Before giving some account of the way in which a Roman of
consideration spent his day in the time of Cicero, it seems necessary
to explain briefly how he reckoned the divisions of the day.

The old Latin farmer knew nothing of hours or clocks. He simply went
about his daily work with the sun and the light as guides, rising at
or before sunrise, working till noon, and, after a meal and a rest,
resuming his work till sunset. This simple method of reckoning would
suffice in a sunny climate, even when life and business became more
complicated; and it is a fact that the division of the day into hours
was not known at Rome until the introduction of the sun-dial in 263
B.C.[407] We may well find it hard to understand how such business as
the meeting of the senate, of the comitia, or the exercitus, could
have been fixed to particular times under such circumstances; perhaps
the best way of explaining it is by noting that the Romans were very
early in their habits, and that sunrise is a point of time about
which there can be no mistake[408]. But in any case the date of the
introduction of the sun-dial, which almost exactly corresponds with
the beginning of the Punic wars and the vast increase of civil
business arising out of them, may suggest at once the primitive
condition of the old Roman mind and habit, and the way in which the
Romans had to learn from other peoples how to save and arrange the
time that was beginning to be so precious.

This first sun-dial came from Catina in Sicily, and was therefore
quite unsuited to indicate the hours at Rome. Nevertheless Rome
contrived to do with it until nearly a century had elapsed; at last,
in 159 B.C., a dial calculated on the latitude of Rome was placed by
the side of it by the censor Q. Marcius Philippus. These two dials
were fixed on pillars behind the Rostra in the Forum, the most
convenient place for regulating public business, and there they
remained even in the time of Cicero[409]. But in the censorship next
following that of Philippus the first water-clock was introduced; this
indicated the hours both of day and night, and enabled every one to
mark the exact time even on cloudy days[410].

Thus from the time of the Punic wars the city population reckoned time
by hours, i.e. twelve divisions of the day; but as they continued to
reckon the day from sunrise to sunset on the principle of the old
agricultural practice, these twelve hours varied in length at
different times of the year. In mid-winter the hours were only about
forty-four minutes in length, while at mid-summer they were about
seventy-five, and they corresponded with ours only at the two
equinoxes.[411] This, of course, made the construction of accurate
dials and water-clocks a matter of considerable difficulty. It is not
necessary here to explain how the difficulties were overcome; the
reader may be referred to the article "Horologium" in the _Dictionary
of Antiquities_, and especially to the cuts there given of the dial
found at Tusculum in 1761.[412]

Sun-dials, once introduced with the proper reckoning for latitude,
soon came into general use, and a considerable number still survive
which have been found in Rome. In a fragment of a comedy by an unknown
author, ascribed to the last century B.C., Rome is described as "full
of sun-dials,"[413] and many have been discovered in other Roman
towns, including several at Pompeii. But for the ordinary Roman, who
possessed no sun-dial or was not within reach of one, the day
fell into four convenient divisions, as with us it falls into
three,--morning, afternoon, and evening. As they rose much earlier
than we do, the hours up to noon were divided into two parts: (1)
_mane_, or morning, which lasted from sunrise to the beginning of the
third hour, and (2) _ad meridiem_, or forenoon; then followed _de
meridie_, i.e. afternoon, and _suprema_, from about the ninth or
tenth hour till sunset. The authority for these handy divisions is
Censorinus, _De die natali_ (23. 9, 24. 3). There seems to be no
doubt that they originated in the management of civil business, and
especially in that of the praetor's court, which normally began at the
third hour, i.e. the beginning of ad meridiem, and went on till the
suprema (tempestas diei), which originally meant sunset, but by a lex
Plaetoria was extended to include the hour or two before dark.

The first thing to note in studying the daily life at Rome is that the
Romans, like the Greeks, were busy much earlier in the morning than
we are. In part this was the result of their comfortable southern
climate, where the nights are never so long as with us, and where the
early mornings are not so chilly and damp in summer or so cold
in winter. But it was probably still more the effect of the very
imperfect lighting of houses, which made it difficult to carry on
work, especially reading and writing, after dark, and suggested early
retirement to bed and early rising in the morning. The streets, we
must remember, were not lighted except on great occasions, and it was
not till late in Roman history that public places and entertainments
could be frequented after dark. In early times the oil-lamp with a
wick was unknown, and private houses were lighted by torches and rude
candles of wax or tallow.[414] The introduction of the use of olive
oil, which was first imported from Greece and the East and then
produced in Italy, brought with it the manufacture of lamps of various
kinds, great and small; and as the cultivation of the valuable tree,
so easily grown in Italy, increased in the last century B.C.,[415] the
oil-lamp became universal in houses, baths, etc. Even in the small old
baths of Pompeii there were found about a thousand lamps, obviously
used for illumination after dark.[416] But in spite of this and of the
invention of candelabra for extending the use of candles, it was never
possible for the Roman to turn night into day as we do in our modern
town-life. We must look on the lighting of the streets as quite an
exceptional event. This happened, for example, on the night of the
famous fifth of December 63 B.C., when Cicero returned to his house
after the execution of the conspirators; people placed lamps and
torches at their doors, and women showed lights from the roofs of the

An industrious man, especially in winter, when this want of artificial
light made time most valuable, would often begin his work before
daylight; he might have a speech to prepare for the senate, or a brief
for a trial, or letters to write, and, as we shall see, as soon as the
sun had well risen it was not likely that he would be altogether his
own master. Thus we find Cicero on a February morning writing to his
brother before sunrise,[417] and it is not unlikely that the soreness
of the eyes of which he sometimes complains may have been the result
of reading and writing before the light was good. In his country
villas he could do as he liked, but at Rome he knew that he would have
the "turba salutantium" upon him as soon as the sun had risen. Cicero
is the only man of his own time of whose habits we know much, but in
the next generation Horace describes himself as calling for pen and
paper before daylight, and later on that insatiable student the elder
Pliny would work for hours before daylight, and then go to the Emperor
Vespasian, who was also a very early riser.[418] After sunrise the
whole population was astir; boys were on their way to school, and
artisans to their labour.

If Horace is not exaggerating when he says (_Sat._ i. 1. 10) that
the barrister might be disturbed by a client at cock-crow, Cicero's
studies may have been interrupted even before the crowds came; but
this could hardly happen often. As a rule it was during the first two
hours (_mane_) that callers collected. In the old times it had been
the custom to open your house and begin your business at daybreak, and
after saluting your familia and asking a blessing of the household
gods, to attend to your own affairs and those of your clients.[419]
Although we are not told so explicitly, we must suppose that the same
practice held good in Cicero's time; under the Empire it is familiar
to all readers of Seneca or Martial, but in a form which was open to
much criticism and satire. The client of the Empire was a degraded
being; of the client in the last age of the Republic we only know that
he existed, and could be useful to his _patronus_ in many ways,--in
elections and trials especially;[420] but we do not hear of his
pressing himself on the attention of his patron every morning, or
receiving any "sportula." All the same, the number of persons, whether
clients in this sense or in the legal sense, or messengers, men of
business, and ordinary callers, who would want to see a man like
Cicero before he left his house in the morning, would beyond doubt be
considerable. Otherwise they would have to catch him in the street or
Forum; and though occasionally a man of note might purposely walk in
public in order to give his clients their chance, Cicero makes it
plain that this was not his way.[421]

Within these two first hours of daylight the busy man had to find time
for a morning meal; the idle man, who slept later, might postpone
it. This early breakfast, called _ientaculum_[422], answered to the
"coffee and roll" which is usual at the present day in all European
countries except our own, and which is fully capable of supporting
even a hard-working man for several hours. It is, indeed, quite
possible to do work before this breakfast; Antiochus, the great
doctor, is said by Galen to have visited such of his patients as lived
near him before his breakfast and on foot[423]. But as a rule the meal
was taken before a busy man went out to his work, and consisted of
bread, either dipped in wine or eaten with honey, olives, or cheese.
The breakfast of Antiochus consisted, for example, of bread and Attic

The meal over, the man of politics or business would leave his house,
outside which his clients and friends or other hangers-on would be
waiting for him, and proceed to the Forum,--the centre, as we have
seen, of all his activity--accompanied by these people in a kind of
procession. Some would go before to make room for him, while others
followed him; if bent on election business, he would have experienced
helpers,[424] either volunteers or in his pay, to save him from making
blunders as to names and personalities, and in fact to serve him
in conducting himself towards the populace with the indispensable
_blanditia_.[425] Every Roman of importance liked to have, and usually
had, a train of followers or friends in descending to the Forum of a
morning from his house, or in going about other public business; what
Q. Cicero urges on his brother in canvassing for the consulship may
hold good in principle for all the public appearances of a
public man,--"I press this strongly on you, always to be with a
multitude."[426] It may perhaps be paralleled with the love of the
Roman for processions, e.g. the lustrations of farm, city, and
army,[427] and with his instinctive desire for aid and counsel in
all important matters both of public and private life, shown in the
consilium of the paterfamilias and of the magistrate. Examples are
easy to find in the literature of this period; an excellent one is the
graphic picture of Gaius Gracchus and his train of followers, which
Plutarch has preserved from a contemporary writer. "The people
looked with admiration on him, seeing him attended by crowds of
building-contractors, artificers, ambassadors, magistrates, soldiers,
and learned men, to all of whom he was easy of access; while he
maintained his dignity, he was gracious to all, and suited his
behaviour to the condition of every individual; thus he proved the
falsehood of those who called him tyrannical or arrogant."[428]

Arrived at the Forum, if not engaged in a trial, or summoned to a
meeting of the senate, or busy in canvassing, he would mingle with the
crowd, and spend a social morning in meeting and talking with friends,
or in hearing the latest news from the provinces, or in occupying
himself with his investments with the aid of his bankers and agents.
This is the way in which such a sociable and agreeable man as Cicero
was loved to spend his mornings when not deep in the composition of
some speech or book,--and at Rome it was indeed hardly possible for
him to find the time for steady literary work. It was this social life
that he longed for when in Cilicia; "one little walk and talk with
you," he could write to Caelius at Rome, "is worth all the profits of
a province."[429] But it was also this crowded and talkative Forum
that Lucilius could describe in a passage already quoted, as teeming
with men who, with the aid of hypocrisy and blanditia, spent the
day from morning till night in trying to get the better of their

After a morning spent in the Forum, our Roman might return home in
time for his lunch (_prandium_), which had taken the place of the
early dinner (_cena_) of the olden time. Exactly the same thing
affected the hours of these meals as has affected those of our own
within the last century or so; the great increase of public business
of all kinds has with us pushed the time of the chief meal later and
later, and so it was at Rome. The senate had an immense amount of
business to transact in the two last centuries B.C., and the increase
in oratorical skill, as well as the growing desire to talk in public,
extended its sittings sometimes till nightfall.[431] So too with the
law-courts, which had become the scenes of oratorical display, and
often of that indulgence in personal abuse which has great attractions
for idle people fond of excitement. Thus the dinner hour had come to
be postponed from about noon to the ninth or even the tenth hour,[432]
and some kind of a lunch was necessary. We do not hear much of this
meal, which was in fact for most men little more than the "snack"
which London men of business will take standing at a bar; nor do we
know whether senators and barristers took it as they sat in the curia
or in court, or whether there was an adjournment for purposes
of refreshment. Such an adjournment seems to have taken place
occasionally at least, during the games under the Empire, for
Suetonius (_Claud._ 34) tells us that Claudius would dismiss the
people to take their prandium and yet remain himself in his seat. A
joke of Cicero's about Caninius Rebilus, who was appointed consul by
Caesar on the last day of the year 45 at one o'clock, shows that the
usual hour for the prandium was about noon or earlier; "under the
consulship of Caninius," he wrote to Curius, "no one ever took

After the prandium, if a man were at home and at leisure, followed the
siesta (_meridiatio_). This is the universal habit in all southern
climates, especially in summer, and indeed, if the mind and body
are active from an early hour, a little repose is useful, if not
necessary, after mid-day. Busy men however like Cicero could not
always afford it in the city, and we find him noting near the end of
his life, when Caesar's absolutism had diminished the amount of his
work both in senate and law-courts, that he had taken to the siesta
which he formerly dispensed with.[434] Even the sturdy Varro in his
old age declared that in summer he could not possibly do without his
nap in the middle of the day.[435] On the other hand, in the famous
letter in which Cicero describes his entertainment of Caesar in
mid-winter 45 B.C., nothing is said of a siesta; the Dictator worked
till after mid-day, then walked on the shore, and returned, not for a
nap but for a bath.[436]

Caesar, as he was Cicero's guest, must have taken his bath in the
villa, probably that at Cumae (see above, p. 257). Most well-appointed
private houses had by this time a bath-room or set of bath-rooms,
providing every accommodation, according to the season and the taste
of the bather. This was indeed a modern improvement; in the old days
the Romans only washed their arms and legs daily, and took a bath
every market-day, i.e. every ninth day. This is told us in an amusing
letter of Seneca's, who also gives a description of the bath in the
villa of the elder Scipio at Liternum, which consisted of a single
room without a window, and was supplied with water which was often
thick after rain.[437] "Nesciit vivere," says Seneca, in ironical
allusion to the luxury of his own day. In Cicero's time every villa
doubtless had its set of baths, with at least three rooms,--the
_apodyterium_, _caldarium_, and _tepidarium_, sometimes also an open
swimming-bath, as in the House of the Silver Wedding at Pompeii.[438]
In Cicero's letter to his brother about the villa at Arcanum, he
mentions the dressing-room (apodyterium) and the caldarium or hot-air
chamber, and doubtless there were others. Even in the villa rustica of
Boscoreale near Pompeii, which was a working farm-house, we find the
bath-rooms complete, provided, that is, with the three essentials of
dressing-room, tepid-room, and hot-air room.[439] Caesar probably, as
it was winter, used the last of these, took in fact a Turkish bath, as
we should call it, and then went into a tepidarium, where, as Cicero
tells us, he received some messenger. Here he was anointed (unctus),
i.e. rubbed dry from perspiration, with a strigil on which oil was
dropped to soften its action.[440] When this operation was over, about
the ninth hour, which in mid-winter would begin about half-past one,
he was ready for the dinner which followed immediately.[441] This we
may take as the ordinary winter dinner-hour in the country; in summer
it would be an hour or so later. In an amusing story given as a
rhetorical illustration in the work known as _Rhetorica ad Herennium_,
iv. 63, the guests (doomed never to get their dinner that day except
in an inn) are invited for the tenth hour. But in the city it must
have often happened that the hour was later, owing to the press of
business. For example, on one occasion when the senate had been
sitting _ad noctem_, Cicero dines with Pompeius after its dismissal
(_ad Fam_. i. 2.3). Another day we find him going to bed after his
dinner, and clearly not for a siesta, which, as we saw, he never had
time to take in his busy days; this, however, was not actually in Rome
but in his villa at Formiae, where he was at that time liable to much
interruption from callers (_ad Att_. ii. 16). Probably, like most
Romans of his day, he had spent a long time over his dinner, talking
if he had guests, or reading and thinking if he were alone or with his
family only.

The dinner, _cena_, was in fact the principal private event of the
day; it came when all business was over, and you could enjoy the
privacy of family life or see your friends and unbend with them. At no
other meal do we hear of entertainment, unless the guests were on
a journey, as was the case at the lunch at Arcanum when Pomponia's
temper got the better of her (see above, p. 52). Even dinner-parties
seem to have come into fashion only since the Punic wars, with later
hours and a larger staff of slaves to cook and wait at table. In the
old days of household simplicity the meals were taken in the atrium,
the husband reclining on a _lectus_,[442] the wife sitting by his
side, and the children sitting on stools in front of them. The slaves
too in the olden time took their meal sitting on benches in the
atrium, so that the whole familia was present. This means that the
dinner was in those days only a necessary break in the intervals of
work, and the sitting posture was always retained for slaves, i.e.
those who would go about their work as soon as the meal was over.
Columella, writing under the early Empire, urges that the vilicus or
overseer should sit at his dinner except on festivals; and Cato the
younger would not recline after the battle of Pharsalia for the
rest of his life, apparently as a sign that life was no longer

But after the Second Punic war, which changed the habits of the Roman
in so many ways, the atrium ceased to be the common dining-place, and
special chambers were built, either off the atrium or in the interior
part of the house about the peristylium, or even upstairs, for the
accommodation of guests, who might be received in different rooms,
according to the season and the weather.[444] These _triclinia_ were
so arranged as to afford the greatest personal comfort and the best
opportunities for conversation; they indicate clearly that dinner is
no longer an interval in the day's work, but a time of repose and ease
at the end of it. The plan here given of a triclinium, as described by
Plutarch, in his _Quaestiones conviviales_,

                    Lectus medius.
  Chief  |                                |                |
  Guest  |                                |                | Lectus
         |                                |                | Summus
         +-----------------+--------------+                |
  H      |                 |              |                |
         |                 |              |                |
  Lectus |                 | Mensa        |                |
  Imus   |                 |              |                |
         |                 +--------------+                |
         |                 |              +----------------+
         |                 |
         |                 |
         |                 |
         |                 |


will show this sufficiently without elaborate description; but it is
necessary to notice that the host always or almost always occupied the
couch marked H on the plan, while the one immediately above him, i.e.
No. 3 of the _lectus medius_, was reserved for the most important
guest, and called _lectus consularis_. Plutarch's account, and a
little consideration, will show that the host was thus well placed for
the superintendence of the meal, as well as for conversation with his
distinguished guest; and that the latter occupied what Plutarch calls
a free corner, so that any messengers or other persons needing to see
him could get access to him without disturbing the party.[445] The
number that could be accommodated, nine, was not only a sacred and
lucky one, but exactly suited for convenience of conversation and
attendance. Larger parties were not unheard of, even under the
Republic, and Vitruvius tells us that some dining-rooms were fitted
with three or more triclinia; but to put more than three guests on a
single couch, and so increase the number, was not thought courteous or
well-bred. Among the points of bad breeding which Cicero attributes to
his enemy Calpurnius Piso, the consul of 58, one was that he put five
guests to recline on a single couch, while himself occupying one
alone; so Horace:

  Saepe tribus lectis videas cenare quaternos.[446]

As the guests were made so comfortable, it may be supposed that they
were not in a hurry to depart; the mere fact that they were reclining
instead of sitting would naturally dispose them to stay. The triclinia
were open at one end, i.e. not shut up as our dining-rooms are, and
the air would not get close and "dinnery." Cicero describes old
Cato[447] (no doubt from some passage in Cato's writings) as remaining
in conversation at dinner until late at night. The guests would arrive
with their slaves, who took off their walking shoes, if they had come
on foot, and put on their sandals (_soleae_): each wore a festive
dress (_synthesis_), of Greek origin like the other features of the
entertainment, and there was no question of changing these again in a
hurry. Nothing can better show the difference between the old Roman
manners and the new than the character of these parties; they are
the leisurely and comfortable rendezvous of an opulent and educated
society, in which politics, literature or philosophy could be
discussed with much self-satisfaction. That such discussion did not go
too deeply into hard questions was perhaps the result of the comfort.

There was of course another side to this picture of the evening of a
Roman gentleman. There was a coarse side to the Roman character, and
in the age when wealth, the slave trade, and idle habits encouraged
self-indulgence, meals were apt to become ends in themselves instead
of necessary aids to a wholesome life. The ordinary three parts or
courses (_mensae_) of a dinner,--the gustatio or light preliminary
course, the cena proper, with substantial dishes, and the dessert of
pastry and fruit, could be amplified and extended to an unlimited
extent by the skill of the slave-cooks brought from Greece and the
East (see above, p. 209); the gourmand had appeared long before
the age of Cicero and had been already satirised by Lucilius and
Varro.[448] Splendid dinner-services might take the place of the
old simple ware, and luxurious drapery and rugs covered the couches
instead of the skins of animals, as in the old time.[449] Vulgarity
and ostentation, such as Horace satirised, were doubtless too often to
be met with. Those who lived for feasting and enjoyment would invite
their company quite early in the day (tempestativum convivium) and
carry on the revelry till midnight.[450] And lastly, the practice of
drinking wine after dinner (_comissatio_), simply for the sake of
drinking, under fixed rules according to the Greek fashion, familiar
to us all in the _Odes_ of Horace, had undoubtedly begun some time
before the end of the Public. In the Actio prima of his Verrine
orations Cicero gives a graphic picture of a convivium beginning
early, where the proposal was made and agreed to that the drinking
should be "more graeco."[451]

But it would be a great mistake to suppose that this kind of
self-indulgence was characteristic of the average Roman life of this
age. The ordinary student is liable to fall into this error because
he reads his Horace and his Juvenal, but dips a very little way
into Cicero's correspondence; and he needs to be reminded that the
satirists are not deriding the average life of the citizen, any more
than the artists who make fun of the foibles of our own day in the
pages of _Punch_. Cicero hardly ever mentions his meals, his cookery,
or his wine, even in his most chatty letters; such matters did not
interest him, and do not seem to have interested his friends, so far
as we can judge by their letters. In one amusing letter to Poetus, he
does indeed tell him what he had for dinner at a friend's house, but
only by way of explaining that he had been very unwell from eating
mushrooms and such dishes, which his host had had cooked in order not
to contravene a recent sumptuary law.[452] The Letters are worth far
more as negative evidence of the usual character of dinners than
either the invectives (vituperationes) against a Piso or an Antony,
or the lively wit of the satirists. Let us return for an instant, in
conclusion, to that famous letter, already quoted, in which Cicero
describes the entertainment of Caesar at Cumae in December, 45.
It contains an expression which has given rise to very mistaken
conclusions both about Caesar's own habits and those of his day. After
telling Atticus that his guest sat down to dinner when the bath was
over he goes on: "[Greek: Emetikaen] agebat; itaque et edit et bibit
[Greek: adeos] et iucunde, opipare sane et apparate, nec id solum, sed

  bene cocto
  condito, sermone bono, et si quaeri, libenter."

Even good scholars used formerly to make the mistake of supposing that
Caesar, a man habitually abstemious, or at least temperate, had made
up his mind to over-eat himself on this occasion, as he was intending
to take an emetic afterwards. And even now it may be as well to point
out that medical treatment by a course of emetics was a perfectly well
known and valued method at this time;[453] that Caesar, whose health
was always delicate, and at this time severely tried, was then under
this treatment, and could therefore eat his dinner comfortably,
without troubling himself about what he ate and drank: and that the
apt quotation from Lucilius, and the literary conversation which (so
Cicero adds) followed the dinner, prove beyond all question that this
was no glutton's meal, but one of that ordinary and rational type, in
which repose and pleasant intercourse counted for more than the mere
eating and drinking.

No more work seems to have been done after the cena was over and the
guests had retired. We found Cicero on one occasion going to bed soon
after the meal; and, as he was up and active so early in the morning,
we may suppose that he retired at a much earlier hour than we do. But
of this last act of the day he tells us nothing.



The Italian peoples, of all races, have always had a wonderful
capacity for enjoying themselves out of doors. The Italian _festa_
of to-day, usually, as in ancient times, linked to some religious
festival, is a scene of gaiety, bright dresses, music, dancing,
bonfires, races, and improvisation or mummery; and all that we know of
the ancient rural festivals of Italy suggests that they were of much
the same lively and genial character. Tibullus gives us a good idea of

  "Agricola assiduo primum satiatus aratro
  Cantavit oerto rustica verba pede;
  Et satur arenti primum est modulatus avena
  Carmen, ut ornatos diceret ante decs;
  Agricola et minio suffusus, Bacche, rubenti
  Primus inexperta duxit ab arte choros."[454]

It would be easy to multiply examples of such merry-making from the
poets of the Augustan age, nearly all of whom were born and bred in
the country, and shared Virgil's tenderness for a life of honest work
and play among the Italian hills and valleys. But in this chapter we
are to deal with the holidays and enjoyments of the great city, and
the rural festivals are only mentioned here because almost all the
characteristics of the urban holiday-making are to be found in germ
there. The Roman calendar of festivals has its origin in the regularly
recurring rites of the earliest Latin husbandman. As the city grew,
these old agricultural festivities lost of course much of their native
simplicity and naïveté; some of them survived merely as religious or
priestly performances, some became degraded into licentious enjoyment;
but the music and dancing, the gay dresses, the racing, the mumming
or acting, are all to be found in the city, developed in one form or
another, from the earliest to the latest periods of Roman history.

The Latin word for a holiday was _feriae_, a term which belongs to the
language of religious law (_ius divinum_). Strictly speaking, it means
a day which the citizen has resigned, either wholly or in part, to the
service of the gods.[455] As of old on the farm no work was to be done
on such days, so in the city no public business could be transacted.
Cicero, drawing up in antique language his idea of the ius divinum,
writes thus of feriae: "Feriis iurgia amovento, easque in familiis,
operibus patratis, habento": which he afterwards explains as meaning
that the citizen must abstain from litigation, and the slave be
excused from labour.[456] The idea then of a holiday was much the same
as we find expressed in the Jewish Sabbath, and had its root also in
religious observance. But Cicero, whether he is actually reproducing
the words of an old law or inventing it for himself, was certainly
not reflecting the custom of the city in his own day; no such rigid
observance of a rule was possible in the capital of an Empire such
as the Roman had become. Even on the farm it had long ago been found
necessary to make exceptions; thus Virgil tells us:[457]

  "Quippe etiam festis quaedam exercere diebus
  Fas et iura sinunt: rivos deducere nulla
  Religio vetuit, segeti praetendere saepem,
  Insidias avibus moliri, incendere vepres,
  Balantumque gregem fluvio mersare salubri."

So too in the city it was simply impossible that all work should
cease on feriae, of which there were more than a hundred in the year,
including the Ides of every month and some of the Kalends and Nones.
As a matter of fact a double change had come about since the city and
its dominion began to increase rapidly about the time of the Punic
wars. First, many of the old festivals, sacred to deities whose
vogue was on the wane, or who had no longer any meaning for a city
population, as being deities of husbandry, were almost entirely
neglected: even if the priests performed the prescribed rites, no one
knew and no one cared,[458] and it may be doubted whether the State
was at all scrupulous in adhering to the old sacred rules as to
the hours on which business could be transacted on such days.[459]
Secondly, certain festivals which retained their popularity had been
extended from one day to three or more, in one or two cases, as we
shall see, even to thirteen and fifteen days, in order to give
time for an elaborate system of public amusement consisting of
chariot-races and stage-plays, and known by the name of _ludi_, or, as
at the winter Saturnalia, to enable all classes to enjoy themselves
during the short days for seven mornings instead of one. Obviously
this was a much more convenient and popular arrangement than to have
your holidays scattered about over the whole year as single days; and
it suited the rich and ambitious, who sought to obtain popular favour
by shows and games on a grand scale, needing a succession of several
days for complete exhibition. So the old religious word feriae becomes
gradually supplanted, in the sense of a public holiday of amusement,
by the word _ludi_, and came at last to mean, as it still does in
Germany, the holidays of schoolboys.[460] These ludi will form the
chief subject of this chapter; but we must first mention one or two
of the old feriae which seem always to have remained occasions of
holiday-making, at any rate for the lower classes of the population.

One of these occurred on the Ides of March, and must have been going
on at the moment when Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C. It was the
festival of Anna Perenna, a mysterious old deity of "the ring of the
year." The lower class of the population, Ovid tells us,[461] streamed
out to the "festum geniale" of Anna, and spent the whole day in the
Campus Martius, lying about in pairs of men and women, indulging
in drinking and all kinds of revelry. Some lay in the open; some
constructed tents, or rude huts of boughs, stretching their togas over
them for shelter. As they drank they prayed for as many years of life
as they could swallow cups of wine. The usual characteristics of the
Italian _festa_ were to be found there: they sang anything they had
picked up in the theatre, with much gesticulation ("et iactant faciles
ad sua verba manus"), and they danced, the women letting down their
long hair. The result of these performances was naturally that they
returned home in a state of intoxication, which roused the mirth of
the bystanders. Ovid adds that he had himself met them so returning,
and had seen an old woman pulling along an old man, both of them
intoxicated. There may have been other popular "jollifications" of
this kind, for example at the Neptunalia on July 23, where we find the
same curious custom of making temporary huts or shelters;[462] but
this is the only one of which we have any account by an eye-witness.
Of the famous Lupercalia in February, and some other festivals which
neither died out altogether nor were converted into ludi, we only know
the ritual, and cannot tell whether they were still used as popular

One famous festival of the old religious calendar did, however, always
remain a favourite holiday, viz. the Saturnalia on December 17,
which was by common usage extended to seven days in all.[463] It was
probably the survival of a mid-winter festivity in the life of the
farm, at a time when all the farm work of the autumn was over,
and when both bond and free might indulge themselves in unlimited
enjoyment. Such ancient customs die hard, or, as was the case with the
Saturnalia, never die at all; for the same features are still to be
found in the Christmas rejoicings of the Italian peasant. Every one
knows something of the character of this holiday, and especially of
the entertainment of slaves by their masters,[464] which has many
parallels in Greek custom, and has been recently supposed to have been
borrowed from the Greeks. Various games were played, and among them
that of "King," at which we have seen the young Cato playing with his
boy companions.[465] Seneca tells us that in his day all Rome seemed
to go mad on this holiday.

But we must now turn to the real _ludi_, organised by the State on a
large and ever increasing scale. The oldest and most imposing of these
were the Ludi Romani or Magni, lasting from September 5 to September
19 in Cicero's time. These had their origin in the return of a
victorious army at the end of the season of war, when king or consul
had to carry out the vows he had made when entering on his campaign.
The usual form of the vow was to entertain the people on his return,
in honour of Jupiter, and thus they were originally called ludi
_votivi_, before they were incorporated as a regularly recurring
festival. After they became regular and annual, any entertainment
vowed by a general had to take place on other days; thus in the year
70 B.C. Pompey's triumphal ludi votivi immediately preceded the Ludi
Romani of that year,[466] giving the people in all some thirty days of
holiday. The centre-point, and original day, of the Ludi Romani was
the Ides (13th) of September, which was also the day of the epulum
Jovis,[467] and the dies natalis (dedication day) of the Capitoline
temple of Jupiter; and the whole ceremonial was closely connected with
that temple and its great deity. The triumphal procession passed along
the Sacra via to the Capitol, and thence again to the Circus Maximus,
where the ludi were held. The show must have been most imposing;
first marched the boys and youths, on foot and on horseback, then the
chariots and charioteers about to take part in the racing, with crowds
of dancers and flute-players,[468] and lastly the images of the
Capitoline deities themselves, carried on _fercula_ (biers). All such
shows and processions were dear to the Roman people, and this seems to
have become a permanent feature of the Ludi Romani, whether or no an
actual triumph was to be celebrated, and also of some other ludi, e.g.
the Apollinares and the Megalenses.[469] Thus the idea was kept up
that the greatness and prosperity of Rome were especially due to
Jupiter Optimus Maximus, who, since the days of the Tarquinii, had
looked down on his people from his temple on the Capitol.[470]

The Ludi Plebeii in November seem to have been a kind of plebeian
duplicate of the Ludi Romani. As fully developed at the end of the
Republic, they lasted from the 4th to the 17th; their centre-point and
original day was the Ides (13th), on which, as on September 13, there
was an epulum Jovis in the Capitol.[471] They are connected with the
name of that Flaminius who built the circus Flaminius in the Campus
Martius in 220 B.C., the champion of popular rights, killed soon
afterwards at Trasimene; and it is probable that his object in
erecting this new place of entertainment was to provide a convenient
building free of aristocratic associations. But unfortunately we know
very little of the history of these ludi.

If we may suppose that the Ludi Plebeii were instituted just before
the second Punic war, it is interesting to note that three other great
ludi were organised in the course of that war, no doubt with the
object of keeping up the drooping spirits of the urban population. The
Ludi Apollinares were vowed by a praetor urbanus in 212, when the
fate of Rome was hanging in the balance, and celebrated in the Circus
Maximus: in 208 they were fixed to a particular day, July 13, and
eventually extended to eight, viz. July 6-13.[472] In 204 were
instituted the Ludi Megalenses, to celebrate the arrival in Rome of
the Magna Mater from Pessinus in Phrygia, i.e. on April 4; but the
ludi were eventually extended to April 10.[473] Lastly, in 202 the
Ludi Ceriales, which probably existed in some form already, were made
permanent and fixed for April 19: they eventually lasted from the 12th
to the 19th.[474] After the war was over we only find one more set of
ludi permanently established, viz. the Florales, which date from 173.
The original day was April 28, which had long been one of coarse
enjoyment for the plebs; like the other ludi, these too were extended,
and eventually reached to May 3.[475] April, we may note, was a month
chiefly consisting of holidays: the Ludi Megalenses, Ceriales, and
Florales occupied no less than seventeen of its twenty-nine days.

When Sulla wished to commemorate his victory at the Colline gate, he
instituted Ludi Victoriae on November I, the date of the battle, and
these seem to have been kept up after most of Sulla's work had been
destroyed; they are mentioned by Cicero in the passage quoted above
from the Verrines, as Ludi Victoriae, but we hear comparatively little
of them.

Before we go on to describe the nature of these numerous
entertainments, it may be as well to realise that the spectators had
nothing to pay for them; they were provided by the State free of cost,
as being part of certain religious festivals which it was the duty
of the government to keep up. Certain sums were set aside for this
purpose, differing in amount from time to time; thus in 217 B.C., for
the Ludi Romani, on which up to that time 200,000 sesterces (£16,600)
had been spent, the sum of 333,333-1/3 sest. was voted, because the
number three had a sacred signification, and the moment was one of
extreme peril for the State.[476] On one occasion only before the end
of the Republic do we hear of any public collection for the ludi; in
186 B.C. Pliny tells us that every one was so well off, owing no doubt
to the enormous amount of booty brought from the war in the East, that
all subscribed some small sum for the games of Scipio Asiaticus.[477]
There was no doubt a growing demand for magnificence in the shows, and
thus it came about that the amount provided by the State had to be
supplemented. But the usual way of supplementing it was for the
magistrate in charge of the ludi to pay what he could out of his own
purse, or to get his friends to help him; and as all the ludi except
the Apollinares were in charge of the aediles, it became the practice
for these, if they aspired to reach the praetorship and consulship, to
vie with each other in the recklessness of their expenditure. As early
as 176 B.C. the senate had tried to limit this personal expenditure,
for Ti. Sempronius Gracchus as aedile had that year spent enormous
sums on his ludi, and had squeezed money (it does not appear how) out
of the subject populations of Italy, as well as the provinces, to
entertain the Roman people.[478] But naturally no decrees of the
senate on such matters were likely to have permanent effect; the great
families whose younger members aimed at popularity in this way were
far too powerful to be easily checked. In the last age of the Republic
it had become a necessary part of the aedile's duty to supplement the
State's contribution, and as a rule he had to borrow heavily, and thus
to involve himself financially quite early in his political career. In
his _de Officiis_,[479] writing of the virtue of _liberalitas_, Cicero
gives a list of men who had been munificent as aediles, including the
elder and younger Crassus, Mucius Scaevola (a man, he says, of great
self-restraint), the two Lueulli, Hortensius, and Silanus; and adds
that in his own consulship P. Lentulus outdid all his predecessors,
and was imitated by Scaurus in 58 B.C.[480] Cicero himself had to
undertake the Ludi Romani, Megalenses, and Florales in his aedileship;
how he managed it financially he does not tell us.[481] Caesar
undoubtedly borrowed largely, for his expenditure as aedile was
enormous,[482] and he had no private fortune of any considerable

Our friend Caelius Rufus was elected curule aedile while he was in
correspondence with Cicero, and his letters give us a good idea of the
condition of the mind of an ambitious young man who is bent on making
the most of himself. He is in a continual state of fidget about his
games; he has set his heart on getting panthers to exhibit and hunt,
and urges Cicero in letter after letter to procure them for him in
Cilicia. "It will be a disgrace to you," he writes in one of them,
"that Patiscus has sent ten panthers to Curio, and that you should not
send me ten times as many."[483] The provincial governor, he urges,
can do what he pleases; let Cicero send for some men of Cibyra, let
him write to Pamphylia, where they are most abundant, and he will get
what he wants, or rather what Caelius wants. Even after a letter full
of the most important accounts of public business, including copies of
senatus consulta (ad Fam. viii. 8), he harks back at the end to the
inevitable panthers. Cicero tells Atticus that he rebuked Caelius for
pressing him thus hard to do what his conscience could not approve,
and that it was not right, in his opinion, for a provincial governor
to set the people of Cibyra hunting for panthers for Roman games.[484]
From the same passage it would seem that Caelius had also been urging
him to take other steps in his province of which he disapproved, no
doubt with the same object of raising money for the ludi. This letter
to Caelius is not extant, but we may believe that Cicero had the
courage to reprove his old pupil, and that the constant worrying for
panthers was more than even his amiability could stand. But others
were less sensitive; and it is a well known fact in natural history
that the Roman games had a powerful effect, from this time forwards,
in diminishing the numbers of wild animals in the countries bordering
on the Mediterranean, and in bringing about the extinction of species.
In our own day the same work is carried on by the big-game sportsman,
somewhat farther afield; the pleasure of slaughter being now confined
to the few rich and adventurous, who shoot for their own delectation,
and not to make a London holiday.

Thus to all his ludi the citizen had the right of admission free
of cost.[485] An Englishman may find some difficulty at first in
realising this; it is as if cricket and football matches and theatres
in London were open to the public gratis, and the cost provided by the
London County Council. Yet it is not difficult to understand how the
Roman government drifted into a practice which was eventually found to
have such unfortunate results. It has already been explained that ludi
were originally attached to certain religious festivals, which it was
the duty of the State and its priests and magistrates to maintain. The
Romans, like all Italians, loved shows and out-of-door enjoyment,
and as the population increased and became more liable to excitement
during the stress of the great wars with Carthage, it became necessary
to keep them cheerful and in good humour by developing the old ludi
and instituting new ones, for which it would have been contrary to all
precedent to make them pay. The government, as we may guess from the
history of the ludi which has just been sketched, seems to have been
careful at first not to go too far with this policy, and it was some
time before any ludi but the Romani were made annual and extended to
the length they eventually reached. But the sudden increase of wealth
after the great struggle was over was answerable for this, as for
so many other damaging tendencies. We have seen that the people
themselves in 186 were able and willing to contribute; and now it was
possible for aediles to invest their capital in popular undertakings
which might, later on, pay them well by carrying them on to higher
magistracies and provincial governorships, where fresh fortunes might
be made. The evil results are, of course, as obvious here as in the
parallel case of the corn-supply (see above, p. 34); enormous amounts
of capital were used unproductively, and the people were gradually
accustomed to believe that the State was responsible for their
enjoyment as well as their food. But we must be most careful not to
jump to the conclusion that this was due to any deliberate policy on
the part of the Roman government. They drifted into these dangerous
shoals in spite of the occasional efforts of intelligent steersmen;
and it would indeed have needed a higher political intelligence than
was then and there available, to have fully divined the direction of
the drift and the dangers ahead of them.

We must now turn in the last place to consider the nature of the
entertainments, and see whether there was any improving or educational
influence in them.

These had originally consisted entirely of shows of a military
character, as we have seen in the case of the Ludi Romani, and
especially of chariot-racing in the old Circus Maximus. The Romans
seem always to have been fond of horses and racing, though they
never developed a large or thoroughly efficient cavalry force. It
is probable that the position of the Circus Maximus in the vallis
Murcia[486] was due to horse-racing near the underground altar of
Consus, a harvest deity, and the oldest religious calendar has
Equirria (horse-races) on February 27 and March 14, no doubt in
connexion with the preparation of the cavalry for the coming season
of war. And in the very curious ancient rite known as "the October
horse," there was a two-horse chariot-race in the Campus Martius, when
the season of arms was over, and the near horse of the winning pair
was sacrificed to Mars[487]. The Ludi Romani consisted chiefly of
chariot-races until 364 B.C. (when plays were first introduced),
together with other military evolutions or exercises, such perhaps as
the ludus Troiae of the Roman boys, described by Virgil in the fifth
Aeneid. Of the Ludi Plebeii we do not know the original character, but
it is likely that these also began with _circenses_, the regular word
for chariot-races. The Ludi Cereales certainly included circenses, and
plays are only mentioned as forming part of their programme under the
Empire; but on the last day, April 19, there was a curious practice of
letting foxes loose in the Circus Maximus with burning firebrands tied
to their tails[488],--a custom undoubtedly ancient, which may have
suggested the _venationes_ (hunts) of later times, for one of which
Caelius wanted his panthers. Of the other three ludi, Apollinares,
Megalenses, and Florales, we only know that they included both
circenses and plays; we must take it as probable that the former were
in their programme from the first. There is no need to describe
here in detail the manner of the chariot-racing. We can picture to
ourselves the Circus Maximus filled with a dense crowd of some 150,000
people,[489] the senators in reserved places, and the consul or other
magistrate presiding; the chariots, usually four in number, painted at
this time either red or white, with their drivers in the same colours,
issuing from the carceres at the end of the circus next to the Forum
Boarium and the river, and at the signal racing round a course of
about 1600 yards, divided into two halves by a spina; at the farther
end of this the chariots had to turn sharply and always with a certain
amount of danger, which gave the race its chief interest. Seven
complete laps of this course constituted a missus or race,[490] and
the number of races in a day varied from time to time, according to
the season of the year and the equipment of the particular ludi. The
rivalry between factions and colours, which became so famous later
on and lasted throughout the period of the Empire, was only just
beginning in Cicero's time. We hear hardly anything of such excitement
in the literature of the period; we only know that there were already
two rival colours, white and red, and Pliny tells us the strange
story that one chariot-owner, a Caecina of Volaterrae, used to bring
swallows into the city smeared with his colour, which he let loose to
fly home and so bear the news of a victory.[491] Human nature in big
cities seems to demand some such artificial stimulus to excitement,
and without it the racing must have been monotonous; but of betting
and gambling we as yet hear nothing at all. Gradually, as vast sums
of money were laid out by capitalists and even by senators upon the
horses and drivers, the colour-factions increased in numbers, and
their rivalry came to occupy men's minds as completely as do now the
chances of football teams in our own manufacturing towns.[492]

Exhibitions of gladiators (_munera_) did not as yet take place at ludi
or on public festivals, but they may be mentioned here, because they
were already becoming the favourite amusement of the common people;
Cicero in the _pro Sestio_[493] speaks of them as "that kind of
spectacle to which all sorts of people crowd in the greatest
numbers, and in which the multitude takes the greatest delight."
The consequence was, of course, that candidates for election to
magistracies took every opportunity of giving them; and Cicero himself
in his consulship inserted a clause in his _lex de ambitu_ forbidding
candidates to give such exhibitions within two years of the
election.[494] They were given exclusively by private individuals up
to 105 B.C., either in the Forum or in one or other circus: in that
year there was an exhibition by the consuls, but there is some
evidence that it was intended to instruct the soldiers in the better
use of their weapons. This was a year in which the State was in sore
need of efficient soldiers; Marius was at the same time introducing a
new system of recruiting and of arming the soldier, and we are told
that the consul Rutilius made use of the best gladiators that were to
be found in the training-school (ludus) of a certain Scaurus, to teach
the men a more skilful use of their weapons.[495] If gladiators could
have been used only for a rational purpose like this, as skilful
swordsmen and military instructors, the State might well have
maintained some force of them. But as it was they remained in private
hands, and no limit could be put on the numbers so maintained. They
became a permanent menace to the peace of society, as has already been
mentioned in the chapter on slavery. Their frequent use in funeral
games is a somewhat loathsome feature of the age. These funeral games
were an old religious institution, occurring on the ninth day after
the burial, and known as Ludi Novemdiales; they are familiar to every
one from Virgil's skilful introduction of them, as a Roman equivalent
for the Homeric games, in the fifth Aeneid, on the anniversary of the
funeral of Anchises. Virgil has naturally omitted the gladiators; but
long before his time it had become common to use the opportunity of
the funeral of a relation to give munera for the purpose of gaining
popularity.[496] A good example is that of young Curio, who in 53 B.C.
ruined himself in this way. Cicero alludes to this in an interesting
letter to Curio.[497] "You may reach the highest honours," he says,
"more easily by your natural advantages of character, diligence, and
fortune, than by gladiatorial exhibitions. The power of giving them
stirs no feeling of admiration in any one: it is a question of means
and not of character: and there is no one who is not by this time
sick and tired of them." To Cicero's refined mind they were naturally
repugnant; but young men like Curio, though they loved Cicero, were
not wont to follow his wholesome advice.[498]

We turn now to the dramatic element in the ludi, chiefly with the
object of determining whether, in the age of Cicero, it was of any
real importance in the social life of the Roman people. The Roman
stage had had a great history before the last century B.C., into which
it is not necessary here to enter. It had always been possible without
difficulty for those who were responsible for the ludi to put on
the stage a tragedy or comedy either written for the occasion or
reproduced, with competent actors and the necessary music; and there
seems to be no doubt that both tragedies and comedies, whether adapted
from the Greek (fabulae palliatae) or of a national character (fab.
togatae), were enjoyed by the audiences. In the days of the Punic wars
and afterwards, when everything Greek was popular, a Roman audience
could appreciate stories of the Greek mythology, as presented in the
tragedies of Ennius, Pacuvius, and Accius, if without learning to read
in them the great problems of human life, at least as spectacles of
the vicissitudes of human fortune; and had occasionally listened to a
tragedy, or perhaps father a dramatic history, based on some familiar
legend of their own State. And the conditions of social life in Rome
and Athens were not so different but that in the hands of a real
genius like Plautus the New Athenian comedy could come home to the
Roman people, with their delight in rather rough fun and comical
situations: and Plautus was followed by Caecilius and the more refined
Terence, before the national comedy of Afranius and others established
itself in the place of the Greek. It is hardly possible to avoid the
conclusion that in those early days of the Roman theatre the audiences
were really intelligent, and capable of learning something from the
pieces they listened to, apart from their natural love of a show, of
all acting, and of music.[499]

But before the age with which this book deals, the long succession
of great dramatic writers had come to an end. Accius, the nephew of
Pacuvius, had died as a very old man when Cicero was a boy;[500] and
in the national comedy no one had been found to follow Afranius. The
times were disturbed, the population was restless, and continually
incorporating heterogeneous elements: much amusement could be found in
the life of the Forum, and in rioting and disorder; gladiatorial shows
were organised on a large scale. To sit still and watch a good play
would become more tiresome as the plebs grew more restless, and
probably even the taste of the better educated was degenerating as
the natural result of luxury and idleness. Politics and political
personages were the really exciting features of the time, and there
are signs that audiences took advantage of the plays to express their
approval or dislike of a statesman. In a letter to Atticus, written
in the summer of 59,[501] the first year of the triumvirate, Cicero
describes with enthusiasm how at the Ludi Apollinares the actor
Diphilus made an allusion to Pompey in the words (from an unknown
tragedy then being acted), "Nostra miseria tu es--Magnus," and was
forced to repeat them many times. When he delivered the line

  "Eandem virtutem istam veniet tempus cum graviter gemes,"

the whole theatre broke out into frantic applause. So too in a
well-known passage of the speech _pro Sestio_ he tells from hearsay
how the great tragic actor Aesopus, acting in the Eurysaces of Accius,
was again and again interrupted by applause as he cleverly adapted the
words to the expected recall from exile of the orator, his personal
friend.[502] The famous words "Summum amicum, summo in bello, summo
ingenio praeditum," were among those which the modest Cicero tells us
were taken up by the people with enthusiasm,--greatly, without doubt,
to the detriment of the play. The whole passage is one of great
graphic power, and only fails to rouse us too to enthusiasm when we
reflect that Cicero was not himself present.

From this and other passages we have abundant evidence that tragedies
were still acted; but Cicero nowhere in his correspondence, where we
might naturally have expected to find it, nor in his philosophical
works, gives us any idea of their educational or aesthetic influence
either on himself or others. He is constantly quoting the old plays,
especially the tragedies, and knows them very well: but he quotes them
almost invariably as literature only. Once or twice, as we shall see,
he recalls the gesture or utterance of a great actor, but as a rule he
is thinking of them as poetry rather than as plays. It may be noted
in this connexion that it was now becoming the fashion to write plays
without any immediate intention of bringing them on the stage. We read
with astonishment in a letter of Cicero to his brother Quintus, then
in Gaul, that the latter had taken to play-writing, and accomplished
four tragedies in sixteen days, and this apparently in the course of
the campaign.[503] One, the _Erigona_, was sent to his brother from
Britain, and lost on the way. We hear no more of these plays, and
have no reason to suppose that they were worthy to survive. No man of
literary eminence in that day wrote plays for acting, and in fact the
only person of note, so far as we know, who did so, was the younger
Cornelius Balbus, son of the intimate friend and secretary of Caesar.
This man wrote one in Latin about his journey to his native town
of Gades, had it put on the stage there, and shed tears during its

When we hear of plays being written without being acted, and of
tragedies being made the occasion of expressing political opinions,
we may be pretty sure that the drama is in its nonage. An interesting
proof of the same tendency is to be found in the first book of the
_Ars Amatoria_ of Ovid, though it belongs to the age of Augustus. In
this book Ovid describes the various resorts in the city where the
youth may look out for his girl; and when he comes to the theatre,
draws a pretty picture of the ladies of taste and fashion crowding

  Spectatum veniunt: veniunt spectentur ut ipsae.

And then, without a word about the play, or the smallest hint that he
or the ladies really cared about such things, he goes off into the
familiar story of the rape of the Sabine women, supposed to have taken
place when Romulus was holding his ludi.

It is curious, in view of what thus seems to be a flagging interest
in the drama as such, to find that the most remarkable event in the
theatrical history of this time is the building of the first permanent
stone theatre. During the whole long period of the popularity of
the drama the government had never consented to the erection of a
permanent theatre after the Greek fashion; though it was impossible to
prohibit the production of plays adapted from the Greek, there seems
to have been some strange scruple felt about giving Rome this outward
token of a Greek city. Temporary stages were erected in the Forum
or the circus, the audience at first standing, but afterwards
accommodated with seats in a _cavea_ of wood erected for the occasion.
The whole show, including play, actors, and pipe-players[505] to
accompany the voices where necessary, was contracted for, like all
such undertakings,[506] on each occasion of Ludi scaenici being
produced. At last, in the year 154 B.C., the censors had actually
set about the building of a theatre, apparently of stone, when the
reactionary Scipio Nasica, acting under the influence of a temporary
anti-Greek movement, persuaded the senate to put a stop to this
symptom of degeneracy, and to pass a decree that no seats were in
future to be provided, "ut scilicet remissioni animorum standi
virilitas propria Romanae gentis iuncta esset."[507] Whether this
extraordinary decree, of which the legality might have been questioned
a generation later, had any permanent effect, we do not know;
certainly the senators, and after the time of Gaius Gracchus the
equites, sat on seats appropriated to them. But Rome continued to
be without a stone theatre until Pompey, in the year of his second
consulship, 55 B.C., built one on a grand scale, capable of holding
40,000 people. Even he, we are told, could not accomplish this without
some criticism from the old and old-fashioned,--so lasting was the
prejudice against anything that might seem to be turning Rome into a
Greek city.[508] There was a story too, of which it is difficult to
make out the real origin, that he was compelled by popular feeling
to conceal his design by building, immediately behind the theatre, a
temple of Venus Victrix, the steps of which were in some way connected
with his auditorium.[509] The theatre was placed in the Campus
Martius, and its shape is fairly well known to us from fragments of
the Capitoline plan of the city;[510] adjoining it Pompey also built
a magnificent _porticus_ for the convenience of the audience, and
a _curia_, in which the senate could meet, and where, eleven years
later, the great Dictator was murdered at the feet of Pompey's statue.

In spite of the magnificence of this building, it was by no means
destined to revive the earlier prosperity of the tragic and comic
drama. Even at the opening of it the signs of degeneracy are apparent.
Luckily for us Cicero was in Rome at the time, and in a letter to a
friend in the country he congratulates him on being too unwell to come
to Rome and see the spoiling of old tragedies by over-display.[511]
"The ludi," he says, "had not even that charm which games on a
moderate scale generally have; the spectacle was so elaborate as to
leave no room for cheerful enjoyment, and I think you need feel no
regret at having missed it. What is the pleasure of a train of six
hundred mules in the Clytemnestra (of Accius), or three thousand bowls
(craterae) in the Trojan Horse (of Livius), or gay-coloured armour of
infantry and cavalry in some mimic battle? These things roused the
admiration of the vulgar: to you they would have brought no delight."
This ostentatious stage-display finds its counterpart to some extent
at the present day, and may remind us also of the huge orchestras of
blaring sound which are the delight of the modern composer and the
modern musical audience. And the plays were by no means the only part
of the show. There were displays of athletes; but these never seem to
have greatly interested a Roman audience, and Cicero says that Pompey
confessed that they were a failure; but to make up for that there were
wild-beast shows for five whole days (_venationes_)--"magnificent,"
the letter goes on, "no one denies it, yet what pleasure can it be
to a man of refinement, when a weak man is torn by a very powerful
animal, or a splendid animal is transfixed by a hunting-spear? ... The
last day was that of the elephants, about which there was a good deal
of astonishment on the part of the vulgar crowd, but no pleasure
whatever. Nay, there was even a feeling of compassion aroused by
them, and a notion that this animal has something in common with
mankind."[512] This last interesting sentence is confirmed by a
passage in Pliny's _Natural History_, in which he asserts that the
people were so much moved that they actually execrated Pompey.[513]
The last age of the Republic is a transitional one, in this, as in
other ways; the people are not yet thoroughly inured to bloodshed
and cruelty to animals, as they afterwards became when deprived of
political excitements, and left with nothing violent to amuse them but
the displays of the amphitheatre.

Earlier in this same letter Cicero had told his friend Marius that on
this occasion certain old actors had re-appeared on the stage, who,
as he thought, had left it for good. The only one he mentions is the
great tragic actor Aesopus, who "was in such a state that no one could
say a word against his retiring from the profession." At one important
point his voice failed him. This may conveniently remind us that
Aesopus was the last of the great actors of tragedy, and that his best
days were in the early half of this century--another sign of the decay
of the legitimate drama. He was an intimate friend of Cicero, and from
a few references to him in the Ciceronian writings we can form some
idea of his genius. In one passage Cicero writes of having seen him
looking so wild and gesticulating so excitedly, that he seemed almost
to have lost command of himself.[514] In the description, already
quoted from the speech _pro Sestio_, of the scene in the theatre
before his recall from exile, he speaks of this "summus artifex" as
delivering his allusions to the exile with infinite force and passion.
Yet the later tradition of his acting was rather that he was serious
and self-restrained; Horace calls him _gravis_, and Quintilian too
speaks of his _gravitas_.[515] Probably, like Garrick, he was capable
of a great variety of moods and parts. How carefully he studied the
varieties of gesticulation is indicated by a curious story preserved
by Valerius Maximus, that he and Roscius the great comedian used to
go and sit in the courts in order to observe the action of the orator

Roscius too was an early intimate friend of Cicero, who, like Caesar,
seems to have valued the friendship of all men of genius, without
regard to their origin or profession. Roscius seems to have been a
freedman;[517] his great days were in Cicero's early life, and he died
in 61 B.C., to the deep grief of all his friends.[518] So wonderfully
finished was his acting that it became a common practice to call any
one a Roscius whose work was more than usually perfect. He never could
find a pupil of whom he could entirely approve; many had good points,
but if there were a single blot, the master could not bear it.[519]
In the _de Oratore_ Cicero tells us several interesting things about
him,--how he laid the proper emphasis on the right words, reserving
his gesticulation until he came to them; and how he was never so much
admired when acting with a mask on, because the expression of his face
was so full of meaning[520].

In Cicero's later years, when Roscius was dead and Aesopus retired, we
hear no more of great actors of this type. With these two remarkable
men the great days of the Roman drama come to an end, and henceforward
the favourite plays are merely farces, of which a word must here be
said in the last place.

The origin of these farces, as indeed of all kinds of Latin comedy,
and probably also of the literary satura, is to be found in the jokes
and rude fun of the country festivals, and especially perhaps, as
Horace tells us of the harvest amusements[521]:

  Fescennina per hunc inventa licentia morem
  Versibus alternis opprobria rustica fudit,
  Libertasque recurrentis accepta per annos
  Lusit amabiliter, etc.

  _Epist_. ii. 1. 145 foll.

These amusements were always accompanied with the music and dancing
so dear to the Italian peoples, and it is easy to divine how they may
have gradually developed into plays of a rude but tolerably fixed
type, with improvised dialogue, acted in the streets, or later in the
intervals between acts at the theatre, and eventually as afterpieces,
more after our own fashion.

In Cicero's day two kinds of farces were in vogue. In his earlier life
the so-called Atellan plays (fabulae Atellanae) were the favourites:
these were of indigenous Latin origin, and probably took their name
from the ruined town Atella, which might provide a permanent scenery
as the background of the plays without offending the jealousy of any
of the other Latin cities.[522] They were doubtless very comic, but it
was possible to get tired of them, for the number of stock
characters was limited, and the masks were always the same for each
character--the old man Pappus, the glutton Bucco, Dossennus the
sharper, etc. About the time of Sulla the _mimes_ seem to have
displaced these old farces in popular favour, perhaps because their
fun was more varied; the mere fact that the actors did not wear masks
shows that the improvisation could be freer and less stereotyped. But
both kinds were alike coarse, and may be called the comedy of low life
in country towns and in the great city. Sulla's tastes seem to have
been low in the matter of plays, if we may trust Plutarch, who asserts
that when he was young he spent much of his time among _mimi_ and
jesters, and that when he was dictator he "daily got together from the
theatre the lewdest persons, with whom he would drink and enter into a
contest of coarse witticisms."[523] This may be due to the evidence of
an enemy, but it is not improbable; and it is possible that both Sulla
and Caesar, who also patronised the mimes, may have wished to avoid
the personal allusions which, as we have seen, were so often made or
imagined in the exhibition of tragedies, and have aimed at confining
the plays to such as would give less opportunity for unwelcome

About the year 50 B.C., as we have seen in the chapter on education,
there came to Italy the Syrian Publilius, who began to write mimes in
verse, thus for the first time giving them a literary turn. Caesar,
always on the look-out for talent, summoned him to Rome, and awarded
him the palm for his plays.[525] These must have been, as regards wit
and style, of a much higher order than any previous mimes, and in fact
not far removed from the older Roman comedy (fabula togata) in manner.
Cicero alludes to them twice: and writing to Cornificius from Rome in
October 45 he says that at Caesar's ludi he listened to the poems of
Publilius and Laberius with a well-pleased mind.[526] "Nihil mihi
tamen deesse scito quam quicum haec familiariter docteque rideam";
here the word _docte_ seems to suggest that the performance was at
least worthy of the attention of a cultivated man. Laberius, also
a Roman knight, wrote mimes at the same time as Publilius, and was
beaten by him in competition; of him it is told that he was induced by
Caesar to act in his own mime, and revenged himself for the insult, as
it was then felt to be by a Roman of good birth, in a prologue which
has come down to us.[527] We may suppose that his plays were of the
same type as those of Publilius, and interspersed with those wise
sayings, _sententiae_, which the Roman people were still capable of
appreciating. Even in the time of Seneca applause was given to any
words which the audience felt at once to be true and to hit the

Thus the mime was lifted from the level of the lowest farcical
improvisation to a recognised position in literature, and quite
incidentally became useful in education. But the coarseness remained;
the dancing was grotesque and the fun ribald, and, as Professor Purser
says, the plots nearly always involved "some incident of an amorous
nature in which ordinary morality was set at defiance." The Roman
audience of the early Empire enjoyed these things, and all sorts
of dancing, singing, and instrumental music, and above all the
_pantomimus_,[529] in which the actor only gesticulated, without
speaking; this and the fact that the real drama never again had a fair
chance is one of the many signs that the city population was losing
both virility and intelligence.



It is easy to write the word "religion" at the head of this chapter,
but by no means easy to find anything in this materialistic period
which answers to our use of the word. In the whole mass, for example,
of the Ciceronian correspondence, there is hardly anything to show
that Cicero and his friends, and therefore, as we may presume, the
average educated man of the day, were affected in their thinking or
their conduct by any sense of dependence on, or responsibility to, a
Supreme Being. If, however, it had been possible to substitute for
the English word the Latin _religio_ it would have made a far more
appropriate title to this chapter, for _religio_ meant primarily awe,
nervousness, scruple--much the same in fact as that feeling which in
these days we call superstition; and secondarily the means taken,
under the authority of the State, to quiet such feelings by the
performance of rites meant to propitiate the gods.[530] In both of
these senses _religio_ is to be found in the last age of the Republic;
but, as we shall see, the tendency to superstitious nervousness was
very imperfectly allayed and the worship that should have allayed it
was in great measure neglected.

It may be, indeed, that in quiet country districts the joyous rural
festivals went on--we have many allusions and a few descriptions of
them in the literature of the Augustan period,--and also the worship
of the household deities, in which there perhaps survived a feeling of
_pietas_ more nearly akin to what we call religious feeling than in
any of the cults (_sacra publica_) undertaken by the State for the
people. Even in the city the cult of the dead, or what may perhaps be
better called the religious attention paid to their resting-places,
and the religious ceremonies attending birth, puberty, and marriage,
were kept up as matters of form and custom among the upper and
wealthier classes. But the great mass of the population of Rome, we
may be almost sure, knew nothing of these rites; the poor man, for
example, could no more afford a tomb for himself than a house, and his
body was thrown into some _puticulus_ or common burying-place,[531]
where it was impossible that any yearly ceremonies could be performed
to his memory, even if any one cared to do so. And among the higher
strata of society, outside of these _sacra privata_, carelessness
and negligence of the old State cults were steadily on the increase.
Neither Cicero nor any of his contemporaries but Varro has anything
to tell us of their details, and the decay had gone so far that Varro
himself knew little or nothing about many of the deities of the old
religious calendar,[532] or of the ways in which they had at one
time been worshipped. Vesta, with her simple cult and her virgin
priestesses, was almost the only deity who was not either forgotten
or metamorphosed in one way or another under the influence of Greek
literature and mythology; Vesta was too well recognised as a symbol
of the State's vitality to be subject to neglect like other and less
significant cults. The old sacrificing priesthoods, such as the
Fratres Arvales and the lesser Flamines, seem not to have been filled
up by the pontifices whose duty it was to do so: and the Flamen
Dialis, the priest of Jupiter himself, is not heard of from 89 to
11 B.C., when he appears again as a part of the Augustan religious
restoration. The explanation is probably that these offices could not
be held together with any secular one which might take the holder
away from Rome; and as every man of good family had business in the
provinces, no qualified person could be found willing to put himself
under the restriction. The temples too seem to have been sadly
neglected; Augustus tells us himself[533] that he had to restore no
less than eighty-two; and from Cicero we actually hear of thefts
of statues and other temple property[534]--sacrileges which may be
attributed to the general demoralisation caused by the Social and
Civil Wars. At the same time there seems to have been a strong
tendency to go after strange gods, with whose worship Roman soldiers
had made acquaintance in the course of their numerous eastern
campaigns. It is a remarkable fact that no less than four times in a
single decade the worship of Isis had to be suppressed,--in 58, 53,
50, and 48 B.C. In the year 50 we are told that the consul Aemilius
Paullus, a conservative of the old type, actually threw off his toga
praetexta and took an axe to begin destroying the temple, because no
workmen could be found to venture on the work.[535] These are indeed
strange times; the beautiful religion of Isis, which assuredly had
some power to purify a man and strengthen his conscience,[536] was to
be driven out of a city where the old local religion had never had any
such power, and where the masses were now left without a particle of
aid or comfort from any religious source. The story seems to ring
true, and gives us a most valuable glimpse into the mental condition
of the Roman workman of the time.

Of such foreign worships, and of the general neglect of the old cults,
Cicero tells us nothing; we have to learn or to guess at these facts
from evidence supplied by later writers. His interest in religious
practice was confined to ceremonies which had some political
importance. He was himself an augur, and was much pleased with his
election to that ancient college; but, like most other augurs of
the time, he knew nothing of augural "science," and only cared to
speculate philosophically on the question whether it is possible to
foretell the future. He looked upon the right of the magistrate to
"observe the heaven" as a part of an excellent constitution,[537]
and could not forgive Caesar for refusing in 59 B.C. to have his
legislation paralysed by the fanatical declarations of his colleague
that he was going to "look for lightning." He firmly believed in
the value of the _ius divinum_ of the State. In his treatise on the
constitution (_de Legibus_) he devotes a whole book to this religious
side of constitutional law, and gives a sketch of it in quasi-legal
language from which it appears that he entirely accepted the duty of
the State to keep the citizen in right relation to the gods, on whose
good-will his welfare depended. He seems never to have noticed that the
State was neglecting this duty, and that, as we saw just now, temples
and cults were falling into decay, strange forms of religion pressing
in. Such things did not interest him; in public life the State
religion was to him a piece of the constitution, to be maintained
where it was clearly essential; in his own study it was a matter of
philosophical discussion. In his young days he was intimate with the
famous Pontifex Maximus, Mucius Scaevola, who held that there were
three religions,--that of the poets, that of the philosophers, and
that of the statesman, of which the last must be accepted and
acted on, whether it be true or not.[538] Cicero could hardly have
complained if this saying had been attributed to himself.

This attitude of mind, the combination of perfect freedom of thought
with full recognition of the legal obligations of the State and its
citizens in matters of religion, is not difficult for any one to
understand who is acquainted with the nature of the ius divinum and
the priesthood administering it. That ius divinum was a part of the
ius civile, the law of the Roman city-state; as the ius civile,
exclusive of the ius divinum, regulated the relations of citizen to
citizen, so did the ius divinum regulate the relations of the citizen
to the deities of the community. The priesthoods administering this
law consisted not of sacrificing priests, attached to the cult of a
particular god and temple, but of lay officials in charge of that part
of the law of the State; it was no concern of theirs (so indeed they
might quite well argue) whether the gods really existed or not,
provided the law were maintained. When in 61 B.C. Clodius was caught
in disguise at the women's festival of the Bona Dea, the pontifices
declared the act to be _nefas_,--crime against the ius divinum; but
we may doubt whether any of those pontifices really believed in the
existence of such a deity. The idea of the _mos maiorum_ was still so
strong in the mind of every true Roman, his conservative instincts
were so powerful, that long after all real life had left the divine
inhabitants of his city, so that they survived only as the dead stalks
of plants that had once been green and flourishing, he was quite
capable of being horrified at any open contempt of them. And he was
right, as Augustus afterwards saw clearly; for the masses, who had
no share in the education described in the sixth chapter, who
knew nothing of Greek literature or philosophy, and were full
of superstitious fancies, were already losing confidence in the
authorities set over them, and in their power to secure the good-will
of the gods and their favour in matters of material well-being.
This is the only way in which we can satisfactorily account for the
systematic efforts of Augustus to renovate the old religious rites and
priesthoods, and we can fairly argue back from it to the tendencies of
the generation immediately before him. He knew that the proletariate
of Rome and Italy still believed, as their ancestors had always
believed, that state and individual would alike suffer unless the gods
were properly propitiated; and that in order to keep them quiet and
comfortable the sense of duty to the gods must be kept alive even
among those who had long ceased to believe in them. It was fortunate
indeed for Augustus that he found in the great poet of Mantua one who
was in some sense a prophet as well as a poet, who could urge the
Roman by an imaginative example to return to a living pietas,--not
merely to the old religious forms, but to the intelligent sense of
duty to God and man which had built up his character and his empire.
In Cicero's day there was also a great poet, he too in some sense a
prophet; but Lucretius could only appeal to the Roman to shake off the
slough of his old religion, and such an appeal was at the time both
futile and dangerous. Looking at the matter historically, and not
theologically, we ought to sympathise with the attitude of Cicero
and Scaevola towards the religion of the State. It was based on a
statesmanlike instinct; and had it been possible for that instinct to
express itself practically in a positive policy like that of Augustus,
instead of showing itself in philosophical treatises like the _de
Legibus_, or on occasional moments of danger like that of the Bona Dea
sacrilege, it is quite possible that much mischief might have
been averted. But in that generation no one had the shrewdness or
experience of Augustus, and no one but Julius had the necessary free
hand; and we may be almost sure that Julius, Pontifex Maximus though
he was, was entirely unfitted by nature and experience to undertake
a work that called for such delicate handling, such insight into the
working of the ignorant Italian mind.

This attitude of inconsistency and compromise must seem to a modern
unsatisfactory and strained, and he turns with relief to the
courageous outspokenness of the great poem of Lucretius on the Nature
of Things, of which the main object was to persuade the Romans to
renounce for good all the mass of superstition, in which he included
the religion of the State, by which their minds were kept in a prison
of darkness, terror, and ignorance. Lucretius took no part whatever in
public life; he could afford to be in earnest; he felt no shadow of
responsibility for the welfare of the State as such. The Epicurean
tenets which he held so passionately had always ranked the individual
before the community, and suggested a life of individual quietism;
Lucretius in his study could contemplate the "rerum natura" without
troubling himself about the "natura hominum" as it existed in the
Italy of his day. "Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,"--so
wrote of him his great successor and admirer, yet added, with a tinge
of pathos which touches us even now, "Fortunatus et ille deos qui
novit agrestes." Even at the present day an uncompromising unbeliever
may be touched by the simple worship, half pagan though it may seem to
him, of a village in the Apennines; but in the eyes of Lucretius all
worship seemed prompted by fear and based on ignorance of natural law.
Virgil's tender and sympathetic soul went out to the peasant as he
prayed to his gods for plenty or prosperity, as it went out to all
living creatures in trouble or in joy.

But it is nevertheless true that Lucretius was a great religious poet.
He was a prophet, in deadly earnest, calling men to renounce their
errors both of thought and conduct. He saw around him a world full of
wickedness and folly; a world of vanity, vexation, fear, ambition,
cruelty, and lust. He saw men fearing death and fearing the gods;
overvaluing life, yet weary of it; unable to use it well, because
steeped in ignorance of the wonderful working of Nature.[539] He saw
them, as we have already seen them, the helpless victims of ambition
and avarice, ever, like Sisyphus, rolling the stone uphill and never
reaching the summit.[540] Of cruelty and bloodshed in civil strife
that age had seen enough, and on this too the poet dwells with bitter
emphasis;[541] on the unwholesome luxury and restlessness of the
upper classes,[542] and on their unrestrained indulgence of bodily
appetites. In his magnificent scorn he probably exaggerated the evils
of his day, yet we have seen enough in previous chapters to suggest
that he was not a mere pessimist; there is no trace in his poem of
cynicism, or of a soured temperament. We may be certain that he was
absolutely convinced of the truth of all he wrote.

So far Lucretius may be called a religious poet, in that with profound
conviction and passionate utterance he denounced the wickedness of
his age, and, like the Hebrew prophets, called on mankind to put away
their false gods and degrading superstitions, and learn the true
secret of guidance in this life. It is only when we come to ask what
that secret was, that we feel that this extraordinary man knew far too
little of ordinary human nature to be either a religious reformer
or an effective prophet: as Sellar has said of him,[543] he had no
sympathy with human activity. His secret, the remedy for all the
world's evil and misery, was only a philosophical creed, which he had
learnt from Epicurus and Democritus. His profound belief in it is one
of the most singular facts in literary history; no man ever put such
poetic passion into a dogma, and no such imperious dogma was ever
built upon a scientific theory of the universe. He seems to have
combined two Italian types of character, which never have been united
before or since,--that of the ecclesiastic, earnest and dogmatic,
seeing human nature from a doctrinal platform, not working and
thinking with it; and secondly the poetic type, of which Dante is the
noblest example, perfectly clear and definite in inward and outward
vision, and illuminating all that it touches with an indescribable
glow of pure poetic imagination.

Lucretius' secret then is knowledge,[544]--not the dilettanteism of
the day, but real scientific knowledge of a single philosophical
attempt to explain the universe,--the atomic theory of the Epicurean
school. Democritus and Epicurus are the only saviours,--of this
Lucretius never had the shadow of a doubt. As the result of this
knowledge, the whole supernatural and spiritual world of fancy
vanishes, together with all futile hopes or fears of a future life.
The gods, if they exist, will cease to be of any importance to
mankind, as having no interest in him, and doing him neither good nor
harm. Chimaeras, portents, ghosts, death, and all that frightens the
ignorant and paralyses their energies, will vanish in the pure light
of this knowledge; man will have nothing to be afraid of but himself.
Nor indeed need he fear himself when he has mastered "the truth." By
that time, as the scales of fear fall from his eyes, his moral balance
will be recovered; the blind man will see. What will he see? What is
the moral standard that will become clear to him, the sanction of
right living that will grip his conscience?

It is simply the conviction that as this life is all we have in past,
present, or future, it _must be used well_. After all then, Lucretius
is reduced to ordinary moral suasion, and finds no new power or
sanction that could keep erring human nature in the right path. And
we must sadly allow that no real moral end is enunciated by him;
his ideal seems to be quietism in this life, and annihilation
afterwards.[545] It is a purely self-regarding rule of life. It is not
even a social creed; neither family nor State seems to have any part
in it, much less the unfortunate in this life, the poor, and the
suffering. The poet never mentions slavery, or the crowded populations
of great cities. It might almost be called a creed of fatalism, in
which Natura plays much the same part as Fortuna did in the creed of
many less noble spirits of that age.[546] Nature fights on; we cannot
resist her, and cannot improve on her; it is better to acquiesce and
obey than to try and rule her.

Thus Lucretius' remedy fails utterly; it is that of an aristocratic
intellect, not of a saviour of mankind.[547] So far as we know, it was
entirely fruitless; like the constitution of Sulla his contemporary,
the doctrine of Lucretius roused no sense of loyalty in Roman or
Italian, because it was constructed with imperfect knowledge of the
Roman and Italian nature. But it was a noble effort of a noble mind;
and, apart from its literary greatness, it has incidentally a lasting
value for all students of religious history, as showing better than
anything else that has survived from that age the need of a real
consecration of morality by the life and example of a Divine man.

Thus while the Roman statesman found it necessary to maintain the ius
divinum without troubling himself to attempt to put any new life into
the details of the worship it prescribed, content to let much of it
sink into oblivion as no longer essential to the good government of
the State, the greatest poetical genius of the age was proclaiming in
trumpet tones that if a man would make good use of his life he must
abandon absolutely and without a scruple the old religious ideas of
the Graeco-Roman world. But there was another school of thought which
had long been occupied with these difficulties, and had reached
conclusions far better suited than the dogmatism of Lucretius to the
conservative character of the Roman mind, for it found a place for
the deities of the State, and therefore for the ius divinum, in a
philosophical system already widely accepted by educated men. This
school may be described as Stoic, though its theology was often
accepted by men who did not actually call themselves Stoics; for
example, by Cicero himself, who, as an adherent of the New Academy,
the school which repudiated dogmatism and occupied itself with
dialectic and criticism, was perfectly entitled to adopt the tenets
of other schools if he thought them the most convincing. Its most
elaborate exponent in this period was Varro, and behind both Varro and
Cicero there stands the great figure of the Rhodian Posidonius[548],
of whose writings hardly anything has come down to us. It is worth
while to trace briefly the history of this school at Rome, for it is
in itself extremely interesting, as an attempt to reconcile the old
theology--if the term may be used--with philosophical thought, and it
probably had an appreciable influence on the later quasi-religious
Stoicism of the Empire.

We must go back for a moment to the period succeeding the war with
Hannibal. The awful experience of that war had done much to discredit
the old Roman religious system, which had been found insufficient of
itself to preserve the State. The people, excited and despairing,
had been quieted by what may be called new religious prescriptions,
innumerable examples of which are to be found in Livy's books.
The Sibylline books were constantly consulted, and _lectisternia,
supplicationes, ludi_, in which Greek deities were prominent, were
ordered and carried out. Finally, in 204 B.C., there was brought to
Rome the sacred stone of the Magna Mater Idaea, the great deity of
Pessinus in Phrygia, and a festival was established in her honour,
called by the Greek name Megalesia. All this means, as can be seen
clearly from Livy's language,[549] that the governing classes were
trying to quiet the minds of the people by convincing them that no
effort was being spared to set right their relations with the unseen
powers; they had invoked in vain their own local and native deities,
and had been compelled to seek help elsewhere; they had found their
own narrow system of religion quite inadequate to express their
religious experience of the last twenty years. And indeed that old
system of religion never really recovered from the discredit thus cast
on it. The temper of the people is well shown by the rapidity with
which the orgiastic worship of the Greek Dionysus spread over Italy a
few years later; and the fact that it was allowed to remain, though
under strict supervision, shows that the State religion no longer had
the power to satisfy the cravings of the masses. And the educated
class too was rapidly coming under the influence of Greek thought,
which could hardly act otherwise than as a solvent of the old
religious ideas. Ennius, the great literary figure of this period,
was the first to strike a direct blow at the popular belief in the
efficacy of prayer and sacrifice, by openly declaring that the gods
did not interest themselves in mankind,[550]--the same Epicurean
doctrine preached afterwards by Lucretius. It may indeed be doubted
whether this doctrine became popular, or acceptable even to the
cultured classes; but the fact remains that the same man who did
more than any one before Virgil to glorify the Roman character and
dominion, was the first to impugn the belief that Rome owed her
greatness to her divine inhabitants.

But in the next generation there arrived in Rome a man whose teaching
had so great an influence on the best type of educated Roman that, as
we have already said, he may almost be regarded as a missionary.[551]
We do not know for certain whether Panaetius wrote or taught about the
nature or existence of the gods; but we do know that he discussed the
question of divination[552] in a work [Greek: Peri pronoias], where he
could hardly have avoided the subject. In any case the Stoic doctrines
which he held, themselves ultimately derived from Plato and the Old
Academy, were found capable in the hands of his great successor
Posidonius of Rhodes of supplying a philosophical basis for the
activity as well as the existence of the gods. These men, it must
be repeated, were not merely professed philosophers, but men of the
world, travellers, writing on a great variety of subjects; they were
profoundly interested, like Polybius, in the Roman character and
government; they became intimate with the finer Roman minds, from
Scipio the younger to Cicero and Varro, and seem to have seen clearly
that the old rigid Stoicism must be widened and humanised, and its
ethical and theological aspects modified, if it were to gain a real
hold on the practical Roman understanding. We have already seen[553]
how their modified Stoic ethics acted for good on the best Romans
of our period. In theology also they left a permanent mark on Roman
thought; Posidonius wrote a work on the gods, which formed the basis
of the speculative part of Varro's _Antiquitates divinae_, and almost
certainly also of the second book of Cicero's de _Natura Deorum_[554].
Other philosophers of the period, even if not professed Stoics, may
have discussed the same subjects in their lectures and writings,
arriving at conclusions of the same kind.

It is chiefly from the fragments of Varro's work that we learn
something of the Stoic attempt to harmonise the old religious beliefs
with philosophic theories of the universe[555]. Varro, following his
teacher, held the Stoic doctrine of the _animus mundi_ the Divine
principle permeating all material things which, in combination with
them, constitutes the universe, and is Nature, Reason, God, Destiny,
or whatever name the philosopher might choose to give it. The universe
is divine, the various parts of it are, therefore, also divine, in
virtue of this informing principle. Now in the sixteenth book of his
great work Varro co-ordinated this Stoic theory with the Graeco-Roman
religion of the State as it existed in his time. The chief gods
represented the _partes mundi_ in various ways; even the difference
of sex among the deities was explained by regarding male gods as
emanating from the heaven and female ones from the earth, according
to a familiar ancient idea of the active and passive principle in
generation. The Stoic doctrine of [Greek: daimones] was also utilised
to find an explanation for semi-deities, lares, genii, etc., and thus
another character of the old Italian religious mind was to be saved
from contempt and oblivion. The old Italian tendency to see the
supernatural manifesting itself in many different ways expressed by
adjectival titles, e.g. Mars Silvanus, Jupiter Elicius, Juno Lucina,
etc., also found an explanation in Varro's doctrine; for the divine
element existing in sky, earth, sea, or other parts of the _mundus_,
and manifesting itself in many different forms of activity, might
be thus made obvious to the ordinary human intellect without the
interposition of philosophical terms.

At the head of the whole system was Jupiter, the greatest of Roman
gods, whose title of Optimus Maximus might well have suggested that no
other deity could occupy this place. Without him it would have been
practically impossible for Varro to carry out his difficult and
perilous task. Every Roman recognised in Jupiter the god who
condescended to dwell on the Capitol in a temple made with hands, and
who, beyond all other gods, watched over the destinies of the Roman
State; every Roman also knew that Jupiter was the great god of the
heaven above him, for in many expressions of his ordinary speech he
used the god's name as a synonym for the open sky.[556] The position
now accorded to the heaven-god in the new Stoic system is so curious
and interesting that we must dwell on it for a moment.

Varro held, or at any rate taught, that Jupiter was himself that soul
of the world (animus mundi) which fills and moves the whole material
universe.[557] He is the one universal causal agent,[558] from whom
all the forces of nature are derived;[559] or he may be called, in
language which would be intelligible to the ordinary Roman, the
universal Genius.[560] Further, he is himself all the other gods and
goddesses, who may be described as parts, or powers, or virtues,
existing in him.[561] And Varro makes it plain that he wishes to
identify this great god of gods with the Jupiter at Rome, whose temple
was on the Capitol; St. Augustine quotes him as holding that the
Romans had dedicated the Capitol to Jupiter, who by his spirit
breathes life into everything in the universe:[562] or in less
philosophical language, "The Romans wish to recognise Jupiter as king
of gods and men, and this is shown by his sceptre and his seat on the
Capitol." Thus the god who dwelt on the Capitol, and in the temple
which was the centre-point of the Roman Empire, was also the
life-giving ruler and centre of the whole universe. Nay, he goes one
step further, and identifies him with the one God of the monotheistic
peoples of the East, and in particular with the God of the Jews.[563]

Thus Varro had arrived, with the help of Posidonius and the Stoics, at
a monotheistic view of the Deity, which is at the same time a kind of
pantheism, and yet, strange to say, is able to accommodate itself to
the polytheism of the Graeco-Roman world. But without Jupiter, god of
the heaven both for Greeks and Romans, and now too in the eyes of both
peoples the god who watched over the destiny of the Roman Empire, this
wonderful feat could not have been performed. The identification of
the heaven-god with the animus mundi of the Stoics was not indeed a
new idea; it may be traced up Stoic channels even to Plato. What is
really new and astonishing is that it should have been possible for a
conservative Roman like Varro, in that age of carelessness and doubt,
to bring the heaven-god, so to speak, down to the Roman Capitol, where
his statue was to be seen sitting between Juno and Minerva, and yet to
teach the doctrine that he was the same deity as the Jewish Jehovah,
and that both were identical with the Stoic animus mundi.

But did Varro also conceive of this Jupiter as a deity "making for
righteousness," or acting as a sanction for morality? It would not
have been impossible or unnatural for a Roman so to think of him, for
of all the Roman deities Jupiter is the one whose name from the most
ancient times had been used in oaths and treaties, and whose _numen_
was felt to be violated by any public or private breach of faith.[564]
We cannot tell how far Varro himself followed out this line of
thought, for the fragments of his great work are few and far between.
But we know that the Roman Stoics saw in that same universal Power or
Mind which Varro identified with Jupiter the source and strength of
law, and therefore of morality; here it is usually called reason,
_ratio_, the working of the eternal and immutable Mind of the
universe. "True law is right reason," says Cicero in a noble
passage;[565] and goes on to teach that this law transcends all human
codes of law, embracing and sanctioning them all; and that the spirit
inherent in it, which gives it its universal force, is God Himself. In
another passage, written towards the end of his life, and certainly
later than the publication of Varro's work, he goes further and
identifies this God with Jupiter.[566] "This law," he says, "came into
being simultaneously with the Divine Mind" (i.e. the Stoic Reason):
"wherefore that true and paramount law, commanding and forbidding, is
the right reason of almighty Jupiter" (summi Iovis). Once more, in the
first book of his treatise on the gods, he quotes the Stoic Chrysippus
as teaching that the eternal Power, which is as it were a guide in the
duties of life, is Jupiter himself.[567] It is characteristic of the
Roman that he should think, in speculations like these, rather of the
law of his State than of the morality of the individual, as emanating
from that Right Reason to which he might give the name of Jupiter: I
have been unable to find a passage in which Cicero attributes to this
deity the sanction for individual goodness, though there are many that
assert the belief that justice and the whole system of social life
depend on the gods and our belief in them.[568] But the Roman had
never been conscious of individual duty, except in relation to his
State, or to the family, which was a living cell in the organism of
the State. In his eyes law was rather the source of morality than
morality the cause and the reason of law; and as his religion was a
part of the law of his State, and thus had but an indirect connection
with morality, it would not naturally occur to him that even the great
Jupiter himself, thus glorified as the Reason in the universe, could
really help him in the conduct of his life _qua_ individual. It is
only as the source of legalised morality that we can think of Varro's
Jupiter as "making for righteousness."

Less than twenty-five years after Cicero's death, in the imagination
of the greatest of Roman poets, Jupiter was once more brought before
the Roman world, and now in a form comprehensible by all educated men,
whether or no they had dabbled in philosophy. What are we to say of
the Jupiter of the _Aeneid_? We do not need to read far in the first
book of the poem to find him spoken of in terms which remind us of
Varro: "O qui res hominumque deumque Aeternis regis imperiis," are the
opening words of the address of Venus; and when she has finished,

  Olli subridens hominum sator atque deorum
  Vultu, quo caelum tempestatesque serenat,
  Oscula libavit natae, dehine talia fatur;
  "Parce metu, Cytherea, manent immota tuorum
  Fata tibi."

Jupiter is here, as in Varro's system, the prime cause and ruler of
all things, and he also holds in his hand the destiny of Rome and the
fortunes of the hero who was to lay the first foundation of Rome's
dominion. It is in the knowledge of his will that Aeneas walks, with
hesitating steps, in the earlier books, in the later ones with assured
confidence, towards the goal that is set before him. But the lines
just quoted serve well to show how different is the Jupiter of Virgil
from the universal deity of the Roman Stoic. Beyond doubt Virgil had
felt the power of the Stoic creed; but he was essaying an epic poem,
and he could not possibly dispense with the divine machinery as it
stood in his great Homeric model. His Jupiter is indeed, as has been
lately said,[569] "a great and wise god, free from the tyrannical and
sensuous characteristics of the Homeric Zeus," in other words, he is a
Roman deity, and sometimes acts and speaks like a grave Roman consul
of the olden time. But still he is an anthropomorphic deity, a purely
human conception of a personal god-king; in these lines he smiles on
his daughter Venus and kisses her. This is the reason why Virgil has
throughout his poem placed the Fates, or Destiny, in close relation to
him, without definitely explaining that relation. Fate, as it appears
in the Aeneid, is the Stoic [Greek: eimarmenae] applied to the idea of
Rome and her Empire; that Stoic conception could not take the form of
Jupiter, as in Varro's hands, for the god had to be modelled on the
Homeric pattern, not on the Stoic. It is perhaps not going too far to
say that the god, as a theological conception, never recovered from
this treatment; any chance he ever had of becoming the centre of a
real religious system was destroyed by the Aeneid, the _pietas_ of
whose hero is indeed nominally due to him, but in reality to the
decrees of Fate.[570]

While philosophers and poets were thus performing intellectual and
imaginative feats with the gods of the State, the strong tendency to
superstition, untutored fear of the supernatural, which had always
been characteristic of the Italian peoples, so far from losing power,
was actually gaining it, and that not only among the lower classes. As
Lucretius mockingly said, even those who think and speak with contempt
of the gods will in moments of trouble slay black sheep and sacrifice
them to the Manes. This feeling of fear or nervousness, which lies at
the root of the meaning of the word _religio_,[571] had been quieted
in the old days by the prescriptions of the pontifices and their jus
divinum, but it was always ready to break out again; as we have seen,
in the long and awful struggle of the Hannibalic war, it was necessary
to go far beyond the ordinary pharmacopoeia within reach of the
priesthoods in order to convince the people that all possible means
were being taken for their salvation. Again, in this last age of the
Republic, there are obvious signs that both ignorant and educated
were affected by the gloom and uncertainty of the times. Increasing
uncertainty in the political world, increasing doubt in the world of
thought, very naturally combined to produce an emotional tendency
which took different forms in men of different temperament. We can
trace this (1) in the importance attached to omens, portents, dreams;
(2) in a certain vague thought of a future life, which takes a
positive shape in the deification of human beings; (3) at the close of
the period, in something approaching to a sense of sin, of neglected
duty, bringing down upon State and individual the anger of the gods.

1. If we glance over the latter part of the book of prodigies,
compiled by the otherwise unknown writer Julius Obsequens from the
records of the pontifices quoted in Livy's history, we can get a fair
idea of the kind of portent that was troubling the popular mind.
They are much the same as they always had been in Roman
history,--earthquakes, monstrous births, temples struck by lightning,
statues overthrown, wolves entering the city, and so on; they are
extremely abundant in the terrible years of the Social and Civil Wars,
become less frequent after the death of Sulla, and break out again
in full force with the murder of Caesar. They were reported to the
pontifices from the places where they were supposed to have occurred,
and if thought worthy of expiation were entered in the pontifical
books. We may suppose that they were sent in chiefly by the
uneducated. But among men of education we have many examples of this
same nervousness, of which two or three must suffice. Sulla, as we
know from his own Memoirs, which were used directly or indirectly by
Plutarch, had a strong vein of superstition in his nature, and made
no attempt to control it. In dedicating his Memoirs to Lucullus he
advised him "to think no course so safe as that which is enjoined
by the [Greek: daimon] (perhaps his genius) in the night";[572]
and Plutarch tells us several tales of portents on which he acted,
evidently drawn from this same autobiography. We are told of him that
he always carried a small image of Apollo, which he kissed from time
to time, and to which he prayed silently in moments of danger.[573]
Again, Cicero tells us a curious story of himself, Varro, and Cato,
which shows that those three men of philosophical learning were quite
liable to be frightened by a prophecy which to us would not seem to
have much claim to respect.[574] He tells how when the three were
at Dyrrachium, after Caesar's defeat there and the departure of the
armies into Thessaly, news was brought them by the commander of the
Rhodian fleet that a certain rower had foretold that within thirty
days Greece would be weltering in blood; how all three were terribly
frightened, and how a few days later the news of the battle at
Pharsalia reached them. Lastly, we all remember the vision which
appeared to Brutus on the eve of the battle of Philippi, of a huge and
fearsome figure standing by him in silence, which Shakespeare has made
into the ghost of Caesar and used to unify his play. According to
Plutarch, the Epicurean Cassius, as Lucretius would have done,
attempted to convince his friend on rational grounds that the vision
need not alarm him, but apparently in vain.[575]

2. Lucretius had denied the doctrine of the immortality of the soul,
as the cause of so much of the misery which he believed it to be his
mission to avert. Caesar, in the speech put into his mouth by Sallust,
in the debate on the execution of the conspirators on December 5, 63,
seems to be of the same opinion, and as Cicero alludes to his words in
the speech with which he followed Caesar, we may suppose that Sallust
was reporting him rightly.[576] The poet and the statesman were not
unlike in the way in which they looked at facts; both were of clear
strong vision, without a trace of mysticism. But such men were the
exception rather than the rule; Cicero probably represents better the
average thinking man of his time. Cicero was indeed too full of life,
too deeply interested in the living world around him, to think much
of such questions as the immortality of the soul; and as a professed
follower of the Academic school, he assuredly did not hold any
dogmatic opinion on it. He was at no time really affected by
Pythagoreanism, like his friend Nigidius Figulus, whose works, now
lost, had a great vogue in the later years of Cicero's life, and much
influence on the age that followed. In the first book of his Tusculan
Disputations Cicero discusses the question from the Academic point of
view, coming to no definite conclusion, except that whether we are
immortal or not we must be grateful to death for releasing us from the
bondage of the body. This book was written in the last year of his
life; but ten years earlier, in the beautiful myth, imitated from the
myths of Plato, which he appended to his treatise _de Republica_, he
had emphatically asserted the doctrine. There the spirit of the elder
Scipio appears to his great namesake, Cicero's ideal Roman, and
assures him that the road to heaven (caelum) lies open to those who do
their duty in this life, and especially their duty to the State. "Know
thyself to be a god; as the god of gods rules the universe, so the god
within us rules the body, and as that great god is eternal, so does an
eternal soul govern this frail body."[577]

The _Somnium Scipionis_ was an inspiration, written under the
influence of Plato at one of those emotional moments of Cicero's
life which make it possible to say of him that there was a religious
element in his mind.[578] Some years later the poignancy of his grief
at the death of his daughter Tullia had the effect of putting him
again in a strong emotional mood. For many weeks he lived alone at
Astura, on the edge of the Pomptine marshes, out of reach of all
friends, forbidding even his young wife and her mother to come near
him; brooding, as it would seem, on the survival of the godlike
element in his daughter. These sad meditations took a practical form
which at first astonishes us, but is not hard to understand when we
have to come to know Cicero well, and to follow the tendencies of
thought in these years. He might erect a tomb to her memory,--but
that would not satisfy him; it would not express his feeling that the
immortal godlike spark within her survived. He earnestly entreats
Atticus to find and buy him a piece of ground where he can build a
_fanum_, i.e. a shrine, to her spirit. "I wish to have a shrine built,
and that wish cannot be rooted out of my heart. I am anxious to avoid
any likeness to a tomb ... in order to attain as nearly as possible to
an apotheosis."[579] A little further on he calls these foolish ideas;
but this is doubtless only because he is writing to Atticus, a man
of the world, not given to emotion or mysticism. Cicero is really
speaking the language of the Italian mind, for the moment free from
philosophical speculation; he believes that his beloved dead lived
on, though he could not have proved it in argument. So firmly does
he believe it that he wishes others to know that he believes it, and
insists that the shrine shall be erected in a frequented place![580]

Though the great Dictator did not believe in another world, he
consented at the end of his life to become Jupiter Julius, and after
his death was duly canonised as Divus, and had a temple erected to
him. But the many-sided question of the deification of the Caesars
cannot be discussed here; it is only mentioned as showing in another
way the trend of thought in this dark age of Roman history. Whatever
some philosophers may have thought, there cannot be a doubt that the
ordinary Roman believed in the godhead of Julius.[581]

3. We saw in an earlier chapter with what gay and heedless frivolity
young men like Caelius were amusing themselves even on the very eve of
civil war. In strange contrast with this is the gloom that overspread
all classes during the war itself, and more especially after the
assassination of the Dictator. Caesar seemed irresistible and godlike,
and men were probably beginning to hope for some new and more stable
order of things, when he was suddenly struck down, and the world
plunged again into confusion and doubt; and it was not till after
the final victory of Octavian at Actium, and the destruction of the
elements of disunion with the deaths of Antony and Cleopatra, that
men really began to hope for better times. The literature of those
melancholy years shows distinct signs of the general depression, which
was perhaps something more than weariness and material discomfort;
there was almost what we may call a dim sense of sin, or at least of
moral evil, such a feeling, though far less real and intense, as that
which their prophets aroused from time to time in the Jewish people,
and one not unknown in the history of Hellas.

The most touching expression of this feeling is to be found in the
preface which Livy prefixed to his history--a wonderful example of the
truth that when a great prose writer is greatly moved, his language
reflects his emotion in its beauty and earnestness. Every student
knows the sentence in which he describes the gradual decay of all that
was good in the Roman character: "donec ad haec tempora, quibus nec
vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus, perventum est"; but it is
not every student who can recognise in it a real sigh of despair, an
unmistakable token of the sadness of the age.[582] In the introductory
chapters which serve the purpose of prefaces to the _Jugurtha_ and
_Catiline_ of Sallust, we find something of the same sad tone, but
it does not ring true like Livy's exordium; Sallust was a man of
altogether coarser fibre, and seems to be rather assuming than
expressing the genuine feeling of a saddened onlooker. In one of his
earliest poems, written perhaps after the Perusian war of 41 B.C.[583]
even the lively Horace was moved to voice the prevailing depression,
fancifully urging that the Italian people should migrate, like the
Phocaeans of old, to the far west, where, as Sertorius had been told
in Spain, lay the islands of the blest, where the earth, as in the
golden age, yields all her produce untilled:

  Iuppiter ilia piae secrevit litora genti
  Ut inquinavit aere tempus aureum;
  Aere, dehinc ferro duravit saecula, quorum
  Piis secunda vate me datur fuga.

It may be, as has recently been suggested, that the famous fourth
Eclogue of Virgil, "the Messianic Eclogue," was in some sense meant as
an answer to this poem of Horace. "There is no need," he seems to say
in that poem, written in the year 39, "to seek the better age in a
fabled island of the west. It is here and now with us. The period upon
which Italy is now entering more than fulfils in real life the dream
of a Golden Age. A marvellous child is even now coming into the world
who will see and inaugurate an era of peace and prosperity: darkness
and despair will after a while pass entirely away, and a regenerate
Italy,--regenerate in religion and morals as in fertility and
wealth,--will lead the world in a new era of happiness and good

But the Golden Age, so fondly hoped for, so vaguely and poetically
conceived, was not to come in the sense in which Virgil, or any other
serious thinker of the day, could dream of it. I may conclude this
chapter with a few sentences which express this most truly and
eloquently. "When there is a fervent aspiration after better things,
springing from a strong feeling of human brotherhood, and a firm
belief in the goodness and righteousness of God, such aspiration
carries with it an invincible confidence that some how, some where,
some when, it must receive its complete fulfilment, for it is prompted
by the Spirit which fills and orders the Universe throughout its whole
development. But if the human organ of inspiration goes on to fix the
how, the where, and the when, and attributes to some nearer object the
glory of the final blessedness, then it inevitably falls into such
mistakes as Virgil's, and finds its golden age in the rule of the
Caesars (which was indeed an essential feature of Christianity),
or perhaps, as in later days, in the establishment of socialism or
imperialism. Well for the seer if he remembers that the kingdom of God
is within us, and that the true golden age must have its foundation in
penitence for misdoing, and be built up in righteousness and loving


These sketches of social life at the close of the Republican period
have been written without any intention of proving a point, or any
pre-conceived idea of the extent of demoralisation, social, moral, or
political, which the Roman people had then reached. But a perusal of
Mr. Balfour's suggestive lecture on "Decadence" has put me upon making
a very succinct diagnosis of the condition of the patient whose life
and habits I have been describing. The Romans, and the Italians, with
whom they were now socially and politically amalgamated, were not in
the last two centuries B.C. an old or worn-out people. It is at any
rate certain that for a century after the war with Hannibal Rome and
her allies, under the guidance of the Roman senate, achieved an amount
of work in the way of war and organisation such as has hardly been
performed by any people before or since; and even in the period dealt
with in this book, in spite of much cause for misgiving at home, the
work done by Roman and Italian armies both in East and West shows
beyond doubt that under healthy discipline the native vigour of the
population could assert itself. We must not forget, however severely
we may condemn the way in which the work was done, that it is to
these armies, in all human probability, that we owe not only the
preservation of Graeco-Italian culture and civilisation, but the
opportunity for further progress. The establishment of definite
frontiers by Pompeius and Caesar, and afterwards by Augustus and
Tiberius, brought peace to the region of the Mediterranean, and with
it made possible the development of Roman law and the growth of a new
and life-giving religion.

But peoples, like individuals, if offered opportunities of doing
themselves physical or moral damage, are only too ready to accept
them. Time after time in these chapters we have had to look back to
the age following the war with Hannibal in order to see what those
opportunities were; and in each case we have found the acceptance
rapid and eager. We have seen wealth coming in suddenly, and misused;
slave-labour available in an abnormal degree, and utilised with
results in the main unfortunate; the population of the city increasing
far too quickly, yet the difficulties arising from this increase
either ignored or misapprehended. We have noticed the decay of
wholesome family life, of the useful influence of the Roman matron, of
the old forms of the State religion; the misconception of the true end
of education, the result partly of Greek culture, partly of political
life; and to these may perhaps be added an increasing liability to
diseases, and especially to malaria, arising from economic blunders
in Italy and insanitary conditions of life in the city. All these
opportunities of damage to the fibre of the people had been freely
accepted, and with the result that in the age of Cicero we cannot
mistake the signs and symptoms of degeneracy.

But it would be a mistake to jump to the conclusion that this
degeneracy had as yet gone too far to be arrested. It was assuredly
not that degeneracy of senility which Mr. Balfour is inclined to
postulate as an explanation of decadence. So far as I can judge, the
Romans were at that stage when, in spite of unhealthy conditions of
life and obstinate persistence in dangerous habits, it was not too
late to reform and recover. To me the main interest of the history of
the early Empire lies in seeking the answer to the question how far
that recovery was made. If these chapters should have helped any
student to prepare the ground for the solution of this problem their
object will have been fully achieved.

[Illustration: _Stanfords Geog. Estab. London_]


  Aediles, the
  Aemilia, Via. _See_ Via Aemilia
  Aemilius, Pons. See Pons Aemilius
  Aerarium, the
  Aesopus, the actor
  Africa, province of
  Alexis (Atticus's slave)
  _Ambitu, lex de_
  Anio, the river
  Anna Perenna, festival of
  Antiochus (the physician)
  Antium, Cicero's villa at
  Apollinares, Ludi. _See_ Ludi Apollinares
  Appia, Via. _See_ Via Appia
  Appius Claudius Caecus
  Aqua Appia
  Aqua Tepula
  Ara maxima
  Ara Pacis
  Argiletum, the
  Arpinum, Cicero's villa at
  _Ars amatoria_ (Ovid's)
  Arval brothers, the
  Arx, the
  Asia, province of
  Astura, Cicero's villa at
  _Atellanae, fabulae_. See _Fabulae Atellanae_
    house of,
    wealth of,
    as money-lender,
    the sister of,
    the slave of,
    Cicero's letters to, _passim_,
    alleged proposal of, to remove the capital,
    attitude of towards _plebs urbana_,
    water-supply under,
    the grandfather of,
    as a social reformer,
    marriage laws of,
    furthers public comfort,
    restoration of temples by,
    attempts at religious revival,
  Aventine hill

  Balbus, Cornelius, the younger
  Bankruptcy laws
  Basilicae, the
  Baths, public
  Bithynia, province of
  Bona Dea, festival of
  _Brutus_ (Cicero's)
  Brutus, Decimus

  Caelian hill
  Caelius Autipater
  Caelius (M.) Rufus
  Caesar, Julius
    alleged proposal of, to remove the capital
    extends one of the Basilicae,
    corn gratuities;
    regulations of, for the government of the city;
    debts of;
    character of;
    as historian;
    joined by Caelius;
    restores credit in Italy;
    and Cleopatra;
    clemency of;
    sale of prisoners by;
    dismisses surrendered armies;
    foundation at Corinth by;
    entertained by Cicero;
    habits of;
    as aedile;
    summons Publilius to Rome;
    as Pontifex Maximus;
    speech of, in Sallust;
    consents to be deified;
    and _passim_
  Campagua, the
  Campus Martius
  Capena, Porta. _See_ Porta Capena
  Capital at Rome
  Capitol, the
  Capitoline hill
  _Carceres_, the
  Carinae, the
  Carmentalis, Porta. _See_ Porta Carmentalis
  Castor, temple of
  Cato major
  Cato minor
  Catulus the elder
  Censor, the
  _Censoria locatio_
  Ceriales, Ludi. _See_ Ludi Ceriales
  Cicero, birthplace of;
    house of;
    borrows money;
    as a man of business;
    and the publicani;
    relation of, to the governing aristocracy;
    letters of;
    as a philosopher;
    and Clodia;
    views on education;
    influence of philosophers upon;
    and the slave question;
    and the use of slaves for seditious purposes;
    villas of;
    undertakes the Ludi Romani;
    religious views of;
    and _passim_
  Cicero, Marcus
  Cicero, Quintus
  Cilician pirates
  Circus Flaminius
  Circus Maximus
  Clivus Capitolinus
  Clivus sacer
  Cloaca maxima
  Colline gate, Sulla's victory at the,
  Colosseum, the
  Comitium, the
  _Commercii, ius_
  Concordia, temple of
  _Coniugalia praecepta_ (Plutarch's)
  _Connubii, ius_
  Constantine, arch of
  Consul, the
  Consus, altar of
  _Copa_ ("Virgil's")
  Cumae, Cicero's villa at
  Curia, the

  _Deorum, De Natura_ (Cicero's)
  Diana, temple of
  _Die natali, De_ (Censorinus's)
  Diomedes, villa of
  Dionysius of Halicarnassus
  Dionysus, worship of
  Di Penates. _See_ Penates
  Diphilus, the actor
  Drama, the
  Dyrrhachium, importation of corn
    into; battle of

  Emetics, use of
  _Epulum Jovis_
  Equester, Ordo. _See_ Ordo equester
  Equites. _See_ Ordo equester
  Esquiline hill
  Etruscans, the

  Fabius, arch of
  _Fabri ferrarii_
  _Fabulae Atellanae_; palliatae;
  _Familiae urbanae_
  Figulus, Nigidius
  Flaccus, Verrius
  Flamen Dialis;
  Florales, Ludi. _See_ Ludi Florales
  Formiae, Cicero's villa at
  Forum Boarium
  Forum Romanum
  Funeral games
  Furrina, the grove of

  Gellius, Aulus
  Gilds. _See_ Collegia
  Gracchus, Gaius
  Gracchus, Tiberius

  _Honorum, ius_
  Horti Caesaris

  _Institutio Oratoris_ (Quintilian's)
  _Inventione, De_ (Cicero's)
  Isis, worship of
  _Ius civile_
  _Ius divinum_
  _Ius gentium_

  Janiculum, the
  Janus, "temple" of
  Julius Obsequens
  Juno, temple of
  Jupiter Farreus; Julius;
    Optimus Maximus, temple of;
    Stator, temple of
  Juturna, spring of

  "King," game of

  Lares, shrine of
  Latina, Via. _See_ Via Latina
  Latins, the
  Law-courts, the
  _Lectus_; _consularis_
  _Legibus, De_ (Cicero's)
  Liberalia, the
  Liternum, Scipio's villa at
  Livius Andronicus
  Lucretius Vespillo, Q.
  Ludi, Apollinares; Ceriales;
     Magni, _see_ Romani; Megalenses;
     Novemdiales; Plebeii;
  Ludus Trojae
  Lupercal, the
  Lupercalia, the

  Magna Mater
  Marcius Rex, Q.
  Mars; temple of
  _Matrimonium, iustum_
  Megaleuses, Ludi. See Ludi Megalenses
  _Mensae_; _rationes_
  _Metae_, the
  Metellus Celer
  Metellus Macedonicus
  Minerva, temple of
  _Missio in bona_
  _Moretum_ ("Virgil's")
  _Mos majorum_

  Nepos, Cornelius
  Neptunalia, the
  Nicomedes, king of Bithynia
  Novemdiales, Ludi. _See_ Ludi Novemdiales
  _Novas homo_

  _Officiis, De_ (Cicero's)
  Oppia, lex
  Oppius Mons
  _Oratore, De_ (Cicero's)
  Ordo equester;
  Oseans, the

  Palatine hill
  _Palliatae, fabulae_.  See _Fabulae
  Paullus, L. Aemilius
  Penates, the;
    temple of the
  Phaedrus the Epicurean
  Philippi, battle of
  Philippus (tribune)
  Philo the Academician
  Piso, Calpurnius
  Plaetoria, lex
  Plebeii, Ludi. _See_ Ludi Plebeii
  Pliny, the elder; the younger
  Pollio, Asinius
    house of
    theatre of
  Pons Aemilius
  Ponte Rotto
  Pontifex Maximus
  Porta Capena
  Praetor, the
  Provinces, the
  _Provocations_, _ius_
  Ptolemy Auletes
  Publilius Syrus
  Punic wars
  Puteoli, Cicero's villa at

  _Quaestiones Conviviales (Plutarch's)_
  Quaestorship, the
  Quirinal (hill)

  Rabirius Postumus
  Regia, the
  _Repetundis, quaestio de_
  _Republica, De_ (Cicero's)
  _Res_, _mancipi_
  _Rex, the_
  _Rex sacrorum_
  _Rhetorica ad Herennium_
  Roscius, the actor
  Rostra, the

  Sabines, the
    via, _see_ Via Sacra
  St. Peter, church of
  Salaminians, the
  San Gregorio, via di
  Saturnalia, the
  Saturnus, temple of
  Scaevola, Mucius
  Scipio Aemilianus,
  Senate, the
  Senatorius, ordo. _See_ Ordo senatorius
  "Servian wall"
  Sibylline books, the
  _Societates publicanorum_
  _Sodalicia, collegia_. See _Collegia_
  _Somnium Scipionis_ (Cicero's)
  Spanish silver mines
  Stoics, the
  _Stola matronalis_
  Subura, the
  _Suffragii, ius_
  Sulla, P.
  Sulpicius (S.), Rufus

  Tabernae argentariae
  Tabulae novae_
  Tabularia, the
  Theatre, the
  Theatre, building of a
  Tiber island
  Time, divisions of, in the day
  Tiro (Cicero's slave)
  _Tirocinium fori_
  Titus, arch of
  _Toga_; _libera_; _praetexta_; _virilis_
  _Togatae, fabulae_. See _Fabulae togatae_
  Triumph, a
  Trofei di Mario
  Tullia (Cicero's daughter)
  Tullianum, the
  Turia, the story of
  Tusculum, Cicero's villa at
  Twelve Tables, the


  Valerius Maximus
  Varro, Terentius (consul)
  Velabrum, the
  Velia, the
  Venus Victrix, temple of
  Vesta; temple of
  Vestal Virgins
  Veterans, Roman
  Via Aurelia; Appia; Collatina; Latina; Sacra
  Victoriae, Ludi. See Ludi Victoriae
  Vicus Tuscus
  _Villa pseudurbana_
  Vinalia, the
  Voconia, lex

  Water-clocks, introduction of



Page 1, l. 12. _totam aestimare Romam_: to appreciate Rome in its

Page 3, l. 12. _Hinc ad Tarpeiam_, etc.: he leads him next to the
Tarpeian Rock and to the Capitol, now of gold, once thick with wild

Page 4, l. 24. _Hinc septem_, etc.: from here you may see the seven
hills of the sovereign city, and appreciate Rome as a whole, the Alban
and the Tusculan hills, and all the cool suburban retreats.

Page 10, l. 1. _rerum_, etc. Rome became a supreme thing of beauty.

Page 10, l. 13. _nativa praesidia_: natural defences.

Page 10, l. 21. _regionum_, etc. A site in the middle of Italy,
singularly fitted by nature for the development of the city.

Page 17, l. 2. _nec ferrea_, etc.: nor has he seen the hardships of
the law, the mad forum, or the archives of the people.

Page 22, l. 2. _Ille, ille_, etc.: he it was, Jupiter himself, who
withstood the attack, he who willed it that the Capitol, that these
temples, that the whole city and you all should be safe.

Page 29, footnote 1. _in montibus_, etc.: built between mountains and
valleys, raised and almost suspended on high, through the stones of
its buildings, with its back streets.

Page 39, l. 6. _ubi semel_, etc.: he who has once strayed from the
right path will come to calamity.

Page 52, l. 11. _lanificium_: the working of wool.

Page 55, l. 26. _graffiti_: ancient scribblings, scratched, painted,
or otherwise marked on a wall, column, tablet, or other surface.

Page 61, l. 4. _quaestio de repetundis_: court for extortion.

Page 64, l. 15. _familiarem_, etc.: intimate with L. Lucullus,
wealthy, of intractable character.

Page 73, l. 14. _qui de censoribus_, etc.: whosoever shall have
secured a contract from the censors shall not be accepted as associate
or shareholder.

Page 73, footnote 2. _Asiatici_, etc.: of the public revenue of Asia,
he had a very small share.

Page 91, l. 3. _fortissimus_, etc.: a most powerful and important
farmer of the public revenue.

Page 93, l. 20. _insanum forum_: the forum in its maddening bustle.

Page 116, l. 12. _doctissimus_, etc.: the most learned of that time.

Page 121, l. 11. _monumentum_, etc.: a monument more enduring than

Page 123, l. 20. _vere humanus:_ truly refined.

Page 127, l. 23. _omnia_, etc.: he transforms himself into all
portentous shapes.

Page 130, l. 20. _ménager ses transitions:_ to pass gradually over to
the other side.

Page 132, l. 18. _de vi:_ of criminal violence.

Page 133, l. 9. _Uni se_, etc.: they are addicted to one and the same
practice, that they may cautiously cheat and craftily contend, outdo
each other in blandishments, feign honesty, set snares as if they were
all enemies to each other.

Page 133, l. 28. _rari nantes_, etc.: few and scattered swimmers in
the vast abyss.

Page 142 (bottom). _Claudite_, etc.: close the doors, maidens, enough
have we sung. And you, noble couple, live happily and apply your
vigorous youth to the assiduous task of wedlock.

Page 149, footnote 2. _Si quid_, etc.: if a woman act reprehensibly or
disgracefully, he punishes her; if she has drunk wine, if she has done
something wrong with a stranger, he condemns her. If you surprise your
wife in the act of adultery, you may with impunity kill her without
any form of judgment; but if she caught you in adultery, she would not
dare touch you, for she has no right.

Page 150, l. 11. _liberorum_, etc.: in order to have children.

Page 155, l. 22. _Odi_, etc.: I hate and I love. You ask perhaps how
that can be. I do not know, I feel it, and am distressed.

Page 155 (bottom). _Elle apportait_, etc.: she revealed in her private
behavior, in her affections, the same vehemence and the same passion
which her brother showed in public life. Ready for all excesses, and
not blushing to confess them, loving and hating with fury, incapable
of controlling herself, and opposed to all constraint, she did not
belie the great and haughty family from which she was sprung.

Page 178,1. 3. _rusticorum_, etc.:

  The farmer-soldier's manly brood
  Was trained to delve the Sabine sod,
  And at an austere mother's nod
  To hew and fetch the fagot wood.

Page 178, l. 20. _Maxima_, etc.: the greatest concern must be shown
for children.

Page 185, l. 8. _Avarus_, etc.:

  The covetous is the cause of his own misery.
  Bravery is increased by daring and fear by hesitation.
  You can more easily discover fortune than cling to it.
  The wrath of the just is to be dreaded.
  A man dies every time that he is bereft of his kin.
  Man is loaned, not given to life.
  The best strife is rivalry in benignity.
  Nothing is pleasing unless renewed by variety.
  Bad is the plan which cannot be altered.
  Less often would you err if you knew how much you don't know.
  He who shows clemency always comes out victorious.
  He who respects his oath succeeds in everything.
  Where old age is at fault youth is badly trained.

Page 187, l. 7. _Grais_, etc.: the muse gave genius to the Greeks and
the pride of language, covetous of nothing but of praise. But the
Roman youths by long reckonings learn to split the coin into a hundred
parts. Let young Albinus say: "If you take one away from five pence,
what results?" "A groat." Good, you'll thrive.

Page 189, l. 1. In _grammaticis_, etc.: in the study of literature,
the perusal of the poets, the knowledge of history, the interpretation
of words, the peculiar tone of pronunciation.

Page 191, l. 9. _Orator est_, etc.: an orator, my son, is an upright
man skilled in speaking.

Page 191, l. 11. _Rem tene_, etc.: master the subject; the words will

Page 196, l. 9. _vir bonus_, etc.: see page 191, l. 9.

Page 196, l. 13. _Non enim_, etc.: eloquence and oratorical aptness
obtain good results if they be swayed by a right understanding and by
the discretion and control of the mind.

Page 210, footnote 1. _Mancipiis_, etc.: avoid being like the
Cappadocian monarch, rich in slaves and penniless in purse.

Page 211, footnote 1. _pone aedem_, etc.: behind the temple of Castor
are those to whom you'd be sorry to lend money.

Page 215, l. 18. _An te ibi_, etc.: would you stay there among those
harlots, prostitutes of bakers, leavings of the breadmakers, smeared
with rank cosmetics, nasty devotees of slaves?

Page 216, footnote 2. _agrum_, etc.: in cultivating the fields or in
hunting, servile occupations, etc.

Page 233, l. 5. _Nec turpe_, etc.: what a master commands cannot be

Page 233, footnote 3. _Coli rura_, etc.: it is a bad practice to fill
the fields with men from the workhouse, or to have anything done by
men who are forsaken by hope.

Page 235, footnote 2. _Regum_, etc.: we have taken the tyrant's

Page 239, l. 10. _ante focos_, etc.: it was customary once to take
places in the long benches before the fireplace, and to trust that the
gods were present at our table.

Page 246, l. 5. _nunc vero_, etc.: but now from morning till evening,
on holidays and working days, the whole people, senators and
commoners, busy themselves in the forum and retire nowhere, etc. (See
page 133, l. 9, and translation of that passage.)

Page 246, footnote 2. _Urbem_, etc.: remain in the city, Rufus; stay
there and live in that light. All foreign travel is humble and lowly
for those that can work for the greatness of Rome.

Page 247, footnote 1. _Frequens_, etc.: constant change of abode is a
sign of unstable mind.

Page 248, l. 12. _contentio_, etc.: not a straining of the mind, but a

Page 259, l. 12. _locus_, etc.: a pleasant site, on the sea itself,
and can be seen from Antium and Circeii.

Page 265, footnote 3. _Ut illum_, etc.: may the gods confound him who
first invented the hours, and who first placed a sundial in this city.
Pity on me! They have cut up my day in compartments. Once when I was
a boy my stomach was my clock, and it was much more fitting and
reliable; it never failed to warn me except when there was nothing;
now, even when there is something, there is no eating unless it so
please the sun. For the whole city is full of sun-dials, and most of
the people crawl on in need of food and drink.

Page 269, footnote 1. _Romae_, etc.: in Rome it was for a long time a
joy and a pride to open up the house at early morning and attend to
the legal needs of the clients.

Page 275, l. 20. _Nesciit vivere_: he did not know how to live.

Page 277, l. 10. _ad noctem_: late into the night.

Page 280, l. 17. _Saepe tribus_, etc.: often you would see three
couches with four guests apiece.

Page 283, l. 21. [Greek: Emetikhaeu], etc.: he was under the
emetic cure, and consequently ate and drank freely and with much
satisfaction; and everything certainly was good and well served; nay
more, I may say that

  "Though the cook was good,
  'Twas Attic salt that flavored best the food."

Page 283, footnote 1. _qua lege_, etc.: which law did not determine
the expense, but the kind of victuals and the manner of cooking them.

Page 285, l. 11. _Agricolo_, etc.: the farmer is the first who after
a long day of toil in the fields adapted rustic songs to the laws of
metre; the first in satisfied leisure to modulate a song on his reed,
which he would say before the gods decked with flowers. It was the
farmer, O Bacchus, who with his face colored with reddish minium,
taught his untrained feet the first movements of the dance.

Page 287, l. 13. _Quippe etiam_, etc.: for even on holy days, divine
and human laws allow us to perform certain works. No religion has
forbidden to clear the channels, to raise a fence before the corn, to
lay snares for birds, to fire the thorns, and plunge in the wholesome
river a flock of bleating sheep.

Page 303, l. 2. _lex de ambitu_: law concerning the courting of
popular favor in canvassing.

Page 307, l. 4. _Eandem_, etc.: a time will come when you will bewail
that valor of yours.

Page 309, l. 7. _Spectatum_, etc.: they come to see, but they come
also to be seen.

Page 313, l. 27. _summuts artifex_: consummate artist.

Page 314, l. 3. _gravis_: serious.

Page 314, l. 4. _gravitas_: seriousness.

Page 315, l. 14. _Fescennina_, etc.: the rude Fescennine farce grew
from rites like these, where rustic taunts were hurled in alternate
verse; and the pleasing license, tolerated from year to year,
gambolled, etc.

Page 317, l. 18. _Nihil mihi_, etc.: know well that I lacked nothing
except company with whom to laugh in a friendly way and intelligently
over these things.

Page 324, l. 28. _mos maiorum_: the customs of our ancestors.

Page 327, l. 12. _Felix_, etc.: blessed is he who succeeded in knowing
the causes of events.

Page 327, l. 16. _Fortunatus_, etc.: fortunate he also who knows the
rustic gods.

Page 333, l. 6. _lectisternia_: a feast of the gods during which their
images on pillars were placed in the streets.

Page 333, l. 6. _supplicationes_: religious solemnities for

Page 333, l. 6. _ludi_: games.

Page 339, l. 23. _numen_: godhead, deity.

Page 340, footnote 3. _idem etiam_, etc.: he says also that Jupiter is
the power of this law, eternal and immutable, which is the guide, so
to speak, of our life and the principle of our duties; a law which he
calls a fatal necessity, an eternal truth of future things.

Page 341, l. 15. _qua_: as.

Page 341, l. 26. _O qui res_, etc.: thou who rulest with eternal sway
the doings of men and gods.

Page 342, l. 1. _Olli_, etc.: the sire of men and gods, smiling to
her with that aspect wherewith he clears the tempestuous sky, gently
kissed his daughter's lips; then thus replies: Cytherea, cease from
fear; immovable to thee remain the fates of thy people.

Page 351, l. 13. _Iuppiter_, etc.: Jove reserved these shores for the
just, when he alloyed the golden age with brass; with brass, then with
iron he hardened the ages, from which there shall be a happy escape
according to my predictions.


[Footnote 1: Martial iv. 64. 12.]

[Footnote 2: _Aen_. viii. 90. foll. The Capitoline hill, which Virgil
means by "arx" a conspicuous object from the river just below the
Aventine, and would have been much more conspicuous in the poet's
time. There is a view of it from this point in Burn's _Rome and the
Campagna_, p. 184.]

[Footnote 3: Plutarch, _Cato minor_ 39. Cato was expected to land
at the commercial docks _below_ the Aventine (see below), where the
senate and magistrates were awaiting him, but with his usual rudeness
rowed past them to the navalia.]

[Footnote 4: _Aen._ viii. 363. Possibly Virgil meant to put this
dwelling on the site of the future Regia, just below the Palatine and
between it and the Forum. See Servius _ad loc._]

[Footnote 5: The modern visitor would cross by the Ponte Rotto, which
is in the same position as the ancient bridge, just below the Tiber

[Footnote 6: Livy v. 54.]

[Footnote 7: The Fratres Arvales.]

[Footnote 8: For navigation of the river above Rome see Strabo p.

[Footnote 9: Horace _Od_. i. 2. After a bad flood in A.D. 15 proposals
were made for diverting a part of the water coming down the Tiber into
the Arnus, but this met with fatal opposition from the superstition
of the country people (Tacitus, _Ann_. i. 79). Nissen, _Italische
Landeskunde_, i. p. 324, has collected the records of these floods.]

[Footnote 10: See Nissen, i. p. 407. But it seems likely that the
Tiber valley was less malarious then than now (see Nissen's chapter on
malaria in Italy, p. 410 foll.). In an interesting paper on _Malaria
and History_, by Mr. W.H.S. Jones (Liverpool University Press), which
reached me after this chapter was written, the author is inclined to
attribute the ethical and physical degeneracy of the Romans of the
Empire partly to this cause.]

[Footnote 11: Livy v. 54.]

[Footnote 12: Horace, _Epode_ 16.]

[Footnote 13: _Reden und Aufsätze_, p. 173 foll.]

[Footnote 14: _Ib._ p. 175.]

[Footnote 15: _De Rep_. ii. 5 and 6.]

[Footnote 16: Beloch, _Die Bewölkerung der griechisch-römischen Welt_,
cap. 9, approaching the problem by three several methods, puts it in
the first century A.D. at 800,000, including slaves. In Cicero's time
it was, no doubt, considerably less; but we know that in his last
years 320,000 free persons were receiving doles of corn, apart from
slaves and the well-to-do.]

[Footnote 17: Hülsen-Jordan, _Röm. Topographie_, vol. i. part iii. pp.
627, 638.]

[Footnote 18: _Ib_. 643; Cic. _ad Att_. xv. 15. Here, after the death
of his daughter Tullia, Cicero wished to buy land on which to erect
a fanum to her (Cic. _ad Att_. xii. 19). Here also were the horti

[Footnote 19: Livy xxxv. 40.]

[Footnote 20: Hülsen-Jordan, _op. cit_. p. 143 note.]

[Footnote 21: See below, p. 302. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (iii. 68)
gives an elaborate account of it in the time of Augustus, when it had
been altered and ornamented.--Hülsen-Jordan, p. 120 foll.]

[Footnote 22: Fowler, _Roman Festivals_, p. 199; Wissowa in
Pauly-Wissowa, _Real-Encyklopädie_, s.v. Diana.]

[Footnote 23: The two roads converged just before arriving at the
city. The reader may be reminded that it was by the via Appia that St.
Paul entered Rome (Acts xxviii.). Another useful passage for this gate
is Juvenal in. 10 foll.]

[Footnote 24: It might be useful here to follow the course of the
_pomerium_, which also went round the Palatine, as described in
Tacitus, _Annals_ xii. 24.]

[Footnote 25: Cic. _de Officiis_ iii. 16. 66, and the story there

[Footnote 26: Strictly speaking, the Oppius Mons, or southern part of
the Esquiline.]

[Footnote 27: See Lanciani's admirable chapter, "A Walk through the
Sacra Via," in his _Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome_, p. 190

[Footnote 28: _Georg_. ii. 502. Virgil, for all his admiration of
Rome, did not love its crowds.]

[Footnote 29: Cic. _pro Plancio_, ch. 7. Cp. Horace, _Sat_. i. 9;
Lucilius, _Frag._ 9 (ed. Baehrens), which last will be quoted in
another context.]

[Footnote 30: On the vexed question of the position of the Subura and
its history see Wissowa, _Gesammelte Abhandlungen_, p. 230 foll.]

[Footnote 31: For excavations here see Lanciani, _op. cit_. p. 221

[Footnote 32: Cic. _Cat._ iii. 9. 21 foll.]

[Footnote 33: Formerly we may assume that it faced south or
south-east, like the temple.]

[Footnote 34: It was completed by Caesar in 46 B.C.]

[Footnote 35: Beloch, _Bewölkerung_ p. 382.]

[Footnote 36: C.I.L. i. 206, and Dessau, _Inscr. Lat. Selectae_, ii.
1. p. 493.]

[Footnote 37: Cic. _ad Q. Fratr_. iii.I. 14 Suet. _de Grammaticis_,
15; Corn. Nepos, _Atticus_, 13.]

[Footnote 38: Hülsen-Jordan, _Röm. Topographie_, vol. i. part iii. p.

[Footnote 39: This is the number receiving corn gratis when Julius
Caesar reformed the corn-distribution.--Suetonius, _Iul_. 41.]

[Footnote 40: See Zeller, _Stoics_, etc., Eng. trans. p. 255 foll.]

[Footnote 41: cic. _de Legibus_, i. 15. 43. It was not as yet possible
to be "poor, making many rich"; to have nothing and yet to possess all

[Footnote 42: See the definition of insula in Festus. n. Ill. and
for insula generally Middleton's article "Domus" in the _Dict, of
Antiquities_, ed. 2. De Marchi (_La Religione nella vita domestica_,
i. p. 80) compares the big lodging-houses of the poor at Naples.]

[Footnote 43: Cicero (_Leg. Agr._ ii. 35. 96) describes Rome as being
(in comparison with Capua) "in montibus positam et convallibus,
coenaculis (i.e. upper rooms) sublatum atque suspensam, non optimis
viis," etc. Vitruv. ii. 17 is the _locus classicus_.]

[Footnote 44: Cic. _pro Caelio_ 17.]

[Footnote 45: In _C.I.L._ vi. 65-67 we find a Bona Dea erected "in
tutelam insulae," i.e. a common cult for all the lodgers. De Marchi
_l.c._ compares the common shrine of the Neapolitan lodging-house.
Tutela is mentioned as a protecting deity both of insulae and domus by
St. Jerome, _Com. in Isaiam_, 672.]

[Footnote 46: Cic. _de Domo_ 109.]

[Footnote 47: Cic. _ad Att._ xv. 17; cp. xiv. 9.]

[Footnote 48: Plut. _Crassus_ 2: perhaps from Fenestella.]

[Footnote 49: "Dormientem in taberna," Asconius, ed. Clark, p. 37. Cp.
Tacitus, _Hist_ i. 86, for persons sleeping in tabernae.]

[Footnote 50: Tucker, _Life in Ancient Athens_, p. 10.]

[Footnote 51: The _Moretum_ may be a translation from a Greek poet,
perhaps Parthenius, but it is certainly as well adapted to the
experience of Italians.]

[Footnote 52: e.g. Caesar, _Bell. Civ._ iii. 47. Cp. Tacitus, _Ann_.
xiv. 24.]

[Footnote 53: On this point see Salvioli, _Le Capitalisme dans le
monde antique_, ch. vi. is a book with many shortcomings, but written
by an Italian who knows his own country.]

[Footnote 54: See the author's _Roman Festivals_, p. 76 (Cerealia).]

[Footnote 55: Marquardt, _Staatsverwaltung_, ii. pp. 107, 110 foll. A
modius, which = nearly a peck, contained about 20 lb. of wheat (Pliny,
_N.H._ xviii. 66). Four and a half modii x 20=90 lb.]

[Footnote 56: Hirschfeld, _Verwaltungsbeamten_, ed. 2, p. 231; Strabo,
p. 652 (Rhodes).]

[Footnote 57: Caesar, _B.C._ iii. 42. 3.]

[Footnote 58: Marquardt, _op. cit._ p. 110.]

[Footnote 59: For Gracchus' motives see a paper by the present writer
in the _English Historical Review_ for 1905, p. 221 foll.]

[Footnote 60: Cic. _Tusc. Disp._ iii. 20. 48.]

[Footnote 61: Lex Julia municipalis, 1-20, compared with Suetonius,
_Jul_. 41.]

[Footnote 62: A good example will be found in Cic. _ad Att._ iv. 1.
6 foll.; the first letter written by Cicero after his return from

[Footnote 63: See my _Roman Festivals_, pp. 85 and 204.]

[Footnote 64: Pliny, _Nat. Hist_. xviii. 17.]

[Footnote 65: Suet. _Aug_. 42.]

[Footnote 66: Frontinus i. 4. The date of his work is towards the end
of the first century A.D.]

[Footnote 67: See Lanciani, _Ruins and Excavations_, p. 48; Mommsen,
_Hist_. vol. i. Appendix.]

[Footnote 68: Frontinus i. 7, whose account is confirmed by the
recently discovered Epitomes of Livy's lost books.--Grenfell and Hunt,
_Oxyrhynchus Papyri_, iv. 113.]

[Footnote 69: See the useful table in Lanciani, _op. cit._ 58.]

[Footnote 70: This dates from the reign of Domitian. The nature of the
public fountain may be realised at Pompeii. See Mau, _Pompeii, its
Life and Art_, p. 224 foll.]

[Footnote 71: Cic. _de Officiis_, i. 42. 150.]

[Footnote 72: Livy xxii. 25 _ad fin_.]

[Footnote 73: It is very conspicuous, e.g., in the novels of Jane

[Footnote 74: G. Unwin, _Industrial Organisation_, etc., p. 2.]

[Footnote 75: Plutarch, _Numa_, 17; Ovid, _Fasti_, iii. 310 foll.]

[Footnote 76: J.B. Carter, _The Religion of Numa_, p. 48.]

[Footnote 77: Marq. iii. p. 138. See also Kornemann's article
"Collegium" in Pauly-Wissowa, _Real-Encykl._, and Waltzing,
_Corporations professionelles chez les Romains_, i. p. 78 foll.]

[Footnote 78: _Le Capitalisme_, etc., p. 144 foll.]

[Footnote 79: Cairnes, _Slave Power_, pp. 78, 143 foll. See below, p.

[Footnote 80: Pliny, _Nat. Hist._ xviii. 107.]

[Footnote 81: _C.I.L._ i. 1013. The date is possibly pre-Augustan.]

[Footnote 82: Mau's _Pompeii_, p. 380.]

[Footnote 83: See my _Roman Festivals_, p. 148. For the mills of
various kinds see also Marquardt, _Privatleben_, p. 405.]

[Footnote 84: _Privatleben_, p. 409.]

[Footnote 85: _Pseudolus_, 810 foll.]

[Footnote 86: Cp. the uncta popina of Horace, _Epist_. i. 14. 21 foll.
Scene in a wineshop at Pompeii, Mau, p. 395.]

[Footnote 87: See, e.g., the Laudatio Turiae, _C.I.L._ vi. i. 1527,
line 30.]

[Footnote 88: Only very rich families employed their own
fullers.--Marq. _Privatleben_, p. 512.]

[Footnote 89: _Menaechmi_, 404: this may, however, be only a
translation from the Greek.]

[Footnote 90: _C.I.L._ i. p. 389.]

[Footnote 91: Marquardt, _Privatleben_, p. 693 and reff.]

[Footnote 92: Cato, _de re rustica_, 135; a very interesting chapter,
which shows that of the farmer's "plant," clothing, rugs, carts as
well as dolia, were best purchased at Rome.]

[Footnote 93: Marq. _Privatleben_, p. 645.]

[Footnote 94: Strabo, p. 231.]

[Footnote 95: Lex Julia Municipalis, line 56 foll.]

[Footnote 96: Mau, _Pompeii_, p. 377.]

[Footnote 97: See Greenidge, _Roman Public Life_, p. 225.]

[Footnote 98: Lex Claudia; Livy xxi. 63.]

[Footnote 99: Plut. _Crassus_, 2; Pliny, _N.H._ xxxiii. 134:
equivalent to about £160,000.]

[Footnote 100: Cic. _ad Att_. ii. 1. 2.]

[Footnote 101: _Ib._ iv. 4.]

[Footnote 102: Corn. Nepos, _Atticus_, 5.]

[Footnote 103: Livy ixiii. 49.]

[Footnote 104: Pliny, _N.H._ xxxiii. 148; Livy xxxvii. 59.]

[Footnote 105: Polyb. xxxiv. 9, quoted by Strabo, p. 148. Cp. Livy
xlv. 18 for valuable mines in Macedonia.]

[Footnote 106: Polyb. xviii. 35, For the unwillingness to serve, Livy,
Epit. 48 and 55.]

[Footnote 107: Cunningham, _Western Civilisation (Modern)_, p. 162

[Footnote 108: Duruy, _Hist. de Rome_, vol. ii. p. 12.]

[Footnote 109: Cic. _de Provinciis consularibus_, v. 12.]

[Footnote 110: Cic. _pro Quinctio_ 3. 12; a good case of partnership
in a res pecuaria et rustica in Gaul.]

[Footnote 111: Examples in Livy xxiii. 49; xxxii. 7 (portoria);
xxxviii. 35 (corn-supply); xliv. 16 (army); xlii. 9 (revenue of ager

[Footnote 112: Festus, ed. Müller, p. 151.]

[Footnote 113: e.g. Livy xxii. 60 praedibus et praediis cavere

[Footnote 114: Cicero, in his defence of Rabirius Postumus, 2.4, says
that Rabirius' father magnas _partes_ habuit publicorum. One Aufidius
(Val. Max. vi. 9. 7) "Asiatici publici exiguam admodum _particulam_
habuit." Cp. Cic _in Vat._ 12. 29]

[Footnote 115: This is the view of Deloume, _Les Manieurs d'argent à
Rome_, p. 119 foll.]

[Footnote 116: Marq. _Staatsverwaltung_, ii. p.291]

[Footnote 117: Deloume, _Manieurs d'argent_, p. 317 foll.]

[Footnote 118: _pro lege Manilia_, 7. 18.]

[Footnote 119: _Ib._ 7. 19.]

[Footnote 120: _ad Att._ i. 17. 9. Crassus, no doubt a large
shareholder, urged them on.]

[Footnote 121: In a letter to his brother, then governor of this
province, Cicero contemplates the possibility of contracts being taken
at a loss (_ad Q.F._ i. 1. 33), "publicis male redemptis." And in a
letter of introduction in 46, he alludes to heavy losses suffered in
this way, _ad Fam._ xiii. 10.]

[Footnote 122: _ad Att._ v. 16. 2.]

[Footnote 123: _Ib._ vi. 1. 16.]

[Footnote 124: _ad Familiares_, xiii. 65.]

[Footnote 125: _Ib._ xiii. 9. I have not adhered quite closely to his

[Footnote 126: "Qui est in operis ejus societatis," i.e. engaged as a
subordinate agent.--Marquardt, _Staatsverwaltung_, ii. p. 291.]

[Footnote 127: Marq. ii. p. 35 foll.]

[Footnote 128: See his article in _Dict. of Antiq._ ed. 2, s.v.

[Footnote 129: Augustus' grandfather was an argentarius (Suet. _Aug._
2), yet his son could marry a Julia, and be elected to the consulship,
which, however, he was prevented by death from filling.]

[Footnote 130: The word for this cheque is _perscriptio_. Cp. Cic. _ad
Att_. ix. 12. 3 viri boni usuras perscribunt, i.e. draw the interest
on their deposits.]

[Footnote 131: Cic. _ad Att_. xii. 24 and 27.]

[Footnote 132: Cic. _ad Fam_. xvi. 4 and 9]

[Footnote 133: Cic. _ad Att_. xiii. contains many letters of interest
in this connexion.]

[Footnote 134: Cic. _ad Att._ xiii. 2. 3. Cp. xii. 25. In xii. 12
Cicero's divorced wife Terentia wishes to pay a debt by transferring
to her creditor a debt of Cicero's to herself. Another way in
which actual payment could be avoided was by paying interest on
purchase-money instead of the lump sum. Cp. xii. 22.]

[Footnote 135: A good example of this in Velleius ii. 10

[Footnote 136: Cic. _de Officiis_, ii. 24, 84.]

[Footnote 137: Caesar, _de Bell. Civ._ iii. 1 and 20 foll.]

[Footnote 138: Deloume in his _Manieurs d'argent_ has a chapter on
this (p. 58 foll.), but his details are not wholly to be relied
on. Boissier's sketch in _Cicéron et ses amis_, 83 foll., is quite

[Footnote 139: _ad Fam_. v. 20 fin.]

[Footnote 140: _Ib_. v. 9.]

[Footnote 141: Deloume's attempt to prove that Cicero speculated with
enormous profits seems to me to miss the mark.]

[Footnote 142: _ad Q. Fratr._ ii. 4. 3. Cp. _ad Att._ iv. 2.]

[Footnote 143: _ad Q. Fratr._ ii. 14. 3.]

[Footnote 144: _ad Att._ xii. 22. I may add in a footnote a final
startling example of recklessness we have been noting. Decimus Brutus
had, in March 44 B.C., a capital of £320,000, yet next year he writes
to Cicero that so far from any part of his private property being
unencumbered, he had encumbered all his friends with debt also (_ad
Fam._ xi. 10. 5). But this was in order to maintain troops.]

[Footnote 145: _ad Att._ xiii. 42. Cp. xvi. 5.]

[Footnote 146: What the king really wanted the money for, was to bribe
the senate to restore him.--Cic. _ad Fam._ i. 1.]

[Footnote 147: Cic. _pro Bab. Post_. 8. 22.]

[Footnote 148: Varro, _R.R._ i. 2. Ferrero (_Greatness and Decline of
Rome_) has the merit of having discerned the signs of the regeneration
of Italian agriculture at this time, but he is apt to push his
conclusions further than the evidence warrants. See the translation of
his work by A.E. Zimmern, i. p. 124; ii. p. 131 foll. The statement of
Pliny quoted by him (xv. 1. 3) that oil was first exported from Italy
in the year 52 B.C., is, however, of the utmost importance.]

[Footnote 149: The Republic was not to last long; but among the
consuls of the last years of its existence were several members of the
old families.]

[Footnote 150: _ad Fam_. xv. 12. This rather stilted letter is nearly
identical with one to the other consul-designate, another aristocrat,
Claudius Marcellus. Cicero is in each case trying to do his own
business, while writing to a man of higher social rank than his own.]

[Footnote 151: The letters of the years 58 to 54 are full of bitter
allusions to the _invidia_ of these men, which culminate in the long
and windy one to Lentulus Spinther of October 54, where he actually
accuses them of taking up Clodius in order to spite him. In a
confidential note to Atticus in the spring of 56, he told him that
they hated him for buying the Tusculan villa of the great noble
Catulus.--_ad Fam._ i. 9; _ad Att_. iv. 5.]

[Footnote 152: Plutarch, _Cato major_ 2 and 12.]

[Footnote 153: Corn. Nepos, _Cato_ 1. 4, who remarks that Cato's
return from his quaestorship in Sardinia with Ennius in his train was
as good as a splendid triumph.]

[Footnote 154: Plut. _Aem. Paul. 6 ad fin._]

[Footnote 155: Polybius, xxxii. 9-16.]

[Footnote 156: The difference between him and his father, especially
in politics, is sketched in Plutarch's _Life_ of the latter, ch.

[Footnote 157: Leo, in _Die griechische und lateinische Literatur_, p.

[Footnote 158: The best specimens, or rather the worst, are to be
found in the speeches _in Pisonem, in Vatinium_, and in the _Second

[Footnote 159: The most instructive passage on vituperatio is Cicero's
defence of Caelius, ch. 3. Cp. Quintilian iii. 7. 1 and 19. On the
custom at triumphs, etc., see Munro's _Elucidations of Catullus_, p.
75 foll. for most valuable remarks.]

[Footnote 160: We have courteous letters from Cicero both to Piso and
Vatinius, only a few years after he had depicted them in public as
monsters of iniquity.]

[Footnote 161: Plut. C. Gracchus, ch. 6 _ad fin_. Cp. Livy vii. 33.]

[Footnote 162: These characteristic figures may be most conveniently
seen in Strong's interesting volume on Roman sculpture, p. 42 foll.]

[Footnote 163: Plut. _Cato_, ch. 1. _ad fin_. Blanditia was the word
for civility in a candidate: "opus est magnopere blanditia," says
Quintus Cicero, _de pet cons_.§ 41.]

[Footnote 164: There is a pleasanter picture of Cato, sitting in
Lucullus' library and in his right mind, in Cic. _de Finibus_ iii. 2.

[Footnote 165: See Leo, in work already cited, p. 338 foll.]

[Footnote 166: For this remarkable writer, of whose work only a few
fragments survive, see Leo, _op. cit._ p. 340, and Schanz, _Gesch. der
röm. Literatur_, i. p. 278 foll.]

[Footnote 167: Cicero, _Brutus_, 75, 262.]

[Footnote 168: The other Caesarian writers followed him more or less
successfully; Hirtius, who wrote the eighth book of the Gallic War,
and the authors of the Alexandrian, African, and Spanish Wars (the
first possibly by Asinius Pollio).]

[Footnote 169: Leo, _op. cit._ p. 355.]

[Footnote 170: See below, ch. vi.]

[Footnote 171: The passage just cited from the _de Finibus_ (iii. 27)
introduces us to the library of Lucullus at Tusculum, whither Cicero
had gone to consult books, and where he found Cato sitting surrounded
by volumes of Stoic treatises.]

[Footnote 172: The fragments of Panaetius are collected by H.N.
Fowler, Bonn, 1885. The best account of his teaching known to me is in
Schmekel, _Philosophie der Mittleren Stoa_, p. 18 foll. But all can
read the two first books of the _de Officiis_.]

[Footnote 173: Leo, _op. cit._ p. 360. Schmekel deals comprehensively
with Posidonius' philosophy, as reflected in Varro and Cicero, p. 85

[Footnote 174: See Professor Reid's introduction to Cicero's
_Academica_, p. 17. Cicero considered Posidonius the greatest of the
Stoics.--_Ib._ p. 5.]

[Footnote 175: Cic. _de Legibus_ i. affords many examples of this
view, which was apparently that of Posidonius, e.g. 6. 18 and 8. 25.
Cp. _de Republica_, iii. 22. 33.]

[Footnote 176: Gaius i. i; Cic. _de Officiis_ iii. 5. 23; Mommsen,
_Staatsrecht_, iii. p. 604, based on the research of H. Nettleship in
_Journal of Philology_, vol. xiii. p. 175. See also Sohm, _Institutes
of Roman Law_, ch. ii.]

[Footnote 177: _Brutus_ 41. 151, where he plainly ranks him above
Scaevola. The passage is a most interesting one, deserving careful

[Footnote 178: The _Ninth Philippic_: the passage referred to in the
text is 5. 10 foll.]

[Footnote 179: I omit _pro Murena_, chs. vii. and xxi., for want of
space. Sulpicius was opposing Cicero in this case, and the latter's
allusions to him are useful specimens of the good breeding spoken of

[Footnote 180: See Dio Cassius xl. 59; and Cic. _ad Fam_. iv. 1 and 3,
to Sulpicius, with allusions to his consulship.]

[Footnote 181: _Tusc. Disp_. iv. 3. 6.]

[Footnote 182: The speech _in Pisonem_; cp. the _de Provinciis
consularibus_, 1-6. This Piso was the father of Caesar's wife
Calpurnia, who survives in Shakespeare.]

[Footnote 183: The difficult passage in which Cicero describes the
perversion of this character under the influence of Philodemus, has
been skilfully translated by Dr. Mahaffy in his _Greek World under
Roman Sway_, p. 126 foll.; and the reader may do well to refer to his
whole treatment of the practical result of Epicureanism.]

[Footnote 184: This chapter is also useful as illustrating the
urbanity of manners, for Lucullus and Pompeius were political

[Footnote 185: _ad Fam_. viii. 5 _fin_.; viii. 9. 2.]

[Footnote 186: See the introduction of Asconius to Cicero _pro
Cornelio_, ed. Clark, p. 58.]

[Footnote 187: _ad Att_. v. 21. 11, 13.]

[Footnote 188: _ad Q. frat._ ii. 1. 1; ii. 10. 1.]

[Footnote 189: The letters written immediately after Cicero's return
from exile are the best examples of this paralysis of business, e.g.
_ad Fam_. i. 4; _ad Q. F_. ii. 3. See a useful paper by P. Groebe in
_Klio_, vol. v. p. 229.]

[Footnote 190: This appears from a letter of Oaelius to Cicero in
51.--_ad Fam._ viii. 8. 8.]

[Footnote 191: Asconius _in Cornelianum_, ed. Clark, p. 59. "Ut
praetores ex edictis suis perpetuis ius dicerent."]

[Footnote 192: All his letters are in the eighth book of those _ad

[Footnote 193: Tacitus, _Annals_ xiii. 2: "voluptatibus concessis."]

[Footnote 194: Quintil. iv. 2. 123.]

[Footnote 195: Brutus 79. 273.]

[Footnote 196: e.g. _ad Fam._ ii. 13. 3.]

[Footnote 197: Exactly the same combination of real interest in, and
frivolous treatment of, politics is to be found in the early letters
of Horace Walpole to Sir H. Mann, especially those of the year 1742.]

[Footnote 198: _ad Fam._ viii. 14. 3.]

[Footnote 199: Caesar, Bell. Civ. iii. 20 foll.]

[Footnote 200: See above, p. 86; cp. p. 58.]

[Footnote 201: So for example Servaeus is disqualified, _ad Fam_.
viii. 4. I.]

[Footnote 202: _Ib_. viii. 8. 2]

[Footnote 203: _Ib_. 8. 12]

[Footnote 204: Lucilius, _Fragm_. 9, ed. Baehrens.]

[Footnote 205: This probably means that the deity was believed to
reside in the cake, and that the communicants not only entered into
communion with each other in eating of it, but also with him. It is
in fact exactly analogous to the sacramental ceremony of the Latin
festival, in which each city partook of the sacred victim, in that
case a white heifer. See Fowler, Roman _Festivals_, p. 96 and reff.]

[Footnote 206: This interesting custom is recorded by Servius (ad Aen.
iv. 374). For the whole ceremony of confarreatio see De Marchi,
_La Religione nella vita domestica_, p. 155 foll.; Marquardt,
_Privatleben_, p. 32 foll. Cp. also Gaius i. 112.]

[Footnote 207: Gaius l.c.]

[Footnote 208: Cic. _de Off_. i. 17. 54.]

[Footnote 209: i.e. ius commercii and ius connubii: the former
enabling a man to claim the protection of the courts in all cases
relating to property, the latter to claim the same protection in cases
of disputed inheritance.]

[Footnote 210: i.e. ius provocationis, ius suffragii, ius honorum.]

[Footnote 211: This is how I understand Cuq, _Institutions juridiques
des Romains_, p. 223. In the well known Laudatio Turiae we have a
curious case of a re-marriage by coemptio with manus, for a particular
purpose, connected of course with money matters. See Mommsen's
Commentary, reprinted in his _Gesammelte Schriften_, vol. i.]

[Footnote 212: Westermarck, _History of Human Marriage_, ch. x.]

[Footnote 213: See, however, the curious passage quoted by Gellius
(iv. 4. 2) from Serv. Sulpicius, the great jurist (above, p. 118
foll.), on _sponsalia_ in Latium down to 89 B.C.]

[Footnote 214: For the other details of the dress, see Marq.
_Privatleben_, p. 43.]

[Footnote 215: Cic. _de Div._ i. 16. 28.]

[Footnote 216: These lines suggested to Virgil the famous four at the
end of the fourth Eclogue. See _Virgil's "Messianic Eclogue_," p. 72.]

[Footnote 217: She was addressed as _domina_, by all members of the
family. See Marquardt, _Privatleben_, p. 57 note 3. It should be noted
that she had brought a contribution to the family resources in
the form of a dowry (dos) given her by her father to maintain her

[Footnote 218: These details are drawn chiefly from the sixth book of
Valerius Maximus, _de Pudicitia_.]

[Footnote 219: This is proved by an allusion to Cato's speech in
support of the law, in Gellius, _Noct. Att._ vi. 13.]

[Footnote 220: Livy xxxiv. 1 foll., where the speech of Cato is
reproduced in Livy's language and with "modern" rhetoric.]

[Footnote 221: De Marchi, _op. cit._ p. 163; Marq. _Privatleben_, p.
87 foll. Confarreatio was only dissoluble by diffarreatio, but this
was perhaps used only for penal purposes. Other forms of marriage
did not present the same difficulty, not being of a sacramental

[Footnote 222: Plutarch, _Aem. Paull._ 5.]

[Footnote 223: Livy xl. 37.]

[Footnote 224: Livy, _Epit._ 48.]

[Footnote 225: Livy xxxix. 8-18.]

[Footnote 226: Plutarch, _Cato the Elder_ 8.]

[Footnote 227: Gellius (x. 23) quotes a fragment of Cato's speech de
Dotibus, in which the following sentences occur: "Si quid perverse
taetreque factum est a muliere, multitatur: si vinum bibit, si cum
alieno viro probri quid fecerit, condempnatur. In adulterio uxorem
tuam si prehendisses sine indicio impune necares: illa te, si
adulterares sive tu adulterarere, digito non auderet contingere, neque
ius est." Under such circumstances a bold woman might take her revenge

[Footnote 228: Gellius i. 6; cp. Livy, Epit. 59.]

[Footnote 229: e.g. _ad Fam._ xiv. 2.]

[Footnote 230: The story of the relations of Cicero, Terentia,
Clodius, and Clodia, in Pint. _Cic._ 29 is too full of inaccuracies to
be depended on. In the 41st chapter what he says of the divorce and
its causes must be received with caution; it seems to come from some
record left by Tiro, Cicero's freedman and devoted friend, and as
Cicero obviously loved this man much more than his wife, we can
understand why the two should dislike each other.]

[Footnote 231: Plutarch, _Ti. Gracch._ 1; _Gaius Gracch._ 19. The
letters of Cornelia which are extant are quite possibly genuine.]

[Footnote 232: The recent edition of the _Ars amatoria_ by Paul Brandt
has an introduction in which these points are well expressed.]

[Footnote 233: Catullus 72. 75.]

[Footnote 234: _Cicéron et ses amis_, p. 175.]

[Footnote 235: Decimus Brutus, one of the tyrannicides of March 15,

[Footnote 236: Sall. _Cat_. 25.]

[Footnote 237: Plut. _Lucullus_ 6.]

[Footnote 238: Cic. _ad Fam._ viii. 7: a letter of Caelius, in which
he tells of a lady who divorced her husband without pretext on the
very day he returned from his province.]

[Footnote 239: Plut. _Cato min._ 25 and 52. Plutarch seems to be
using here the Anti-Cato of Caesar, but the facts must have been well

[Footnote 240: e.g. _ad Att._ xv. 29.]

[Footnote 241: _ad Fam._ ix. 26.]

[Footnote 242: The so-called Laudatio Turiae is well known to all
students of Roman law, as raising a complicated question of Roman
legal inheritance; but it may also be reckoned as a real fragment of
Roman literature, valuable, too, for some points in the history of
the time it covers. It was first made accessible and intelligible by
Mommsen in 1863, and the paper he then wrote about it has lately been
reprinted in his _Gesammelte Schriften_, vol. i., together with a
new fragment discovered on the same site as the others in 1898. This
fragment, and a discussion of its relation to the whole, will he found
in the _Classical Review_ for June 1905, p. 261; the laudatio without
the new fragment in _C.I.L._ vi. 1527.]

[Footnote 243: App. _B.C._ iv. 44. The identification has been
impugned of late, but, as I think, without due reason. See my article
in _Classical Rev._, 1905, p. 265.]

[Footnote 244: This is how I interpret the new fragment. See
_Classical Rev. l.c._ p. 263 foll.]

[Footnote 245: For the legal question see Mommsen, _Gesammelte
Schriften_, i. p. 407 foll.]

[Footnote 246: The account that follows is put together from Appian
iv. 44, Valerius Maximus vi. 7. 2, and the Laudatio. Appian preserved
some fifty stories of escapes at this time, and the only one that fits
with the Laudatio is that of Lucretius.]

[Footnote 247: Newman, _Politics of Aristotle_, i. p. 372.]

[Footnote 248: A list of the best authorities will be found at the
beginning of Professor Wilkins' book. Of these by far the most useful
for a student is the section in Marquardt's _Privatleben_, p. 79 foll.
The two volumes of Cramer (_Geschichte der Erziehung_, etc.), which
cover all antiquity, are, as he says, most valuable for their breadth
of view. See also H. Nettleship, _Lectures and Essays_, ch. iii.

[Footnote 249: Plut. _Cato the Elder_, ch. xx.]

[Footnote 250: Plut. _Aem. Paul._ ch. vi.]

[Footnote 251: Plut. _Cato minor 1 ad fin._ What is told in the
earlier part of this chapter may perhaps be invention, based on the
character of the grown man; but this information at the end may be
derived from a contemporary source.]

[Footnote 252: Val. Max. iii. 1. 2.]

[Footnote 253: There is a single story of Cicero's boyhood in
Plutarch's _Life_ of him, ch. ii., that parents used to visit his
school because of his fame as a scholar, etc., but to this I do not
attach much importance.]

[Footnote 254: So in _ad Q.F._ iii. 1. 7: de Cicerone tuo quod me
semper rogas, etc.]

[Footnote 255: Ib.]

[Footnote 256: Ib. iii. 3. 4.]

[Footnote 257: Ib. iii. 9.]

[Footnote 258: See the few fragments in the Appendix to Riese's
edition of the remains of Varro's Menippean Satires, p. 248 foll.]

[Footnote 259: _De Rep._ iv. 3. 3.]

[Footnote 260: Plut. _Cato_ 20.]

[Footnote 261: There is probably an allusion to the Stoic view, that
reason is not attained till the fourteenth year, in Virgil's line in
_Ecl._ 4. 27.]

[Footnote 262: in Nonius, p. 108, s.v. ephippium. Cp. the account of
the education of Cato's young son, Plut. _Cato_, 20. Cp. also Virg.
_Aen._ ix. 602 foll.]

[Footnote 263: in Nonius, p. 156, s.v. puerae.]

[Footnote 264: p. 281, ed. Müller.]

[Footnote 265: Her. _Odes_ iii. 6.]

[Footnote 266: Dionys. Hal. ii. 26.]

[Footnote 267: Cic. _pro Cluentio_ 60. 165; Marq. _Privatleben_, p.

[Footnote 268: See a paper by the author in _Classical Rev._ vol. x.
p. 317, in which evidence is collected in support of this view. That
the praetexta had a quasi-sacred character seems certain; see e.g.
Hor. _Epod._ 5. 7; Persius, v. 30; pseudo-Quintilian, _Declam._ 340.
See Henzen, _Acta Fratrum Arvalium_ 15, for the pueri patrimi et
matrimi, representing in that ancient cult the children of the old
Roman family.]

[Footnote 269: Cic. _de Legibus_, ii. 59.]

[Footnote 270: Polyb. vi. 53. For an account of the practice of
laudatio see Marq. _Privatleben_, p. 346 foll. This, too, degenerated
into falsification.]

[Footnote 271: A full list of games will be found in Marquardt,
_Privatleben_, p. 814 foll.]

[Footnote 272: The question is discussed by Quintilian, i. 2.]

[Footnote 273: Plut. Aem. Fault. 6.]

[Footnote 274: Full details about elementary schools in Wilkins, ch.
iv., and Marq p. 90 foll.]

[Footnote 275: Quintil. i. 3. 14.]

[Footnote 276: Plutarch is careful to tell us that Aem. Paullus
exercised this supervision himself (ch. vi.).]

[Footnote 277: _Pro Flacco_ 4, 9. Cp. _ad Quint. Fratr._ i. 2. 4.]

[Footnote 278: That the boy was not always respectful is shown in an
amusing passage in Plautus. _Bacchides_, III. iii. 34 foll.]

[Footnote 279: Sen. _Controversiae_, vii. 3. 8.]

[Footnote 280: London, O.J. Clay and Sons, 1895.]

[Footnote 281: Fortuna occurs many times, as in the so-called
sententiae Varronis printed at the end of Riese's edition of the
fragments of Varro's Menippean satires. This is characteristic of the

[Footnote 282: Hor. _Epist._ i. I. 70.]

[Footnote 283: Marq. _Privatleben_, p. 95 foll.; Wilkins, p. 53.]

[Footnote 284: There is a good example of this in the well-known case
of Brutus' loan to the Salaminians of Cyprus: see especially Cic. ad
Alt. v. 21. 12.]

[Footnote 285: Hor. Ars Poet. 323 foll.]

[Footnote 286: Mommsen, _Hist. of Rome_, iv. p. 563.]

[Footnote 287: Quintilian was of opinion that Greek authors should
precede Latin: i. I. 12.]

[Footnote 288: _De Oratore_, i. 187.]

[Footnote 289: There are many subjects in the book of other kinds, but
all are illustrated in exactly the same way.]

[Footnote 290: H. Jordan, _M. Catonis praeter librum de re rustica
quae extant_, p. 80.]

[Footnote 291: Full information on this point will be found in
Marquardt, _Privatleben_, p. 131 foll.]

[Footnote 292: See my _Roman Festivals_, p. 56. The Liberalia (March
17) was the usual day for the change, and a convenient one for the
enrolment of tirones.]

[Footnote 293: See the very interesting note (11) in Marq. p. 123, as
to the enrolment in municipal towns.]

[Footnote 294: Pro Caelio, 4. 9.]

[Footnote 295: Livy xlv. 37. 3.]

[Footnote 296: Pro Caelio, 30. 72.]

[Footnote 297: _Pro Caelio_, 31. 74.]

[Footnote 298: _Roman Education_, ch. v.]

[Footnote 299: Rhetorica ad Herenniwm, init. The date of this work was
about 82 B.C. See a paper by the author in Journal of Philology, x.

[Footnote 300: H. Nettleship, _Lectures_, etc., p. III; Wilkins, p.
85; Quintil. xii. 2.]

[Footnote 301: Wilkins, _l.c._]

[Footnote 302: Quintil. i. 4. 5; xii. 1. 1; xii. 2 and 7.]

[Footnote 303: _Ib._ xii. 1. 11.]

[Footnote 304: Plut. _Cic._ 4; _Caes._ 3.]

[Footnote 305: _ad Fam._ xvi. 21. The translation is based on Mr.

[Footnote 306: See _Der Horn, Gutsbetrieb_, by H. Gummerus, reprinted
from _Klio_, 1906: an excellent specimen of economic research, to
which I am much indebted in this chapter.--E. Meyer, _Die Sclaverei im
Altertum_, p. 46.]

[Footnote 307: Strabo, p. 668.]

[Footnote 308: Livy, xlv. 34.]

[Footnote 309: Livy, _Epit._ 68.]

[Footnote 310: Caesar, _B.G._ ii. 33.]

[Footnote 311: _ad Att._ v. 20. 5.]

[Footnote 312: Wallon (_Hist. de l'Esclavage_, ii. p. 38) has noted
that Virgil alone shows a feeling of tenderness for the lot of the
captive, quoting _Aen_. iii. 320 foll. (the speech of Andromache): but
this was for the fate of a princess, and a mythical princess. No
Latin poet of that age shows any real sympathy with captives or with

[Footnote 313: Cic. _pro lege Manilia_ 12. 23. Plutarch, in his _Life
of Pompey_ 24, adds that Romans of good standing would join in the
pirates' business in order to make profit in this scandalous way.]

[Footnote 314: Suet. _Aug._ 32, of the period before Augustus.]

[Footnote 315: Varro, _R.R._ ii. 10; Diodorus xxxvi. 3. 1.]

[Footnote 316: Hor. _Epist_. i. 6. 39:--

  "Mancipiis locuples eget aeris Cappadocum rex:
  Ne fueris hic tu."

[Footnote 317: Varro, _R.R._ i. 17.]

[Footnote 318: _Ib_. 2. 10. 3.]

[Footnote 319: Hor. _Epode_ 2. 65. Cp. Tibull. ii. 1. 25 "turbaque
vernarum, saturi bona signa coloni."]

[Footnote 320: See Gummerus, _op. cit._ p. 63, who considers the
_obaeratus_ of Varro as the equivalent of the _addictus_ of the Roman
law of debt.]

[Footnote 321: See the well-known description of the Forum in Plautus'
_Curculio_, iv. 1: "pone aedem Castoris, ibi sunt subito quibu' credas
male"; Marq. _Privatleven_, p. 168; Wallon, _op. cit_. ch. ii.]

[Footnote 322: Gellius iv. 2 gives an extract from the edict of
the aediles drawn up with the object of counteracting such sharp

[Footnote 323: Livy xxxix. 44.]

[Footnote 324: _N.H._. vii. 55. This story affords a good example
of the tricks of the trade: the boys were not twins, and came from
different countries, though exactly alike.]

[Footnote 325: _Bevölkerung_, p. 403.]

[Footnote 326: Cic. _Off_. ii. 21. 73.]

[Footnote 327: Galen v. p. 49, ed. Kuhn; Galen was a native of this
great city.]

[Footnote 328: Dr. Gummerus promises it.]

[Footnote 329: Sittengeschichte, i., ed. 5, p. 264.]

[Footnote 330: Probably by Clodius in 58.]

[Footnote 331: _Asconius ad Cic. pro Cornel_., ed. Clark, p. 75;
Waltzing, _Corporations professionelles_, i. p. 90 foll.]

[Footnote 332: Baking as a trade only came in, as we saw, in 174;
Plautus died in 184; some doubt is thus thrown on the Roman character
of the passage, or the allusion may not be to a public bakery.]

[Footnote 333: See a remarkable passage of Athenaeus (vi. 104) quoted
by Marquardt, _Privatleben_, p. 156, on the use of slaves at Rome for
unproductive labour.]

[Footnote 334: Sallust, e.g., says of his own life in retirement
that he would not engage in "agrum colendo aut venando, servilibus
officiis."--_Catil._ 4.]

[Footnote 335: Wallon, _Hist. de l'Esclavage_, vol. ii. ch. iii.]

[Footnote 336: Sall. _Catil_. 12.]

[Footnote 337: iv. 3. 11 and 12. Plutarch says that as military
tribune Cato the younger had fifteen slaves with him.--Cato minor 9.]

[Footnote 338: Cato, R.R. 2. I.]

[Footnote 339: In ch. 185 he mentions towns where many other objects
may be bought best and cheapest: at Rome, e.g., clothing and rugs, at
Cales and Minturnae farm-instruments of iron, etc. See also Gummerus,
_op. cit._ p. 36.]

[Footnote 340: _R.R._ 10 and 11.]

[Footnote 341: Assiduos homines quinquaginta praebeto, i.e. the
contractor: ch. 144.]

[Footnote 342: See the discussion of this word in Gummerus, p. 62
foll. Varro defines them as those "qui suas operas in servitutem dant
pro pecunia quam debebant" (_de Ling. Lat._ vii. 105), i.e. they give
their labour as against servitude.]

[Footnote 343: _R.R._ i. 22.]

[Footnote 344: Cp. Plut. _Cato the Elder_ 21; a slave must be at work
when he is not asleep.]

[Footnote 345: This is a point on which I cannot enter, but there can
hardly be a doubt that in the long run free labour is cheaper.
See Cairnes, _Slave Power in America_, ch. iii.; Salvioli, _Le
Capitalisme_, p. 253; Columella, _Praejatio_.]

[Footnote 346: Gummerus, p. 81. At the same time the small cultivator
is an obvious fact in Columella, cultivating his bit of land without
working for others.]

[Footnote 347: For Spartacus, Appian, _B.G._ i. 116; for Caelius,
Caesar, _B.C._ iii. 22; and cp. _B.C._ i. 56.]

[Footnote 348: _R.R._ ii. 10.]

[Footnote 349: Columella i. 8.]

[Footnote 350: Gaius ii. 15.]

[Footnote 351: For examples of slaves' devotion to their masters,
Appian, _B.C._ iv. 29; Seneca, _de Benef_. iii. 25.]

[Footnote 352: _ad Fam_. xvi. 1; read also the charming letters which
follow. Tiro was manumitted by Cicero at an unknown date.]

[Footnote 353: _ad Att_. xii. 10.]

[Footnote 354: See the article "Manumissio" in _Dict. of

[Footnote 355: Only in exercising the jus suffragii he was limited
with all his fellow libertini to one of the four city tribes.]

[Footnote 356: Val. Max. viii. 6. 2.]

[Footnote 357: Sall. _Cat_. 24 and 56; Wallon, ii. p. 318 foll.]

[Footnote 358: See, e.g., Cic. _ad Att_. ii. 24. 3; Asconius, _in
Milonianam_ (ed. Clark, p. 31); Milo's host of slaves had gladiators
among them, and were organised in military fashion (an antesignanus,
p. 32), when he fell in with Clodius.]

[Footnote 359: _Pro Sestio_, 15. 34.]

[Footnote 360: _De Pet. Consulatus_, 5. 17.]

[Footnote 361: _ad Quint. Fratr._ i. 2 _ad fin_.]

[Footnote 362: Strabo, p. 381.]

[Footnote 363: Dion. Hal. iv. 23.]

[Footnote 364: Wallon, op. cit. ii. p. 436.]

[Footnote 365: See Otto Seeck, _Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken
Welt_, ch. iv. and v.]

[Footnote 366: See Marquardt, _Privatleben_, p. 172.]

[Footnote 367: Wallon (ii. p. 255 foll.) has collected a number of
examples. Plautus' slaves are as much Athenian as Roman, but the
conditions would be much the same in each case. Cp. Varro, _Men. Sat_.
ed. Riese, p. 220: "Crede mihi, plures dominos servi comederunt quam

[Footnote 368: Petronius, _Sat_. 75.]

[Footnote 369: Diodorus xxxiv. 38.]

[Footnote 370: "Coli rura ab ergastulis pessimum est et quicquid
agitur a desperantibus," wrote Pliny (_Nat. Hist_. xviii. 36) in the
famous passage about latifundia.]

[Footnote 371: _R.R._ i. 17.]

[Footnote 372: See some excellent remarks on this subject in _Ecce
Homo_, towards the end of ch. xii. ("Universality of the Christian
Republic ").]

[Footnote 373: _The Slave Power_, ch. v., and especially p. 374 foll.
A living picture of the mean white may be found in Mark Twain's
_Huckleberry Finn_, drawn from his own early experience, particularly
in ch. xxi.]

[Footnote 374: "Regum nobis induimus animos," wrote Seneca in a
well-known letter about the claims of slaves as human beings, _Ep_.

[Footnote 375: _Life in Ancient Athens_, p. 55.]

[Footnote 376: For this view of the Lar see Wissowa, _Religion und
Kultus der Römer_, p. 148 foll.; and a note by the author in _Archiv
fur Religionswissenschaft_, 1906, p. 529.]

[Footnote 377: _Fasti_, vi. 299.]

[Footnote 378: Cato, _R.R._, ch. ii. init.; Horace, _Epode_ 2. 65;
_Sat_. ii. 6. 65.]

[Footnote 379: _Romische Religion_, p. 214.]

[Footnote 380: Or lectulus adversus, i.e. opposite the door; Ascon.
ed. Clark, p. 43, a good passage for the contents of an atrium.]

[Footnote 381: See Mau's _Pompeii_, p. 248.]

[Footnote 382: Mau, _Pompeii_, p. 240.]

[Footnote 383: The extent to which this could be carried can be
guessed from Sall. _Cat._ 12.]

[Footnote 384: Quintus Cicero, growing rich with Caesar in Gaul, had a
fancy for a domus suburbana: Cic. _ad Q. Fr._ iii. I. 7. Marcus tells
his brother in this letter that he himself had no great fancy for such
a residence, and that his house on the Palatine had all the charm of
such a suburbana. His villa at Tusculum, as we shall see, served the
purpose of a house close to the city.]

[Footnote 385: A great number of passages about the noise and crowds
of Rome are collected in Mayor's _Notes to Juvenal_, pp. 173, 203,

[Footnote 386: Some interesting remarks on the general aspect of the
city will be found in the concluding chapter of Lanciani's _Ruins and
Excavations_. For the bore elsewhere than in Rome, see below, p. 256.]

[Footnote 387: _ad Fam_. ii. 12: "Urbem, Urbem, mi Rufe, cole, et in
ista luce viva Omnis peregrinatio (foreign travel) obscura et sordida
est iis, quorum industria Roma potest illustris esse," etc.]

[Footnote 388: Lucr. ii. 22 foll.; iii. 1060 foll. Cp. Seneca, _Ep._
69: "Frequens migratio instabilis animi est!"]

[Footnote 389: _de Oratore_, ii. 22.]

[Footnote 390: These houses, with the coast on which they stood,
have long sunk into the sea, and we are only now, thanks to the
perseverance of Mr. R.T. Günther of Magdalen College, realising their
position and former magnificence. See his volume on _Earth Movements
in the Bay of Naples_.]

[Footnote 391: See Cic. _pro Caelio_, §§ 48-50.]

[Footnote 392: _Cicero's Villen_, Leipzig, 1889.]

[Footnote 393: Varro, _R.R._ iii. 13.]

[Footnote 394: The villa had once been Sulla's also: and the
aristocratic connection gave its owner some trouble. See above, p.

[Footnote 395: Schmidt, _op. cit._ p. 31.]

[Footnote 396: _de Finibus_, iii. 2. 7.]

[Footnote 397: _de Legibus_, ii. 1.]

[Footnote 398: _op. cit_. p. 15. I am assured by a travelling friend
that the Fibreno is a delicious stream.]

[Footnote 399: _ad Quint. Fratr_. iii. 1.]

[Footnote 400: _ad Att._ xiii. 19. 2.]

[Footnote 401: For further details of the amenities of the villa at
Arpinum see Schmidt, _op. cit._]

[Footnote 402: _ad Att._ ii. 14 and 15.]

[Footnote 403: O.E. Schmidt, _Briefwechsel Cicero's_, pp. 66 and 454;
but see his _Cicero's Villen_, p. 46, note.]

[Footnote 404: _ad Att_. xii. 19 init.]

[Footnote 405: See Seneca, _Epist_. 69, on the disturbing influence of
constant change of scene.]

[Footnote 406: There is an exception in the young Cicero's letter to
Tiro, translated above, p. 202.]

[Footnote 407: Censorinus, _De die natali_, 23. 6.; Pliny, _N.H._ vii.
213. On the whole subject of the division of the day see Marquardt,
_Privatlben_, p. 246 foll.]

[Footnote 408: In the XII Tables only sunrise and sunset were
mentioned (Pliny, _l.c._ 212). Later on noon was proclaimed by the
Consul's marshal (Varro, _de Ling. Lat_. vi. 5), and also the end of
the civil day. Cp. Varro, _L.L._ vi. 89.]

[Footnote 409: Cic. _pro Quinctio_, 18. 59.]

[Footnote 410: See the article "Horologium" in _Dict. of Antiquities_,
vol. i.]

[Footnote 411: Our modern hours are called equinoctial, because they
are fixed at the length of the natural hour at the equinoxes. This
system does not seem to have come in until late in the Empire period.]

[Footnote 412: For the water-clock see Marquardt, _op. cit_. p. 773

[Footnote 413: The lines are so good that I may venture to quote them
in full from Gell. iii 3 (cp. Ribbeck, _Fragm. Gomicorum_, ii. p. 34):
"parasitus esuriens dicit:

  Ut illum di perdant primus qui horas repperit,
  Quique adeo primus statuit hic solarium.
  Qui mihi comminuit misero articulatim diem,
  Nam olim me puero venter erat solarium,
  Multo omnium istorum optimum et verissimum:
  Ubivis ste monebat esse, nisi quom nihil erat.
  Nunc etiam quom est, non estur, nisi soli libet.
  Itaque adeo iam oppletum oppidum est solariis,
  Maior pars populi iam aridi reptant fame."

The fourth line contains a truth of human nature, of which
illustrations might easily be found at the present day.]

[Footnote 414: Pliny, _N.H._ xv. 1 foll, supplies the history of the
oil industry. For the candles see Marquardt, _Privatleben_, p. 690.]

[Footnote 415: See above, p. 93.]

[Footnote 416: Marq. _Privatleben_, p. 264.]

[Footnote 417: Cic. _ad Q.F._ ii. 3. 7. For the lippitudo, _ad Att._
vii. 14.]

[Footnote 418: Hor. _Epist_. ii. 1. 112; Pliny, _Ep_. iii. 5, 8, 9.]

[Footnote 419: Hor. _Epist._ ii. 1. 103: "Romae dulce diu fuit et
solenne reclusa Mane domo vigilare, clienti promere iura" etc. It is
curious that all our information on this early business comes from the
literature of the Empire. The single passage of Cicero which Marquardt
could find to illustrate it unluckily relates to his practice as
governor of Cilicia (_ad Att._ vi. 2. 5).]

[Footnote 420: e.g. _ad Q.F._ i. 2. 16.; and Q. Cic. _Commentariolum
petitionis_, sec. 17.]

[Footnote 421: See what he says of M. Manilius in _De Orat_. iii.

[Footnote 422: The word seems to be connected with ieiunium (Plant.
_Curculio_ I. i. 73; Festus, p. 346), and thus answers to our
break_fast_. The verb is ientare: Afranius: fragm. "ientare nulla

[Footnote 423: Galen, vol. vi. p. 332. I take this citation from
Marquardt, _Privatleben_, p. 257; others will be found in the notes
to that page. Marquardt seems to have been the first to bring the
evidence of the medical writers to bear on the subject of Roman

[Footnote 424: See the interesting account of these (salutatores,
deductores, assectatores) in the _Commentariolum petitionis_ of Q.
Cicero, 9. 34 foll.]

[Footnote 425: See above, p. 109.]

[Footnote 426: Q. Cicero, _Comment. Pet._9. 37.]

[Footnote 427: See the author's _Roman Festivals_, pp. 125 foll.]

[Footnote 428: Plutarch, _C. Gracchus_, 6.]

[Footnote 429: Cic. _ad Fam._ ii. 12.]

[Footnote 430: Fragm. 9. Baehrens, _Fragm. Poet. Rom._ p. 141. Cp.
Galen, vol. x. p. 3 (Kuhn).]

[Footnote 431: Livy xlv. 36; Cic. _ad Fam_. i. 2; for a famous case of
"obstruction" by lengthy speaking, Gell. iv. 10.]

[Footnote 432: Festus, p. 54.]

[Footnote 433: _ad Fam._ vii. 30.]

[Footnote 434: _de Divinatione_, ii. 142, written in 44 B.C.]

[Footnote 435: Varro, _R.R._ i. 2; the words are put into the mouth
of one of the speakers in the dialogue. See, for examples from later
writers, Marq., _Privatleben_, p. 262.]

[Footnote 436: _ad Att_. xiii. 52; the habit may have often been
dropped in winter.]

[Footnote 437: Seneca, _Ep_. 86. The whole passage is most
interesting, as illustrating the difference in habits wrought in the
course of two centuries.]

[Footnote 438: Mau, _Pompeii_, p. 300. See above, p. 244.]

[Footnote 439: See the plan in Mau, p. 357; Marquardt, _Privatleben_,
p. 272.]

[Footnote 440: See Professor Purser's explanation and illustrations in
the _Dict. of Antiquities_, vol. i. p. 278.]

[Footnote 441: The subject of the public baths at Rome properly
belongs to the period of the Empire, and is too extensive to be
treated in a chapter on the daily life of the Roman of Cicero's time.
Public baths did exist in Rome already, but we hear very little of
them, which shows that they were not as yet an indispensable adjunct
of social life; but the fact that Seneca in the letter already quoted
describes the aediles as testing the heat of the water with their
hands shows (1) that the baths were public, (2) that they were of hot
water and not, as later, of hot air (_thermae_). The latter invention
is said to have come in before the Social war (Val. Max. ix. 1.
1.). Some baths seem to have been run as a speculation by private
individuals, and bore the name of their builder (e.g. balneae Seniae,
Cic. _pro Cael_. 25. 61). In summer the young men still bathed in the
Tiber (_pro Cael_. 15. 36). At Pompeii the oldest public baths (the
Stabian; Mau, p. 183) date from the second century B.C.]

[Footnote 442: The tradition was that the paterfamilias originally
also sat instead of reclining. See Marq. _Privatleben_, p. 292 note

[Footnote 443: Columella, ii. 1. 19, a very interesting chapter;
Plutarch, _Cato min_. 56.]

[Footnote 444: Plut. _Lucullus_ 40; see above, p. 242.]

[Footnote 445: Plut. _Quaest. Conv._ 1. 3 foll.; and Marq. p. 295.]

[Footnote 446: Hor. _Sat_. i. 4. 86; cp. Cic. _in Pisonem_, 27. 67.]

[Footnote 447: Cic. _de Senect_. 14. 46.]

[Footnote 448: Lucilius, fragm. 30; 120 foll.; 168, 327 etc. Varro
wrote a Menippean satire on gluttony, of which a fragment is preserved
by Gellius, vi. 16.]

[Footnote 449: See the interesting passage in _Cic. pro Murena_, 36.
75, about the funeral feast of Scipio Aemilianus.]

[Footnote 450: Catull. 47. 5: "vos convivia lauta sumptuose De die

[Footnote 451: 26. 65 foll; Hor. _Od_. iii. 19, and the commentators.]

[Footnote 452: _ad Fam_. vii. 26, of the year 57 B.C. The sumptuary
law must have been a certain lex Aemilia of later date than Sulla.
(See Gell. ii. 24: "qua lege non sumptus cenarum, sed ciborum genus et
modus praefinitus est.") This chapter of Gellius, and Macrob. iii. 17,
are the safest passages to consult on the subject of the growth of

[Footnote 453: See Munro, _Elucidations of Catullus_, p. 92 foll.]

[Footnote 454: Tibull. ii. 1. 51 foll. Cp. ii. 5. 83 foll. Several are
also described by Ovid in his _Fasti_. A charming account of feste in
a Tuscan village of to-day will be found in _A Nook in the Apennines_,
by Leader Scott, chapters xxviii. and xxix.: a book full of value for
Italian rural life, ancient and modern.]

[Footnote 455: Wissowa, _Religion und Kultus_, p. 366. "Feriae" came
in time to be limited to public festivals, while "festus dies" covered
all holidays.]

[Footnote 456: de Legibus, ii. 8. 19: cp. 12. 29.]

[Footnote 457: Georg. i. 268 foll. Cato had already said the same
thing: _R.R._ ii. 4.]

[Footnote 458: Thus Ovid describes the rites performed by the Flamen
Quirinalis at the old agricultural festival of the Robigalia (Robigus,
deity of the mildew) as if it were a curious bit of old practice which
most people knew nothing about.--_Fasti_, iv. 901 foll.]

[Footnote 459: Greenidge, _Legal Procedure in Cicero's time_, p. 457.]

[Footnote 460: It is the same word as our _fair_.]

[Footnote 461: _Fasti_, iii. 523 foll.; Fowler, _Roman Festivals_, p.

[Footnote 462: _Roman Festivals_, p. 185. The custom doubtless had a
religious origin.]

[Footnote 463: _Ib_. p. 268. Augustus limited the days to three.]

[Footnote 464: Wissowa, _Religion und Kultus_, p. 170. The cult of
Saturn was largely affected by Greek usage, but this particular custom
was more likely descended from the usage of the Latin farm.]

[Footnote 465: See above, p. 172. Marquardt, _Privatleben_, p. 586;
Frazer, _Golden Bough_ (ed. 2), vol. iii. p. 188 foll.]

[Footnote 466: Cic. _Verr_. I. 10. 31; where Cicero complains of the
difficulties he experienced in conducting his case in consequence of
the number of ludi from August to November in that year.]

[Footnote 467: Fowler, _Roman Festivals_, p. 217 foll.]

[Footnote 468: See the account in Dion. Hal. vii. 72, taken from
Fabius Pictor.]

[Footnote 469: See Friedländer in Marquardt, _Staatsverwaltung_, iii.
p. 508, note 3.]

[Footnote 470: For full accounts of this procession, and the whole
question of the Ludi Romani, see Friedländer, _l.c._; Wissowa,
_Religion und Kultus_, p. 383 foll.; or the article "Triumphus" in
the _Dict. of Antiquities_, ed. 2. All accounts owe much to Mommsen's
essay in _Römische Forschungen_, ii. p. 42 foll.]

[Footnote 471: On the parallelism between the Ludi Plebeii and Romani
see Mommsen, _Staatsrecht_, ii. p. 508, note 4.]

[Footnote 472: Fowler, _Roman Festivals_, p. 179 foll.]

[Footnote 473: _Ib_. p. 69.]

[Footnote 474: _Ib_. p. 72 foll.]

[Footnote 475: Fowler, _Roman Festivals_, p. 91 foll.]

[Footnote 476: Livy xxii. 10.7; Dionys. vii. 71.]

[Footnote 477: Pliny, N.S. xxxiii. 138. The same thing happened once
or twice under Augustus.]

[Footnote 478: Livy xl. 44.]

[Footnote 479: ii. 16, 57 foll.]

[Footnote 480: We have some details of the ridiculously lavish
expenditure of this aedile in Pliny, N.H. xxxvi. 114. He built a
temporary theatre, which was decorated as though it were to be a
permanent monument of magnificence.]

[Footnote 481: Verr. v. 14. 36.]

[Footnote 482: Plut. Caes. 5.]

[Footnote 483: Cio. _ad Fam_. viii. 9.]

[Footnote 484: _ad Att_. vi. I. 21.]

[Footnote 485: There is no evidence that slaves were admitted under
the Republic. Columella, who wrote under Nero, is the first to mention
their presence at the games (_R.R._ i. 8. 2), unless we consider the
vilicus of Horace, _Epist_. i. 14. 15, as a slave. See Friedländer in
Marq. p. 491, note 4.]

[Footnote 486: See above, p. 13; Fowler, _Roman Festivals_, p. 208.]

[Footnote 487: _Roman Festivals_, p. 241.]

[Footnote 488: _Ib_. p. 77 foll.]

[Footnote 489: Dionys. Hal. in. 68 gives this number for Augustus'
time, and so far as we know Augustus had not enlarged the Circus.]

[Footnote 490: Gell. iii. 10. 16.]

[Footnote 491: Pliny, _N.H._ x. 71: he seems to be referring to an
earlier time, and this Caecina may have been the friend of Cicero. In
another passage of Pliny we hear of the red faction about the time of
Sulla (vii. 186; Friedl. p. 517). Cp. Tertullian, _de Spectaculis_,

[Footnote 492: For a graphic picture of the scene in the Circus in
Augustus' time see Ovid, _Ars Amatoria_, i. 135 foll.]

[Footnote 493: ch. 59.]

[Footnote 494: See Schol. Bob. on the _pro Sestio_, new Teubner ed.,
p. 105.]

[Footnote 495: Val. Max. ii. 3. 2. The conjecture as to the object
of the exhibition by the consuls is that of Bücheler, in _Rhein.
Mus._1883, p. 476 foll.]

[Footnote 496: The example was set, according to Livy, _Epit_. 16, by
a Junius Brutus at the beginning of the first Punic war.]

[Footnote 497: _ad Fam_. ii. 3.]

[Footnote 498: The origin of these bloody shows at funerals needs
further investigation. It may be connected with a primitive and savage
custom of sacrificing captives to the Manes of a chief, of which we
have a reminiscence in the sacrifice of captives by Aeneas, in Virg.
_Aen_. xi. 82.]

[Footnote 499: See Lucian Müller's _Ennius_, p. 35 foll., where he
maintains against Mommsen the intelligence and taste of the Romans of
the 2nd century B.C.]

[Footnote 500: Cic. _Brutus_, 28. 107, where he speaks of having known
the poet himself.]

[Footnote 501: _ad_ Att. ii. 19.]

[Footnote 502: _Pro Sestio_, 55. 117 foll.]

[Footnote 503: _ad Q. Fratr_. iii. 5.]

[Footnote 504: It is only fair to say that this information comes from
a letter of Asinius Pollio to Cicero (_ad Fam_. x. 32. 3), and as
Pollio was one who had a word of mockery for every one, we may
discount the story of the tears.]

[Footnote 505: Tibicines, usually mistranslated flute-players; this
characteristic Italian instrument was really a primitive oboe played
with a reed, and usually of the double form (two pipes with a
connected mouthpiece), still sometimes seen in Italy.]

[Footnote 506: See above, p. 70.]

[Footnote 507: Val. Max. ii. 4. 2; Livy, _Epit_. 48.]

[Footnote 508: Tacitus, _Ann_. xiv. 20.]

[Footnote 509: Tertullian, _de Spectaculis_, 10; Pliny, _N.H._ viii.

[Footnote 510: See the excellent account in Hülsen, vol. iii. of
Jordan's _Topographie_, p. 524 foll. Some of the arches of the
supporting arcade are still visible.]

[Footnote 511: _ad Fam_. vii. I. Professor Tyrrell calls this letter a
rhetorical exercise; is it not rather one of those in which Cicero is
taking pains to write, therefore writing less easily and naturally
than usual?]

[Footnote 512: I have used Mr. Shuckburgh's translation, with one or
two verbal changes.]

[Footnote 513: Pliny, _Nat. Hist_. viii. 21.]

[Footnote 514: _de Div_. i. 37. 80. Cp. the story in Plut. _Cic_. 5.]

[Footnote 515: Hor. _Ep_. ii. 82; Quintil. ii. 3. Ill.]

[Footnote 516: Val. Max. viii. 10. 2. Cicero was said to have learnt
gesticulation both from Aesopus and Roscius.--Plut. _Cic_. 5.]

[Footnote 517: Pliny, _N.H._ vii. 128.]

[Footnote 518: _Pro Archia_, 8.]

[Footnote 519: _De Oratore_, i. 28. 129.]

[Footnote 520: _De Oratore_, iii. 27, 59.]

[Footnote 521: A useful succinct account of the literature of
this difficult subject will be found in Schanz, _Gesch. der rom.
Litteratur_, vol. i. (ed. 3) p. 21 foll.]

[Footnote 522: This is the view of Mommsen, _Hist_. iii. p. 455, which
is generally accepted. For further information see Teuffel, _Hist. of
Roman Literature_, i. (ed. 2) p. 9. That they were in fashion before
the mimus is gathered from Cic. _ad Fam_. ix. 16.]

[Footnote 523: Plut. _Sulla_, 2: ep. 36.]

[Footnote 524: Political allusions in mimes, were, however, not
unknown. Cp. Cic. _ad Alt_. xiv. 3, written in 44 B.C., after Caesar's

[Footnote 525: All the passages about Publilius are collected in Mr.
Bickford Smith's edition of his _Sententiae_, p. 10 foll. On mimes
generally the reader may be referred to Professor Purser's excellent
article in Smith's _Diet. of Antiq_. ed. 2.]

[Footnote 526: Animo aequissimo, _ad Fam_. xii. 19. He means perhaps
rather that flattering allusions to Caesar did not hurt his feelings.]

[Footnote 527: See Ribbeck, _Fragm. Comic. Lat_. p. 295 foll.]

[Footnote 528: Seneca, _Epist_. 108. 8.]

[Footnote 529: See another excellent article of Professor Purser's in
the _Dict. of Antiq_.]

[Footnote 530: See the _Hibbert Journal_ for July 1907, p. 847. In the
second sense Cicero often uses the plural "religiones," esp. in _de
Legibus_, ii.]

[Footnote 531: See Middleton, _Rome in 1887_, p. 423; Horace, _Sat_.
i. 8. 8 foll.; Nissen, _Italische Landeskunde_, ii. p. 522.]

[Footnote 532: Fowler, _Roman Festivals_, p. 336 foll.]

[Footnote 533: _Monumentum Ancyranum_ (Lat.), 4. 17.]

[Footnote 534: _de Nat. Deor._ i. 29. 82.]

[Footnote 535: Valerius Maximus, _Epit._ 3. 4; Wissowa, _Rel. und
Kult._ p. 293.]

[Footnote 536: See, e.g. Dill, _Roman Society from Nero to Marcus
Aurelius_, ch. v.]

[Footnote 537: See, e.g., _pro Sestio_, 15. 32; _in Vatinium_, 7. 18.]

[Footnote 538: Augustine, _Civ. Dei_, iv. 27.]

[Footnote 539: Cp. i. 63 foll.; iii. 87 and 894; v. 72 and 1218; and
many other passages.]

[Footnote 540: iii. 995 foll.; v. 1120 foll.]

[Footnote 541: iii. 70; v. 1126.]

[Footnote 542: ii. 22 foll.; iii. 1003; v. 1116.]

[Footnote 543: _Roman Poets of the Republic_, p. 306.]

[Footnote 544: The secret may be found in the last 250 lines of Bk.
iii., and at the beginning and end of Bk. v.]

[Footnote 545: v. 1203; ii. 48-54.]

[Footnote 546: v. 1129.]

[Footnote 547: "Philosophy has never touched the mass of mankind
except through religion" (_Decadence_, by Rt. Hon. A.J. Balfour, p.
53). This is a truth of which Lucretius was profoundly, though not
surprisingly, ignorant.]

[Footnote 548: See above, p. 115.]

[Footnote 549: e.g. xxi. 62.]

[Footnote 550: Ribbeck, _Fragm. Trag. Rom._ p. 54: Ego deum genus esse
semper dixi et dicam coelitum, Sed eos non curare opinor quid agat
humanum genus.]

[Footnote 551: See above, p. 114.]

[Footnote 552: See H.N. Fowler, _Panaetii et Hecatonis librorum
fragmenta_, p. 10; Hirzel, _Untersuchungen zu Cicero's philosophischen
Schriften_, i. p. 194 foll.]

[Footnote 553: See above, p. 115.]

[Footnote 554: Schmekel, _Die Mittlere Stoa_, p. 85 foll.; Hirzel,
_Untersuchungen_, etc., i. p. 194 foll.]

[Footnote 555: The fragments are collected by E. Agahd, Leipzig, 1898.
The great majority are found in St. Augustine, _de Civitate Dei_.]

[Footnote 556: As Wissowa says (_Religion und Kultus der Römer_, p.
100), Jupiter does not appear in Roman language and literature as a
personality who thunders or rains, but rather as the heaven itself
combining these various manifestations of activity. The most familiar
illustration of the usage alluded to in the text is the line of Horace
in _Odes_ i. 1. 25: "manet sub Iove frigido venator."]

[Footnote 557: ap. Aug. _Civ. Dei_, iv. 11.]

[Footnote 558: _Ib._ vii. 9.]

[Footnote 559: ap. Aug. _Civ. Dei_, vii. 13: animus mundi is here so
called, but evidently identified with Jupiter.]

[Footnote 560: _Ib._ vii. 9.]

[Footnote 561: _Ib._ iv. 11, 13.]

[Footnote 562: Aug. _de consensu evangel._ i. 23, 24. Cp. _Civ. Dei_,
iv. 9.]

[Footnote 563: _Ib._ i. 22. 30; _Civ. Dei_, xix. 22.]

[Footnote 564: See Wissowa, _Religion und Kultus_, p. 103.]

[Footnote 565: _de Rep_. iii. 22. See above, p. 117.]

[Footnote 566: _de Legilus_, ii. 10.]

[Footnote 567: _de Nat. Deor._. i. 15. 40: "idem etiam legis perpetuae
et eternae vim, quae quasi dux vitae et magistra officiorum sit, Iovem
dicit esse, eandemque fatalem necessitatem appellat, sempiternam rerum
futurarum veritatem." Chrysippus of course was speaking of the Greek

[Footnote 568: e.g. _de Off._ iii. 28; _de Nat. Deor._ i. 116.]

[Footnote 569: Glover, _Studies in Virgil_, p. 275.]

[Footnote 570: It is interesting to note that in the religious revival
of Augustus Jupiter by no means has a leading place. See Carter,
_Religion of Numa_, p. 160, where, however, the attitude of Augustus
towards the great god is perhaps over-emphasised. On the relation of
Virgil's Jupiter to Fate, see E. Norden, _Virgils epische Technik_, p.
286 foll. Seneca, it is worth noting, never mentions Jupiter as the
centre of the Stoic Pantheon.--Dill, _Roman Society from Nero to M.
Aurelius_, p. 331.]

[Footnote 571: See an article by the author in _Hibbert Journal_, July
1907, p. 847.]

[Footnote 572: Plut. _Sulla_, 6.]

[Footnote 573: Valerius Maximus ii. 3.]

[Footnote 574: _de Div_. i. 32. 68.]

[Footnote 575: Plut. _Brutus_, 36, 37.]

[Footnote 576: Sall. _Cat._ 51; Cic. _Cat._ iv. 4. 7.]

[Footnote 577: Cic. _de Rep._ iv. 24.]

[Footnote 578: Reid, _The Academics of Cicero_, Introduction, p. 18.]

[Footnote 579: _ad Att._ xii. 36.]

[Footnote 580: ad Att. xii. 37.]

[Footnote 581: Suetonius, _Jul_. 88. See E. Kornemann in _Klio_, vol.
i. p. 95.]

[Footnote 582: We do not know exactly when this preface was written.
Prefaces are now composed, as a rule, when a work is finished: but
this does not seem to have been the practice in antiquity, and
internal evidence is here strongly in favour of an early date.]

[Footnote 583: _Epode_ 16. 54; cp. 30 foll.]

[Footnote 584: Sir W.M. Ramsay, quoted in _Virgil's Messianic
Eclogue_, p. 54.]

[Footnote 585: Dr. J.B. Mayor, in _Virgil's Messianic Eclogue_, p. 118

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