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Title: A History of Roman Literature
Author: Fowler, Harold North
Language: English
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[Illustration: AUGUSTUS.

Bust in the Museum of Fine Arts. Boston.]

Twentieth Century Text-Books




Professor in the College for Women of Western Reserve University

New York and London D. Appleton and Company

Copyright, 1903
By D. Appleton and Company

Printed at the Appleton Press,
New York, U. S. A.


This book is intended primarily for use as a text-book in schools and
colleges. I have therefore given more dates and more details about the
lives of authors than are in themselves important, because dates are
convenient aids to memory, as they enable the learner to connect his
new knowledge with historical facts he may have learned before, while
biographical details help to endow authors with something of concrete
personality, to which the learner can attach what he learns of their
literary and intellectual activity.

Extracts from Latin authors are given, with few exceptions, in English
translation. I considered the advisability of giving them in Latin, but
concluded that extracts in Latin would probably not be read by most
young readers, and would therefore do less good than even imperfect
translations. Moreover, the texts of the most important works are
sure to be at hand in the schools, and books of selections, such as
Cruttwell and Banton’s _Specimens of Roman Literature_, Tyrrell’s
_Anthology of Latin Poetry_, and Gudeman’s _Latin Literature of the
Empire_, are readily accessible. I am responsible for all translations
not accredited to some other translator. In making my translations,
I have employed blank verse to represent Latin hexameters; but the
selections from the _Æneid_ are given in Conington’s rhymed version,
and in some other cases I have used translations of hexameters into
metres other than blank verse.

In writing of the origin of Roman comedy, I have not mentioned the
dramatic _satura_. Prof. George L. Hendrickson has pointed out (in the
_American Journal of Philology_, vol. xv, pp. 1-30) that the dramatic
_satura_ never really existed, but was invented in Roman literary
history because Aristotle, whose account of the origin of comedy was
closely followed by the Roman writers, found the origin of Greek comedy
in the satyr-drama.

The greater part of the book is naturally taken up with the extant
literary works and their authors; but I have devoted some space to
the lives and works of authors whose writings are lost. This I have
done, not because I believe that the reader should burden his memory
with useless details, but partly in order that this book may be of
use as a book of reference, and partly because the mention of some of
the lost works and their authors may impress upon the reader the fact
that something is known of many writers whose works have survived, if
at all, only in detached fragments. Not a few of these writers were
important in their day, and exercised no little influence upon the
progress of literature. Of the whole mass of Roman literary production
only a small part—though fortunately in great measure the best
part—now exists, and it is only by remembering how much has been
lost that the modern reader can appreciate the continuity of Roman

The literature of the third, fourth, and fifth centuries after
Christ is treated less fully than that of the earlier times, but its
importance to later European civilization has been so great that a
summary treatment of it should be included even in a book of such
limited scope as this.

The Bibliography will, I hope, be found useful. It is by no means
exhaustive, but may serve as a guide to those who have not access to
libraries. The purpose of the Chronological Table is not so much to
serve as a finding-list of dates as to show at a glance what authors
were living and working at any given time. In the Index the names
of all Latin writers mentioned in the book are to be found, together
with references to numerous topics and to some of the more important
historical persons.

Besides the works of the Roman authors, I have consulted the general
works mentioned in the Bibliography and numerous other books and
special articles. I have made most use of Teuffel’s _History of Roman
Literature_, Schanz’s _Römische Litteraturgeschichte_, and Mackail’s
admirable _Latin Literature_.

My thanks are due to my colleague, Prof. Samuel Ball Platner, who read
the book in manuscript and made many valuable suggestions, and to
Professor Perrin, who read not only the manuscript, but also the proof,
and suggested not a few desirable changes.




    CHAPTER                                                  PAGE


       II.—COMEDY                                            17


       IV.—LUCRETIUS                                         47

        V.—CATULLUS—MINOR POETS                              56

       VI.—CICERO                                            65



       IX.—HORACE                                           114


       XI.—OVID                                             143


     XIII.—TIBERIUS TO VESPASIAN                            169


       XV.—NERVA AND TRAJAN                                 211

              WRITERS                                       226

     XVII.—LITERARY INNOVATIONS                             235

    XVIII.—EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITERS                          244


       XX.—THE FOURTH AND FIFTH CENTURIES                   259

      XXI.—CONCLUSION                                       278

           APPENDIX I.—BIBLIOGRAPHY                         285

           APPENDIX II.—CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE                 297

           INDEX                                            303


    AUGUSTUS, bust in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,    _Frontispiece_

    CICERO, bust in the Vatican Museum, Rome                         65

    CÆSAR, bust in the Museum at Naples                              83

    VIRGIL AND TWO MUSES, mosaic in the Bardo Museum, Tunis         113





    Importance of Roman literature—The Romans a practical people—The
    Latin language—Political purpose of Roman writings—Divisions of
    Roman literature—Elements of a native Roman literature—Appius
    Claudius Cæcus—Imitation of Greek literature—L. Livius
    Andronicus, about 284 to about 204 B. C.—Gnæus Nævius, about
    270-199 B. C.—Q. Ennius, 239-169 B. C.—His Tragedies—The
    _Annales_—M. Pacuvius, 220 to about 130 B. C.—L. Accius, 170 to
    after 100 B. C.—The Decay of Tragedy—The Roman theatre, actors
    and costumes.

[Sidenote: Importance of Roman literature.] Roman literature, while
it lacks the brilliant originality and the delicate beauty which
characterize the works of the great Greek writers, is still one of
the great literatures of the world, and it possesses an importance
for us which is even greater than its intrinsic merits (great as they
are) would naturally give it. In the first place, Roman literature has
preserved to us, in Latin translations and adaptations, many important
remains of Greek literature which would otherwise have been lost, and
in the second place, the political power of the Romans, embracing
nearly the whole known world, made the Latin language the most widely
spread of all languages, and thus caused Latin literature to be read in
all lands and to influence the literary development of all the peoples
of Europe.

[Sidenote: The Romans practical.] The Romans were a practical race,
not gifted with much poetic imagination, but with great ability to
organize their state and their army and to accomplish whatever they
determined to do. They had come into Italy with a number of related
tribes from the north and had settled in a place on the bank of the
Tiber, where they were exposed to attacks from the Etruscans and other
neighbors. They were thus forced from the beginning to fortify their
city, and live close together within the walls. [Sidenote: Attention
to political and military affairs.] This made the early development of
a form of city government both natural and necessary, and turned the
Roman mind toward political organization. At the same time, the
attacks of external enemies forced the Romans to pay attention to the
organization and support of an army. So, from the time of the
foundation of their city by the Tiber, the Romans turned their
attention primarily to politics and war. The effect upon their
language and literature is clearly seen. [Sidenote: The Latin
language.] Their language is akin to Greek, and like Greek is one of
the Indo-European family of languages, to which English and the other
most important languages of Europe belong. It started with the same
material as Greek, but while Greek developed constantly more variety,
more delicacy, and more flexibility, Latin is fixed and rigid, a
language adapted to laws and commands rather than to the lighter and
more graceful kinds of utterance. Circumstances, aided no doubt by the
natural bent of their minds, tended to make the Romans political,
military, and practical, rather than artistic.

Roman literature, as might be expected after what has just been
said, is often not the spontaneous outpouring of literary genius,
but the means by which some practical ends or purposes are to be
attained. Almost from first to last, the writings of Roman authors
have a political purpose, and the influence of political events upon
the literature is most marked. [Sidenote: Political purpose of
Roman writings.] Even those kinds of Roman literature which seem at
first sight to have the least connection with political matters have
nevertheless a political purpose. Plays were written to enhance the
splendor of public festivals provided by office holders who were at
the same time office seekers and hoped to win the favor of the people
by successful entertainments; history was written to teach the proper
methods of action for future use or (sometimes) to add to the influence
of living leaders of the state by calling to mind the great deeds
of their ancestors; epic and lyric poems were composed to glorify
important persons at Rome, or at least to prove the right of Rome to
the foremost place among the nations by giving her a literature worthy
to rank with that of the Greeks.

[Sidenote: Divisions of Roman literature.] The development of Roman
literature is closely connected with political events, and its three
great divisions correspond to the divisions of Roman political history.
The first or Republican Period extends from the beginning of Roman
literature after the first Punic war (240 B. C.) to the battle of
Actium in 31 B. C. The second or Augustan Period, from 31 B. C. to 14
A. D., is the period in which the institutions of the republic were
transformed to serve the purposes of the monarchy. The “Golden Age”
of Roman literature comprises the last part of the Republican Period
and the whole Augustan Period, from 81 B. C. to 14 A. D. The third or
Imperial Period lasts from 14 A. D. to the beginning of the Middle
Ages. The first part of this period, from 14 to 117 A. D., is called
the “Silver Age.” In the first period the Romans learn to imitate
Greek literature and develop their language until it is capable of
fine literary treatment, and in the latter part of this time they
produce some of their greatest works, especially in prose. The second
period, made illustrious by Horace and Virgil, is the time when
Roman poetry reaches its greatest height. The third period is a time
of decline, sometimes rapid, sometimes retarded for a while, during
which Roman literature shows few great works and many of very slight
literary value. Throughout the first and second periods, and even
for the most part in the third period, Latin literature is produced
almost entirely at Rome, is affected by changes in the city, and
reflects the sentiments of the city population. It is therefore proper
to speak of Roman literature, rather than Latin literature, for that
which interests us is the literature of the city by the Tiber and of
the civilization with which the city is identified, rather than works
written in the Latin language.

[Sidenote: Elements of native Roman literature.] The beginning of a
real literature at Rome was made by a foreigner of Greek birth, and
naturally took the form of an imitation of Greek works. This would
undoubtedly have been the case, even if the first professional author
had been a native Roman, for the Romans had for some time been in
close touch with the Greeks of Italy, and Greek literature presented
itself to them as a finished product, calling for their admiration
and inciting them to imitate it. Nevertheless there were in existence
at Rome in early times materials from which a native literature might
have arisen if the Greek influence had not been so strong as to prevent
their development. The early Romans sang songs at weddings and at
harvest festivals, chanted hymns to the gods, and were familiar with
rude popular performances which might have given rise to a native
drama. The words of such songs and performances were of course, for the
most part at least, rhythmical, but few if any of them were committed
to writing until much later times. The art of writing was, however,
known to the Romans as early as the sixth century B. C., for the Greek
colonies on the coast of Italy must have had trade connections with the
Romans at a very early time, and writing was thoroughly familiar to
the Greeks by the time Rome was two centuries old.

From early times the Romans kept lists of officials, records of
prodigies, lists of the _dies fasti_, i. e., of the days on which
it was lawful to conduct public business, and other simple records.
The twelve tables of the laws are said to have been written in 451
and 450 B. C., and these had some influence on Roman prose, for they
were the first attempt at connected prose in the Latin language. No
doubt other laws and probably also treaties were written in Latin and
preserved at an early date. Funeral orations called for some practise
in oratory, but probably not for careful preparation, and certainly not
for composition in writing in the early days of Rome. [Sidenote: Appius
Claudius Cæcus.] The first Roman speech known to have been written
out for publication is the speech delivered in 280 B. C., by the aged
Appius Claudius Cæcus, in which he urged the rejection of the terms of
peace offered by Pyrrhus. This speech was known and read at Rome for
two centuries after the death of its author. A collection of sayings
or proverbs was also current under the name of Claudius, and he was
actively interested in adapting more perfectly to the Latin language
the alphabet which the Romans had received from the Greeks, and in
fixing the spelling of Latin words.

All this is, however, not so much literature as the material from which
literature might have developed if Rome had been removed from the
sphere of Greek influence. Since that was not the case, these first
steps toward a national literature led to nothing, though they show
that the Romans had some originality, and help us to understand some
of the peculiarities of Roman literature as distinguished from its
Greek prototype. Still Roman literature is a literature of imitation,
and the beginning of it was made by a Greek named Andronicus, who
was brought to Rome after the capture of Tarentum in 272 B. C. when
he was still a boy. At Rome he was the slave of M. Livius Salinator,
whose children he instructed in Greek and Latin. [Sidenote: L.
Livius Andronicus.] When set free, he took the name of Lucius Livius
Andronicus, and continued to teach. As there were no Latin books which
he could use in teaching, he conceived the idea of translating Homer’s
Odyssey into Latin, thereby making the beginning of Latin literature.
His translation of the Odyssey was rude and imperfect. Andronicus made
no attempt to reproduce in Latin the hexameter verse of Homer, but
employed the native Saturnian verse (see page 7), probably because it
seemed to him better fitted to the Latin language than the more stately
hexameter. After the first Punic war, at the _Ludi Romani_ in 240 B.
C., Andronicus produced and put upon the stage Latin translations of
a Greek tragedy and a Greek comedy. In these and his later dramas he
retained the iambic and trochaic metres of the originals, and his
example was followed by his successors. He also composed hymns for
public occasions. Of his works only a few fragments are preserved,
hardly more than enough to show that they had little real literary
merit. But he had made a beginning, and long before his death, which
took place about 204 B. C., his successors were advancing along the
lines he had marked out.

Gnæus Nævius, a freeborn citizen of a Latin city in Campania, was the
first native Latin poet of importance. [Sidenote: Gnæus Nævius.] He was
a soldier in the first Punic war, at the end of which, while still a
young man, he came to Rome, where he devoted himself to poetry. He was
a man of independent spirit, not hesitating to attack in his comedies
and other verses the most powerful Romans, especially the great family
of the Metelli. For many years he maintained his position, but at last
the Metelli brought about his imprisonment and banishment, and he died
in exile in 199 B. C., at about seventy years of age. His dramatic
works were numerous, both tragedies and comedies, for the most part
translations and adaptations from the Greek, but alongside of these he
produced also plays based upon Roman legends. These were called _fabulæ
prætextæ_ or _prætextatæ_, “plays of the purple stripe,” because the
characters wore Roman costumes. In one of these plays, the _Romulus_
(or in two, if the _Lupus_ or “Wolf” is not the _Romulus_ under another
title), he dramatized the story of Romulus and Remus, and in another,
the _Clastidium_, the defeat (in 222 B. C.) of the Insubrians by M.
Claudius Marcellus and Cn. Cornelius Scipio. In his later years he
turned to epic poetry and wrote in Saturnian verse the history of the
first Punic war, introduced by an account of the legendary history of
Rome from the departure of Æneas for Italy after the fall of Troy. This
poem was read and admired for many years, and parts of it were imitated
by Virgil in the _Æneid_. Nævius also wrote other poems, called
_Satires_, on various subjects, partly, but not entirely, in Saturnian
metre. Of all these works only inconsiderable fragments remain. They
show, however, that Nævius was a poet of real power, and that with him
the Latin language was beginning to develop some fitness for literary
use. His epitaph, preserved by Aulus Gellius, will serve not only to
show the stiff and monotonous rhythm of the Saturnian verse, but also,
since it was probably written by Nævius himself, to exhibit his proud
consciousness of superiority:

    _Immórtalés mortáles sí forét fas flére
    Flerént divaé Caménae Naéviúm poétam.
    Itáque póstquam est Órci tráditús thesaúro
    Oblíti súnt Romái loquiér linguá Latína._

    If it were right that mortals be wept for by immortals,
    The goddess Muses would weep for Nævius the poet.
    And so since to the treasure of Orcus he’s departed,
    The Romans have forgotten to speak the Latin language.

Nævius had a right to be proud. He had made literature a real force at
Rome, able to contend with the great men of the city; he had invented
the drama with Roman characters, and had written the first national
epic poem. In doing all this he had at the same time added to the
richness and grace of the still rude Latin language. But great as were
the merits of Nævius, he was surpassed in every way by his successor.

Quintus Ennius, a poet of surprising versatility and power, was born
at Rudiæ, in Calabria, in 239 B. C. [Sidenote: Quintus Ennius.] While
he was serving in the Roman army in Sardinia, in 204 B. C., he met
with M. Porcius Cato, who took him home to Rome. Here Ennius gave
lessons in Greek and translated Greek plays for the Roman stage. He
became acquainted with several prominent Romans, among them the elder
Scipio Africanus, went to Ætolia as a member of the staff of M. Fulvius
Nobilior, and obtained full Roman citizenship in 184 B. C. His death
was brought on by the gout in 169 B. C.

[Sidenote: Various works of Ennius.] The works of Ennius were many and
various, including tragedies, comedies, a great epic poem, a metrical
treatise on natural philosophy, a translation of the work of Euhemerus,
in which he explained the nature of the gods and declared that they are
merely famous men of old times,[1] a poem on food and cooking, a series
of _Precepts_, epigrams (in which the elegiac distich was used for the
first time in Latin), and satires. His most important works were his
tragedies and his great epic, the _Annales_.

The tragedies were, like those of Nævius, translations of the works of
the great Greek tragedians and their less great, but equally popular,
successors. [Sidenote: His dramatic works.] The titles and some
fragments of twenty-two of these plays are preserved, from which it
is evident that Ennius sometimes translated exactly and sometimes
freely, while he allowed himself at other times to depart from his
Greek original even to the extent of changing the plot more or less.
For the most part, however, the invention of the plot, the delineation
of character, and the poetic imagery of his plays were due to the
Greek dramatists whose works he presented in Latin form. To Ennius
himself belong the skillful use of the Latin language, the ability
to express in a new language the thoughts rather than the words of
the Greek poets, and also such changes as were necessary to make
the Greek tragedies appeal more strongly to a Roman audience. It is
impossible to tell from the fragments just what changes were made, but
the popularity of the plays, which continued long after the death of
Ennius, proves that the changes attained their object and pleased the
audience. The titles of two _fabulæ prætextæ_ by Ennius are known, the
_Sabine Women_, a dramatic presentation of the legend of the Rape of
the Sabines, and _Ambracia_, a play celebrating the capture of Ambracia
by M. Fulvius Nobilior. His comedies seem to have been neither numerous
nor especially successful.

[Sidenote: The Annales.] The most important work of Ennius is his great
epic in eighteen books, the _Annales_, in which he told the legendary
and actual history of the Romans from the arrival of Æneas in Italy to
his own time. In this work, as in his tragedies, he may be said to have
followed in the way pointed out by Nævius, but the _Annales_ mark an
immense advance beyond the _Bellum Punicum_ of Nævius. The monotonous
and unpolished Saturnian metre could not, even in the most skillful
hands, attain the dignity or the melodious cadences appropriate to
great epic poems. Ennius therefore gave up the native Italian metre
and wrote his epic in hexameter verse in imitation of Homer. This was
no easy matter, for the laws of the verse as it existed in Greek could
not be applied without change to Latin, but Ennius modified them in
some particulars and thus fixed the form of the Latin hexameter, at the
same time establishing in great part the rules of Latin prosody. Only
about six hundred lines of the _Annales_ remain, and many of these are
detached from their context, yet from these we can see that Ennius had
much poetic imagination, great skill in the use of words, and great
dignity of diction. The line _At tuba terribili sonitu taratantara
dixit_ shows at once his ability to make the sound of his words imitate
the sound he wishes to describe (in this case that of a trumpet) and
his liking for alliteration. This last quality is found in many Roman
poets, but in none more frequently than Ennius.

The _Annales_ continued to be read and admired even after the time of
Virgil, though the _Æneid_ soon took rank as the greatest Roman epic.
Some of the lines of Ennius breathe the true Roman spirit of military
pride and civic rectitude, as

     _Moribus antiquis res stat Romana virisque_,[2]

  or _Quem nemo ferro potuit superare nec auro_,[3]

  or _Nec cauponantes bellum sed belligerentes_.[4]

Among the existing fragments are several which seem to have suggested
to Virgil some of the passages in the _Æneid_, and there is no doubt
that Virgil found Ennius worthy of imitation.

We may learn something of the character of Ennius from a passage
of the _Annales_ in which he is said,[5] on the authority of the
grammarian L. Ælius Stilo, to be describing himself: “A man of such
a nature that no thought ever prompts him to do a bad deed either
carelessly or maliciously; a learned, faithful, pleasant man, eloquent,
contented and happy, witty, speaking fit words in season, courteous,
and of few words, possessing much ancient buried lore; a man whom old
age made wise in customs old and new and in the laws of many ancients,
both gods and men; one who knew when to speak and when to be silent.”

[Sidenote: Continued production of tragedies, but not of epics.]
Ennius was the first great epic poet at Rome. After him epic poetry
was neglected, until it was taken up again a hundred years later.
Tragedy, however the other branch of literature in which Ennius chiefly
excelled, was cultivated without interruption, for it had become usual
to produce tragedies at the chief festivals of the city and on other
public occasions, and new plays were therefore constantly in demand.
But as gladiatorial shows grew more frequent and more magnificent,
tragedy declined in popularity, though tragedies continued to be
written, and even acted. The development of Roman tragedy is, however,
contained within a few generations, the professional authors of
tragedies about whom we have any information are few, and their works
are lost, with the exception of such fragments as have happened to be
quoted by later writers. It is therefore best to continue the account
of Roman tragedy now, even at the sacrifice of strict chronological

[Sidenote: Marcus Pacuvius.] The successor of Ennius as a writer of
tragedies was his nephew, Marcus Pacuvius, who was born at Brundusium
in 220 B. C., but spent most of his life at Rome. As an old man he
returned to southern Italy, and died at Tarentum about 130 B. C. He was
a painter, as well as a writer of tragedies, and it may be due to his
activity as a painter that his plays were comparatively few. The titles
of twelve tragedies are known, in addition to one _fabula prætexta_,
the _Paulus_, written in honor of the victory of L. Æmilius Paulus over
King Perseus in the battle of Pydna (168 B. C.). These plays are all
lost, and the existing fragments (about 400 lines) are unsatisfactory.
Cicero considered Pacuvius the greatest Roman tragic writer, and
Horace speaks of him as “learned.” Probably this epithet refers to
his careful use of language as well as to his knowledge of the less
popular legends of Greek mythology. The extant fragments show more
ease and grace of style than do those of Ennius, and great richness of
vocabulary. Some of the words used are not found elsewhere, and seem to
have been invented by Pacuvius himself; at any rate they did not come
into ordinary use. Of the real dramatic ability of Pacuvius we can not
judge, but his literary skill is evident even from the poor fragments
we have. We may therefore believe that Cicero’s favorable judgment of
him was in some measure justified.

[Sidenote: Lucius Accius.] The last important writer of tragedies,
and probably the greatest of all, was Lucius Accius, of Pisaurum, in
Umbria. He was born in 170 B. C., and one of his first tragedies was
produced in 140 B. C., when Pacuvius produced one of his last. Accius
lived to a great age, but the date of his death is not known. Cicero,
as a young man, was well acquainted with him, and used to listen to
his stories of his own early years. The shortness of the life of Roman
tragedy, and the rapidity with which Roman literature developed, may
be seen by observing that Cicero, the great master of Latin prose,
knew Accius, whose birth took place only thirty-four years after the
death of Livius Andronicus. Of the plays of Accius somewhat more
than 700 lines are preserved, and about fifty titles are known. The
fragments are for the most part detached lines, but some are long
enough to let us see that the poet had a vigorous and graceful style,
and a vivid imagination. Like most of his predecessors, Accius wrote
various minor poems, and was interested in the development of the
Latin language. He proposed a number of innovations, including some
changes in the alphabet, but these last were not adopted by others.
Besides his tragedies translated from the Greek, he wrote at least two
_fabulæ prætextæ_, the _Brutus_, in which he dramatized the tale of
the expulsion of the Tarquins, and _Æneadæ_, glorifying the death of
Publius Decius Mus at the battle of Sentinum in 295 B. C. Even in his
regular tragedies he departed occasionally from the original Greek so
far as to show his own power of invention, though these plays were for
the most part mere free translations. One of the longer fragments,[6]
in which a shepherd, who has never seen a ship before, describes the
coming of the Argo, may give some idea of Accius’s skill in description:

    So great a mass glides on, roaring from the deep with vast sound
    and breath, rolls the waves before it, and stirs up the whirlpools
    mightily. It rushes gliding forward, scatters and blows back
    the sea. Now you might think a broken cloud was rolling on, now
    that a lofty rock, torn off, was being swept along by winds or
    hurricanes, or that eddying whirlwinds were rising as the waves
    rush together; or that the sea was stirring up some confused heaps
    of earth, or that perhaps Triton with his trident overturning the
    cavern down below, in the billowy tide, was raising from the deep
    a rocky mass to heaven.

With Accius, Roman tragedy reaches its height. Contemporary with him
were C. Titius and C. Julius Cæsar Strabo (died 87 B. C.), both of whom
were orators as well as tragic poets. [Sidenote: Decay of tragedy.]
Of their works only slight traces remain. After this time tragedies
were written by literary men as a pastime, or for the entertainment of
their friends, and some of their plays were actually performed. The
Emperor Augustus began a play entitled _Ajax_, Ovid wrote a _Medea_,
and Varius (about 74-14 B. C.) was famous for his _Thyestes_, but none
of these works has left more than a mere trace of its existence. The
tragedies of Seneca (about 1-65 A. D.) were rather literary exercises
than productions for the stage. With the growth of prose literature,
especially of oratory, on the one hand, and the increased splendor of
the gladiatorial shows on the other, tragedy ceased to be a living
branch of Roman literature.

[Sidenote: The Roman theatre.] Before passing on to the treatment of
comedy, it would be well to try to picture to ourselves the Roman
theatre and the manner of producing a play. In the early days of Livius
Andronicus there was no permanent theatre building, and the spectators
stood up during the performance, but, as time went on, arrangements
for seating the audience were made, and finally, in 55 B. C., a stone
theatre was erected. Stone theatres had long been in use in Greece,
and in course of time they came to be built in all the large cities of
the Roman empire. The Roman theatre differed somewhat from the Greek
theatre, though resembling it in its general appearance. [Sidenote: The
stage.] The Roman stage was about three or four feet high, and long
and wide enough to give room for several actors, usually not more than
four or five at a time, one or two musicians, a chorus of indefinite
number, and as many supernumeraries as might be needed. These last were
sometimes very numerous, when kings appeared with their body-guards, or
generals led their armies or their hosts of prisoners upon the stage.
At the back of the stage was a building, usually three stories high,
representing a palace. In the middle was a door leading into the royal
apartments, and two other doors, one at each side, led to the rooms
for guests. At each end of the stage was a door, the one at the right
leading to the forum, the other to the country or the harbor. Changes
of scene were imperfectly made by changing parts of the decoration. In
comedies, the background represented not a palace, but a private house
or a street of houses.

In front of the stage was the semicircular _orchestra_ or _arena_, in
which distinguished persons had their seats. [Sidenote: The orchestra
and the cavea.] This semicircle was flat and level. The front of the
stage formed the diameter. From the curve of the orchestra rose the
_cavea_, consisting of seats in semicircular rows, rising from the
orchestra at an angle sufficient to enable those who sat in any row
to see over those who sat in front of them. The theatre had no roof,
but in the luxurious times of the empire, and even before the end of
the republic, a covering of canvas or silk was stretched like a tent
between the spectators and the sun.

[Sidenote: Masks and costumes.] In the early days of the Roman drama,
the actors did not wear masks, but before the end of the republic
masks were introduced. These were useful in the large theatres of the
time, as they added to the volume of the actor’s voice, and since the
expression of the actor’s face could be seen by only a small proportion
of the spectators, little was lost by hiding it with a mask. The masks
themselves were carefully made, and were appropriate to the different
characters. The costumes were conventional, kings wearing long robes
and holding sceptres in their left hands, all tragic actors wearing
boots with thick soles to raise them above the stature of the chorus,
and all comic actors wearing low shoes without heels. The actors were,
as a rule at least, slaves, but the profits of the profession were so
great that a successful actor can have had but little difficulty in
buying his freedom.

[Sidenote: Dialogue and song.] In Roman tragedies, as in their Greek
originals, the dialogue was carried on in simple metres, mostly
trochaic and iambic, and a chorus of trained singers sang between the
acts, but probably took little part in the action of the play. The
songs of the chorus were composed in more elaborate metres than the
dialogue, and were sung to the accompaniment of the flute. In Roman
comedy there was no chorus, but parts of the play were sung as solos
or duets. These were called _cantica_, while the dialogue parts of the
comedy were called _diverbia_.

[Sidenote: Brilliancy of dramatic performances.] Plays were performed
at Rome on various occasions when the people were to be entertained,
and the ædiles and other officials and public men vied with each other
in showing their wealth and in courting popularity. We must, therefore,
imagine, that when a play was performed in the latter part of the
republican period the actors, chorus, and supernumeraries were dressed
in the richest and most gorgeous costumes, and everything possible was
done to add to the spectacular effect of the performance, while the
audience, excited by the scene and the action, lost no opportunity of
cheering their favorite actors, or hissing those who failed to please.



    Comedy imported—Plautus, about 254 to 184 B. C.—Plots of Roman
    comedies—Extant plays of Plautus—Degree of originality in
    Plautus—Statius Cæcilius, birth unknown, death about 165 B.
    C.—Other comic writers—Terence, about 190 to 159 B. C.—Plays
    of Terence—Plautus and Terence compared—Turpilius, died 103
    B. C.—Fabula togata—Titinius, about 150 B. C. (?)—Titus
    Quinctius Atta, died 77 B. C.—Lucius Afranius, born about 150
    B. C.—Fescennine verses—Fabulæ Atellanæ—Pomponius and Novius,
    about 90 B. C.—Mimes—Decimus Laberius and Publilius Syrus, about
    50 B. C.

[Sidenote: Comedy an imported product.] Comedy, like tragedy, was an
imported product, not an original growth, at Rome. There had, to be
sure, been improvised dialogues of more or less dramatic nature even
before Livius Andronicus, but these, about which a few words will
be said later, have nothing to do with the origin of Roman comedy,
which is an imitation of the new Attic comedy as it existed at Athens
after the time of Alexander the Great, being at its best from about
320 to about 280 B. C. No plays of the new Attic comedy are preserved
in the original Greek, but there are fragments which supplement the
knowledge we derive from the Latin imitations. The poets of the new
comedy, Menander, Philemon, Diphilus, and others, avoided historical
and political subjects and drew their comedies from private life,
finding in petty intrigues, interesting situations, and unexpected
complications, some compensation for the general meagreness of the
plot. This kind of play was called at Rome _fabula palliata_ because
the actors wore the _pallium_, or Greek costume. Another kind of
comedy, in which Roman characters and scenes were represented, though
even in this kind of plays the plots were derived from Greek originals,
was called _fabula togata_, because the actors wore the Roman toga. Of
this latter kind of plays only a few fragments are preserved, and it
seems never to have been so popular as the _fabula palliata_.

Livius Andronicus, Ennius, and Pacuvius, all produced comedies at Rome,
as did other writers of tragedies, but of these works only scanty
fragments remain. Three writers, Plautus, Cæcilius, and Terence,
devoted themselves exclusively to comedy, and it is from the extant
plays of the eldest and the youngest of these, Plautus and Terence,
that most of our knowledge of Roman comedy is derived.

[Sidenote: T. Maccius Plautus.] Titus Maccius Plautus (Flatfoot) was
born at Sarsina, a town of Umbria, about 254 B. C. He went to Rome
while still a boy, and seems to have earned so much as a servant or
assistant of actors, that he was able to leave the city and engage
in trade at some other place. His business venture was a failure; he
lost his money, and returned to Rome, where he hired himself out to a
miller, in whose service he was when he wrote his first three plays.
His first appearance with a play was probably about 224 B. C. Further
details of his life are unknown. He died in 184 B. C., at the age of
about seventy years. He was, therefore, a younger contemporary of
Livius Andronicus and Nævius, but older than Ennius and Pacuvius.

Of the plays of Plautus twenty are extant, besides extensive fragments
of another. His total production is said to have been one hundred and
thirty plays, though some of these were probably wrongly ascribed to
him. The plots of his plays, as of those of Terence, are usually
founded upon a love affair between a young man of good family and a
girl of low position and doubtful character. [Sidenote: The plots and
characters of Roman comedies.] The young man is aided by his servant
or a parasite, but his father is opposed to his having anything to do
with the girl. The girl’s mother or mistress usually aids the lovers,
but often has to be won over by money, which the young man and his
servant have to get from his father. Sometimes the characters mentioned
are duplicated, and we have two pairs of lovers, two irate fathers,
two cunning slaves, etc. Other typical characters are the procurer,
the parasite, the boastful soldier, and a few more, who help to bring
about amusing situations, and serve as the butt of many jokes. In the
end, the lovers are usually united, and the girl turns out to be of
good birth, often the long-lost daughter of one of the older men in the
play. Sometimes other plots are chosen, as in the _Amphitruo_, which
is founded on the story that Jupiter, when he visited Alcmene, used
to take the form of her husband Amphitryon, and the fun of the play
is caused by the confusion between the real husband and the disguised
god. In a few plays the plot is less decidedly a love plot, but, as a
general rule, the Roman comedies had love stories for their foundation.
There is, however, room for considerable variety, as may be seen by a
brief sketch of the contents of the extant plays of Plautus.

[Sidenote: The extant plays of Plautus.] The _Amphitruo_, bringing the
“Father of gods and men” into comic confusion with a mortal, and under
very suspicious circumstances at that, is a burlesque, full of rather
broad fun and amusing situations, perhaps the most interesting of all
Latin comedies. In the _Asinaria_, the _Casina_, and the _Mercator_,
father and son are rivals for the affection of the same girl. Of these
three, the _Casina_ is the worst in its indecency, while the other two
lack interest. These plays, however, like all the comedies of Plautus,
are full of animal spirits, plays on words, and clever dialogue. The
_Aulularia_, or _Pot of Gold_, has a plot of little interest, but
is famous for the brilliant and lifelike presentation of the chief
character, the old miser Euclio. The _Captivi_, one of the best of the
plays, has for its subject the friendship between a master and his
slave. There are no female characters, and the piece is entirely free
from the coarseness and immorality which disfigure most of the others.
The _Trinummus_, or _Three-penny Piece_, has also friendship, not love,
as its leading motive, though it ends with a betrothal. This play also
is free from coarseness, and gives an attractive picture of the good
old days when friend was true to friend. The _Curculio_ is interesting
chiefly through the cleverness of the parasite, who succeeds in making
the rival of his employer furnish the money needed to obtain the girl.
The _Epidicus_, the _Mostellaria_, and the _Persa_, also owe their
interest to the tricks and rascalities of the parasite or the valet.
The _Cistellaria_, only part of which is preserved, contains a love
affair, but has for its chief interest the recognition between a father
and his long-lost daughter. The _Vidularia_, too, which exists only
in fragments, leads up to a recognition, this time between a father
and his son. The _Miles Gloriosus_, a play of very ordinary plot, is
distinguished for the somewhat exaggerated and farcical portrait of the
braggart soldier. So the _Pseudolus_ is a piece of character drawing,
in which the perjured go-between, Ballio, is the one important figure.
In the _Bacchides_ the plot is more intricate and interesting, and
the execution more brilliant, but the life depicted is that of loose
women and immoral men. The _Stichus_ has little plot, but several
attractive scenes. Two women, whose husbands have disappeared, remain
faithful to them, and are rewarded by having them return with great
wealth. The _Pœnulus_ is chiefly interesting on account of passages
in the Carthaginian language, which have for centuries attracted the
attention of linguists. In the _Truculentus_, a countryman comes to
the city and changes his rustic manners for city polish. The scenes
are witty and effective, but the plot is weak. In the _Menæchmi_,
twin brothers come to the town of Epidamnum, and their likeness to
each other causes most laughable confusion. This is the original of
Shakespeare’s _Comedy of Errors_ and many other modern plays of similar
plot. The _Rudens_, or _Cable_, has for its subject the restoration of
a long-lost daughter to her father and her union with her lover, but
is distinguished from the other plays of Plautus by the evident love
of nature and the fresh breath of the sea and open air that breathe
through it, making it one of the most attractive of his comedies.

[Sidenote: Degree of originality in Plautus.] How much of the plots of
these plays can be attributed to Plautus himself it is hard to tell. In
some instances nearly all the details seem to be Greek, and probably
the plays in which this is the case are simply free translations with
just enough changes to make them easily understood at Rome. In other
cases, as in the _Stichus_, the play as we have it seems to be made up
of scenes only loosely strung together, arranged apparently rather for
a Roman audience which cared chiefly for spectacular effect and stage
by-play than for a Greek audience accustomed to weigh and criticize
the excellence of the plot. In some instances, too, the Latin play
is known to be made up of scenes taken from two Greek plays and put
together in order to produce a single piece of more action than either
of the originals. The importance of the work of the Latin playwright
varies therefore considerably. There are, however, numerous passages
containing references to details of Roman life, which must be in great
measure original with the Roman writer; there are many plays on Latin
words which could not be introduced in a mere translation from a
foreign language; and in other respects also the comedies show Roman
rather than Greek qualities. We must therefore attribute to Plautus a
considerable share of originality, and the metrical form of his plays
is naturally due to him alone.

The following passage, whatever it may owe to the Greek original,
doubtless owes part of its unusual liveliness to Plautus:[7]

    _Sceparnio._ But, O Palæmon, holy companion of Neptune, who art
    said to be a sharer in the labors of Hercules, what’s that I see?
    [Sidenote: Two shipwrecked women.] _Dæmones._ What do you see?
    _Scep._ I see two women folk sitting all alone in a boat. How the
    poor things are tossed about! Ah! ha! Bully for that! The current
    has turned the boat from the rock to the shore. No pilot could
    have done it better. I think I never saw bigger waves. They are
    safe, if they have escaped those billows. Now, now’s the danger!
    Oh! It has thrown one of them out. But she’s in shallow water;
    she’ll swim out easily. Whew! Do you see how the water threw that
    other one out? She’s come up again; she’s coming this way. She’s

A second passage[8] will give an idea of the style of some of
the dialogue of Plautus. The speakers are a boy, Pægnium, and a
maid-servant, Sophoclidisca:

    [Sidenote: Bantering talk.] _Sophoclidisca._ Pægnium,
    darling boy, good day. How do you do? How’s your health?
    _Pægnium._ Sophoclidisca, the gods bless me! _Soph._ How
    about me? _Pæg._ That’s as the gods choose; but if they do
    as you deserve, they’ll hate you and hurt you. _Soph._ Stop
    your bad talk. _Pæg._ When I talk as you deserve, my talk
    is good, not bad. _Soph._ What are you doing? _Pæg._ I’m
    standing opposite and looking at you, a bad woman. _Soph._
    Surely I never knew a worse boy than you. _Pæg._ What do I
    do that’s bad, or to whom do I say anything bad? _Soph._
    To whomever you get a chance. _Pæg._ No man ever thought
    so. _Soph._ But many know that it is so. _Pæg._ Ah! _Soph._
    Bah! _Pæg._ You judge other people’s characters by your own
    nature. _Soph._ I confess I am as a pimp’s maid should be.
    _Pæg._ I’ve heard enough. _Soph._ What about you? Do you
    confess you’re as I say? _Pæg._ I’d confess if I were so.
    _Soph._ Go off now. You’re too much for me. _Pæg._ Then
    you go off now. _Soph._ Tell me this: where are you going?
    _Pæg._ Where are you going? _Soph._ You tell; I asked first.
    _Pæg._ But you’ll find out last. _Soph._ I’m not going far
    from here. _Pæg._ And I’m not going far, either. _Soph._
    Where are you going, then, scamp? _Pæg._ Unless I hear first
    from you, you’ll never know what you ask. _Soph._ I declare
    you’ll never find out to-day, unless I hear first from you.
    _Pæg._ Is that so? _Soph._ Yes, it is. _Pæg._ You’re bad.
    _Soph._ You’re a scamp. _Pæg._ I’ve a right to be. _Soph._
    And I’ve just as good a right. _Pæg._ What’s that you say?
    Have you made up your mind not to tell where you’re going,
    you wretch? _Soph._ How about you? Have you determined to
    conceal where you’re bound for, you scoundrel? _Pæg._ Hang
    it, you answer like with like. Go away now, since it’s
    settled so. I don’t care to know. Good-by.

[Sidenote: Statius Cæcilius.] Statius Cæcilius, an Insubrian by birth,
probably came to Rome as a slave—that is, a captive—at some time not
far from 200 B. C. Here he became a writer of comedies, was set free
by his master, and lived in the same house with Ennius. He died about
165 B. C. The titles of some forty plays by Cæcilius are known; but
the extant fragments are too short to afford much information as to
his style, his ability, or the contents of his plays. As many of the
titles of his pieces are known also as titles of plays by Menander, it
is clear that Cæcilius presented plays of the Greek new comedy in
Latin form. He appears to have followed the Greek originals rather
more closely than Plautus, and to have cultivated elegance of style
rather than brilliant dialogue. [Sidenote: Other writers of comedies.]
Other comic writers of the same time were Trabea, Atilius, Aquilius,
Licinius Imbrex, and Luscius Lanuvinus, of whose works few fragments
exist, and who are mentioned here merely to show that there were
writers of comedies at Rome between Plautus and Terence. No one of
them, however, seems to have possessed the originality and exuberant
wit of Plautus, or to have attained the elegance and polish of

[Sidenote: P. Terentius Afer.] Publius Terentius Afer, called Terence
in English, was born at Carthage and brought to Rome as a slave. He can
not have come as a captive to Rome, for his birth took place between
the second and third Punic wars, at a time when the Romans were waging
no war in Africa. He was the slave of the senator Terentius Lucanus, by
whom he was carefully educated and soon set free. From him he derived
his name Terentius, and he was called Afer on account of his African
origin. He became intimate with Scipio Africanus the younger, his
friend Lælius, and others of the most cultivated and prominent men of
Rome. It was even said by some that the plays of Terence were really
written by Scipio, while others thought Lælius was their author. This
goes to prove that Terence was intimate with Scipio, Lælius, and the
rest, and may be regarded as an indication of his age; for if he was
much older than Scipio he would hardly have been charged with passing
off Scipio’s work as his own. If he was of the same age as Scipio he
was born in 185 B. C., and in that case was only nineteen years old
when the _Andria_, his first play, was produced in 166. It is therefore
likely that he was a few years older than Scipio, and was born about
190 B. C. After he had produced six comedies he went to Greece in 160
B. C. to study, and died in the next year either on his way back to
Rome or in Greece. His popularity with the most cultivated men of Rome
testifies to his good breeding and agreeable manners. Suetonius tells
us that he was of moderate height, slender figure, and dark complexion,
that he had a daughter who was afterwards married to a Roman knight,
and that he left property amounting to twenty acres. The six plays of
Terence are all preserved to us, together with the dates of the first
performance of each.

[Sidenote: The Andria.] The _Andria_, produced at the Ludi Megalenses,
166 B. C., is adapted from the _Andria_ of Menander, with additions
from his _Perinthia_. A young man, Pamphilus, is in love with a girl
from Andros, but his father, Simo, has arranged a marriage for him
with the daughter of a neighbor, Chremes. Pamphilus’s servant, Davus,
succeeds in breaking off the match, and the girl from Andros is
finally found to be a daughter of Chremes. Pamphilus and his beloved
are united, and a second young man comes forward to marry the other

The _Hecyra_ (Mother-in-law), first produced at the Ludi Megalenses,
165 B. C., is adapted from the Greek of Apollodorus. [Sidenote: The
Hecyra.] Pamphilus is a young man who has recently married Philumena,
for whom he has no affection. He goes on a journey to attend to some
property, and Philumena returns to her mother. Upon Pamphilus’s return,
a child born to Philumena in his absence is shown to be his, and he and
Philumena are reconciled. This play was unsuccessful, and deservedly
so, as it is the least interesting Latin comedy extant.

[Sidenote: The Heauton-Timorumenos.] The _Heauton-Timorumenos_
(Self-tormentor), after Menander’s play of the same title, was produced
at the Ludi Megalenses in 163 B. C. Menedemus has by his harshness
driven his son Clinias, who is in love with Antiphila, to take
service in a foreign army. He therefore torments himself on account
of remorse, and he confides his troubles to his friend Chremes, whose
son, Clitipho, is in love with Bacchis. When Clinias comes back from
the wars, he and Clitipho get Chremes to receive Antiphila and Bacchis
in his house, in the belief that Clinias is in love with Bacchis,
and that Antiphila is her servant. Finally Antiphila is found to be
the daughter of Chremes and is betrothed to Clinias. Clitipho gives
up the spendthrift Bacchis. The comic personage of the play is the
slave Syrus, who helps the young men to get the money they need. The
character of Chremes is well drawn, but the action of the play is weak.

[Sidenote: The Eunuchus.] The _Eunuchus_, produced at the Ludi
Megalenses in 161 B. C., is adapted from the “Eunuch” of Menander,
with additions from the “Flatterer” of the same author. The plot is
complicated and interesting, involving a love affair between Thais
and Phædria, who has a soldier as his rival, and a second love affair
between Pamphila, who had been brought up as foster sister to Thais,
and Phædria’s brother, Chærea. In order to approach Pamphila, Chærea
disguises himself as a eunuch. In the end Pamphila’s brother Chremes
appears, proclaims her free birth, and sanctions her marriage to
Chærea. The characters are well drawn, Chærea, perhaps, the best of
all, and the action is amusing.

[Sidenote: The Phormio.] The _Phormio_, first performed at the Ludi
Romani, in 161 B. C., is adapted from the Greek of Apollodorus. Two
brothers, Chremes and Demipho, have gone on a journey, leaving their
two sons, Phædria and Antipho, in charge of a slave, Geta. Antipho
marries a poor girl named Phanium, from Lesbos, and Phædria falls in
love with a slave girl, whose owner sells her to some one else, but
agrees to give her to Phædria if he brings the sum of thirty minæ in
one day. The two fathers return, and the parasite, Phormio, from whom
the play takes its name, now has to get the money for Phædria and to
secure the consent of Demipho to the marriage of Antipho and Phanium.
He gets the money from Demipho by telling him that he will himself
marry Phanium for thirty minæ, but just at the right moment Phanium is
found to be the daughter of Chremes, and her marriage with Antipho is
accepted by all parties. The plot is well carried out, and the two old
men and their sons are well portrayed.

[Sidenote: The Adelphœ.] The _Adelphœ_ (Brothers), after Menander’s
play of the same name, with additions from a play by Diphilus was
first performed at the funeral games of Æmilius Paulus, in 160 B. C.
Demea had two sons, and gave his brother, Micio, one of them, named
Æschinus, keeping the other, Ctesipho, himself. Micio is a bachelor,
and treats Æschinus with the greatest indulgence, whereas Demea is very
strict toward Ctesipho, but the result is about the same. Ctesipho
falls in love with a harpist, whom Æschinus, to please his brother,
carries off from her master. Æschinus himself is engaged in an affair
with the daughter of a poor widow. The girl is, however, of good Attic
parentage, and Æschinus has promised to marry her. In the end this
marriage takes place, Ctesipho gets his harpist and Micio is persuaded
to marry the widow.

[Sidenote: Terence and Plautus compared.] The plays of Terence are
written in a style far more advanced, more refined, and more artistic
than those of Plautus, but they show much less originality, wit, and
vigor. Plautus wrote at a time when Greek culture was already known to
the Romans, but when it was less thoroughly appreciated than later,
and he wrote not for any one class of Romans, but for the people. The
language of Plautus is therefore the language of every-day life as it
was spoken by the average Roman; his wit is of the kind that appealed
to ordinary men, and his plays have much action, that the common man
might enjoy them. Plautus took Greek plays and made them over to suit
the average Roman. The position of Terence was different. In his day
a cultivated class of Romans existed, who knew Greek literature well,
who admired and loved Greek culture, but were none the less patriotic
Romans. These men wished to introduce all that was best in Greece into
Rome. So far as literature was concerned, they wished to make Latin
literature as much like Greek literature as possible, and therefore
encouraged imitation rather than originality, purity and grace of
language rather than vigor of thought or expression. These were the
men among whom Terence lived, and whose taste influenced him most.
His plays contain few indications that they are written for a Roman
audience (except, of course, that they are written in Latin), but are
Greek in their refinement of language, gentle humor, and polished
excellence of detail. There is less variety of metre than in the plays
of Plautus, as, indeed, there is less variety of any kind, for Terence
relies for his effect, not upon variety, but upon finished elegance. He
is the earliest Latin author who tries to equal the Greeks in stylistic
refinement, and few of those who came after him were as successful as

Many of the qualities of the style of Terence are lost in translation;
but something of the air of ease, naturalness, and good humor that
pervades his plays is seen in the short scene in the Phormio, in which
Demipho asks Nausistrata, the wife of Chremes, to persuade Phanium to
marry Phormio.[9]

    _Demipho._ Come then, Nausistrata, with your usual good nature
    make her feel kindly toward us, so that she may do of her own
    accord what must be done. _Nausistrata._ I will. _De._ You’ll be
    aiding me now with your good offices, just as you helped me a
    while ago with your purse. _Na._ You’re quite welcome; and upon
    my word, it’s my husband’s fault that I can do less than I might
    well do. _De._ Why, how is that? _Na._ Because he takes wretched
    care of my father’s honest savings; he used regularly to get
    two talents from those estates. How much better one man is than
    another! _De._ Two talents, do you say? _Na._ Yes, two talents,
    and when prices were much lower than now. _De._ Whew! _Na._ What
    do you think of that? _De._ Oh, of course—_Na._ I wish I’d been
    born a man, I’d soon show you—_De._ Oh, yes, I’m sure. _Na._ The
    way—_De._ Pray do save yourself up for her, lest she may wear
    you out; she’s young, you know. _Na._ I’ll do as you tell me. But
    there’s my husband coming out of your house.

[Sidenote: Turpilius.] The comedies of Plautus and Terence have served
as the originals for almost countless plays in later times, and through
them the Greek comedy has survived until our own day. There were other
Latin writers of comedies derived from the Greek after Terence, most
noted of whom was Turpilius, who died in 103 B. C., but of their works,
which were unimportant, little remains. Of the _fabula togata_, Roman
comedy in Roman dress, little need be said. It never attained great
popularity, and it lasted but a comparatively short time. [Sidenote:
Fabula togata. Titinius, Atta, Afranius.] The first writer of comedies
of this sort was Titinius. About one hundred and eighty lines of
fragments and fifteen titles of his plays are preserved, from which
we can learn little about the quality of his works. He seems to have
written a little later than Terence. Titus Quinctius Atta has left to
us the titles of eleven plays and about twenty-five lines of fragments.
Little is known of him except the date of his death, 77 B. C. Lucius
Afranius, the last and most important writer of this kind of comedies,
was born probably not far from 150 B. C. Forty-two titles and more than
four hundred lines of fragments now remain to attest his activity. The
scenes of the plays are laid in the smaller towns of Italy, and the
characters belong for the most part to the lower social classes. In
these respects Afranius seems to have differed little from Titinius and
Atta, but his plays had apparently less local color than theirs, and
thus approached more nearly the character of the _fabula palliata_ as
developed by Terence.

Three other kinds of dramatic composition deserve brief mention, though
little now remains of them and their literary importance was never very
great. [Sidenote: Fescennine Verses.] The _Fescennine Verses_, named
from the town of Fescennium in Etruria, were originally sung at rustic
festivals and weddings and consisted of jokes and sarcasms directed by
the country folk at each other.

They never became regular stage performances, and gradually lost
their dramatic qualities, until they were nothing more than wedding
songs. [Sidenote: Fabulæ Atellanæ.] The _Fabulæ Atellanæ_, named
from the Oscan town of Atella, in Campania, had some sort of plot,
carried out with more or less dramatic unity. The characters were
conventional—Maccus, the fool, Pappus, the old man, Bucco, the talker
and liar, Dossenus, the clever man and boaster, and the like—and
the whole performance was a popular burlesque comedy, somewhat like
our Punch and Judy. This sort of performance was introduced at Rome
after the conquest of Campania, in 211 B. C., and Roman youths of good
family took the parts for amusement. Somewhat later, the custom arose
of performing an Atellan piece at the end of a tragedy. The performers
were now regular actors, and presently the _Fabulæ Atellanæ_ became a
regular branch of literature, the chief writers of which were Lucius
Pomponius, from Bononia, and Novius, both of whom flourished in the
time of Sulla, about 90 B. C. Few fragments of their works remain.
The Atellan plays continued to be performed even after the beginning
of the empire, but the words became less and less important, and the
performance became mere pantomime. [Sidenote: Mimes.] Another kind of
burlesque performance was the _Mime_, which was introduced into Rome
from the Greek cities of Italy and Sicily. It had less consistent plots
than comedy, and was more popular in its character. Though doubtless
introduced at Rome as early as comedy itself, it hardly appears as
a branch of literature until about the time of Cicero, when mimes
serve as afterpieces at tragic performances. In imperial times mimes
were performed independently. The chief authors of mimes were Decimus
Laberius (105-43 B. C.), a Roman knight, and Publilius Syrus, a slave
from Antioch, both belonging to the time of Cæsar, about the middle of
the first century B. C. No mimes are extant, nor is their loss to be
greatly regretted, for their humor was generally coarse, their plots
often indecent, and their literary qualities of a low order. Some of
the fragments of the mimes of Laberius show, however, considerable
merit, and in those of Publilius so many sensible precepts and wise
utterances were embodied that a collection of his sayings was made,
part of which is preserved to us.



    Greek influence upon Roman prose—Fabius Pictor, 216 B.
    C.—Cincius Alimentus, 210 B. C.—Cato, 234-149 B. C.—Cato’s
    works—Orators—Jurists—Latin annalists—Scipio Africanus the
    younger, 185-129 B. C.—The Scipionic circle—Lucilius, 180(?)-126
    B. C.—Satire—Satires of Lucilius—Literature in the fifty
    years before Cicero—Poetry—History—Learned works—General
    writers—Jurists—Oratory—Rhetoric addressed to Herennius—Great
    development of prose in this period.

Tragedy and comedy began, reached their full development, and decayed
in the short period of a century and a half between the first play of
Livius Andronicus and the death of Accius. It was therefore advisable
to give a connected account of dramatic literature at Rome for this
entire period, and to reserve for separate treatment the beginnings of
prose literature, which, though less rapid in its growth, had a far
longer life and was a much truer expression of the national genius.

[Sidenote: Greek influence upon Roman prose.] The rudiments of a
strictly native prose literature, the twelve tables of the laws, the
various lists and records, and the speeches delivered on public and
private occasions, mark the lines along which Roman prose was destined
to advance—history, jurisprudence, and eloquence. But Roman prose,
like Roman poetry, came under the influence of Greek literature as
soon as the Romans began to pay any attention to literary style. It
was when the conquest of southern Italy brought Rome into closer
contact than before with the cities of Magna Græcia that Livius
Andronicus was brought to Rome, and it was in the years immediately
after the first Punic war that he produced the first Latin plays in
imitation of Greek originals. To about the same or a little later time
belong the earliest Roman prose writers. Some of these men, regarding
the Latin language as too imperfect for use in prose literature, wrote
in Greek, recording the events of Roman history for the enlightenment
of foreigners and of educated Romans. [Sidenote: Q. Fabius Pictor.]
Such was Quintus Fabius Pictor, a man of much distinction at Rome, who
was sent by the state to consult the oracle at Delphi after the battle
of Cannæ in 216 B. C. He wrote in Greek prose a history of Rome from
the days of Æneas to his own times, selecting the same subject chosen
by his contemporary Ennius for his _Annales_ in Latin verse. This work
of Fabius Pictor was very soon translated into Latin, and remained one
of the chief sources from which later historians, such as Livy,
derived their information. [Sidenote: L. Cincius Alimentus.] Lucius
Cincius Alimentus, who was prætor in command of a Roman army in the
second Punic war, wrote Roman history in Greek prose, as did also
Publius Cornelius Scipio, the son of the elder Africanus, Aulus
Postumius Albinus, and Gaius Acilius, about the middle of the second
century B. C. Their works, being in Greek, had little direct influence
on Latin literature, but show how powerful the Greek influence
was among the cultivated men at Rome in the years following the
second Punic war. [Sidenote: Greek influence.] This influence
was not confined to literature, but affected dress, manners, ways
of thinking—in short, all sides of life—especially among the
upper classes. The Greeks of this time were no longer the hardy
citizen-soldiers of the old days of Marathon and Thermopylæ, but were
now distinguished for culture, refinement, and scholarship, too often
accompanied by effeminacy, luxury, and dishonesty. Not by any means
all the Romans were ready to profit by contact with Greek
civilization, with its mixture of good and bad qualities, and there
was naturally a party at Rome which opposed everything Greek, and
wished to preserve the old Roman simplicity. The most important man of
this party was Cato.

[Sidenote: M. Porcius Cato.] Marcus Porcius Cato was born at Tusculum,
in 234 B. C., and died in 149 B. C. Throughout his life he was active
in public affairs. He was quæstor (204 B. C.), ædile (199 B. C.),
consul (195 B. C.), and censor (184 B. C.), and in all his offices
showed his honesty, efficiency, singleness of purpose, and sincere,
though somewhat narrow-minded, patriotism. He believed that the
influence of Greek art, literature, philosophy, and ways of life
was bad, though in his old age he learned the Greek language, and
studied Greek literature. In a letter to his son, he says: “I shall
speak about those Greeks in their proper place, son Marcus, and tell
what I discovered at Athens, and that it is good to look into their
literature, but not to learn it thoroughly. I shall convince you that
their race is most worthless and unteachable.”[10]

Cato was opposed to the prevailing tendencies in literature—the
tendencies which were destined to prevail—but in spite of that he was
one of the most productive literary men of his time. [Sidenote: Cato
as an orator.] His active political life gave him many occasions for
public speaking, in the senate or before the people, and he spoke
often in courts of law, either in suits of his own or as an advocate
for others. One hundred and fifty of his speeches existed in Cicero’s,
time, and some, at least, were read and admired long after Cicero.
About eighty scattered fragments now exist, some of which belong to
political, others to legal speeches. These show vigor and terseness
of expression, a sort of dry humor, and straightforward freedom of
speech, but no elegance of style.

Cato’s most important work was the _Origines_, in seven books, the
first Roman history in Latin prose. [Sidenote: The Origines.] In style
and method this work was very uneven. Sometimes events were narrated in
brief, annalistic fashion, at other times Cato devoted much space to
details. One book, from which the whole work derived its name, told of
the origins and early history of the various towns of Italy. The work
treated of Roman and Italian history from the earliest times to Cato’s
own day, and in the latter part Cato took pains to give his own actions
at least as much prominence as was their due, even inserting in his
narrative the speeches he had delivered on various occasions. In the
form of letters to his son, Cato composed treatises on agriculture, the
care of health, eloquence, and the art of war. He also wrote a series
of rules of conduct in verse, and made a collection of wise and witty

[Sidenote: The treatise On Agriculture.] Of all his works the only
one extant is a treatise _On Agriculture_. Born and brought up in the
small town of Tusculum, and full of admiration for the simple virtues
of the early Romans, Cato saw with deep disapproval the tendency of the
men of his own day to give up agriculture for commercial and financial
occupations. “It would sometimes be better to seek gain by commerce,
if it were not so dangerous; and likewise by money-lending, if it were
so honorable. For our ancestors held this matter thus, and put it in
the laws in this way, that a thief be punished by a double fine, a
money-lender by a fourfold one. From this one can see how much worse
citizen they considered a money-lender than a thief. And when they
praised a good man, it was a good farmer, a good colonist. They thought
that a man was most amply praised who was praised in this way. Now I
think a merchant is energetic and diligent in seeking gain; but, as I
said above, he is exposed to danger and ruin. But from farmers both the
bravest men and most energetic soldiers arise, and the business they
follow is most pious and surest, and least exposed to envy; and those
who are occupied in that pursuit are least given to evil thoughts.”[11]
In other parts of the book Cato gives in short, simple sentences,
practical rules to be followed by the farmer. “Be sure to do everything
early. For this is the way with farming: if you do one thing late, you
will do all the work late.” This style of short, sharp sentences, is
characteristic of Cato. He despises all appearance of literary polish,
as if he wished to show that the arts of elegance cultivated by most
other Roman writers were unnecessary and undesirable.

Cato was one of the most famous orators of his time, but his
competitors were many, among them some of the most noted men of Rome.
[Sidenote: Other orators.] Most of these orators were men of natural
ability, whose eloquence was trained in the school of public life
and owed its effect in great measure to the weight of the speaker’s
dignity or the glory of his deeds. Their speeches are lost, and the
reputation they had survives only to remind us that during and after
the second Punic war Roman eloquence was growing in power, preparing,
as it were, for the brilliant oratory of the Gracchi in the second half
of the second century B. C., and the superb productions of Cicero in
the century to follow. Among orators of Cato’s time should be mentioned
Quintus Fabius Maximus Cunctator, five times consul, censor, and
dictator, the conqueror of Hannibal, then Quintus Cæcilius Metellus,
consul in 206 B. C., Marcus Cornelius Cethegus (died in 196 B. C.),
Publius Licinius Crassus (died 183 B. C.), and Scipio Africanus the
elder (died 183 B. C.).

[Sidenote: Jurists] In the field of jurisprudence there was
considerable activity in the days of Cato. Publius Ælius (consul 201,
died 174 B. C.) and his brother Sextus (consul 198 B. C.) published
the most systematic work on jurisprudence. This work was called
_Tripertita_, and was for centuries regarded with reverence as the
beginning from which grew the great system of Roman law. Scipio Nasica
(consul 191 B. C.), Lucius Acilius, Quintus Fabius Labeo (consul 183
B. C.), and Cato’s son (born about 192, died in 152 B. C.) were all
distinguished jurists whose interpretation of the Twelve Tables and
whose wisdom in regard to legal matters are mentioned with praise by
later writers. Their writings have perished, but the results of their
studies were incorporated in the later works on Roman law.

[Sidenote: Latin annalists.] The annalists who wrote in Greek, such
as Fabius Pictor, were followed, soon after the middle of the second
century B. C., by several writers whose works differed from theirs
chiefly by being written in Latin. They derived their general views and
methods, as well as some of their facts, from earlier Greek historians,
such as Ephorus and Timæus. The first of these Latin annalists was
Lucius Cassius Hemina, who wrote a history of Rome to his own time.
Somewhat more important was Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi, who was
consul in 133 B. C. His annals covered the same ground as those of
Hemina, and are said to have been written in an artless, somewhat rude
style. A similar lack of elegance seems to have belonged to the works
of the other annalists of this time. Evidently the Romans had not yet
learned to write artistic prose. Yet this is the period when, under the
guidance of Greek teachers, the Romans were paying more attention than
ever before to grammar and rhetoric, purity of language, and nicety of

[Sidenote: Scipio.] The man about whom the best literary life of the
city centred was Scipio Africanus the younger, who lived from 185 to
129 B. C. He was the son of the distinguished Lucius Æmilius Paulus,
whose victory at Pydna, in 168 B. C., had destroyed the last foreign
power capable of making serious resistance to the Roman legions, and
he had been adopted by the son of the elder Scipio Africanus. He was
himself a distinguished soldier, for as a simple officer (_tribunus
militum_) he had saved the Roman army in Africa, after which he had
been made consul and commander of the army which brought the third
Punic war to a close by the capture and destruction of Carthage (146
B. C.). It might have been expected that he would take an active part
in the government, especially as in his time the state needed the
help of her best citizens. But Scipio seems to have felt that the
internal troubles, which beset the state now that all external dangers
were over, were too serious to be cured. He used his influence for
good wherever he was able, but made no systematic attempt to correct
the abuses of the government, which led at last to the revolutionary
disorders of the days of the Gracchi (133-121 B. C.). Instead of
being a party leader, he occupied a position somewhat apart from
the aristocratic and the popular parties, lending his influence and
his eloquence to the causes that seemed to him good, and in this
way preserving a reputation for independence and good judgment. His
patriotism was undoubted, and his influence as great as that of any man
in Rome.

[Sidenote: The Scipionic circle.] Scipio had been carefully educated,
and employed his leisure in literary and intellectual pursuits. He was
not an author himself, except in so far as he published his speeches,
which were much admired, but he loved to be surrounded by men of
letters, to profit by their conversation, and lend them the support of
his social position and influence. His somewhat older friend, Gaius
Lælius, who was consul in 140 B. C., shared his literary tastes, though
he, too, refrained from publishing other works than speeches. From 167
to 150 B. C. a thousand Greeks of prominent position in their native
country were kept as hostages in Italy. Among these was the historian
Polybius, who was assigned a residence in Rome, and who became a member
of the circle of literary friends who surrounded Scipio and Lælius.
The Stoic philosopher Panætius, who afterward became the head of the
Stoic school, was another Greek belonging to the Scipionic circle. The
influence of Panætius upon Roman philosophy was great, as was that of
Polybius upon the writing of Roman history. But Latin writers also
gathered about Scipio. Among them were Terence (see page 24), the most
polished writer of comedies; Hemina and Piso, the annalists; Gaius
Fannius, a nephew of Lælius, who was consul in 122 B. C., and achieved
distinction as an orator, besides writing a history of Rome; Sempronius
Asellio, whose history of his own times was continued at least to 91 B.
C.; Lucius Furius Philus, consul in 136 B. C., orator and jurist, and
many others. Among them all, the most original genius was the father of
Roman satire, Gaius Lucilius.

[Sidenote: Gaius Lucilius.] Lucilius was born, probably in 180 B. C.,
at Suessa Aurunca, in Campania. He was a member of a wealthy equestrian
family, and when he went to live at Rome he kept himself free from the
cares of business as well as of politics, devoting himself to social
life and to literature. He lived as a wealthy bachelor, not holding
himself aloof from the pleasures of the capital, but not indulging in
excesses. Most of his life was passed in the city, but in 134 B. C. he
followed Scipio to the war in Spain, and in 126 B. C., when all who
were not Roman citizens were obliged to leave Rome, he made a journey
to Sicily, from which he did not return until 124 B. C. He died at
Naples in 103 B. C.

[Sidenote: Satire.] The name _satire_, (_satura_) may be derived from
the _lanx satura_, a dish full of all sorts of fruits, and as applied
to poems by Ennius (see p. 8), designates poems of mixed contents.
Perhaps all the poems of Ennius, except his dramas and his great epic,
may have been classed together as satires. At any rate, Lucilius is the
first writer who gave to satire the definite character it has possessed
ever since his time. He made his poems the vehicle for the expression
of sharp and biting attacks upon persons, institutions, and customs
of his day, for genial and humorous remarks about the failings of his
neighbors, and for much information about himself. Ever since Lucilius,
satire has been at once sharp and humorous, bitter and sweet. This kind
of poetry, which takes the form of dialogue, familiar conversation, or
letters, is not Greek, but is the invention of him who must be regarded
as the most original of all Roman poets.

[Sidenote: The Satires of Lucilius.] The _Satires_ of Lucilius were
contained in thirty books, each book containing several satires.
The subjects treated were of all sorts—the faults and foibles of
individuals, the defects of works of literature, the ridiculous
imitation of Greek manners and dress, the absurdities of Greek
mythology, the folly of expensive dinner parties, the author’s journey
to Sicily, Latin grammar, the proper spelling of Latin words, and
Scipio’s journey to Egypt and Asia. The personality of the writer, his
mode of life, and his views on all subjects were so clearly brought
before his readers that the _Satires_ were a complete autobiography.
They were written for the most part in hexameters, the metre which
was adopted by all later Roman satirists, but some of them were in
iambic _senarii_ and trochaic _septenarii_, others in elegiacs.[12]
They were not written at one time, but their composition was continued
at intervals through many years, for Lucilius was not a professional
poet, but a man of letters who expressed himself in verse whenever he
felt inclined. His form of expression was unconventional, resembling
conversation (in fact he called the poems _sermones_, “conversations”),
with free use of dialogue. Careful literary finish was not attempted,
and Horace, whose satires are imitations of those of Lucilius, blames
the older poet for carelessness. But the easy and natural tone of the
poems must have more than made up for any lack of polish.

[Sidenote: The extant fragments.] The extant fragments amount to
more than eleven hundred lines, but are for the most part short and
disconnected. In one,[13] Lucilius seems to accept with pleasure
an invitation to dinner “with good conversation, well cooked and
seasoned”; in another,[14] he reproves the luxury which leads to greed
of gain: “For if that which is enough for a man could be enough, it
would be enough. Now, since this is not so, how can we think that any
riches can satisfy my soul?” Again,[15] he describes a miser as one who
has no cattle nor slaves nor any attendant, but keeps his purse and all
the money he has always with him. “He eats, sleeps, and bathes with
his purse; the man’s whole hope is in his purse alone. This purse is
fastened to his arm.” One of the longest fragments[16] is a description
of _virtus_ (virtue):

    Virtue, Albinus, is being able to pay the true price for the
    things in and by which we live; virtue is knowing to what each
    thing leads for a man. Virtue is knowing what is right, useful,
    honorable for a man, what things are good, what bad likewise,
    what is useless, base, dishonorable; virtue is knowing the limit
    and measure in seeking anything; virtue is giving to riches their
    true value; virtue is giving to honor what is really due to it; is
    being an enemy and opponent of bad men and morals, on the other
    hand a defender of good men and morals, regarding them as of much
    importance, wishing them well, living as their friend; moreover,
    considering the advantages of one’s country first, of one’s
    relatives second, of ourselves third and last.

Other fragments contain direct attacks upon individuals, but these
which have been quoted serve to give an idea of the freedom of speech,
good sense, and serious purpose of the first great satirist.

[Sidenote: Literature in the fifty years before Cicero.] The life
of Lucilius fell in a period of many changes. As a boy, he saw the
Roman power established in the east, before he reached middle life
he witnessed the destruction of Carthage, then he lived through the
troublous years before and after the death of Tiberius Gracchus in
133 B. C. and that of his brother Gaius in 121 B. C., and in the year
before his death he saw the consulship in the hands of Gaius Marius. It
was not until the long struggle between Marius and Sulla was over that
any measure of tranquility returned to the Roman state. Then came the
Golden Age of Roman literature. But for fifty years before the time of
Cicero circumstances at Rome were not favorable to literary production
of every kind. Lucilius, Accius, Afranius and a few other poets lived
on until about the end of the second century B. C., but there was
little new life in poetry. Gnæus Matius translated the Iliad, and
Lævius Melissus imitated some of the lighter Greek poems. [Sidenote:
Poetry.] The epic poem of Hostius on the Istrian war and that of Aulus
Furius from Antium (Furius Antias) on an unknown subject have left
hardly any traces. It is not worth while to mention in detail the
occasional love songs and epigrams written by various authors. Aside
from Lucilius and the dramatists already mentioned, there are no poets
of note in this period.

[Sidenote: History.] In history, the production was greater and more
important. Fannius and Asellio were emulated by Cœlius Antipater,
whose history of the second Punic war was of some importance, and he
was followed by Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius, who wrote a history of
Rome in at least twenty-three books, coming down to the year 82 B. C.
Another more voluminous but less trustworthy historian was Valerius
Antias, who wrote annals in at least seventy-five books. His date is
uncertain, but he seems to have lived early in the first century B.
C. Two other historians of the latter part of this period were Lucius
Cornelius Sisenna (119-67 B. C.), who wrote a history of his own
times in an antiquated style, and Gaius Licinius Macer, whose annals,
beginning with the earliest times, were probably continued until near
the date of his death (66 B. C.). The dictator Sulla (138-78 B. C.)
wrote memoirs, which must have possessed great historical value. Gaius
Sempronius Tuditanus (consul in 129 B. C.) was not only an annalist,
but also an antiquarian.[17]

[Sidenote: Jurists.] Important writers on legal subjects were Publius
Mucius Scævola (consul in 133 B. C.) and his brother Publius Licinius
Crassus Mucianus (consul in 131 B. C.), but more important than either
was Quintus Mucius Scævola (consul in 95 B. C.), whose systematic
treatment of Roman law served as the foundation for all later works on
the subject. Quintus Scævola was also distinguished as an orator.

[Sidenote: Oratory.] Throughout the period from the third Punic
war to the dictatorship of Sulla—and, in fact, until the death of
Cicero—nearly every public man at Rome was an orator, and many of them
published their speeches. In the times of the Gracchi, Rome contained,
perhaps, more excellent speakers than at any other period, among whom
none equalled in force, brilliancy and oratorical power the great,
though unsuccessful, statesman and patriot Gaius Gracchus, (154-121
B. C.), who far surpassed his elder brother Tiberius (163-133 B. C.)
in eloquence, though he, too, was an orator of distinction. After the
Gracchi the most distinguished orators were Marcus Antonius (143-87
B. C.) and Lucius Licinius (140-91 B. C.), the first of whom excelled
in vigor and liveliness of delivery, the second in wit, elegance and
variety of composition. These orators were not merely men with natural
ability to speak, but were carefully trained in accordance with the
precepts of Greek rhetoric.

Of all the works mentioned so far in this chapter, only one—Cato’s
treatise _On Agriculture_—has come down to us entire, and only the
satires of Lucilius are known to us by numerous fragments. [Sidenote:
These works lost.] The other works and their authors have left little
more than their names. There is, however, one work, now usually
ascribed to Cornificius, an author of whom nothing is known, which
is preserved entire. [Sidenote: Rhetorica ad Herennium.] This is the
_Rhetoric Addressed to Herennius_, which was preserved because it was
falsely included among Cicero’s works. The treatise goes over much
the same ground as Cicero’s youthful essay _On Invention_, which is
evidently intended to be little more than a new and improved edition of
the earlier work.

The importance of the period immediately preceding the time of Cicero
can not be judged by the extant literature, but must be estimated by
the number of works and authors mentioned by later writers and the
qualities assigned to them. [Sidenote: Great progress of prose.] It
is at once evident that poetry made little progress, while prose
writing of all kinds advanced with rapid strides. It is only natural,
therefore, that the age of Cicero should be the most brilliant period
of Latin prose, and that the highest general development of poetry
should be reserved for the Augustan age. Yet, even the Augustan age
can only equal, not surpass, the immortal poems of two of Cicero’s
contemporaries, Lucretius and Catullus.



    The Ciceronian period—Lucretius, 99(?)-55(?) B. C.—Philosophy at
    Rome—The poem of Lucretius—Its purpose, contents, and style.

It was in the dictatorship of Sulla, 81 B. C., that Cicero made his
first appearance as an orator, and almost from that time until his
death, in 43 B. C., he was the most prominent orator and man of
letters in Rome. [Sidenote: The age of Cicero a time of unrest.] It
is but right that in the history of literature this period of nearly
forty years is called the age of Cicero. In political and external
matters this was a time of great unrest. Sulla’s dictatorship, which
seemed to put an end to strife, served only to strengthen the power
of the senate, not to diminish its abuses; the increase of the slave
population of Italy still continued to drive the freeborn farmers to
Rome to swell the number of the city rabble; the slaves themselves
broke out into open war; the provinces were discontented on account
of the extortions of their governors; the Cilician pirates became
so powerful that their suppression was a matter of some difficulty;
Mithridates aroused a war in the east, and was overcome only by great
exertion; while in Rome itself the conspiracy of Catiline and the
struggle between Pompey and Cæsar clearly foreshadowed the end of the

[Sidenote: Wealth and culture. Progress of literature.] This period
was at the same time one of great material prosperity at Rome. In
spite of disturbing influences, wealth increased, interest in art and
literature was wide-spread, and there was, alongside of much vulgar
extravagance and display, a steady growth in culture and refinement.
By the beginning of this period the Latin language had become a proper
medium of expression in prose and verse, though its natural qualities
of rigidity and precision made it always better adapted to the needs
of the commander, orator, jurist, and historian than to the lighter
and more varied uses of the poet. Among the poets of the time, some
followed in the footsteps of Ennius, while others imitated the poems
of the Alexandrian Greeks, characterized by mythological learning,
elegance of execution, and emptiness of contents. Of this latter school
Catullus was the only one who rose to greatness, breathing into his
verse the fire of poetic genius, while Lucretius stands out as the one
great and commanding figure among the poets who continued the technical
traditions of Ennius.

[Sidenote: Life of Lucretius.] Of the life of Lucretius little is
known. Jerome, under the year 95 B. C., says: “Titus Lucretius, the
poet, was born, who afterwards was made insane by a love potion,
and, when he had in the intervals of his madness written several
books, which Cicero corrected, killed himself by his own hand in
the forty-fourth year of his age.”[18] Donatus, in his _Life of
Virgil_,[19] says that Lucretius died on the day when Virgil was
fifteen years old, i. e., October 15, 55 B. C. This does not agree
with the statement of Jerome. Cicero, in a letter written in February,
54 B. C.,[20] mentions the poems of Lucretius, but says nothing about
correcting or editing them. This is the only contemporary reference to
Lucretius or his work. Now the great poem of Lucretius was evidently
never entirely finished by its author, who was therefore probably dead
when Cicero wrote this letter. The date (55 B. C.) for his death is
thus corroborated. The date of his birth must remain uncertain, but it
was probably not far from 99 B. C. Jerome’s statement that Lucretius
was insane and committed suicide is not in itself improbable. His work
shows him to have been a man of passionate and intense feelings, and
gives some ground for the belief that in the course of his life he was
subjected to great emotional strain. Of his friends and his daily life
we know nothing. His poem is dedicated to Memmius, who is generally
supposed to be the Gaius Memmius who was proprætor in Bithynia in 57 B.

The only work of Lucretius is a didactic poem of six books, in
hexameter verse, _On the Nature of Things_ (_De Rerum Natura_), in
which he expounds the doctrines of Epicurus. [Sidenote: Philosophy
known to the Romans.] The Romans had been for many years acquainted
with Greek philosophical teachings, especially with those of the Stoic
and Epicurean schools. The Stoic doctrines had been taught by one of
the most eminent philosophers of the second century B. C., Panætius,
the friend of the younger Scipio Africanus, and were clearly congenial
to the Roman temperament; for the Stoics taught that virtue is the
highest good, that nothing else is worth striving for, and that the
ordinary pleasures of life are mere interruptions of the philosopher’s
peace. The Epicurean doctrine, that pleasure is the highest good, was
popular only with those who wished to devote themselves to selfish and
physical enjoyment, for the higher aspects of the doctrines of Epicurus
were not understood. As early as 161 B. C. the senate had passed a
vote banishing philosophers and rhetoricians from Rome, and six years
later, when three famous philosophers—Diogenes the Stoic, Critolaus
the Peripatetic, and Carneades of the Academic school—came to Rome,
they aroused so much interest that the senate decided to remove them
from the city as soon as possible. Greek philosophy was, then, not a
new thing at Rome, but the poem of Lucretius is the first systematic
presentation of the Epicurean doctrines.

The purpose of the poem is to free men from superstition and the fear
of death by teaching the doctrines of Epicurus. [Sidenote: The reason
for writing in verse.] This is a most serious purpose, and Lucretius
is thoroughly in earnest. If he adopts the poetic form, it is in order
to make his presentation of the doctrines more attractive, in the hope
that it will thus have greater influence. This point of view, and at
the same time the poet’s sense of the difficulty of his theme and his
power to cope with it, is clearly expressed in the following passage:

    Come now, and what remaineth learn and hear
    More clearly. Well in my own mind I know
    The doctrine is obscure; but mighty hope
    Of praise has struck my heart with maddening wand,
    And with the blow implanted in my breast
    The sweet love of the Muses, filled with which
    I wander with fresh mind through pathless tracts
    Of the Pierides, untrod before
    By any mortal’s foot. ’Tis sweet to go
    To fountains new and drink; and sweet it is
    To pluck new flow’rs and seek a garland thence
    For my own head, whence ne’er before a crown
    The Muses twined for any mortal’s brow.
    ’Tis first because I teach of weighty things
    And guide my course to set the spirit free
    From superstition’s closely knotted bonds;
    And next because concerning matters dark
    I write such lucid verses, touching all
    With th’ Muses’ grace. Then, too, because it seems
    Not without reason; but as when men try
    In curing boys to give them bitter herbs,
    They touch the edges round about the cups
    With yellow liquid of the honey sweet,
    That children’s careless age may be deceived
    As far as to the lips, and meanwhile drink
    The juice of bitter herb, and though deceived
    May not be harmed, but rather in such wise
    Gain health and strength, so I now, since my theme
    Seems gloomy for the most part unto those
    To whom ’tis not familiar, and the crowd
    Shrinks back from it, have wished to treat for thee
    My theme with sweetly speaking poetry’s verse
    And touch it with the Muses’ honey sweet.[21]

[Sidenote: Arrangement and contents of the poem.] The arrangement
of the poem is as follows: Book i sets forth the atomic theory,
invented by Democritus and held by Epicurus, that the world consists
of atoms—infinitely small particles of matter—and void, i. e., empty
space. The theories of other Greek philosophers, such as Heraclitus,
Empedocles, and Anaxagoras, are refuted. In Book ii it is explained
how the atoms combine to form the various things in the world, because
as they fall through space they depart from a straight line and come
in contact with each other. It is also shown that the atoms, although
infinite in number, are limited in variety. In Book iii the mind and
the soul, or principle of life, are shown to be material and to die
when the body dies. Religion and the fear of death, which Lucretius
regards as a result of religion, are attacked. Since the soul dies with
the body, there is no reason to fear death, because after death we
shall feel no lack of anything, shall have no troubles, but shall be as
if we had not been born, or as if we lay wrapped in dreamless sleep:

    So death to us is naught, concerns us not,
    When the soul’s nature is as mortal known.[22]

Book iv shows how the impressions made upon our senses are caused by
minute images detached from the objects about us. We see, for instance,
because minute images of the object seen strike our eyes. Dreams and
love are also treated in this book. In Book v the origin of the earth,
sun, moon, and stars is described, the beginning of life is explained,
and the progress of civilization, from the time when men were savages,
is depicted. Some passages in this book anticipate in a measure the
modern doctrine of the survival of the fittest. Since our world was not
created, but came into being naturally by the combinations of atoms, it
will also come to an end at some time by the separation of the atoms.
In Book vi various striking phenomena are treated, such as thunder,
lightning, earthquakes, tempests, and volcanoes. The book ends with
a description of the plague at Athens, derived from the account of

[Sidenote: Ethical doctrine.] Since the main purpose of the poem
is to free men from religion and the fear of death by showing that
all things, including the soul, came into being and are to pass
away without any action of the gods, ethical doctrines are not
systematically treated. Lucretius accepts, however, the Epicurean dogma
that pleasure is the chief good, “the guide of life,”[23] but the
pleasure he has in mind is not the common physical pleasure, but the
calm repose of the philosopher:

    Oh wretched minds of men, oh blinded hearts!
    Within what shades of life and dangers great
    Is passed whate’er of age we have! Dost thou
    Not see that nature makes demand for naught
    Save this, that pain be absent from our frame,
    That she, removed from care at once and fear,
    May have her pleasure in the joys of mind?[24]

Again, in the splendid praise of Epicurus, which opens the fifth book,
he says that we may live without grain or wine,

    But well one can not live without pure heart.[25]

The only Greek philosophers, besides Epicurus, of whom Lucretius
speaks in terms of praise are Democritus, from whom Epicurus borrowed
the atomic theory, and Empedocles. Perhaps Lucretius imitates in his
work the poem of Empedocles, which bore the same title. At any rate,
Empedocles was a man of exalted modes of thought and dignified, poetic
expression, qualities which would naturally awaken admiration in the
mind of Lucretius. [Sidenote: His reading, observation, and love of
nature.] That Lucretius was well acquainted with the great works of
Greek literature and with the writings of Nævius, Ennius, Pacuvius,
Lucilius, and Accius, is evident from direct references to them, or
imitations of them. But he was not merely a student of books. His power
of observation and his love of nature are shown in many passages, as
where he describes the raging winds and rivers,[26] the life and motion
of an army,[27] the striking features of the island of Sicily,[28] the
echo in the mountains,[29] or pleasant repose under a shady tree on the
grass by the river side.[30]

[Sidenote: Two famous passages.] The poem opens with an invocation to
Venus, which is justly famous. The first lines are:

    Goddess from whom descends the race of Rome,
      Venus, of earth and heaven supreme delight,
    Hail, thou that all beneath the starry dome—
      Lands rich with grain and seas with navies white—
    Blessest and cherishest! Where thou dost come
      Enamelled earth decks her with posies bright
    To meet thy advent; clouds and tempests flee,
    And joyous light smiles over land and sea.[31]

Another famous passage is the beginning of Book ii, which has been
translated into English hexameters as follows:

    Sweet, when the great sea’s water is stirred to its depth
      by the storm winds,
    Standing ashore to descry one afar off mightily struggling;
    Not that a neighbor’s sorrow to you yields dulcet enjoyment;
    But that the sight hath a sweetness, of ills ourselves are exempt
    Sweet ’tis too to behold, on a broad plain mustering war-hosts
    Arm them for some great battle, one’s self unscathed by the danger;
    Yet still happier this: To possess, impregnably guarded,
    Those calm heights of the sages which have for an origin Wisdom;
    Thence to survey our fellows, observe them this way and that way
    Wander amid Life’s paths, poor stragglers seeking a highway;
    Watch mind battle with mind, and escutcheon rival escutcheon;
    Gaze on that untold strife, which is waged ’neath the sun and the
    Up as they toil on the surface whereon rest Riches and Empire.[32]

Lucretius was perfectly aware that his subject was not an easy one to
treat in verse, but was confident of his own power. His work shows that
his confidence was justified. Yet even he could not, in explaining the
details of the philosophy of Epicurus, move always in the upper realms
of poetry. [Sidenote: Style.] The result is that the poem is uneven. In
parts it rises to heights hardly attained by any other Latin author,
but in other parts long passages are dull and monotonous. Yet even in
these parts the verses have a serious, dignified music, the language
is carefully chosen, and the subject is treated with consistency,
clearness, and vigor. In the more animated portions of his work,
Lucretius speaks almost like an inspired prophet. His thought hurries
his lines along with increasing impetus, until their flow seems almost
irresistible. Strength, rapidity, and power are the most striking
features of his style. Minor elements are frequent assonances of
various kinds, such as alliteration, repetition, the use of two or more
words from one root, and the like, elaborate similes, and occasionally
the form of direct address. With all these, the style is characterized
by an austere dignity.

In his discussion of the development of the universe, and especially
in the part dealing with living creatures, man, and the progress of
civilization, Lucretius expresses conclusions not unlike some of those
reached in our own day by modern science. [Sidenote: Anticipation of
modern science.] But his processes are not scientific. He reasons,
to be sure, from concrete facts to theories and from theories again
to concrete facts, but the method of his reasoning is unlike that of
modern science. Lucretius, like other philosophers of ancient times,
having once accepted a theory which explains certain phenomena, makes
his theory the rule by which all phenomena are to be measured and in
accordance with which they are to be understood. It is interesting to
note that Lucretius, following Democritus and Epicurus, anticipates
to a certain extent the modern atomic theory, the theories of the
evolution of species, of the survival of the fittest, and of the
continual progress of mankind from a condition of savagery to
civilization, but his conclusions are reached, not by the patient toil
of modern scientific research, but by abstract theorizing, to which his
poetic imagination gives vividness and almost convincing power.

The greatness of Lucretius as a poet has always been recognized by
critical readers; but he has never been a popular author. His subject
is too abstruse and his style too austere and dignified to appeal to
the taste of the masses, which probably accounts for the fact that his
poem has come down to us through only one copy, from which all the
existing manuscripts are derived.



    Catullus, about 84-54 B. C.—His life—The book of poems—The
    longer poems—The shorter poems—Minor poets—Gnæus
    Matius—Lævius—Sueius—Gaius Licinius Calvus, 87-47 B. C.—Gaius
    Helvius Cinna—Varro Atacinus, 82 to after 37 B. C.—Publius
    Valerius Cato—Marcus Furius Bibaculus—Gaius Memmius, proprætor
    in 57 B. C.—Ticidas—Quintus Cornificius—Cornelius Nepos—Marcus
    Tullius Cicero—Quintus Cicero.

The greatest lyric poet of the Ciceronian period is Gaius Valerius
Catullus. [Sidenote: Life of Catullus.] The exact dates of his birth
and death are uncertain. According to Jerome he was born in 87 B.
C., and died in 57 B. C., at the age of thirty years. But in one
poem[33] he refers to Pompey’s second consulship (55 B. C.), and in two
others[34] he mentions Cæsar’s expedition to Britain (55 B. C.). It is
therefore evident that his death can not have taken place in 57 B. C.
But as his poems contain no references to any event later than 55 or 54
B. C., it is reasonably certain that he died not much after the latter
date. As he is known to have died young, his birth may be assigned to
about 85 B. C., or perhaps a year or two later. His birthplace was
Verona, and his family was wealthy and of good position. He went to
Rome while still hardly more than a boy, and began to write love poems
soon after taking the _toga virilis_, that is to say, at the age of
seventeen. Rome was then a brilliant capital, in which Greek culture,
with all its intellectual vivacity and all its vices, had taken firm
root. The family connections of the young Catullus, whose father was a
friend of Julius Cæsar, introduced him to the aristocratic society of
the capital, and his personal qualities doubtless contributed to make
him a prominent figure among the gay youth of the city.

[Sidenote: Lesbia.] About 61 B. C. began his passionate love for the
brilliant but dissolute woman whom he has immortalized in his poems
under the name of Lesbia. Her real name was Clodia, and when he met
her she was the wife of Quintus Cæcilius Metellus Celer. For a time
she seemed at least to return the love of her young adorer, but almost
immediately after her husband’s death, which took place in 59 B. C.,
she is reproached by Catullus for faithlessness. In the spring of 57 B.
C., Catullus went to Bithynia as a member of the staff of the proprætor
C. Memmius, and by this time his connection with Clodia seems to have
been at an end. In the spring of 56 B. C., Catullus returned to Rome,
after visiting the tomb of his brother, who had died in the Troad. From
this time on his poems are still in part poems of love, but they lack
the passionate fire of the lines addressed to Lesbia. Most of the poems
belonging to the last years of his life, when they contain personal
allusions, are inspired rather by the political events of the time than
by love.

[Sidenote: The Book of Poems.] The poems of Catullus, as they have
been handed down to us, form a small book of 2,280 lines. They are not
arranged chronologically, but rather according to contents and style.
The first sixty are short poems in various lyric metres, and have to
do with the poet’s love, with his friends and enemies, and with the
experiences of his life. These are followed by seven longer poems in
imitation of Alexandrian originals, and the rest of the collection
consists of short pieces, all in elegiac verse. This arrangement is
doubtless due to some editor, not to Catullus himself, but gives the
book a certain artistic unity which would be lacking if the poems were
arranged in chronological order. A few quotations from Catullus which
can not be identified with passages in the extant poems are found in
the works of other writers, but they are so few as to indicate that
nearly all he ever wrote is contained in the existing book.

[Sidenote: The epithalamia.] In the longer poems Catullus shows himself
a consummate master of language and versification and a skillful
imitator of the Alexandrian poetry most popular among the younger
literary men of his time. The first epithalamium, or wedding song,
composed for the marriage of Manlius Torquatus and Vinia Arunculeia,
is written in lyric metre of short lines. It is supposed to be
sung as the bride is escorted to her new home, the first part by a
chorus of maidens, the second by youths. Such songs were traditional
among the Greeks as well as among the Romans, and there is little
originality in the subject or its general treatment, but the brilliant
versification and the charming tender passages it contains make this
the most attractive of all the longer poems of Catullus. The second
epithalamium, in hexameter verse, was apparently composed for no
special occasion. A chorus of youths and a chorus of maidens sing
responses, calling upon Hymenæus, the god of marriage, and describing
by allusion the passage of the bride from maidenhood to wifehood.
So the maidens compare her to a flower that has grown in a secluded
garden, and the youths compare her to a vine that twines about an elm.

The third of the longer poems, the sixty-third of the whole collection,
is the only existing Latin poem in the difficult and complicated
galliambic metre. It describes the madness of the youth Attis, who
mutilates himself and gives himself up to the service of the goddess
Cybele. The despair of Attis when he recovers from his madness and
yearns for his country, his friends, and his past happiness, is
depicted with admirable power, and the ecstatic worship of Cybele is
most vividly portrayed. [Sidenote: The other long poems.] The longest
poem of all describes in hexameter verse the marriage of Peleus with
the sea-goddess Thetis. This is not in any sense a lyric poem, but
an epyllion, or little epic. It contains passages of great beauty,
but offers little opportunity for the display of the peculiarly lyric
genius of Catullus, and is, on the whole, the least successful of his
poems. This is followed by _The Lock of Berenice_, a translation of a
poem of the same name by the Alexandrian Callimachus. Queen Berenice
had cut off a lock of her hair in accordance with a vow when her
husband returned safe from war. The lock disappeared from the temple
in which it had been offered, and the astronomer Conon discovered it
as a new constellation in the heavens. The lock of hair is supposed
to speak and to yearn for its former place upon the forehead of the
queen. In the preface to this poem, which is addressed to the orator
Hortensius Hortalus, Catullus speaks in beautiful lines of the death of
his brother:

    Oh, is thy voice forever hushed and still?
      Oh, brother, dearer far than life, shall I
    Behold thee never? But in sooth I will
      Forever love thee, as in days gone by:
      And ever through my songs shall ring a cry
    Sad with thy death, sad as in thickest shade
      Of intertangled boughs the melody,
    Which by the woful Daulian bird is made,
    Sobbing for Itys dead her wail through all the glade.[35]

The _Lock of Berenice_ is followed by a conversation with a door, which
hints at several immoral stories. The last of the longer poems is an
elegy on the death of the poet’s brother, joined with the praises of
his friend M’. Allius and of his beloved. This poem is remarkable for
the number of digressions it contains, and in this, as in its general
tone, it is an imitation of the Alexandrian style.

The seven poems just described contain many beautiful passages, but
they show us Catullus chiefly as the learned, skillful, and successful
imitator of Alexandrian Greek models. [Sidenote: The short poems.] His
real genius appears in the shorter poems, which deal with the feelings
of his own heart. In these also he is an imitator, so far as his metres
are concerned, but the feelings are his own, and he expresses them in
words that burn. No translation can do justice to the sharp, quick
strokes of his invectives or to the passionate outpourings of his love.
One of his favorite metres is the “hendecasyllable” or eleven syllable
verse, which, by its quick movement, helps to create an impression
of great swiftness of thought and flashing outbursts of emotion. At
the same time, the numerous diminutive suffixes employed give a light
and graceful, almost playful, tone to the verse. Some of the lines
directed against those whom Catullus hated or despised, are scurrilous
and indecent; but that is the fault of the age rather than of the poet
himself. In general the thoughts and emotions expressed range from
passionate love to violent invective, while through many of the poems
there runs a vein of half satirical playfulness. Some of the qualities
of Catullus’ poetry may be made clear by translations of a few of the
short poems. The first shows at once his passionate love for Lesbia,
and something of his half-satirical humor:

    My Lesbia, let us live and love,
    Nor let us count it worth above
    A single farthing if the old
    And carping greybeards choose to scold.
    The suns that set and fade away
    May rise again another day.
    When once has set our little light
    We needs must sleep one endless night.
    A thousand kisses give me, then
    A hundred, then a thousand, when
    I bid you give a hundred more;
    When many thousands o’er and o’er
    We’ve kissed, we’ll mix them, so that we
    Shall lose the count, and none shall be
    Aroused to evil envious hate
    Through knowing that the sum’s so great.[36]

A well-known and especially attractive poem is the playful lament for
the sparrow:

    Let mourning fill the realms of Love;
    Wail, men below and Powers above!
    The joy of my beloved has fled,
    The Sparrow of her heart is dead—
    The Sparrow that she used to prize
    As dearly as her own bright eyes.
    As knows a girl her mother well,
    So knew the pretty bird my belle,
    And ever hopping, chirping round,
    Far from her lap was never found.
    Now wings it to that gloomy bourne
    From which no travellers return.
    Accurs’d be thou, infernal lair!
    Devourer dark of all things fair,
    The rarest bird to thee is gone;
    Take thou once more my malison.
    How swollen and red with weeping, see,
    My fair one’s eyes, and all through thee.[37]

Like most educated Romans, Catullus had a great love for the country.
His joy in returning to his country seat on the peninsula of Sirmio
forms the subject of a charming little poem:

    Gem of all isthmuses and isles that lie,
      Fresh or salt water’s children, in clear lake
    Or ampler ocean; with what joy do I
      Approach thee, Sirmio! Oh! am I awake,
    Or dream that once again mine eye beholds
    Thee, and has looked its last on Thracian wolds?
      Sweetest of sweets to me that pastime seems,
    When the mind drops her burden, when—the pain
    Of travel past—our own cot we regain,
      And nestle on the pillow of our dreams!
    ’Tis this one thought that cheers us as we roam.
      Hail, O fair Sirmio! Joy, thy lord is here!
      Joy too, ye waters of the Golden Mere!
    And ring out, all ye laughter-peals of home![38]

Of the lesser poets of the Ciceronian period little need be said.
Their works are lost, but for scattered fragments, except in so far as
a few anonymous poems are to be ascribed to this period. The writers
of mimes, Decimus Laberius and Publilius Syrus, have already been
mentioned (p. 30). [Sidenote: Matius, Lævius, Sueius.] Gnæus Matius,
who appears to belong to this time, wrote mimiambics in the manner of
Herondas and other Alexandrian poets—lively reproductions of scenes
of ordinary life—in choliambic verse, that is, iambic trimetres, the
last foot of which is a spondee; Lævius wrote sportive love-poems
(_Erotopægnia_); and Sueius composed idylls, two of which, the
_Moretum_ and the _Pulli_, are known by name, besides a book of annals.
Matius also made a free translation of Homer’s _Iliad_.

More important in their own day were two friends of Catullus, Gaius
Licinius Calvus and Gaius Helvius Cinna. [Sidenote: Calvus and Cinna.]
Calvus, who lived from 87 to 47 B. C., was a distinguished orator and
politician, who devoted his leisure hours to poetry. His poems included
epithalamia, elegies, epigrams, and at least one mythological epyllion,
entitled _Io_. Cinna appears to have come, like Catullus, from northern
Italy, but of his life little is known beyond the fact that he was
with Catullus on the staff of Memmius in Bithynia. His chief work was
a poem entitled _Smyrna_, which, although it was of moderate length,
occupied him for nine years. The subject was the unnatural love of
the maiden Smyrna for her father and the birth of their son Adonis.
The poem was so learned and obscure as to be almost incomprehensible,
and was similar in this respect to the _Alexandra_ of the Alexandrian
Lycophron. The admiration expressed by Catullus for this work shows how
highly the younger Roman poets esteemed successful imitations of even
the worst faults of their Alexandrian models.

[Sidenote: Varro Atacinus.] A poet who continued the national
traditions of Ennius and also imitated the Alexandrians was Publius
Terentius Varro, called Varro Atacinus. He was born at Atax, in Gallia
Narbonensis, in 82 B. C. He wrote a poem in hexameters on Cæsar’s
war with the Sequani, and some satires, probably in the manner of
Lucilius, In his thirty-fifth year he is said to have turned to the
study of the Greek poets, and it is probably about this time that he
translated into Latin hexameters the _Argonautica_ of the Alexandrian
epic poet Apollonius Rhodius. A geographical poem, probably entitled
_Chorographia_, and a series of elegiac poems in the Alexandrian manner
probably belong to the time after the year 37 B. C. The few fragments
of his poems show that he was a poet of more than ordinary gifts.

[Sidenote: Valerius Cato.] The intellectual leader of the school of
poets who found their inspiration in the works of the Alexandrians was
the grammarian and teacher, P. Valerius Cato, whom Eurius Bibaculus
calls “Cato the grammarian, the Latin Siren, who alone reads and
makes poets.” Cato’s influence was exerted to lead his followers to
imitate their Greek models carefully, to perfect their Latin style,
and probably to introduce the new metres into Latin poetry. His
own writings were grammatical treatises, poems, and a revision and
correction of the works of Lucilius. The poem entitled _Diræ_, which is
contained in manuscripts of Virgil, and really consists of two distinct
poems, _Diræ_ and _Lydia_, has been ascribed with some probability to
Cato. In the first poem the writer curses a veteran named Lycurgus,
who has deprived him of his property and his beloved Lydia; in the
second he addresses a touching farewell to Lydia, who has remained in
the country. [Sidenote: Other poets.] Other poets of this period are
M. Furius Bibaculus, who wrote satirical verses, Gaius Memmius, the
proprætor of Bithynia in 57 B. C., Ticidas, Quintus Cornificius, and
Cornelius Nepos—all of whom belonged to the new school and imitated
the Alexandrians. Nepos we shall meet again among the prose writers.
Others also, whose chief activity was in other fields, wrote poetry
occasionally. Among these Cicero and his brother Quintus may be

The names of these lesser poets are of little importance to us, but
it is worth while to mention them to call attention to the fact that
poetry was cultivated by many of the younger men in the Ciceronian
period. Through their efforts the various styles and metres of the
Greek poets, especially those of the Alexandrian period, were made
familiar to the Romans, and thus the way was prepared for Horace,
Virgil, and Ovid in the Augustan age.

[Illustration: CICERO.

Bust in the Vatican Museum, Rome.]



    Cicero, 106-43 B. C.—His importance—His life—Periods of
    his literary activity—His works—The orations—Philosophical
    works—Letters—His character.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, orator, statesman and philosopher, is the great
commanding figure of the literary period which is designated by his
name. With him Latin prose reaches a height never before attained and
never afterward surpassed. [Sidenote: Importance of Cicero.] The cooler
and more critical judgment of our northern natures and later age may
find his eloquence too exuberant, and our scholars, trained in the
study of the Greek philosophers, may deny him the title of an original
thinker, but no one can fail to appreciate the power of his utterance,
the clearness of his exposition, or the lucid elegance of his diction.
He found the Latin language the chief dialect of Italy, the speech
of a great and mighty city; he made it the language of the world for

To write the life of Cicero in all the known details would be to
write the history of Rome during the entire period of his manhood.
The historian of literature must content himself with a mere sketch.
[Sidenote: Education and early years.] Cicero was born at Arpinum, a
small town in the hills of eastern Latium, on the third of January,
106 B. C. The town was also the birthplace of Marius, whose fame no
doubt fired the imagination of the young Cicero and helped to rouse
his ambition. His father determined to give him the best possible
education and sent him to Rome, where he knew the two great orators,
M. Antonius and L. Crassus, and also the aged M. Accius and the Greek
poet Archias. Since legal knowledge was a necessary part of an orator’s
education, he studied with the jurist Q. Scævola (p. 44), and the Augur
of the same name. He also paid attention to philosophy, studying with
the Epicurean Phædrus, the Academic philosopher Philo, who was a pupil
of Clitomachus, and the Stoic Diodotus. His teacher of rhetoric was
Molo, of Rhodes, and he also received instruction from the rhetorician
M. Antonius Gnipho and the actors Roscius and Æsopus. He acquired a
great reputation as an advocate by several speeches, especially by
his defense of Quinctius (81 B. C.) and Roscius of Ameria (80 B. C.);
but his health failed, and at the same time he wished to perfect his
education. He therefore left Rome and spent two years (79-77 B. C.) in
Greece and Asia. At Athens he studied under the Academic Antiochus, the
Epicurean Zeno, his old teacher Phædrus, and the instructor in oratory,
Demetrius. In Asia he became acquainted with the florid Asian style
of eloquence, and at Rhodes he studied again under his former teacher
Molo, who exerted himself to chasten the exuberance of his style, which
had been encouraged by the Asiatic orators. At Rhodes he also became
acquainted with the famous Stoic Posidonius.

[Sidenote: His political career.] In 77 B. C. he returned to Rome and
continued his career as an orator. It was soon after his return that
he married Terentia, a lady of noble birth, with whom he lived for
thirty-two years. In 75 B. C. he began his official career as quæstor
of Lilybæum in Sicily, an office which he filled with great credit.
He was elected ædile in 69 and prætor in 66 B. C. In 63 B. C. he was
chosen consul, with Antonius as his colleague, and truthfully claimed
that, although he was a _novus homo_, a man who had no family influence
or prestige to aid him, he had obtained each of the important offices
of the state at the earliest legally admissible age. [Sidenote: The
conspiracy of Catiline.] In his consulship the conspiracy of Catiline
occurred, which Cicero suppressed with relentless vigor, although it
was supposed to be favored by some of the most powerful men in Rome,
including Crassus and Cæsar. The conspirators were not sentenced to
death by regular legal process, but the senate decreed that the consul
should defend the safety of the state, and Cicero gave the order for
their execution. To this year belong the four speeches against Catiline.

[Sidenote: Cicero’s banishment.] In 60 B. C. the first triumvirate was
formed. The triumvirs found the influence of Cicero unfavorable to
their plans, and encouraged his enemy, P. Clodius Pulcher, who had been
adopted into a plebeian family and been elected tribune of the people,
to propose a bill that any one who had put a Roman citizen to death
without due process of law be banished. Cicero, finding that he could
not defend himself with success, withdrew from Rome, and his banishment
was decreed. He remained in exile from April, 58 B. C., until August,
57 B. C., when he was recalled and received with great honors.

[Sidenote: His later years.] In 53 B. C. he was elected to fill
the place in the college of augurs made vacant by the death of the
younger Crassus. In 51 and 50 B. C. Cicero was again absent from Rome,
as proconsul of Cilicia. On his return he found Cæsar and Pompey
in open strife. Cicero had never been a party man. He was always a
sincere patriot, full of pride in the glorious past of his country,
and more than ready to do his duty, and now, when he could not fail
to see that both parties were ruled by selfish ambition rather than
by disinterested patriotism, it was hard for him to attach himself
to either. After some hesitation, he joined the party of Pompey and
the senate, and, in 49 B. C., followed Pompey to Epirus, but was not
present at the battle of Pharsalus. After Pompey’s defeat he waited
at Brundusium until Cæsar allowed him to return to Rome in 47 B. C.
Here he lived in retirement, devoting himself to literary pursuits. In
46 B. C. he divorced his wife, Terentia, and married his young ward,
Publilia, from whom he parted the following year. The year 45 B. C.
was saddened by the death of his only daughter, Tullia. The death of
Cæsar, in 44 B. C., recalled Cicero for a short time to public life,
but he seems to have left the city in April and to have spent some
months at his various villas. In July he decided to visit Athens, where
his son was studying, but after he had reached Sicily he heard that
he was needed at Rome, gave up his plan, and returned to the capital.
Here he took a leading part in the opposition to Antony, against whom
he delivered the fourteen orations known as the _Philippics_. When the
triumvirs came to terms with one another, Cicero was included by Antony
among those whose death he demanded. [Sidenote: His death.] After
moving first to Tusculum, and then to Formiæ, he went aboard a ship at
Caeta, but turned back to land, resolved to die in his native country.
On his way between his villa and the sea he was overtaken by a party of
Antony’s soldiers and killed, on the seventh of December, 43 B. C. His
head and hands were cut off and exposed upon the rostra in the Roman

[Sidenote: Periods of Cicero’s literary activity.] Cicero’s oratorical
and literary activity falls naturally into four chronological
divisions: his earlier years, to the beginning of his career as a
political orator (81-66 B. C.); the period of his greatest power,
lasting until just before his banishment (66-59 B. C.); from his return
from banishment until his departure for Cilicia (57-51 B. C.); and from
his return from Cilicia until his death (50-43 B. C.).

To the first period belong several speeches delivered in different
kinds of lawsuits, the most remarkable of which are the seven orations
in the suit against Verres (70 B. C.) for extortion and misgovernment
in Sicily. At the earnest request of the Sicilians, Cicero undertook
the prosecution. [Sidenote: The first period.] The first speech, the
_Divinatio in Cæcilium_, was delivered to determine whether Cicero or
Q. Cæcilius Niger, who had been quæstor under Verres in Sicily, should
conduct the prosecution. The first speech in the prosecution itself
settled the case. Cicero had prepared all the evidence and summoned the
witnesses, and instead of giving the defence an opportunity for delay,
brought forward his overwhelming evidence at the beginning, after a
mere introduction. Hortensius, Verres’ advocate, gave up the defence
after hearing the evidence, and Verres was banished. The five remaining
orations, called the _Actio Secunda in Verrem_, were published by
Cicero in order that the facts might be universally known, but were
never delivered in court. They show not only that Cicero was at this
time a consummate master of eloquence, but also that his diligence
in the collection and preparation of his material was remarkable.
In addition to his speeches, Cicero wrote in this period several
translations from the Greek, which are lost, and also a handbook of
oratory, the _De Inventione_, in two books. This work was written when
the author was only twenty years old, and is based upon the treatise
addressed to Herennius (p. 45). In it Cicero treats of the various
divisions of oratory and their uses. The work is greatly inferior to
his later rhetorical writings.

[Sidenote: The second period.] The second period opens with the superb
oration _For the Manilian Law_ or _De Imperio Gnæi Pompei_ (66 B. C.),
in which Cicero advocates the appointment of Pompey with extraordinary
powers to carry on the war against Mithridates. The four brilliant and
vehement speeches _Against Catiline_ belong to the year of Cicero’s
consulship, 63 B. C. To the same year belongs the witty and able
speech _For Muræna_, in which Cicero defends Muræna against a charge
of bribery. The delightful speech _For the Poet Archias_ was delivered
in 62 B. C. in support of the poet’s claim to the Roman citizenship.
Throughout this period Cicero’s time and energy were so fully occupied
with affairs of state and with the suits in which he was engaged as
to leave him little leisure for purely literary production. In 60
B. C., however, when the troubles that led to his banishment were
thickening about him, he made a metrical version of the astronomical
poems of Aratus, portions of which are preserved in his later work
_On the Nature of the Gods_, and wrote a poem in three books _On His
Consulship_, which is lost.

[Sidenote: The third period.] The speeches of the third period were
delivered for the most part in private cases, though one of them,
_On the Consular Provinces_ (B. C. 56), urging that Cæsar retain his
proconsulship of Gaul and that Gabinius and Piso be recalled from Syria
and Macedonia, is political, while political considerations have an
important place in several others. In the year 55 B. C. the dialogue
_On the Orator_ (_De Oratore_) was written, in which the two great
orators of the generation before Cicero, Lucius Crassus and Marcus
Antonius, discuss the proper qualities of an orator. The dialogue is
supposed to have taken place shortly before the death of Crassus (91 B.
C.). The lesser parts are taken by some of the younger statesmen of the
day, and in the beginning Cicero’s teacher, the augur Scævola, appears.
This is one of the most attractive of Cicero’s works. The technical
discussions are enlivened by anecdotes and conversation, and the whole
dialogue has a grace and sprightliness not often found in Latin prose.
The dialogue _On the State_ (_De Re Publica_), in six books, was
published before 51 B. C. Only about one third of this is preserved in
a fragmentary condition, and for many centuries the entire work was
lost with the exception of the _Dream of Scipio_ (_Somnium Scipionis_),
from the sixth book. The discussion of the state was followed by a
dialogue _On Laws_ (_De Legibus_), which was begun apparently in 52 B.
C., but was never finished. In this period we find Cicero turning his
attention to technical works on rhetoric and also to philosophy.

[Sidenote: The fourth period.] The last period was for the most part
a time of quiet literary work for Cicero. Only after Cæsar’s death
did he return to public life. In 46 B. C. he thanked Cæsar, in the
oration _For Marcellus_, for allowing Marcellus, who had been consul
in 51 B. C., to return to Rome; later in the same year he pleaded the
case of Quintus Ligarius in the speech _For Ligarius_, and in 45 B.
C. he spoke in behalf of Deiotarus, tetrarch of Galicia, who had been
accused of treachery to Cæsar (_For King Deiotarus_), but these are
the only speeches of this period except the fourteen _Philippics_,
directed against Antony, all of which belong to the short time between
the second of September, 44 B. C., and the twenty-second of April, 43
B. C. In these Cicero shows his old energy and fire, but not quite his
earlier power. The name _Philippics_ was given to these speeches almost
from the very first, and was in fact authorized by Cicero himself,
who welcomed the parallel between himself, arousing and encouraging
the Romans against Antony, and Demosthenes urging the Athenians to
oppose Philip. But these orations were the work of a few months; by far
the greater part of the years after 50 B. C. was occupied with other
things. [Sidenote: Rhetorical and philosophical works.] In the three
years 46-44 B. C. appeared the rhetorical writings _Brutus_, the
_Orator_, the _Divisions of Oratory_, the essay _On the Best Kind of
Orators_, and the long series of philosophical dialogues and
treatises, the most important of which are the _De Finibus Bonorum et
Malorum_, a discussion of the different theories respecting the
highest good, in five books; the _Academics_, two books of which are
preserved; the _Tusculan Disputations_, in five books, treating of the
chief essentials for happiness; the treatise _On the Nature of the
Gods_, in three books; and the three books _On Duties_ (_De
Officiis_); to which should be added, on account of their beauty of
style and sentiment, the _Cato Maior_ (_On Old Age_) and the _Lælius_
(_On Friendship_).

Cicero’s extant works comprise fifty-seven orations and fragments
of twenty more, seven rhetorical treatises, thirteen philosophical
treatises, including those _On the State_ and _On Laws_, and about
eight hundred and sixty letters, among which are ninety addressed to
him by his correspondents. Among the lost works are a few historical
writings and several translations from the Greek.

[Sidenote: Cicero as an orator.] Cicero’s chief ambition was to be
a great orator, and he spared no pains to attain his end. Richly
endowed by nature, he was not content to employ his natural gifts
without careful cultivation. He studied the orators of earlier times,
especially the great masters of Greek eloquence, made many translations
from the Greek for the sake of perfecting his style, and was a diligent
student of rhetorical theories. His conception of the proper qualities
of the orator was high and noble. In the essay _De Oratore_, he makes
Crassus say:

    Wherefore, if one wishes to define and embrace the proper power
    of an orator in all its extent, that man will be, in my opinion,
    an orator worthy of this great name, who can speak wisely, in
    an orderly and polished manner, from memory, and even with some
    dignity of action, upon whatever subject arises that needs to be
    set forth in speech.[39]

And again:

    I assert that by the moderation and wisdom of the perfect orator
    not only his own dignity, but the welfare of very many persons and
    of the entire commonwealth is preserved.[40]

In short, the orator should be, in Cicero’s opinion, not only a great
and practised speaker, but a man of varied learning, and at the same
time a man of the highest character. This was the ideal he set before
himself and strove throughout his life to attain. Certainly it was no
low ideal, nor was the man who strove to attain it a character to be

[Sidenote: Oratorical style.] Cicero’s oratorical style is always
careful and finished, but is far from that monotonous smoothness
which study often gives to the speech of those who are not by nature
gifted orators. In the narrative parts of his speeches he is clear,
straightforward, and lucid; in his arguments he is logical, incisive,
and full of force; in his appeals to the feelings of his hearers he is
vivid, quick and powerful, sometimes, according to the demands of the
occasion, violent or pathetic. [Sidenote: Irony.] The elaborate
periodic structure of his sentences is varied by many short questions
or exclamations, and the habitual dignity of his utterance is softened
and enlivened by frequent touches of wit, humor, and irony. So in his
defence of Quintus Ligarius, who had served in the senatorial army in
Africa, although he knew that Cæsar, before whom the case was argued,
was perfectly acquainted with the facts, he began his speech as

    A new charge, Gaius Cæsar, and one never heard of before this day,
    my relative, Quintus Tubero, has brought before you: that Quintus
    Ligarius was in Africa; and Gaius Pansa, a man of excellent
    character, trusting, perhaps, in his friendship with you, has
    dared to confess that it is true. Therefore I know not where to
    turn. For I had come prepared, since you could not know it by
    yourself, and could not have heard it from any one else, to take
    advantage of your ignorance for the salvation of the unfortunate

After this ironical introduction, which serves to make his opponents
seem ridiculous, Cicero appeals to Cæsar’s well-known clemency before
proceeding to his argument.

[Sidenote: Patriotic feeling.] In his own political life Cicero
constantly showed his reverence for the dignity of the Roman people,
the established forms of government, and the traditions and great deeds
of the earlier days of Rome. The same feeling is evident in nearly
all his orations. References to the Roman people, the majesty of the
Roman people, the Roman empire, the dignity of the senate, the customs
or institutions of the ancestors, are found on almost every page. The
oration _On the Manilian Law_ is not merely a panegyric of Pompey and
an argument for giving him new and greater powers, but at the same time
a hymn of praise to the glory of the Roman republic and the virtues of
the men of old:

    Our ancestors often engaged in wars because our merchants or
    ship-owners had been somewhat unjustly treated; what, pray,
    should be your feelings when so many thousands of Roman citizens
    have been slaughtered by one edict and at one time? Because our
    envoys had been too haughtily addressed it pleased your fathers
    that Corinth, the light of all Greece, be blotted out; will you
    let that king go unpunished who has slain an ex-consul and envoy
    of the Roman people, after subjecting him to imprisonment, and
    scourging, and all kinds of torture? They did not endure it when
    the liberty of Roman citizens was curtailed; will you be negligent
    when their lives have been taken? They followed up the verbal
    violation of the right of embassies; will you desert the cause of
    an ambassador slain with all torments? Be on your guard, lest,
    just as it was most honorable for them to hand down to you so
    great and glorious an empire, so it be most disgraceful for you to
    fail to guard and preserve what you have received.[42]

Here the orator’s effort is to arouse his hearers to maintain the
dignity and glory of the republic, whose greatness is brought home
to their minds by the references to the deeds of their ancestors.
This passage is also a good example of the effective use of repeated

In the speech _For the Manilian Law_ Cicero addresses the assembled
Roman people on a political question of immediate and great importance.
His tone is exalted and earnest, his eloquence stirring and inspiring.
The same qualities are found in all the political orations, and in many
of the private speeches, delivered in cases involving the life of the
accused or Cicero’s own character. [Sidenote: Gentler and more graceful
style.] In speeches dealing with less urgent matters the tone is more
gentle and the effect more graceful. Quotations from the poets are
numerous, and the rhythmical structure of the sentences is more marked
than in the stirring and excited passages of the political harangues.
The oration _For the Poet Archias_ is the best example of Cicero’s
less stirring and more graceful oratory. After establishing by a brief
statement the fact that Archias had a valid claim to the citizenship,
Cicero devotes the remainder of his speech to the praise of literary

    These studies nourish youth, delight old age, adorn prosperity,
    furnish a refuge and solace in adversity, gladden us at home, are
    no hindrance abroad, spend the nights with us, are with us in our
    foreign travels, and at our country seats.[43]

In this oration Cicero appears as the man of letters whose literary
interest was not bounded by the career of the politician or the orator,
and who, in spite of political successes and disappointments, was to
achieve greater fame as an author than any other writer of Latin prose.

[Sidenote: Direct address.] Few passages are more striking or
characteristic in the orations of Cicero than those in which he
turns to address directly either the opposing party in the case or
his advocate. In these passages, which vary in length from a brief
exclamation to an elaborate invective, the stinging words shoot forth
with quick and passionate directness. One of the longer passages of
this kind, in which additional force is lent to the words by the
suggestion that they are uttered by the culprit’s own father, is the

    Here you will even dare to say, “Among the judges, that one
    is my friend, that one a friend of my father.” Is not every
    one, the more closely he is connected with you in any way,
    the more ashamed of you for being subject to a charge of this
    kind? He is your father’s friend. If your father himself were
    a judge, what, in the name of the immortal gods, could you do
    when he said to you: “You, the prætor of the Roman people in
    a province, when you had to carry on a naval war, excused the
    Mamertines for three years from supplying the ship which they
    were bound by treaty to supply; for your private use a freight
    ship of the largest size was built at public expense by those
    same Mamertines; you exacted money from the cities under the
    pretext of the fleet; you dismissed rowers for bribes; you,
    when a pirate vessel had been captured by the quæstor and the
    lieutenant, removed the leader of the pirates from the sight
    of all; you could put under the headsman’s axe men who were
    said to be Roman citizens, who were known as such by many; you
    dared to take pirates to your house, and to bring the pirate
    captain to the court from your own dwelling; you, in that
    splendid province, in the sight of our most faithful allies,
    of most honorable Roman citizens, lay for days together on the
    shore at festive banquets at a time when the province was in
    fear and danger; during those days no one could find you at
    your house, no one could see you in the forum; you brought to
    those banquets the wives of allies and friends; among women
    of that sort you placed your youthful son, my grandson, that
    his father’s life might offer him examples of wickedness at
    the age which is especially unsteady and lacking in fixed
    principles; you, the prætor, were seen in the province in a
    tunic and purple cloak; you, for the gratification of your
    passion and lust, took away the command of the ships from a
    lieutenant of the Roman people and gave it to a Syracusan;
    your soldiers in the province of Sicily were in want of food
    and grain; owing to your luxury and avarice a fleet of the
    Roman people was captured and burned by pirates; in your
    prætorship pirates sailed their ships in that harbor which no
    enemy had ever entered since the foundation of Syracuse; and
    these disgraces of yours, so many and so great, you did not
    care to hide by concealment on your part, nor by making men
    forget them and keep silent about them, but you tore away to
    death and torture even the captains of the ships, without any
    cause, from the embraces of their parents, your own friends,
    nor in seeing the grief and tears of those parents did any
    memory of me soften you; to you the blood of innocent men was
    not only a pleasure, but even a source of profit.” If your
    father should say this to you, could you ask pardon from him?
    could you entreat him to forgive you?[44]

These few examples, perhaps not the most striking to be found in the
great body of his orations, may give some idea of the variety of
Cicero’s oratory. In his youth the Roman orators were divided into two
parties on the question of style; the elder men, chief among whom was
Hortensius, favored the Asian style, with its wealth of rhetorical
adornment, while the younger men, the Atticists, as they called
themselves, aimed at extreme simplicity, taking Lysias as their model.
Cicero perceived that a middle course was best. His natural tendency
was toward exuberance, but he tempered it by careful study. He does
not avoid rhetorical adornment, but he seldom uses it to excess. Like
Demosthenes, whom he regarded as the greatest of the Greek orators, he
varies his style to suit the occasion, and, like him, he stands forth
as the greatest orator of his nation.

[Sidenote: Philosophical works.] In his philosophical writings Cicero’s
purpose was to be useful to his fellow citizens by making them
acquainted with the results of Greek speculative thought. As he himself

    As I sought and pondered much and long by what means I could be of
    use to as many men as possible, that I might never cease to care
    for the welfare of the republic, nothing greater occurred to me
    than if I should make accessible to my fellow citizens the paths
    of the noblest learning.[45]

With this end in view he wrote his treatises, for the most part in the
dialogue form, after the manner of Plato, in which he set forth the
doctrines of the Greek philosophers on the most important subjects,
such as the chief end of life, the means of attaining happiness, duty,
the nature of the gods, and the like, laying the chief stress upon
what he believed to be true and correct. He lays no claim to great
originality of thought, but only to independence of judgment. In
general, he regards himself as a disciple of the Academic school, which
did not claim to establish absolute truth, but to show what was most
probable. He uses, however, the works of Stoic and even of Epicurean
philosophers, whenever they express views in accordance with his own,
as well as when he wishes to refute their teachings. He is not entirely
consistent in all his writings, but his high moral sense, his belief
in the divine government of the world, and his hope of immortality
are the foundations of his philosophy. His style in these writings
is, as befits his subject, dignified and serene, but enlivened by the
occasional interruptions incident to the dialogue form.

[Sidenote: Importance of Cicero’s philosophical works.] To the
professional student of ancient philosophy these treatises are of great
importance chiefly because of the information they contain concerning
the writings and doctrines of Greek philosophers whose works have
been lost; to the student of literature they offer admirable examples
of learned works in popular form, with all the charm of exquisite
literary workmanship; and their influence upon later ages was so great
that no one who is interested in the progress of human thought can
disregard them. St. Augustine, and many other writers of the early
Christian Church, acknowledge their indebtedness to them; they are the
foundation of the speculative thought of the middle ages; and it is
in great measure due to their influence that the Latin language has
remained, almost to our own day, the great medium for the expression
of philosophical and scientific speculation. Cicero made “the paths of
the noblest learning” accessible not only to his Roman fellow citizens,
but to countless generations of men of all lands. His noble purpose was
accomplished more grandly than he ever hoped or dreamed. Let those who
will, accuse him of shallowness and superficiality; mankind owes him an
immeasurable debt of gratitude.

Cicero’s orations have served as models for many generations of
orators, his rhetorical treatises may be regarded as the foundation of
nearly all later theories of style, his philosophical works exerted an
influence which permeated the thought of centuries. [Sidenote: Cicero’s
letters.] It remains to speak of his letters. These are in some
respects the most interesting of his writings, because they show the
feelings of the man as he disclosed them to his intimate friends, they
make us acquainted with the personal relations between the prominent
Romans of the time, and shed many rays of light upon the dark pages of
contemporary history. The first of the extant letters is dated in 68
B. C., the last July 28, 43 B. C. The collection was made by Cicero’s
friends, and edited probably by his freedman, Tiro, and his publisher
and most intimate friend, Atticus. They fall into four groups; sixteen
books addressed to various persons (_Ad Familiares_), three books to
Cicero’s brother Quintus (_Ad Quintum Fratrem_), sixteen books to
Atticus (_Ad Atticum_), and two books to Brutus (_Ad Brutum_). There
were originally nine books of letters to Brutus, but only the eighth
and the ninth are preserved.

The letters differ greatly in importance, in length, and in interest.
Some are mere greetings or brief introductions, while others are
carefully composed treatises; some are expressions of Cicero’s inmost
feelings to his intimate friends, while others are business notes
or occasional letters to men with whom he was on a less familiar
footing; some are addressed to the great leaders of the political
parties, others to comparatively obscure persons; some are on literary
subjects, others on private business, and still others on matters that
pertain to the history of the world. [Sidenote: Variety of contents.]
The style and language vary with the contents of the letters, but are
in general less careful than in any of Cicero’s other writings. The
language is evidently that of common speech rather than of literary
composition. In the letters written during his exile Cicero betrays
unmanly discouragement, and breaks out into pitiful lamentation, just
as in many of his orations he betrays great vanity, and extols overmuch
his own courage and patriotism in the matter of the Catilinarian
conspiracy; but these letters are the confidential utterances of
momentary feelings, not the deliberate expressions of the man’s
character, and we must not forget that Cicero was an Italian, a man
of easily aroused emotions, whose vanity might overflow or whose
grief might break forth without affecting his real earnestness or
steadfastness. One of the briefer letters to Atticus is the following,
written from Thurium, in April, 58 B. C., soon after Cicero’s
banishment began:

    Terentia thanks you frequently and very warmly. That is a great
    comfort to me. I am the most miserable man alive, and am being
    worn out with the most poignant sorrow. I don’t know what to write
    to you. For if you are at Rome, it is now too late for me to reach
    you; but if you are on the road, we shall discuss together all
    that needs to be discussed when you have overtaken me. All I ask
    you is to retain the same affection for me, since it was always
    myself you loved. For I am still the same man; my enemies have
    taken what was mine, they have not taken myself. Take care of your

A letter to Marcus Terentius Varro, written in 46 B. C., among the
troubles of the civil war, shows Cicero consoling himself with

    From a letter of yours, which Atticus read to me, I learnt what
    you were doing and where you were; but when we were
    likely to see you, I could gain no idea at all from the letter.
    However, I am beginning to hope that your arrival is not far off.
    I wish it could be any consolation to me! But the fact is, I am
    overwhelmed by so many and such grave anxieties, that no one but
    the most utter fool ought to expect any alleviation; yet, after
    all, perhaps you can give me some kind of help, or I you. For
    allow me to tell you that, since my arrival in the city, I have
    effected a reconciliation with my old friends—I mean my books;
    though the truth is that I had not abandoned their society because
    I had fallen out with them, but because I was half ashamed to look
    them in the face. For I thought, when I plunged into the maelstrom
    of civil strife, with allies whom I had the worst possible reason
    for trusting, that I had not shown proper respect for their
    precepts. They pardon me; they recall me to our old intimacy, and
    you, they say, have been wiser than I for never having left it.
    Wherefore, since I find them reconciled, I seem bound to hope, if
    I once see you, that I shall pass through with ease both what is
    weighing me down now, and what is threatening. Therefore, in your
    company, whether you choose it to be in your Tusculan or Cuman
    villa, or, which I should like least, at Rome, so long only as
    we are together, I will certainly contrive that both of us shall
    think it the most agreeable place possible.[47]

[Sidenote: Cicero’s character.] Cicero’s letters give us a more
complete insight into his private character than could be gained from
his other writings. He was a faithful and affectionate friend, a genial
companion, a good husband and father, and a devoted patriot. In his
political career he exhibited a lack of that insight which enables the
great statesman to foresee inevitable changes, and therefore he strove
to preserve the old system of government at a time when its usefulness
had passed away. He could not sympathize thoroughly with Pompey and
his party, still less with the revolutionary policy of Cæsar. The
result was indecision and apparent fickleness, but his indecision was
not so much that of weakness as of the inability to choose between
what he must have regarded as two evils. When he saw his duty clearly
before him, as in the year of his consulship, he did not flinch, and
again, when Antony was arrayed in arms against the state, he stood
forth boldly as the defender of the republic. He showed his courage
and firmness also when, in 50 B. C., after Pompey’s flight from Italy,
he exposed himself to Cæsar’s displeasure by refusing to come to Rome
except as an avowed partizan of Pompey.[48] In all the relations of
life he was honorable and conscientious, and in the field of literature
he stands among the great men of the world.

[Illustration: CÆSAR.

Bust in the museum at Naples.]



    Cæsar, 102(?)-44 B. C.—Hirtius, ?-43 B. C.—Oppius, died after
    44 B. C.—Continuations of Cæsar’s Commentaries—Sallust,
    86-35 B. C.—Cornelius Nepos, before 100 B. C. to after 30 B.
    C.—Varro, 116-27 B. C.—Atticus, 109-32 B. C.—Hortensius, 114-50
    B. C.—Calidius, died 47 B. C.—Calvus, 87-47 B. C.—Brutus,
    78 (?)-42 B. C.—Cornificius, ?-41 B. C.—Quintus Cicero,
    102-43, B. C.—Tiro—Nigidius Figulus, died 45 B. C.—Aurelius
    Opilius—Antonius Gnipho—Pompilius Andronicus—Santra—Servius
    Sulpicius Rufus.

What has been said of Cicero applies with at least equal force to
Cæsar—the story of his life belongs to the history of Rome rather than
to that of literature. We must therefore content ourselves with a brief

[Sidenote: Cæsar’s early life.] Gaius Julius Cæsar was born, according
to the common account, in 100 B. C., but the real date is probably
two years earlier. He was of patrician birth and his family claimed
descent from Ascanius; or Iulus, the son of Æneas. Marius, his uncle
by marriage, made him a priest of Jupiter at the age of not more than
fifteen. While still little more than a boy he married Cornelia, the
daughter of Cinna, and barely escaped the proscription of Sulla when
he refused to divorce her. The young Cæsar was thus, in spite of his
patrician birth, identified with the popular party. In 67 B. C. he was
quæstor in Farther Spain, in 65 B. C. he became curule ædile, in which
office he distinguished himself by the magnificence of his public games
and exhibitions, and in 63 B. C. he was elected pontifex maximus,
thereby becoming for life the official head of the Roman religion.

[Sidenote: His government in Spain.] In 62 B. C. he was chosen prætor,
and the next year was sent as proprætor to Farther Spain. Up to this
time he was known chiefly as a dissolute man and an unscrupulous
demagogue. His extravagance had involved him in debts amounting to
more than a million dollars. But in the government of his province
he distinguished himself by military successes and excellent civil
administration, besides amassing sufficient wealth to pay his debts.

[Sidenote: The first triumvirate.] In 60 B. C. he returned to Rome,
and soon formed with Pompey and Crassus the agreement known as the
first triumvirate, by which he was assured of the consulship in 59
B. C., and the government of Gaul for the following five years. To
strengthen the alliance he married his young and beautiful daughter
Julia to Pompey. In 56 B. C. he met Pompey and Crassus at Lucca, in
the presence of a great concourse of senators and their followers, and
an agreement was made that Cæsar should continue to hold the province
of Gaul through 49 B. C., while Pompey and Crassus were to be consuls
in 55 B. C., after which Syria and Spain were to be given to Crassus
and Pompey respectively for five years. The agreement was duly carried
out, and in 54 B. C. Crassus went to Syria, where he lost his life
after the battle of Carrhæ, in 53 B. C. In the same year Pompey’s
wife, Julia, died. Pompey had not gone to Spain to take possession of
his province, but remained at Rome, and soon became openly hostile
to Cæsar. When the Gallic war was ended, the senatorial party, with
Pompey at its head, demanded that Cæsar disband his army. [Sidenote:
The civil war.] This he refused to do unless Pompey also gave up his
military command. Hereupon the civil war broke out, Cæsar crossed the
Rubicon, the boundary of his province, and Pompey fled to Greece, where
he was defeated in 48 B. C., at Pharsalus, then to Egypt, where he was
murdered. In 46 B. C. the senatorial party was finally defeated in the
battle of Thapsus, in Africa, and their leader, Cato, committed suicide
at Utica.

[Sidenote: Cæsar’s dictatorship and death.] Cæsar now returned to Rome,
where he was made _imperator_ and perpetual dictator, thus uniting
in one person all the political power of the state. Henceforth the
forms of republican government were but a thin mask disguising a real
monarchy. In the brief period of his power Cæsar accomplished the
reform of the calendar, and carried through numerous important changes
for the improvement of the government, but nothing could placate the
hatred of those who wished to restore the rule of the senate, whatever
its abuses had been. On the Ides of March (March 15), 44 B. C., he was
murdered in the senate-house by a band of conspirators headed by Brutus.

[Sidenote: Cæsar’s writings.] Cæsar’s extant writings are seven books
of _Commentaries_ on the Gallic War, covering the years 58-52 B. C.,
and three books of _Commentaries_ on the Civil War, covering the years
49-48 B. C. He also wrote some poems, a book _On the Stars_, two books
_Against Cato_, and a few grammatical or rhetorical essays, all of
which are lost, as are also his orations, which were greatly admired.
Collections of his letters existed in antiquity, but these also have
been lost, and the only extant letters of Cæsar are a few which are
preserved in the correspondence of Cicero. Cæsar doubtless intended to
publish commentaries on the years between 52 and 49 B. C., as well as
on his wars in Egypt and elsewhere, but did not carry out his intention.

Cæsar’s _Commentaries on the Gallic War_ were written apparently in
the year 51 B. C., when he was still on good terms with Pompey. The
energy of this pale, slender, delicate man sufficed not only to make
him the conqueror of the warlike tribes of the north, and afterward
of the trained armies of the republic, but also to gain him an
eminent position among the great narrative and descriptive writers
of the world. The _Commentaries_ were written rapidly,[49] for the
double purpose of showing what Cæsar had done to increase the glory
and power of Rome, and to prove to his detractors that his conquest
of Gaul had not been an act of unprovoked aggression, but had been
forced upon him by circumstances. The facts narrated are drawn, in all
probability, from the official army records, supplemented from Cæsar’s
own recollections, and perhaps from his private journals. In striking
contrast to the transparent vanity which led Cicero to extol his own
merits on all possible occasions, Cæsar keeps his personality in the
background, and writes of himself always in the third person, as if the
deeds he narrates were those of another than the writer. This gives
his narrative the appearance of great impartiality, but the careful
reader can hardly fail to notice that Cæsar’s conduct is always put
in the most favorable light, that his victories are made as important
as possible, and his reverses are more lightly passed over. The
_Commentaries_ are not to be regarded as accurate history, but rather
as a justification of Cæsar’s actions, presented in historical form.

[Sidenote: Cæsar’s style.] Cæsar’s style is clear, simple, and
unaffected, and free from all obtrusive rhetorical adornment, but the
narrative of his campaigns is varied and enlivened by the insertion
of descriptions, speeches, dialogues, and all sorts of interesting
details. He frequently takes occasion to signalize the brave deeds of
his men. So in his account of the siege of Gergovia, he describes the
heroic death of one of his centurions:

    Marcus Petronius, a centurion of the same legion, in trying to
    break down the gate, was overwhelmed by numbers and despaired
    of his life. When he had already been wounded many times, he
    said to his comrades, who had followed him: “Since I can not
    save myself together with you, I will at least provide for
    your safety, since through my greed for glory I have led you
    into danger. When an opportunity is given you, do you look
    out for yourselves.” At once he rushed into the midst of the
    enemy, and after killing two, drove the rest a little away
    from the gate. When his comrades tried to succour him, “In
    vain,” he said, “do you try to save my life, since my blood
    and my strength are ebbing away. So go away, while you have
    the opportunity, and retreat to the legion.” Thus fighting he
    soon fell and saved his comrades.

The history of the Gallic war was published under the unassuming title
of _Commentarii_, or “notes”; but such is the perfection of its simple
style that no one ever thought of rewriting it.

[Sidenote: The Civil War.] The three books of _Commentaries on the
Civil War_ show the same qualities as those _On the Gallic War_, but in
a less admirable degree. In one external matter they differ from the
history of the Gallic War, for in the latter each book contains the
account of a year’s campaign, while the story of the first year of the
Civil War occupies two books. The historical interest of this work is
at least as great as that of the books on the Gallic War, but it does
not compete with them in literary merit, and contains some positive
misstatements. Probably the work was written in haste and was never
revised by its author. This supposition would account for some of its
defects. It may have been prepared for publication by one of Cæsar’s
officers, perhaps by one of those who undertook to furnish histories of
the campaigns which Cæsar had left unrecorded.

Among those who continued Cæsar’s record of his wars, the best writer
is Aulus Hirtius. He was one of Cæsar’s lieutenants in Gaul, and was
sent by him to Rome as a trusted agent. In 49 B. C. he was with Cæsar
in Rome. What share he had in the civil war is not known, but he
himself says that he was not present in the Alexandrian and African
wars. [Sidenote: Continuations of Cæsar’s Commentaries.] He was prætor,
on Cæsar’s nomination, in 46 B. C., and was consul in 43 B. C., when
he was killed in the battle of Mutina, fighting against Antony. The
only work ascribed to him with certainty is the eighth book of the
_Commentaries on the Gallic War_, in which he shows himself far
inferior to Cæsar as a writer, but not without some ability. The book
is well written, in a style evidently intended to resemble that of
Cæsar. Whether the book on the _Alexandrian War_ was written by Hirtius
or by Gaius Oppius is uncertain. Oppius was a man of equestrian rank, a
supporter and agent of Cæsar at Rome. After Cæsar’s death he attached
himself to the party of Octavius, and urged Cicero to do the same. He
appears not to have lived long after 44 B. C. The _Alexandrian War_ is
written in a style similar to that of the eighth book of the _Gallic
War_. The books on the _African War_ and the _Spanish War_ are by
unknown authors. The style of the first is tasteless and turgid, while
that of the latter is hesitating and crabbed. These books possess a
certain literary interest, because they show the immense difference
between Cæsar’s literary ability and that of the average Roman of his

Cæsar’s inimitable _Commentaries_ are the records of their author’s own
deeds, written from the point of view of the chief actor in the events
narrated. They are not the results of wide historical research, nor
do they attempt to give the reader a broad general knowledge of the
course of events, with all their causes and consequences. They are not,
strictly speaking, history, but a masterly presentation of the material
from which history is made. The earlier records of the past by Roman
writers, such as Valerius Antias, Cornelius Sisenna, and others (see
page 43), were mere annals, deficient alike in careful research and
literary finish. The first real historian of Rome was Sallust.

[Sidenote: Sallust.] Gaius Sallustius Crispus was born of a plebeian
family, at Amiternum, in the Sabine country, in 86 B. C. At some
unknown date he obtained the office of quæstor, and in 52 B. C. he
was tribune. In the earlier part of his life he was dissolute, and
he is said to have brought his father in sorrow to the grave. In 50
B. C. he was expelled from the senate by the censors Appius Claudius
and Lucius Piso. In the following year he was reappointed quæstor by
Cæsar and thus regained his place in the senate. In 48 B. C. he was in
command of a legion in Illyria, in the year following he was sent by
Cæsar to suppress a mutiny among the soldiers in Campania, and in 46
B. C. served as prætor in the African war. At the end of the year he
was made proconsul of Numidia, where he enriched himself by plundering
the province. He then bought a villa and gardens on the Quirinal, and
devoted himself to historical writing until his death in 35 B. C.

[Sidenote: Sallust’s works.] Sallust’s works are _The Conspiracy of
Catiline_, _The Jugurthine War_, and the _Histories_. The first two are
preserved entire, but of the _Histories_, which treated of the events
from 78 to 67 B. C., only fragments are preserved, in addition to four
speeches and two letters, which were inserted in the narrative, but
were collected and published for use in rhetorical teaching. The two
letters to Cæsar and the speech against Cicero, published under the
name of Sallust, are spurious.

[Sidenote: Character of Sallust’s works.] In his writings Sallust
appears as an opponent of the nobility and a champion of the popular
party. He depicts in glaring colors the corruption and greed of the
senate, and describes in glowing terms the successes and virtues of
the popular hero Marius. At times his political bias leads him even
to distort the truth, though the distortion is not so great as to
deprive his works of historical value. He is not content to state the
bare facts of history, but exerts himself to depict the sentiments
and motives underlying the actions of the chief persons about whom
he writes, and even of mankind in general. He prefaces his narrative
with introductions of a philosophical nature, sometimes not strictly
relevant to the subject in hand. His style is rhetorical and piquant,
and he uses many archaic words, chosen in great part from Cato’s
works. He evidently imitates the style of Thucydides, and, like him,
he introduces speeches and letters composed to suit the occasion on
which they are supposed to have been delivered or written. These
peculiarities give his works the interest of individuality, and have
caused them to be much admired, and also severely criticised, in
ancient and modern times. Some of the qualities of Sallust’s writing
may appear in translations of a few brief extracts. The opening words
of the _Catiline_ are as follows:

    All men, who desire to excel the other animals, ought to strive
    with all their power not to pass their lives in silence, like the
    cattle which nature has made prone and obedient to their appetite.
    But all our power is situated in the spirit and the body; our
    spirit is more for command, our body for obedience; the one we
    have in common with the gods, the other with the beasts; wherefore
    it seems to me more fitting to seek glory by the resources of
    the mind than by physical strength, and, since the life which we
    enjoy is itself brief, to make the memory of us as lasting as

His account of the terror at Rome when the greatness of the danger
from the conspiracy of Catiline became known, shows his power of vivid

    By these things the state was deeply moved and the face of the
    city was changed. From the greatest gaiety and wantonness, which
    long peace had brought forth, suddenly utter sadness came in;
    people hurried, ran trembling about, had no confidence in any
    place or man, neither waged war, nor were at peace; each one
    measured the danger by his own fear.[51]

The beginning of the speech of Marius to the Romans exhibits Sallust’s
rhetorical style, his liking for antitheses and for descriptive

    I know, Quirites, that not by the same conduct do most men seek
    power from you and use it after they have obtained it, that at
    first they are industrious, humble, and moderate, but afterward
    pass their lives in sloth and haughtiness. But to me the opposite
    seems right, for by as much as the entire state is more important
    than the consulship or the prætorship, with so much greater care
    ought the former to be administered than these latter to be
    sought. Nor am I ignorant how much trouble I am taking upon myself
    at the same time with the greatest honor from you. To make ready
    for war, and at the same time spare the treasury, to force to
    military service those whom one does not wish to offend, to care
    for everything at home and abroad, and to do this among envious,
    opposing, seditious men, is harder, Quirites, than you think.

Artificial though the style of Sallust is, it is interesting, lively,
often concise and vivid. It had no little influence upon the style of
subsequent writers, especially upon that of Tacitus, the greatest of
Roman historians. We must remember, too, that the _Catiline_ and the
_Jugurtha_ were of much less importance than the lost _Histories_. In
this greater and more mature work Sallust may have avoided some of the
faults of style that appear in the extant treatises.

[Sidenote: Cornelius Nepos.] A much less interesting writer than
Sallust is Cornelius Nepos. Like Catullus and several other authors
of this period, he came to Rome from the north. His birthplace was
probably Ticinum, on the river Po. Little is known of his life, which
appears to have extended from a little before 100 B. C. to a little
after 30 B. C. He was a friend of Catullus and of Cicero’s friend
Atticus, probably also of other literary men at Rome. His works
were all, with the exception of some love poems, historical and
biographical. The _Chronica_, in three books, treating of universal
history, was probably written before 52 B. C. The _Exempla_, in five
books, was a history of Roman manners and customs. Three other works
were a _Life of Cato_ (the elder), a _Life of Cicero_, and a treatise
on geography. His latest work, published apparently between 35 and 33
B. C., was a great collection of biographies of distinguished men (_De
Viris Illustribus_), dedicated to Atticus. An addition to the life of
Atticus was made between 31 and 27 B. C. This work contained at least
sixteen books, and was divided into sections of two books each, so
that each section contained one book on Romans and one on foreigners.
The sections treated of Kings, Generals, Statesmen, Orators, Poets,
Philosophers, Historians, and Grammarians.

[Sidenote: Qualities of the works of Nepos.] Of all the works of Nepos,
there remain to us only the book on foreign generals, and from the book
on Roman historians the lives of Cato the elder and of Atticus, besides
fragments of the letters of Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi. The book
on foreign generals contains biographies of twenty Greek generals,
a brief sketch of kings who were also generals, and biographies of
Hamilcar and Hannibal. Nepos draws his facts from good sources, such
as Thucydides, Xenophon, Theopompus, Polybius, and the writings of
Hannibal, but is careless and uncritical, and does not employ all the
important sources of information on each subject. He makes mistakes
in matters of history and geography, arranges his material badly,
and gives to trivial anecdotes the space that might better have been
devoted to more important matters. His style, though generally clear,
is without elegance. The structure of his sentences is simple, and
his subject-matter is interesting. For these reasons, rather than on
account of any literary merit, his _Lives_ have been much used as a
text-book for beginners in Latin.

[Sidenote: Varro.] One of the most productive and learned writers of
the age of Cicero was Marcus Terentius Varro, who was born in 116 B. C.
at Reate, in the Sabine country. He studied at Rome under Lucius Ælius
Stilo, and at Athens under Antiochus of Ascalon. In 76 B. C. he was
in the army in Spain, in 67 B. C. he distinguished himself in the war
against the pirates. Perhaps he continued to serve under Pompey in the
war with Mithridates. In the civil war he was on the side of Pompey,
and was forced to surrender to Cæsar the legion under his command. He
was afterward in Epirus, at Corcyra, and at Dyrrhachium. After Cæsar’s
victory, Varro accepted the new government and was placed in charge of
the public libraries. He was proscribed by Antony after Cæsar’s death,
but his life was saved through the devotion of his friends, and he
spent his remaining years in peace, continuing his literary activity
until the end. He died in his ninetieth year, 27 B. C.

[Sidenote: Varro’s works.] Varro’s works were many and varied. Some
seventy-four titles are known, and the total number of single books
amounted to about six hundred and twenty. These included poems,
works on grammar, history, geography, law, rhetoric, philosophy,
mathematics, literary history and education, miscellaneous essays,
orations, and letters. Of all these there remain one complete work,
_On Agriculture_ (_De Re Rustica_), in three books, six (v-x) of the
original twenty-five books of the treatise _On the Latin Language_ (_De
Lingua Latino_), numerous short fragments of the _Menippean Satires_
(_Saturæ Menippeæ_), and a few fragments of some of the other works.
The collection of maxims that passes under Varro’s name is probably

[Sidenote: Varro’s extant works.] The _Menippean Satires_ were written
in prose interspersed with verses, in imitation of the works of the
Cynic Menippus, who lived about 300 B. C., and probably belong to
Varro’s earlier years. They treat of almost all the relations of
human life in a satirical vein. The extant verses show some ability
in metrical composition and no little humor. It is evident, however,
that Varro was not a great poet, and the loss of his other poems is
little to be regretted. The three books _On Agriculture_ give, in the
form of a dialogue, a systematic treatment of agriculture proper, of
stock-raising, and of poultry, game, and fish. The dialogue is stiff,
and the arrangement of the different parts of the subject artificial.
The work is valuable for the information it contains, but its literary
form is unattractive. The extant books of the treatise _On the Latin
Language_ are chiefly concerned with the derivation of words and with
inflections. Syntax was treated in books xiv-xxv. Varro’s etymologies
are often incorrect, and his ideas concerning inflections unscientific;
but the work contains much that is of value to the student of the
Latin language and of Roman antiquities. The style is dry and often
dull. In fact, this is hardly a work of literature, but rather a
technical treatise. Varro was a man of great learning and prodigious
industry, but not a literary artist. [Sidenote: The Antiquitates and
the Imagines.] Among his lost works the most important were probably
the _Human and Divine Antiquities_ (_Antiquitates Rerum Divinarum
Humanarumque_), in forty-one books, and the _Portraits_ (_Hebdomades_,
or _Imagines_), in fifteen books. The latter work contained brief
accounts in prose and verse of seven hundred famous Greeks and Romans,
with their portraits. Varro’s works were vast treasure-houses of
information, but there is no reason to suppose that they possessed any
great literary qualities.

The remaining prose writers of this period may be passed over with a
brief mention. Many of them are little more than names to us, and the
works of all are lost. [Sidenote: Atticus.] One of the most interesting
is Titus Pomponius Atticus (109-32 B. C.), whose biography was written
by Cornelius Nepos. He was a wealthy man, who abstained from public
life and devoted himself to literature by publishing the works of
others and giving friendly aid to literary men as well as by writing.
His friendship with Cicero has already been mentioned. His works were
historical, the most important being the _Annals_ (_Liber Annalis_), a
chronological sketch of Roman history from the foundation of the city
to the year 49 B. C. His other works were biographies or genealogies,
and descriptive verses written to accompany portraits of distinguished

[Sidenote: Minor orators.] The orator Quintus Hortensius Hortalus
(114-50 B. C.) is chiefly known through Cicero. He was the advocate
of Verres when Cicero conducted the prosecution, he spoke against the
Manilian Law, which Cicero supported, and in several suits he was
engaged by the same client who secured Cicero’s services. Hortensius
was the chief representative of the florid and ornamental “Asian” style
of oratory at Rome. Among the orators who adopted the simple Attic
style, the most important were Marcus Calidius, who was prætor in 57
B. C. and died in 47 B. C.; Gaius Licinius Calvus (87-47 B. C.), who
has been mentioned above (page 62) as a poet; Marcus Junius Brutus, the
leader of the conspirators who murdered Cæsar; and Quintus Cornificius,
who was also a poet (see page 64).

[Sidenote: Quintus Cicero.] Quintus Tullius Cicero (102-43 B. C.),
the brother of Marcus, was also a literary man, though far inferior
to his brother. When he was Cæsar’s lieutenant in Gaul, in 54 B. C.,
he wrote several tragedies, apparently translations from the Greek,
and he was also the author of annals and of an epic poem on Cæsar’s
expedition to Britain. The only writings of Quintus Cicero now existing
are three letters to Tiro and one to Marcus Cicero, besides an _Essay
on Candidature for the Consulship_, in the form of a letter to Marcus,
written when he was a candidate for that office in 64 B. C. This gives
some interesting information about the methods of Roman politicians,
but has little literary interest. The first of Marcus Cicero’s _Letters
to Quintus_ is a similar treatise on the government of a province,
written when Quintus was beginning his third year as proprætor of Asia,
59 B. C. [Sidenote: Tiro.] Another writer closely connected with Cicero
was his freedman and friend Tiro, who wrote Cicero’s biography, made
editions of his speeches and letters, and collected his witticisms,
besides writing on grammar and inventing a system of shorthand.

[Sidenote: Writers on special subjects.] The grammatical, theological,
and scientific works of Publius Nigidius Figulus, who was prætor in
58 B. C., and died in banishment in 45 B. C., have little to do with
literature, and are lost. Nor is it necessary to devote even a brief
space to the grammatical and rhetorical works of Aurelius Opilius,
Antonius Gnipho, Marcus Pompilius Andronicus, and others, whose
teachings helped to inform some of the great writers and orators of
the time, but whose works have not been preserved. A philologist,
historian, and poet, whose writings were considered important, was
Santra, who seems to have been somewhat younger than Varro, but we are
now unable to determine wherein their importance consisted. Among the
jurists of this period the most distinguished was Servius Sulpicius
Rufus, two letters from whom are preserved in Cicero’s correspondence
(_Ad Familiares_, iv, 5, and iv, 12). These give a high idea of his
style, but are the only remains of his writings. All branches of
knowledge, so far as they existed at that time, were treated by various
writers, but a discussion of their lost works has no place in a brief
history of literature.

The last years of the republic are made illustrious by the great names
of Lucretius, Catullus, Cicero, and Cæsar. In the Augustan age, poetry
attained a still greater height of perfection with Virgil and Horace,
but the age of Cicero is the golden age of Latin prose.





    Effect of the Empire upon literature—Augustus, 63 B. C.-14 A.
    D.—Agrippa, 63-12 B. C.—Pollio, 67 B. C.-5 A. D.—Messalla, 64
    B. C.-8 A. D.—Mæcenas, 70 (?)-8 B. C.—Virgil, 70-19 B. C.—His
    life—The Eclogues—The Georgics—The Æneid.

[Sidenote: Effect of the Empire upon literature.] With the battle of
Actium the Roman Republic came to an end. Julius Cæsar had, to be sure,
gathered all the power of the state into his own hand, but he had
held it only a short time; Octavius—after 27 B. C., Augustus—held the
full power until his death, and left it unimpaired to his successors.
The change from a free government, whatever its corruption and decay,
to what was really an unlimited monarchy could not fail to have some
influence upon literature. Henceforth the great orator might hope to
win cases in the courts, but he could no longer change the policy of
the nation; the historian might search the records of the past and
describe the deeds of those who were no longer living, but if he wrote
of the history of his own times, he must have the fear of the master
always before his eyes; the poet could sing of love and wine and
nature without let or hindrance, but poems of national and political
importance could hardly be written except by those in sympathy with
the empire. The emperor might exert his influence to put down all
literary expression not agreeable to him without encouraging literature
of any kind, or he might encourage certain kinds of literature and
certain writers without treating with severity even those whose works
displeased him, or he might at the same time encourage some and
suppress others. Under an imperial master literary expression could not
be so free as in the days of the republic, but the degree of restraint
at any time depended upon the character of the emperor. It is due to
the enlightened liberality of Augustus that the period of his rule was
the most brilliant epoch of Roman literature.

[Sidenote: Augustus.] Augustus (63 B. C.-14 A. D.) had received a
careful education in his youth, and had a genuine and intelligent
admiration for literature. His own literary productions comprised an
epic poem entitled _Sicily_, some short epigrams, an unfinished tragedy
entitled _Ajax_, orations, memoirs, and letters. Before his death he
directed that an account of his deeds (_Index Rerum Gestarum_) should
be engraved on bronze tablets and affixed to his tomb. He probably
composed this account himself, and the copy of it found inscribed upon
the wall of the temple of Augustus and Rome at Ancyra (the _Monumentum
Ancyranum_), containing in simple and dignified language the record
of his life, his political measures, and his military activity, shows
the good taste of the first Roman emperor, for he who had become the
ruler of the civilized world was not led to praise himself or speak
in extravagant terms of any of his deeds, but composed the record of
his wonderful life in terms of simplicity so grave and dignified as to
inspire veneration. It was not, however, through his own compositions
but through his influence that Augustus made his name great in the
history of literature. He encouraged Virgil, Horace, and other poets,
he attended the recitations of authors who wished to bring their new
works before an enlightened public, and he surrounded himself with
friends who delighted in aiding and honoring those whose genius could
give glory to their patrons and add lustre to the empire.

[Sidenote: Agrippa.] Among these friends of literature was Marcus
Vipsanius Agrippa (63-12 B. C.), who caused the first map of the
world to be set up in the porticus Polæ and was himself the author of
geographical works. More important was Gaius Asinius Pollio (67 B. C.-5
A. D.), who established the first public library in Rome. [Sidenote:
Pollio.] His example was followed by Augustus, who established two
libraries, one in the porch of Octavia, the other in the temple of the
Palatine Apollo, under the care of the learned Varro. Pollio was a
soldier, statesman, and orator, but also wrote tragedies and a history
of the years 60-42 B. C., in which he criticized boldly the statements
of Julius Cæsar, the adoptive father of Augustus. Pollio was the first
to hold and encourage public and private recitations of new literary
works. [Sidenote: Mesalla.] Less closely connected with the emperor
was Marcus Valerius Messalla (64 B. C.-8 A. D.), who had originally
been a partizan of Brutus, but had made his peace with Augustus. He
was, like Pollio, an orator, but occupied himself also with
antiquarian and grammatical researches, and in his earlier years made
translations from the Greek and wrote Greek prose and verse. His house
was a gathering place for the younger poets of the period.

[Sidenote: Mæcenas.] But of all the patrons of literature under
Augustus, the most distinguished was Gaius Mæcenas, the friend of
Augustus, of Virgil, and of Horace. He was born about 70 B. C., and
died in 8 B. C. A member of an ancient and noble Etruscan family, he
had been carefully educated, and developed the most refined literary
taste. His attractive and winning personality made him of great service
to Octavius in his negotiations with Antony and Sextus Pompey, and
after the power of Augustus was established Mæcenas was the close
friend and constant adviser of the emperor. In spite of his fine
literary taste, he was without talent as a writer, and his works, both
prose and verse, were severely criticized by his contemporaries and by
later readers. It is little to be regretted that his writings, like
those of the other patrons of literature who have been mentioned, are
lost. And yet the name of Mæcenas will always occupy an honored place
in the history of literature, for it was he who made possible the poems
of Virgil and Horace.

[Sidenote: Virgil.] The greatest of Roman poets is Virgil. Publius
Vergilius Maro was born of humble parents, at Andes, a village in
the territory of Mantua, October 15, 70 B. C. His parents can not
have been poor, for they gave him a good education, first at Cremona,
then at Milan, and later at Rome. He was trained chiefly in rhetoric
and philosophy, but the only teacher whose influence seems to have
been lasting was the Epicurean philosopher Siro. For oratory Virgil
developed no taste. After the battle of Philippi (42 B. C.) the
triumvirs recompensed their veterans by a distribution of farm lands,
and Virgil’s farm was given to a new owner. At that time Asinius
Pollio, who had admired Virgil’s poetry and had encouraged him to
write the _Bucolics_ or _Eclogues_, was governor of the region beyond
the Po, and through his influence the poet was reinstated in his
property. But in the following summer a new distribution of lands was
made, and Pollio was no longer governor of the province. Virgil was
dispossessed, and had to take refuge at the villa of his teacher Siro.
Through the influence of Cornelius Gallus and Mæcenas, Augustus was led
to recompense the poet for his loss, and from this time Virgil was in
close relations to the imperial circle. Hereafter he lived at Rome and
on an estate near Naples, which he received from Augustus.

In 37 or 36 B. C. and the following years he wrote the _Georgics_ in
honor of Mæcenas, and the _Æneid_, written at the request of Augustus,
was begun in 29 B. C. When the poem was finished and the poet had
reached his fifty-first year, he went to Athens, intending to devote
three years to the final revision of his work, and then to give himself
up to the study of philosophy. But at Athens he met with Augustus,
who was on the point of returning to Rome from the East and invited
him to join the imperial party. Virgil was already ill from exposure
to the heat during a visit to Megara, but accepted the invitation. On
the voyage his illness increased, and a few days after his arrival at
Brundusium he died, September 21, 19 B. C. He was buried at Naples,
where he had passed most of his later years.

[Sidenote: Virgil’s Works.] Virgil’s undisputed works are three:
the _Eclogues_, called, on account of their pastoral nature, the
_Bucolics_; the _Georgics_; and the _Æneid_. [Sidenote: The Eclogues.]
The _Eclogues_ are a series of ten idylls in imitation of the poems
of the Greek poet Theocritus. The Greek word “idyll” means “little
picture,” and since all Virgil’s idylls, except the fourth, and most
of those of Theocritus, depict the life of herdsmen in the country,
the word is generally applied to pastoral poems. Virgil’s _Eclogues_
are little pictures of pastoral life, but contain many allusions to
the poet’s own circumstances and to his friends and patrons, Pollio,
Gallus, Varus, Mæcenas, and Augustus. Pastoral poems, written for the
cultivated circle of an imperial court, are necessarily artificial,
and to this rule the _Eclogues_ are no exception. Yet the charm of
their diction, the polish of their verse, the genuine love of nature
and appreciation of rural life which they display, have given these
poems a well-deserved place among the most famous productions of Roman
literature. In the _Eclogues_ Virgil is, even more than in his other
poems, dependent on Greek originals. Not only scattered lines, but
whole passages are almost literal translations from the idylls of
Theocritus, and less noticeable adaptations from other poets also
occur. Sometimes Virgil’s version is less beautiful than the original
poem from which he borrows, and some of the most admired passages are
not his own inventions; but even in the _Eclogues_, the earliest of his
authentic works, written when he was about thirty years of age, amid
the distress that accompanied his ejection from his little property,
Virgil succeeds in making from his Greek originals new and great poems
of genuinely Roman character. From first to last Virgil is a national

The poem which stands first in the series, but which was not the
first in order of composition, has the form of a dialogue between two
herdsmen, Melibœus and Tityrus. In it the poet expresses his gratitude
to Augustus, whom he calls a god. The poem begins:

      _Melibœus._ Stretched in the shadow of the broad beech, thou
    Rehearsest, Tityrus, on the slender pipe
    Thy woodland music. We our fatherland
    Are leaving, we must shun the fields we love:
    While, Tityrus, thou, at ease amid the shade,
    Bidd’st answering woods call Amaryllis “fair.”

      _Tityrus._ O Melibœus! ’tis a god that made
    For me this holiday: for a god I’ll aye
    Account him; many a young lamb from my fold
    Shall stain his altar. Thanks to him, my kine
    Range as thou seest them: thanks to him, I play
    What songs I list upon my shepherd’s pipe.[52]

In the dialogue that follows, Tityrus, who represents Virgil himself,
speaks of his visit to Rome and his meeting with Augustus:

    There, Melibœus, I beheld that youth
    For whom each year twelve days my altars smoke.
    Thus answered he my yet unanswered prayer,
    “Feed still, my lads, your kine, and yoke your bulls.”[53]

The fourth _Eclogue_, addressed to Pollio, and written in the year of
his consulship (40 B. C.), celebrates in prophetic and lofty language
the birth of a child. As the child grows the world is to become
better, until the golden age of peace and good-will among men shall
come again. This poem was, curiously enough, long supposed to be an
inspired prophecy of the coming of Christ. Who the child really was
is uncertain, but there is some evidence that Gaius Asinius Gallus,
Pollio’s son, is meant. The lofty tone is struck with the very opening
of the poem:

    Muses of Sicily, a loftier song
    Wake we! Some tire of shrubs and myrtles low.
    Are woods our theme? Then princely be the woods.

    Come are those last days that the Sibyl sang;
    The ages’ mighty march begins anew.
    Now comes the virgin, Saturn reigns again;
    Now from high heaven descends a wondrous race.
    Thou on the new-born babe—who first shall end
    That age of iron, bid a golden dawn
    Upon the broad world—chaste Lucina, smile:
    Now thy Apollo reigns. And Pollio, thou
    Shalt be our Prince, when he that grander age
    Opens, and onward roll the mighty moons:
    Thou, trampling out what prints our crimes have left,
    Shalt free the nations from perpetual fear.
    While he to bliss shall waken; with the Blest
    See the Brave mingling, and be seen of them,
    Ruling that world o’er which his father’s arm shed peace.[54]

But the atmosphere of the _Eclogues_ is generally that of the country,
and the form that of dialogue, with competitive songs by the herdsmen.
The opening lines of the fifth _Eclogue_ may serve as an example. The
characters are Menalcas and Mopsus:

    _Men._ Mopsus, suppose now two good men have met—
    You at flute-blowing, as at verses I—
    We sit down here, where elm and hazel mix.

      _Mop._ Menalcas, meet it is that I obey
    Mine elder. Lead, or into shade—that shifts
    At the wind’s fancy—or (mayhap the best)
    Into some cave. See, here’s a cave, o’er which
    A wild vine flings her flimsy foliage.

      _Men._ On these hills one—Amyntas—vies with you.

      _Mop._ Suppose he thought to out-sing Phœbus’ self?

      _Men._ Mopsus, begin. If aught you know of flames
    That Phyllis kindles, aught of Alcon’s worth,
    Or Codrus’ ill-temper, then begin;
    Tityrus meanwhile will watch the grazing kids.

      _Mop._ Ay, I will sing the song which t’other day
    On a green beech’s bark I cut; and scored
    The music as I wrote. Hear that, and bid
    Amyntas vie with me.

      _Men._              As willow lithe
    Yields to pale olive; as to crimson beds
    Of roses yields the lowly lavender,
    So, to my mind, Amyntas yields to you.[55]

[Sidenote: The Georgics.] The _Eclogues_ were published not later
than 38 B. C. In 29 B. C. the four books of the _Georgics_ were
completed. One of the most important tasks of the new government, now
that the civil strife was ended, was to ensure the continuance of
tranquility by settling the veterans in the country and encouraging
agriculture, which had been sadly neglected in Italy for many years.
It was therefore with a practical end in view that Mæcenas suggested
to Virgil the composition of a poem on agriculture. This was a subject
which Virgil was especially qualified to treat with success, and the
poem, to which he devoted seven years, is the most perfect of his
works. It is a very free imitation of the _Works and Days_ of Hesiod,
and contains many passages derived from Aratus and other Greek poets,
but in its composition and its poetic beauty it is independent of
all but Virgil’s own genius. It is dedicated to Mæcenas. The first
book treats of the tilling of the soil, the beginning of agriculture,
the instruments needed by the farmer, the tasks appropriate to the
different seasons, and the signs of the weather, ending with a splendid
passage describing the portents at the time of Cæsar’s death, and a
prayer that Augustus may put an end to the wars and disorders of the
times. This passage is closely connected with the preceding lines in
which the signs of the weather given by the appearance of the sun are
described. It begins:

    And last, what evening brings, and when the wind
    Bears placid clouds, and also with what thoughts
    The wet south wind is moved, of all these things
    The sun will give thee signs. Who dares to say
    The sun is false? He even warns ofttimes
    That strife unseen and treason are at hand
    And hidden wars are swelling to break forth.
    He even, pitying Rome for Cæsar’s fall,
    In pitchy darkness veiled his shining head;
    The impious age feared endless night. Yet then
    Earth also and the waters of the sea
    And obscene dogs and evil-omened birds
    Gave signs. How often did we see boil forth
    From bursting furnace of the Cyclopes
    The waves of Ætna o’er the fertile fields
    And roll her balls of flame and molten rocks!
    Germania heard through all the sky the sound
    Of arms; the Alps with unused tremblings shook.
    Then, too, by many through the silent groves
    A mighty voice was heard, and pallid forms
    In wondrous wise appeared in dusky night,
    And dumb beasts spake (oh, horror!), and the streams
    Stood still, and earth yawned open, and the sad
    Carved ivory wept within the sacred fanes,
    And sweat poured forth from statues wrought of bronze.
    Eridanus, the king of rivers, rushed
    Whirling the woods along on eddies mad,
    And through the fields bore stables with the herds.[56]

The second book treats of the culture of trees and of the vine, and
includes a description of the properties of different kinds of soil.
Among its beautiful passages one is the praise of Italy,[57] another
the description of the blessings of the farmer’s life, beginning—

    O blessed farmers, if they only might
    Their blessings know! For whom the bounteous earth
    Herself, afar from strife of clashing arms,
    Pours forth an easy livelihood.[58]

The third book is devoted to the care of horses and cattle. A beautiful
passage, near the beginning of the book, expresses the poet’s love for
his native Mantua and his homage to Augustus. The first lines of this
passage are as follows:

    I first, if life be granted, coming back,
    Will lead the Muses from Aonian heights
    To my own land; I first will bring to thee,
    My Mantua, Idumæan palms, and in
    Thy verdant mead will build a marble fane
    Beside the water, where the mighty stream
    Of Mincius wanders slow with winding curves
    And clothes with tender reeds the river banks.
    There in the midst for me shall Cæsar stand
    And hold the temple. Then to him will I
    As victor, clad in Tyrian purple garb,
    Drive to the stream a hundred four-horse cars.[59]

The fourth book treats of the culture of bees. It contains several
passages of singular beauty, one of the most striking of which is the
description of the life of the hive.[60] The poem ends with an epic
description of the visit of Aristæus, the mythical founder of bee
culture, to his mother, the sea-nymph Cyrene. This includes an account
of the struggle of Aristæus with the sea-god Proteus and the death
of Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus. A tradition exists that the poem
originally ended with a passage in praise of Gallus; but before its
publication Gallus had died in disgrace, and the present ending was
substituted. In its final form the close of the _Georgics_ shows that
Virgil was already tending to become an epic poet.

[Sidenote: The Æneid.] At the request of Augustus, Virgil began, in 29
B. C., the composition of his greatest work, the _Æneid_, in which he
tells of the mythical origin of the Roman race and of the greatness
and glory of the Rome that was to arise and reach its height under
the leadership of the Julian family, which claimed direct descent
from Æneas. As early as the sixth century B. C. the Sicilian poet
Stesichorus had sung of the coming of Æneas to Italy. Nævius and Ennius
had connected Æneas with the origin of Rome, and had fixed some of the
details of the story. Upon the foundations thus prepared for him Virgil
erected the splendid structure of his poem. In the _Eclogues_ he had
followed, closely for the most part, in the footsteps of Theocritus;
the _Works and Days_ of Hesiod had served as the prototype of the
_Georgics_, though here Virgil was so far from slavish imitation that
his work surpasses the _Works and Days_ in every respect. In the
_Æneid_ the imitation of Homer’s _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_ is constantly
evident, and certain passages are clearly derived from Euripides,
Sophocles, and Apollonius of Rhodes; but the _Æneid_ is by no means
a mere imitation. In some respects it is far inferior to the Homeric
poems. It lacks their simplicity, their rapidity of movement, and their
fresh joyousness; it can not be compared with them in narrative power
or brilliancy of imagery. In these qualities Homer is unapproachable.
But as a national epic, as the expression in prophetic form of the
national greatness and of the poet’s deep-seated passion for his
country’s glory the _Æneid_ had no prototype, as it has had no
successor. Virgil is not Homer; he is reflective, filled with the deep
thoughts that centuries of speculation had implanted in the serious
minds of his age; and his great poem is more than a mere narrative.
In execution the _Æneid_ is uneven. At times it is polished to the
highest degree, at other times it falls to a level hardly, if at all,
above mediocrity; some passages breathe a poetic fervor unsurpassed,
while others might almost as well be written in prose. So conscious was
Virgil himself of the unevenness and imperfections of his work that he
wished it to be burned after his death, and could hardly be persuaded
to leave its fate in the hands of his friends. His death came before he
had perfected the poem, and its most perfect parts show what he wished
it all to be and what it might have become had his life been spared.
Even though it lacks the master’s final revision, it remains the
greatest poem of Roman times and one of the greatest poems of all ages.

[Sidenote: Imitation of Homer.] The _Æneid_ was to be for the Romans
what the _Iliad_ and the _Odyssey_ together were for the Greeks. The
first six books are modelled chiefly on the _Odyssey_. As the _Odyssey_
tells of the wanderings and adventures of Odysseus before he reaches
his home, so these books of the _Æneid_ tell of the adventures of Æneas
on his voyage from Troy to Italy, and more than one passage shows how
constantly the _Odyssey_ was in the poet’s mind. The last six books
tell of the struggles of Æneas and his followers against the warriors
who opposed their settlement in Italy; and here the combats described
in the _Iliad_ are imitated, sometimes even in details. In the final
struggle Æneas is a second Achilles, and the brave but unfortunate
Turnus is an Italian Hector.

In the first book, after a brief introduction, the poem begins in the
midst of the story. The fleet of Æneas is off the coast of Sicily, when
Juno causes the wind-god, Æolus, to rouse a storm. The Trojan vessels
are driven on the rocks, and the sea is stirred to its lowest depths.
Then Neptune, angered that his waters are thus tossed about without
his consent, rebukes Æolus, and puts the waves to rest:

    He said, and ere his words were done,
    Allays the surge, brings back the sun:
    Triton and swift Cymothoë drag
    The ships from off the pointed crag:
    He, trident-armed, each dull weight heaves,
    Through the vast shoals a passage cleaves,
    Makes smooth the ruffled wave, and rides
    Calm o’er the surface of the tides.
    As when sedition oft has stirred
    In some great town the vulgar herd,
    And brands and stones already fly—
    For rage has weapons always nigh—
    Then should some man of worth appear
    Whose stainless virtue all revere,
    They hush, they hist: his clear voice rules
    Their rebel wills, their anger cools:
    So ocean ceased at once to rave,
    When, calmly looking o’er the wave,
    Girt with a range of azure sky,
    The father bids his chariot fly.[61]

The Trojans reach the African coast, where Æneas meets his mother,
Venus, and is directed to the city of Carthage, which the Phœnician
princess Dido has just founded. Æneas and his comrade, the faithful
Achates, enter the city wrapped in a cloud, which makes them invisible.
When they are revealed to Dido, she receives them kindly, and takes
them to her palace. Æneas sends to the ships for his son Ascanius, also
called Iulus, but Venus substitutes for him the god of love, Cupid,
who fills Dido’s heart with love for Æneas. In the second book Æneas
begins the story of his adventures with a superb account of the fall
of Troy, his own valiant but ineffectual struggle against the Greeks,
and his final flight. In the third book he continues his story to
the time of his arrival at Carthage. The fourth book is devoted to
the love and fate of Dido. Æneas and Dido, with their followers, go
hunting in the forest; a storm arises, and the two, separated from the
rest, take refuge in a cave, where only the woodland nymphs witness the
union of their loves. Dido looks forward to a joint reign over Trojans
and Tyrians alike. But Æneas is warned by Mercury, at the command of
Jupiter, to fulfil his destiny and sail to Italy. Dido overwhelms
him with loving reproaches, but in vain; he remains steadfast in his
obedience to the divine will. Then Dido determines to die. She erects
a funeral pyre, places upon it the mementoes of her former husband,
Sychæus, and mounts it to end her life. But before she dies she calls
down curses upon Æneas and his race:

    Eye of the world, majestic Sun,
    Who seest whate’er on earth is done,
    Thou, Juno, too, interpreter
    And witness of the heart’s fond stir,
    And Hecate, tremendous power,
    In cross-ways howled at midnight hour,
    Avenging fiends, and gods of death
    Who breathe in dying Dido’s breath,
    Stoop your great powers to ills that plead
    To heaven, and my petition heed.
    If needs must be that wretch abhorred
      Attain the port and float to land;
    If such the fate of heaven’s high lord,
      And so the moveless pillars stand;
    Scourged by a savage enemy,
      An exile from his son’s embrace,
    So let him sue for aid and see
      His people slain before his face;
    Nor, when to humbling peace at length
      He stoops, be his or life or land,
    But let him fall in manhood’s strength
      And welter tombless on the sand.
    Such malison to heaven I pour,
    A last libation with my gore.
    And, Tyrians, you through time to come
      His seed with deathless hatred chase:
    Be that your gift to Dido’s tomb.
      No love, no league ’twixt race and race.
    Rise from my ashes, scourge of crime,
      Born to pursue the Dardan horde
    To-day, to-morrow, through all time,
      Oft as our hands can wield the sword,
    Fight shore with shore, fight sea with sea,
    Fight all that are or e’er shall be![62]

These lines are the poetic and mythological justification for the long
and disastrous wars between Rome and Carthage. In the fifth book the
Trojans reach Sicily, and celebrate at Eryx funeral games in honor of
Anchises, the father of Æneas, who had died there the year before. In
the sixth book they reach Cumæ, in Italy. Æneas descends to Hades to
consult with the shade of Anchises. Here he sees the fabled monsters of
the lower regions, and the shades of many departed heroes. Then there
pass before him the forms of those as yet unborn. This gives the poet
an opportunity to praise the great men of Rome, among them Julius Cæsar
and Augustus. Here he sees the form of the young Marcellus, son of
Octavia, the sister of Augustus. When this book was written, Marcellus
had recently died in his twentieth year. Virgil read his lines[63] on
Marcellus to Augustus and Octavia, and the bereaved mother was so moved
that she fainted. Virgil’s description of the realm of the dead is in
some parts unusually beautiful, and is especially interesting, because
it stands, not only in date but also in many other respects, midway
between the eleventh book of Homer’s _Odyssey_ and Dante’s _Divine

[Sidenote: The last six books.] The last six books of the _Æneid_,
recounting the struggles of the Trojans in Italy, contain many fine
passages, but are for the most part less interesting to the modern
reader than the earlier books. In many parts they are finished with
most exquisite art, even showing that Virgil’s technical ability
increased as the poem drew toward its close, but many other passages
show the lack of the final revision. To the Roman the ancient legends
of the origin of the Roman power must have been of surpassing interest,
but most modern readers remember, amid the successive scenes of strife,
only the heroic Turnus, the lovely Lavinia, the warlike maidens Camilla
and Juturna, and the brave and devoted friends, Nisus and Euryalus, who
were slain when endeavoring to carry a message in the night through the
hostile camp to the absent Æneas:

    Blest pair! if aught my verse avail,
    No day shall make your memory fail
      From off the heart of time,
    While Capitol abides in place,
    The mansion of the Æneian race,
    And throned upon that moveless base
      Rome’s father sits sublime.[64]

The _Æneid_ closes with the death of Turnus, the chief opponent of
the Trojans in Italy. In spite of its obvious imperfections, it is
the greatest poem in the Latin language; and no later epic poem in
any language equalled or even approached it in excellence until the
appearance of Dante’s _Divine Comedy_. [Sidenote: Virgil in the Middle
Ages.] It is not to be wondered at that throughout the Middle Ages
Virgil was regarded as the impersonation of all that was great in
poetry; nor is it strange that the poet whose verses breathe such an
indescribable, sweet sadness, who sings in lofty, inspired language
of that Roman greatness which was ever present to the mediæval
imagination, who describes the dwellings of the dead, and who was even
believed to have foretold the coming of the Messiah, should have become
in mediæval legends the possessor of all wisdom and all magic power.
It is natural that Dante chose Virgil as his guide through hell and
purgatory, and would gladly have admitted him to paradise had his
theology allowed him to do so.

[Illustration: VIRGIL AND TWO MUSES.

Mosaic in the Bardo Museum, Tunis.]



    Quintus Horatius Flaccus, 65-8 B. C.—Virgil and Horaces—Life of
    Horace—The first book of Satires—The Epodes—The second book
    of Satires—The first three books of Odes—The first book of
    Epistles—The literary Epistles—The Carmen Sæculare—The fourth
    book of Odes—Conclusion.

Throughout the Middle Ages Virgil was regarded as incomparably the
greatest of Roman poets. In modern times his greatness has been called
in question, and some scholars have even gone so far as to deny that
he was a great poet at all. The difference is due, in great measure,
to the fact that in the Middle Ages the poems of Homer, Theocritus,
and the other Greek poets whom Virgil imitated, were unknown, and
Virgil was regarded as the great epic and pastoral poet of antiquity.
[Sidenote: Virgil and Horace.] That Virgil imitated the Greek poets
is evident, but in the last chapter enough has been said to show that
his poetry contains qualities not to be found in the works of the
Greeks, and that although his poems are in many respects not equal to
those of Homer, he must still be regarded as one of the greatest poets
of the world. The increase of knowledge which has led to the undue
depreciation of Virgil tended to make the second great poet of the
Augustan period more highly appreciated. The odes of Horace, which are
the best known and the most popular of his poems, are imitations of
the poetry of the Greek lyrists, Alcæus, Sappho, Anacreon, and their
followers, but the Greek originals are for the most part lost, so that
Horace can not suffer by comparison with them. Moreover, modern taste
is less pleased with epic than with lyric verse, and the delicate,
highly finished, and charming odes of Horace appeal strongly to the
cultivated modern reader. In his satires and epistles, too, Horace,
whatever his indebtedness to Lucilius and others, displays undoubted
originality. It is, therefore, natural that he is sometimes called
the greatest of Roman poets. But Virgil wrote of greater themes; he
was the great national poet, who sang in grand, prophetic tones of
the greatness of Rome and her destinies, while Horace appealed to a
narrower circle of cultured readers. Yet Horace is, in his own field,
unsurpassed, and deserves all the admiration that has been accorded him.

[Sidenote: Life of Horace.] Quintus Horatius Flaccus was born at
Venusia, in Apulia, near the border of Lucania, December 8, 65 B. C.
His father was a freedman, the owner of a small farm, but he determined
to give his son the best education possible. The school at Venusia was
unsatisfactory, and Horace’s father moved with his family to Rome,
where he gained his livelihood as a _coactor_ or collector of the money
offered by bidders at auctions. This was a business of some importance
at Rome, and must have been lucrative, for Horace attended the best
schools, where he came in contact with the sons of wealthy and noble
parents. His father exercised personal supervision over the boy’s
education, accompanying him to the school, and calling his attention to
what went on about him, pointing out the evil effects of bad conduct,
and giving him practical advice. In school, under a strict master,
Orbilius, who did not spare the rod, Horace read the translation of
the _Odyssey_ by Livius Andronicus, and also the _Iliad_, the latter,
perhaps, in the original Greek. From Rome, he went to Athens to study
philosophy, and was there when Brutus arrived in 44 B. C., after the
death of Cæsar. Like many another patriotic young Roman, he joined the
army of Brutus, in which he was given the rank of _tribunus militum_.
He took part in the battle of Philippi and the flight that followed
it. In the distribution of lands among the soldiers of the victorious
armies, Horace’s farm was confiscated, and the young man, whose father
had died during his absence, returned to Rome, where he obtained,
perhaps with the last remnants of his father’s savings, a small
position as a clerk of the quæstors.

This position gave him a livelihood and some leisure for poetry.
Poverty, he says,[65] drove him to write verses, and certainly
his poems brought him prosperity, for they led Virgil and Varius
to introduce him to Mæcenas in the spring of 38 B. C., and in the
following winter Mæcenas admitted him to the circle of his familiar
friends. Horace, with his short, rotund figure, his witty, genial
conversation, and his poetic genius, became socially very intimate with
Mæcenas, without, however, being his confidant in political matters.
When Mæcenas went to Brundusium to negotiate an agreement between
Augustus and Antony, Horace, with Virgil, Varius, Plotius, and the
Greek rhetorician Heliodorus, was in his train.[66] In 34 or 33 B. C.
Mæcenas gave him a country seat in the Sabine hills not far from Tibur
(Tivoli), so large that it contained five farmhouses. Here the poet
spent a great part of his remaining years. Mæcenas also introduced him
to Augustus, who wished to make him his private secretary, but Horace
refused the honor, probably because he preferred to retain his freedom.
The emperor was not offended by the refusal, but continued to regard
him as a friend. Honored by Augustus and his circle, Horace lived in
comfort and peace. He died November 27, 8 B. C., and was buried near
the tomb of Mæcenas, on the Esquiline. He made Augustus his heir.

Upon his return to Rome after the battle of Philippi, Horace employed
his leisure in writing verse. [Sidenote: The first book of Satires.] To
this period belong the _Epodes_ and the first book of the _Satires_.
These poems were originally not intended for publication, but were read
to the author’s friends. About 35 B. C. ten _Satires_ were collected
and published. Horace himself calls these poems not _Satires_, but
_Sermones_ or “Talks.” He even disclaims the title of poet, though
his “Talks” are in hexameters. The first _Satire_ is addressed to
Mæcenas, and serves to dedicate the entire collection to the poet’s
chief patron, though its subject is the general discontent of every
man with his own lot and the foolishness of heaping up wealth. In
general, the _Satires_ are not, as were those of Lucilius, attacks upon
individuals, but rather criticisms of the follies and foibles of the
times. In the second _Satire_ the dangers to which adulterers expose
themselves are set forth; in the third, those who carp at and criticize
their neighbors are held up to ridicule; the fourth praises the wit,
but criticizes sharply the style of Lucilius, the defects of which are
attributed to the rapidity with which Lucilius wrote great quantities
of verse. In the same _Satire_ Horace defends himself against the
charge of malice, maintaining that his verse is far less malicious than
private gossip, and describes the way his father took to train him in
his youth:

    But if I still seem personal and bold,
    Perhaps you’ll pardon when my story’s told.
    When my good father taught me to be good,
    Scarecrows he took of living flesh and blood.
    Thus, if he warned me not to spend, but spare
    The moderate means I owe to his wise care,
    ’Twas, “See the life that son of Albius leads!
    Observe that Barrus, vilest of ill weeds!
    Plain beacons these for heedless youth, whose taste
    Might lead them else a fair estate to waste”:
    If lawless love were what he bade me shun,
    “Avoid Scatanius’ slough,” his words would run:
    “Wise men,” he’d add, “the reason will explain
    Why you should follow this, from that refrain:
    For me, if I can train you in the ways
    Trod by the worthy folks of earlier days,
    And, while you need direction, keep your name
    And life unspotted, I’ve attained my aim:
    When riper years have seasoned brain and limb,
    You’ll drop your corks, and like a Triton swim.”[67]

The fifth _Satire_ is an account of the journey to Brundusium in the
train of Mæcenas with Virgil, Varius, and others; the sixth, again
addressed to Mæcenas, tells us how the poet became acquainted with
the great man, reverts to his father’s attentive care, and declares
that Horace has no reason to be ashamed of his origin or discontented
with his lot. The seventh tells of a joke in a lawsuit between Publius
Rupilius Rex and a banker, Persius; the eighth, of some interrupted
magic rites before a statue of the god Priapus; and the ninth, of the
poet’s ineffectual efforts to get rid of a bore, who stuck to him until
he was dragged off to the court by a plaintiff. In the tenth _Satire_,
which serves as an epilogue to the collection, Horace returns to his
criticism of Lucilius, maintaining that what he had said in the fourth
_Satire_ was really not too severe, and at the same time he expresses
his opinion of some of the other Roman poets and of his own ability:

    No hand can match Fundanus at a piece
    Where slave and mistress clip an old man’s fleece;
    Pollio in buskins chants the deeds of kings;
    Varius outsoars us all on Homer’s wings;
    The Muse that loves the woodland and the farm
    To Virgil lends her gayest, tenderest charm.
    For me, this walk of satire, vainly tried
    By Atacinus and some few beside,
    Best suits my gait; yet readily I yield
    To him who first set footstep on that field,
    Nor meanly seek to rob him of the bay
    That shows so comely on his locks of gray.[68]

[Sidenote: The Epodes.] The _Epodes_ were written in the same period as
the first book of _Satires_, and, like them, are on various subjects.
About 31 B. C. Horace yielded to the persuasions of Mæcenas and
published a collection of seventeen pieces which he had written at
various times since 40 B. C. The first ten are in the _epodic_ metre,
that is, an iambic trimeter followed by an iambic dimeter, as in the

    _Beatus ille, qui procul negotiis
      Ut prisca gens mortalium,
    Paterna rura bobus exercet suis,
      Solutus omni fenore,_[69]

the following translation of which shows approximately the rhythm of
the original:

    Oh blest is he, who far from troubles, fears and cares,
        As did the early mortal race,
    With oxen of his own through fields ancestral fares,
        And knows not usury’s disgrace.

The shorter line is called an _epode_, or appendix, to the longer, and
it is from this that the collection of poems gets its name. The last
seven poems of the collection are in various metres, though most of
these are in alternating long and short lines. Horace himself calls
these poems _Iambics_ simply. In them he imitates the Greek poet
Archilochus, but though several of the poems are somewhat aggressive,
they all lack the intense and violent tone of invective attributed by
the ancients to Archilochus, of which, however, the extant fragments of
Archilochus show few traces. In one of his _Epistles_[70] Horace
claims to be the first who introduced the iambics of Archilochus into
Latin literature, but this is not strictly true, for Catullus and his
contemporaries had written invectives in iambics. Horace did, however,
introduce the epodic metre, and he is also the first to employ his
iambics to castigate the follies of his time rather than individuals.
In subject the _Epodes_ range from the praise of rural life (ii) and
encouragement to live a life of ease and pleasure (xiii) to invectives
against a rich upstart (iv) or a woman who deals in poisons (v, xvii),
and a rebuke of the Romans who are eager to stir up a civil war (xvi).
The last _Epode_ (xvii) has the form of a dialogue between the poet
and the poisoner Canidia, but the others are the simple expressions of
the poet’s sentiments, often in the form of a letter or address to a
friend. In this they differ from the _Satires_, which have something
of the dialogue form, either between two persons mentioned by name or
between the poet and some indefinite person, perhaps the reader.

[Sidenote: The second book of Satires.] The second book of _Satires_,
finished about 30 B. C., contains eight pieces, most of which are in
the form of a dialogue between the poet and one other person. The most
amusing is the fifth, a dialogue between Ulysses and Tiresias, in
which Tiresias tells Ulysses how he can repair his fortunes by paying
court to rich men and getting them to mention him in their wills. This
_Satire_ is directed against a class of men only too numerous in Rome.
Others treat of various subjects, such as the serious study bestowed
upon dinners (viii, iv), certain Stoic doctrines (iii, vii), the
criticisms of the earlier _Satires_ (i), or the joys of the farmer’s
simple life (ii). In almost every case, the thoughts and theories
expressed are put into the mouth of some one other than the poet,
whereas in the first book of _Satires_ the poet expressed the opinions
himself. Horace’s _Satires_ differ from those of Lucilius in being less
bitter and less political, more carefully composed and written, and far
more genial. The kindly, gentlemanly spirit of the man is everywhere
visible. His “talks” are the witty, amusing conversation of a man of
the world, often dealing with serious subjects, but always in a light
and easy way. They are full of sententious remarks, which have been
frequently quoted from Horace’s time to our own.

Catullus and his contemporaries had imitated almost exclusively
the poems of the Alexandrians, of the Greek poets, that is to say,
who flourished after Greece had lost her independence. [Sidenote:
The Odes.] Horace in his _Epodes_ went farther back and imitated
Archilochus, and in his _Odes_, without altogether neglecting the
Alexandrians, he follows for the most part in the footsteps of Alcæus,
Sappho, and Anacreon. Among his odes are several which are in part
translations of extant fragments of these poets, and it is certain
that if the poems of the early Greek lyrists were not almost entirely
lost, we could recognize many of them in Latin version in the _Odes_
of Horace. The _Odes_ contain also lines that remind one of similar
passages in the poems of Euripides, Bacchylides, and other Greek
poets, but in form as well as in contents they are for the most part
imitations of the three great early lyrists. Most of the _Odes_ are
divided into stanzas of four lines each, and in all such a division
is possible, with perhaps one exception. The first three books of the
_Odes_ were published in 23 B. C., but their composition belongs in
part as early as 30 B. C. The first book contains thirty-eight poems,
the second twenty, the third thirty. The first ode of Book I serves
as a dedication to Mæcenas, and in the odes immediately following
nearly all the metres employed in the three books are used one after
the other. Throughout the three books variety of metre governs the
arrangement. The second book opens with an ode addressed to Pollio, and
at the beginning of the third book are six odes celebrating in various
tones the Roman glory. The last ode of Book III, beginning,

    _Exegi monumentum ære perennius,_

    I’ve reared a monument than bronze more lasting,

serves as an epilogue to the finished collection.

The subjects of the odes are so various as to touch upon almost every
circumstance of human life and every mood of human feeling. Friendship,
love, the gods, patriotism, conviviality, the pleasures of country
life, events of the day, and philosophical thoughts, all find their
place. In tone the odes are grave and gay, lively and serene, sometimes
fantastic, more often thoughtful or at least reasonable. More than
once the thought that life is short and we should pluck its blossoms
ere they fade occurs in one form or another. The workmanship of the
odes is wonderful in its perfection. Horace is not one of those who
believe that perfect poetry comes purely by inspiration, without
labor. He writes no word without being sure that it is the best word
in its place. His metres are adapted to the thought he wishes to
express, and the perfection of the metre makes even simple or common
thoughts beautiful. The odes are not the ardent outpourings of a
passionate spirit, as are some of the poems of Catullus, but they are
the carefully elaborated expressions of the thoughts and sentiments of
a gentle, kindly, thoughtful, but gay and humorous man of the world.
They do not stir our blood, but they arouse our admiration, satisfy our
taste, and please us by their tone of cultured and refined sentiment.
The variety of their contents can not be presented in selections,
nor can all the qualities of any ode be adequately rendered in a
translation. One of the shortest but not the least attractive odes is
the following, addressed to his cup-bearer:

    Persia’s pomp, my boy, I hate;
      No coronals of flowerets rare
    For me on bare of linden plait,
      Nor seek thou to discover where
    The lush rose lingers late.

    With unpretending myrtle twine,
      Naught else! It fits your brows
    Attending me; it graces mine
      As I in happy ease carouse
    Beneath the thick-leaved vine.[71]

The following ode offers more variety, and is perhaps more

    One dazzling mass of solid snow,
      Soracte stands; the bent woods fret
      Beneath their load, and, sharpest set
    With frost, the streams have ceased to flow.

    Pile on great fagots and break up
      The ice; let influence more benign
      Enter with four-years-treasured wine,
    Fetched in the ponderous Sabine cup;

    Leave to the gods all else. When they
      Have once bid rest the winds that war
      Over the passionate seas, no more
    Gray ash and cypress rock and sway.

    Ask not what future suns shall bring;
      Count to-day gain, whatever it chance
      To be; nor, young man, scorn the dance,
    Nor deem sweet Love an idle thing,

    Ere Time thy April youth have changed
      To sourness. Park and public walk
      Attract thee now, and whispered talk
    At twilight meetings prearranged.

    Hear now the pretty laugh that tells
      In what dim corner lurks thy love,
      And snatch a bracelet or a glove
    From wrist or hand that scarce rebels.[72]

[Sidenote: The first book of Epistles.] After the three books of _Odes_
were published in 23 B. C., Horace returned to his previous manner of
composition in hexameters, but gave to the collection of twenty poems
which he published in 20 B. C., the form of letters or _Epistles_.
These are sometimes real letters to his friends, sometimes satires or
“talks” in the form of letters. The subjects of these poems are as
various as those of the _Satires_, but it is evident that the poet
is turning more toward philosophy. He advises his friends to take
things as they find them, without allowing themselves to be troubled
or excited (vi), he teaches the Stoic doctrine that virtue suffices
to make men happy (xvi), he advocates calmness and the avoidance of
care, and urges Tibullus (iv, 13) to live as if each day were to be
his last. But he also sings the praise of wine (v, 16 ff.) and of the
quiet life in the country (x, xiv). In two epistles he gives practical
advice concerning intercourse with persons of high station, and various
practical suggestions are found scattered through the other poems. In
a letter to Mæcenas (xix) he ridicules his imitators and mocks at his
critics. The twentieth poem is an address to his book as he sends it
into the world. In it he foretells the various fortunes of the book,
and at the end he gives his age, saying that he has seen four times
eleven Decembers in the year of the consulship of Lepidus and Lollius.
In these letters Horace reveals his character more fully and with a
more delicate touch than in any of his other works. The _Odes_ are the
works by which he will always be best known, and to which he owes his
great fame as a poet, but nowhere so fully as in the _Epistles_ does
he disclose his kindly and genial, yet serious views of life as they
ripened with his advancing years.

In the seventh _Epistle_ of the first book Horace refuses, at least
for the present, an invitation of Mæcenas, on the ground that his
health is poor and that he needs the repose of the country and the
seashore. At the same time he explains the manner in which he wishes
his relation to his patron to be understood. He is not a parasite, and
openly says that he must retain his freedom, and can not be at the
beck and call even of Mæcenas. In the first _Epistle_ (lines 4 and 10)
he refuses to write more odes, because he is no longer young and is
turning toward philosophy. [Sidenote: The second book of Epistles.] The
same attitude is disclosed in the second _Epistle_ of the second book
(lines 25 and 141 ff.). The poet wished to retire and pursue the study
of philosophy; but he had gained much experience in literary matters,
and in three letters, written probably between 19 and 14 B. C., he
records the results of this experience. The first letter is addressed
to Augustus, the second to Julius Florus. These two form the second
book of the _Epistles_. The third letter, addressed to the Pisos,
father and two sons, was originally published with the others, but was
[Sidenote: The Ars Poetica.] soon separated from them, and is known
as the _Ars Poetica_. This is not a systematic treatise on poetry,
but Horace’s views, derived in part from his own experience, in part
from his reading, are set forth in the easy style of a letter or talk.
He insists that each poem must have a consistent fundamental idea or
plot, that the characters of a drama must speak as befits their age and
station, and must be drawn from life, he advises care in the choice of
a subject, points out that nobody cares for mediocre poets, and that
what is once published can not be recalled. Throughout the letter or
treatise he constantly impresses upon his readers his conviction that
good poetry is the result of hard work. Many critical and historical
remarks are scattered through the _Ars Poetica_ as well as through the
two other letters.

In spite of his desire to give up the writing of poetry and to devote
himself to philosophy, Horace did not finish his career as a lyric
poet with the completion of three books of odes. In 17 B. C. it was
decided that the Sibylline books required the celebration of the _ludi
sæculares_, which were supposed to recur at the end of every _sæculum_,
or period of one hundred and ten years. An important part of the
celebration was the singing of a hymn in honor of Apollo and Diana.
This was to be sung by a chorus of boys and girls of pure Roman birth,
both of whose parents were living, and whose mothers had married only
once. Horace was asked by Augustus to compose this hymn, and could not
refuse the honor, which distinguished him as the official poet laureate
of the Roman Empire. [Sidenote: The Carmen Sæculare.] The hymn, called
the _Carmen Sæculare_, is a somewhat formal poem, as is fitting for the
solemn occasion at which it was first sung, but it shows real religious
feeling, mingled with pride and confidence in the Roman greatness. It
is the work of a masterly artist and an inspired poet.

In addition to appointing him to write the _Carmen Sæculare_, Augustus
demanded of Horace a song, or songs, in honor of his stepsons, Tiberius
and Drusus. [Sidenote: The fourth book of Odes.] Horace could not
refuse, and composed odes in honor of the victories of Drusus (IV, iv)
and Tiberius (IV, xiv), to which he added thirteen other poems, making
a fourth book of fifteen odes, written apparently in the years 17-13 B.
C. The fourth book of _Odes_ is in no way inferior to its predecessors
in variety of form or perfection of workmanship, and it contains a
larger proportion of exalted, patriotic poems. The sixth ode, addressed
to Apollo, seems to be a proœmium to the _Carmen Sæculare_, or at any
rate to have some connection with the _ludi sæculares_. The fifth ode,
to Augustus, urging his return to Rome, and the fifteenth, also to
Augustus, on the restoration of peace, celebrate the greatness of Rome
as well as its ruler. Horace, as well as Virgil, though in a different
way, was a poet of the Roman Empire.

[Sidenote: The literary activity of Horace.] As we look back upon the
literary activity of Horace, we find that he turned at first to satires
in hexameters and epodes in the simple epodic metre. Then he enriched
Roman literature by odes in imitation of the early Greek lyrists, to
return afterward to his original style in the more refined form of
epistles. It was only at the command of Augustus that he once more
composed elaborate lyrics. His lyric poems are not natural outpourings
of sentiment, but deliberate attempts to add to the beauty of Roman
literature and thereby to the glory of the Roman Empire. And it is
chiefly to these poems that he owes his fame. They are not equal
in merit, but they are the most perfect productions of Roman lyric
poetry. As such they were recognized in Horace’s own lifetime, and as
such they have been admired and loved through the succeeding ages,
never more than in recent times. Countless scholars, poets, and men of
letters have read them with delight, and many have been the attempts
to render their inimitable charm in translations. But their subtle
beauty defies the translator’s art. None but Horace himself has been
able to express his delicate feeling and poetic fancy in such perfect
form. The _Satires_ and the _Epistles_ are full of brilliant and witty
sayings, of critical and historical remarks; they throw much light upon
the social and literary life of the period, and make us acquainted with
the character of the poet; but the _Odes_ are “a monument more enduring
than bronze,” testifying to the genius, the industry, the good taste,
and, in some cases, to the patriotic spirit of the most perfect of
Roman lyric poets.



    Roman society—The amorous elegy—Cornelius Gallus, 70-27
    B. C.—Gaius Valgius Rufus, consul 12 B. C.—Albius
    Tibullus, about 54 to about 19 B. C.—Lygdamus, born 43 B.
    C.—Sulpicia—Sextus Propertius, about 50 to about 15 B.
    C.—Domitius Marsus, about 54 to about 4 B. C.—Albinovanus
    Severus—Gaius Melissus and the Fabula Trabeata—Manilius—The
    Priapea—Poems ascribed to Virgil and Ovid.

[Sidenote: The condition of society.] During the last century of the
republic Rome had grown from a powerful Italian city to be the mistress
of the world, and this growth of power had been accompanied by many
changes. The wealth of the governing classes had increased enormously.
Greek art and Greek literature had become familiar in the form of
original works and of Roman imitations, and with the increase of wealth
and luxury the growth of immorality went hand in hand. The early
profligacy of Cæsar and Sallust, and the love of Catullus for a married
woman have already been mentioned. These were not isolated cases, but
merely examples of what was only too common. In fact, the man whose
life was pure was an exception in the latter days of the republic. Nor
were the women of the wealthier classes better than the men. The Roman
matron, who was betrothed at twelve and married at fourteen years of
age, naturally found herself in many instances united to a man with
whom she had no sympathy, and whose distasteful society she gladly
exchanged for that of a clandestine lover. Divorces were numerous, and
were accompanied with little disgrace. When Augustus established his
power, he brought about many reforms in the government of the city and
the provinces and caused laws to be passed to ensure the sanctity of
marriage and of family life, but his success in stemming the tide of
immorality was slight. To be sure, the life of his chosen friends and
of the court circle in general was pure, and even perhaps puritanical;
but the spirit of the times was so corrupt that even his own family
did not escape. The immorality of his daughter Julia became at last so
notorious that she was banished from Rome and ended her life in exile.
Her daughter Julia resembled her in character and met with a similar
fate. In the later years of Augustus banishments for moral reasons
were numerous, but it was impossible to bring order into the life of a
society in which immorality had ceased to be disgraceful.

[Sidenote: The elegy.] It was in and for this society that the Roman
elegists composed their poems. Elegiac verse had been employed in
the seventh and sixth centuries B. C. by Mimnermus, Tyrtæus, Solon,
and others, for the expression of all sorts of personal sentiments,
as well as for political purposes; but in the Alexandrian period
it had been appropriated almost exclusively to poems of love. This
Alexandrian elegiac poetry had been introduced at Rome by some of the
contemporaries of Catullus, and in the Augustan period it attained a
remarkable development. The Roman elegists imitate the Alexandrians,
and, like them, insert in their love poems countless mythological
allusions and even mythological stories. The fashion demanded that
the elegist be learned in Greek mythology. Cornelius Gallus received
from the Greek Parthenius a compendium of mythological tales to aid
him in selecting proper allusions to the myths. The poet’s beloved is
compared to Juno, Minerva, or Venus, Antiope or Helen; the lover gazes
upon his mistress as Argus gazed upon Io; faithful wives are compared
with Penelope or Alcestis, faithless lovers with Ulysses who deserted
Calypso, and Jason who left Medea for another wife. These and similar
allusions are mingled with figures drawn from rustic life or from war.
The god Amor and his mother Venus play important parts in the poems.
Amor transfixes the poet’s heart with his arrows, plants his foot upon
the poet’s neck, makes him his slave. The poet sings of the beauty of
his mistress, designating her by a fictitious name, but one which has
the same length of syllables as the real name of the woman to whom the
poems are addressed. The poet is usually poor, but offers his songs
as the most valuable of offerings, and is filled with indignation if
his mistress seems to care for wealth or jewels. No adornments are
necessary for the beautiful woman, and love of wealth is disgraceful.
The woes of lovers, false promises, faithlessness, the troubles of the
lover who spends whole nights waiting at the door, the torments which
love inflicts upon the heart, all these are repeated over and over
again. So much of all this is conventional that it is hard to tell
what part of the contents of these poems has any truth. Occasionally a
line is evidently intended to give information about the writer, and
in general it is certain that the poems were really addressed to some
particular person, but how much of the feeling expressed is genuine,
and how much mere affectation, it is impossible to determine. The
details—the nights spent in wind and rain before the door, the quarrels
or reconciliations, the voyages and returns—may or may not be founded
upon real events in the poet’s life. Whether they are to be regarded as
historical or not depends upon their context; but it is evident that
many details are purely imaginary.

The three chief elegists are Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid. Of
Ovid, the youngest and most voluminous, and one of the most gifted
among the Augustan poets, it will be better to treat in a separate
chapter. [Sidenote: Cornelius Gallus.] Somewhat older than Tibullus and
Propertius was Cornelius Gallus, whose elegies were greatly admired
by his contemporaries, but of which hardly a trace remains. Gallus
was born at Forum Julii (Fréjus), in 70 B. C. He was a schoolmate of
Augustus, commanded some troops in the war against Antony, and held the
town of Parætonium when Antony attacked it. He was afterwards prefect
of Egypt, but indulged in offensive remarks about Augustus, and showed
his pride by setting up statues of himself in various places in Egypt,
and having his name carved upon the pyramids. When he was recalled in
disgrace by Augustus his creditors brought suits against him, he was
condemned to exile, and his property was confiscated. Unable to bear
his troubles, he committed suicide at the age of 43 years. His greatest
claim to remembrance is his friendship for Virgil, who expressed his
gratitude to him in the sixth and tenth _Eclogues_, and, perhaps, in
the original ending of the _Georgics_. The elegies of Gallus, in four
books, were addressed to Lycoris, an actress of low birth and loose
morals, whose stage name was Cytheris. In addition to his elegies,
Gallus wrote translations from the Greek of Euphorion. [Sidenote:
Valgius.] Another writer of elegies was Gaius Valgius Rufus, a friend
of Horace, who was _consul suffectus_ in 12 B. C. Of his elegies on a
boy named Mystes little remains, but they are spoken of by Horace and
admired by the author of a panegyric on Messalla. Valgius also wrote
some learned works, among them a treatise on medicine and a translation
of the rhetoric of Apollodorus.

[Sidenote: Tibullus.] Albius Tibullus was born near Pedum, in Latium,
probably about 54 B. C., and was, if the “Life of Tibullus,” contained
in the best manuscripts of his works, is to be trusted, of equestrian
rank. He inherited a large property, but lost the greater part of it,
perhaps in the confiscations of 41 B. C. Apparently it was restored to
him by Messalla, of whom he speaks with great affection. He followed
Messalla to the East soon after the battle of Actium, but was detained
by illness at Corcyra. He also accompanied Messalla in his campaign
in Aquitania. Nothing further is known of his life, except his love
for Delia, who appears to have been a married woman of low birth
(_libertina_), and for Nemesis, who is apparently identical with the
Glycera mentioned by Horace (_Od._ I, xxxiii, 2). Tibullus died about
19 B. C. He was a friend of Horace and was admired by Ovid, but there
is no evidence that he and Propertius knew one another.

Four books of elegies are ascribed to Tibullus, but not all of these
are really his work. Apparently the collection was made in the literary
circle of Messalla, and poems by less noted members of the circle were
added to those of Tibullus. [Sidenote: Elegies to Delia and Nemesis.]
The ten elegies of the first book, addressed to Delia and to a youth
named Marathus, are undoubtedly by Tibullus, and were published during
his lifetime. The six elegies of Book II, addressed to Nemesis, seem
to have been written several years later. They were left unfinished
by Tibullus, and were published after his death. [Sidenote: Lygdamus.]
The six elegies published as Book III are by a poet who calls himself
Lygdamus. No poet of that name is known, and probably this is a
pseudonym. Whoever the author of these poems was, he was a member of
the circle of Messalla, was born in 43 B. C., and was familiar with
the poems of Tibullus, Horace, Propertius, and Ovid. These elegies are
addressed to Neæra, who was probably the poet’s cousin, and either
married or betrothed to him. They are greatly inferior to those of
Tibullus. They lack variety and imagination, and in technical execution
they want the graceful charm for which the genuine poems of Tibullus
are distinguished. The remaining poems ascribed to Tibullus are printed
in most editions as Book IV, though in the manuscripts they form a
part of Book III. The first of these is a _Panegyric on Messalla_,
written in honor of his consulship, 31 B. C. This poem, which is
written in hexameters, shows a lack of taste and a love of rhetorical
exaggeration entirely foreign to Tibullus. Lygdamus can not be its
author, for he was only twelve years old at the time of Messalla’s
consulship. It was doubtless written by some member of Messalla’s
circle, and included in the collection with the poems of Tibullus on
account of its subject. [Sidenote: Sulpicia.] The other poems of Book
IV have for their subject the love of Messalla’s niece Sulpicia for a
young Greek named Cerinthus. The five elegies numbered viii-xii are by
Sulpicia to Cerinthus. These are very short poems—none having more than
eight lines—but they express genuine feeling in beautiful form, though
without delicacy or reserve. The seventh elegy—of ten lines—seems
rather to be by Tibullus than Sulpicia. Elegies ii-vi and xiii are
apparently by Tibullus, and the epigram of four lines, with which the
book closes, is of doubtful authorship.

The elegies of Tibullus are less learned than those of his
contemporaries. They contain many mythological allusions, but these
are simply expressed and do not form too large a part of the poems.
The sentiments expressed are not virile or powerful, but gentle and
pensive. Tibullus loves the life of the country and hates war; he feels
deeply the woes that oppress the lover; the thought of death weighs
upon him; but love is ever in his heart. His poems are masterpieces of
expression and versification, though they lack the fire of passionate
emotion. Two brief selections[73] from the third elegy of Book I may
give at least some idea of the quality of his sentiment:

    While you, Messalla, plough th’ Ægean sea,
    O sometimes kindly deign to think of me;
    Me, hapless me, Phæacian shores detain,
    Unknown, unpitied, and oppressed with pain.
    Yet spare me, Death, ah, spare me and retire;
    No weeping mother’s here to light my pyre;
    Here is no sister, with a sister’s woe,
    Rich Syrian odors on the pile to throw;
    But chief, my soul’s soft partner is not here,
    Her locks to loose, and sorrow o’er my bier.

So the poem begins. The poet laments his enforced delay at Corcyra,
where he is detained by illness. There follows a list of the bad omens
that warned Tibullus not to set out from Rome, then a prayer to Isis
for aid. A brief description of the Golden Age is introduced, and the
poet prays that Jove may grant him life:

    But, if the Sisters have pronounced my doom,
    Inscribed be these upon my humble tomb:
    “Lo! here inurn’d a youthful poet lies,
    Far from his Delia and his native skies,
    Far from the lov’d Messalla, whom to please
    Tibullus followed over land and seas.”

The remainder of the poem consists of a description of the lower
world and an appeal to Delia. No translation can render exactly the
qualities of expression which make Tibullus one of the greatest among
the lesser Roman poets. It is only after repeated reading of his poems
that one learns to appreciate the lightness of touch and the technical
perfection of this sweet singer of soft themes.

[Sidenote: Propertius.] Sextus Propertius was born in Umbria, probably
at Asisium (Assisi), about 50 B. C., for he was younger than Tibullus
and older than Ovid, whose birth was in 43 B. C. His family was of
some importance and must have been wealthy, for although Propertius,
whose father was already dead, lost part of his property in the
confiscations of 41 B. C., enough remained to support him and give him
a good education. His mother took him to Rome, where he studied law for
a short time, but abandoned it for the pursuit of poetry. After the
publication of the first book of his elegies, Propertius was introduced
to Mæcenas, to whom he afterward addressed two poems (II, i; and III,
ix). He appears, however, to have been less intimate with him than were
Horace and Virgil. Propertius nowhere mentions Horace, and if Horace
refers to him at all it is without mentioning his name. He was a warm
admirer of Virgil and a friend of Ovid. Little is known of his life,
and it is only because his poems contain no allusions to events later
than 16 B. C. that his death is supposed to have taken place about 15
B. C. From two passages in the letters of the younger Pliny, in which
a certain Passenus Paullus is said to be descended from Propertius, it
appears that the poet married and left at least one child.

[Sidenote: The poems of Propertius.] Propertius is a poet of love, who
expresses as few poets have done the tender emotions of the heart. His
poems are passionate and sensual, without the pensive melancholy of
Tibullus or the frivolity of Ovid. The object of his love is Cynthia,
whose real name was Hostia. She was a courtesan, but educated and
refined in taste, beautiful and attractive. She it was who inspired his
first poems, and only in the last book does she cease to be the chief
theme of his verses. The poems are handed down to us in four books,
the second of which is, however, made up of two incomplete books. The
appearance of the first book made Propertius famous and introduced him
to the circle of Mæcenas. Naturally Mæcenas wished him to sing the
praises of Augustus and the Roman Empire, and from this time Cynthia is
no longer the exclusive subject of his poems. In the fourth book (the
fifth in many editions) there are four poems on Roman antiquities, in
imitation of the Αἴτια (_Causes_) of Callimachus. Love is, however,
throughout the subject to which Propertius naturally turns. His poems
are full of learned mythological allusions, and the situations
described or depicted are doubtless for the most part imaginary, yet
the passionate nature of the poet’s love is manifest through all his
learning and his invention. Even though he did not pass through all
the hopes and fears, the changes of love and hate, the joy and sorrow,
the jealousy and the reconciliations which the poems depict with such
wealth of illustration and such beauty of language, he knew as few have
known them the varying passions of the lover’s heart. For the modern
reader his passion is too sensuous and his erudition too obtrusive; but
the genuine feeling expressed makes his poems beautiful in spite of
occasional coarseness and constant display of mythological learning.
Propertius is remarkable for the sonorous richness of his lines, and in
the technical execution of his verse he is careful and accurate. His
earlier poems admit words of three and four syllables at the end of
the pentameter without scruple, but in the later poems the pentameter
usually ends with a word of two syllables, showing that Propertius was
disposed to follow Ovid’s rule in this particular. Like other Roman
poets, Propertius is professedly an imitator of the Greeks. Those whom
he claims to imitate especially are Callimachus and Philetas, both
poets of the Alexandrian period.

One of the shortest of his poems, free alike from coarseness and
display of learning, is the following, on Cynthia’s absence:

    Why ceaselessly my fancied sloth upbraid,
    As still at conscious Rome by love delay’d?
    Wide as the Po from Hypanis is spread
    The distance that divides her from my bed.
    No more with fondling arms she folds me round,
    Nor in my ear her dulcet whispers sound.
    Once I was dear; nor e’er could lover burn
    With such a tender and a true return.
    Yes—I was envied—hath some god above
    Crush’d me? or magic herb that severs love,
    Gather’d on Caucasus, bewitch’d my flame?
    Nymphs change by distance; I’m no more the same.
    Oh, what a love has fleeted like the wind,
    And left no vestige of its trace behind!
    Now sad I count the ling’ring nights alone;
    And my own ears are startled by my groan.
    Happy! the youth who weeps, his mistress nigh;
    Love with such tears has mingled ecstasy:
    Blest, who, when scorned, can change his passing heat;
    The pleasures of translated bonds are sweet.
    I can no other love; nor hence depart;
    For Cynthia, first and last, is mistress of my heart.[74]

[Sidenote: Lesser Augustan poets.] In an age of great poets many
lesser poets are sure to be found. Ovid, in one of his letters,[75]
mentions twenty-three poets of the Augustan age, and his list is not
exhaustive. Little is known of these lesser writers, and few of their
works are preserved, even in fragments. Domitius Marsus, who lived
from about 54 to about 4 B. C., and belonged to the circle of Mæcenas,
wrote a series of epigrams, entitled _Cicuta_ (poisonous hemlock),
which enjoyed considerable reputation, some elegies on Melænis, an epic
poem on the Amazons, and a treatise _De Urbanitate_ (on refinement
of expression). Albinovanus Pedo was also an author of epigrams and
an epic poet. One of his epics, the _Theseis_, narrated the deeds of
Theseus, another gave an account of a voyage to the ocean, probably
the voyage of Germanicus, in 16 B. C. A fragment of twenty-three lines
contains a vivid description of the stranding of some vessels in the
night, which shows that the author was a poet of some ability. Of a
poem on hunting (_Cynegetica_) by Grattius, five hundred and forty-one
hexameters are preserved, which show little poetic merit. Only a few
brief fragments remain of a poem on the Egyptian war of Augustus,
by Rabirius. Cornelius Severus wrote a poem on Roman history (_Res
Romanæ_), and perhaps other epics. The longest extant fragment consists
of twenty-five lines on the death of Cicero, and shows rhetorical
rather than poetic ability. Ovid’s friends, Ponticus and Macer, and
several others, wrote mythological epics. Iambic verses were composed
by Bassus, and other poets gained more or less reputation for various
kinds of poetry.

Gaius Melissus, a freedman of Augustus, from Spoletum, was by
profession a librarian. [Sidenote: The Fabula Trabeata.] He was the
originator of the _fabula trabeata_, named from the _trabea_, the
distinctive costume of the equestrian rank. This was a national comedy,
differing from the _fabula togata_ of Titinius and Atta (see page
29) in the rank of the persons represented, for the _fabula togata_
had chosen its characters from the lower classes, while the _fabula
trabeata_ was a comedy of high life. Its popularity was brief, and
it disappeared, leaving hardly a trace of its existence. Melissus
also made a collection of humorous tales (_Ineptiæ_) in one hundred
and fifty books, and appears to have been the author of some learned

[Sidenote: Manilius.] A poem on astronomy and astrology
(_Astronomica_), ascribed in some of the manuscripts to an otherwise
unknown Marcus or Gaius Manilius, is a didactic poem of unusual
merit. As preserved it consists of five books, the last of which is
incomplete. If, as is probable, a sixth book once existed, the whole
work contained about five thousand lines. Even in its present condition
it is the longest didactic Latin poem except the _De Rerum Natura_ of
Lucretius. The poem is, as a whole, rather uninteresting, but contains
passages of great vigor, showing independence of thought and remarkable
power of expression. The author has an easy mastery of hexameter verse,
in which he is superior to Lucretius; but with all his skill in
versification, his earnestness, his learning, and his originality, he
can not entirely overcome the prosaic nature of his subject. The poem
is uneven, at times prosaic, sometimes rhetorical, not often, if ever,
rising to lofty heights of poetic fancy, but serious and thoughtful.
A large part of it is occupied with astrology, and other portions
describe the heavenly bodies. In the introductions to the several
books, and in digressions, theories concerning the origin of the world,
the nature of man, and the power of fate are introduced, showing that
the author accepts in the main the Stoic doctrines as opposed to the
Epicurean teachings of Lucretius. So he maintains that the world is not
the product of blind forces but of a divine will:

    Who can believe that masses of such size
    Were formed from particles without God’s aid,
    And that the world did blindly come to pass?
    If mere Chance gave it us, let mere Chance rule.
    But why do we perceive in stated turn
    The constellations rise and, as it were
    By order giv’n, run through their course prescribed,
    Nor any hastening leave the rest behind?
    Why do the selfsame stars adorn the nights
    Of summer ever, and the selfsame stars
    The winter nights? And why does every day
    Return the world its form and leave it fixed?[76]

Various mythological tales are inserted with a view to enlivening the
poem, but the author lacks narrative skill. The most elaborate of these
episodes, in which the story of Perseus and Andromeda is told,[77]
shows, however, good descriptive ability and lively rhetoric. Manilius
is not a great poet, but he treats, not without success, a subject new
to Roman poetry, and shows himself to be a man of original power of
mind and of serious purpose. With all its defects, the _Astronomica_
has also great merits.

Many Augustan poets are known by name whose works have perished. On
the other hand, some poems by unknown authors are preserved. A curious
collection of eighty short poems in elegiac and lyric metres, all
addressed to the god Priapus, or at least written with reference to
him, belongs for the most part to this period. [Sidenote: Priapea.]
Statues of Priapus, the god of gardens and of fruitfulness of all
sorts, were set up in public parks, in orchards, and other places, and
most of the _Priapea_, as these short poems are called, are supposed to
have been inscribed upon or affixed to such statues. Many of the poems
are extremely indecent, but many are well written and witty.

Far more interesting than the _Priapea_ are the poems falsely ascribed
to Virgil, and contained in manuscripts of his works. Three of these
are “epyllia,” or short epics, composed, like Virgil’s genuine works,
in hexameter verse. [Sidenote: Culex.] The first, entitled _Culex_,
“The Gnat,” tells in four hundred and fourteen lines how a herdsman,
lying asleep in the noonday heat, was on the point of being killed
by a poisonous serpent, when a gnat stung him, and, by arousing him
to his danger, saved his life. As he awoke, the herdsman killed the
gnat, whose soul afterward appears to him in a dream and reproaches
him. Finally the herdsman erects a funeral mound in honor of the gnat.
The poem is a mock epic, intended to be humorous, but is not very
successful. In versification it shows great similarity to the genuine
works of Virgil, but also in some respects to those of Ovid. A poem
entitled _Culex_ is ascribed to Virgil’s youthful days by Martial and
Statius, but the metrical qualities of the existing poem show that
it can not have been written until a later date. Either, therefore,
Martial and Statius were mistaken, or this is not the poem to which
they refer.

[Sidenote: Ciris.] The second piece, entitled _Ciris_, is a little
longer than the _Culex_. This poem, evidently written by some member of
the circle of Messalla, tells the story of Scylla, who caused the death
of her father, Nisus, and betrayed her native town, on account of her
love for Minos, the leader of an invading army. She was dragged through
the water at the stern of a vessel, but the gods pitied her and changed
her into a seabird called ciris. Her father was restored to life and
made a sea eagle. [Sidenote: Moretum.] The third poem, the _Moretum_
(the word denotes a sort of salad eaten by the peasants), contains
only one hundred and twenty-four lines. It is a slight poem, idyllic
in character, and admirably written. It describes how a poor peasant
and his slave, a negress, make the _moretum_ in the early morning.
[Sidenote: Copa.] This poem is said to be an imitation of a Greek
original by Parthenius. It is possible, though not probable, that it
is by Virgil. The fourth poem is the _Copa_ (barmaid), consisting of
only thirty-eight lines of elegiac verse. It has to do with the
barmaid of a wayside tavern, and is clever and interesting, but has
none of the qualities of Virgil’s poems. It belongs, however, without
doubt, to the Augustan period. [Sidenote: Ætna] The _Diræ_, which is
also included in the manuscripts of Virgil, belongs, as has been said
(page 63), to an earlier time, and the _Ætna_ belongs to the
subsequent period. This consists of six hundred and forty-six
hexameters, describing volcanic eruptions, and attempting to account
for them. It has little poetic merit, but shows that even an
indifferent poet could write good hexameters. The remaining short
poems ascribed to Virgil are of little interest or importance, though
one of them—a comic ode in honor of an old muleteer—is an excellent
parody of the poem of Catullus addressed to his old yacht.

[Sidenote: Nux. Consolatio ad Liviam.] The elegy entitled _Nux_ (nut
tree), and the _Consolatio ad Liviam_ (Consolation to Livia), both
ascribed to Ovid, are imitations by writers of a slightly later time,
and have little merit. The _Nux_ is the complaint of a tree on account
of the bad treatment it receives from passers-by. The _Consolatio ad
Liviam_ purports to be addressed to Livia, wife of Augustus, on the
death of her son Drusus, in 9 B. C.



    Ovid, 43 B. C.-18 A. D.—His life—Poems of
    love—Fasti—Metamorphoses—Poems written after his
    banishment—His qualities and influence.

[Sidenote: Life of Ovid.] Publius Ovidius Naso was born at Sulmo,
in the country of the Pæligni, in 43 B. C., on the 20th of March.
He belonged to a wealthy equestrian family and received, along with
his elder brother, a good education at Rome, practising rhetoric
under Arellius Fuscus and Porcius Latro. He also studied at Athens,
and at some time traveled with the poet Macer in Asia and Sicily.
After assuming the _toga virilis_ he held two of the minor offices
incidental to the beginning of the senatorial career, and was
employed as arbitrator in private cases. But in spite of his father’s
remonstrances, he withdrew from public life and devoted himself to
poetry. This decision was, according to his own statement, due in part
to his delicate physique, but the chief reason was probably his love of
poetry and pleasure, and his aversion to serious affairs. His social
position was excellent. He was intimate with Messalla and his circle,
and had many friends among the literary men of the capital. Virgil,
he says, he only saw, but he was intimate with Tibullus, Propertius,
Ponticus, and Bassus. He was married three times. His first wife, whom
he married in his early youth, was “neither worthy nor useful,”[78] and
he was soon separated from the second also, though he charges her with
no fault. His third wife, of the Fabian family, remained faithful to
him, and he to her. He had one daughter, who in turn had two children.
His life of ease and social pleasure at Rome was brought to a sudden
close in 8 A. D. by an imperial edict banishing him to Tomi, on the
shore of the Pontus (Black Sea). “Two charges,” he writes, “wrought
my ruin, a poem and an error, but I must be silent about the fault
of one of these acts. I am not important enough to renew thy wounds,
Cæsar, since it is more than enough that thou hast suffered once. The
other part remains, in which, as author of a vile poem, I am charged
with being a teacher of obscene adultery.”[79] The poem referred to
can be no other than the _Ars Amatoria_; but this was published ten
years before the poet’s banishment. The real cause of his sentence must
be sought in the charge about which he keeps silence through fear of
wounding Augustus. Perhaps he was privy to an intrigue between Julia,
the granddaughter of Augustus, and Decimus Silanus. Ovid remained in
banishment at Tomi until his death in 18 A. D.

[Sidenote: Ovid’s Poems] Ovid’s poems fall into three divisions:
poems of love, in elegiac metre, the works of his earlier years;
antiquarian and mythological poems (the _Fasti_, in elegiacs, and the
_Metamorphoses_, in hexameters), written before his banishment; and
the poems written, in elegiac verse, at Tomi. The exact chronological
order of the love poems is hard to fix, as the first series of elegies,
the _Amores_, appeared in two editions, at first in five books, later
in three. The later edition is preserved. Most of these elegies were
probably written between 22 and 15 B. C. The _Heroides_, letters from
mythical heroines to their absent husbands or lovers, were written soon
after the _Amores_, then followed the poem _On the Care of the Face_
(_De Medicamine Faciei_), then the _Ars Amatoria_ (_The Art of Love_)
and the _Remedia Amoris_ (_Cures for Love_). The last two seem to have
been published between the beginning of 1 B. C. and the end of 1 A. D.,
but need not have been entirely written in the space of those two years.

[Sidenote: The Amores] The three books of the _Amores_ contain
forty-nine elegies, nearly all of which are love poems. Among the
comparatively small number on other subjects the best known and most
interesting are the elegy on the death of Tibullus (III, ix) and the
description of a festival of Juno (III, xiii). The love poems are in
great part addressed to Corinna, who seems to be a mere figment of
the poet’s imagination, not, like the Lesbia of Catullus, the Delia
of Tibullus, and the Cynthia of Propertius, a real person under a
fictitious name. Ovid’s love poems are not expressions of his own
feelings for any individual, but the means by which he exhibits his
astonishing facility in versification and his lively imagination. From
beginning to end the poems show an utter lack of serious purpose. All
the vicissitudes of a long love affair are treated with equal lightness
and grace. Corinna is ill, she goes away, she receives a letter, to
which she replies unfavorably, her parrot dies, and her lover laments
it in an elegy; but nowhere does any real feeling make itself manifest.
The poet seems to wish to give a complete series of pictures of the
feelings and conduct of a lover under all possible circumstances, and
his lively imagination plays lightly with all the varying phases of
passion, but it is all play. Some of the poems are based upon Greek
originals, many contain mythological allusions, a few are heavy with
Alexandrian learning, some are harmlessly sportive, others extremely
indecent, but all alike are masterly in technical execution, and empty
of real sentiment. In these, his earliest poems, Ovid is already
the most brilliant of Roman elegists. The easy flow of his verse is
admirable. The rules that each distich must form a complete sentence,
or at least express an independent thought, and that each pentameter
must end with a word of two syllables, give great uniformity to the
cadence of the verses, but in spite of this the variety of expression
and the clever rhetoric employed preserve the poems from monotony. Only
the sameness of subject and the lack of real feeling make the _Amores_
tedious to the modern reader.

[Sidenote: The Heroides.] The subject of the _Amores_ is continued in
the _Heroides_, but in a different form. Here the elegies are supposed
to be letters from fifteen famous women of antiquity—Penelope, Briseïs,
Phædra, and others—to their absent lovers or husbands. The form of
poetic love-letter was known to the Alexandrians and had been employed
once (IV, iii) by Propertius, but was first made popular at Rome by
Ovid, who was also, apparently, the first to write in the character
of mythological persons. Soon after the publication of Ovid’s letters
from heroines, replies to some, at least, were written by Sabinus.[80]
These replies are lost, but at the end of the _Heroides_ we now have
three pairs of letters. Paris, Leander, and Acontius write respectively
to Helen, Hero, and Cydippe, and each woman writes a reply. These six
letters are so nearly in the style of Ovid that only careful study has
led the best critics to the opinion that they are not his work, but
clever imitations by some unknown contemporary. In the _Heroides_,
as in the six letters just mentioned, the fact that the writers are
well-known mythological persons lends an interest and a dramatic
quality to the poems, which is wanting in the _Amores_, but the general
character of the work remains the same.

[Sidenote: On the Care of the Face.] The book _On the Care of the
Face_ is imperfectly preserved, for it breaks off after one hundred
lines. The introduction compares the highly developed culture of the
Augustan period with the rough simplicity of earlier times. The maids
and matrons of old may not have bestowed any care upon their personal
beauty, but the Roman girls of the present must act differently, since
even the men are no longer careless of their persons. To be sure, the
character is more important than personal beauty, for character remains
while beauty is fleeting. Up to this point the poem is attractive,
but the remainder, consisting of recipes for cosmetics, with accurate
directions concerning weights and measures of the various ingredients,
is so uninteresting that the loss of the latter part of the poem is
hardly to be regretted.

[Sidenote: The Art of Love.] The _Art of Love_ is one of the most
immoral poems in existence. The first book gives instruction to young
men to aid them in finding and seducing desirable mistresses, the
second tells them how to keep the girls’ affection, and the third
instructs girls in the art of gaining lovers. The love of which Ovid
writes is mere sensual passion, not the union of souls, and his three
books of systematic instruction in the arts of seduction would be
utterly tedious were they not enlivened by some striking descriptive
passages and myths, as well as by sententious lines of worldly wisdom.
A remarkable passage in the first book[81] celebrates the praise of
Roman greatness and of Augustus, in order to lead up to the mention of
a triumphal procession; and this is mentioned, because in the crowd of
spectators the young man may scrape acquaintance with a girl. Of the
Roman women at the theatre, Ovid says:

    _Spectatum veniunt, veniunt spectentur ut ipsæ,_
    They come to see, and to be seen themselves,

and many other lines show keen observation, knowledge of humanity, and
no little humor; but, in spite of these beauties of detail, the poem
is, as a whole, so uninteresting that its immorality has probably done
little harm.

[Sidenote: The Cure of Love.] The _Cure of Love_ offers various means
for freeing oneself from the bonds of passion. Activity and travel are
recommended; the lover who longs for freedom is advised to consider
the faults of his mistress, and the expense she causes him; he is told
to make her show her faults; is urged to fall in love with another,
to avoid reminders of the beloved when she is absent, and to shun
poetry, music, and the dance. All this is uninteresting enough; but
this poem, like the _Ars Amatoria_, contains many fine details. The
_Remedia Amoris_ is the last of Ovid’s poems on the subject of love.
From beginning to end his love poems show the greatest ease and fluency
of expression, superb mastery of technique, much imagination, wit, and
humor, but an almost absolute lack of real feeling and serious purpose.

[Sidenote: The Fasti.] With the _Fasti_, or calendar of Roman
festivals, Ovid’s poetry becomes more serious. When this work was begun
can not be determined, but it probably occupied part of the poet’s
time for several years. The description of the festival of Juno in the
_Amores_ (III, xiii) shows an interest in religious ritual, and it may
be that Ovid conceived the idea of writing the _Fasti_ even before the
_Ars Amatoria_ was published. However that may be, the _Fasti_ never
reached completion. The poem as planned was to consist of twelve books,
one for each month of the year, and was dedicated to Augustus; but,
when six books had been written, the work was interrupted by Ovid’s
banishment. After the death of Augustus, Ovid began a revision of the
poem, and prefixed to it a dedication to Germanicus; but the revision
progressed no further than the first book. As this book contains
references to events as late as 17 A. D., the entire work as we possess
it must have been published after Ovid’s death.

Poetic descriptions of festivals, with accounts of their origin, had
been written by the Alexandrians, notably by Callimachus, and four
elegies of Propertius (see p. 135) had introduced such subjects into
Roman poetry. Ovid undertook to treat systematically all the Roman
festivals, arranging them according to the days on which they occurred.
This arrangement often causes related myths to be widely separated,
and the same myth to be treated in several places, thus destroying
the poetic unity of the work. The poet is also obliged by his subject
to regard the astronomical as well as the antiquarian aspects of the
calendar, and this double interest destroys the harmony of the poem.
Ovid was not a careful student of astronomy, and the astronomical parts
of his work contain some serious mistakes; but they are interesting
on account of their clear descriptions, their variety of expression,
and the myths connected with the stars which are introduced. The days
that mark important events in Roman history are treated with especial
fulness, and the poet takes every opportunity for the expression of
patriotic sentiments, and for the praise of Augustus and the Julian
family. The descriptions of festivals are lively and beautiful
pictures of Roman life. Events of the poet’s own times, or of the
early, mythical period, are described with great variety, sometimes
in elaborate detail, sometimes more briefly, but always with easy
and attractive grace. The causes or origins of festivals and customs
are introduced in various ways; sometimes a god appears and reveals
them, sometimes they are narrated by a friend or contemporary of the
poet, or again the poet tells them without adducing any authority. The
Greek myths narrated are derived from some of the many collections of
such material familiar to the Romans of Ovid’s day; and even in the
matter of Roman legends Ovid probably made no original researches.
The grammarian Verrius Flaccus had compiled a prose calendar, with
explanations of the established customs pertaining to each day, and it
is probably from this that Ovid derived much of his antiquarian lore.
The books from which Ovid derived his information are lost, and his
work is now one of the chief sources from which we can gain knowledge
of Roman ritual, belief, religious antiquities, and even topography,
for Ovid frequently mentions the relative positions of temples and
other buildings. To the student of Roman life the six books of the
_Fasti_ are therefore of great importance. And their importance is
not less to the student of Roman poetry, for they teem with beautiful
and lively descriptions and interesting stories, and the patriotic
sentiments eloquently expressed in several passages show that Ovid was
something more than the careless, frivolous writer of corrupt love
poems. In beauty of workmanship, vividness of description, and fluent
grace of narrative, many portions of the _Fasti_ are equal to any works
of Roman literature, not even excepting the _Metamorphoses_ of Ovid

[Sidenote: The Metamorphoses.] The fifteen books of the _Metamorphoses_
are Ovid’s greatest achievement. When he began the work we do not know,
but, according to his own statement,[82] he had finished it at the
time of his banishment, though he had not revised and perfected it to
his own satisfaction. In his grief he put the manuscript in the fire
and burned it, but several copies must have been made, so the work
survived. The opening lines of the poem explain its purpose:

    Of forms transmuted into bodies new
    My spirit moves to tell. Ye gods (for ye
    Did change them), lend my task your favoring breath,
    And to my times continuous lead the song.

This great collection of myths became almost immediately, and has
remained ever since, the chief source of popular knowledge of
mythology. Poets and artists alike have drawn their conceptions of
the ancient gods and heroes from Ovid even more than from Homer. The
myths selected are those in which a metamorphosis, or change of form,
takes place. Collections of the same sort had been made by several
Alexandrian writers; but Ovid was apparently the first to arrange these
stories in continuous order from the beginning of the world to his own
time. The astonishing skill with which the transition from one tale to
the next is accomplished, the rapidity and fluency of the narrative,
the abundance of charming descriptive passages, and the never-failing
variety of expression, make this one of the most remarkable of poems.
The number of stories told is so great that a list of them would be
tedious, but a brief mention and characterization of some of the more
important among them will serve to show the scope and variety of the

[Sidenote: Contents of the Metamorphoses.] After describing the
creation, Ovid gives an account of the four ages (of gold, silver,
bronze, and iron) of mankind’s deterioration and of the flood, from
which only Deucalion and Pyrrha survived. The story of Phaëthon’s
attempt to drive the chariot of the Sun is told with great animation,
though the poet’s display of geographical knowledge is somewhat out
of place. The tale of the founding of Thebes by Cadmus is a striking
example of narrative skill. More tragical in subject, and more dramatic
in composition, are the stories of Pentheus, torn in pieces by the
maddened worshipers of Bacchus, led by his own mother and sisters,
and of Athamas, who is driven mad by Juno and kills his eldest son,
while his wife Ino casts herself, with her son Melicerta, into the
sea. Between these two stories are several less dramatic tales, among
them the sentimental idyll of Pyramus and Thisbe, which is burlesqued
in Shakespeare’s _Midsummer Night’s Dream_. The deeds of Perseus,
his rescue of Andromeda from the sea-monster, their wedding, with the
quarrel that arose, and the turning into stone of Perseus’s enemies by
means of the terrible Gorgon’s head, are narrated with vivid detail.
The story of Proserpine, carried off by Pluto and sought all over the
world by her mother Ceres, is enriched and retarded by the insertion
of all manner of geographical, antiquarian, and mythological details.
The tale of the pride and grief of Niobe is told with tragic pathos.
In telling of Medea’s love for Jason, Ovid imitates to some extent the
portrayal of her mental torments given by Apollonius of Rhodes,[83]
and at the same time displays his own liking for rhetorical argument.
The adventures of Cephalus and Procris, Nisus and Scylla, Dædalus and
Icarus, and others, are more simply told. The story of the Calydonian
boar-hunt and the death of Meleager, enables Ovid to show his ability
in description, narrative, and psychological analysis. The charming
idyll of the pious and hospitable rustics, Philemon and Baucis, rests
the mind of the reader after the preceding tales of violence. The deeds
of Hercules follow, then the story of Orpheus, in which are inserted
numerous tales, as if told by Orpheus himself. The account of the
terrible death of Orpheus is followed by the story of Midas, who turned
all things to gold by his touch, and whose ears were changed into those
of an ass because he declared Pan to be a better musician than Apollo.
The transformation of Ceyx and Alcyone into sea-gulls gives the poet
an opportunity to tell of and praise conjugal fidelity. The combat of
the centaurs and Lapithæ is told at some length, with too many names
and too little unity. Many tales are told in connection with the Trojan
war. Among these, the strife of Ajax and Ulysses for the armor of
Achilles occupies a prominent position, and Ovid shows his rhetorical
tendency by introducing set speeches by the two rivals in support of
their claims. With the fall of Troy and the escape of Æneas, the poem
begins to deal with Roman rather than Greek subjects. The earlier
adventures of Æneas and others after the fall of Troy are, to be sure,
still derived from Greek sources, but the stories of the combats in
Italy and of the founding of Rome are no longer Greek. Near the end of
the poem the Pythagorean doctrine of the transmigration of souls is set
forth in considerable detail. Several Roman stories follow, and at last
comes the account of Julius Cæsar’s ascent to the gods, and a prophecy
of a similar fortune for Augustus. Then the poem ends with the lines:

    And now my work is done; which not Jove’s wrath,
    Nor fire, nor sword, nor all-consuming age
    Can e’er destroy. Let when it will that day,
    Which only o’er this body’s frame has power,
    Make ending of my life’s uncertain space;
    Yet shall the better part of me be borne
    Above the lofty stars through countless years,
    And ever undestroyed shall be my name.
    Where’er the Roman power o’er conquered lands
    Extends, shall I be read by many tongues,
    And through all ages, if there’s aught of truth
    In prophecies of bards, my fame shall live.

Certainly Ovid had written a most remarkable poem. At times the lack
of earnestness so noticeable in his earlier works appears also in the
_Metamorphoses_, but frequently he is carried along by his subject
to utterances of real power and pathos. His hexameters have not the
swelling grandeur of Virgil’s, but they have a fluent rapidity and easy
grace that no other Latin writer ever attained. Nor does any other
Roman poet equal Ovid in the art of telling a story. He is a master of
direct, simple narrative and of clear, vivid description, and he excels
also in dramatic presentation and in the analysis of human thoughts
and feelings.

In the _Metamorphoses_ Ovid’s power is at its height. His later poems,
written after his banishment, show a constant deterioration in every
respect, even in technique. The long series of laments over his exile
is tedious and wearisome. The five books entitled _Tristia_ consist of
elegies addressed for the most part to no one person, while the four
books of _Letters from the Pontus_ (_Ex Ponto_) have the form of real
letters to the poet’s friends. The second book of the _Tristia_ is one
long letter of appeal to Augustus. The short poem entitled _Ibis_ is
an elaborate heaping up of curses and maledictions against an enemy to
whom the fictitious name of Ibis is given, and the _Halieutica_ is a
fragment (134 lines) of a poem on fishes. Among all these poems those
in which Ovid refers to his own circumstances are the most interesting.
It is from these[84] that most of our information about his life is
derived. In some of these elegies the tone of genuine feeling, which is
wanting in the earlier poems, is evident:

    When in my mind of that night the sorrowful vision arises,
    Which was the end of my life spent in the city of Rome,
    When I remember the night when I parted from all that was dearest,
    Sadly a piteous tear falls even now from my eyes.[85]

So Ovid sings of his departure from Rome. His letters to his wife[86]
and the letter to his daughter Perilla[87] are among the most
attractive of these poems of bitter exile and grief. But even upon
these the bitterness of the exile’s lot casts its shadow. A greater
poet, or a poet of greater character, might have soared above his grief
and disappointment; but Ovid wearies us with his continued complaints.

Several works by Ovid have been lost. The most important was probably
his tragedy _Medea_, which was regarded as one of the greatest of Roman
tragedies. Only two fragments of this play remain, from one of which we
learn that Ovid represented Medea in a state of excitement bordering
upon madness. Of a work in hexameters on the constellations, entitled
_Phænomena_, and a series of epigrams, a few brief fragments remain.
Not even fragments are preserved of a bridal song (Epithalamium)
for Fabius Maximus, an elegy on the death of Messalla, a poem on
the triumph of Tiberius (January 16, 13 A. D.), a poem on the death
of Augustus, a medley on bad poets, made up of lines from Macer’s
_Tetrasticha_, and a poem in the Getic language in honor of the
imperial family.

Ovid’s one defect as a poet is his lack of character. No other Roman
wrote more polished verse, no other employed the Latin language more
effectively for his purposes; but the want of moral earnestness and
power makes Ovid, with all his genius, the least among the great
Roman poets. His weakness is most noticeable in his earlier and later
works, and the _Metamorphoses_ and the _Fasti_ are therefore the most
admirable of his poems. Ovid was read throughout the Middle Ages, and
the mythological allusions in writings of the Renaissance period and
modern times are, for the most part, traceable to him. He was one of
Milton’s favorite authors, and several passages in _Paradise Lost_
show his influence. Shakespeare, too, was acquainted, directly or
indirectly, with the _Metamorphoses_, and numerous echoes of Ovid’s
poems are heard in the strains of other English poets.



    Livy, 59 B. C.-17 A. D.—His qualities as historian and
    writer—Pompeius Trogus, about 20 B. C.—Justin, second or
    third century after Christ—Fenestella, 52 B. C.-19 A.
    D.—Oratory—Seneca the elder, about 55 B. C. to about 40 A.
    D.—Verrius Flaccus, about 1 A. D.—Festus, third or fourth
    century after Christ—Hyginus, about 64 B. C. to about 17
    A. D.—Extant works under the name of Hyginus—Labeo and
    Capito—Vitruvius, about 70 B. C. to after 16 B. C.

[Sidenote: Prose inferior to poetry of this period.] The Augustan
period is the golden age of Latin poetry. Prose reached its greatest
height in the age of Cicero and began to deteriorate soon after his
death. One reason for this is the great development of poetry, which
led to the introduction of poetic words and phrases into prose; another
is the fashionable rhetoric of the day, which aimed not at simplicity
and clearness, nor dignity and grandeur, but at novel or striking
expressions, artificial arrangement, and subtlety of thought. The
influence of the rhetorical schools is seen in some of the poetry of
Ovid and Manilius, but is much more evident in the prose of this period
and the succeeding times.

[Sidenote: Livy.] The only great prose writer of the Augustan period
is Livy. Titus Livius was born at Patavium (Padua) in 59 B. C., and
died in his native place in 17 A. D. Little is known of his life, but
the tone of his writing indicates that he was not poor and belonged to
a family of some position. He is said to have written philosophical
works, probably popular treatises in the form of dialogues, and a
treatise on rhetoric in the form of a letter to his son. These works
are lost, and can never have possessed much importance in comparison
with the great history to which Livy devoted more than forty years of
his life. About 30 B. C. Livy moved to Rome, where he lived the greater
part of the time until his death. Probably he visited his native Padua
more than once, and he travelled also to other places in Italy. He was
a republican in principle, but accepted the rule of Augustus without
reserve. In fact, he was a personal friend of Augustus, who called
him in jest a Pompeian, on account of his criticisms of Julius Cæsar
and his admiration for the old republic. Livy appears in his work
as a man of conservative tendencies, content to live under whatever
government happened to exist, provided it was not too oppressive,
willing to accept the state religion, with all its beliefs in signs and
omens, while recognizing that some, at least, of the omens reported
were inventions. His one great enthusiasm was for the greatness of
Rome. This sentiment it was which led him to devote his life to the
composition of a great history of Rome from the earliest times to his
own day.

[Sidenote: Livy’s History.] The title of Livy’s history was _Libri ab
Urbe Condita_ (_Books from the Foundation of the City_). It consisted
of 142 books, the first of which was written between 29 and 25 B. C.,
while the last twenty-two were published after the death of Augustus.
The last book ended with the death of Drusus, in 9 A. D. Whether Livy
intended to carry his work still further is unknown. The division
into books is Livy’s own, but the division into decades, or groups of
ten books, was made later, though it may perhaps have been suggested
by the original publication of some of the books in groups. For the
earlier parts of the work comparatively little material was available;
consequently the history of the early years of Rome is less detailed
than that of later periods. Fifteen books carry the narrative from the
foundation of the city to the beginning of the Punic wars, a period
of nearly five hundred years, while the war with Hannibal occupies ten
books, and ten books are devoted to the eight years from the death of
Marius to the death of Sulla (86-78 B. C.).

Of this immense work only thirty-five books are extant: Books I-X,
from the beginning into the third Samnite War (753-293 B. C.), and
XXI-XLV, from the second Punic War to the Macedonian triumph of Lucius
Æmilius Paulus (218-167 B. C.). In Books XXI-XLV numerous gaps occur.
The contents of the remaining books are known to us through a series
of abstracts made not directly from Livy, but from an epitome. Such an
epitome existed as early as the time of Martial, not many years after
Livy’s death.

[Sidenote: Qualities of Livy’s History.] Livy derived his material from
earlier historians, such as Fabius Pictor, Valerius Antias, Licinius
Macer, Claudius Quadrigarius, and Polybius, following sometimes one
and sometimes another, but seldom trying to reconcile conflicting
statements of his authorities. When they did not agree, he usually
accepted the statement that seemed to him most probable. He did not
try to discover new truths by the study of original sources, such as
inscriptions and other monuments, nor did he make careful studies of
battlefields, routes of march, or the like. He did not, as most modern
historians do, try to establish facts by independent research, but
he worked over the accounts of his predecessors with the intention
of presenting the whole of Roman history in an attractive literary
form. In this he was so successful that his history soon became the
one source from which all subsequent writers drew their information.
His lack of military knowledge makes his description of battles and
other military matters somewhat untrustworthy, and the early part of
his work suffers from his inability to understand the gradual growth
of Roman civilization, but such defects are more than compensated for
by the admirable literary qualities of his history. He is, moreover,
truthful, so far as he knows the truth, and any incorrect statements
are due rather to insufficient knowledge than to any desire to conceal
or pervert the truth. In his accounts of the dealings of the Romans
with other peoples he is partial to the Romans, but that is because his
sincere admiration for the Roman greatness leads him to believe that
the Romans were in the right and acted rightly, and his partiality to
the Scipios is to be accounted for in a similar way.

It is evident from what has been said above that Livy is far from
being a perfect historian; yet his history is true in the main, and is
based upon broad knowledge and insight into the underlying principles
of human character and human actions. He is less interested in
accuracy of detail than in broader and more general truth and dramatic
presentation. [Sidenote: Livy’s speeches.] So in the speeches with
which he enlivens his work, he does not pretend to repeat what the
speakers actually said, nor even in every instance to put in their
mouths words that express their individual characters, but rather to
say in good rhetorical form what the circumstances seem to him to
demand. In this he follows Thucydides, and his speeches, like those
of Thucydides, serve not merely to give variety to the narrative, but
also to bring vividly before us and to explain the circumstances and
motives that led up to the actions narrated. These speeches are the
most brilliant parts of his work. In them he shows the fruit of his
training in the rhetorical schools and of careful study of Demosthenes
and Cicero; but his rhetoric does not end in mere declamation. The
speeches are not written merely to exhibit his rhetorical training, but
to explain and enlighten.

Throughout his work Livy appears as the enemy of extremes. His
admiration for Pompey does not lead him to become hostile to the
ruling family; he is opposed alike to royalty and to unbridled
democracy. At the same time he treats his subject with sympathy and
warmth of feeling, and makes the ethical side of history prominent,
seeking to present in a strong light such actions as may serve as
models for conduct, not merely to give a record of events.

[Sidenote: Livy’s style.] Livy is unrivalled as a narrator and a
painter in words. His style is clear and straightforward, although his
periods are often long and sometimes made complicated by the insertion
in the sentence of numerous subordinate ideas, often expressed in the
form of participles. As is natural for one who wrote when Roman poetry
was at its height, he introduces poetical words which are foreign to
the prose of Cicero and Cæsar, and some of his phrases show poetic
coloring. But his Latin is pure, and it is difficult to see what
Asinius Pollio meant by accusing him of “Patavinitas” or Paduanism.
In later prose writers the striving for poetic effect becomes a
disagreeable mannerism, but such traces of poetry as are found in Livy
are not the result of conscious effort, but of the literary atmosphere
of the time. His style is not everywhere of uniform excellence; for
it is inevitable that in such a long historical work the different
qualities of the subject and the advancing age of the writer affect the
mode of presentation, but there is no part of the work in which the
style is dull or without charm. It is perhaps at its best in the books
dealing with the Punic wars.

Livy’s work was even in his lifetime regarded as the most perfect
example of historical writing. The younger Pliny tells us that a
citizen of Cadiz travelled all the way to Rome merely to see Livy, and
when he had seen him returned at once to Cadiz, feeling that the other
sights of Rome were of no further interest. Livy’s influence upon later
Roman writers was of the utmost importance, and his work has served
as a model for more than one historian in more recent times. His
enthusiasm for what is good and noble, his admiration for the great men
of Rome, and his worship of Rome itself, give to his work something of
the exalted character that belongs to a hymn of praise or a panegyric.
His great history served, like Virgil’s _Æneid_, to give permanent
literary expression to the greatness of the past days of the Roman

It would occupy too much space to try to give specimens of all the
varieties of Livy’s style and composition. His descriptions of battles,
among which that of the defeat of Antiochus at Magnesia[88] deserves
special mention, are masterpieces of painting in words, even when
they betray his lack of military knowledge, and his summaries of the
characters of important persons are admirable. The introduction to the
history of the war with Hannibal, with the description of the siege of
Saguntum, the hesitation at Rome, and the scene in the Carthaginian
senate, is unsurpassed. [Sidenote: Speech of Hanno.] The speech of
Hanno, who alone among the Carthaginian senators wished to preserve
peace by relinquishing Saguntum and delivering Hannibal into the hands
of the Romans, is one of the most remarkable of the many striking
passages in this wonderful history:[89]

    You have sent to the army, adding, as it were, fuel to the fire, a
    youth who burns with the desire of ruling, and who sees only one
    way to his end, if he lives girt with arms and legions, sowing
    from wars the seed of wars. You have therefore nourished this fire
    with which you are now burning. Your armies are now surrounding
    Saguntum, which the treaty forbids them to approach; presently
    the Roman legions will surround Carthage under the leadership
    of those same gods by whom in the last war the broken treaties
    were avenged. Do you not know the enemy, or yourselves, or the
    fortune of the two peoples? Your good general refused to admit to
    his camp envoys who came from allies in behalf of allies; they,
    nevertheless, though refused admittance where even the envoys of
    enemies are not forbidden to enter, have come to us; they demand
    restitution in accordance with the treaty; that there may be no
    deceit on the part of the state, they ask that the author of the
    wrong and the accused person be delivered up. The more gently they
    act, the more slowly they begin, the more persistently, I fear,
    they will rage when once they have begun. Place before your eyes
    the Ægates islands and Eryx and what you suffered by land and sea
    for twenty-four years. And that leader was no boy, but his father
    Hamilcar himself, a second Mars, as his partisans will have it.
    But we had not kept our hands off from Tarentum, that is from
    Italy, in obedience to the treaty, as now we are not keeping them
    off from Saguntum. Therefore the gods overcame men, and in the
    question at issue, which people had broken the treaty, the event
    of war, like a just judge, gave the victory to that side on which
    right stood. It is against Carthage that Hannibal is now moving
    up his screens and towers; he is shaking the walls of Carthage
    with his battering-ram. The ruins of Saguntum (may I prove a false
    prophet!) will fall upon our heads, and the war begun against the
    Saguntines must be carried on against the Romans. “Shall we then
    give up Hannibal?” some one will say. I know that in his case my
    influence has little weight on account of my enmity to his father;
    but I have been glad that Hamilcar is dead, because if he were
    living we should already be at war with the Romans, and I hate and
    detest this youth as the fury and fire-brand of this war, as one
    who ought not only to be given up as an expiation for the broken
    treaty, but if no one demanded him, should be carried away to
    the uttermost shores of sea and land, removed to such a distance
    that his name and fame could not reach to us nor he disturb the
    condition of our quiet state. I make this motion: That ambassadors
    be sent at once to Rome, to give satisfaction to the senate;
    other envoys to announce to Hannibal that he withdraw his army
    from Saguntum, and to hand Hannibal himself over to the Romans in
    pursuance of the treaty; I move a third embassy to restore their
    property to the Saguntines.

This speech, composed with powerful rhetoric and placed in a dramatic
setting, serves not only to bring before our eyes the fruitless errand
of the Roman envoys at Carthage, but to emphasize the justice of the
Roman cause and to predict the ultimate success of the Romans, on
whose side the gods that watch over treaties were enlisted. It is an
example of Livy’s oratorical composition, of his dramatic power, of his
desire to show that historical events are the result of moral causes,
and of his conviction that the Roman power was founded upon right and

Livy’s great work was the first complete history of Rome composed in
fine literary form. The time was ripe for such a work. The Roman people
had spread its power over the whole civilized world, and the peace and
order established by Augustus made it natural that men should wish to
read the history of the long struggles of the republic that led up to
the present peace of the empire. Livy’s history, therefore, appealed
directly to a large circle of readers. But in extending its power over
the world, the Roman people had come in contact with various nations,
and it was natural that the history of those nations should be of
interest to the Romans. [Sidenote: Pompeius Trogus.] The task of
writing this history was undertaken by Pompeius Trogus. By descent
he was a Vocontian, of the province of Gallia Narbonensis, but his
grandfather had received the Roman citizenship from Pompey, and his
father had served under Cæsar in Gaul. Pompeius Trogus himself is
mentioned as a writer on zoology, but his most important work was
his universal history entitled _Historiæ Philippicæ_, in forty-four
books. Trogus began with the history of the Oriental empires, Assyria,
Media, and Persia, passing from the Persians to the Scythians and the
Greeks. The greater part of his work was taken up with the account
of the Macedonian Empire founded by Philip, and of the kingdoms that
arose from it after the death of Alexander the Great. The history of
each of these kingdoms is continued to its absorption in the Roman
Empire. It is from this part of the work (Books VII-XL) that the whole
received its title. The forty-first and forty-second books contained
the history of the Parthians, the forty-third told of the beginnings
of Rome and treated of affairs in Gaul, and the forty-fourth book
contained the history of Spain, ending with the victory of Augustus
over the Spaniards.

[Sidenote: Justin’s summary.] The history of Trogus is not preserved
in its original form, but only in a brief summary made in the second
or third century after Christ by an otherwise unknown Marcus Junianus
Justinus. It is evident that Trogus was not an original investigator,
and his work was probably little more than a translation of a Greek
original, perhaps by Timagenes of Alexandria, who came to Rome in the
time of the civil wars. Nevertheless, the work was important, as it
was based on good authorities. It never became so popular as Livy’s
history, but it was evidently much used by later writers, and Justin’s
summary was much read in the Middle Ages. Of the style of Trogus it is
difficult to judge, but so far as it can be appreciated in Justin’s
abridgment, it was clear and lively, with a good deal of rhetorical
adornment. Even the abridgment is a valuable work on account of the
importance of its contents.

Several other historians of the Augustan period are known by name, but
their works are lost and have left few traces. [Sidenote: Fenestella.]
The most important of these writers was probably Fenestella, who lived
from 52 B. C. to 19 A. D. He wrote _Annals_ in at least twenty-two
books, and probably also a variety of works on antiquarian subjects.

[Sidenote: Oratory.] The oratory of this period was far inferior to
that of the age of Cicero. It was for the most part without serious
purpose, and the productions of the orators were little more than
school exercises to show their skill and serve as models for their
pupils. Messalla, Pollio, and some others continued the earlier style
of oratory in the Augustan age, but they found few imitators or
successors. Among other early Augustan orators was Titus Labienus, who
wrote a history as well as speeches. He was so bitterly opposed to the
rule of Augustus that his works were burned by decree of the senate.
Cassius Severus made in his speeches and writings such violent attacks
upon the aristocracy that he was banished by Augustus, and his property
was confiscated under Tiberius. He died in great poverty at Seriphus in
32 A. D. Other orators, whose speeches were almost exclusively school
exercises, were Marcus Porcius Latro, Gaius Albucius Silus, Quintus
Haterius, Lucius Junius Gallio, and the two Asiatic Greeks, Arellius
Fuscus and Lucius Cestius Pius. [Sidenote: Seneca the elder.] Little
or nothing is known about any of these men except what is derived from
the works of Annæus Seneca, the father of the philosopher Lucius Annæus
Seneca and grandfather of the epic poet Lucan. Of the life of the elder
Seneca little is known. He was born at Corduba, in Spain, probably as
early as 55 B. C., and spent part of his life in Rome. He lived to a
great age, for his only extant work was written as late as 37 A. D.
This is a series of recollections of famous orators and rhetoricians,
written at the request of the author’s sons, Novatus, Seneca, and Mela.
It originally contained ten books of _Controversiæ_ or arguments, and
one book of _Suasoriæ_ or speeches advising some particular course of
conduct. The most important parts of the work are the introductions,
which contain much information on the history of oratory. The ten
books of _Controversiæ_ treated of seventy-four subjects, the book
of _Suasoriæ_ of seven. The beginning of the _Suasoriæ_ is now
lost, and of the _Controversiæ_ only thirty-five are preserved.
The subject-matter is throughout insipid and dull. Such things are
discussed as this: “A man and his wife swore that if anything happened
to one of them the other would die. The man went on a journey and sent
a message to his wife that he was dead. The wife threw herself down
from a high place. She was brought to herself again, and her father
ordered her to leave her husband. She refused.” The utterances of the
masters of rhetoric on such matters as this are given by Seneca, whose
prodigious memory made him able to repeat them almost, if not quite,
in the original words. The most interesting single theme is the sixth
_Suasoria_, in which the question is answered whether Cicero should beg
Antony to spare his life. The answers given contain several judgments
on Cicero, among them those of Asinius Pollio and Livy. But the folly
and emptiness of the sort of oratorical study with which Seneca makes
us acquainted can not fail to impress every reader. Seneca himself
expresses his disgust. His remarkable memory enabled him to hand down
to later ages specimens of the oratorical teaching which, even in the
Augustan age, began to corrupt Latin style. Seneca’s own style is not
far removed from that of Cicero’s time, and Seneca, though he wrote
under Caligula, probably acquired his style in the early part of the
Augustan period. The specimens he has preserved show, however, that the
influential teachers of his early days had far less taste than he.

[Sidenote: Verrius Flaccus.] Among the learned writers on special
subjects one of the most important was Verrius Flaccus, of whose life
little is known, except that he was chosen by Augustus to educate
his grandsons Gaius and Lucius, and that he died in old age during
the reign of Tiberius. Of his numerous works on grammatical and
antiquarian subjects one only, _On the Meaning of Words_ (_De Verborum
Significatu_), is partially preserved in an abridgment by Pompeius
Festus, who seems to have lived in the third or fourth century after
Christ. Only part of this abridgment remains, but this is important
for the information it contains concerning Roman antiquities and
early Latin words. A further abridgment of Festus was made in the
eighth century by Paulus, and even this is of value, though it is a
mere skeleton of the original work of Verrius Flaccus. [Sidenote:
Hyginus.] Another scholar was Gaius Julius Hyginus, a freedman of
Augustus and librarian of the Palatine library. His life extended from
about 64 B. C. to about 17 A. D. He composed works on agriculture,
history, geography, and antiquities, besides commentaries on Virgil and
on Cinna’s poem to Asinius Pollio. Of all these works nothing remains;
but two works under the name of Hyginus are extant. One of these is
a treatise on astronomy, including myths relating to the stars, the
other a mythological handbook entitled _Fabulæ_, to which a series of
genealogies is appended. The handbook is valuable chiefly because the
myths told in it are taken from Greek tragedies for the most part, and
through them we learn the plots of many lost works of Greek authors.
These extant works are, however, not by the librarian Hyginus, but by
a later writer, who lived probably in the second century after Christ.
[Sidenote: Labeo and Capito.] Of the legal writings of Marcus Antistius
Labeo and Gaius Ateius Capito nothing remains. Each was the head of
a school of writers and teachers on legal subjects. Labeo tried to
explain changes and growth in legal matters, as well as in grammar, by
the principle of analogy or likeness, while Capito regarded anomaly or
difference as more important.

[Sidenote: Vitruvius.] A work of no literary excellence, but of great
value on account of the information it contains, is the treatise _On
Architecture_ (_De Architectura_), in ten books, by Vitruvius Pollio.
Vitruvius was a practical architect, who built a basilica at Colonia
Fanestris and had charge of the construction of machines of war under
Augustus.[90] His books appear to have been written between 16 and
13 B. C., and dedicated to Augustus. They form the only systematic
treatise on architecture preserved to us from antiquity, and are for
that reason of the greatest importance to architects and archæologists.
The style is, however, inelegant and obscure, though its obscurity
is due in part to the necessary employment of technical expressions.
Vitruvius was evidently a man of no great literary education or
ability, however able he may have been as an architect.

The age of Augustus is marked by the highest development of Roman
poetry. Virgil, Horace, Tibullus, Propertius and Ovid are, each in his
own way, the greatest of the Roman poets. Only Catullus and Lucretius
can be compared with any one of them. The only great prose writer of
the period is Livy. His style is still pure, and is certainly very
charming; but even Livy departs somewhat from the dignity and beauty
of the _sermo urbanus_, the Latin of Cicero and Cæsar. The extracts
preserved by Seneca show that the rhetorical teaching of the time was
artificial and tasteless, and was leading the way to decline, to the
so-called silver Latin of the imperial epoch.





    The emperors (Tiberius, 14-37 A. D.; Caligula, 37-41 A. D.;
    Claudius, 41-54 A. D.; Nero, 54-68 A. D.)—Phædrus, about 40
    A. D.—Germanicus, 15 B. C.-19 A. D.—Velleius Paterculus,
    30 A. D.—Valerius Maximus, about 47 B. C. to about 30 A.
    D.—Celsus about 35 A. D.—Votienus Montanus, died 27 A.
    D.—Asinius Gallus, 40 B. C.-33 A. D.—Mamercus Scaurus, died
    34 A. D.—Publius Vitellius, died 31 A. D.—Domitius Afer,
    14 B. C.-59 A. D.—Cremutius Cordus, died 25 A. D.—Aufidius
    Bassus—Remmius Palæmon—Julius Atticus—Julius Gracchinus—Marcus
    Apicius—Philosophers—Lucius Annæus Seneca, about 1 A. D. to 65
    A. D.—Persius, 34-62 A. D.—Lucan, 39-65 A. D.—Calpurnius, about
    60 A. D.—Pomponius Secundus, about 50 A. D.—Petronius, died 66
    A. D.—Quintus Curtius, about 50 (?) A. D.—Columella, about 40 A.
    D.—Mela, about 40 A. D.—Other writers.

[Sidenote: Literature after Augustus.] With the death of Augustus the
greatest period of Roman literature comes to an end. From this time its
history is a record of decay, not regularly progressive, to be sure,
and not always manifested in the same way, but almost constant, and
hardly interrupted even by the appearance of a few writers of genuine
ability. With the establishment of peace throughout the Roman Empire,
and with the ease and security of travel from province to province,
men from all parts of the empire came to Rome for a time and returned
to their homes, after, perhaps, imbibing something of the culture of
the capital, while others took up their residence permanently in the
imperial city. Some men of each class devoted themselves to literature.
The elder Seneca belongs to one of these classes, the younger Seneca
certainly to the latter. The influence of the provincials upon Roman
literature could not fail to be great. In the hands of Spaniards
like the Senecas, Latin could hardly remain the city speech, _sermo
urbanus_, of the time of Cicero. The evil influence of even the best
rhetorical teaching of the time of Augustus has already been mentioned,
and as time went on the rhetorical teaching became constantly worse.
Moreover, the circumstances of the empire, and especially of the city
of Rome, were not favorable to the growth of literature. The peace that
followed the unrest of the civil wars had led in the time of Augustus
to great literary activity, but the continued peace in the subsequent
years, when men’s minds were no longer moved by the remembrance of
stirring events, tended to deaden the imagination and to dry up the
springs of literary life. In the early part of the first century after
Christ there are few important writers either in Greek or Latin. In the
city itself the character of the emperor had a powerful effect upon

[Sidenote: The relations of the emperors to literature.] Tiberius
(14-37 A. D.) was a pupil of the Greek rhetorician, Theodorus of
Gadara, and was familiar with Greek and Latin literature. He wrote
Greek verses in the learned Alexandrian manner, a Latin poem on the
death of Lucius Cæsar, and autobiographical memoirs in prose; but
his own literary interest did not make him a patron of literature.
His suspicious nature caused him to seek out and punish all real or
imaginary allusions to himself in the works of contemporary authors,
with the natural result that authorship became a pursuit too dangerous
to be popular. Caligula (37-41 A. D.) had some ability as a speaker,
and wished to be considered an orator, but his insanity led him to wish
to destroy the works of Homer, and to remove the works and the busts
of Virgil and Livy from the public libraries, on the ground that one
of them was without genius or learning and the other was diffuse and
careless. Although he did not systematically repress literature, his
brief reign was certainly not favorable to its cultivation. Claudius
(41-54 A. D.), who came to the throne at the age of fifty years, was
a dull and learned pedant. He began to write a history from the death
of Cæsar, but stopped at the end of the second book, owing to the
objections of his mother and grandmother. He then wrote a history in
forty-one books, probably beginning with the bestowal of the title of
Augustus upon Octavian (27 B. C.), and continuing for forty-one years.
He also wrote a history of the Etruscans in twenty books and a history
of Carthage in eight books. Of all these works nothing remains. Some
idea of his style may be derived from two inscriptions found at Lyons
and Trent. The first is a speech delivered in the senate in 48 A. D.,
advocating the extension to the Gallic nobility of the _ius honorum_,
or right to hold offices, the second a decree renewing the grant of
citizenship to the inhabitants of the regions in the Rhætian Alps
about Trent, and regulating their affairs. In both cases the style is
confused and entirely without elegance or merit. Claudius also wrote a
defense of Cicero against Asinius Gallus, the son of Asinius Pollio,
who had maintained that Pollio was the greater orator. The addition by
Claudius of three letters to the Latin alphabet shows his interest in
linguistic matters, but was without permanent effect. Under this ruler
literature revived somewhat after the persecutions under Tiberius. Nero
(54-68 A. D.), the pupil of Seneca, wrote various short poems and an
epic, entitled _Troica_, on the Trojan War. His jealousy caused him to
be the enemy of other poets, but he paid little attention to literary
attacks upon himself. On the whole, literature was not repressed during
his reign, though after the discovery of the conspiracy of Piso, in 65
A. D., his wrath fell upon philosophers and men of letters.

The literature of the times of Tiberius and Caligula is less important
than that of the following years. [Sidenote: Phædrus.] The only poet of
importance is Phædrus, a freedman of Augustus, who wrote fables in
iambic verse. These are for the most part not original with Phædrus,
but are the so-called fables of Æsop, tales of Oriental origin, which
migrated in writing or in oral form to Europe. The Greeks thought
them the inventions of Æsop, but modern investigations have proved
that they belong to the migratory folk-lore of India. After the
first book of his fables, Phædrus introduces fables and tales of his
own among those ascribed to Æsop. The whole collection now consists
of ninety-three fables, divided into five books; but it originally
contained a greater number, especially in Books II and V. The fables
are still, many of them, at least, familiar to most children. Such are
the stories of the Wolf and the Lamb, the Frog who tried to be as big
as an Ox, the Fox and the Crane, and many others. Phædrus tells the
fables in well-composed verses, but sometimes overdoes his love of
brevity so as to be obscure. He also points out the moral of his tales
too plainly, leaving nothing to the imagination of his readers. His
language is the simple and easy Latin of the early Augustan period,
without the rhetorical flourishes popular in the following years. Yet
it is evident from references in the prologue to the third book that,
although Sejanus was powerful after the appearance of the first two
books, the third was written after his fall, that is to say, after
31 A. D. Probably Phædrus wrote at least as late as 40 A. D. Of his
personal history little is known. He was born in Pieria, in Macedonia,
but went to Italy and probably to Rome, at an early age. Something in
the first two books of fables brought down upon the poet the wrath of
Sejanus, but how serious its effects were is not known. The Eutychus
to whom the third book is addressed is probably the charioteer who was
an important personage in the last years of Caligula. Particulo and
Philetes, whom Phædrus addresses in the epilogue and the last fable of
the fifth book, are unknown. The _Fables_ of Phædrus have been much
used as a text-book, because they are interesting to young readers and
are written in simple, classical Latin.

[Sidenote: Germanicus.] A poem belonging to the first years after
the death of Augustus is the _Aratea_, by Germanicus, the son of
Drusus (15 B. C.-19 A. D.). This is a translation and adaptation of
the _Phænomena_ of Aratus, and shows that the author was not only a
talented writer of hexameters, but also a well-educated astronomer.
This poem contains 725 lines. Of a poem on the stars and constellations
in their relation to the weather and the like, entitled _Prognostica_,
only a few fragments remain. Besides these astronomical poems of
Germanicus, the last book of Manilius (see p. 138) belongs to this
period. So also do some of the poems wrongly ascribed to Virgil and
Ovid, and for that matter, the later poems of Ovid himself.

[Sidenote: Velleius Paterculus.] The only prose writers of the years
before Claudius whose works are extant are Velleius Paterculus,
Valerius Maximus, and Celsus. Gaius Velleius Paterculus was an officer
who had served under Tiberius; he was _tribunus militum_ in 1 A. D.
and prætor-elect in 14 A. D. The latest date mentioned in his _Roman
History_ is the consulship of Vinicius, 30 A. D. The dates of his birth
and death are unknown. The _Roman History_ consists of two books, the
first of which is imperfectly preserved. Velleius does not confine
himself strictly to Roman affairs, but begins his work with a brief
sketch of the foundation of the Greek cities in Italy. The early part
of the work is a mere summary, but more details are introduced as
the narrative approaches the author’s own times; yet it is, even in
the latter part, by no means an exhaustive history. Throughout the
work Velleius introduces his own opinions and is governed by his own
prejudices; his history is therefore not especially trustworthy. His
praise of Tiberius is so excessive that it can not be excused even
as the enthusiasm of a veteran for his old general, and the almost
equally exaggerated praise of Sejanus is without the shadow of excuse.
A noteworthy peculiarity is that Velleius pays attention to the history
of Greek and Roman literature, which would hardly be expected in so
short a work. The style is clumsy, but shows a desire for rhetorical
effect. The vocabulary is that of the Augustan age, but the pretentious
rhetoric and the evident striving for variety are characteristic of
the later time. The chief interest of Velleius is in the character
of the persons of whom he writes, and his whole work has something
personal about it which distinguishes it from a mere record of events.
In the early part of the work he follows good authorities, though he
often disagrees with Livy, perhaps on account of Livy’s republican
sympathies. In the latter part of the history he is untrustworthy,
owing to his servile partiality for Tiberius and those connected with

[Sidenote: Valerius Maximus.] The nine books of _Memorable Doings and
Sayings_ (_Facta et Dicta Memorabilia_), by Valerius Maximus, were
written not far from 30 A. D., and dedicated to Tiberius. Of the writer
little is known except that he accompanied Sextus Pompeius to Asia,
about 27 B. C. He was, then, born probably as early as 47 B. C., and
can hardly have lived long after the completion of his books. Many of
the anecdotes contained in his work are interesting, but the style is
artificial, pompous, and dull. The most servile flattery is given to
Tiberius, Julius Cæsar, and Augustus. The anecdotes cover a wide range
of subjects—religion, ancient customs, all varieties of character,
fortune, old age, remarkable deaths, and many more. Naturally, the
work contains some valuable information, but this is thinly distributed
through the nine books. The work was, however, popular in the Middle
Ages, and is preserved in many manuscripts. A book on words, especially
names (_De Prænominibus, etc._), contained in the manuscripts of
Valerius Maximus, is by some unknown author and is of little value.

[Sidenote: Celsus.] Aulus Cornelius Celsus wrote an encyclopedia,
which contained treatises on agriculture, medicine, the art of war,
oratory, jurisprudence, and philosophy. Part, at least, of this great
work was written under Tiberius, but other parts may have been written
later, for there is no definite indication of the date of the author’s
birth or death. Only the treatise on medicine (Books VI-XIII of the
entire work) is preserved. This shows that Celsus was well versed in
the medical science of his day, and that medical science had at that
time reached a high degree of perfection. Celsus writes in a simple,
straightforward style, without the artificial rhetoric or the poetic
phraseology common among post-Augustan prose writers. His work was
deservedly popular among those who wished for scientific knowledge in
the Middle Ages, was one of the first books printed after the invention
of the printing-press, and was used as a text-book for medical students
until recent times. Whether the other parts of the encyclopedia were
as good as the treatise on medicine can not now be determined. The
treatise on agriculture is mentioned with respect by Columella, but
Quintilian speaks slightingly of Celsus, perhaps on account of defects
in the rhetorical parts of his work.

[Sidenote: Prose writers whose works are lost.] The names of several
orators of this period are handed down, chiefly in the reminiscences of
the elder Seneca. The most noteworthy are, perhaps, Votienus Montanus,
who was banished by Tiberius and died in 27 A. D.; Asinius Gallus
(40 B. C.-33 A. D.) the son of Asinius Pollio; Mamercus Scaurus,
who was forced by Tiberius to commit suicide in 34 A. D.; Publius
Vitellius, who brought about the condemnation of Piso for the murder of
Germanicus in 19 A. D., and who died in 31 A. D.; and Domitius Afer,
from Nemausus (14 B. C.-59 A. D.), who held important offices under
Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero. Among these orators, Domitius Afer was
most prominent as a speaker in court, while Montanus was a teacher of
oratory and a declaimer. Historians whose works are lost were Aulus
Cremutius Cordus and Aufidius Bassus. The former published under
Augustus a historical work in which he praised Brutus and spoke of
Cassius as “the last of the Romans.” For this his books were burned by
decree of the senate in 25 A. D., and he committed suicide by starving
himself. Bassus wrote a contemporary history in rhetorical style,
probably embracing the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, and possibly
the end of the republic. Among the grammarians of this time, the most
important was Quintus Remmius Palæmon, whose grammar (_Ars Grammatica_)
was much used by the later writer Charisius. There were also several
writers on special subjects, such as Cæpio and Antonius Castor, who
wrote on botany, Julius Atticus and Julius Gracchinus, who wrote on
vine culture, and Marcus Apicius, who wrote on cookery, though the
extant cook-book ascribed to him is a work of the third century. These
names show that even under Tiberius prose writing, although not so
important as at other times, was not entirely neglected.

[Sidenote: Philosophy.] Philosophy was much cultivated at Rome in this
time, as it had been for at least a century, but the philosophical
teachers under Tiberius and Caligula wrote for the most part, when they
wrote at all, in Greek. Among them were the Sextii and Sotion, whose
activity was in the later years of Augustus and the earlier years of
Tiberius, Lucius Annæus Cornutus, and Gaius Musonius Rufus, both of
whom were banished by Nero in 65 A. D. These men, and others of less
note, whose doctrines were chiefly Stoic, exercised great influence
upon Roman thought, but as their teachings were chiefly oral and their
written works were in Greek, they must be passed over with a brief
mention by no means commensurate with their real importance. Sotion was
one of the teachers of the younger Seneca, the most important writer
of the time of Nero, while Cornutus was the teacher of the satirist
Persius, and Musonius of the powerful ethical preacher Epictetus.

[Sidenote: Lucius Annæus Seneca.] Lucius Annæus Seneca, the son of the
rhetor Seneca, whose work on the oratorical teachers of the period
of Augustus and the subsequent years has already been mentioned, was
born at Corduba, in Spain, about the beginning of the Christian era,
but was educated in Rome, where he studied under Sotion, the Stoic
Attalus, and a follower of the Sextii, Papirius Fabianus, besides
attending schools of rhetoric. His mother, Helvia, was a lady of noble
birth, whose sister married Vitrasius Pollio, who was for some years
governor of Egypt. Seneca appears to have spent some time in Egypt
with his aunt, through whose influence he obtained the quæstorship
after his return to Rome, at some time between 42 and 37 A. D. A speech
which he delivered in the senate nearly caused his death by arousing
the jealousy of Caligula in 39 A. D. In 41 A. D. he was banished to
Corsica through the influence of Messalina, on the charge of too great
intimacy with Julia Livilla, Caligula’s younger sister. Such stories
were circulated about all the members of the imperial family, and we
have now no means of knowing whether there was any truth in the charge
against Seneca and Livilla. Probably the real reason for Seneca’s
banishment was his connection with the faction of Agrippina. At any
rate, Agrippina recalled him from Corsica eight years later, after the
execution of Messalina, obtained for him the prætorship, and made him
tutor to her son Domitius Nero. His influence over his young pupil was
so great that when Nero came to the throne, Seneca, with the aid of his
friend Afranius Burrus, commander of the prætorian guards, directed the
imperial government. He restrained the ferocity of Nero and checked
the ambition and vengefulness of Agrippina. Owing to his influence
the early years of Nero’s reign were long remembered as a period of
rest and peace at Rome. But Seneca obtained and held his influence in
great measure by yielding consent to Nero’s wishes, even when they were
opposed to his better judgment or his conscience. He was probably privy
to the murder of Claudius, by which Nero became emperor, there is no
indication that he opposed the murder of Germanicus in 55 A. D., and he
probably had some connection with the murder of Agrippina in 59 A. D.
It is natural that in spite of his remarkable intellectual and social
gifts, he was unable to maintain his moral ascendency over the emperor.
With the death of Burrus, in 62 A. D., Seneca’s power was broken. He
recognized the fact, withdrew so far as he could from the life of the
court, and in 64 A. D. offered to give up his great wealth. But his
retirement did not save him from Nero’s cruelty, and in 65 A. D. he was
accused of sharing in the conspiracy of Piso and compelled to commit

Seneca’s philosophy did not forbid him to have a share of worldly
wealth and honors. At the height of his prosperity he was immensely
wealthy, possessing estates in Italy and abroad, and having money out
at interest as far away as Britain. His total wealth was estimated at
more than $15,000,000. He held all the regular offices, attaining the
consulship in 57 A. D. Of his private life little is known. He was
twice married, His first wife bore him at least two sons, one of whom
died shortly before his father’s banishment. His second wife, Pompeia
Paulina, whom he married in 57 A. D., wished to commit suicide at the
time of her husband’s death, but was prevented by Nero.

Seneca was an extremely voluminous writer, and though many of his works
are lost, those that remain still exceed in bulk the extant works of
almost any other ancient writer. [Sidenote: Seneca’s tragedies.] They
comprise tragedies, philosophical treatises, a satire on the death of
Claudius, and a few epigrams. The exact dates of individual works can
be established only in comparatively few instances, and no attempt will
be made here to treat them in chronological order. Since, however, it
is probably that the tragedies are works of his earlier years, they may
be mentioned first. Nine of these are extant.[91] The subjects are all
derived from Greek mythology, and had all been used as the subjects of
tragedies by Greek dramatists. No originality of plot is therefore to
be expected in Seneca’s tragedies. Nor is there any great originality
of treatment. Seneca imitates Euripides and some of the later Greek
tragic poets, not simply translating their work, yet inventing few if
any new situations, and differing from the Greek dramatists chiefly
in his greater realism and his declamatory rhetoric. In fact, his
tragedies are a succession of speeches, hardly interrupted by choral
songs, which differ from the speeches of the actors chiefly in metre.
In themselves these tragedies are feeble imitations and perversions of
their Greek prototypes, though in them, as in his other works, Seneca
shows great mastery of language and vigor of expression; but their real
importance to the modern reader is due to their great influence upon
the English dramatists of the sixteenth century and upon the whole
course of the French classical drama. At a time when Latin was far
more familiar than Greek these tragedies were regarded as the highest
expression of ancient dramatic art, and were studied and imitated by
the dramatists of the modern nations.

[Sidenote: The Medea.] The best known among them is, perhaps, the
_Medea_. In this play, as in the _Medea_ of Euripides, the part of
the myth is treated in which Jason deserts his wife Medea to marry
Creüsa, daughter of Creon, king of Corinth. Medea sends her two sons
to Creüsa to give her a poisoned robe, which causes her death and that
of her father Creon. Then Medea, in order to pain Jason, kills the two
children. The following passage is taken from Medea’s reply to her
nurse, who urges her to flee when the news is brought that Creon and
Creüsa have been killed by the poisoned robe she had sent:

    Shall I fly? I? Were I already gone
    I would return for this, that I might see
    These new betrothals. Dost thou pause, my soul?
    This joy’s but the beginning of revenge.
    Thou dost but love if thou art satisfied
    To widow Jason. Seek new penalties;
    Honor is gone and maiden modesty—
    It were a light revenge pure hands could yield.
    Strengthen thy drooping spirit, stir up wrath,
    Drain from thy heart its all of ancient force,
    Thy deeds till now call honor; wake, and act,
    That they may see how light, how little worth,
    All former crime—the prelude of revenge!
    What was there great my novice hands could dare?
    What was the madness of my girlhood days?
    I am Medea now, through sorrow strong.
    Rejoice, because through thee thy brother died;
    Rejoice, because through thee his limbs were torn,
    Through thee thy father lost the golden fleece;
    Rejoice, that armed by thee his daughters slew
    Old Pelias! Seek revenge! No novice hand
    Thou bring’st to crime; what wilt thou do; what dart
    Let fly against thy hated enemy?
    I know not what my maddened spirit plots,
    Nor yet dare I confess it to myself!
    In folly I made haste—would that my foe
    Had children by this other! Mine are his.
    We’ll say Creüsa bore them! ’Tis enough;
    Through them my heart at last finds full revenge.
    My soul must be prepared for this last crime.
    Ye who were once my children, mine no more,
    Ye pay the forfeit for your father’s crimes.
    Awe strikes my spirit and benumbs my hand;
    My heart beats wildly; mother-love drives out
    Hate of my husband; shall I shed their blood—
    My children’s blood? Demented one, rage not,
    Be far from thee this crime! What guilt is theirs?
    Is Jason not their father?—guilt enough!
    And worse, Medea claims them as her sons.
    They are not sons of mine, so let them die!
    Nay, rather let them perish since they are!
    But they are innocent—my brother was!
    Fear’st thou? Do tears already mar thy cheek?
    Do wrath and love like adverse tides impel
    Now here, now there? As when the winds wage war,
    And the wild waves against each other smite,
    My heart is beaten; duty drives out fear,
    As wrath drives duty. Anger dies in love.[92]

[Sidenote: Seneca’s philosophical writings.] Seneca’s philosophical
writings fall naturally into three divisions: the formal treatises on
ethical subjects, the twenty books of _Ethical Letters_ (_Epistulæ
Morales_), addressed to Lucilius[93], and the _Studies of Nature_
(_Quæstiones Naturales_), in seven books. The last-mentioned work,
addressed to Lucilius, and written between 57 and 64 A. D., is by no
means a complete treatise on nature. Two books treat of astronomy,
two of physical geography, and four of meteorology; for Book IV
should properly be divided into two books, one on physical geography,
the other on meteorology. These subjects are treated from the point
of view of the Stoics, without any original investigation by Seneca,
who derives his information entirely from books. The work was very
popular in the Middle Ages, but is of no scientific value. Seneca’s
chief interest was in ethics, and he uses the phenomena of nature as
texts for his ethical views. The formal treatises on ethics discuss
such subjects as _Anger_ (_De Ira_, in three books), _The Shortness
of Life_ (_De Brevitate Vitæ_), _Clemency_ (_De Clementia_). _The
Happy Life_ (_De Vita Beata_), _Consolation_ (_De Consolatione_, three
independent treatises addressed to different persons), and _The Giving
and Receiving of Favors_ (_De Beneficiis_, an elaborate treatise in
seven books). The _Letters_ treat of similar subjects in a somewhat
less formal way. These works show that Seneca had studied with great
diligence the works of previous writers on such subjects, especially
those of the Stoics, though the writings of Epicureans had been by no
means neglected. The moral teaching is, in the main, sound and wise,
but there is little originality of thought. The style is vigorous
and effective, though artificial and rhetorical; but these latter
qualities were so natural to Seneca, in common with other writers of
his day, that they do not detract from the sincerity of the sentiments
expressed. Seneca is the most complete exponent of the Stoic philosophy
as it developed at Rome. He is not so much a speculative thinker as a
giver of practical advice for the conduct of life. Like most, if not
all, the Roman Stoics, he is a preacher and teacher; and as such he is
of the highest interest and importance. His works were much read in
his own time and in the years immediately following, though Quintilian
and others who wished to revive the Latin of Cicero found fault with
their style. Their popularity continued unabated for centuries, and
their high moral tone led to the belief that Seneca was a Christian.
This belief was strengthened by the composition, at a comparatively
early date, of a series of fourteen letters supposed to have been
exchanged between Seneca and the Apostle Paul. These letters are,
however, obviously forgeries, and possess no literary merit. Seneca’s
influence did not die with the death of the ancient civilization, but
has continued even to our own times, and is very marked in the writings
of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

[Sidenote: The Apocolocyntosis.] In the _Apocolocyntosis_ Seneca
appears as a political satirist. The title may be translated
_Pumpkinification_, for the word is made from the Greek _apotheosis_,
with the word for “pumpkin” substituted for the word meaning “god.”
This joke does not, however, appear in the pamphlet itself. The Emperor
Claudius, who had just died, is supposed to arrive at Olympus and claim
admittance among the gods. The gods hold a meeting, at which Augustus
speaks against the admission of Claudius, who is finally sent off to
Hades, where he is met by those whom he has unjustly put to death.
This is the only extant specimen of a complete _Menippean Satire_, a
work written in prose for the most part, but containing also metrical
portions. For that reason it has a certain interest, but its literary
merit is slight. Nor are Seneca’s epigrams of any great importance.
They are merely such verses as any cultivated man of letters like
Seneca can write when the occasion offers.

The age of Seneca produced no great poets, and few whose works have
survived. [Sidenote: Persius.] The earliest of these is Aulus Persius
Flaccus, who was born at Volaterræ, December 4, 34 A. D., and died at
the age of twenty-eight, November 24, 62 A. D. At the age of twelve,
Persius left his native town for Rome, where he attended various
schools, among them that of the grammarian Remmius Palæmon. At the
age of sixteen he attached himself to the Stoic Cornutus and became
an enthusiastic adherent of the Stoic school. He was acquainted with
many of the distinguished men of the time, among them Seneca and the
epic poet Lucan. He was related to Arria, the wife of Pætus Thrasea,
and his intimacy with Thrasea and his family doubtless strengthened
his interest in the Stoic philosophy; for Thrasea was one of the many
noble Romans who found in the Stoic doctrines some moral support amid
the vice and corruption of their degenerate times. Persius belonged to
a family of equestrian rank, and at his death left a large property.
His library he left to Cornutus, who edited his poems, consisting of
six _Satires_. Persius had written some notes of travel and a tragedy
of the kind called _prætexta_, but these were not published. In the
first satire he attacks the literary production of the time, and the
prevailing love of notoriety. This is a real satire, in imitation of
those of Lucilius or, rather, of Horace. In the remaining poems Persius
discourses on subjects drawn from the doctrines of the Stoics. The
second satire treats of prayer, the third of the contradiction between
our conduct and what we know is right, the fourth of self-knowledge;
in the fifth Persius gratefully praises Cornutus, who had trained
him in Stoic philosophy, and passes on to describe true freedom,
which delivers men from the tyranny of the passions; in the sixth
he addresses his friend, the poet Cæsius Bassus, speaks of his own
pleasant life in retirement at Luna, and discusses the true use of this
world’s goods.

[Sidenote: Quality of the poems of Persius.] The poems of Persius
were much admired by his contemporaries, and later generations, even
throughout the Middle Ages, read them and wrote commentaries upon
them. This admiration was due to the moral and ethical contents of
the poems, though the style also no doubt pleased the perverted taste
of the poet’s own times. But neither the contents nor the style
merits admiration. Persius was a young man of little originality, who
expressed in his poems only what he learned from his teachers. The
Stoic doctrines he teaches are trite, even the examples he cites being
derived from books, not from his own experience; and the style has all
the faults of the period. Persius had studied Horace with diligence,
and his poems are full of Horatian words and phrases, but they have
nothing of the grace and charm of Horace. Persius aims at striking
expressions and novelty of form. He therefore avoids as much as
possible all that is natural, employs unusual words in unnatural order,
and succeeds in being obscure without being profound. Few authors have
so undeservedly gained long-enduring reputation.

[Sidenote: Lucan.] A far abler poet was Marcus Annæus Lucanus, the
nephew of Seneca. He was born at Corduba in 39 A. D., but was taken to
Rome when only eight months old. There he was well-educated, especially
in rhetoric, and acquired a reputation as a declaimer in Greek and
Latin. One of his teachers was the philosopher Cornutus, and among his
friends was Persius, whom he admired greatly. He went to Athens to
complete his education, and was called back to Rome by Nero, who made
him one of his circle of friends. In 60 A. D. he wrote a poem in praise
of Nero, which led to his political advancement. But Nero’s favor was
short-lived, either because Lucan was guilty of some impoliteness in
public declaiming, or because Nero was jealous of his reputation as a
poet, and forbade him to write or recite. Lucan joined the conspiracy
of Piso, and was forced to commit suicide, April 30, 65 A. D.

[Sidenote: The Pharsalia.] Lucan wrote several works, chiefly in verse,
but the only, one extant is an epic poem in ten books, entitled _De
Bello Civili_ (_On the Civil War_), ordinarily called _Pharsalia_,
in which he tells the story of the civil war to the time when Cæsar
was besieged at Alexandria. The narrative is prosaic and somewhat
dull, but the tedium is relieved by vivid descriptions and really
eloquent speeches. The chief historical source is Livy, though other
writers seem to have been consulted. Some inaccuracies detract
from the historical value of the poem. The diction is in the main
Virgilian, though it is evident that Lucan had studied Horace and Ovid.
Geographical and mythological lore is sometimes needlessly displayed,
and the author’s rhetorical training and ability are too evident. In
Books I-III Lucan is still friendly to Nero, whom he flatters in Book
I, 33-66, though throughout the entire work Cæsar, the founder of the
empire, is the constant object of the poet’s hostility. In the first
three books Pompey is the hero, and Cato and Brutus are spoken of
with admiration. The opposition to Cæsar does not, however in Lucan’s
case, indicate hostility to the empire and a desire to return to the
republican form of government; in fact, Lucan’s participation in the
conspiracy of Piso, which had for its purpose the overthrow of Nero
and the substitution of a good emperor in his place, shows that he
accepted the imperial form of government as the only one possible. As a
specimen of Lucan’s spirit, and of the speeches which lend brilliancy
to his pages, we may take the address of Cato to the Roman soldiers of
Pompey’s army in Egypt after Pompey’s death, when the army was on the
point of joining Cæsar:

    So for no higher cause you waged your wars?
    You, too, youths, fought for masters, and you were
    No Roman force, but only Pompey’s band?
    Since not for royalty you’re toiling now,
    Since for yourselves, not for your leaders’ gain
    You live and die, since not for any man
    You seek to gain the world, since now for you
    ’Tis safe to conquer, you shrink back from wars,
    And seek a yoke to press your empty necks,
    And know not how to live without a king!
    Yet now you have a cause worth risk for men.
    Your blood could be for Pompey shed in streams,
    And do you now refuse your country’s call
    For lives and swords when liberty is nigh?
    Of three lords Fortune now has left but one.
    O shame! The royal palace of the Nile
    And Parthian soldier’s bow have more than you
    Upheld the Roman laws. Go now, despise
    The merit Ptolemy by arms has won!
    Degenerate soldiers! Who will think that e’er
    Your hands were red with any battle’s blood?
    He will believe you quickly turned your backs
    In flight before him; he will think that you
    Fled first from dire Philippi’s Thracian field.
    So go in safety! You have saved your lives,
    In Cæsar’s judgment, not subdued by arms,
    Nor yet by siege. O base, unmanly slaves!
    Your former master dead, go to his heir!
    Why will you not earn more than life and more
    Than pardon? Let great Pompey’s wretched wife
    And let Metellus’ offspring o’er the waves
    Be borne in chains; take captive Pompey’s sons;
    Let Ptolemy’s deserts be less than yours!
    My own head, too, whoever brings and gives
    The hateful tyrant, reaps no mean reward.
    Those men will know by my head’s price that they
    Served no mean standard when they followed mine.
    Then come, and by great slaughter gain deserts.
    Mere flight is a base crime.[94]

Lucan is certainly the chief poet of the time of Nero. [Sidenote:
Calpurnius.] Less important is Titus Calpurnius Siculus, the author
of seven _Eclogues_ in imitation of Virgil and Theocritus. Formerly
eleven eclogues were attributed to him, but it is now evident that he
was the author of only seven, the remainder being probably the work
of Nemesianus, who lived in the first half of the third century. The
_Eclogues_ of Calpurnius are close imitations of those of Virgil, but
are far inferior to their prototypes. They are attractive, but so much
less attractive than Virgil’s _Eclogues_ that they are little read. A
poem _In Praise of Piso_ (_De Laude Pisonis_) is attributed with great
probability to Calpurnius. The Piso whose praise is sung is without
doubt Calpurnius Piso, the rich and influential man who headed the
conspiracy against Nero and committed suicide in 65 A. D. This poem
is full of imitations of Virgil, Ovid, and Horace. [Sidenote: Other
poems.] The poem entitled _Ætna_ (see p. 141) and many of the anonymous
poems preserved in manuscripts, some of which are not without merit,
are to be ascribed to this period. The _prætexta_ entitled _Octavia_,
preserved among Seneca’s tragedies, undoubtedly belongs to a slightly
later time, as Seneca and Nero appear in it. So far as its style is
concerned, it might almost be by Seneca, though the rhetoric displayed
is somewhat less effective than that of Seneca’s tragedies. The play
is interesting, chiefly because it is the only extant play of its
class. Only a few unimportant fragments remain of the tragedies by the
distinguished general, Publius Pomponius Secundus.

[Sidenote: Petronius.] A work of unique interest is the novel by
Petronius. This author is without much doubt identical with the Gaius
Petronius, who was proconsul of Bithynia and afterwards consul, whom
Nero admitted to his friendship and regarded as the _arbiter elegantiæ_
or judge of good taste, but who was accused by Tigellinus in 66 A. D.,
and committed suicide to avoid execution. The novel, known as _Satiræ_,
originally consisted of some twenty books, and contained an account
of the adventures of a Greek freedman, Encolpius, as told by himself.
The adventures were strung together with no plot, except as the wrath
of the god Priapus (a parody of the wrath of Poseidon in Homer’s
_Odyssey_) may have served as a plot to some extent. The extant parts
are from the fifteenth and sixteenth books. The form is that of a
Menippean Satire, prose and verse in combination, but the longer parts
are exclusively in prose.

[Sidenote: Trimalchio’s banquet.] The chief of these is the _Cena
Trimalchionis_ (_Trimalchio’s Banquet_), the description of an
elaborate entertainment given by a rich and purse-proud freedman,
Trimalchio. The scene of the banquet is laid at Cumæ, or Puteoli. The
house is large and full of costly things, but shows utter lack of
taste. Trimalchio himself is a fat old fellow, who comes to the dinner
after all the guests have been seated for some time. He informs them
that it was inconvenient for him to come, but that he did not wish to
disappoint them. At first he plays checkers with an attendant, but
presently takes part in the feast and the conversation. The first
course brought in is a wooden fowl sitting on eggs, which prove to be
made of paste, and to contain finely seasoned birds. When a silver
dish falls on the floor, Trimalchio orders it to be swept up with
the rubbish. Another course consists of a great boar, out of which,
when it is cut open by a slave in hunting costume, fly live thrushes.
Again a roast pig is cut open, and sausages of all kinds fall out. The
entertainment has other than gastronomical surprises, for a troupe of
Homeric actors appear and perform scenes of the Trojan War, speaking
in Greek. At the end of their performance a boiled calf is brought in,
and the actor who takes the part of Ajax hacks it with his sword in
imitation of the attack made by Ajax in his madness upon the cattle
at Troy, and offers the astonished guests pieces of meat on his sword
point. Acrobats also come in, and when one of them falls from a ladder
upon Trimalchio, he is at once freed from slavery, lest it be said
that so great a man as Trimalchio was injured by a slave. Presently
the ceiling rolls apart, and a great hoop is let down, upon which are
jars of perfumes as keepsakes for the guests. All these astonishing
performances are made more amusing by the naive pride of Trimalchio,
who prates much of his great wealth, and exhibits his ignorance by
trying to make a show of learning. One of the guests tells a ghost
story and another a tale of an adventure with a werewolf. Further
excitement is caused by a fight between a fat little dog brought
by Trimalchio’s friend, the stone-cutter Habinnas, and a large dog
belonging to Trimalchio. The slaves then take part in the banquet,
Trimalchio has his will read, and all weep. After a bath, the company
passes to a second dining-room. Here Trimalchio has a furious quarrel
with his wife, who is jealous of a favorite slave boy. Trimalchio
finally has his grave-clothes brought in, and lies down as if dead,
ordering his horn-blowers to play funereal music. The noise is so
great that the police, thinking something is the matter, break into
the house, whereupon the guests escape. All this, with many more
details of the lavish and tasteless expenditure, the pride of the
vulgar Trimalchio, and the absurd features of the banquet, is described
with much satirical humor. The language of the narrative is refined,
evidently that of a highly cultivated man. Trimalchio, however, and
some of the other characters speak the popular dialect of southern
Italy, which contains many words strange to literary Latin. Their
speech is not without mistakes in grammar, and is full of proverbs,
like the speech of Sancho Panza in _Don Quixote_.

Among the poems contained in the novel, the longest, entitled _De Bello
Civili_ (_On the Civil War_), consists of two hundred and ninety-five
hexameters, in imitation of Lucan, with touches of parody; the next
in length is the _Troiæ Halosis_ (_Capture of Troy_), in sixty-five
senarii, probably a parody of Nero’s poem of the same title. The novel
of Petronius is, in some places, extremely indecent, but is interesting
on account of the specimens of popular speech it contains, and still
more, as the only known example of the satirical novel in Latin. It is,
moreover, full of wit and humor, and shows keen observation and much
knowledge of human nature as well as of literature. The loss of the
greater part of the work is greatly to be regretted.

[Sidenote: Quintus Curtius.] The only extant historical work of this
period is the _History of Alexander the Great_ (_De Gestis Alexandri
Magni_), by Quintus Curtius Rufus, of whose personality nothing
is known, but who seems to have written under Claudius. The work
originally consisted of ten books, the first two of which are lost. The
style is modelled upon that of Livy, and is clear and simple for the
most part, though not entirely free from the affectation of elegance
customary at the time. Some of the descriptions and speeches are
exceptionally fine. Curtius is not a critical historian, and follows
Greek authorities selected without much attention to their accuracy.
Of the other historical works of this period nothing remains.
[Sidenote: Memoirs.] The memoirs composed by various more or less
important persons are also lost. Among them may be mentioned those of
the Empress Agrippina and of the generals Gnæus Domitius Corbulo, who
was _consul suffectus_ in 39 A. D., and was put to death by Nero in 86
A. D., and Suetonius Paulinus, who was twice consul, once soon after
42, and again in 66 A. D.

[Sidenote: Columella.] Many scientific treatises were written at
this time, as in the previous period, but two only are extant: the
treatise _On Agriculture_ (_De Re Rustica_), by Lucius Junius Moderatus
Columella, and the _Geography_ (_Chorographia_), by Pomponius Mela.
Columella was born at Gades (Cadiz), and served in the army in Syria.
He possessed land in Italy, and in his work he has the agriculture of
Italy chiefly in mind. The work is divided into twelve books, and is
the most complete ancient treatise on agriculture extant—more complete
than those of Cato and Varro. It is written in a simple and dignified
style, more like the prose of the Augustan period than the artificial
rhetoric of most contemporary writings. In this respect Columella is
a precursor of the classical revival under the Flavian emperors. The
tenth book, on gardening, is written in hexameters, to serve as a fifth
book of Virgil’s _Georgics_, because Virgil had hardly touched upon
this branch of his subject.[95] The entire work is dedicated to Publius
Silvinus, and it was due to a suggestion from him and another friend
that the tenth book was written in verse. Columella’s verse is simple
and classical, but is greatly inferior to that of Virgil, and less
admirable than his prose. [Sidenote: Mela.] Mela, like Columella, was a
Spaniard. His native place was Tingentera. His three books on geography
were written soon after 40 A. D., and form the earliest systematic
treatise on the subject extant. The style is far inferior to that of
Columella, for Mela writes in the affected manner of his times. The
work is enlivened by descriptions of peoples, places, and customs, and
is valuable as a source of information, since it is based upon good

[Sidenote: Various writers.] Historical explanations of five orations
of Cicero by Quintus Asconius Pedianus (about 3-88 A. D.) are preserved
in a fragmentary condition. They show great care and diligence, and
are written in simple classical style. Of other works by Asconius some
fragments are preserved in the commentary of Servius on Virgil. The
works of the orators of this period are all lost, as are the legal
writings of Proculus and Gaius Cassius Longinus (consul in 30 A. D.),
who continued the schools of Labeo and Capito. [Sidenote: Probus.] The
most important grammarian of this time was Marcus Valerius Probus, of
Berytus, to whom Jerome assigns the date 56 A. D. He prepared and
published editions of Terence, Lucretius, Virgil, Horace, and Persius,
paying attention to various readings, punctuation, and the like, and
commenting upon the text. He also wrote grammatical treatises, though
the grammar preserved under his name is not his work. His only extant
works are a list of abbreviations and parts of the commentaries on



    Vespasian, 69-79 A. D.—Titus, 79-81 A. D.—Domitian, 81-96 A.
    D.—Valerius Flaccus, died about 90 A. D.—Silius Italicus,
    25-101 A. D.—Statius, about 40 to about 95 A. D.—The father
    of Statius, about 15-80 A. D.—Saleius Bassus, about 70 A.
    D.—Curiatius Maternus, about 70 A. D.—Martial, about 40 to about
    104 A. D.—Pliny the elder, 23-79 A. D.—Frontinus, prætor 70 A.
    D.—Quintilian, about 35 to about 100 A. D.

[Sidenote: The Flavian emperors.] THE death of Nero was followed by a
year of disorder, in which Galba, Otho, and Vitellius were successively
raised to the highest power, overthrown, and killed. But the terror
which had brooded over Rome in the latter years of Nero’s rule passed
away with the coming of the Flavian emperors. Vespasian (69-79 A. D.)
and Titus (79-81 A. D.) were firm but gentle rulers. Both were chiefly
known as brave soldiers and able generals, but neither was uncultured
or without literary interests. Vespasian wrote memoirs and Titus
composed in 76 A. D. a poem on a comet. Their interest in literature
and intellectual pursuits was, however, exhibited less by their own
productions than in other ways. Vespasian was liberal to poets and
artists; he paid attention to dramatic performances; he caused the
three thousand bronze tablets destroyed in the burning of the capitol
to be replaced by copies; and provided for the payment of rhetors, or
instructors in oratory, by the state, being thus the first to establish
a system of public education. The banishment of philosophers and
astrologers during his reign was due to the reactionary politics of the
philosophers, not to any opposition to philosophy on his part. Domitian
(81-96 A. D.) was a very different character. Before his accession
to the imperial power he exhibited a taste for poetry which led the
writers of the day to flatter him as if he were one of the greatest
of poets; but when he became emperor he relinquished all literary
pursuits. No works by him are mentioned except a poem on the battle
that took place at the capitol in 69 A. D. and a treatise on the care
of the hair, a subject in which he was interested on account of his
baldness. Nevertheless he restored the libraries which had been burned,
and instituted public games in which dramatists, poets, and orators
took part. But his jealousy and cruelty were greater than his literary
interests. Twice, in 89 and 93 A. D., the philosophers and astrologers
were banished from Rome, and though these acts may be excused on the
ground of political expediency, no such excuse can be found for the
cruelty which led him to persecute authors and put them to death on the
flimsiest pretexts. The last years of his reign were a period of terror
for men of letters even more than for his other subjects.

Under Vespasian, the mad terror of the reign of Nero was succeeded
by a period of calm. In literature also greater dignity and better
taste succeeds to the exaggerated rhetoric of the preceding years.
The writers of the Flavian period—the so-called Silver Age of Roman
literature—revert to the manner of the great Augustan writers. Tacitus
alone develops a style of marked originality, and Tacitus is the only
really great writer of this period. The others, foremost among whom are
Quintilian, Statius, and the elder Pliny, show learning and judgment,
but not genius.

[Sidenote: Valerius Flaccus] The earliest poet of the Flavian epoch is
Gaius Valerius Flaccus, whose only known work is an epic poem entitled
_Argonautica_, on the adventures of Jason and his comrades in quest of
the golden fleece. A reference to the capture of Jerusalem by Titus
shows that the earlier part of the poem was written not long after 70
A. D., and the mention of the eruption of Vesuvius proves that it
was not completed until after 79 A. D. The poet died shortly before
90 A. D. Further than this nothing is known of his life. The story of
the Argonautic expedition was told in the _Argonautica_ of the Greek
poet Apollonius Rhodius in the third century B. C., and Valerius
Flaccus imitates Apollonius in his general treatment of the subject,
sometimes even translating his words; but he amplifies some scenes
which Apollonius had treated briefly and adds some new elements to the
tale, while on the other hand he omits much of the superfluous learning
displayed by Apollonius and narrates briefly parts of the story which
the Greek poet had told at greater length. In general, when Valerius
changes the treatment of Apollonius the change is for the better. For
instance, in the Latin poem, when Jason reaches Colchis, he finds Æetes
hard pressed by a hostile army, and receives from him the promise of
the golden fleece in return for his assistance in the war. When the
enemy is defeated Æetes breaks his promise, and Jason is thus justified
in accepting the aid of Medea and her magic arts. Nothing of all this
is to be found in Apollonius, and the Roman poet has made a decided
addition to the plot of the story. Valerius pays more attention to
character painting than Apollonius, and is especially successful in
making the characters of Æetes and Jason stand out in strong relief.
His description of the mental struggles of Medea, torn between her
love for Jason and her duty to her father and her country, is far more
effective than that of Apollonius or even than Virgil’s description of
Dido’s love for Æneas, which is founded upon Apollonius. In diction
Valerius imitates Virgin, though his style is far less simple and clear
than Virgil’s, and in the treatment of many episodes of the poem he
copies Virgil’s treatment of similar themes; the work shows also the
influence of Ovid and of Seneca’s tragedies. In its present condition
the _Argonautica_ breaks off in the eighth book, leaving the tale
incomplete; but whether the remainder of the poem is lost or was never
written can not be determined.

[Sidenote: Silius Italicus.] Silius Italicus, whose whole name was
Tiberius Cattius Silius Italicus, chose for the subject of his epic a
Roman theme, the second Punic War. He was born in 25 A. D. and starved
himself to death on account of an incurable disease in 101 A. D. He is
said to have been an informer (_delator_) under Nero, but rose to the
consulship in 68 A. D., and was afterwards governor of Asia under
Vespasian. The latter part of his life was spent in honorable
retirement in Campania. Here he devoted himself to literature and
wrote the seventeen books of the _Punica_, in which he tells the story
of the second Punic War to the decisive battle of Zama, in 202 B. C.
His historical information is derived from Livy, and is therefore
correct in all essential matters. The events of the war are described
in chronological order. The style is an imitation of Homer and Virgil,
and the imitation extends to more than mere style, for the traditional
epic machinery of gods, prophecies, heroes, and the like, is employed
as freely as if the second Punic War were as mythical as the
adventures of Æneas. So Juno strives to give Hannibal the victory,
while Venus aids the Romans. The sea-god Proteus foretells the course
of the war to a Carthaginian fleet, and Hannibal, with his crested
helmet, his sword, and his spear “fatal to thousands,” rages about the
walls of Saguntum like Achilles at the siege of Troy. In short,
Silius, having no poetic inspiration or imagination of his own, uses
in his account of the Punic War the methods which had been
appropriately applied to the myths of earlier days by Homer and
Virgil. As a result, the _Punica_, though written in good hexameters,
is hopelessly dull and uninteresting. The so-called _Homerus Latinus_,
or _Ilias Latina_, an epitome of the _Iliad_ in one thousand and
seventy hexameters, is attributed to the earlier years of Silius
Italicus. It attained considerable popularity, but is a work of little

[Sidenote: Statius.] The most eminent poet of this period was Publius
Papinius Statius. He was born at Naples, probably about 40 A. D., but
spent most of his life at Rome, though he returned to Naples, probably
in 94 A. D. The last date to which reference is made in his poems is
95 A. D. His father was of a distinguished but not wealthy family, and
attained some distinction as a poet and teacher, first at Naples, and
later at Rome, where Domitian was among his pupils. He had intended to
write a poem on the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A. D., but was prevented
by death, which must therefore have come upon him about 80 A. D. From
him Statius received his early education and his first impulse toward
poetry. Statius won prizes for poetry at the _Augustalia_ at Naples,
and at Alba, but failed to win a prize at the _Capitolia_ in Rome. This
was probably in 94 A. D., and his retirement to Naples may have been
due to his disappointment. He was married to a widow named Claudia, who
had a daughter by her former husband; but Statius had no children of
his own. Domitian regarded him with favor, gave him a supply of running
water for his country house at Alba, and invited him to his table.
These few details of his life are derived from his poems, chiefly from
a poem in honor of his father’s memory, which is published as the third
in the fifth book of the _Silvæ_.

[Sidenote: Works of Statius.] The chief work of Statius is the
_Thebais_, an epic poem in twelve books, the subject of which is the
strife between the two sons of Œdipus, Eteocles and Polynices, and the
legendary history of Thebes to the death of Creon. This work occupied
the poet for twelve years, probably about 80-92 A. D. His other
extant works are the _Silvæ_, a collection of shorter poems on various
subjects, divided into five books, and the _Achilleis_. None of the
poems contained in the _Silvæ_ appears to have been written before
91 or 92 A. D., and the fifth book, which has no preface and which
contains some incomplete poems, was probably published after the poet’s
death. The _Achilleis_ was to be an account of the life of Achilles,
embracing the story of the Trojan War, but it breaks off in the second
book, before Achilles reaches Troy. The only lost works of Statius to
which any reference exists are a pantomime entitled _Agave_, and an
epic on Domitian’s German war; but the latter work was probably never

[Sidenote: The Thebais.] Statius was an ardent admirer of Virgil,
and the _Thebais_ is an elaborate imitation of the _Æneid_. Not only
Virgil’s language is imitated, but the division of the poem into twelve
books, the general chronological sequence of events, the arrangement
by which the scenes of combat begin with the seventh book, and the
treatment of many individual scenes are adopted from the _Æneid_. The
subject of the _Thebais_ had been treated by many previous poets, and
Statius could find the story in various mythological handbooks. It is
therefore not certain, though not improbable, that he followed the
version given by Antimachus in his _Thebais_, written in the fifth
century B. C. Statius is not a great epic poet. He lacks the sense of
proportion and has little dramatic power, in spite of the fact that
he evidently aims at dramatic effect. He excels in descriptions and
similes, but devotes far too much space to each; his similes especially
become wearisome. The entire poem lacks the charm of true poetic
inspiration. It is learned and correct, but artificial, imitative,
and tedious. One of the briefest of the powerful descriptions in the
_Thebais_, and one which shows Statius’s liking for what is horrible
and painful, is that of Œdipus, when he hears of the death of his sons
and comes forth to lament over their bodies:

    But when their father heard the tale of crime,
    He rushed from the deep shadows where he dwelt,
    And on the cruel threshold brought to view
    His half-dead form; his hoary locks unkempt
    Were vile with ancient filth, and stiff with gore
    The hair that veiled his Fury-driven head;
    His mouth and cheeks were sunken deep, and clots
    Of blood were remnants of his torn-out eyes.[96]

[Sidenote: The Achilleis and the Silvæ.] The _Achilleis_ has much the
same good and bad qualities as the _Thebais_, and is less wearisome
only because it is less long. In the _Silvæ_ Statius shows to better
advantage. These occasional poems were evidently written for the most
part in haste. In fact Statius says in his preface to the first book
that none of the poems contained in it occupied him more than two days,
and one of these poems contains 277 lines. The poems were written
chiefly to please some noble or wealthy patron, and the subjects
are in many cases trivial, such as a parrot, a fine bath-house, or
a beautiful tree belonging to the person addressed. Such works call
for little poetic fervor, but merely for skill in writing verses, and
that Statius possessed in remarkable measure. Nearly all the poems
are in hexameters, only six, among them one in celebration of Lucan’s
birthday, being in other metres. There is more or less padding in the
poems; invocations of the Muses or of gods take up considerable space,
and mythological allusions are needlessly multiplied; but these things
are excusable in a poet who writes to order to please a patron. Of
all the poems of Statius the most pleasing is one of only nineteen
lines addressed to Sleep, the “youth, most gentle of the gods.” The
wakeful poet begs Sleep to come, but does not ask him to spread all his
wings over his eyes, but merely to touch him with his wand, or pass
lightly over him. The _Thebais_ and the _Achilleis_ attained immediate
popularity, and continued to be much read and admired in the Middle
Ages; but modern times have reversed the former judgment, and such
admiration as is still accorded to Statius is given him on account of
the _Silvæ_.

[Sidenote: Other poets.] The epics of Saleius Bassus and of Statius’s
father, both of whom wrote under Vespasian, have disappeared, as have
the tragedies and orations of Curiatius Maternus, who lived at the same
time. The lyric poet, Arruntius Stella, and the poetess, Sulpicia,
wrote under Domitian, but their works also are lost, for the extant
short poem attributed to Sulpicia is a product of a later time. The
only Flavian poet, besides Valerius Flaccus, Silius Italicus, and
Statius, whose works remain, is Martial.

[Sidenote: Martial.] Marcus Valerius Martialis was born at Bilbilis,
in the northeastern part of Spain, on the first of March, about 40 A.
D. His parents, Fronto and Flacilla, gave him the usual grammatical
and rhetorical education at Bilbilis, or some neighboring town, and
in 64 A. D. he went to Rome, where he became a client or hanger-on of
the family of Seneca, and some other important families. He may have
practised law for a time, but lived chiefly from the bounty of his
patrons. The _ius trium liberorum_ granted him by Titus, was ratified
by Domitian. He received the title of tribune, which carried with it
equestrian rank. He owned a small country estate near Nomemtum, perhaps
a gift from Argentaria Polla, Lucan’s widow; and at one time he had
a house of his own at Rome and kept some slaves. Still he can never
have been rich, for he complains constantly of poverty. In 98 A. D. he
returned to Spain, and died in his native place not later than 104 A.
D., for the younger Pliny, in a letter written about that date, speaks
of his recent death.

Martial’s poems comprise fourteen books of epigrams, the last two
books of which, consisting of lines intended to accompany _xenia_ and
_apophoreta_, gifts which it was customary to present to friends at the
_Saturnalia_, were not published as books by their author. One book of
_Spectacula_ celebrates the theatrical performances and other shows
in which the Romans delighted; the remaining books are _Epigrammata_,
each book revised and published with an introduction by the author.
The longest poem contains fifty-one lines, the shortest consists of
one hexameter. Most of the poems are in elegiac verse, but many are in
hendecasyllables, and a few other metres occur. Martial is the master
of epigram. His verses are sententious and to the point, often bitter,
not infrequently indecent, but never stilted, dull, or unnatural. In
an age of many imitative poets, Martial was original. This does not
mean that no traces of imitation are to be found in his poems, for his
obligations to Catullus are evident and frankly acknowledged, while
the influence of Virgil, Ovid, and Juvenal is plainly to be seen; but
his pointed wit, his candor, and his sententious brevity are his own.
He has no lofty poetic inspiration, and exhibits no greater height
of character than what is needed to let him see and acknowledge his
own limitations. In spite of the bitterness of many of his verses, he
seems to have been a man of genial nature. He was a friend of Silius
Italicus, Quintilian, the younger Pliny, and Juvenal, but does not
mention Statius by name, though his sneers at epic poets are probably
directed against him. The younger Pliny says of him: “He was a
talented, acute, and spirited man, whose writings are full of wit and
gall, and not less candor.”[97]

Martial is not to be ranked among great poets, but his ability to
express well-defined thoughts in brief, sententious, pointed words, has
made his epigrams the models for all later times. The following lines
commemorate the death of Arria, who, when her husband Pætus was ordered
to kill himself, showed him the way:

    The poniard, with her life-blood dyed,
        When Arria to her Pætus gave,
    “’Twere painless, my beloved,” she cried,
        “If but my death thy life could save.”[98]

Another brief epigram is on some fishes, supposed to be the work of the
great sculptor Phidias:

    These fishes Phidias wrought; with life by him
    They are endowed; add water and they swim.[99]

These lines also refer to a work of art:

    That lizard on the goblet makes thee start.
    Fear not; it lives only by Mentor’s art.[100]

The daily life of Rome is described in the following lines:

    Visits consume the first, the second hour;
    When comes the third, hoarse pleaders show their power;
    At four to business Rome herself betakes;
    At six she goes to sleep, by seven she wakes;
    By nine well breathed from exercise we rest,
    And in the banquet hall the couch is pressed.
    Now, when thy skill, greatest of cooks, has spread
    The ambrosial feast, let Martial’s rhymes be read,
    With mighty hand while Cæsar holds the bowl,
    When drafts of nectar have relaxed his soul.
    Now trifles pass. My giddy Muse would fear
    Jove to approach in morning mood severe.[101]

[Sidenote: Pliny the elder.] Among the many learned writers of this
period the most important is the elder Pliny. Gaius Plinius Secundus
was born at Novum Comum, in northern Italy, in 23 A. D. At an early
age he went to Rome, where he came under the influence of Pomponius
Secundus, whose example may have led him to combine public service with
diligent study and authorship. Pliny’s life was passed in the service
of the state. He was an officer in the cavalry, serving in Germany
and perhaps also in Syria; he was a trusted counsellor and agent of
Vespasian, and held at different times the important post of procurator
or governor in several provinces. His nephew mentions especially his
procuratorship in Spain. These various and important official duties
did not, however, withdraw Pliny’s mind from his studies. When he
was carried in the litter through the streets in the evening, after
his official duties were performed, while he was bathing, and at his
meals, he read or was read to constantly. He believed that no book was
so poor as not to contain something worth recording, and therefore he
took notes of all he read. At his death he left one hundred and sixty
rolls of manuscript notes, closely written on both sides. With all this
reading Pliny was not a mere bookworm, but a practical man of affairs
and an interested observer of men and things about him. His zeal for
knowledge cost him his life; for when the great eruption of Vesuvius
took place, in 79 A. D., Pliny, who was in command of the fleet at
Misenum, went in a war galley to the neighborhood of the volcano to
investigate the strange phenomenon and to aid those in peril, landed,
and finally succumbed to the ashes and noxious gases. The description
of this event is the most interesting of the letters of his nephew, the
younger Pliny.

[Sidenote: The Natural History.] The result of Pliny’s diligence
is seen in his great encyclopædic work, the _Natural History_, in
thirty-seven books. In this he undertakes to describe the whole realm
of nature in a systematic way. The first book consists of a table of
contents with a list of the authors consulted. Then follow in order
the general mathematical and physical description of the universe,
geography and ethnology, anthropology, zoology, botany, and mineralogy.
Under mineralogy the uses of metals and stones are described, and this
leads to a valuable history of painting and sculpture. The _Natural
History_ is written for the most part in a simple, straightforward
style, though with occasional lapses from good taste, but it is not
a great work of literature. Its importance lies in the information
it contains. In the first book, Pliny mentions nearly five hundred
authors from whom his information is derived, but as he also speaks of
one hundred chosen ones whose works he consulted, it is evident that
his authorities fall into two classes. Apparently he really consulted
about one hundred, but recorded in the first book the names of other
writers to whom his real authorities referred. Pliny is almost the only
ancient writer who tries to give much information about the sources
of his knowledge, but it is often difficult, if not impossible, even
in his case to be sure from what source a particular statement is
derived. In general, it is clear that Pliny was a careful worker, and
his statements can, as a rule, be accepted as true. The great work
was ready for publication in 77 A. D. and was sent to Titus with an
interesting preface. But even after this, Pliny continued to add the
results of further reading or observation. His death came upon him
in the midst of his work. [Sidenote: Pliny’s other works.] Pliny was
also the author of several other works, the most important of which
were the _History of the German Wars_, in twenty books, and a history
_From the End of the History of Aufidius Bassus_, in thirty-one books.
Just what period this work embraced is not certain, but the suggestion
that each book treated of one year and that the whole was a history of
the years 41-71 A. D. is not improbable. These works, as well as
Pliny’s lesser writings, are lost, but they served at least to supply
material to Tacitus, who cites the _German Wars_, and to other

[Sidenote: Frontinus. Various writers.] Of the technical writings of
this period only two now exist: the _Stratagems_ (_Strategemata_) and
the treatise on the Roman aqueducts (_De Aquis Urbis Romæ Libri II_),
by Sextius Julius Frontinus, a man of some distinction, who was prætor
in 70 A. D., consul several times, and was appointed _Curator Aquarum_,
or overseer of the water supply of Rome, in 97 A. D. His writings
belong rather to the history of technical studies than to that of
literature. The names of several authors of memoirs of travels, legal
treatises, speeches, histories, and technical writings of various kinds
are known to us, but their works are lost or only partially preserved
as unsatisfactory fragments. The schools of grammar and rhetoric
continued to exist, and many teachers of these subjects enjoyed
considerable reputation. The greatest among them, and the only one
whose work has survived to modern times, is Quintilian, the last, and
in some respects the greatest, of the Spanish writers of Rome.

[Sidenote: Quintilian.] Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was born at
Calagurris, in Spain, about 35 A. D. He was educated at Rome under the
most distinguished teachers of the time, and when his education was
completed returned to his native place. But in 68 A. D., Galba, who had
been governor in Spain before he became emperor, called Quintilian to
Rome. Here he became a teacher of rhetoric, and received a salary from
the imperial treasury. At the same time he was a prominent barrister,
but published only one speech, though others were published without
his authority from shorthand reports. He was a man of great influence,
and was even raised to the consulship by Domitian, who had appointed
him tutor of his grandnephews. After teaching for twenty years he
gave up his school and devoted himself to the composition of his great
work, the _Institutio Oratoria_. This was published about 93 A. D. An
earlier work, _On the Reasons for the Decay of Oratory_ (_De Causis
Corruptæ Eloquentiæ_), is lost. Quintilian’s private life was not free
from trouble. He married at an advanced age, but his wife died when
only eighteen years old, his younger son soon after at the age of five,
and his elder son after a brief interval at the age of nine. When
Quintilian died is not known, but he can hardly have lived long after
100 A. D.

[Sidenote: Institutio Oratoria.] The title _Institutio Oratoria_, given
by Quintilian to his work, designates it as a text-book of oratory. But
it is no mere technical treatise on the art of speaking. Quintilian
was an enthusiastic lover of his profession, and believed that oratory
was the highest expression of human thought and human life. Like Cato,
he demanded that the orator be not merely a good speaker, but also,
and first of all, a good man. He must also have a general literary
education before proceeding to the technical study of oratory.

Owing to this large conception of the qualities of the orator,
Quintilian’s great work became a general and very important treatise
on education. Its arrangement is as follows: the first book treats of
the elements of education and contains many interesting observations
upon family life; the fundamental principles of rhetoric are treated in
the second book, which carries on the discussion of the purposes and
methods of education; the next five books (III-VII) deal exhaustively
with the matter of oratory under the main heads of _invention_ and
_disposition_ or arrangement, and are for the most part strictly
technical; four books (VIII-XI) treat of expression and all that is
included in the word _style_ with a discussion of memorizing and
delivery; and the last book (XII), now that the theory of oratory
is expounded, reverts to the orator himself, and discusses the moral
qualities and the continuous self-discipline which alone can make the
orator great.

The technical part of the _Institutio Oratoria_, is now, since the
study of formal rhetoric is no longer an important part of a liberal
education, of little interest except to those who make a special study
of Roman style and educational theories. Yet even in these books are
many wise utterances of permanent value, such as “the price of a laugh
is too high when it is purchased at the expense of virtue”;[102] or,
“a joke at the expense of the wretched is inhuman”;[103] or, “it is
the spirit and the force of mind that make men eloquent.”[104] Such
remarks, admirably expressed and inserted in fitting places, make the
more technical books of Quintilian’s work even now well worth reading.
But the chief interest for the modern reader lies in those parts of the
work which have less to do with the special training of the orator, and
are more general in their scope—the discussion of elementary education
in the first book, the treatise on the larger and broader education of
mature life in the last book, and the brief critical survey of Greek
and Latin literature in the first chapter of the tenth book.

[Sidenote: The theory of education.] The theory of education as
presented by Quintilian is the result of serious thought. It shows a
breadth of view, a reasonableness, and at the same time a loftiness of
conception that give its author at once an important position among
educational writers. The ethical or moral element in education is
especially emphasized. Quintilian, like many others in his day, felt
that the standard of morals, of literature, and of oratory was lower
than in the days of the republic. But instead of mourning over the
decay of Roman virtue and taste, Quintilian, seeing that the only cure
lay in right education, undertook to show the way to a restoration
of the ancient excellence. Tacitus, in his essay on oratory, mentions
carelessness of parents and bad education as the chief reason for
the decay of eloquence; the same ground had apparently been taken by
Quintilian himself in his lost essay on the _Decay of Oratory_, and in
the _Institutio Oratoria_ the attempt is made to show how deterioration
may be stopped and the old virtue restored. That others besides
Quintilian were seriously interested in reform there is no doubt,
and if their efforts met with little success, it is probably in part
because they tried to restore the excellence of a time that was past
and were unable to regulate the active forces of the present.

[Sidenote: Literary criticism.] As a literary critic Quintilian
exhibits the same sanity that characterizes his educational theory.
Since a knowledge of the best literature is necessary for the orator,
Quintilian passes in review the chief Greek and Latin writers, and it
is interesting to observe that he regards the latter as the equals
of the Greeks. He has decided preferences, and gives to Cicero, whom
he regards as the equal of Demosthenes, the foremost place among the
Romans. Yet he recognizes the merits even of those authors, such as
Seneca, whose style he least admires. In brief and admirably expressive
words he characterizes the style of the chief writers of Greece and
Rome, and his judgment has, in almost every case, remained the judgment
of later ages. It is interesting also to note that the works of nearly
all those writers whom he mentions as the best have been preserved to
our own time, which is an additional proof that the extant works have
been preserved for the most part not by mere chance but on account of
their intrinsic merit. Quintilian’s admiration for Cicero is evident
in his own style. Statius had reverted to the style of Virgil, and
Quintilian goes back to Cicero, discarding the rhetorical excrescences
of Seneca and his school. [Sidenote: Style.] His Latin is classical
and beautiful, sometimes equal to that of Cicero himself. He is the
foremost representative of the classical reaction of his time. But the
reversion to an earlier style, whether in literature or art, has never
been permanent, and Quintilian’s influence, great as it undoubtedly
was, could not stop the course of that change and decay which was in
the end destined to transform the Latin language and bring into being
the Romance tongues of modern times.



    Nerva, 96-98 A. D.—Trajan, 98-117 A. D.—Tacitus, about 55 to
    about 118 A. D.—Juvenal, 55 (?) to about 135 A. D.—Pliny the
    younger, 61 or 62 to 112 or 113 A. D.—Other writers.

[Sidenote: Nerva and Trajan.] Under Nerva (96-98 A. D.) and Trajan
(98-117 A. D.) freedom of speech and literary utterance, which had
been banished under the tyranny of Domitian, were restored. Nerva and
Trajan were educated men. Nothing remains of Nerva’s poems, which led
Martial to call him “the Tibullus of our times,” and Trajan’s history
of the Dacian War is also, unfortunately, lost. Trajan’s replies to
the letters of the younger Pliny show that he could write in a clear,
concise, and business-like manner, but exhibit no further literary
qualities. He paid attention to the education of the young and founded
the Ulpian library, but was not a man of marked literary tastes.
Under Nerva and Trajan literature was allowed to take its own course
without hindrance and also without that imperial patronage which
sometimes stifles free utterance quite as effectually as severity or
intimidation. Nevertheless there was little literary production of any
importance. There were many writers, but most of them have left not
even their names to posterity. The only authors of literary importance
under these emperors are Tacitus, Juvenal, and the younger Pliny.

[Sidenote: Tacitus.] Cornelius Tacitus[105] was born, according to
such evidence as exists, in 55 or 56 A. D. The place of his birth is
not recorded, and nothing certain is known of his family; but his
education, his career, and his marriage to the daughter of Agricola all
combine to indicate that he belonged to a family of some importance.
His marriage took place in 78 A. D., one year after the consulship of
Agricola. Tacitus began his official career under Vespasian, continued
it under Titus, and reached the rank of prætor under Domitian, in 88
A. D. Under Trajan, in 97 A. D., he was appointed _consul suffectus_,
and about 112-116 A. D. he was proconsul of Asia. His death took place
probably not long after 117 A. D. He had a great reputation as a
public speaker, as is evident from the fact that in 97 or 98 A. D. he
delivered the funeral oration over Verginius Rufus, and it was probably
due in great measure to his eloquence that in 100 A. D. he and Pliny
accomplished the conviction of Marius Priscus, proconsul of Africa,
for extortion. It was not without knowledge of public affairs that
Tacitus turned to the writing of history, nor was it without practical
knowledge of oratory that he wrote the dialogue _De Oratoribus_.

[Sidenote: Works of Tacitus. The Dialogus.] The works of Tacitus in
the order of composition are the _Dialogue on Orators_ (_Dialogus de
Oratoribus_), the dramatic date of which is 75 A. D., while the date of
composition is uncertain; the _Germania_, published in 98 A. D.; the
_Agricola_, written early in the reign of Trajan, probably in 98 A. D.;
the _Histories_, written under Trajan, and apparently not completed
much before 110 A. D.; and the _Annals_, published between 115 and
117 A. D. The _Dialogue on Orators_ is an inquiry into the causes of
the decay of oratory. In form it is an imitation of Cicero’s famous
dialogue _De Oratore_, and the style also imitates that of Cicero. In
this respect the dialogue is so unlike the later works of Tacitus that
his authorship has been denied by many scholars. It must, however, be
remembered that this is his earliest work, and that the Ciceronian
style was taught in the school of Quintilian and no doubt in other
schools at Rome, so that an imitation of Cicero was a natural beginning
for a young author. Moreover, there are in the dialogue traces of the
later style of Tacitus, which is distinguished for its epigrammatic
utterances and its frequent use of innuendo. The work may therefore be
unhesitatingly ascribed to Tacitus. It is an interesting and attractive
dialogue, in which the quiet life of the poet is contrasted with the
more active career of the orator before the real subject—the reasons
for the decay of oratory—is discussed. The conclusion is reached
that oratory has declined partly on account of the faulty rhetorical
education in vogue, but still more because the orator no longer has
under the imperial government the influence and power that belonged to
his predecessors in the days of the republic.

[Sidenote: The Agricola.] The _Agricola_ (_De Vita et Moribus Iulii
Agricolæ_) is a biography and panegyric of Gnæus Julius Agricola,
Tacitus’s father-in-law. In the introduction Tacitus gives his reasons
for having written nothing during the reign of Domitian. The passage
deserves to be quoted, not only as a specimen of Tacitus’s style, but
because it places in a clear light his view of the imperial government
in the first century. Throughout the _Histories_ and the _Annals_ his
attitude is the same, and his genius has imposed his view upon all
later times. Under Domitian two eminent Stoics, Arulenus Rusticus and
Herennius Priscus, had been put to death and their works publicly
burned. Tacitus mentions this and then expresses himself as follows:

    They thought forsooth that in that fire the voice of the Roman
    people and the freedom of the senate and the conscience of the
    human race were being consumed, especially since the teachers
    of philosophy had been banished and every good profession
    driven into exile, that nothing honorable might offend them.
    We have indeed given a great proof of our patience; and
    just as the ancient time saw the utmost limit of liberty,
    so we have seen the utmost limit of servitude, when even
    the intercourse of speech and hearing was taken away by the
    inquisitions. And with our speech we should have lost even
    our very memory, if we had been as able to forget as to keep
    silent. Now at last our courage has returned, but although ...
    Trajan is daily adding to the blessedness of the times, ...
    and the state has gained confidence and strength, nevertheless
    by the nature of human weakness remedies are slower than
    diseases; and just as our bodies grow slowly, but are quickly
    destroyed, so you can oppress genius and learning more quickly
    than you can revive them. For the charm of sloth also comes
    over us, and the inactivity we hated at first grows dear at
    last. Throughout fifteen years, a great part of the life of
    man, many have fallen through chance mishaps, and all the most
    energetic ones by the cruelty of the emperor, and a few of us
    are left, so to speak, as survivors not only of the others,
    but even of ourselves, since there have been taken out of our
    lives so many years, in which we who were youths have passed
    to old age and as old men have almost reached the limit of
    life itself without a word.[106]

Agricola was not a great man either in intellect or in force of
character. Moreover, he had lived through the reign of Domitian in
safety by not opposing the will of the tyrant. Naturally it was hard
to write a panegyric on such a man which should interest and please
the public. But Tacitus, by laying the chief stress upon Agricola’s
successful administration in Britain, which is prefaced by an account
of the country and of the previous Roman expeditions thither, made
of his panegyric a genuine bit of history with Agricola, the most
prominent person in it. Thus the reader’s interest is kept alive and
the writer’s purpose accomplished. The work closes with an eloquent and
beautiful apostrophe to Agricola.

When he wrote the _Agricola_, Tacitus was already planning a great
history of his own times, for which he had at least begun to accumulate
materials. [Sidenote: The Germania.] In the _Germania_ (_De Origine
Situ Moribus ac Populis Germaniæ_) the material collected to serve as
introductory to the account of the wars in Germany is published as
a separate work. The little treatise is interesting as the earliest
extant connected account of the country and inhabitants of northern
Europe. A few of the statements contained in it are manifestly
incorrect, but for the most part, what Tacitus tells us agrees with
and supplements what we know from other sources. The essay is a
compilation from various earlier works, among which Pliny’s _History
of the German Wars_ was no doubt the most important, though Tacitus
probably consulted the works of Cæsar, Velleius Paterculus, and others,
besides obtaining information from some of the many Romans who had
served in the army in Germany. There is no indication that Tacitus
was ever in Germany himself. As a literary production the _Germania_
is far inferior to the _Agricola_, though written at about the same
time. In the _Agricola_ Tacitus expresses his own feelings for his
father-in-law, whom he evidently loved and respected, while in the
_Germania_ there is little room for feeling of any sort, and none for
emotion. Yet, with all the difference in literary merit, the two works
show the style of Tacitus at the same stage. There are still some
remnants of Ciceronian smoothness, but these are evidently survivals.
The tendency to use concise, even abbreviated phrases, to add point
to expressions by verbal antithesis or by inversion of order, and to
make his sentences imply more than the words actually express, is
characteristic of Tacitus’s mature style and is evident, though not yet
fully developed, in the _Agricola_ and the _Germania_ alike.

[Sidenote: The great history.] At least as early as 98 A. D. Tacitus
planned to write a history of his own times. His original purpose was
to begin with the accession of Galba and continue in chronological
order. But after completing the history of the period from Galba to
the death of Domitian (68-96 A. D.) he went back to the death of
Augustus, and wrote the history of the time to the accession of Galba
(14-68 A. D.). He intended to write the history of the reigns of Nerva
and Trajan, but never did so. The part of the work first completed,
treating of the events of the author’s own lifetime, is entitled
_Histories_ (_Historiæ_); the part written later, but treating of the
earlier period, is usually called the _Annals_ (_Annales_), though its
proper title is _Ab Excessu Divi Augusti_, in imitation of the title
of Livy’s history, _Ab Urbe Condita_. The two together consisted of
thirty books, of which fourteen belong to the _Histories_ and sixteen
to the _Annals_. Of the _Annals_, the following parts are preserved:
Books I-IV and the beginning of Book V, from the death of Augustus
to the year 29 A. D., Book VI, with the exception of the beginning,
carrying on the story to the death of Tiberius, and Books XI-XVI, from
47-66 A. D., though this long fragment is mutilated at the beginning
and the end. The account of the reign of Caligula is lost, as is that
of the first seven years of the reign of Claudius, and of somewhat more
than two years at the end of the reign of Nero. Of the _Histories_ only
the first four books and part of the fifth remain, and this important
fragment is preserved in only one manuscript. It contains the history
of little more than one year, the memorable year 68-69 A. D., in which
Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, in quick succession, gained the imperial
power and lost their lives, to be followed by Vespasian.

[Sidenote: The Annals.] In the _Annals_, dealing with a period before
his own recollection, Tacitus treats the history of Rome and the
empire as if it were directed by the wishes, the whims, and caprices
of a few individuals. He depicts the character of Tiberius and the
court of Nero in vivid and lurid colors. The court intrigues, the
judicial and private murders, the licentiousness and corruption of
the capital are spread before us with all the power of his brilliant
and incisive style. These things appear as the most important matters
in the history of the time. Modern scholars have, with the aid of
inscriptions, found that the Roman empire was, throughout this period,
ably and peaceably administered by permanent officials, and was little
affected by the terror that reigned in the capital. But for Tacitus,
Rome was the empire. The provinces were in the dim distance and had
in his eyes little historical importance. That his view of history is
narrow and distorted is clear; yet his genius has made it for centuries
the only accepted view of Roman history under the early emperors.
In the _Histories_, dealing with his own times, he sees things more
clearly. The uprising of the Batavians under Civilis and the war in
Palestine are treated with as much detail as the sanguinary struggles
in Rome, though here also the influence of the characters and acts of
individuals upon the irresistible course of history is overrated. This
view of history, which makes events depend too much upon individuals,
joined with a pessimism which sees hidden motives behind even innocent
or indifferent acts, is the great defect of Tacitus as an historian.
His information is carefully collected, though, as a rule, he neglects
all mention of his authorities. In preparing his account of the Jews
in the fifth book of the _Histories_ he relied apparently upon hearsay
and upon other untrustworthy sources of information, without referring
to the Septuagint or to Josephus, but similar carelessness can not be
proved in other parts of his work.

[Sidenote: Style of Tacitus.] His style is impregnated with the words
and phrases of the classical writers, especially of Virgil, and with
the rhetorical teaching of the Silver Age, and yet it is thoroughly
individual. It is concise, sharp, and cutting, but often grandly poetic
in its eloquence; it is apparently straightforward, yet somehow often
reveals a half-hidden meaning; it is carefully elaborated, yet it
affects the reader with rugged earnestness. Such a style is almost
inimitable, whether by writers of Latin or by translators. It has been
compared to that of Carlyle, and the comparison is worth mentioning,
though it should not be pushed too far. Few prose works contain more
epigrammatic sentences than those of Tacitus. Examples are: “Traitors
are hated, even by those whom they advance”;[107] “None grieve more
ostentatiously than those who are most delighted in their hearts”;[108]
“Princes are mortal, the state eternal”;[109] “When the state was most
corrupt the laws were most numerous”;[110] “New men rather than new
measures”;[111] “Vices will exist as long as men”;[112] “Fame does
not always err; sometimes it chooses.”[113] Endowed, as he was, with
striking stylistic ability, writing, in fact, in a style which could
not fail to arouse the interest and hold the attention of his readers,
it is no wonder that Tacitus succeeded in imposing upon the world his
views of history, which can be only partially corrected by the careful
study and interpretation of fragmentary records.

[Sidenote: Juvenal.] Juvenal can hardly be separated from Tacitus.
Both depict the life of Rome in the same lurid light, and the picture
presented by each agrees with that of the other. Juvenal’s diatribes
seem to illustrate the statements of Tacitus, and Tacitus shows that
Juvenal’s violence is justified by the facts. Of Juvenal’s life little
is known. His full name is given in some manuscripts as Decimus Iunius
Iuvenalis. One _vita_ or _life_ gives the date of his birth as 55 A.
D., which may be correct, though there is no especial reason to regard
it as exact. He was born at Aquinum, a town of the Volscians, where
he held the offices of _duumvir quinquennalis_ and of _flamen Divi
Vespasiani_. He was also at one time a military tribune, serving with
the first Dalmatian cohort, perhaps in Britain. This military service
probably belongs to his youth, and the local offices to his later
life. He evidently received a good education, and he appears to have
practised oratory for some years. Martial, who mentions him several
times, speaks of him as eloquent, not as poetic or satirical. The
_lives_ agree in stating that he was banished, but not in regard to the
time or place of his banishment. He came to Rome about 90 A. D., was
still there in 101 A. D., and probably spent part of some of the later
years in the capital. At Rome he lived in the Subura, the plebeian
quarter, but had access to the houses of rich nobles. His satires were
written between 100 and 127 A. D., and he died about 135 A. D.

[Sidenote: The Satires.] Juvenal is the harshest and most violent of
the four great Roman satirists. Lucilius was outspoken and sometimes
bitter, but aimed to correct while he rebuked the follies of his time;
Horace soon lost all bitterness and expressed good-humored raillery;
Persius derived his themes from books and preached Stoic doctrines; but
Juvenal attacks Roman society in fierce and biting verses, shrinking
from no gruesome or indecent detail, showing no humor save of the
grimmest and harshest sort, and with no hope of correcting the evils
he depicts. He has all the variety of phrase of the accomplished
rhetorician, and his lines have a rolling grandeur almost Virgilian. He
shows, indeed, the influence of Virgil more than of any other previous
writer, though traces of Homer, Herodotus, Plato, nearly all the
Roman poets, and among Roman prose writers Cicero, Valerius Maximus,
and Seneca are found in his satires. The violence of his satires is,
however, not directed against his contemporaries. He seems to have in
mind rather the Rome of Domitian than that of Trajan or Hadrian, under
whose rule he wrote. The sixteen satires are divided into five books.
Book I (Satires i-v) not earlier than 100 A. D., and Book II (Satire
vi) not before 116 A. D. These are the most powerful, most violent,
and least agreeable books. Book III (Satires vii-ix) was written about
120, Book IV (Satires x-xii) about 125, and Book V (Satires xiii-xvi)
in 127 A. D. In these three books there is less virulence, but also
less power than in the first two. Old age brought with it a loss at
once of fierceness and of strength.

[Sidenote: Contents of the Satires.] In the first satire, Juvenal gives
his reasons for writing as he does. He is tired of listening to endless
epics, and the corruptions of the time are such that “it is difficult
not to write satire,”[114] and “indignation makes verse.”[115] The
evils to be attacked are enumerated in a series of rapidly sketched
pictures, and the poet declares that “all that men do, their hope,
fear, wrath, pleasure, joys, and gaddings make up the medley of my
book.”[116] And in the following satires the faults of men, the dangers
of the city, the court of Domitian, the pride of wealth, the crimes of
women, the lack of honor paid to intellect, the worthlessness of noble
birth without virtue, unnatural lust, the shortsightedness of human
wishes, the wrong of setting children a bad example, and other striking
features of the life of Rome are vividly presented and ruthlessly
attacked. One of the most interesting satires is the third, in which
the dangers of the city are described. A man who is leaving Rome for a
small country town gives reasons for his departure:

    What should I do at Rome? I can not lie;
    I can not praise a book that’s bad and beg
    A copy of it; I am ignorant
    Of the motions of the stars; I neither will
    Nor can make promise of a father’s death.[117]

The dirty streets, the water dripping from the aqueduct, the risk
from falling tiles or household vessels, the drunken brawls in the
streets, the rich man escorted home by clients and slaves with flaming
torches, the danger from robbers—these and many other details of
the ill regulated capital are set before us. This satire is imitated
by Johnson in his _London_, which has rightly been called one of the
finest modern imitations of an ancient poem, and the same author’s poem
on _The Vanity of Human Wishes_ is a less accurate, though not less
admirable, imitation of Juvenal’s tenth satire. The closing passage of
the tenth satire, in which the poet tells what are the proper objects
of prayer, is a lofty utterance of human wisdom. The most savage of all
the satires is, on the other hand, the sixth, in which the crimes of
women are held up to execration.

It is not easy for the modern reader to enjoy Juvenal. His satires
are full of allusions to unknown persons and things at Rome; they
abound also in mythological references and literary reminiscences, and
finally the savage tone of the earlier books is disagreeable. Yet the
power of invective, the clearness and vividness of description, the
variety of diction, and the beauty of versification have combined to
make Juvenal a much read author. That he is also much quoted is due to
the epigrammatic and pointed form of many of his phrases. _Mens sana
in corpore sano_,[118] _Rara avis_,[119] _Panem et circenses_,[120]
_Hoc volo, sic iubeo_,[121] _Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?_[122]
are among the most familiar Latin quotations, and many other almost
equally familiar expressions are derived from Juvenal. Some of these
are distinguished for their significance quite as much as for their
form. Such are, for instance: “_And for the sake of life give up life’s
only end_”[123] and “_The greatest reverence is due a child._”[124] It
is not without reason that Juvenal has exerted great influence on human

Tacitus and Juvenal resemble each other in their originality and vigor
of thought and expression, their severe judgment of men and manners,
and their pessimism. [Sidenote: Pliny the younger.] The younger Pliny
contrasts with them in all these respects, and his letters give us an
idea of Roman life very different from that which we derive from them.
Gaius Plinius Cæcilius Secundus was the son of Lucius Cæcilius Cilo,
a wealthy nobleman of Comum, but was adopted by will by his uncle,
the elder Pliny. He therefore changed his name, which was originally
Publius Cæcilius Secundus, and took that of his uncle, retaining his
original family name, Cæcilius, only for legal and formal use. He was
born in 61 or 62 A. D., for he was in his eighteenth year when the
eruption of Vesuvius took place, August 24, 79 A. D. Cilo had died
when Pliny was young, and the boy had become the ward of Verginius
Rufus, which fact did not, however, diminish the paternal interest of
his uncle, with whom he was at the time of the eruption. Pliny began
his career as an advocate in 80 or 81 A. D. He held various offices,
was military tribune, quæstor in 89-90 A. D., tribune of the people
in 90-91 A. D., prætor in 93 A. D., was one of the prefects in charge
of the war treasury and also of the general treasury, became consul
in 100 A. D., and succeeded Sextus Julius Frontinus in the college
of augurs in 103 or 104 A. D. He was governor of Pontus and Bithynia
either in 111-112 or 112-113 A. D., and died before 114 A. D., either
in his province or soon after his return to Italy. His life was passed
chiefly in the service of the government, and for the most part at
Rome. He was married three times, but had no children. He was an orator
of some importance, delivering most of his speeches in inheritance
cases, though he was employed five times in important criminal
suits. He recited his speeches before delivering them in public, and
after delivery he published them, sometimes with corrections. He was
interested in poetry, and wrote poems of various kinds, but these, as
well as his speeches, with the exception of his panegyric on Trajan,
are lost.

[Sidenote: Pliny’s letters.] Pliny’s extant works consist of nine books
of letters to various persons, written between 97 and 109 A. D., a
panegyric on the Emperor Trajan, delivered in 100 A. D. when
Pliny was made consul, and seventy-two letters to Trajan, written
between 98 and 106, and from September, 111, to January, 113 A. D.
Trajan’s replies to fifty-one of these letters are published which
exhibit his firm judgment and practical common sense in striking
contrast to Pliny’s indecision and lack of independence. Pliny’s
other letters are more interesting. He describes the scenes in the
Roman courts, the gatherings where the audience was bored by authors
who recited their works, he gives detailed descriptions of his
Laurentine[125] and Tuscan[126] villas, in two letters[127] to Tacitus
he gives an account of the eruption of Vesuvius, his uncle’s death,
and his own feelings. Incidentally he throws much light upon the
social and family life of the time. His own character is also clearly
portrayed. What a young prig he must have been who refused his uncle’s
invitation to accompany him to see, from a nearer point of view, the
great eruption, preferring to spend his time over his books, and who
even continued to make extracts when awakened by the terrible quaking
of the earth—and this at seventeen years of age! His vanity is
beautifully exhibited in another letter to Tacitus,[128] in which he
tells a story to his own credit, and hopes that Tacitus will insert it
in the _Histories_, and in still another,[129] where he says to the
most original and inimitable of all Roman writers since the Augustan
times, “You, such is the similarity of our natures, always seemed to me
most easy to imitate and most to be imitated. Wherefore I am the more
pleased that, if there is any talk about literature, we are mentioned
together, that I occur at once to those who are speaking of you.” Other
qualities appear no less clearly. Vain he was and fond of praise, but
at the same time kind to his slaves, affectionate to his friends,
gentle, and conscientious. He seldom speaks unkindly of any one; and
when he utters a sharp criticism, he almost always avoids mentioning
the name of the person criticized. The love of nature was fashionable
at Rome, and Pliny may be only following the fashion when he writes
of natural scenery, but it is quite as probable that he really felt
its charms. He had a great admiration for Cicero, and it was doubtless
owing, in part, at least, to this admiration that Pliny, like Cicero,
published his letters. There is, however, a great difference between
the two collections. Cicero’s letters were collected and published
by others, whereas Pliny’s were from the beginning intended for
publication and were published at various times by Pliny himself. They
are therefore not unpremeditated utterances, but carefully prepared
writings for the perusal of the public. Nevertheless the epistolary
style is well preserved, though not without some pedantic elegance, and
the letters give us the same insight into Roman life under Trajan as do
those of Cicero into the life of the last years of the republic.

[Sidenote: The Panegyric.] The _Panegyric on Trajan_ was delivered
as the official expression of thanks on the part of Pliny and his
colleague Cornutus Tertullus for their elevation to the consulate.
After the speech was delivered it was revised and enlarged. It is
therefore in its extant form neither a speech nor an historical essay,
but a mixture of the two. After an introduction, Trajan’s acts before
his entrance into Rome are recounted, then his entrance into the city,
and his many political, municipal, and financial measures for the good
of the state. Trajan’s personal qualities are praised in the most
fulsome manner and those of Domitian set forth in the most hateful
light. Then comes an account of Trajan’s second and third consulships,
his care for the provinces, and his judicial acts, with traits of his
private life. The speech or treatise ends with the expression of thanks
from Pliny and his colleague. The _Panegyric_ is not an attractive
production, but it is the chief source of information concerning the
history of the earlier years of Trajan’s rule.

Though not a great man nor a great writer, Pliny was a cultivated
gentleman and a useful citizen. His letters make us acquainted with
Roman life from a side that Tacitus and Juvenal leave practically
untouched. They are therefore not only interesting, but, as historical
documents of great importance. Besides Tacitus, Juvenal, and Pliny,
there are no writers of the time of Trajan who deserve more than
passing mention. [Sidenote: Other writers.] The names of numerous
poets are preserved, chiefly in Pliny’s letters, but their works are
lost, and we have no reason to believe that they merited preservation.
Orators, jurists, and grammarians continued speaking and writing, and
some among them attained eminence, but their works are lost for the
most part, and the technical treatises on grammar which are preserved
possess little interest for the student of literature. The same remark
applies to the treatises on surveying and on the fortification of camps
by Hyginus, on geometry by Balbus, and on surveying by Siculus Flaccus.
The literature of the period between the death of Domitian and the
accession of Hadrian is contained in the works of Tacitus, Juvenal, and



    Hadrian, 117-138 A. D.—Antoninus Pius, 138-161 A. D.—Marcus
    Aurelius, 161-180 A. D.—Commodus, 180-192 A. D.—Septimius
    Severus, 193-211 A. D.—Alexander Severus, 222-235 A. D.—Gordian
    I, 238 A. D.—Gallienus, 260-268 A. D.—Aurelian, 270-275 A.
    D.—Tacitus, 275 A. D.—Suetonius, about 70 or 75 to about
    150 A. D.—Florus, time of Hadrian—Justin, time of Hadrian
    (?)—Liciniauus, time of Antoninus Pius—Ampelius, time of
    Antoninus Pius (?)—Salvius Julianus, time of Hadrian—Sextus
    Pomponius, time of Antoninus Pius—Gaius, about 110-180
    A. D.—Quintus Cervidius Scævola, time of Antoninus and
    M. Aurelius—Papinianus, time of Commodus and Septimius
    Severus—Terentius Scaurus, time of Hadrian—Terentianus Maurus
    and Juba, before 200 A. D.—Aero, about 200 A. D.—Porphyrio,
    about 200 A. D.—Festus, early in the third century.

[Sidenote: Latin literature after Trajan.] It was not until the fourth
century after Christ that a new capital of the Roman empire was founded
at Constantinople; but long before that time the real centre of gravity
of the empire was shifting toward the east. In Asia, Egypt, and Africa,
were the great sources of wealth and the great masses of population.
While Rome was growing from the position of a small Italian town to
that of the ruler of the world, and even for some time after the
establishment of the empire, the Romans had possessed a strong national
feeling, and Roman literature, although it began with imitation of
the works of the Greeks, had been a national literature. But with
the second century a change, which had been in preparation since the
days of Augustus, became apparent. Rome was no longer the centre of
the world in all things, though still the seat of government. Men of
distinction spent at least a great part of their time in the smaller
towns of Italy, and the leaders of thought and creators of literature
no longer found it necessary to take up their residence at Rome. Then
too, the progress of Christianity brought with it a new literature
which was not national, but Christian. These causes, with others
less obvious, but perhaps no less potent, led to the rapid decay of
the national literature. It is our task from this point to trace the
progress of this decay, and at the same time to record the rise of
Christian literature in the Latin language. Works of great literary
importance are few in this period, and the history of literature can be
treated in less detail than heretofore.

[Sidenote: Hadrian.] The Emperor Hadrian (117-138 A. D.) was a man of
singular versatility. He delivered and published speeches and wrote
an autobiography, works on grammar, and even poems. He was equally
familiar with Greek and Latin, and it is probably in part due to
this fact that the literary revival during his rule was less Latin
than Greek. He spent a great part of his time away from Rome, and
wherever he went his path was marked by the erection of buildings for
use and ornament. He lived for three years at Athens, where he added
a new quarter to the ancient city. Greek, which had for centuries
been familiar to the literary men of Rome, became now, more than
ever before, the literary language of the empire. It is hardly to
be wondered at that Latin literature has under Hadrian no greater
representative than Suetonius.

[Sidenote: The Antonines.] Hadrian’s successor, Antoninus Pius
(138-161 A. D.), was no writer, but showed his interest in literary
and intellectual matters by granting salaries and privileges to
philosophers and rhetors. Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A. D.) was carefully
instructed by Greek and Roman teachers. While still a mere boy he was
greatly interested in the Stoic philosophy; but the famous orator
and teacher Fronto (see page 235) obtained such great influence over
him, that for a number of years he devoted himself to rhetoric. The
correspondence of Fronto with Marcus Aurelius shows how great was the
affection that existed between teacher and pupil, and also how petty
were the rhetorical teachings and investigations in which Fronto passed
his life and to which he hoped his pupil would devote his intellect.
Fronto was, however, doomed to disappointment, for when Marcus Aurelius
was in his twenty-fifth year he turned again to philosophy. The
correspondence with Fronto is conducted in Latin similar to Fronto’s
own, plentifully adorned with obsolete expressions taken from writers
of the republican period. The _Thoughts_ of Marcus Aurelius, those
ethical maxims and moral reflections which make the Stoic doctrines
seem so much like Christianity, are written in Greek. That Marcus
Aurelius regarded Greek as the proper language of culture, or at least
of philosophy, is shown by the fact that he established the schools of
philosophy at Athens with regularly salaried professors. Lucius Verus,
the colleague of Marcus Aurelius until 169 A. D., was also a pupil of
Fronto, and in his letters to his teacher shows the same faults of
style exhibited by Marcus Aurelius. He had no influence upon Latin
literature, and Commodus (180-192 A. D.) had no interest in literature
of any sort.

[Sidenote: Later emperors.] Pertinax had literary tastes, but his brief
reign gave him no opportunity to influence the course of the national
literature, while his successor Didius Julianus, who bought the empire
from the prætorian guards, found after sixty-six days of nominal
power that his purchase brought him ruin and death. Septimius Severus
(193-211 A. D.), although his native tongue was probably Punic, was
well educated in Greek and Latin and wrote an autobiography, but there
is no indication that he exercised any marked influence upon Roman
literature. Among the later emperors were few whose literary interests
were strong, and still fewer who appear as authors. In the third
century Alexander Severus (222-235 A. D.) was seriously interested in
Greek and Latin literature and encouraged literary production by all
the means in his power; Gordian I (238 A. D.) wrote a metrical history
of the Antonines in thirty books, besides various other works in prose
and verse, but these are lost, and his brief reign did not enable him
to give imperial encouragement to literature; the poems and speeches
of Gallienus (260-268 A. D.) and the historical writings of Aurelian
(270-275 A. D.) were of little importance. The Emperor Tacitus (275
A. D.) exerted himself to spread abroad the works of his ancestor
the historian, and it may be due to him that those works are in part
preserved. Those among the still later emperors who had literary
interests made their influence felt rather upon Greek than Latin

[Sidenote: Suetonius.] The most important writer in the reign of
Hadrian is Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus. He was born apparently between
70 and 75 A. D. He was a friend of the younger Pliny, who mentions him
in his letters. Pliny obtained for him a military tribuneship, which he
passed on to a relative. Pliny also assisted him in the purchase of a
small estate and encouraged him to publish some of his writings. Under
Hadrian he held a position as secretary, from which he was dismissed in
121 A. D. Of his later life nothing is known, but he probably devoted
himself to his literary labors, and as his works were numerous, we may
assume that he lived to an advanced age.

Only two works of Suetonius are preserved, the first entire, but for a
small part at the beginning, and of the second only a part, and that
much mutilated. [Sidenote: The Lives of the Cæsars.] The _Lives of
the Twelve Cæsars_ (_De Vita Cæsarum_), in eight books, contains the
lives of Julius Cæsar (Book I), Augustus (Book II), Tiberius (Book
III), Caligula (Book IV), Claudius (Book V), Nero (Book VI), Galba,
Otho, Vitellius (Book VII), Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian (Book VIII).
The work is dedicated to Septicius Clarus, to whom Pliny the younger
dedicated his letters, and was published between 119 and 121 A. D., for
Clarus is addressed as _præfectus prætorio_, an office which he held
only during those years. The beginning is lost, for the life of Cæsar
begins at the point when Cæsar was sixteen years old. Suetonius is a
careful and conscientious writer and makes use of various sources of
information, not only published histories and biographies, but also
public documents, autograph letters of the emperors, and apparently
oral tradition. He lacks, however, the critical insight necessary for
a good historian and the understanding of character needed by a good
biographer. He collected his material with impartiality, avoiding
neither what was friendly nor what was hostile to the emperors whose
lives he records, and arranged this material as best he could, with
no apparent endeavor to trace the development of character, or even
to determine in all cases the chronological sequence of events. Dates
are seldom given, and the work as a whole presents rather the material
for history than real history. But this material is interesting, and
the style is simple, straightforward, and clear. Although he wrote at
a time when affectations of style were fashionable, Suetonius had the
good taste to keep himself free from them.

[Sidenote: De Viris Illustribus.] The second work of Suetonius,
entitled _De Viris Illustribus_ (_On Illustrious Men_), was a series
of philosophers, grammarians, and rhetoricians. The section on orators
began with Cicero, that on historians with Sallust. The greater part of
the section on grammarians and rhetoricians is extant, as are the lives
of Terence, Horace, and Lucan from the section on poets, and that of
Pliny the elder from the section on historians. Extracts from other
parts of the work are preserved by Jerome and in the scholia on various
writers. Each section contained a list of the authors discussed, a
brief account of their branch of literature, and short lives of the
authors arranged chronologically. In this work also the style is simple
and clear, but brevity is sought at the expense of literary excellence.

[Sidenote: Other works.] Other works by Suetonius, some of which were
much used by later writers as sources of information, were on Greek
Games, Roman Games, the Roman Year, Critical Marks in Books, Cicero’s
_Republic_, Dress, Imprecations, and Roman Laws and Customs. Some of
theses were doubtless included in a work entitled _Prata_, a sort of
encyclopædia in ten books, which dealt also with philology and natural
science. The works on Greek Games and on Imprecations were apparently
written in Greek, the rest in Latin. Suetonius was not a great writer,
but was a diligent compiler of interesting information. His extant
works are valuable as sources of information rather than as literary
productions, though their freedom from the affectations of the age
entitles their author to some praise even from a literary point of view.

[Sidenote: Florus.] To the time of Hadrian belongs a brief history of
Rome by Annius or Annæus Florus. This is not a mere epitome of Livy,
as it is entitled in one of the manuscripts, but rather a panegyric
on the Roman people. Florus personifies the Roman people, speaks of
its childhood under the rule of the kings, its youth while Rome was
conquering Italy, its manhood from the conquest of Italy to the time
of Augustus, and then instead of going on to tell of its old age, he
says the emperor restored it to youth. Florus writes in a flowery,
rhetorical style, and pays little attention to any part of history
except wars and battles. For these reasons, and also because of its
brevity, the work was a popular text-book in the Middle Ages. This
Florus is probably identical with a poet who is reported to have joked
with Hadrian, and who has left two rather attractive specimens of
verse, one of five lines on spring, the other of twenty-six lines on
the quality of life. A fragment of a discussion of the question whether
Virgil was greater as a poet or as an orator is also preserved under
the name of Florus. If this Florus is still the same person, we learn
from the fragment that he was unsuccessful in competing for a prize
in poetry at Rome, traveled about in many parts of the empire, and
finally settled as a teacher in a provincial town, probably Tarraco
(Tarragona), in the northeast part of Spain.

Historical writing was at a low ebb. Suetonius is far the most
important historian of the second century, and he is made important
rather by the dearth of good historians than by his own merits.
[Sidenote: Other historical writings of the second century.] Florus
hardly deserves the name of historian. Justin’s epitome of Trogus (see
page 164) belongs, perhaps, to the time of Hadrian, and is important
because it has preserved much of the substance of the work of Trogus,
but is in no sense an original history. Under Antoninus Pius a history
of Rome was written by Granius Licinianus, but the extant fragments
show that this was little more than an epitome of Livy. The _Liber
Memorialis_, by Lucius Ampelius, written at about the same time, is a
little handbook of useful knowledge, containing general information
about the earth, the stars, and the winds, followed by a brief sketch
of the history of various nations. It is a mere compilation, possessing
neither historical nor literary value.

[Sidenote: Jurists.] The study of law was, on the other hand, pursued
by many jurists of ability, whose works were much used by those
who gave to Roman law its final form in the reign of Justinian.
Under Hadrian the edicts of the prætors and other magistrates were
collected and codified by Salvius Julianus, a distinguished jurist
of African birth, who attained the position of _præfectus urbi_ and
was twice consul. The _Edictum Perpetuum_, as his work is called,
became henceforth the basis of Roman law. Julianus was also the
author of independent juristic works. Sextus Pomponius, a younger
contemporary of Julianus, wrote among other things a brief history of
Roman jurisprudence, which is incorporated in the digests. Among the
many jurists of the reign of Antoninus Pius, the most important is
Gaius (about 110-180 A. D.), whose introduction to the study of law
(_Institutiones_), clearly written in good and simple language, is for
the most part preserved in the digests, and served as the foundation
of the similar work written at the command of Justinian. The works of
Quintus Cervidius Scævola, who lived under Antoninus Pius and Marcus
Aurelius, were also much used by the writers of the pandects. One of
the most distinguished jurists under Commodus and Septimius Severus was
Papinianus, who was put to death under Caracalla (212 A. D.) because he
was faithful to that emperor’s brother Geta.

[Sidenote: Grammar, literature, and philosophy.] The study of grammar
was diligently pursued in the second century, and with it went the
writing of commentaries on the classical authors. Under Hadrian,
Terentius Scaurus wrote a Latin grammar, part of which is preserved
in an abbreviated form, as well as commentaries on Plautus, Virgil,
and Horace, fragments of which are found in the works of later
commentators. Under the Antonines, rhetoricians and grammarians were
numerous, and discussions of literary and grammatical questions formed
a considerable part of polite conversation. Metrical handbooks were
written by Terentianus Maurus and Juba, Helvius Acro wrote commentaries
on Terence, Horace, and Persius about the end of the second century,
and Pomponius Porphyrio, a grammarian of distinction, whose scholia on
Horace still exist, though not in their original form, wrote probably
at the end of the second or the beginning of the third century. Festus,
who made an epitome of Verrius Flaccus (see page 166) probably lived
but little after this time. Some of the rhetoricians of this period
probably continued to teach as they had themselves been taught, but the
most important among them developed a new school, which will form the
subject of our next chapter. Philosophy had in the second century still
many followers, but there was little literary production in Latin. Dio
Chrysostom, Plutarch, Marcus Aurelius, and Sextus Empiricus wrote in



    Fronto, about 100 to about 175 A. D.—Gellius, born about 125
    A. D.—Apuleius, about 125 to about 200 A. D.—Innovations in
    poetry—The _Pervigilium Veneris_.

[Sidenote: Fronto.] AN important figure in the literature of the
second century was Marcus Cornelius Fronto, of Cirta, in Numidia. He
was born about 100 A. D., studied under the best teachers, and was
distinguished as an orator and teacher even under Hadrian, though his
greatest influence was exerted under the Antonines. He became a member
of the senate under Hadrian, and his speech against the Christians
may have been delivered before that body. In 143 A. D. he was consul,
and was to have been proconsul entrusted with the government of Asia,
but relinquished that office on account of ill health. He was the
teacher of Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Verus, both of whom were much
attached to him, and as was natural under such circumstances, he was
greatly honored and became very wealthy. Of his family life we know
only that he was married, that his daughter Gratia married Gaius
Aufidius Victorinus, and that five daughters were removed by death.
The date of his death is unknown, but it was probably shortly after
175 A. D. Parts of Fronto’s correspondence were discovered in 1815,
and from his letters, we get an idea of his style and his teaching.
The correspondence is with Marcus Aurelius, Lucius Verus, Antoninus
Pius, and others, and several essays are included, which were probably
sent with the letters to Fronto’s correspondents. One of these essays,
the _Principia Historiæ_ compares the Parthian campaigns of Verus and
Trajan to the advantage of Verus. This essay was intended to serve as
an introduction to a history of the deeds of Verus in the Parthian
War, but the history was never written. What gives Fronto’s letters
their chief interest is his teaching in regard to oratory and style.
He considers rhetoric the noblest possible study, and warns Marcus
Aurelius against surrendering to the charms of philosophy, but the
chief end of the study of rhetoric is to acquire new and striking words
and phrases. Fronto apparently despaired of acquiring new ideas or
new points of view, and he saw that Latin literature could not go on
forever merely imitating the writers of the Golden Age, or even those
of the Silver Age. He was too much of a scholar to think of drawing
from the living spring of common every-day speech, and therefore hit
upon the expedient of reverting to the early writers, such as Ennius,
Plautus, Accius, Cato, Sallust, and Gracchus. His language is therefore
full of old-fashioned expressions used without the simplicity that
belongs to the early times. That such a writer as Fronto was highly
respected and exerted a powerful influence upon his contemporaries is a
sign of the depth to which Roman literature had sunk.

[Sidenote: Aulus Gellius.] A much younger man than Fronto, but like
him, a man of books and an admirer of archaic phraseology, was Aulus
Gellius, who was born probably about 125 A. D., studied under various
masters at Rome and at Athens, and held some judicial position at
Rome. His extant work, entitled _Noctes Atticæ_ (_Attic Nights_),
received its title from the fact that it contains the results of the
writer’s labors begun at Athens, when he used to read various authors
and make extracts from them in the night. These extracts, with a
variety of notes and comments, are arranged in twenty books, all of
which are preserved except the eighth, of which we have only the table
of contents, and the end of the twentieth. The subjects treated are
language and literature, law, philosophy and natural history. Gellius
quotes no contemporary authors, but introduces them as speakers, for
parts of his work have the form of dialogues. There is no order in the
arrangement of subjects, but things are put down as Gellius happened
to find them in the works he read. No critical faculty is exhibited,
nor has Gellius any marked literary skill. He is simply a diligent
compiler, whose work is interesting and valuable to us merely because
it preserves fragments of earlier works now lost and information about
a variety of subjects.

[Sidenote: Changes in Latin.] The Latin of the Golden Age was a more
or less artificial language developed by the genius of the great
writers from the common language of every-day life. The Latin of the
Silver Age was a development from the literary Latin of the Golden Age,
not directly from the popular speech. While literary Latin was thus
passing through various phases, the popular speech was also developing
along its own lines, and by the second century after Christ was very
different from the literary Latin of the time as well as from any
Latin, whether spoken or written, of the Ciceronian or earlier times.
It had already entered upon the course of change which was in the end
to lead to the birth of the Romance languages. Fronto, in his desire to
infuse new life into the worn-out literary Latin of his day, went back
to the writers before Cicero and adopted their words and phrases, at
the same time exerting himself to arrange words in unusual order with
the intention of giving piquancy to his expression. His precepts and
example were followed by others, as, for instance, Gellius, and still
more clearly, Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus as they appear in their
letters to their teacher. But Fronto, although he had great influence
for a time, could not turn the stream of progress backward. If literary
Latin was to develop anything new, it must be by adopting something
from the living speech of the people. This course was followed, in a
measure, at least, by Apuleius.

[Sidenote: Apuleius.] Apuleius (the _prænomen_ Lucius is doubtful)
was, like Fronto, an African, though he may have been of Roman
descent. He was born probably about 125 A. D., at Madaura, on the
borders of Numidia and Gætulia. He was educated at Madaura, Carthage,
and Athens, travelled extensively, and was for a time in Rome, where
he was employed as an advocate. He married Æmilia Pudentilla, a
wealthy widow of Oea, in Africa, and was accused by her relatives of
having led her into the marriage by means of magic arts. His defense
against this charge is the extant book _De Magia_ (_On Magic_), also
called the _Apologia_. In its present form the book is a revised
and enlarged edition of the speech in court. Apuleius was evidently
acquitted, and he became a man of great influence and reputation. He
prided himself on his versatility, wrote and spoke both Greek and
Latin, and confined himself to no one branch of literature, but was
orator, poet, scientist, philosopher, and novelist, without, however,
displaying any great originality in any direction. He preferred to
call himself a Platonic philosopher, but his chief activity was that
of a travelling orator, or sophist, who went from place to place
giving public exhibitions of his skill in composing and delivering
interesting speeches on all sorts of subjects. He seems to have spent
most of his life in Africa, and he held the office of priest of the
province (_sacerdos provinciæ_) at Carthage. He was initiated into the
mysteries of Isis and seems to have been one of those who sought in the
mystic worship of foreign deities the satisfaction of their religious
yearnings which the Roman state religion did not give. He seems to have
been opposed to Christianity, though he nowhere mentions it directly.
His great reputation and the number of works ascribed to him would seem
to indicate that he lived to a good age, but the date of his death is

[Sidenote: Works of Apuleius.] The extant works of Apuleius are the
_Metamorphoses_, a novel in eleven books, the _Apologia_, a book on
spirits especially the familiar spirit of Socrates, _De Deo Socratis_,
two books on the doctrines of Plato, _De Dogmate Platonis_, and a
collection of extracts from his speeches entitled _Florida_. The
dialogue _Asclepius_, the treatise _On the World_ (_De Mundo_), and
the treatise published as the third book on Plato’s teachings, are
not by Apuleius. Of these works the most interesting is the novel
entitled _Metamorphoses_, in which are narrated the adventures of
a certain Lucius of Corinth, who was changed by magic into an ass,
and in that form passed through many vicissitudes and saw and heard
many strange things, until he was finally restored to human form by
the aid of the goddess Isis, to whose service he afterwards devoted
himself. This story is derived from a Greek original which appears in
abbreviated form among the writings falsely ascribed to Lucian, under
the title _Lucius_ or _The Ass_. Apuleius amplified his Greek original
by inserting nearly twenty stories that have no connection with the
plot. These are usually introduced in an unskillful way, interrupting
the narrative and destroying the unity of the work, but they are in
themselves the most interesting parts of the whole novel. The longest
and most famous among them is the charming story of Cupid and Psyche,
beautifully rendered by William Morris in his _Earthly Paradise_.
This mystic love tale was derived, like the other tales inserted in
the story of Lucius, from a Greek original. It is not an invention of
Apuleius, but he inserted it in his novel, and thus preserved it to
later times.

[Sidenote: The style of Apuleius.] The style of Apuleius is not the
same in his different works. Everywhere, to be sure, he aims at
striking effect by means of unusual words arranged in peculiar order,
and of sentences curiously broken up into short rhythmical members,
very different in effect from the dignified, sonorous periods of
Cicero and other classical writers. But in the _Metamorphoses_ he
adopts many expressions from the common speech of the people, whereas
in his oratorical and philosophical works he reverts, like Fronto, to
the early writers. Apuleius and Fronto, both Africans, are the chief
representatives of the _elocutio novella_, the new rhetoric, which
broke with the continuous tradition of classical Latin and tried to
infuse new life into Latin literature. Neither Fronto nor Apuleius was
a man of great inventive genius. Both imitated the Greek sophists of
their time, such as Maximus of Tyre and Ælius Aristides, not only in
the subject matter of their discourses, but to some extent in their
style; yet the fact that they wrote and spoke in Latin and tried to
influence the course of Latin literature gives them an importance not
possessed by any of the later Greek sophists except Dio Chrysostom and
Lucian. Apuleius was apparently more gifted by nature than Fronto,
and his works show a surprising ability in the use of language, which
makes up in a measure for the lack of originality in thought. Of his
extant works the _Metamorphoses_ is the most important. It not only
shows the qualities of the _elocutio novella_ more completely than any
other work, but it gives a picture of the life of the times, with its
superstitions, loose morals, robberies, friendships, hospitalities, and
social amenities. Moreover, it has preserved to us many interesting
tales, among them the story of Cupid and Psyche. Owing probably to the
supernatural elements in the _Metamorphoses_ and to the fact that he
had been accused of magical arts, Apuleius came soon after his death to
be regarded as a mighty sorcerer, and as a sorcerer he was associated
with Virgil in mediæval times.

[Sidenote: Innovations in poetry.] While Fronto, Apuleius, and others
were practising the _elocutio novella_ in prose, attempts were made to
introduce innovations in poetry. Terentianus Maurus, who wrote in verse
a handbook on letters, syllables, and metres toward the end of the
second century, mentions _poetæ novelli_, and Diomedes, a grammarian
of the latter part of the fourth century, speaks of _poetæ neoterici_,
to whom he ascribes a variety of innovations. The names of several of
these poets are mentioned, but too little is known of them to awaken
any interest in their personalities. Their innovations seem to have
consisted largely of verbal juggling, a remarkable example of which is
seen in these lines:

    _Nereides freta sic verrentes caerula tranant,
      Flamine confidens ut Notus Icarium.
    Icarium Notus ut confidens flamine, tranant
      Caerula verrentes sic freta Nereides._

Here lines three and four are lines one and two read backward. Other
examples are less elaborate, but show the same spirit, the same
foolish playing with words. From such things as this no new life
could be infused into poetry, and most of the verses preserved to us
from the second and even the third centuries after Christ are little
more than feeble echoes of the distant music of Virgil. Nevertheless
there are already indications of the new mediæval spirit, which was
not to find its full development until the days of the minnesinger
and the troubadours. [Sidenote: The Pervigilium Veneris.] Whether
the _Pervigilium Veneris_ (_Night-watch of Venus_) belongs to the
second century or the third is not certain. At any rate it is the most
striking early example of the romantic sentiment peculiar to mediæval
and modern times. The poem is written for the spring festival of
Venus Genetrix, whose worship was revived and encouraged by Hadrian.
It is therefore probable that it belongs to the second century. It
consists of ninety-three trochaic septenarii (the rhythm of Tennyson’s
_Locksley Hall_), a verse freely used by the early Latin poets, but
hardly to be found in the first century after Christ. At irregular
intervals the refrain:

    _Cras amet qui nunquam amavit, quique amavit cras amet_,[130]

is repeated. In the beginning of the poem,

    _Ver novum; ver iam canorum; vere natus est Iovis;
    Vere concordant amores; vere nubunt alites_,[131]

may well have suggested to Tennyson the lines:

    In the Spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast;
    In the Spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;
    In the Spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove;
    In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.

At the end of the poem the lines:

    _Illa cantat, nos tacemus. Quando ver venit meum?
    Quando fiam ut chelidon et tacere desinam?
    Perdidi Musam tacendo nec me Apollo respicit_,[132]

sound like the wail of the old literature, which no spring was to
awaken to new song. Indeed, the _Pervigilium Veneris_ is almost as
much mediæval as classical. Its quantitative rhythm coincides with the
natural accent of the words, it is full of assonances that suggest
both alliteration and rhyme, its spirit is almost modern in its
sentiment; and even in its grammatical structure, especially in the use
of the preposition _de_, it points forward to the great changes to come.

In prose and verse alike, the second century after Christ was a period
of innovations. The new methods of Fronto and Apuleius did not hold
their own for any great length of time, but they serve as symptoms of
the decay of Latin speech, and may even have hastened that decay by
turning men away from the continued imitation of the classic writers.
The history of classical Roman literature may be said to end with
Suetonius. But something of the old spirit survived even into the
period of the Middle Ages and affected strongly the literature of the
Christian church. For this reason it is well to give a brief sketch of
early Christian literature in Latin, and of the surviving remnants of
pagan literary activity in the third and fourth centuries.



    Minucius Felix, about 160 A. D.—Tertullian, about 160 to about
    230 A. D.—St. Cyprian, about 200-258 A. D.—Commodianus 249 A.
    D.—Arnobius, about 290 A. D.—Lactantius, about 300 A. D.

[Sidenote: The beginning of Christian literature in Latin.] The
Christians are mentioned by Tacitus, the younger Pliny, and Suetonius,
but in such a way as to show that their religion was misunderstood
and their growing importance little appreciated. But as time went
on, Christianity and the Christians became more and more important.
Various means were tried to suppress them, for their belief and their
practises were opposed to the state religion and seemed inimical to the
state itself. Yet the new religion continued to gain in the number and
influence of its converts, and in the second century Christian writings
begin to appear in Latin. The new religion had been founded in the
eastern part of the empire, and its first literary productions were in
Greek, a language which continued for many years to be the chief medium
of expression for Christian thought. No sketch of the development of
Christianity, even in the western part of the empire, could be given
without more than a mere mention of the early Greek Christian writings;
but the development of Christianity is a subject quite outside of the
scope of this book, which is concerned with Christian literature only
in so far as it was written in Latin. Nor is it possible in a book of
this kind to do more than mention briefly the chief Christian writers
and their works, leaving all discussion of their doctrines to the
historians of the church.

[Sidenote: Minucius Felix.] The first Christian writer of Latin is
Marcus Minucius Felix, of whose life nothing is known except that
he was a barrister (_causidicus_) at Rome, that he was a pagan in
early life, and that he became a Christian. His only extant work is a
defense of Christianity entitled _Octavius_, which was written probably
not far from 160 A. D. The introduction tells how Minucius., with
his two friends Octavius and Cæcilius, was walking by the seashore
at Ostia. Cæcilius saluted a statue of Serapis which they happened
to pass, whereupon Octavius rebuked Minucius for letting his friend
remain in ignorance of the true religion. They continue their walk,
but Cæcilius can not let the rebuke of Octavius pass. At last the
three friends sit down, Cæcilius undertakes the defense of the old
religion, Octavius that of the new, and Minucius is to be judge of
their arguments. Cæcilius argues that it is absurd for persons of
little education, such as are most Christians, to think that they can
settle questions which have puzzled the wisest philosophers. The Roman
religion should therefore be retained, especially as the power of the
gods has often been shown. An attack upon the lives and ceremonies
of the Christians follows, which is interesting as a proof of the
ignorance that prevailed in pagan circles. Cæcilius then attacks the
Christian belief in a future life, and ends with a recommendation of
skepticism. His speech is vigorous and even vehement, showing marked
rhetorical training. Octavius in his reply takes up the various points
raised by Cæcilius and replies to them in order. He lays the chief
stress upon the unity of God and the absurdities of pagan polytheism
and philosophy. There is no argument based upon the crucifixion or
the resurrection of Christ, no argument that is strictly Christian.
There is no appeal to faith or to love, but only to reason, and the
arguments are not drawn from the Bible, but from the works of pagan
philosophers, especially Cicero’s _De Natura Deorum_ and Seneca’s
writings, or from the experiences of human life. When Octavius has
finished, Cæcilius declares that he is convinced and the friends

The _Octavius_ is different from other early writings in defense of
Christianity, inasmuch as it bases no argument upon the Bible and
makes no appeal to the emotions. These peculiarities are most easily
explained by the theory that Minucius wrote his treatise as a reply to
a speech of Fronto against Christianity, that he put the substance of
Fronto’s speech into the mouth of Cæcilius, and then, in the person
of Octavius, refuted it point for point. In style Minucius attains at
times an almost classic elegance and simplicity, though he shows the
influence of the rhetorical schools of the Silver Age and is sometimes
needlessly emphatic. He continues the tradition of the classical
school, with no trace of the affectations or innovations of Fronto or
Apuleius. Apart from its interest as the earliest specimen of Christian
writing in Latin, the _Octavius_ deserves to be read as the most
attractive Latin prose after the time of Trajan.

Minucius Felix is known to us by only one short work, in which he
displays conservative literary taste, cultivated imagination, and
ability to conduct an argument calmly and dispassionately. [Sidenote:
Tertullian.] Tertullian, a much more important figure than Minucius in
the history of the church, is known by a great body of writings, in
which the qualities he shows are almost the opposite of those we admire
in Minucius. Yet Tertullian is an interesting and powerful figure in
the history of literature as well as in that of the church. Quintus
Septimius Florens Tertullianus was born at Carthage, probably about 160
A. D., and may have died about 230 A. D. At any rate, the period of his
chief activity was in the reigns of Septimius Severus and Caracalla. In
early life he was a pagan, but was converted to Christianity, possibly
through his wife, who was a Christian. He attained the position of
presbyter in the church. In middle life he became a Montanist—that
is, a follower of Montanus, an enthusiast of Ardaba, in Mysia, who
declared himself the Comforter promised by Christ, claimed prophetic
powers, declared that the end of the world was at hand, and promulgated
a variety of strict doctrines and rules for conduct. The writings
of Tertullian are from beginning to end controversial. Some of them
are in defense of Christianity against the heathen, while others are
directed against those Christian beliefs and practises which he does
not approve. To the second class belong the writings in support of
Montanism, for Tertullian was of such a passionate nature that an
argument in support of any doctrine necessarily becomes an attack upon
those who hold any other views. As the chief advocate of Montanism
in the west, Tertullian softened some of its more obviously absurd
doctrines, but could not modify them so far as to make them acceptable
to the church at large. He was therefore in constant opposition to the
church during the latter part of his life, and at a later time his
writings came to be regarded as heretical. Nevertheless, his works were
much read, and his _Apologeticus_ was even translated into Greek.

[Sidenote: Style of Tertullian.] Tertullian exercised the greatest
influence upon the Latin of the church, for up to his time most
speculative Christian writing had been in Greek, and he was therefore
obliged to invent or adapt the suitable means for the expression of
those thoughts and ideas which were unknown to the pagan writers. He
is justly regarded as the founder of western, as opposed to eastern
or Greek, theology. His style is harsh, inelegant, and sometimes
obscure, but vigorous and animated. His eloquence is that of intense
earnestness rather than of careful training. His vocabulary is not
strictly classic, but contains expressions taken from the popular
speech and from Greek, as well as others which he seems to have
formed for himself. He has been called the Cicero of the church, but
whatever the greatness of his eloquence, it has little resemblance
in quality to that of Cicero. Only in a few orations does Cicero
approach the enthusiastic earnestness of Tertullian, and the polished
beauty of Cicero’s periods is utterly lacking to Tertullian’s rugged
utterance. His style has more resemblance in detail to that of his
fellow-African Apuleius, but shows no evidence of conscious imitation.
He uses short sentences, as a rule, and even his long sentences have
no periodic structure; he strives for effect by means of unnatural
expressions; he delights in antitheses, plays on words, and even
rhymes. His Latin is hard to read, but his originality of thought and
his passionate earnestness of purpose compensate fully for his defects
of style. With Minucius Felix Christian writing in Italy appears as
an attempt to express Christian thoughts, or at least to defend the
Christian religion, with all the elegance of classical Latinity.
Tertullian writes with vigor and enthusiasm, hampered by no classical
traditions. The relative importance of the Italian and African schools
may be judged in a measure by the difference in extent between the
brief treatise of Minucius and Tertullian’s voluminous writings. For
nearly two centuries the style of Tertullian predominates, being only
gradually assimilated to the classical norm, until St. Augustine
fixes the Latin of the church by forming a style in which the African
elements are subordinate.

[Sidenote: Cyprian.] The beginning of this change is seen even in
the writings of Tertullian’s admirer, St. Cyprian. Thascius Cæcilius
Cyprianus was born of pagan parents about 200 A. D. The place of his
birth is unknown, but we are informed that he was an African. He
received a good education and became a teacher of rhetoric. After his
conversion he became a presbyter, and in 248 or 249 A. D. was chosen
bishop of Carthage, not without opposition. From January 21, 250 A.
D., until the beginning of March in the following year, he lived in
concealment to escape the persecution of the Christians under Decius.
His avoidance of martyrdom at this time was severely criticized, but he
defended it on the ground that his life was necessary to the welfare
of the church. In 257 A. D. a new persecution was instituted by the
Emperor Valerian, and Cyprian was banished to Curubis, but afterwards
recalled to Carthage and confined to his gardens. When ordered to
appear before the proconsul at Utica he fled, but returned to his
gardens when the proconsul came to Carthage. He was arrested September
13, 258 A. D., and on the following day was tried, condemned, and
executed. Cyprian’s writings comprise thirteen treatises and eighty-one
letters, among which are several letters manifestly by other authors.
Some of the treatises or tracts are addressed to individuals, and
some of the letters are to all intents and purposes tracts, so that
the division into two classes is not easy to carry out consistently.
His writings are partly in defense of Christianity against paganism,
partly for the encouragement of the Christians in persecution, and
partly on various points of church discipline. His letters are
especially valuable for the light they throw upon church history. His
doctrines are orthodox, and his writings were therefore not open to
the objections urged against those of Tertullian. He was, however,
an ardent admirer of Tertullian, and shows the constant influence of
his teachings. His style is easier and simpler than Tertullian’s,
always clear, and often attractive. Although he lacks Tertullian’s
originality, he excels him in ability to express his thoughts so as to
appeal to the reader.

[Sidenote: Commodianus.] The earliest Christian poet is Commodianus.
Of his life little is known, and the statement that he was born at
Gaza, in Syria, is based upon a somewhat doubtful interpretation of
the title of one of his poems.[133] In early life he was a pagan, but
was converted, and became a bishop. His works consist of a long poem
in defense of Christianity (_Carmen Apologeticum_) and a collection of
eighty short poems called _Instructions_ (_Instructiones per Litteras
Versuum Primas_) so composed that the initial letters of the lines
spell the titles of the poems. The _Carmen Apologeticum_ contains
references which fix its date in 249 A. D. The poems are remarkable for
the earnestness of their Christian feeling and still more for their
metrical peculiarities. The hexameters are divided into halves, and at
the end of each half the rules for quantity are observed, while in the
rest of the verse those rules are disregarded. The lines are not merely
faulty hexameters, but a new and original combination of quantitative
verse and prose. In the _Carmen Apologeticum_ the lines are arranged in
pairs, so that each pair forms a distich. The most remarkable part of
the _Carmen Apologeticum_ is the fantastic description of the end of
the world with which the poem closes. The _Instructiones_ are divided
into two books, the first warning the heathen and the Jews to lay aside
their errors, the second containing advice for the various classes
of Christians. In spite of the dryness of his style Commodianus is
interesting as the earliest Christian poet, and the student of language
finds in his poems many words and constructions taken from the common
speech of the people.

[Sidenote: Arnobius.] Much less interest attaches to the seven books
_Adversus Nationes_ (_Against the Gentiles_) by Arnobius, who wrote
under Diocletian (284-305 A. D.). Jerome says that Arnobius was a
distinguished rhetor at Sicca in Africa, who opposed Christianity for a
long time. When he became converted the bishop demanded a proof of his
faith, whereupon he wrote a work against the heathen and was received
into the church. Whether this report is accurate or not, a work is
extant under the name of Arnobius, entitled _Adversus Nationes_, which
shows by its style that the author had been trained in the practise
of rhetoric. The first two books defend the Christians against
the accusations of their enemies, especially the charge that the
misfortunes of the world were due to the progress of Christianity and
the neglect of the old gods. The five remaining books proceed to show
the absurdities of polytheism and the foolishness of the pagan forms of
worship. Arnobius has little knowledge of the Christian religion and
little originality of thought. The only doctrine peculiar to him is his
theory that the soul is not immortal by nature, but may become immortal
through the grace of God. His style is disfigured by its excessive
vehemence and artificial rhetoric, which shows, however, that the
author was carefully educated. This appears also in his discussion of
pagan philosophy and religion, and indeed the chief interest attaching
to the books _Adversus Nationes_ is their testimony to the manner
in which an educated pagan employed his education in the service of

[Sidenote: Lactantius.] Lactantius (Lucius Cæcilius Firmianus
Lactantius) was a pupil of Arnobius, according to Jerome’s statement,
and was called by Diocletian with the grammarian Flavius to teach Latin
rhetoric at Nicomedia, in Bithynia, a Greek city in which teachers
of Latin found few patrons. Lactantius was therefore poor and had
leisure for writing. When he was converted to Christianity is not
known, but it can not have been before he reached middle life. In his
old age he was called by the Emperor Constantine to be the tutor of
his son Crispus. Nothing remains of writings by Lactantius before his
conversion, but his later works, both prose and verse, are numerous.
The most important are the seven books entitled _Institutiones Divinæ_
(_Divine Institutions_, an exhaustive philosophical work in support of
Christianity against paganism), after which should be mentioned the
treatises _De Opificio Dei_ (_On the Work of God_, a discussion of
creation and the nature of man), _De Ira Dei_ (_On the Wrath of God_,
dealing with the current theories of Providence), a fanatical work
on the deaths of the persecutors from Nero to Galerius (_De Mortibus
Persecutorum_), and a curious poem _On the Phœnix_. The treatise _De
Opificio Dei_ is Christian only in its general tendency, and contains
no direct reference to Christianity. This is probably because it was
written at the time of the persecution under Diocletian (303 A. D.).
The poem _On the Phœnix_ (that fabulous bird that builds a nest,
burns itself up, reappears among the ashes as a worm, grows to an
egg, is hatched, and flies away to renewed life) shows many traces of
Christianity but contains no direct reference to the new religion.
Lactantius was well educated in the learning of the pagans, and when
he became a Christian did not forget what he had learned before. His
style is purer than that of his Christian predecessors, being modelled
upon that of Cicero. For this reason the name “Christian Cicero” has
been applied more appropriately to him than to Tertullian, though in
power of eloquence Tertullian, with all his harshness of style, is the

The second century, which saw the birth of Christian literature in
Latin, produced, as we have seen, several writers of real power, and as
the third century opened, Christian literature gained, in the person of
Lactantius, a writer who possessed at the same time elegance of style.
With Lactantius the African school of Christian writing approaches the
classical style of Minucius Felix, and the path is made straight for
the writings of St. Jerome and St. Augustine. From this time on, the
real life of Latin literature is seen in Christian rather than in pagan



    Terentianus, about 200 A. D.—Quintus Serenus Sammonicus, about
    200 A. D.—Nemesianus, 283 A. D.—Reposianus, toward 300 A.
    D.—Vespa, late in the third century—Hosidius Geta, early in the
    third century—Disticha Catonis—Marius Maximus, about 165-230
    A. D.—Ælius Julius Cordus, about 250 A. D.—The _Historia
    Augusta_—Domitius Ulpianus, killed 228 A. D.—Julius Paulus,
    first half of third century—Cornelius Labeo—Quintus Gargilius
    Martialis—Censorinus, 238 A. D.—Gaius Julius Solinus—Gaius
    Julius Romanus, early third century—Marius Plotius Sacerdos,
    latter part of third century—Aquila Romanus—Ælius Festus
    Aphthonius, end of third century—The panegyrists: Eumenius,
    Nazarius, Mamertinus, Drepanius.

[Sidenote: Pagan poetry of the third century.] While Christian
literature was developing in the third century the pagan literature
dragged on its senile existence. There was little poetry that deserved
the name, though skill in versification was not uncommon. Terentianus
wrote in verse his handbook of metres about the beginning of the
century, and not far from the same time Quintus Serenus Sammonicus
composed a medical handbook containing sixty-three recipes in 1,107
hexameters. He does not pretend to be a physician, but derives his
wisdom, such as it is, from Pliny and other writers. The recipes are
of various kinds, some recommending the use of herbs in a simple and
sensible way, while others prescribe more or less disgusting compounds
of animal matter, and a few are nothing more nor less than magic
charms. So fevers are to be cured by wearing tied to one’s neck a bone
found within the enclosure of a house, and a cure for another fever
is found in a piece of paper inscribed in the proper manner with the
magic formula _abracadabra_, which is to be worn round the neck of
the patient. To the credit of Sammonicus it should be said that his
knowledge of metre is greater than his knowledge of medicine; but even
that does not raise his handbook to the level of poetry. A writer of
much better quality, who even deserves to be called a poet, is Marcus
Aurelius Olympius Nemesianus, who wrote, in the year 283 A. D., a poem
_On Hunting_ (_Cynegetica_), 325 lines of which are preserved, and who
is also the author of four eclogues formerly attributed to Calpurnius
(see page 188). The discussion of dogs, horses, hunting-nets, and the
like in the _Cynegetica_ can hardly be called poetry, but the eclogues,
though written in close imitation of Calpurnius, who was himself an
imitator of Virgil, show some genuine poetic spirit. There is also some
poetic beauty in the poem on the love of Mars and Venus, by Reposianus,
written toward the end of the third century, but not so much can be
said in praise of Vespa’s metrical argument between a baker and a cook
(_Indicium Coci et Pistoris Iudice Vulcano_) as to the relative merits
of their callings, or of the epigrams and “echo verses” of Pentadius.
These last consist of elegiac distichs so written that the first words
of the hexameter are repeated or “echoed” at the end of the pentameter.
Such verse has little relation to poetry, but shows that there was
still an interest felt in the technique of metrical writing. That the
study of the classic writers, especially of Virgil, was diligently
cultivated, is shown by the existence of poems composed entirely of
Virgilian lines and fragments of lines. A remarkable extant specimen of
such work is the short tragedy _Medea_, probably written by Hosidius
Geta, near the beginning of the third century. Several anonymous poems
add little to our admiration for the poets of the third century,
but the so-called _Disticha Catonis_ should be mentioned because
they gained great and long-continued popularity. They are maxims of
every-day wisdom expressed in distichs of two hexameters. Such maxims
are: “Regard it as the first virtue to hold your tongue; he is nearest
God who knows how to keep a wise silence”; or, “Be sure to tell many
of another’s kindness, but keep silence about the kindnesses you have
done to others.” These distichs were soon imitated, and similar maxims
in one line—monostichs—were also written. They are hardly poetry, but
have some interest because of their popular nature.

[Sidenote: Pagan prose in the third century.] The prose of the
third century possesses even less interest than the verse. The only
historians worthy of the name—Dio Cassius and Herodian—wrote in Greek.
Marius Maximus (about 165-230 A. D.) continued Suetonius’s lives of
the emperors from Nerva to Heliogabalus, and about the middle of the
century Ælius Julius Cordus wrote lives of the more obscure emperors.
These works are lost, but, like those of several other writers of this
period, were used by the authors of the so-called _Historia Augusta_,
a collection of lives of the emperors from Hadrian to Numerianus
(117-284 A. D.). These lives were written by six authors, four of
whom, Ælius Spartianus, Julius Capitolinus, Vulcacius Gallicanus, and
Trebellius Pollio, wrote under Diocletian (284-305 A. D.), while the
remaining two, Ælius Lampridius and Flavius Vopiscus, belong to the
early part of the fourth century. They are all alike in the poverty of
their style and their liking for petty personal details. The books on
the _Prætorian Edict_ by Domitius Ulpianus, who was killed in 228 A.
D., and by his younger contemporary, Julius Paulus, as well as other
juristic works of the third century, were important contributions to
the development of Roman law, and the attempt made by Cornelius Labeo
in his lost work on the Roman religion to explain the pagan cult would
probably, if it were preserved, be interesting as an attempt to defend
the old religion against skepticism and Christianity. The extant
parts of the work of Quintus Gargilius Martialis on agriculture,
veterinary medicine, the use of healing herbs, and the like, show that
the whole was a compilation from the works of Pliny the elder and
other writers by a man who had sense and judgment; the treatise _On
Birthdays_ (_De Die Natali_), written in a lively and easy style by a
grammarian Censorinus in 238 A. D., is a compilation from Suetonius,
Varro, and others, of information concerning the birth and life of a
man, astrology, music, and some other matters; and the _Collection of
Things Worth Remembering_ (_Collectanea Rerum Memorabilium_), by Gaius
Julius Solinus, contains valuable information about early Roman history
(to Augustus) and the geography of the ancient world, with especial
attention to oddities and peculiarities, whether of the countries or
their inhabitants; but none of these works is of independent literary
importance. The grammatical writings of Gaius Julius Romanus, who lived
in the first years of the third century, were much used by Charisius
somewhat more than a century later. A grammar (_Ars Grammatica_) in
three books by Marius Plotius Sacerdos, written in the latter part
of the century, is extant, as is also a brief rhetorical treatise by
Aquila Romanus. The four books _On Metres_ by Ælius Festus Aphthonius,
written under Diocletian, are lost, but their contents are in part
preserved by Marius Victorinus. These grammatical works are of
importance chiefly for their references to earlier literature.

None of the prose works just mentioned exhibits any creative talent
or testifies to any new literary development. The only new literary
phenomenon of the period is the rise of a school of oratory in Gaul,
which produced, to be sure, nothing of great importance, but which
shows by its very existence how far removed from Rome were now the
centres of intellectual life, when the great Christian writers were
Africans and the pagan orators were Gauls. The Gallic orators avoided
the harshness and obscurity of the African school, and wrote in smooth
Ciceronian Latin, with a plentiful flow of words and a poor supply of
ideas. [Sidenote: The panegyrists.] A collection of twelve panegyrics
has been preserved, the first of which is Pliny’s address in honor of
Trajan, delivered in 100 A. D., while the remaining eleven are dated
at different times from 291 to 389 A. D. One of these was delivered in
297 A. D. by Eumenius, a teacher of Greek descent, but Gallic birth,
for the benefit of the schools in his native town of Augustodunum
(Autun), and three (perhaps four) of the others are probably by the
same author. Three of the remaining speeches are assigned to known
authors and dates. They are by Nazarius, in honor of Constantine (321
A. D.); by Mamertinus, in honor of Julian (362 A. D.); and by Latinus
Drepanius Pacatus, in honor of Theodosius (389 A. D.). Two of these
orators belong to the second half of the fourth century, but their
speeches resemble the others in the collection, all of which are full
of most exaggerated praise of the emperors. These speeches contain many
references to the history of the times, but must be used with great
care by the historian, since their purpose is to praise the emperors,
and not even historical facts must be allowed to cast a shadow upon the
imperial glory. The Gallic school of oratory was evidently flourishing
in the later years of the third century and the greater part at least
of the fourth. It was a learned school, based upon imitation of the
ancient classics, and standing in no close relation to the living
language of the times. The extant speeches show how thoroughly the
study of the classics was carried on in Gaul, and at the same time how
ready the orators were to flatter emperors who were pleased to listen
to their obsequious praise.

Now that the chief centres of Latin literature are found to be in Gaul
and Africa, not in Rome or even Italy, the history of Roman literature
has apparently reached its end; and yet throughout the fourth century,
yes, even into the sixth century, the stream of old Roman tradition
can be traced, and in the poems of Ausonius and Claudian and the _De
Consolatione Philosophiæ_ of Boëthius classical literature still
survives. It is hard to fix a date for the beginning of the Middle
Ages, and even harder to assign a definite time for the end of
classical Roman literature. The first great independent and original
Christian writings in Latin—those of Tertullian—may be regarded as
the beginning of mediæval literature; but classical Latinity was by
no means yet dead. In fact, in the fourth century, after Constantine
had recognized Christianity as a state religion on an equal footing
with the ancient belief, there was a revival of literature. Christian
writers wrote in the ancient Roman manner, and secular writings by
Christians are not to be distinguished from those of the adherents of
the old religion. The religious writings of the leaders of Christian
thought—St. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan,
St. Jerome and St. Augustine—belong to the history of the church
rather than to that of Roman literature, and can be mentioned here only
in passing, while the writings of many lesser lights of the church must
be altogether neglected. There still remain, however, many works in
which something of the old Roman literary spirit survives, even after
Rome herself has ceased to be the seat of empire.



    Nonius, early in the fourth century—Macrobius, 410 (?) A.
    D.—Martianus Capella, about 400 A. D.—Firmicus Maternus, 354
    (?) A. D.—Marius Victorinus, about 350 A. D.—Ælius Donatus,
    about 350 A. D.—Charisius, about 350 A. D.—Diomedes, about 350
    A. D.—Priscian, about 500 A. D.—Servius, latter part of the
    fourth century—Itineraries—_Notitia_, 354 A. D.—Peutinger
    Tablet—Palladius, about 350 A. D.—Vegetius, about 400 A.
    D.—Aurelius Victor, 360 A. D.—Eutropius, 365 A. D.—Festus, 369
    A. D.—Julius Obsequens, about 360 A. D.—St. Jerome, 331-420
    A. D.—Ammianus Marcellinus, about 330-400 A. D.—Sulpicius Severus,
    early in the fifth century—Orosius, 417 A. D.—Gregorianus, about
    300 A. D.—Hermogenianus, about 330 A. D.—_Codex Theodosianus_,
    438 A. D.—The _Code_ of Justinian, 529 A. D.—The _Pandects_ and
    _Institutes_, 533 A. D.—Symmachus, about 345-405 A. D.—Dictys
    (L. Septimius), second half of the fourth century—Dares, fifth
    century—Hilarius, about 315 to 367 A. D.—Ambrose, about
    340-397 A. D.—Jerome, 331-420 A. D.—Augustine, 354-430 A.
    D.—Optatianus, early in the fourth century—Juvencus, early in
    the fourth century—Avienus, 370 A. D.—The _Querolus_, about
    370 A. D.—Ausonius, about 310 to about 395 A. D.—Prudentius,
    348 to about 410 A. D.—Claudian, 400 A. D.—Namatianus,
    416 A. D.—Avianus, about 400 A. D.—Sedulius, about 450 A.
    D.—Dracontius, end of the fifth century.

The prose writings of the fourth century are, with the exception of
theological treatises, almost all mere compilations or abbreviations of
earlier works. [Sidenote: Nonius. Macrobius. Martianus Capella.] In the
early years of the century Nonius Marcellus, a Peripatetic philosopher
of Thubursicum, in Numidia, wrote for his son a work in twenty books,
_De Compendiosa Doctrina_, in which he discusses many questions
pertaining for the most part to early Latin literature. This work is
modelled on the _Noctes Atticæ_ of Gellius, to which it is vastly
inferior. It is nevertheless of value as our only authority for the
titles of some lost works and even for extracts from them. For similar
reasons the _Saturnalia_, in seven books, by Ambrosius Theodosius
Macrobius, is of some importance. Macrobius, who was probably, like
Nonius, an African, appears to be identical with the Macrobius who was
proconsul of Africa in 410 A. D, The imaginary conversations of which
his _Saturnalia_ consists treat of Roman literature and antiquities,
especially of the poetry of Virgil. Like Gellius and Nonius, Macrobius
uses the works of earlier critics and commentators, and gives many
quotations from Greek and Roman authors. Macrobius also wrote a
commentary on Cicero’s _Dream of Scipio_, in which he quotes many
authors, especially Greeks, but displays little or no originality.
The encyclopædia, in nine books, written about the end of the fourth
century by a third African, Martianus Capella, is of less value than
the compilations of Nonius and Macrobius, though it, too, goes back to
good authorities, such as Varro.

[Sidenote: Philosophy. Grammar.] The chief seat of philosophy in the
fourth century was Athens, and philosophical writings were almost all
in Greek. For the most part they expounded the mystical doctrines of
Neoplatonism.[134] The grammarian Ælius Donatus, who flourished at
Rome about 350 A. D. and was one of the teachers of St. Jerome, wrote
commentaries on Terence and Virgil to which he prefixed the lives of
the two poets from the lost work of Suetonius. The work on Virgil is
lost, and the commentary on Terence contains in its present form many
later additions. The extant grammars (_Ars Grammatica_) of Charisius
and Diomedes, which have preserved much of the learning of earlier
grammarians, belong to a very slightly later time. The last and most
complete ancient grammar was written under the Emperor Anastasius
(491-518 A. D.) at Constantinople in the Latin language by Priscian,
from Cæsarea, in Mauretania. This work, in eighteen books, is entitled
_Institutiones Grammaticæ_, and contains a vast quantity of material
from the earlier literature. Much of the grammatical terminology,
even of the present time, is derived from Priscian. The important
commentary on Virgil by Servius was written in the latter part of the
fourth century, and is preserved in two forms, in one of which numerous
additions have been made to the original work.[135]

[Sidenote: History.] In 360 A. D., Aurelius Victor wrote a short
history of the emperors (_Cæsares_) from the time of Augustus to the
tenth consulship of Constantius and Julian, i. e., to the date of his
writing. He makes free use of Suetonius, and his style is sometimes
an imitation of that of Sallust. A second entirely distinct work
attributed to the same author is a brief epitome of the history of
the emperors to the death of Theodosius I (395 A. D.). Under Valens
(364-378 A. D.) Eutropius wrote a _Breviarium ab Urbe Condita_, a short
sketch of Roman history from the beginning to the year 365 A. D., which
is distinguished for its simple, easy style and pure Latinity, but has
no independent value as an historical work.[136]

Much more important is the _Chronicle_ of St. Jerome (331-420 A. D.),
a translation from the Greek of Eusebius with important additions.
The _Chronicle_ begins with the first year of Abraham (2016 B. C.).
From this point to the Trojan War, Jerome merely translates Eusebius,
from the Trojan War to 325 A. D. he translates Eusebius and adds much
information concerning Roman history and literature, and from 325 to
378 A. D. the work is entirely his own. His information concerning the
history of Roman literature is derived chiefly from Suetonius (_De
Viris Illustribus_) and is of the utmost importance, though the dates
given are sometimes wrong, which is not surprising when one remembers
the carelessness in respect to dates exhibited by Suetonius in his
extant _Lives of the Cæsars_. Jerome’s _Chronicle_ was continued in
the fifth century by Prosper of Aquitania to the year 455 A. D., and
further additions were made after that time. The _Chronicle_ is of
great importance to the historian, but is itself merely the dry bones
of history. The only real history that the last centuries of Roman
literature produced, the only serious and original historical work
after Tacitus, is that of Ammianus Marcellinus; for the summary of
universal history (_Chronicorum Libri II_) written by the Aquitanian
Sulpicius Severus in the early years of the fifth century, and the more
pretentious but no more original history of the world (_Historiarum
Adversus Paganos Libri VII_) by Orosius of Spain, compiled soon after
417 A. D., are even less important than the handbook of Eutropius.

[Sidenote: Ammianus Marcellinus.] Ammianus Marcellinus (about 330-400
A. D.) was a Greek of Antioch, who became a soldier in the Roman army,
served in Asia, in Gaul, and in the Persian campaign of the Emperor
Julian, and was at some time in Egypt, but finally settled at Rome,
where he wrote in Latin a continuation of Tacitus from Nerva to the
death of Valens (96-378 A. D.). The entire work consisted of thirty-one
books, thirteen of which are lost; but the extant books (XIV-XXXI),
treating of the time from 353 to 378 A. D., and dealing with events
in which the author took part, are especially valuable. Ammianus is
an honest soldier, who, to use his own expression, never knowingly
corrupts the truth by silence or falsehood, who has no liking and not
much understanding for court intrigues, but is intent upon giving his
readers a fair and unbiased account of events. His Latin is hard to
understand, partly because he writes it as a foreigner, but still more
because he wishes to write an ornate style and embellishes his work
with many references to the Roman classics, sometimes quoting their
exact words, oftener changing them a little, as if to show his perfect
familiarity with the earlier literature. The geographical digressions
introduced are not original descriptions of what Ammianus had himself
seen, but are taken from Greek or Latin books. Although himself a
pagan, Ammianus shows no hostility to Christianity, but his paganism
is not very serious. He seems to believe that not all men think alike,
and that on the whole it is well for each to believe as he can. His
pictures of the life of the times are admirable, and bring before us
in a clear light the corruption and degeneration of the age. Yet he
does not seem to feel righteous indignation nor to understand that the
greatness of the Roman empire is rapidly passing away. His history ends
with the disastrous defeat of the Romans by the Goths at Hadrianople
and the death of the Emperor Valens; but so accustomed was the world
to the power of the Roman empire that even this terrible reverse was
not recognized as portending the end of the ancient order of things.
For a little while Theodosius was able to maintain the integrity of
the empire, but the end was at hand. It is not unfitting that the
last Roman historian, himself a Greek by birth, ends his work at a
moment when more than ever before the Greek city of Constantinople was
becoming the refuge of what remained of the old Roman civilization.

[Sidenote: Law.] The study of law, which had for centuries been among
the most important pursuits of Roman thinkers, was not neglected in
the last centuries of Roman life. Under Diocletian (284-305 A. D.)
the imperial edicts were codified by Gregorianus, and in the reign of
Constantine (323-337 A. D.) Hermogenianus continued the codification
to his own time. In 438 A. D., under Theodosius II, the _Codex
Theodosianus_ was compiled by a commission of jurists, and in the reign
of Justinian a commission headed by the distinguished jurist, scholar,
and man of affairs Tribonian, gave to Roman law its final form in three
great works: the _Code_, published in 529 A. D., the _Pandects_ or
_Digests_, and the _Institutes_, published in 533 A. D., which have
served as the basis for all later jurisprudence.

[Sidenote: Oratory.] Oratory found its chief field of activity in the
Christian pulpit from the time of Constantine, but was not confined
to the exposition of Christian doctrine. The Gallic school of oratory
continued to flourish, and indeed Gaul was prominent in literature of
all kinds during the fourth and fifth centuries. Among other orators
the most important was Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, a Roman of noble
family and honorable character, whose life extended from about 345
to 405 A. D. His panegyrics on Valentinian I and Gratianus resemble
the other panegyrics of the period, and the fragmentary remains of
later speeches delivered in the senate show no greater ability. More
interesting are his letters, in which he appears as an imitator of the
younger Pliny, and his official reports as prefect of the city.

[Sidenote: Dictys and Dares.] A curious prose version of the story
of the Trojan War was written by Lucius Septimius, apparently in the
second half of the fourth century. This purports to a translation of
an ancient Greek manuscript in Phœnician letters found in the tomb
of a certain Dictys, in Crete. The story of the discovery of the
manuscript is undoubtedly an invention, but the Latin account may be a
translation of a lost Greek original. The style is artificial and full
of antiquated expressions. The author most persistently imitated is
Sallust. A somewhat similar little work belonging to the fifth century
pretends to be a translation by Cornelius Nepos of a Greek account of
the Trojan War given by a Phrygian Dares, who fought among the Trojans.
The style is dry and unattractive, but the little book was much read in
the Middle Ages. These two works serve to give us some idea of the kind
of literature which, alongside of the Greek novels, amused the leisure
hours of cultivated persons.

The contents of the works of the leaders of the church in the fourth
and fifth centuries can hardly be considered in a history of Roman
literature, but inasmuch as their writings show the continued influence
of classical Latin, their style and choice of words should be briefly
mentioned. [Sidenote: Hilarius.] The bitter controversy between the
Arians and the Athanasians produced in the fourth century a great
number of controversial writings, among which those of Hilarius (St.
Hilary), Bishop of Poitiers, are remarkable for depth of philosophical
thought and care in expression. Hilarius was born between 310 and
320 A. D., and was trained in the Gallic school of eloquence. After
his conversion to Christianity he soon became bishop of his native
Poitiers. His opposition to Arianism, which Constantius favored, led
to his banishment, but he was recalled after three years, in 358 A. D.
His death took place in 367 A. D. Besides his controversial writings
he was the author of commentaries on several books of the Old and New
Testaments, and perhaps also of hymns. His style shows in some passages
his early training in the school of wordy and ornate Gallic oratory,
but is chiefly distinguished for its vigor and passion. Hilarius
carried on the work of adapting Latin to the expression of Christian
abstract thought, which had been begun in Africa by Tertullian.

[Sidenote: Ambrosius.] Ambrosius (St. Ambrose), who lived from about
340 to 397 A. D., was probably born in Gaul, where his father was
prefect, but was of Roman, not Gallic blood. After a careful education
he became a barrister, and was soon raised to the consular rank and
made governor of the provinces of Liguria and Æmilia. Thus he came to
Milan, where he was chosen bishop in 374 A. D. He was a man of great
tact as well as firmness, who dared to exclude the Emperor Theodosius
from the church, until he had shown repentance for the massacre at
Thessalonica, and to refuse the request of the Empress Justina that one
of the churches at Milan be set aside for the Arians, but who succeeded
in avoiding any breach with the emperor in spite of his independence.
It was in great part due to St. Ambrose that Italy was kept from
adopting the Arian heresy. His writings comprise letters, dogmatic
treatises, practical treatises on the conduct of life, commentaries on
the Scriptures, funeral orations on Valentinian II and Theodosius, and
hymns. He is also the probable author of a translation of Josephus into
Latin. In his mystic, allegorical interpretations of Scripture St.
Ambrose follows the Jewish-Stoic philosopher Philo, who lived about the
time of Christ, and in his treatise _On Duties_ he imitates Cicero’s
work of the same title. His intimate acquaintance with other works of
the classical period is made evident both by the general quality of his
style, which is purer than that of most of his contemporaries, and by
many special references. His hymns have had great influence upon church
poetry and music.

[Sidenote: Jerome (Hieronymus).] St. Jerome (Hieronymus) was born about
331 A. D., at Stridon, a town on the borders of Dalmatia and Pannonia,
studied at Rome under Donatus, then spent two years at Treves, was
afterwards at Aquileia for some time, then sailed to Syria. Here he was
ill for a time, and solaced himself by reading the classics, until he
was warned by a dream to give up profane literature. He retreated into
the wilderness of Chalcis, where he remained five years. In 362 A. D.
he returned Rome, where he had great influence for many years, but in
386 he retired to a monastery at Bethlehem. There he remained until
his death, in 420 A. D. As a controversial writer St. Jerome had great
influence in settling the doctrines of the Catholic church; he also
wrote commentaries on various books of the Bible, and numerous letters
dealing with religious questions. His translation of the Bible was a
masterly performance, and is the basis of the Latin Vulgate, still in
use in the Roman Catholic church. He compiled a brief work, _De Viris
Illustribus_, in which he gave sketches of the lives of Christian
writers, as Suetonius, in his work of the same title, had given the
lives of the old Roman authors. The sketches given by Jerome are,
however, much briefer than were those of Suetonius. The translation and
continuation of the _Chronicle_ of Eusebius has already been mentioned
(see page 262). St. Jerome is one of the ablest writers of the early
Christian church, and certainly the most learned Christian writer of
his time. His style is not exempt from the faults of exaggeration and
verbal quibbling common in the writings of the age, but possesses much
life and earnestness, and is free from the affectation of classicism,
though it shows the effect of his prolonged study of the classics.

[Sidenote: Augustine] St. Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus) was born in
354 A. D. at Tagaste, in Africa. His father was a pagan, his mother
a Christian, and in his early years Augustine himself accepted the
doctrine of Manicheeism, a sort of mystical materialism, which denied
all authority, and claimed to rest entirely upon reason. He was a
successful teacher of rhetoric in Africa, at Rome, and at Milan,
where he came under the influence of St. Ambrose and was converted.
In 388 A. D. he returned to Africa, became presbyter at Hippo in 392,
and bishop in 395 A. D. His death took place in 430 A. D. His nature
was many sided, and composed of apparently contradictory elements.
He was a mystic speculator, a sharp reasoner, at one time harsh and
uncompromising, at another full of tenderness, an original thinker yet
a believer in authority, dreamer, poet, philosopher, rhetorician, and
quibbler in one. His writings are in part speculations on theology, in
part ponderings on the soul, its nature and its relations to God, and
in part controversial treatises, sermons, commentaries, and letters.
The best known among them are the _Confessions_, in which Augustine
gives many details of his life, and records the doubts that perplexed
him, and the _City of God_ (_De Civitate Dei_), a work of his old
age, in which he contrasts the city (or better, the state) of this
world with the ideal city of God. This work was written in reply to
the pagans, who claimed that the sack of Rome by Alaric was due to
the neglect of the ancient worship. It consists of twenty-two books,
in the first ten of which the “vain opinions adverse to the Christian
religion” are refuted, while the twelve remaining are devoted to a
presentation of Christian truth, though each division contains many
digressions, and in each the part of the subject properly belonging
to the other is treated as occasion demands. In many parts of this
great work reference is made to Cicero’s _De Re Publica_ and other
philosophical writings, and Augustine’s dialogue _Contra Academicos_
is an evident imitation of Cicero’s _Academics_. Yet it can not be
said that Augustine’s style is modelled upon that of Cicero. It is
rather a style which had gradually developed among Christian writers,
in which the periodic structure of the Ciceronian age is abandoned for
the most part, many words unknown to strictly classical Latin have been
introduced, partly from the popular speech and partly by new formation
to express abstract ideas, not a few Biblical phrases are employed,
and some slight changes in syntax are noticeable. This is the Latin of
the church, which has remained nearly as St. Augustine left it, except
in so far as the strictly classical element grew less in the centuries
preceding the Renaissance. For St. Augustine the “state” of this world
still means the Roman empire, though the eternal city had been sacked
by the Goths, but the time seems to him not far distant when the state
of God shall rest in the “stability of its eternal seat.” So his
language is still Latin; but his thoughts and sentiments are Christian,
not Roman. The ancient world was still visible about him, but the life
of the Middle Ages had begun.

The fourth century produced a considerable number of poets who
possessed no mean skill in versification, but whose works have for the
most part disappeared. [Sidenote: Optatianus.] Optatianus (Publilius
Optatianus Porphyrius) composed a poem in praise of Constantine in
which he shows his ingenuity by writing lines that take the shape of
an altar or an organ, contriving to make fifteen successive hexameters
each one letter shorter than its predecessor, making nineteen stanzas
of four lines each from the same twenty words, and inventing the
most complicated and elaborate acrostics and the like. Such work is
not poetry, but it shows skill in the manipulation of words. It is
interesting to know that Constantine was so pleased that he recalled
the ingenious author from banishment. [Sidenote: Juvencus.] About the
same time Juvencus (Gaius Vettius Aquilinus Juvencus) made a version
of the Gospel story in hexameters after the manner of Virgil. He shows
intelligent appreciation of the dignity and beauty of his model, and
writes skillfully and easily. This Latin poem is the prototype of the
“Gospel Harmonies” of the Middle Ages. [Sidenote: Avienus.] Avienus
(Rufus Festus Avienus), of Vulsinii, in Etruria, was a descendant of
the Stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus (see page 177), and was twice
proconsul—in Africa in 366 and in Greece in 371 A. D. He translated
the _Phænomena_ of Aratus into Latin verse, and tried to improve upon
the translations by Cicero and Germanicus (see pages 70 and 173),
made a similar translation with variations from the _Periegesis_ of
Dionysius, described the coasts of the Black Sea, the Caspian, and the
Mediterranean in iambic trimeters, and made abridgments of Livy and
Virgil in the same metre. These last are lost, as is a large part of
the description of the coasts. Avienus was also the author of several
short poems. He has no little ability as a maker of verses, and has
the good taste to imitate Virgil, but exhibits no poetic originality.
His language is for the most part strictly classic. [Sidenote:
Querolus.] To about the same time as Avienus belongs also a curious
comedy entitled _Querolus_ (_The Discontented Man_), a free imitation
of the _Aulularia_ of Plautus, composed in a remarkable mixture of
prose and verse.

[Sidenote: Ausonius.] The only really interesting poet of the fourth
century is, however, Ausonius, whose life extends through nearly
the entire century. Decimus Magnus Ausonius was born at Bordigala
(Bordeaux) about 310 A. D. He became a teacher of rhetoric and oratory,
and was appointed tutor to Gratian, the son of the Emperor Valens.
When Gratian became emperor he rewarded his teacher with public
offices, and raised him in 379 A. D. to the consulate. After Gratian’s
death (383 A. D.) Ausonius retired from public life and devoted himself
to literary pursuits at his native Bordeaux until his death, which took
place not far from 395 A. D. Nearly all his extant writings belong to
this period. The only considerable specimen of his prose extant is the
oration in which he expressed his thanks to Gratian for the consulship.
In this the style, though somewhat flowery, is not without dignity,
and the vocabulary is pretty strictly classic. The extant poems are of
various kinds and in various metres. They include epigrams, idylls,
letters, a series of short poems called _Parentalia_, devoted to
the poet’s relatives, a _Commemoratio Professorum Burdigalensium_,
describing his colleagues at Bordeaux, verses on the Roman emperors,
on famous cities, and a variety of other subjects. Some of these show
cleverness in the use of language, but no higher quality. Such are the
letters written partly in Greek and partly in Latin, and the idylls so
composed that the last word of each line is a monosyllable; but among
the poems are some of considerable interest even though their poetic
qualities are not of the highest. So the _Parentalia_ and the verses on
the Bordeaux professors give the reader some insight into the life of
an important provincial city. It is interesting, too, to observe that
of the seventeen cities mentioned in the _List of Famous Cities_ five
are in Gaul. To be sure, Ausonius was himself a Gaul, and may have made
his native region unduly prominent, but other evidence, including the
remains of ancient buildings, supports his estimate of the importance
of the Gallic cities. His lines on Bordeaux, famous for its wine, its
culture, its fertile soil, great rivers, copious water supply, and fine
buildings, show his patriotism and his skill in descriptive writing.
The latter quality is conspicuous in the most famous of his idylls,
the one entitled _Mosella_, in which Ausonius describes the stream and
the valley of the Moselle, which he had visited on some business not
further specified. The vine-clad hills and grassy meadow lands, the
roofs of villas that stand upon the banks, the broad, clear river,
calm and placid as a lake, are all brought before our eyes with clear,
well-chosen words and a masterly lightness of touch. At the same time
the poet’s love of nature and her beauties is as plainly manifest
as in any poem of Wordsworth or Whittier. Unfortunately, Ausonius
proceeds to mention all the different kinds of fish in the Moselle,
and the remarkable productivity of the river does not add to the
attractiveness of the poem. Yet the poem is deservedly famous for its
beauty of expression and its enthusiastic love of nature. It is also
remarkably modern in its tone. Satyrs and Naiads are mentioned, but
only as a modern poet might mention them. Ausonius is a Christian, and
for him the pagan deities of the woods are only beings which he “might
imagine.” This poem shows as clearly as the _Pervigilium Veneris_,
though in a different way, that the spirit of the Middle Ages was awake.

Ausonius was a Christian, but his poems have no specifically Christian
contents. [Sidenote: Ausonius.] The most important specifically
Christian poet of the fourth century is Aurelius Prudentius Clemens,
who was born in Spain, at or near Saragossa, in 348 A. D., studied and
practised oratory, and held important offices. His life was apparently
passed for the most part in Spain, but at one time he held a position
at the imperial court of Theodosius. The date of his death is probably
about 410 A. D. Prudentius, like Ausonius, employs hexameters and
various other classic metres, in which he departs occasionally, but
not often, from the rules of quantitative verse. His poems, both epic
and lyric, are religious and inspired by earnest faith and genuine
enthusiasm. He excels in narrative and description, in wealth and
brilliancy of language, but lacks the virtue of simplicity. His poetry
was intended to appeal to educated readers, not to the people, and the
cultured classes of the time were only too thoroughly accustomed to an
artificial style. Yet, in spite of his faults of style, Prudentius is
the most important Christian poet of the fourth century, and among the
other poets of the time none equal him except Ausonius and Claudian.

[Sidenote: Claudian.] Claudius Claudianus, the last important Roman
poet, was, like Livius Andronicus, with whom Roman poetry began,
a Greek by birth. He was born in Asia Minor, but lived so long at
Alexandria that he called that centre of learning his fatherland
(_patria_). In 395 A. D. he went to Rome, where he was attached to the
court of Honorius, from whom he received the rank of patrician and
the honor of a statue in the Forum of Trajan. He remained at Rome,
or rather at Milan, until 404 A. D., but about that time returned to
Alexandria, and married a noble woman of the place, being aided in his
suit by Serena, niece and adopted daughter of the Emperor Theodosius
and wife of Stilicho. Claudian’s poems all appear to have been written
from 395 to 404 A. D., and throughout this period he is the faithful
follower and enthusiastic admirer of Stilicho, Whether Stilicho’s death
in 408 A. D. relegated Claudian to obscurity, or the poet himself
died at about the same time as his patron, can not now be determined.
Claudian’s works comprise epic poems on the important events of his
times, such as the Gothic war and the war against Gildo, mythological
epics, and shorter miscellaneous poems. Among the historical epics
are included poems in praise of Honorius and other patrons of the
poet, as well as metrical attacks upon Rufinus and Eutropius. The only
remains of his mythological epics are three books of a poem, on the
_Rape of Proserpine_, and somewhat more than one hundred lines of a
_Gigantomachia_. In these poems Claudian shows the mythological and
antiquarian learning which had for centuries been characteristic of the
Alexandrian school of poetry. That school was already old when it was
imitated by Catullus and his contemporaries in the early days of Roman
poetry, and now, when Roman literature was dying, Alexandria continued
to train learned poets. Had Claudian not gone to Italy, he would
doubtless have continued to write in his native Greek, and might, as a
Greek poet, have rivalled his contemporary Nonnus. In his historical
and miscellaneous poems also Claudian exhibits much Alexandrian
learning, and at the same time shows an intimate acquaintance with
the earlier Roman poets, which is somewhat surprising in one who was
educated in the Greek-speaking provinces of the east. It is equally
surprising that Claudian uses the Latin language with an ease and
grace not attained by any of his contemporaries. His verse is correct,
dignified, and harmonious, his diction pure and classical. In these
respects, as well as in wealth of imagery, brilliancy of narrative,
and skill in composition, he is unequalled by any Roman poet after
Statius. His historical poems must be used with caution by historians,
for, although facts are not invented, they are presented in a strong
light, or left in obscurity, according to the effect they might have
upon the reputation of the poet’s friends or enemies. In the exuberance
of his praise, Claudian equals the contemporary prose panegyrists, and
surpasses the early Alexandrian and most of the later Roman poets.
Among his miscellaneous poems none is so well known in modern times,
or so modern in tone, as the brief elegy of only twenty-two lines, on
an old man of Verona, who never left his suburb, who pressed his staff
upon the same sand in which he had crept, counted his years by the
changes of crops, not by consuls, and saw the trees grow old which he
had seen as little sprouts. The advantages of a quiet, humble life have
seldom been more charmingly set forth than in this poem.

With all his learning, skill, and genuine poetic inspiration,
Claudian is still the belated singer of a worn-out empire and a dying
civilization. Rome was no longer the mighty and unquestioned ruler
of the world. The poet whose chief task it was to sing the praises
of Stilicho, and spread the glory of his victories, must needs shut
his eyes, so far as possible, to the evident decay, but he could not
simulate utter blindness. In the beginning of his poem on the war with
Gildo, Claudian shows that the feebleness and old age of Rome were not
hidden from him. He describes the personified city, the goddess Roma,
as she approaches Olympus to beg for aid against Gildo, whose revolt,
involving the loss of the African grain supply, threatened to expose
the city to famine:

    Her voice is weak, and slow her steps; her eyes
    Deep sunk within; her cheeks are gone; her arms
    Are shrivelled up with wasting leanness. On
    Her feeble shoulders hardly can she bear
    Her tarnished shield; she shows from loosened helm
    Her hoary locks, and drags a rusty spear.[137]

Even the poet who sang of Rome’s victories could portray her in such
terms as these. Yet the tradition of Roman greatness still survived.
[Sidenote: Namatianus.] In the year 416, Rutilius Claudius Namatianus,
a Gaul who had risen to the position of _præfectus urbi_ at Rome, was
obliged to return to Gaul to attend to his property, which had been
laid waste by the Goths. The journey was the occasion of a poem in two
books, most of which is preserved. It is written in elegiacs, with
much still and feeling. Many episodes and descriptions are inserted
in the narrative, but no passage is so striking as that in which the
traveller, passing out from the Ostian gate, addresses the imperial

    Wide as the ambient ocean is thy sway,
    And broad thy empire as the realms of day;
    Still on thy bounds the sun’s great march attends,
    With thee his course begins, with thee it ends.
    Thy strong advance nor Afric’s burning sand,
    Nor frozen horrors of the Pole withstand;
    Thy valor, far as kindly Nature’s bound
    Is fixed for man, its dauntless way has found.
    All nations own in thee their common land,
    And e’en the guilty bless thy conquering hand;
    One right for weak, for strong, thy laws create,
    And bind the wide world in a world-wide State.[138]

The history of Roman poetry is virtually at an end with Claudian.
Other poets there were, but none whose works are living and breathing
exponents of the ancient Roman life. [Sidenote: Avianus. Sedulius.
Dracontius.] About 400 A. D. Avianus published forty-two fables of Æsop
in elegiac verse; about the middle of the fifth century the presbyter
Sedulius wrote several religious poems, in which he shows acquaintance
not with Biblical literature alone, but also with the Latin classics;
and at the end of the century the African poet Blossius Æmilius
Dracontius wrote a didactic poem _On the Praise of God_, in three
books, a number of short epics, chiefly mythological, and several other
poems. Dracontius is not unskillful in his versification and his use
of language, and his poems prove that rhetorical training was still to
be found in Africa. Moreover, his knowledge of the Roman classics is
as evident as his knowledge of the Bible. But neither Dracontius nor
the other poets whose works are preserved to us from the fifth century
could do more than help to pass on to the Middle Ages something of the
ancient feeling for beauty of form in literature. And even that had
ceased to be understood by the people.



    The end of the ancient civilization—Boëthius, about 480-524 A.
    D.—Later literature no longer Roman—Practical character of Roman
    literature—The first period—The Augustan period—The period of
    the empire—Our debt to the Romans.

[Sidenote: The end of the old civilization.] Long before the end of
the fifth century the power of Rome was broken, and the centre of what
had been the Roman empire was at Constantinople. The western provinces
were in the hands of barbarians, Angles and Saxons ruled in Britain,
Franks in northern Gaul, Visigoths in southern Gaul and Spain, and
Vandals in Africa. Italy itself had been repeatedly overrun by hardy
warriors from the north, and Rome had twice been sacked, by the Goths
under Alaric in 410 and by the Vandals under Genseric in 455 A. D. With
the establishment by Theodoric, in 493 A. D., of the Gothic kingdom
with its seat at Ravenna, the last vestige of the Roman empire of the
West passed away. Henceforth western Europe is the scene of strife and
disorder, through which men were to struggle onward to the new order
of modern life. In the empire of the East much of the old civilization
survived, and throughout the Middle Ages the ancient culture still shed
some rays of light from Constantinople to the darkened west; but in
western Europe there was little culture, and learning was for the most
part shut up in the walls of monasteries.

[Sidenote: Boëthius.] The last writer who seems to belong to the old
civilization is Boëthius. Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boëthius
was a Roman of noble birth and exalted station. He was born about
480 A. D., and after his father’s death was adopted by the patrician
Symmachus, whose daughter he afterwards married. In 500 A. D. he
delivered in the senate a speech in honor of Theodoric, who made
frequent use of his learning and literary skill. He held important
offices at Rome, received the title of patrician and in 510 A. D.
became consul without a colleague. In 522 A. D. his two sons were made
consuls, and the joyful father delivered an oration in praise of the
Gothic king to whose favor they owed their elevation. But that favor
was destined soon to pass from Boëthius. The emperor of the East,
Justin, tried to stir up the Catholic Italians to revolt against the
Arian Theodoric. Boëthius was suspected, arrested, and put to death
with tortures in 524 A. D. The servile senate decreed his death without
even the formality of a trial.

[Sidenote: The Consolation of Philosophy.] Boëthius was a prolific
writer. He translated from the Greek various philosophical and
mathematical treatises, to some of which he added commentaries, and
the importance of the Aristotelian logic during the Middle Ages is in
great measure due to him; he also wrote a bucolic poem, which is lost,
and several treatises on points of Christian doctrine; but the work by
which he is now best known, and to which he owes his reputation as the
last Roman author, is the treatise _On the Consolation of Philosophy_
(_De Consolatione Philosophiæ)_, which he wrote in prison while waiting
for his condemnation. This work consists of five books, and has the
literary form of a _satura_—that is, the prose is interrupted and
varied by the insertion of passages in verse. These metrical passages,
although their rhythms and diction are excellent, do not show the
same depth of thought as the prose portions. This is explained by the
fact that the prose portions of the treatise are derived in great
measure from the _Protrepticus_ of Aristotle, while the verses are more
entirely the work of Boëthius himself. It is not likely that Boëthius
employed the _Protrepticus_ directly, but he probably had before him
some work in which Aristotle’s teachings had been modified by the
eclecticism of the later Platonists. Everywhere noble sentiments are
expressed, but without the slightest indication of Christianity, or
of any specific religion. The names of the pagan deities are used,
but Boëthius believes in them no more than did Milton or the numerous
writers of the eighteenth century in whose works their names occur.
The attitude of Boëthius is throughout that of a cultivated and
intellectual man who seeks for consolation when in trouble not in
faith, but in reason. In the beginning of the work he laments his hard
fate, when Philosophy appears before him in the form of a woman, and a
dialogue ensues, in which the unimportance of what is ordinarily termed
good or bad fortune, the nature of Providence, the divine order of the
world, chance, free will, and similar subjects, are discussed. The
style is the artificial, ornate style of the time, held in check by the
logical sequence of the argument. Boëthius was a Christian, but in his
adversity he turned to philosophy for consolation, and his philosophy
is no more Christian than is that of Cicero. Yet his teachings, though
not belonging to any one religion, are essentially religious. It is not
wonderful that the _Consolation_ was much read in the Middle Ages, and
has continued to find many readers in later times.

[Sidenote: Later literature no longer Roman.] There were still, in the
sixth century, men who, like Boëthius, could find, amid the disorders
of the times, the leisure and the taste for study; and the only kind
of study possible was that of the ancient literature. But Boëthius
is the last in whom the ancient thoughts and feelings appear clad
in literary form. Throughout the Middle Ages some of the classical
writers, especially Virgil, were read and copied in monasteries, and
those laymen who received a clerkly education learned Latin as the
only language (except the more distant and difficult Greek) in which
a literature existed; but Latin was then, as now, a language of
the past, even though it was still used for literary purposes, and
the ancient civilization was far less understood than now. Writings
in Latin after Boëthius belong not to Roman literature, but to the
literature of the church and to that of the various nations of Europe.

[Sidenote: The first period of Roman literature.] The date of the
beginning of Roman literature can be fixed almost to a year, for there
was no Roman literature before Livius Andronicus. At that time Latin
imitations of Greek works were introduced to add to the attractions
of public entertainments and to make the young acquainted with the
history of the past. As the republic grew in power, literature, still
in imitation of the Greek, but expressing more and more completely the
Roman character, developed in all directions, but especially in prose.
The orators cultivated perfection in speech that they might move the
judges, the senate, or the people; historians hoped that the records of
the past would have a practical effect upon the deeds of the future,
or they aimed, like Cæsar in his _Commentaries_, to further their own
immediate ends; and Cicero adapted Greek philosophy to Roman readers
in order that the republic might have wise and good citizens. The
practical purpose of the lyric poetry of Catullus and his contemporary
poets is less evident, though even lyric verse may serve political
ends, and yet there seems to have been in the careful imitation of
learned Alexandrian works a deliberate educational purpose. Certainly
in all branches of literature except lyric poetry throughout the
republican period a practical purpose, and usually a political purpose,
is almost invariably to be found. Literature as developed by the Greeks
seemed to the Romans to possess practical utility, and the great works
of the republican period were created by practical men to aid in the
attainment of their ends.

[Sidenote: The Augustan period.] In the Augustan period the practical
purpose of literature is even more evident than in the earlier years.
In the transition from the republic to the monarchy it was desirable
that the minds of men should not be too much occupied with politics,
and literature was naturally encouraged by Augustus as an outlet for
intellectual energy which might otherwise have turned to political
matters. It was also desirable that the Julian family be connected as
closely as possible with the beginnings of Rome, and how could that be
done better than by such a poem as the _Æneid_? The immediate practical
purpose of Virgil’s _Georgics_ is evident. The poems of Horace, too,
are in part openly intended to increase the popular prestige of the
imperial house, and the mere fact that the poet was known to be the
friend of the emperor would add as much to the glory of the one as of
the other. The greatness of poetry in this period is due directly to
the encouragement of Augustus, and his encouragement had a practical
purpose. That prose, especially oratory, declined at this time is due
to the fact that the orator was no longer the great power in the state.

[Sidenote: The imperial period.] Under the empire the influence of
literature upon politics disappeared. Oratory no longer led to the
highest power, poetry must, under some emperors at least, be careful
not to overstep prescribed limits, and history could not safely
record all facts with their causes and results. Even philosophical
speculation was not safe if it led to practical conclusions adverse to
the government. It was precisely those branches of literature which
might be used for political purposes that the imperial government
could hardly fail to discourage directly or indirectly, and those
were the branches in which the practical Romans naturally excelled.
There were, to be sure, emperors who encouraged literature, but their
encouragement, leading to flattery and artificial eloquence, was little
likely to raise the quality, even though it increased the quantity, of
literary production. With its practical importance Roman literature
loses its vigor. Aside from Tacitus and Juvenal, hardly a single
powerful and vigorous author appears in the imperial period until,
with the growth of Christianity, literature again acquires practical
importance. That literature maintained for so many years a relatively
high degree of excellence is due to the constant influence of Greece,
which counteracted to some extent the forces that tended to destroy
all literary life. Thus Roman literature lingered on until after the
breaking up of the Roman empire.

Only a small part of the great bulk of Roman literature is preserved to
us, but that part includes the greatest works of the best period. Those
are worthy subjects of study for their beauty of form, their clearness
of thought, their power, their vigor, and their ethical qualities. The
productions of the imperial period are inferior in quality to those
of the republican and the Augustan times, though their quantity is
proportionate to the duration of the empire; but these works also are
proper subjects of study, for they also express the character of the

[Sidenote: Our debt to the Romans.] Three ancient peoples have
impressed themselves strongly upon the nations of Europe and
America—the Hebrews, the Greeks, and the Romans. To the first we owe
the foundations of our religion, to the second the beginnings of all
arts and sciences, to the Romans we are indebted for the adaptation of
the arts and sciences, of philosophy, and even of religion to civilized
life. The names of our months are Roman, and our calendar is, with
slight necessary changes, that established by Julius Cæsar. The laws
of continental Europe and, though to a less degree, of England and
the United States, are based upon Roman law as finally established
under Justinian. The so-called Gothic architecture, which arose in
France in the Middle Ages and which is still the prevailing style of
our churches, can be traced back step by step to Roman buildings,
and though Roman architecture was dependent upon that of Greece, it
was through Rome that western Europe learned to use the column, the
arch, and the vault. The beautiful architecture of the Renaissance is
a conscious imitation of that of Rome. The Romans, too, in the early
centuries of the Christian church, did their full share to systematize
Christian belief, to reconcile it with philosophy, and to establish
a reasonable form of church government. The results of their labors
are inherited directly by the Roman Catholic church, and indirectly
or partially by Protestants. There is hardly a side of modern life
which is not more or less affected by ancient Rome; while the dignity,
the sturdy manhood, the stoical disregard of fortune, the patriotism,
and the vigorous earnestness expressed in Roman literature have a
powerful influence in developing what is best in modern manhood. Roman
literature will continue to be an important object of study as long
as men still feel their obligations to the past, or are capable of
learning from the example and precepts of other ages.



[This is not intended to be an exhaustive bibliography, but is merely
an attempt to refer the student to some of the best and most available
sources of information. Books in foreign languages, and editions with
notes in foreign languages, are mentioned only in exceptional cases
and for special reasons. Further bibliographical information is to
be found in the larger histories of Roman literature, in Engelmann’s
_Bibliotheca Scriptorum Classicorum_, the monthly lists in the
_Classical Review_, and the _Guide to the Choice of Classical Books_,
by J. B. Mayor, London, 1879, D. Nutt; with its New Supplement, 1896.]


    +C. T. Cruttwell.+ History of Roman Literature, London, 1877,

    +J. W. Mackail.+ Latin Literature, London, 1895, Murray; New York,

    +G. A. Simcox.+ History of Latin Literature, London and New York,
      1883, Longmans, 2 vols.

    +G. Middleton+ and +T. R. Mills+. Handbook to Latin Authors,
      London and New York, 1896, Macmillan.

    +W. Y. Sellar.+ The Roman Poets of the Republic, Oxford, 2d ed.
      1889; Poets of the Augustan Age (Virgil), Oxford, 1891; Horace and
      the Elegiac Poets, Oxford, 1892.

    +R. Y. Tyrrell.+ Latin Poetry, Boston, 1895, Houghton & Mifflin.

    +G. F. Aly.+ Geschichte der römischen Litteratur, Berlin, 1894, R.

    +G. Bernhardy.+ Grundriss der römischen Litteratur, 5th ed. Halle,

    +W. S. Teuffel.+ Geschichte der römischen Litteratur, 5th ed.
      revised by L. Schwabe, Leipzig, 1890, Teubner; translated by G.
      C. W. Warr, 2 vols., London, 1891, Bell. [Especially good for

    +M. Schanz.+ Römische Litteraturgeschichte, Munich, 2d ed.
      1898-1901, Beck. 3 vols. (to Constantine); vol. iv (to Justinian)
      in preparation.

    +O. Ribbeck.+ Geschichte der römischen Dichtung. 3 vols.
      Stuttgart, 1887-’92.

    +C. Lamarre.+ Histoire de la Littérature latine depuis la
      Fondation de Rome jusqu’à la Fin du Gouvernement Républicain;
      Paris, 1901, Delagrave. 4 vols. [Vol. iv contains selections from
      Latin literature in the original and in French translation. The
      literature of the imperial period is to be treated in subsequent

    +G. Michaut.+ Le Génie latin. Paris, 1900, Fontemoing.
      [Interesting and suggestive.]

    A useful series of books called “Ancient Classics for English
      Readers” contains Cæsar, by _Anthony Trollope_; Catullus,
      Tibullus, and Propertius, by _James Davies_; Cicero, by _W. L.
      Collins_; Horace, by _Theodore Martin_; Juvenal, by _E. Walford_;
      Livy, by _W. L. Collins_; Lucretius, by _Mallock_; Ovid, by _A.
      Church_; Plautus and Terence, by _W. L. Collins_; Pliny, by _A.
      Church_ and _W. J. Brodribb_; Tacitus, by _W. B. Donne_; and
      Virgil, by _W. L. Collins_. These are not translations, but
      essays illustrated by extracts. Published in America by the J. B.
      Lippincott Co.


[This list contains the titles of collections referred to below. Many
other collections exist, the titles of which are to be found in larger

    +Poetae Latini Minores+, ed. _Baehrens_. 5 vols. Leipzig,
      1879-’83, Teubner series.

    +Fragmenta Poetarum Romanorum+, ed. _Baehrens_, Leipzig, 1886,
      Teubner series.

    +Corpus Poetarum Latinorum+, ed. _J. P. Postgate_; parts i, ii,
      (vol. i), and iii. London, 1893-1900, Bell.

    +Patrologia Latina+, ed. _Migne_, Paris. [221 vols. containing the
      works of ecclesiastical writers of Latin from the Apostolic times
      to those of Pope Innocent III.]

    +Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum.+ [A series of
      ecclesiastical writings, published by the Imperial Academy at
      Vienna, begun in 1866 and not yet completed.]

    +Scaenicae Romanorum Poesis Fragmenta+, ed. _O. Ribbeck_. 2 vols.
      Leipzig, 1897-’98, Teubner series. [Vol. i, Tragicorum Romanorum
      Fragmenta; vol. ii, Comicorum Romanorum Fragmenta.]

    +Grammatici Latini+, ed. _H. Keil_, Leipzig, 1857-’80, Teubner, 7

    +Historicorum Romanorum Relliquiae+, ed. _H. Peter_, vol. i,
      Leipzig, 1870, Teubner.

    +Historicorum Romanorum Fragmenta+, ed. _H. Peter_, Leipzig, 1883,
      Teubner series.

    +Scriptores Historiae Augustae+, ed. _H. Peter_, Leipzig. 2 vols.
      Teubner series.

    +Anthologia Latina+, ed. _F. Bücheler_ and _A. Riese_, Leipzig,
      1870-’97. 2 vols. Teubner series.

    +XII Panegyrici Latini+, ed. _Baehrens_. Leipzig, 1874, Teubner

    +Oratorum Romanorum Fragmenta+, ed. _Meyer_. Paris, 1837.


    ACCIUS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._, vol. i, and _Scaen. Rom.
      Poes. Fragm._, vol. i.

    ÆTNA. Text in _Corp. Poet. Lat._, part iii, and _Poet. Lat. Min._,
      vol. ii. Text with notes and translation by _Robinson Ellis_,
      Oxford, 1901.

    AMBROSIUS (St. Ambrose). Text, _Patrologia Latina_, vols. xiv-xvii.

    AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS. Text. _Gardthausen_, Leipzig. 3 vols.
      Teubner series.

    AMPELIUS. Text. _Wölfflin_ in Halm’s _Florus_, Leipzig, 1854,
      Teubner series.


    APHTHONIUS. Text in _Grammat. Lat._, vol. vi.

    APULEIUS. Text with Latin notes. _Hildebrand_, Leipzig, 1842. 2

    Translation. _Sir George Head_, London, 1851; _anonymous_, in
      Bohn’s Library.

    ARNOBIUS. Text. _Reifferscheid_, vol. iv of _Corp. Script. Eccl. Lat._
      Also in _Patrol. Lat._, vol. v.

    ATTA. Text in _Scaen. Rom. Poesis Fragm._, vol. ii.

    ATTICUS. Text in _Hist. Rom. Fr._

    AUGUSTINUS (St. Augustine). Text. _Patrol. Lat._, vols.
      xxxii-xlvii; De Civitate Dei, _Dombart_, Leipzig, 1877, 2
      vols., Teubner series; Confessiones, _Raumer_, Gütersloh, 1876,

    AUGUSTUS. Monumentum Ancyranum, _Mommsen_, 2d ed. Berlin, 1883,
      Weidmann; _W. Fairley_ (with English translation), Philadelphia,
      1898, the University of Philadelphia.

      Fragments, _Weichart_, Grimma, 1845.

    AURELIUS (Marcus Aurelius). See FRONTO.

    AUSONIUS. Text. _Peiper_, Leipzig, 1886, Teubner series.

    AVIANUS. Text. _Poet. Lat. Min._ vol. v; critical text and notes. _R.
      Ellis_, Oxford, 1887.

    AVIENUS. Crit. text. _Holder_, Innsbruck, 1887, Wagner.

    BOËTHIUS. Text. _Peiper_, Leipzig, 1871, Teubner series.

      Translation. H. E. James, London, 1897, Elliot Stock; _Fox_, in
      Bohn’s Library.

    CÆSAR. Text. _Kübler_, Leipzig, 1893-1897, Teubner series. 3 vols.

      Translation. _W. A. McDevitte_, Bohn’s Library. Text and notes.
      The Gallic War, Allen & Greenough, Boston, Ginn & Co.; The Civil
      War, _Perrin_, New York, University Publishing Co. Many other
      school editions exist.

    CALPURNIUS. Text. _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. iii; with NEMESIANUS, Text
      and Latin notes, _Schenkl_, Leipzig and Prague, 1885.


    CATO. De Agricultura. Text and Latin notes, _Keil_, Leipzig, 1884-’94,
      Teubner. [Two vols. with VARRO, Res Rusticae.]

      Other works. Text and Latin notes. _Jordan_, Leipzig, 1860,

    CATONIS DISTICHA. _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. iii.

    CATULLUS. Text. _Mueller_, Leipzig, 1885, Teubner series. [With
      TIBULLUS, PROPERTIUS, the fragments of LAEVIUS, CALVUS, CINNA, and
      others, and the PRIAPEA]; crit. text with appendices, _R. Ellis_,
      2d ed., Oxford, 1878.

      Annotated edition. _Merrill_, Boston, 1893, Ginn & Co.

      Commentary. _R. Ellis_, 2d ed., Oxford, 1889.

      Translation (verse). _Theodore Martin_, Edinburgh and London,
      1875, Blackwood.

    CELSUS. Text. _Daremberg_, Leipzig, 1859, Teubner series.

      Translation. _J. Grieve_, London, 1756.

    CENSORINUS. Text. _Hultsch_, Leipzig, 1867, Teubner series; crit.
      text, _J. Cholodniak_, St. Petersburg, 1889.

    CHARISIUS. Text in _Gram. Lat._, vol. i.

    CICERO. Text. _Baiter_ and _Kayser_, Leipzig, 1860-’69, B. Tauchnitz,
      11 vols.; _Müller_, _Klotz_, and others, Leipzig, Teubner series,
      10 vols. [Editions of separate works and selections are numerous.]

      Correspondence, arranged according to its chronological order,
      with commentary and introductory essays. _R. Y. Tyrrell_ and _L.
      C. Purser_, Dublin and London, 1855-1901. 7 vols [vol. i in 2d ed.]

      Translation. Orations, _C. D. Yonge_, 4 vols.; On Oratory and
      Orators, with Letters to Quintus and Brutus, _J. S. Watson_; On
      the Nature of the Gods, Divination, Fate, Laws, a Republic, and
      Consulship, _C. D. Yonge_ and _F. Barham_; Academics, De Finibus,
      and Tusculan Questions, _C. D. Yonge_; Offices, or Moral Duties,
      Cato Major, an Essay on Old Age, Lælius, an Essay on Friendship,
      Scipio’s Dream, Paradoxes, Letter to Quintus on Magistrates, _C.
      R. Edmonds_; Letters, _E. Shuckburgh_, 4 vols. Bohn’s Library.

      Life. _W. Forsyth_, London, 1863, Murray; New York, Scribner’s.

    CINCIUS ALIMENTUS. Text in _Hist. Rom. Rell._

    CIRIS. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. ii.

    CLAUDIAN. Text. _Koch_, Leipzig, 1893, Teubner series.

      Translation. _Hawkins_, London, 1817, 2 vols.

    COLUMELLA. Text in _Scriptores Rei Rusticae_, ed. _Schneider_,
      Leipzig, 1794-’97; De Arboribus, text, _Lundström_, Upsala,

      Translation. _Anonymous_, London, 1745.

    COMMODIANUS. Text. _Ludwig_, Leipzig, 1877-’78, 2 vols. Teubner

    CONSOLATIO AD LIVIAM. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. i.

    CORNIFICIUS (See Cicero ad Herennium). Text. _Marx_, Leipzig,
      1894, Teubner.

    CULEX. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. ii.

    CURTIUS RUFUS, Text. _Vogel_, Leipzig, 1881, Teubner series.

      Translation. _John Digby_, 3d ed. corr. by _Young_,
        London, 1747.

    CYPRIAN. Text. _Hartel_, Vienna, 1868-’71, 4 vols. in _Corp.
      Script. Eccl. Lat._

    DARES. Text. _Meister_, Leipzig, 1873, Teubner series.

    DICTYS. Text. _Meister_, Leipzig, 1872, Teubner series.

    DIOMEDES. Text in _Gram. Lat._

    DIOSCORIDES. Text in _Gram. Lat._

    DIRÆ. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, Vol. ii.

    DONATUS. Text in _Gram. Lat._ and in the introductions to
      early editions of Terence.

    ENNIUS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._ and _Corp. Poet. Lat._,
      vol. i.

    EUTROPIUS. Text. _Rühl_, Leipzig, 1887, Teubner series.

      Translation. See JUSTIN.

    FENESTELLA. Text in _Hist. Rom. Fragm._

    FESTUS (RUFIUS). Text. _Wagner_, Prague, 1886.

    FESTUS (SEXTUS POMPEIUS). Text. _Thewrewk_, Budapest, 1889.

    FIRMICUS MATERNUS. Text, _Halm_, Vienna, 1867, in _Corp.
      Script. Eccl. Lat._, vol. ii; _Baehrens_, Leipzig, 1886,
      Teubner series.

    FLORUS. Text. _Halm_, Leipzig, 1854, Teubner series.

    FRONTINUS. Strategemata. Text. _Gundermann_, Leipzig, 1888,
      Teubner series.

      Translation. _R. Scott_, London, 1811.

      De Aquis Urbis Romæ. Text. _Bücheler_, Leipzig, 1858, Teubner.

      Text with translation and discussion. _C. Herschel_, Boston,
      1899, Dana, Estes & Co.

    FRONTO. Text. _Naber_, Leipzig, 1867, Teubner.

    GAIUS. Text with translation and notes. _Poste_, 3d ed.,
      Oxford, 1890.

    GELLIUS. Text. _Hertz_, Leipzig, 1887, Teubner series, 2 vols.

      Crit. Text. _Hertz_, Leipzig, 1894, Teubner, 2 vols.

      Translation. _Beloe_, London, 1795, 3 vols.

    GERMANICUS. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. i.

    GRATIUS. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. i; _Corp. Poet.
      Lat._, part iii.


    HILARIUS (St. Hilary). Text. _Patrol Lat._, vols. ix and x.

    HIRTIUS. Text in complete editions of Cæsar.

    HORACE. Text in _Corp. Poet. Lat._, vol. i; _Kellar_ and
      _Häussner_, 2d ed. Prague, 1892. Annotated editions are

      Translation (verse). _Theodore Martin_, Edinburgh and London,
      1881, Blackwood, 2 vols. Odes and Epodes, _Lord Lytton_,
      Edinburgh and London, 1869, New York, 1870.

    HYGINUS. Text. _M. Schmidt_, Jena, 1872.

    HYGINUS GROMATICUS. Text. _Domaszewski_, Leipzig, 1887.

    JEROME. Text. _Patrol. Lat._, vols. xxii-xxx. De Viris
      Illustribus, _Herding_, Leipzig, 1879, Teubner series.


    JULIUS CÆSAR STRABO. Text in _Orat. Rom. Fragm._

    JULIUS VICTOR. Text in Orelli’s _Cicero_, vol. v, p. 195, and
      in Halm’s _Rhetores Minores_, p. 371.

    JUSTIN. Text. _Jeep_, Leipzig, 1859, Teubner series;
      _Hallberg_, Paris, 1875.

      Translation. _Watson_, London, 1853, Bohn’s Library, [with

    JUVENAL. Text. _Bücheler_, Berlin, 2d ed. 1886, Weidmann [with

      Annotated edition. _Pearson & Strong_, Oxford, 1892.

      Translation. (Prose) _Leeper_, London, 1891, 2d ed. Macmillan [see
      also LUCILIUS]; (verse) _Dryden_, in Dryden’s works.

    LACTANTIUS. Text. _Patrol Lat._, vols. vi and vii. [Some of
      his works have appeared in _Corp. Script. Eccl. Lat._ The Poem
      on the Phœnix is in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. ii.]

    LAMPRIDIUS. Text in _Scriptores Historiae Augustae_.

    LIVIUS ANDRONICUS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._ and _Scaen.
      Rom. Poesis Fragm._, vols. i and ii.

    LIVY. Text. _Weissenborn_, Leipzig, 1878, Teubner series, 6

      Crit. Text. _Madvig_ and _Ussing_, Copenhagen, 4th ed. 1886 and
      later. 4 vols.

      Translation. _Spillan_, _Edmunds_, and _McDevitte_, London, Bohn’s
      Library. 4 vols.

    LUCAN. Text in _Corp. Poet. Lat._, part iii; _Hosius_,
      Leipzig, 1892. Teubner series.

      Translation (verse). _N. Rowe_, London, 1807. 3 vols.

    LUCILIUS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._

      Translation. _Evans_, London, Bohn’s Library. [JUVENAL,

    LUCRETIUS. Text. _Munro_, London, Bell; also in Harper’s
      Classical Texts.

      Crit. Text. _Lachmann_, Berlin, 1866. 2 vols.

      Text and notes. _Munro_, London, 4th ed. 1891-’93, Bell. 3
      vols., the third of which is a prose translation.

    MACROBIUS. Text. _Eyssenhardt_, Leipzig, 1868, 2d ed. Teubner

    MÆCENAS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._

    MANILIUS. Text in _Corp. Poet. Lat._, part iii.

      Translation. _Creech_, London, 1700. [Appended to LUCRETIUS.]



    MARIUS VICTORINUS. Text in _Gram. Lat._, vol. vi, Orelli’s
      _Cicero_, vol. v, Halm’s _Rhetores Minores_, and _Patrol.
      Lat._, vol. viii.

    MARTIAL. Text. _Gilbert_, Leipzig, 1886, Teubner series.

      Translation (prose). Edited by _H. G. Bohn_, London, 1897.
      [Contains also metrical translations from various sources.]

    MARTIANUS CAPELLA. Text. _Eyssenhardt_, Leipzig, 1866, Teubner

    MELA. Text. _Frick_, Leipzig, 1880, Teubner series.

    MINUCIUS FELIX. Text. _Baehrens_, Leipzig, 1886, Teubner

    MORETUM. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. ii.

    NÆVIUS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._, _Scaen. Rom. Poesis
      Fragm._, vols. i and ii.


    NEMESIANUS. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. iii.

    NEPOS. Text. _Halm-Fleckeisen_, Leipzig, 10th ed. 1889,
      Teubner series.

      Translation. See JUSTIN.

    NIGIDIUS FIGULUS. Text of fragments with Latin notes.
      _Stroboda_, Vienna, 1889.

    NONIUS MARCELLUS. Crit. text with comment. _Müller_, Leipzig,
      1888, Teubner. 2 vols. _Onions_, Oxford, 1895.


    OROSIUS. _Zangemeister_, _Corp. Script. Eccl. Lat._, vol. v,
      and Leipzig, 1889, Teubner series.

    OVID. Text in _Corp. Poet. Lat._, vol. i; _Merkel-Ewald_,
      Leipzig, 3d ed. begun 1888, Teubner series.

      Annotated editions of separate works and of selections are

      Translation (prose). Bohn’s Library. Metrical translations by
      Dryden and others are contained in Chalmers’ _English Poets_.

    PACUVIUS. Text in _Scaen. Rom. Poesis Fragm._, vol. i.

    PALLADIUS. Text in _Scriptores Rei Rusticae_, ed. _Schneider_,
      Jena, 1794-’97.

    PERSIUS. Text in _Corp. Poet. Lat._, vol. i; _Bücheler_. See
      JUVENAL; with translation and commentary, _Conington_ and
      _Nettleship_, Oxford, 1893.

      Translation (prose). See LUCILIUS and JUVENAL; (verse)
      _Dryden_, in his complete works and Chalmers’ _English Poets_.

    PERVIGILIUM VENERIS. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. iv.

    PETRONIUS. Text. _Bücheler_, Berlin, 3d ed. 1895, _Weidmann_.
      [With the satires of VARRO and SENECA.]

      Translation. (Trimalchio’s Dinner). _H. T. Peck_, New York,
      1898, Harper’s.

    PHÆDRUS. Text in _Corp. Poet. Lat._, part iii; _Riese_,
      Leipzig, 1885, B. Tauchnitz.

      Translation. _Smart_, London, 1831. [Also appended to Riley’s
      version of Terence and Phædrus in Bohn’s Library.]

    PLAUTUS. Text. _Goetz_ and _Schoell_, Leipzig, 1892-’95,
      Teubner series, 7 parts.

      Critical edition. _Ritschl_ (2d ed. by _Goetz_, _Loewe_, and
      _Schoell_), Leipzig, 1878-’93, Teubner, 20 parts.

      Many annotated editions of separate plays exist.

      Translation (prose). _Riley_, London, Bohn’s Library; (verse)
      _Thornton_ and _Warner_, London, 1767-’72.

    PLINY THE ELDER. Text, _Jan_ and _Mayhoff_, Leipzig, 2d ed.
      Teubner series. 6 vols.

      Translation. With Notes, _Bostock_ and _Riley_, London, Bell.
      6 vols.

    PLINY THE YOUNGER. Text. _Keil_, Leipzig, 1873, Teubner series.

      Translation. _Melmoth_, revised by _Bosanquet_, London, 1877,
       Bell; _Lewis_, London, 1879, Trübner.




    POMPONIUS (LUCIUS). Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._

    PRIAPEA. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. i, cf. vol. ii.

    PRISCIAN. Text in _Gram. Lat._, vols. ii and iii.

    PROBUS (VALERIUS). Text in _Gram. Lat._, vol. iv.

    PROPERTIUS. Text in _Corp. Poet. Lat._, vol. i; _Mueller_,
      Leipzig, 1880, Teubner series. See CATULLUS.

      Ed. Crit. _Postgate_, London, 1880, Bell.

      Translation (prose). _Gantillon_, with metrical versions of
      select elegies by _Nott_ and _Elton_, London, Bohn’s Library.

    PRUDENTIUS. Text. _Patrol. Lat._, vols. lix and lx.

    PUBLILIUS SYRUS. Text. _Bickford-Smith_, Cambridge, 1885; _O.
      Friedrich_, Berlin, 1880, Grieben [with notes].

    QUINTILIAN. Text. Institutiones Oratoriae, _Meister_, Leipzig,
      1886-’87, Freytag.

      Declamationes. _Ritter_, Leipzig, 1884, Teubner series.

      Translation. Institutes of Oratory, _J. S. Watson_, London,
      Bohn’s Library. 2 vols.

    REPOSIANUS. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. iv.

    RUTILIUS NAMATIANUS. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. v.

    SACERDOS. Text in _Gram. Lat._, vol. vi.

    SALLUST. Text. _Eussner_, Leipzig, 1888, Teubner series.
      [School editions of the Catiline and the Jugurtha are

      Translation. _Pollard_, London, 1882, Macmillan.

    SAMMONICUS SERENUS. Text in _Poet. Lat. Min._, vol. iii.

    SEDULIUS. Text in _Patrol. Lat._, vol. ix, and _Corp. Script.
      Eccl. Lat._, vol. x.

    SENECA (the father). Text. _Müller_, Leipzig, 1888, Freytag;
      _Kiessling_, Leipzig, 1872, Teubner series.

    SENECA (the son). Text. Philosophical works. _Haase_, Leipzig,
      1852 sqq., Teubner series.

      Tragedies, _Leo_, Berlin, 1879, Weidmann, 2 vols.

      Translation. On Benefits, Minor Essays, and On Clemency.
        _A. Stewart_, London, Bohn’s Library. 2 vols. Two Tragedies
       (Medea and Daughters of Troy), _E. I. Harris_, Boston, 1899,
       Houghton & Mifflin.

    SERVIUS. Text with Latin notes. _Thilo_ and _Hagen_,
      1878-1902, Teubner. 4 vols.

    SIDONIUS APOLLINARIS. Text in _Patrol. Lat._, vol. lviii;
      _Lüjohann_, Berlin, 1887 (_Monum. German. Hist. Auct.
      Antiquiss._, vol. viii).

    SILIUS ITALICUS. Text. _Bauer_, Leipzig, 1890-’92, Teubner
      series. 2 vols.

      Translation (verse). _Tytler_, Calcutta, 1828. 2 vols.

    SISENNA. Text in _Hist. Rom. Rell._

    SOLINUS. Crit. Text. _Mommsen_, Berlin, 2d ed. 1895, Weidmann.

    STATIUS. Text. _Kohlmann_, Leipzig, 1879-’84, Teubner series.
      2 vols.

      Translation (verse). Thebaid. _Lewis_, in Chalmers’ _English
      Poets_, vol. xx; _Coleridge_, in his collected poems;
      Achilleis, _Sir Robert Howard_, in his poems.

    SUEIUS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._

    SUETONIUS. Text. _Roth_, Leipzig, 1875, Teubner series.

      Translation. _Thomson_, revised by Forester, in Bohn’s Library.


    SYMMACHUS. Text. _Seeck_, Berlin, 1883 (_Monum. Germ. Hist.
      Auct. Antiquiss._, vol. vi, 1).

    TACITUS. Text. _Nipperdey_, Berlin, 1871-’76, Weidmann. 4 vols.

      [Annotated editions of separate works are many.]

      Translation. _Church_ and _Brodribb_, London, 1868-’77,
      Macmillan. 3 vols.

    TERENCE. Text. _Dziatzko_, Leipzig, 1884, B. Tauchnitz.

      Ed. Crit. _Umpfenbach_, Leipzig, 1871, Teubner.

      Annotated ed. _Wagner_, London, 1869, Bell. [Annotated
      editions of separate plays are numerous.]

      Translation (verse). _Colman_, London, 1810; (prose) _Riley_,
      in Bohn’s Library [with PHÆDRUS].

    TERENTIANUS MAURUS. Text in _Gram. Lat._, vol. vi.

    TERTULLIAN. Text. _Patrol. Lat._, vols. i and ii;
      _Reifferscheid_ and _Wissowa_, _Corp. Script. Eccl. Lat._,
      vol. xx [only vol. i of Tertullian].

    TIBULLUS. Text in _Corp. Poet. Lat._, vol. i; see also

    Translation. _Cranstoun_, Edinburgh and London, 1872,
      Blackwood. [English verse with notes.]


    VARIUS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._

    VARRO ATACINUS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._

    VARRO (MARCUS). Text. De Lingua Latina, _Müller_, Leipzig,
      1833; _Spengel_, Berlin, 1885. De Re Rustica, _Keil_, Leipzig,
      1889, Teubner series [commentary, 1891]. Fragments of Varro’s
      Menippean Satires are contained in _Bücheler’s_ PETRONIUS, of
      the lost grammatical works in _Wilmanns_, De Varronis Libris
      Grammaticis, Berlin, 1864, Weidmann, of the Antiquitates
      in _Merckel’s_ edition of OVID’S Fasti, Berlin, 1841, and
      poetical fragments in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._

    VEGETIUS RENATUS. Text. Epitoma Rei Militaris, _Lang_,
      Leipzig, 2d ed. 1885, Teubner series.

      Mulomedicina. In Schneider’s _Scriptores Rei Rusticae_, Jena,

    VELLEIUS PATERCULUS. Text. _Halm_, Leipzig, 1876, Teubner

    Translation. _J. S. Watson_, Bohn’s and Harper’s Libraries.

    VIRGIL. Text. _Ribbeck_, Leipzig, 2d ed., Teubner series.

      Crit. Text. _Ribbeck_, Leipzig, 2d ed., Teubner. 4 vols.

      Annotated editions. _Conington_ and _Nettleship_, London,
      1865-’71, Bell, 3 vols.; _Greenough_, Boston, 1895, Ginn & Co.
      [School editions of parts of Virgil’s works are numerous.]

      Translation (verse). _Dryden_, in his complete works.

      Æneid. _Conington_, London, 1870, Longmans; _J. D. Long_,
      Boston, 1879, Lockwood, Brooks & Co.

      Eclogues. _C. S. Calverley_, in his collected works, London,
      1901, Bell.

      Georgics. _H. W. Preston_, Boston, 1881, Osgood & Co.

    VITRUVIUS. Crit. Text. _Rose_, Leipzig, 1899, Teubner series.
      Translation. _Gwilt_, London, new ed. 1860, Weale.

    VOLCACIUS SEDIGITUS. Text in _Fragm. Poet. Rom._

    VOPISCUS. Text in _Script. Hist. Aug._



[When two dates are given they designate the birth and death of the
author or authors named in the same line. The dates given opposite the
names of emperors, which are printed in italics, refer, however, to
their reigns, not to their lives. When one date is given it designates
a time when the activity of the author or authors was probably at its
height. Interrogation points denote uncertainty.]

      B. C.
  280.                    │ Appius Claudius Cæcus (orator).
  Before 270-about 204.   │ Livius Andronicus.
  About 269-199.          │ Gnæus Nævius.
  About 254-184.          │ Titus Maccius Plautus.
  239-169.                │ Quintus Ennius.
  234-149.                │ Marcus Porcius Cato.
  About 230.              │ Quintus Fabius Maximus Cunctator
                          │   (orator).
  220-about 130.          │ Marcus Pacuvius.
  216.                    │ Quintus Fabius Pictor.
  211.                    │ Fabulæ Atellanæ introduced.
  210.                    │ Lucius Cincius Alimentus.
  206.                    │ Quintus Cæcilius Metellus (orator).
  Before 200-about 165.   │ Statius Cæcilius (comic poet).
  198.                    │ Sextus Ælius (jurist).
  (?)-196.                │ Marcus Cornelius Cethegus (orator).
  About 192-152.          │ Cato’s son (jurist).
  191.                    │ Scipio Nasica (jurist).
  About 190-159.          │ Publius Terentius Afer (Terence).
  185-129.                │ Scipio Africanus the younger.
  183.                    │ Quintus Fabius Labeo (jurist).
  (?)-183.                │ Publius Licinius Crassus (orator),
                          │   Scipio Africanus the elder.
  About 180.              │ Lucius Acilius (jurist).
  180 (?)-126.            │ Gaius Lucilius.
  (?)-174.                │ Publius Ælius (jurist).
  170-at least 100.       │ Lucius Accius.
  163-133.                │ Tiberius Gracchus (orator).
  About 158-about 75.     │ Publius Rutilius Rufus.
  154-121.                │ Gaius Gracchus (orator).
  About 154-after 100.    │ Lucius Ælius Præconinus Stilo.
  About 152-87.           │ Quintus Lutatius Catulus.
  About 150.              │ Lucius Afranius, Titinius (comic poets),
                          │   Publius Cornelius Scipio, Aulus
                          │   Postumius Albinus, Gaius Acilius.
  143-87.                 │ Marcus Antonius (orator).
  About 140.              │ Lucius Cassius Hemina, Gaius Lælius.
  140-91.                 │ Lucius Licinius Crassus (orator).
  136.                    │ Lucius Furius Philus (orator and jurist).
  133.                    │ Publius Mucius Scævola, Lucius Calpurnius
                          │   Piso Frugi.
  131.                    │ Publius Licinius Crassus Mucianus (jurist).
  About 130.              │ Gaius Titius.
  122.                    │ Gaius Fannius (orator and historian).
  119-67.                 │ Lucius Cornelius Sisenna.
  116-27.                 │ Marcus Terentius Varro.
  114-50.                 │ Hortensius (orator).
  109-32.                 │ Titus Pomponius Atticus.
  106-43.                 │ Marcus Tullius Cicero.
  105-43.                 │ Decimus Laberius.
  (?)-103.                │ Turpilius (comic poet).
  102 (?)-44.             │ Gaius Julius Cæsar.
  102-43.                 │ Quintus Cicero.
  Latter part of the      │ Gnæus Matius, Lævius Melissus, Hostius,
    second century.       │   Aulus Furius, Cœlius Antipater, Quintus
                          │   Valerius Soranus.
  Before 100-after 30.    │ Cornelius Nepos.
  About 99-55 (?).        │ Titus Lucretius Carus.
  (?)-at least 91.        │ Sempronius Asellio (historian).
  95.                     │ Quintus Mucius Scævola (jurist).
  About 90.               │ Lucius Pomponius, Novius (writers of
                          │   _Fabulæ Atellanæ_), Volcacius Sedigitus.
  (?)-87                  │ Gaius Julius Cæsar Strabo (tragedian).
  87-47.                  │ Gaius Licinius Calvus.
  86-35.                  │ Gaius Sallustius Crispus.
  Early in the first      │
    century.              │ Valerius Antias, Quintus Cornificius.
  First half of the first │ Sueius, Gaius Helvius Cinna, Publius
    century.              │   Valerius Cato, Gaius Memmius, Ticidas,
                          │   Aurelius Opilius, Antonius Gnipho,
                          │   Marcus Pompilius Andronicus, Santra,
                          │   Servius Sulpicius Rufus.
  About 84-about 54.      │ Gaius Valerius Catullus.
  (?)-at least 82.        │ Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius (historian).
  82-after 37.            │ Varro Atacinus.
  78 (?)-42.              │ Marcus Junius Brutus.
  (?)-77                  │ Titus Quinctius Atta.
  70-27.                  │ Cornelius Gallus.
  70 (?)-8.               │ Gaius Mæcenas.
  70-19.                  │ Publius Vergilius Maro (Virgil).
  About 70-after 16.      │ Vitruvius Pollio.
  67-5 A. D.              │ Gaius Asinius Pollio.
  65-8.                   │ Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace).
  About 64-about 17 A. D. │ Gaius Julius Hyginus.
  64-8 A. D. Marcus       │ Valerius Messalla.
  63-14 A. D.             │ Gaius Octavius (Cæsar Octavianus Augustus).
  63-12 A. D.             │ Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.
  59-17 A. D.             │ Titus Livius (Livy).
  About 55-about 40 A. D. │ Seneca (the father).
  About 54-about 19.      │ Albius Tibullus.
  About 54-about 4.       │ Domitius Marsus.
  52-19 A. D.             │ Decimus Fenestella.
  About 50.               │ Publilius Syrus (writer of mimes).
  About 50-about 15.      │ Sextus Propertius.
  (?)-47.                 │ Marcus Calidius.
  47-about 30 A. D.       │ Decimus Valerius Maximus.
  (?)-45.                 │ Nigidius Figulus.
  (?)-after 44.           │ Gaius Oppius.
  (?)-43.                 │ Aulus Hirtius.
  (?)-after 43.           │ Marcus Tullius Tiro.
  43-(?).                 │ Lygdamus.
  43-17 A. D.             │ Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid).
  40-33 A. D.             │ Asinius Gallus.
  About 20.               │ Pompeius Trogus.
  15-19 A. D.             │ Claudius Cæsar Germanicus.
  14-59 A. D.             │ Domitius Afer.
  12.                     │ Gaius Valgius Rufus.
  Second half of the      │ Sulpicia, Albinovanus Pedo, Ponticus,
    first century.        │   Macer, Grattius, Rabirius, Cornelius
                          │   Severus, Gaius Melissus, the _Priapea_,
                          │   the _Consolatio ad Liviam_, Titus Labienus,
                          │   Marcus Porcius Latro, Gaius Albucius
                          │   Silus, Quintus Haterius, Lucius
                          │   Junius Gallio, Arellius Fuscus, Lucius
                          │   Cestius Pius, Marcus Antistius Labeo,
                          │   Gaius Ateius Capito.
  First half of the first │ Manilius, the _Ætna_, Aufidius Bassus,
    century.              │   Quintus Remmius Palæmon, Cæpio, Antonius
                          │   Castor, Julius Atticus, Lucius
                          │   Gracchinus, Marcus Apicius, Lucius
                          │   Annæus Cornutus, the Sextii, Gaius
                          │   Musonius Rufus.
  About 1.                │ Verrius Flaccus.
  About 1-65.             │ Lucius Annæus Seneca (the son).
  About 3-88.             │ Asconius Pedianus.
  14-37.                  │ _Tiberius._
  About 15-80.            │ The father of Statius.
  16-59.                  │ Agrippina.
  23-79.                  │ Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the elder).
  (?)-25.                 │ Cremutius Cordus.
  25-101.                 │ Silius Italicus.
  (?)-27.                 │ Votienus Montanus.
  30.                     │ Velleius Paterculus.
  (?)-31.                 │ Publius Vitellius.
  (?)-32.                 │ Cassius Severus.
  (?)-34                  │ Mamercus Scaurus.
  34-62.                  │ Aulus Persius Flaccus (Persius).
  About 35-about 100.     │ Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (Quintilian).
  About 35.               │ Aulus Cornelius Celsus.
  37-41.                  │ _Caligula._
  39-65.                  │ Marcus Annæus Lucanus (Lucan).
  About 40.               │ Phædrus, Columella, Pomponius Mela.
  About 40-about 95.      │ Publius Papinius Statius.
  About 40-about 104.     │ Marcus Valerius Martialis (Martial).
  41-54.                  │ _Claudius._
  About 45.               │ Gaius Cassius Longinus, Proculus.
  About 50.               │ Pomponius Secundus, Quintus Curtius
                          │   Rufus, Suetonius Paulinus.
  54-68.                  │ _Nero._
  About 55-about 118.     │ Cornelius Tacitus.
  55 (?)-about 135.       │ Decimus Junius Juvenalis (Juvenal).
  56                      │ Marcus Valerius Probus.
  About 60.               │ Titus Calpurnius Siculus.
  61 or 62-112 or 113.    │ Gaius Plinius Cæcilius Secundus (Pliny
                          │   the younger).
  (?)-66                  │ Petronius Arbiter.
  (?)-67                  │ Gnæus Domitius Corbulo.
  69-79.                  │ _Vespasian._
  About 70.               │ Saleius Bassus, Curiatius Maternus,
                          │   Sextus Julius Frontinus.
  About 70 or 75 to about │ Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus.
    150.                  │
  79-81.                  │ _Titus._
  81-96.                  │ _Domitian._
  (?)-about 90.           │ Gaius Valerius Flaccus.
  96-98.                  │ _Nerva._
  Time of Nerva and       │ Hyginus, Balbus, Siculus Flaccus,
    Trajan.               │   several grammarians, etc.
  98-117.                 │ _Trajan._
  About 100-175.          │ Marcus Cornelius Fronto.
  About 110-180.          │ Gaius.
  117-138.                │ _Hadrian._
  Time of Hadrian.        │ Lucius Annæus (?) Florus, Marcus Junianus
                          │   Justinus (Justin), Salvius Julianus,
                          │ Quintus Terentius Scaurus.
  About 125-(?).          │ Aulus Gellius.
  About 125-about 200.    │ Apuleius.
  138-161.                │ _Antoninus Pius._
  Time of Antoninus.      │ Granius Licinianus, Lucius Ampelius, Sextus
                          │   Pomponius.
  Time of Antoninus and   │ Quintus Cervidius Scævola.
    M. Aurelius.          │
  About 160.              │ Marcus Minucius Felix.
  About 160-about 230.    │ Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus
                          │   (Tertullian).
  161-180.                │ _Marcus Aurelius._
  About 165-230.          │ Marius Maximus.
  180-192.                │ _Commodus._
  (?)-212.                │ Æmilius Papinianus.
  Before 200.             │ Terentianus Maurus, Juba.
  193-211.                │ _Septimius Severus._
  Second or third century.│ The _Pervigilium Veneris_.
  About 200.              │ Helenius Acro, Pomponius Porphyrio,
                          │   Quintus Sammonicus Serenus.
  Early in the third      │ Hosidius Geta, Gaius Julius Romanus,
    century.              │   Julius Paulus.
  Third century.          │ The _Disticha Catonis_, Cornelius Labeo,
                          │   Quintus Gargilius Martialis, Aquila Romanus,
                          │   Gaius Julius Solinus.
  About 200-258.          │ St. Cyprian (Thascius Cæcilius Cyprianus).
  222-235.                │ _Alexander Severus._
  (?)-228.                │ Domitius Ulpianus.
  238.                    │ _Gordian I._
  238.                    │ Censorinus.
  249.                    │ Commodianus.
  About 250.              │ Ælius Julius Cordus.
  260-268.                │ _Gallienus._
  270-275.                │ _Aurelian._
  275.                    │ _Tacitus._
  283.                    │ Marcus Aurelius Olympius Nemesianus.
  284-305.                │ _Diocletian._
  Time of Diocletian.     │ Ælius Spartianus, Julius Capitolinus,
                          │   Vulcacius Gallicanus, Trebellius Pollio.
  About 290.              │ Arnobius.
  297.                    │ Eumenius (panegyrist).
  Latter part of the      │ Vespa, Marius Plotius Sacerdos.
    third century.        │
  End of the third        │ Ælius Festus Aphthonius.
    century.              │
  About 300.              │ Lactantius Firmianus, Reposianus,
                          │   Gregorianus.
  Early part of the       │ Ælius Lampridius, Flavius Vopiscus, Nonius,
    fourth century.       │   Macrobius, Optatianus, Juvencus.
  Fourth century.         │ Itineraries, Peutinger Tablet.
  About 310-about 395.    │ Ausonius.
  About 315-367.          │ St. Hilary.
  321.                    │ Nazarius (panegyrist).
  About 330.              │ Hermogenianus.
  330-400.                │ Ammianus Marcellinus.
  331-420.                │ St. Jerome.
  About 340-397.          │ St. Ambrose.
  About 345-405.          │ Symmachus.
  348 to about 410.       │ Prudentius.
  About 350.              │ Marius Victorinus, Ælius Donatus,
                          │   Charisius, Diomedes, Palladius.
  354 (?).                │ Firmicus Maternus.
  354.                    │ The _Notitia_.
  354-430.                │ St. Augustine.
  About 360.              │ Julius Obsequens.
  360.                    │ Aurelius Victor.
  362.                    │ Mamertinus (panegyrist).
  365.                    │ Eutropius.
  Second half of fourth   │ Dictys Cretensis (L. Septimius).
    century.              │
  Latter part of the      │ Servius.
    fourth century.       │
  369.                    │ Rufius Festus.
  370.                    │ (Rufius Festus) Avienus.
  About 370.              │ The _Querolus_.
  389.                    │ Drepanius (panegyrist).
  About 400.              │ Claudian (Claudius Claudianus),
                          │   Martianus Capella, Vegetius, Avianus.
  Early in the fifth      │ Sulpicius Serenus.
    century.              │
  Fifth century.          │ Dares.
  416.                    │ Namatianus.
  417.                    │ Orosius.
  438.                    │ _Codex Theodosianus._
  About 450.              │ Sedulius.
  End of the fifth        │ Dracontius.
    century.              │
  About 500.              │ Priscian.
  529.                    │ _Code_ of Justinian.
  533.                    │ _Pandects_ and _Institutes_.


[1] Even if this work and some treatises on grammar should be ascribed
to a later Ennius, which is not proved, the works of the great poet
were sufficiently various.

[2] Ancient customs and men cause the Roman republic to prosper.

[3] Whom no one with the sword could overcome nor by bribing.

[4] This line occurs in a context which is worth translating. “I do
not ask gold for myself, and do not you offer me a ransom: not waging
the war like hucksters, but like soldiers, with the sword, not with
gold, let us strive for our lives. Let us try by our valor whether our
mistress Fortune wishes you or me to rule.”

[5] Aulus Gellius, xii, 4.

[6] Quoted by Cicero, _De Deor. Nat._ II, 35, 89.

[7] _Rudens_, 160-173.

[8] _Persa_, 204-224.

[9] _Phormio_, 784 ff. Translated by M. H. Morgan.

[10] Quoted by Pliny, _N. H._ xxix, 7, 14.

[11] _De Re Rustica_, i.

[12] A brief description of some of the feet and metres most frequently
used by Roman poets may be useful. These were, with the exception of
the Saturnian verse (see p. 7), borrowed, with certain modifications,
from the Greek. The most usual feet are the iambus (◡—), the trochee
(—◡), the spondee (——), the dactyl (—◡◡), the anapæst
(◡◡—), and the choriambus (—◡◡—). The dactylic hexameter
consists of six feet, each of which is either a dactyl or a spondee,
though the sixth is always a spondee and the fifth almost always a
dactyl. An illustration of this is the line from Lucilius,

      _Maior erat natu; non omnia possumus omnes_,

the rhythm of which is retained in this translation:

      He was the elder by birth; not all of us all things can compass.

The iambic _senarius_ consists of six iambics, as

      _Hominem inter vivos quaéritamus mórtuom._

                               (Plautus, _Menæchmi_, 240.)

      Among the living we do seek a man who’s dead.

This is a common metre in the dialogue parts of dramas. It is one
foot longer than the line in English blank verse. The trochaic
_septenarius_, also a common metre in the drama, consists of seven
trochees and an additional long syllable. The English line,

    Do not lift him from the bracken; leave him lying where he fell

gives an idea of the rhythm.

The elegiac distich consists of an hexameter followed by a so-called
pentameter, that is, a line made up of six dactyls or spondees, with
the omission of the last half of the third and of the sixth feet. This
is illustrated and described by Coleridge in the lines,

    In the hexameter rises the fountain’s silvery column.
    In the pentameter aye falling in melody back.

In the iambic and trochaic metres other feet are often substituted for
the iambus and the trochee, but without change of rhythm.

Some of the other metres will be explained or illustrated as they occur.

[13] iv, Frg. 8, Müller.

[14] v, Frg. 33, Müller.

[15] vi, Frg. 16, Müller.

[16] libr. incert., Frg. 1, Müller.

[17] Lucius Ælius Præconinus Stilo, of Lanuvium, Stoic philosopher,
philologist and rhetorician, was the first to give regular lessons in
Latin literature and eloquence and to apply the historical method to
the study of the Latin language. He was born not far from 154 B. C.,
and lived well into the first century B. C. His contemporary, Quintus
Valerius Soranus (from Sora), also wrote on Latin literature, the study
of which was, in his case, joined with that of Roman antiquities.
Volcacius Sedigitus, of whose personality nothing is known, wrote a
didactic poem on the history of Latin literature about 90 B. C. Besides
these, numerous works on grammar, philology, antiquities, agriculture,
and other subjects were written by various authors, whose names are in
many cases lost, but whose works served as quarries from which Varro
and other writers derived their treasures of learning.

Many prominent Romans played some part in the progress of literature.
So Publius Rutilius Rufus (born about 158 B. C., consul in 105, died
about 75) studied the Stoic philosophy, published speeches, juristic
writings, and an autobiography in Latin, and wrote a history in Greek,
while Quintus Lutatius Catulus (born about 152 B. C., consul in 102,
died in 87) published orations and epigrams. Among the letters written
and published in this period none were more admired than those of
Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi.

[18] Jerome, in Eusebius’ Chronicle, year 1922 of Abraham, i. e., 95 B.

[19] _Vita Vergilii_, 2.

[20] _Ad Quintum Fratrem_, II, xi, 4.

[21] Book i, 921-947.

[22] iii, 830 f.

[23] Book ii, 172.

[24] ii, 14 ff.

[25] v, 18.

[26] Book i, 271-294.

[27] ii, 323-332 and ii, 40-43.

[28] i, 716-725.

[29] ii, 573-579.

[30] ii, 29-33.

[31] i, 1-9, translation by Goldwin Smith.

[32] Book ii, 1-13, translated by C. S. Calverley.

[33] _c._ cxiii, l. 2.

[34] _cc._ xi and xxix.

[35] Translated by Theodore Martin.

[36] _c._ v.

[37] c. iii. Translated by Goldwin Smith in _Bay-Leaves_.

[38] _c._ xxxi, Translated by C. S. Calverley.

[39] _De Oratore_, i, 15, 64.

[40] _Ibid._, i, 8, 34.

[41] _Pro Ligario_, 1.

[42] _Pro Lege Manilia_, 5, 11.

[43] _Pro Archia Poeta_, 7, 16.

[44] _In Verrem_, ii, v, 52.

[45] _De Divinatione_, ii, 1.

[46] _Ep. ad Atticum_, iii, 5, Shuckburgh’s translation.

[47] _Ep. ad Familiares_, ix, 1, Shuckburgh’s translation.

[48] _Ep. ad Atticum_, ix, 18.

[49] Hirtius, _De Bello Gallico_, viii, 1.

[50] _Catiline_, 1.

[51] _Ibid._, 31.

[52] _Ecl._ i, 1-10. The selections from the _Eclogues_ are given in
the translation by C. S. Calverley.

[53] _Ibid._, 42-45.

[54] _Ecl._ iv, 1-17.

[55] _Ecl._ v, 1-18.

[56] _Georgics_, i, 461-483.

[57] _Georgics_, ii, 136 ff.

[58] _Ibid._, ii, 458-460.

[59] _Ibid._, iii, 9-18.

[60] _Ibid._, iv, 149 ff.

[61] _Æneid_, i, 142-156. The selections from the _Æneid_ are given in
Conington’s translation.

[62] _Æneid_, iv, 607-629.

[63] _Ibid._, vi, 868-686.

[64] _Æneid_, ix, 446-449.

[65] _Epist._ II, ii, 51.

[66] _Sat._ I. v.

[67] _Sat._ I, iv, 103-120, freely translated by Conington.

[68] _Sat._ I, x, 40-49, freely translated by Conington.

[69] _Epode_ ii, 1-4.

[70] _Epist._ I, xix, 23.

[71] _Od._ I, xxxviii, translated by Sir Theodore Martin.

[72] _Od._ I, ix, Calverley’s version.

[73] I, iii, 1-9, 53-56, translated by James Grainger.

[74] I, xii. Elton’s translation.

[75] _Ex Ponto_, IV, xvi.

[76] Book i, 499-507. The same subject is continued through line 530.

[77] Book v, 540-615.

[78] _Tristia_, IV, x, 69.

[79] _Tristia_, II, 107 ff.

[80] Ovid, _Amores_ II, xviii, 27 ff.

[81] Lines 177 ff.

[82] _Tristia_, I, vii, 13 ff.

[83] _Argonautica_, III, 750 ff. Virgil, _Æneid_, IV, 522 ff., imitates
Apollonius more closely.

[84] Especially _Tristia_, IV, x.

[85] _Ibid._, I, iii, 1-4.

[86] _Ibid._, I, vi, III, iii, IV, iii, V, ii, 1-44, xi, xiv, _Ex
Ponto_, I, iv, III, i.

[87] _Tristia_, III, vii.

[88] xxxvii, 39 ff.

[89] xxi, 10.

[90] This is the generally accepted date, but it is possible that
Vitruvius may have lived somewhat later.

[91] Hercules Furens, Troades (or Hecuba), Phœnissæ (or Thebaïs, two
disconnected scenes from Theban myths), Medea, Phædra (or Hippolytus),
Œdipus, Agamemnon, Thyestes, and Hercules Œtæus. The _Fabula Prætexta_
entitled Octavia is not by Seneca.

[92] Lines 893-944. Translated by Ella Isabel Harris.

[93] This Lucilius has been supposed, though without sufficient reason,
to be the author of the _Ætna_ (see p. 141).

[94] _Pharsalia_, ix, 256-283.


    _Verum hæc ipse equidem spatiis exclusus iniquis
    Prætereo atque aliis post me memoranda relinquo._

                        Virgil, _Georgics_, iv, 147 f.

[96] _Thebais_, xi, 580-585.

[97] Pliny, _Ep._ III, xxi.

[98] I, xiii. These selections are translated by Goldwin Smith in _Bay

[99] III, xxxv.

[100] III, xli.

[101] IV, viii.

[102] _Inst. Orat._, vi, 3, 5.

[103] _Ibid._, vi, 3, 5.

[104] _Ibid._, vii, 7, 2

[105] The _prænomen_ is uncertain. The best manuscript (Mediceus I)
gives it as Publius, later manuscripts and Sidonius Apollinaris as

[106] _Agricola_, 2.

[107] _Annals_, i, 58.

[108] _Ann._, ii, 77.

[109] _Ann._, iii, 6.

[110] _Ann._, iii, 27.

[111] _Hist._, ii, 95.

[112] _Hist._, iv, 74.

[113] _Agric._, 9.

[114] _Sat._ i, 30.

[115] _Sat._ i, 79.

[116] _Sat._ i, 85 f.

[117] _Sat._ iii, 41 ff.

[118] _Sat._ x, 356.

[119] _Sat._ vi, 165.

[120] _Sat._ x, 81.

[121] _Sat._ vi, 223.

[122] _Sat._ vi, 347.

[123] _Sat._ viii, 84.

[124] _Sat._ xiv, 47.

[125] _Ep._, II, xvii.

[126] _Ibid._, V, vi.

[127] _Ibid._, VI, xvi, xx.

[128] _Ibid._, VII, xxxiii.

[129] _Ep._, VII, xx.


    To-morrow he shall love who ne’er has loved, and he who has loved
      to-morrow shall love.


    It is new spring; spring already harmonious; in spring Jove was born.
    In the spring loves join together; in the spring the birds wed.


    She (the swallow) is singing, we are silent. When will my spring
    When shall I become like the swallow and cease to be silent?
    I have lost the Muse by keeping silent, and Apollo cares not for me.

[133] The poem is the last of the _Instructiones_. The title reads:
_Nomen Gasei_ and the initial letters of the lines read from the last
to the first from the words: _Commodianus mendicus Christi_. From this
it is inferred that Commodian was _Gasæus_, i. e., from Gaza.

[134] The chief Latin writer on philosophy was Firmicus Maternus, whose
eight books, _Matheseos_ (_Of Learning_), published about 354 A. D.,
are occupied with Neoplatonic astrology. He is to be distinguished from
his Christian contemporary and namesake, who wrote of the _Error of the
Pagan Religions_. Gaius Marius Victorinus, who also lived about the
middle of the century, was an African by birth, but taught rhetoric at
Rome. He was the author of philosophical works, chiefly translations
and adaptations from the Greek, but is best known by his extant work on
metres in four books, and by some other extant grammatical treatises.
In his later life he became a Christian, and wrote commentaries on St.
Paul’s epistles, besides some controversial tracts.

[135] These grammatical works have little literary value of their own,
and owe their importance to the fact that they contain information
which is not elsewhere preserved. The same is true of several
handbooks of various kinds compiled in the fourth century. Such are
the _Itineraries_, giving the distances and routes between the towns
along the Roman roads, the _Notitia_, describing the regions of the
city of Rome, and a historical handbook of Rome for the year 354 A.
D. preserved most fully in a manuscript in Vienna. A few maps of this
period also exist, the most famous of which is the _Peutinger Tablet_
(_Tabula Peutingeriana_), now in Vienna. A handbook of _Agriculture_
(_De Re Rustica_) by Palladius, and the _Epitome of Military Science_
(_Epitoma Rei Militaris_) by Flavius Vegetius Renatus, who also wrote
an extant treatise on _Veterinary Medicine_ (_Mulomedicina_), may
properly be mentioned here, and these works possess also some slight
literary interest.

[136] In 369 A. D. Festus wrote a handbook similar to that of
Eutropius, but of less merit. The list of prodigies that took place
from 249 to 12 B. C., compiled by Julius Obsequens from an abridgment
of Livy, probably belongs to about the same time. Since a large part of
Livy’s history is lost, such works as these are of some value.

[137] _De Bello Gildonico_, i, 21-25.

[138] _De Reditu Suo_, i, 55-66. Translated by A. J. Church.


     [This index contains the names of all Latin authors mentioned
     in this book, and in addition the names of some historical
     personages. Reference is also made to a number of special topics.
     When several references are given, the chief reference to any
     author stands first. The titles of works are in Italics.]

  Accius (Lucius), 12; 13; 32; 43; 53; 236.

  Acilius (Gaius), 33;
    (Lucius), 37.

  Acro (Helvius), grammarian, 234.

  Ælius Aristides, Greek sophist, 240.

  Ælius Julius Cordus, 255.

  Ælius (P.), jurist, 37;
    (Sextus), jurist, 37.

  Æsop, 172; 276.

  Æsopus, actor, 66.

  _Ætna_, ascribed to Virgil, 141; 181; 188.

  Afranius, comic poet, 29; 43.

  African school of literature, 248; 257.

  Agrippa (M. Vipsanius), 99.

  Agrippina, 191; 177; 178.

  Albinovanus Pedo, 137.

  Albucius Silus (C.), 165.

  Alcæus, 114; 121.

  Alexander Severus, emperor, 229.

  Alexandrian literature, 48; 57; 58; 60; 62; 64; 121; 129; 136; 274; 281.

  Ambrose (St.), 266 f.; 258; 268.

  Ammianus Marcellinus, 263 f.

  Ampelius (L.), 232.

  Anacreon, 114; 121.

  Anastasius, emperor, 261.

  Anaxagoras, Greek philosopher, 51.

  Andronicus (L. Livius), 5; 6; 12; 14; 17; 18; 32; 33; 115; 273; 281.

  Andronicus (M. Pompilius). See Pompilius.

  Antimachus, 199.

  Antiochus, Academic philosopher, 66.

  Antonines, 227; 235.

  Antoninus Pius, emperor, 227; 232; 233; 235.

  Antonius Castor, 176.

  Antonius (M.), orator, 45; 66; 70.

  Antonius (M.), triumvir, 68; 71; 82; 93; 99; 131.

  Aphthonius (Ælius Festus), 256.

  Apollodorus, Greek comic poet, 25; 26;
    Greek rhetorician, 135.

  Apollonius of Rhodes, 63; 107; 152; 196.

  Appius Claudius Cæcus, 5.

  Apuleius, 237-240; 241; 243; 246; 248.

  Aquila Romanus, 256.

  Aquilius, comic poet, 23.

  Aratus, Greek poet on astronomy, 70; 173; 270.

  Archias, poet, 66; 70; 75.

  Archilochus, Greek poet, 119; 120.

  Arellius Fuscus, 143; 165.

  Aristotle, 279; 280.

  Arnobius, 250.

  Arria, wife of Pætus, 184; 203.

  Arulenus Rusticus, Stoic, 213.

  Asconius Pedianus (Q.), 192.

  Asellio (Sempronius), 39; 43.

  Atellan plays, 30.

  Atilius, comic poet, 23.

  Atta, 29; 138.

  Attalus, Stoic, 177.

  Atticus (Julius), 176.

  Atticus (T. Pomponius), 94 f.; 79; 80; 91; 92.

  Augustine (St.), 268 f.; 78; 248; 252; 258.

  Augustus, 98; 14; 97; 99; 100; 101; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 111;
    116; 125; 126; 127; 129; 131; 135; 138; 142; 144; 147; 148; 149; 153;
    154; 155; 157; 163; 165; 168; 169; 170; 171; 172; 173; 174; 176; 177;
    183; 216; 231; 261; 282.

  Aurelian, emperor, 229.

  Aurelius Victor, 261.

  Ausonius, 270-272; 258; 273.

  Avianus, 276.

  Avienus, 270.

  Bacchylides, Greek poet, 121.

  Balbus, writer on geometry, 225.

  Bassus (Aufidius), historian, 176; 205.

  Bassus, poet, 138; 143.

  Bassus (Cæsius), poet, 184.

  Bassus (Saleius), poet, 201.

  Boëthius, 278-280; 258; 281.

  Brutus (M. Junius), 95; 116; 176; 186.

  Burrus (Afranius), 178.

  Cæcilius (Q. —— Metellus), 36.

  Cæcilius (Statius), 23; 18.

  Cæsar (C. Julius), 83-87; 47; 56; 57; 67; 68; 71; 73; 81; 82; 88; 89;
    93; 95; 96; 97; 99; 105; 111; 116; 128; 153; 157; 160; 163; 165;
    168; 174; 186; 215; 281; 283.

  Cæsars, Twelve, _lives_ by Suetonius, 230.

  Calidius (M.), 95.

  Caligula, 170; 166; 172; 173; 176; 177; 216.

  Callimachus, Alexandrian poet, 59; 135; 136; 149.

  Calpurnius Piso Frugi (L.), 37; 39.

  Calpurnius Siculus (T.), 187 f.; 254.

  Calvus (Gaius Licinius), 62; 95.

  Cantica, 16.

  Capella (Martianus), 260.

  Capito (C. Ateius), 167; 192.

  Capitolinus (Julius), 255.

  Caracalla, emperor, 233; 247.

  Carlyle, compared with Tacitus, 217.

  Carneades, Academic philosopher, 49.

  Cassius Longinus (C.), jurist, 192.

  Cassius Severus, 165.

  Castor (Antonius), 176.

  Catiline, 47; 67; 89; 90.

  Cato (M. Porcius), 34-36; 8; 45; 90; 92; 192; 207; 236;
    his son, 37.

  Cato (P. Valerius), 63 f.

  Cato (Uticensis), 186.

  _Catonis disticha_, 254 f.

  Catullus, 56-62; 46; 48; 91; 96; 120; 121; 122; 128; 129; 141; 145;
    168; 202; 281.

  Catulus (Q. Lutatius), 44.

  Celsus (A. Cornelius), 175; 173.

  Censorinus, 256.

  Cestius Pius (L.), 165.

  Cethegus (M. Cornelius), 36.

  Charisius, grammarian, 261; 176.

  Christian literature, 227; 243; 244-252; 258; 265-269; 270; 272 f.; 276.

  Cicero (M. Tullius), 65-82; 12; 30; 36; 45; 46; 47; 48; 64; 83; 85; 86;
    89; 91; 92; 95; 96; 138; 156; 159; 160; 164; 166; 168; 170; 171; 183;
    192; 209; 210; 212; 213; 215; 219; 224; 230; 237; 240; 246; 248; 252;
    257; 260; 267; 269; 270; 280; 281.

  Cicero (Q.), 95 f.; 64; 79.

  Cincius Alimentus, 33.

  Cinna (C. Helvius), 62; 167.

  _Ciris_, ascribed to Virgil, 141.

  Claudian, 273-275; 258; 276.

  Claudius, emperor, 171; 173; 178; 179; 183; 191; 216.

  Clitomachus, philosopher, 66.

  _Code_ of Justinian, 264.

  Cœlius Antipater, 43.

  Columella, 191 f.

  Comedy, 17-31; 6; 7; 8; 14; 15; 16; 32;
    its plots and characters, 19.

  Commodianus, Christian poet, 249 f.

  Commodus, emperor, 228, 233.

  Constantine, emperor, 251; 257; 258; 264; 270; 271.

  Constantinople, 226; 261; 278.

  Constantius, emperor, 261; 266.

  _Copa_, ascribed to Virgil, 191.

  Corbulo (Gnæus Domitius), 191.

  Cordus. See Ælius Julius.

  Corinna, addressed in Ovid’s poems, 145.

  Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, 44; 92.

  Cornelius Nepos. See Nepos.

  Cornificius, 45; 64; 95.

  Cornutus (L. Annæus), 177; 184; 185.

  Costumes, theatrical, 15.

  Crassus (L.), 66; 70; 72.

  Crassus (P. Licinius), 36.

  Cremutius Cordus, historian, 176.

  Critolaus, Peripatetic philosopher, 49.

  _Culex_, ascribed to Virgil, 140; 141.

  Curtius Rufus (Q.), 191.

  Cynthia, beloved of Propertius, 135; 136; 145.

  Cyprian (St.), 248 f.

  Dante, 111; 112; 113.

  Dares, 265.

  Decius, emperor, persecuted Christians, 249.

  Delia, beloved of Tibullus, 132; 134; 145.

  Demetrius, teacher of oratory, 66.

  Democritus, Greek philosopher, 51; 52; 55.

  Demosthenes, 71; 77; 159; 209.

  Dictys, 265.

  Didius Julianus, emperor, 228.

  _Digests_, 264.

  Dio Cassius, 255.

  Dio Chrysostom, 234; 240.

  Diocletian, emperor, 250; 251; 252; 255; 256; 264.

  Diodotus, Stoic philosopher, 66.

  Diogenes, Stoic philosopher, 49.

  Diomedes, grammarian, 261; 241.

  Dionysius, Greek writer, 270.

  Diphilus, Greek comic poet, 17; 26.

  _Diræ_, poem ascribed to Virgil, 63 f.; 141.

  _Disticha Catonis_, 254 f.

  Diverbia, 16.

  Domitian, emperor, 195; 198; 199; 201; 207; 211; 212; 213; 214; 216;
    219; 225.

  Domitius Afer, orator, 176.

  Domitius Marsus, 137.

  Domitius Ulpianus, 255.

  Donatus, 260; 48; 267.

  Dracontius, late poet, 276.

  Drepanius, panegyrist, 257.

  Elegy, 128-137.

  Elocutio novella, 240; 241.

  Emerson (R. W.), 183.

  Empedocles, Greek philosopher, 51; 52; 53.

  Emperors, their influence upon literature, 170 f.; 194 f.; 227-229.

  Ennius (Quintus), 8-10; 11; 12; 18; 33; 40; 48; 53; 107; 236.

  Ephorus, Greek historian, 37.

  Epictetus, ethical preacher, 177.

  Epicurean doctrines, 49-55; 78; 182.

  Epicurus, 49; 50; 51; 52; 54; 55.

  Eumenius, panegyrist, 257.

  Euphorion, 131.

  Euripides, 107; 121; 179; 180.

  Eusebius, 48; 262; 268.

  Eutropius, 262.

  Fabianus (Papirius), 177.

  Fabius (Q. —— Labeo), 37.

  Fabius Pictor, 33; 37; 158.

  Fabius Maximus Cunctator, 36.

  Fabulæ Atellanæ, 30.

  Fabulæ palliatæ, 18; 29.

  Fabulæ prætextæ, 7; 9; 12; 13; 179; 184; 188.

  Fabulæ togatæ, 18; 29; 138.

  Fabulæ trabeatæ, 138.

  Fannius (G.), 39; 43.

  Fenestella, historian, 164.

  Fescennine verses, 29.

  Firmicus Maternus, 260.

  Festus, wrote a handbook of history, 262.

  Festus (Pompeius), 166; 167; 234.

  Flavius, grammarian, 251.

  Florus, 231.

  Frontinus (Sextus Julius), 206.

  Fronto, 235 f.; 228; 237; 238; 240; 241; 243; 246.

  Fundanus, 118.

  Furius. See Philus.

  Furius Antias, 43.

  Furius Bibaculus, 64; 63.

  Gaius, jurist, 233.

  Galba, emperor, 194; 206; 215; 216.

  Galerius, 252.

  Gallic oratory, 256 f.; 264 f.

  Gallicanus (Vulcacius), 255.

  Gallienus, emperor, 229.

  Gallio (L. Junius), 165.

  Gallus (Cornelius), 131; 100; 101; 107; 129.

  Gallus (C. Asinius), 103; 171; 176.

  Gargilius Martialis (Q.), 256.

  Gellius (Aulus), 236 f.; 7; 259; 260.

  Germanicus, 173; 176; 178; 270.

  Geta (Hosidius), 254.

  Gnipho (M. Antonius), 66; 96.

  Gordian I, emperor, 229.

  Gracchi, 36; 43; 44; 45.

  Gracchinus (Julius), 176.

  Gracchus (Gaius), 45; 43; 236.

  Gracchus (Tiberius), 45; 43.

  Grammar, 93; 96; 166; 176; 225; 233 f.; 256; 260 f.

  Granius Licinianus, 232.

  Gratian, emperor, 265; 271.

  Grattius, 137.

  Greek influence in Roman literature, 1; 4; 5; 17; 21; 27; 32; 37; 48;
      128 f.; 179; 180; 226; 283;
    in Roman manners, 33; 128 f.

  Gregorianus, 264.

  Hadrian, emperor, 219; 225; 227; 229; 231; 232; 233; 235; 241; 255.

  Haterius (Q.), 165.

  Heliogabalus, emperor, 255.

  Hemina (L. Cassius), 37; 39.

  Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, 51.

  Herennius Priscus, Stoic, 213.

  Herennius, treatise addressed to, 45; 69.

  Hermogenianus, jurist, 264.

  Herodian, 255.

  Herodotus, 219.

  Herondas, Greek poet, 62.

  Hesiod, 107.

  Hieronymus. See Jerome.

  Hilary (St.), 265 f.; 258.

  Hirtius (A.), 87 f.

  _Historia Augusta_, 255.

  History, 33; 43; 88; 163 f.; 173; 176; 191; 232; 255; 261 ff.

  Homer, 6; 62; 107; 108; 109; 114; 118; 149; 171; 187; 197; 219.

  Honorius, emperor, 273.

  Horace, 114-127; 12; 41; 64; 96; 98; 99; 100; 139; 168; 185; 186; 188;
    193; 219; 231; 233; 234; 282.

  Hortensius Hortalus, 95; 59; 69; 77.

  Hosidius Geta, 254.

  Hostius, 43.

  Hyginus (C. Julius), 167.

  Hyginus, writer on surveying, 225.

  _Institutes_ of Justinian, 264.

  Itineraries, 261.

  Jerome (St.), 267 f.; 48; 49; 56; 193; 231; 250; 251; 252; 258; 261;

  Johnson, Samuel, 221.

  Josephus, Greek historian, 217; 267.

  Juba, grammarian, 234.

  Julian, emperor, 257; 261; 263.

  Julianus (Salvius), jurist, 233.

  Julius Obsequens, 262.

  Julius Paulus, jurist, 255.

  Jurists, 37; 44; 96; 167; 192; 225; 233; 255; 264.

  Justin (M. Junianus Justinus), 164; 232.

  Justin, emperor, 279.

  Justinian, emperor, 233; 264; 283.

  Juvenal, 218-222; 202; 211; 225; 283.

  Juvencus, 270.

  Labeo, see Fabius.

  Labeo (M. Antistius), 167; 192.

  Labeo (Cornelius), 255.

  Laberius (Decimus), 30 f.; 62.

  Labienus (T.), 165.

  Lactantius, 251 f.

  Lælius (C.), 39; 24; 38.

  Lampridius (Ælius), 255.

  Lævius, 62.

  Latin language, 2;
    changes in, 237.

  Latro (M. Porcius), 165.

  Lesbia, 57; 60; 61; 145.

  Licinianus (Granius), 232.

  Licinius Imbrex, comic poet, 23.

  Licinius (L.), orator, 45.

  Livius Andronicus. See Andronicus.

  Livy (T. Livius), 156-163; 166; 168; 171; 186; 191; 197; 216; 231; 232;
    262; 270.

  Lucan (M. Annæus Lucanus), 185-187; 165; 184; 190; 201; 231.

  Lucian, Greek writer, 240.

  Lucilius (Gaius), 39-42; 43; 45; 115; 117; 118; 121; 219.

  Lucilius, Seneca’s writings addressed to, 181.

  Lucretius (T.), 47-55; 46; 96; 138; 139; 168; 193.

  Luscius Lanuvinus, comic poet, 23.

  Lycophron, Alexandrian poet, 63.

  Lygdamus, poet, 132 f.

  Macer (Gaius Licinius), 44; 158.

  Macer, epic poet, 138; 143; 155.

  Macrobius, 260.

  Mæcenas (Gaius), 99; 100; 101; 104; 116; 118; 119; 121; 124; 135; 137.

  Mamertinus, panegyrist, 257.

  Manilius, 138 f.; 156; 173.

  Marcus Aurelius, emperor, 227 f.; 233; 234; 235; 236; 237.

  Marius (Gaius), 43; 83; 91; 158.

  Marius Maximus, 255.

  Marius Victorinus, 256.

  Martial, 201-203; 140; 141; 158; 211; 219.

  Martialis (Q. Gargilius), 256.

  Martianus Capella, 260.

  Masks, theatrical, 15.

  Maternus (Curiatius), 201;
    (Firmicus), 260.

  Matius (Gnæus), 43; 62.

  Maximus of Tyre, 240.

  Mela (Pomponius), 192; 191.

  Melissus (Lævius), 43.

  Memmius (Gaius), 64; 49; 57.

  Menander, Greek comic poet, 17; 25; 26.

  Menippean satires, 93; 183; 189.

  Menippus, Greek Cynic, 93.

  Messalla (M. Valerius), 99; 131; 132; 133; 134; 141; 155.

  Metres, 40 f.; 6; 7; 28; 121; 122; 124; 129; 136; 140; 144; 153.

  Middle Ages, 112; 243; 272; 281.

  Milton, 155; 280.

  Mimes, 30 f.

  Mimnermus, Greek poet, 129.

  Minucius Felix, 245 f.; 248; 252.

  Molo, Cicero’s teacher, 66.

  Montanus, 247.

  Montanus. See Votienus.

  _Monumentum Ancyranum_, 98.

  _Moretum_, ascribed to Virgil, 141.

  Morris (William), the _Earthly Paradise_, 239.

  Mucianus (P. Licinius Crassus), 44.

  Musonius Rufus (C.), 177; 270.

  Nævius (Gnæus), 6; 7; 8; 9; 18; 53; 107.

  Namatianus (Rutilius Claudius), 275.

  Nazarius, panegyrist, 257.

  Nemesianus, 254; 188.

  Nepos (Cornelius), 91 f.; 64; 94; 265.

  Nero, emperor, 171; 176; 177; 178; 179; 185; 186; 188; 191; 194; 195;
    197; 216; 252.

  Nerva, emperor, 211; 216; 255; 263.

  Nigidius Figulus (P.), 96.

  Nonius, 259; 260.

  Nonnus, Greek poet, 274.

  _Notitia_, 261.

  Novius, 30.

  Numerianus, emperor, 255.

  Obsequens (Julius), 262.

  Opilius (Aurelius), 96.

  Oppius (Gaius), 88.

  Optatianus, 269 f.

  Orators, 5; 34; 45; 95; 164 f.; 175 f.; 225; 256 f.; 264.

  Orosius, 263.

  Otho, emperor, 194; 216.

  Ovid, 143-155; 14; 64; 130; 132; 134; 135; 136; 137; 138; 140; 142;
      156; 168; 173; 186; 188; 197; 202;
    poems ascribed to, 142.

  Pacuvius, 11; 12; 18; 53.

  Pætus Thrasea, 184; 203.

  Palladius, 261.

  Panætius, Stoic philosopher, 39; 49.

  _Pandects_, 264.

  Panegyrists, 257.

  Papinianus, jurist, 233.

  Papirius Fabianus, 177.

  Parthenius, 129.

  Paul (St.), alleged correspondence with Seneca, 183.

  Paulus (Julius), 255.

  Pentadius, 254.

  Perilla, Ovid’s daughter, 154.

  Periods of Roman literature, 3; 281 ff.

  Persius (A. —— Flaccus), 183-185; 177; 193; 219; 234.

  Pertinax, emperor, 228.

  _Pervigilium Veneris_, 241-243; 272.

  Petronius (C. —— Arbiter), 188-191.

  _Peutinger Tablet_, 261.

  Phædrus, Epicurean, 66.

  Phædrus, poet of fables, 172 f.

  Philemon, Greek comic poet, 17.

  Philo, Jewish-Greek philosopher, 66; 267.

  Philosophy, 49; 78; 176 f.; 181 f.; 260.

  Philus (L. Furius), 39.

  Piso (L. Calpurnius —— Frugi), 37; 39.

  Piso (Calpurnius), conspired against Nero, 172; 178; 185; 186; 188.

  Plato, 219; 239.

  Plautus, 18-23; 27; 28; 29; 233; 236; 270.

  Pliny the elder, 204-206; 195; 215; 222; 231; 253; 256.

  Pliny the younger, 222-225; 160; 202; 204; 211; 229; 230; 244; 257; 265.

  Plotius, 116;
    Plotius Sacerdos. See Sacerdos.

  Plutarch, 234.

  Pollio (Gaius Asinius), 99; 100; 101; 102; 103; 118; 122; 160; 166;
      167; 171; 176;
    (Trebellius), 255.

  Polybius, Greek historian, 39; 92; 158.

  Pompeius Trogus. See Trogus.

  Pompey, 47; 56; 67; 68; 69; 81; 82; 84; 93; 158; 163; 186; 187.

  Pompilius Andronicus (M.), 96.

  Pomponius (L.), 30.

  Pomponius Secundus (P.), 188; 204.

  Pomponius (Sextus), 233.

  Ponticus, poet, 138; 143.

  Porcius Latro, 143.

  Porphyrio (Pomponius), grammarian, 234.

  Posidonius, Stoic, 66.

  Postumius Albinus, 33.

  _Priapea_, 140.

  Priscian, 261.

  Probus (M. Valerius), 193.

  Proculus, jurist, 192.

  Propertius, 134-137; 130; 131; 132; 143; 145; 146; 149; 168.

  Prose, Greek influence upon, 32;
    progress in, 46; 156.

  Prosper of Aquitania, 262.

  Prudentius, Christian poet, 272 f.

  Publilia, Cicero’s wife, 68.

  Publilius Syrus, 30 f.; 62.

  Punic war;
    first, 6; 33; 158;
    second, 33; 36; 158;
    third, 38; 44.

  Pythagoras, doctrine, 153.

  Quadrigarius (Q. Claudius), 43; 158.

  Quintilian, 206-210; 175; 182; 195; 202; 213.

  Quintus Curtius Rufus, 191.

  Rabirius, 138.

  Remmius Palæmon (Q.), 176; 184.

  Renatus (Flavius Vegetius), 261.

  Reposianus, 254.

  Roman literature;
    its importance, 1; 284;
    its practical purpose, 2 f.; 211 f.;
    its divisions, 3; 281 ff.;
    native elements, 4;
    its progress, 48;
    its decay, 169; 226 f.; 283;
    Greek influence, 1; 4; 5; 17; 21; 27; 32; 48; 128 f.; 226; 283;
    effect of the empire, 97.

  Roman society, 47 f.; 128 f.

  Romance languages, 210; 237.

  Romans practical, 2.

  Romans, our debt to, 283.

  Romanus (C. Julius), 256;
    (Aquila), 256.

  Roscius, actor, 66.

  Rutilius Claudius Namatianus, 275.

  Rutilius Rufus (P.), 44.

  Sabinus, poet, 146.

  Sacerdos (Marius Plotius), 256.

  Sallust, 89-91; 88; 128; 230; 236; 265.

  Sammonicus (Serenus), 253 f.

  Santra, 96.

  Sappho, 114; 121.

  Satire, 39; 40; 41; 42; 93; 117 f.; 179; 183; 184; 188 f.; 219 f.

  Saturnian verse, 7; 6; 9.

  Scævola (P.), 44;
    (Mucius), 44;
    (Q. Mucius), 44; 66;
    (the augur), 66; 70;
    (Q. Cervidius), jurist, 233.

  Scaurus (Terentius), 233.

  Scipio (Cn. Cornelius), 7;
    Africanus the elder, 36; 38;
    Africanus the younger, 24; 38; 39; 49;
    P. Cornelius, 33;
    Nasica, 37.

  Sedigitus (Volcacius), 44.

  Sedulius, 276.

  Sempronius (Gaius —— Tuditanus), 44.

  Seneca, the elder, 165 f.; 168, 170; 175; 177.

  Seneca, the younger, 177-183; 14; 165; 170; 171; 184; 185; 188; 197;
    201; 209; 210; 219.

  Septimius (L.), 265.

  Septimius Severus, emperor, 228; 233; 247.

  _Septuagint_, 217.

  Servius Sulpicius Rufus, 96.

  Servius, commentary on Virgil, 261; 192.

  Severus (Cornelius), poet, 138.

  Sextii, philosophers, 176; 177.

  Sextus Empiricus, 234.

  Shakespeare, 21; 151; 155.

  Siculus Flaccus, 225.

  Silius Italicus, 197 f.; 202.

  Sisenna (L. Cornelius), 44; 88.

  Socrates, 239.

  Solinus, 256.

  Solon, 129.

  Sophocles, 107.

  Soranus (Q. Valerius), 44.

  Sotion, philosopher, 176 f.

  Spartianus (Ælius), 255.

  Statius, 198-201; 140; 141; 195; 202; 209; 274;
    his father, 198; 201.

  Stella (Arruntius), 201.

  Stesichorus, Greek poet, 107.

  Stilicho, general, 273; 275.

  Stilo (L. Ælius Præconinus), 44; 11; 93.

  Stoic philosophy, 49; 78; 120; 124; 177; 182; 228.

  Strabo (C. Julius Cæsar), 13.

  Sueius, 62.

  Suetonius Paulinus, 191.

  Suetonius Tranquillus (C.), 229-231; 24; 227; 243; 244; 255; 256; 261;
    262; 267.

  Sulla, 44; 47; 158.

  Sulpicia, poetess of elegies, 133.

  Sulpicia, poetess, 201.

  Sulpicius Severus, 263.

  Symmachus (Q. Aurelius), 265; 279.

  Tacitus, 211-218; 91; 195; 206; 209; 222; 223; 225 f.; 244; 262; 263;

  Tacitus, emperor, 229.

  Tennyson, 242.

  Terentia, Cicero’s wife, 66; 68.

  Terentianus Maurus, 233; 241; 253.

  Terentius Scaurus, 233.

  Tertullian, 246-248; 249; 252; 258; 266.

  Theatre, 14-16.

  Theocritus, Greek poet, 101; 107; 114; 187.

  Theodoric, 278; 279.

  Theodorus, emperor, 257; 266; 267; 272; 273.

  Theodorus, of Gadara, 170.

  Theopompus, Greek writer, 92.

  Thrasea. See Pætus.

  Tiberius, emperor, 170; 124; 155; 165; 166; 170; 171; 172; 173; 174;
    175; 176; 177; 216.

  Tibullus, 131-134; 124; 130; 135; 145; 146; 168; 211.

  Ticidas, poet, 64.

  Timæus, Greek historian, 37.

  Tiro, 96; 79.

  Titinius, 29; 138.

  Titius, 13.

  Titus, emperor, 194; 195; 201; 205.

  Trabea, comic poet, 23.

  Tragedy, 11; 6; 7; 8; 12; 14; 17; 32.

  Trajan, emperor, 211; 212; 214; 216; 219; 223; 224; 225; 236; 246, 257.

  Trebellius Pollio, 255.

  Tribonian, jurist, 264.

  Trimalchio, in Petronius’s novel, 189; 190.

  Triumvirate; first, 67; 84.

  Trogus, 163 f.; 232.

  Tullia, Cicero’s daughter, 68.

  Turpilius, comic poet, 29.

  _Twelve tables_, 5; 37.

  Tyrtæus, 129.

  Ulpian, 255.

  Valens, emperor, 262; 263; 264; 271.

  Valentinian I, 265.

  Valentinian II, 267.

  Valerian, emperor, persecuted Christians, 249.

  Valerius Antias, 43; 88; 158.

  Valerius Flaccus (C.), 195-197.

  Valerius Maximus, 174 f.; 173; 219.

  Valgius Rufus, 131.

  Varius, 14; 116; 118.

  Varro Atacinus, 63; 118.

  Varro (M. Terentius), 92-94; 44; 96; 99; 192; 256; 260.

  Varus, 101.

  Vegetius, 261.

  Velleius Paterculus, 173 f.; 215.

  Verrius Flaccus, grammarian, 166; 149; 167; 234.

  Verus (L.), 228; 235; 236; 237.

  Vespa, 254.

  Vespasian, emperor, 194; 195; 197; 201; 204; 212; 216.

  Victorinus (C. Marius), 256; 260.

  Virgil, 100-113; 64; 96; 98; 99; 114; 115; 116; 118; 127; 131: 135;
      140; 141; 143; 153; 161; 167; 168; 171; 173; 187; 188; 192; 193;
      196; 197; 202; 209; 217; 219; 232; 233; 240; 241; 254; 260; 261;
      270; 280; 282;
    poems ascribed to, 140; 141.

  Vitellius (P.), orator, 176.

  Vitellius, emperor, 194; 216.

  Vitruvius, 167 f.

  Volcacius. See Sedigitus and Gallicanus.

  Vopiscus (Flavius), 255.

  Votienus Montanus, orator, 175.

  Vulcacius. See Volcacius.

  Whittier, 272.

  Wordsworth, 272.

  Xenophon, Greek writer, 92.

  Zeno, Epicurean, 66.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Transcriber's note:

Inconsistent spellings have been kept, including inconsistent use of
hyphen (e.g. "well known" and "well-known").

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