A History of Roman Literature - From the Earliest Period to the Death of Marcus Aurelius
by Charles Thomas Cruttwell
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"Non possum ferre Quintes Graecam Urbem." [23]

While the Greeks lead fashion, the old Roman virtues can never be restored. If only men could be disabused of their strange reverence for all that is Greek, society might be reconstructed. The keen satirist scents a real danger; in half a century from his death Rome had become a Greek city.

In estimating the political character of Juvenal's satire we must not attach too much weight to his denunciation of former tyrants. In the first place "tyrannicide" was a common-place of the schools: [24] Xerxes, Periander, Phalaris, and all the other despots of history, had been treated in rhetoric as they had treated others in reality; Juvenal's tirade was nothing new, but it was something much more powerful than had yet been seen. In the second place the policy of Trajan encouraged abuse of his predecessors. He could hardly claim to restore the Republic unless he showed how the Republic had been overthrown. Pliny, the courtly flatterer, is far more severe on Domitian than Juvenal; and in truth such severity was only veiled adulation. When Juvenal ridicules the senate of Domitian, [25] we may believe that he desired to stimulate to independence the senate of his day; and when he speaks of Trajan, it is in language of enthusiastic praise. [26] Flattery it is not, for Juvenal is no sycophant, nor would Trajan have liked him better if he had been one. Indeed, with all his invective he keeps strictly to truth; his painting of the emperors is from the life. It is highly coloured, but not out of drawing. Juvenal's Domitian is nearer to history than Tacitus's Tiberius.

It is in his delineations of society that Juvenal is at his greatest. There is nothing ideal about him, but his pictures of real life, allowing for their glaring lights, have an almost overpowering truthfulness. Every grade of society is made to furnish matter for his dramatic scenes. The degenerate noble is pilloried in the eighth, the cringing parasite in the fifth, the vicious hypocrite in the second, the female profligate in the sixth. It is rarely that he touches on contemporary themes. His genius was formed in the past and feeds on bitter memories. As he says, he "kills the dead." [27] To attack the living is neither pleasant nor safe. Still, in the historic incidents he resuscitates, a piercing eye can read a reference to the present. Hadrian's favourite actor saw himself in Paris. Freedmen and upstarts could read their original in Sejanus. [28] Frivolous noblemen could feel their follies rebuked in the persons of Lateranus and Damasippus. [29] Even an emperor might find his lesson in the gloomy pictures of Hannibal and Alexander. [30] So constant is this reference to past events that Juvenal's writings may be called historic satire, as those of Tacitus satiric history.

The exaggeration of Juvenal's style if employed in a different way might have led us to suspect him of less honesty of purpose than he really has. As it is, the very violence of his prejudices betrays an earnestness which, if his views had been more elevated, we might have thought feigned. A man might pretend to enthusiasm for truth, or holiness; he would hardly pretend to enthusiasm for national exclusiveness, [31] or for the dignity of his own profession. [32] When Juvenal attacks the insolent parvenu, [33] the Bithynian or Cappadocian knight, [34] the Greek adventurer who takes everything out of the Roman's hands, [35] the Chaldean impostor, [36] we may be sure he means what he says.

It is true that all his accusations are not thus limited in their scope. Some are no doubt inspired by moral indignation; and the language in which they are expressed is noble and well deserves the praise universally accorded to it. But in other instances his patriotism obscures his moral sense. For example, the rich upstarts against whom he is perpetually thundering, are by no means all worthy of blame. Very many of them have obtained their wealth by honourable commerce, which the nobles were too proud to practise, and the rewards of which they yet could not see reaped without envy and scorn. [37] The increasing importance of the class of libertini, so far from being an unmixed evil, as Juvenal thinks it, was productive of immense good. It was the first step towards the breaking down of the party-wall of pride which, if persisted in, must have caused the premature ruin of the Empire. It familiarised men's minds with ideas of equality, and prepared the way for the elevation to the citizenship of those vast masses of slaves who were fast becoming an anachronism.

Popular feeling was ahead of men like Juvenal and Tacitus in these respects. In all cases of disturbance the senate and great literary men sided with the old exclusive views. The emperors, as a rule, interfered for the benefit of the slave: and this helps us to understand the popularity of some even of the worst of their number.

Juvenal, then, was not above his age, as Cicero and Seneca had been. He does protest against the cruel treatment of slaves by the Roman ladies; but he nowhere exerts his eloquence to advocate their rights as men to protection and friendship. Nor does he enter a protest against the gladiatorial shows, which was the first thing a high moralist would have impugned, and which the Christians attacked with equal enthusiasm and courage. We observe, however, with pleasure, that as Juvenal advanced in years his tone became gentler and purer, though his literary powers decayed. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth Satires evince a kindly vein which we fail to find in the earlier ones. Some have fancied that in the interval he became acquainted with the teaching of Christianity. But this is a supposition as improbable as it is unsupported.

On the style of Juvenal but little need be added. Its force, brevity, and concision have already been noticed, At the same time they do not seem to have been natural to him. Where he writes more easily he is diffuse and even verbose. The twelfth and fifteenth Satires are conspicuous examples of this. One is tempted to think that the fifteenth, had he written it twenty years earlier, would have been compressed into half its length. The diction is classical; but like that of Tacitus, it is the classicality of the Silver Age. It shows, however, no diminution of power, and the gulf between it and that of Fronto and Apuleius in the next age is immense. Juvenal's language is based on a minute study of Virgil; [38] his rhythm is based rather on that of Lucan, with whom in other respects he shows a great affinity. His verse is sonorous and powerful; he is fond of the break after the fourth foot. Though monotonous, its weight makes it very impressive; it is easily retained in the memory, and stands next to that of Virgil and Lucretius as a type of what the language can achieve.

The resentment that goaded Juvenal to write satire seems also to have inspired the pen of C. CORNELIUS TACITUS. [39] He was born 54 A.D., or, according to Arnold, 57 A.D., probably in Rome. His father was perhaps the same who is alluded to by Pliny [40] as procurator of Belgian Gaul. It is, at any rate, certain that the historian came of a noble and wealthy stock; his habit of thought, prejudices, and tastes all reflect these of the highest and most exclusive society. He began the career of honours under Vespasian [41] by obtaining his quaestorship, and, some years later, the aedileship. The dates of both these events are uncertain—another instance of the vagueness with which writers of this time allude to the circumstances of their own lives. We know that at twenty-one he married the daughter of Cn. Julius Agricola, and that he was praetor ten years afterwards. He was also quindecimvir at the secular games under Domitian (88 A.D.). For some years he held a military command abroad, perhaps in Germany. On his return he was constant in his senatorial duties [42] and we find him joined with Pliny in the accusation of Marius Priscus, which was successful but unavailing. Under Nerva (97 A.D.) he was made consul; but soon retired from public life, and dedicated the rest of his days to literature, having sketched out a vast plan of Roman history the greater part of which he lived to fulfil. The year of his death is uncertain. Brotier, followed by Arnold, thinks he was prematurely cut off before the close of Trajan's reign, but it is possible he lived somewhat longer, perhaps until 118 A.D.

The first remark one naturally makes on reading the life of Tacitus, is that he was admirably fitted by his distinguished military and political career for the duties of a historian. Gibbon said that his year in the yeomanry had been of more service to him in describing battles than any closet study could have been; and Tacitus has this great advantage over Livy that he had helped to make history as well as to relate it. His elevation to the rank of senator enabled him to understand the iniquity of Domitian's government in a way that would otherwise have been impossible; and of the complicity shown by the servile fathers in their ruler's acts of crime, he speaks in the Agricola with something like the shame of repentance. His character seems to have been naturally proud and independent, but unequal to heroism in action. Like almost all literary minds he shrunk from facing peril or discomfort, and tried to steer a course between the harsh self-assertion of a Thrasea [43] and the cringing servility of the majority of senators. This led him to become dissatisfied with himself, with the world, and with Divine Providence, [44] and has left a stamp of profound and rebellious melancholy on all his works.

As a young man he had studied rhetoric under Aper Secundus, [45] and perhaps Quintilian. He pleaded with the greatest success, and Pliny gives it as his own highest ambition to be ranked next, he dare not say second, to Tacitus. [46] Nor was his deliberative eloquence inferior to his judicial. We learn, from Pliny again, that there was a peculiar solemnity in his language, which gave to all he uttered the greatest weight. The panegyric he pronounced on Virginius Rufus, the man who twice refused the chance of empire, "the best citizen of his time," was celebrated as a model of that kind of oratory. [47]

The earliest work of his that has reached us is the Dialogus de caussis corruptae Eloquentiae, composed under Titus, or early under Domitian. It attributes the decay of eloquence to the decay of freedom; but believes in a future development of imperial oratory under the mild sway of just princes, founded not on feeble and repining imitation of the past, but on a just appreciation of the qualifications attainable in the present political conditions and state of the language. The argument is conducted throughout with the greatest moderation, but the conclusion is decided in favour of the modern style, if kept within proper bounds. The time of the dialogue is laid in 75 A.D.; the speakers are Curiatius Maternus, Aper Secundus, and Vipstanus Messala. The point of debate is one frequently discussed in the schools of rhetoric, and the work may be considered as a literary exercise; but the author must have outgrown youth when he wrote it, and its ability is such as to give promise of commanding eminence in the future. The style is free and flowing, and full of imitations of Cicero. This has caused some of the critics to attribute it to other authors, as Pliny the younger and Quintilian, [48] who were known to be Ciceronianists. But independently of the fact that it is distinctly above the level of these writers, we observe on looking closely many indications of Tacitus's peculiar diction. [49] The most striking personal notice occurs in the thirteenth chapter, where the author announces his determination to give up the life of ambition, and, like Virgil, to be content with one of literary retirement. This seems at first hard to reconcile with the known career of Tacitus; but as the dialogue bears all the marks of early manhood, the resolve, though real, may have been a passing one only; or, in comparison with what he felt himself capable of doing, the activity actually displayed by him may have seemed as nothing, and to have merited the depreciatory notice he here bestows upon it.

The work next in order of priority is the Agricola, a biography of his father-in-law, composed near the commencement of Trajan's reign, about 98 A. D. The talent of the author has now undergone a change; he is no longer the bright flowing spirit of the Dialogus, who acknowledged the decline while making the most of the excellences of his time; he has become the stern, back-looking moralist, the burning panegyrist, whose very pictures of virtue are the most withering rebukes of vice. This treatise represents what Teuffel calls his Sallustian epoch; i.e., a phase or period of his mental development, in which his political and moral feeling, as well as his literary aspirations, led him to recall the manner of the great rhetorical biographer. The short preface, in which occurs a fierce protest against the wickedness of the time just past, reminds us of the more verbose but otherwise not dissimilar introduction to the Catiline: and the subordination of general history to the main subject of the composition is earned out in Sallust's way, but with even greater completeness. At the same time the Silver Age is betrayed by the extremely high colouring of the rhetoric, especially in the last chapters, where an impassioned outpouring of affection and despair seems by its prophetic eloquence to summon forth the genius that is to be. Already, in this work, [50] we find that Tacitus has conceived the design of his Historiae, to which, therefore, the Agricola must be considered a preliminary study.

As yet, Tacitus's manner is only half-formed. He must have acquired by painful labour that wonderful suggestive brevity which in the Annals reaches its culmination, and is of all styles the world of letters has ever seen, the most compressed and full of meaning. The Germania, however, in certain portions [51] approximates to it, and in other ways shows a slight increase of maturity over the biography of Agricola. His object in writing this treatise has been much contested. Some think it was in order to dissuade Trajan from a projected expedition that he painted the German people as foes so formidable; others that it is a satire on the vices of Rome couched under the guise of an innocent ethnographic treatise; others that it is inspired by the genuine scientific desire to investigate the many objects of historic and natural interest with which a vast and almost unknown territory abounded. But none of these motives supplies a satisfactory explanation. The first can hardly be maintained owing to historical difficulties; the second, though an object congenial to the Roman mind, is not lofty enough to have moved the pen of Tacitus; the third, though it may have had some weight with him, would argue a state of scientific curiosity in advance of Tacitus's position and age, and besides is incompatible with his culpable laziness in sifting information on matters of even still greater ethnographic interest. [52]

The true motive was no doubt his fear lest the continual assaults of these tribes should prove a permanent and insurmountable danger to Rome. Having in all probability been himself employed in Germany, Tacitus had seen with dismay of what stuff the nation was made, and had foreseen what the defeat of Varus might have remotely suggested, that some day the degenerate Romans would be no match for these hardy and virtuous tribes. Thus, the design of the work was purely and pre-eminently patriotic; nor is any other purpose worthy of the great historian, patrician, patriot, and soldier that he was. At the same time subsidiary motives are not excluded; we may well believe that the gall of satire kindles his eloquence, and that the insatiable desire of knowledge stimulates his research while inquiring into the less accessible details of the German polity. The work is divided into two parts. The first gives an account of the situation, climate, soil, and inhabitants of the country; it investigates the etymology of several German names of men and gods, describes the national customs, religion, laws, amusements, and especially celebrates the people's moral strictness; but at the same time not without contrasting them unfavourably with Rome whenever the advantage is on her side. The second part contains a catalogue of the different tribes, with the geographical limits, salient characteristics, and a short historical account of each, whenever accessible.

Next come the Histories, which are a narrative of the reigns of Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, written under Trajan. This work, of which we possess only four entire books, with part of the fifth, consisted originally of fourteen books, and was the most authentic and complete of all his writings. The loss of the last nine and a half books must be considered irreparable. In the Germania he had shown the power of that liberty which the barbarians enjoyed, had indicated their polity, in which, even then the germs of feudalism, chivalry, the worship of the sex, troubadour minstrelsy, fairy mythology, and, above all, representative government, existed. In the Historiae he paints with tremendous power the disorganisation, of the Roman state, the military anarchy which made the diadem the gift of a brutal soldiery, and revealed the startling truth that an emperor could be created elsewhere than at Rome.

At this period his style still retains some traces of its former copious flow; it has not yet been pressed tight into the short sententiae, which were its final and most characteristic development, and which in the Annals dominate to the exclusion of every other style.

The Annals, ab excessu divi Augusti, in sixteen books, treated the history of the Empire until the extinction of the Claudian dynasty. They contain two separate threads of history, one internal, the other external. The latter is important and interesting; but the former is both in an immeasurably greater degree. It has been likened to a tragedy in two acts, the first terminating with the death of Tiberius, the second with the death of Nero. Tacitus in this work shows his personal sympathies more strongly than in any of the others. He appears as a Roman of the old school, but still more, as an oligarchical partisan. Not that he indulged in chimerical plans for restoring the Republic. That he saw was impossible; nor had he much sympathy with those who strove for it. But his resignation to the Empire as an unavoidable evil does not inspire him with contentment. His blood boils with indignation at the steady repression of the liberty of action of the old families, which the instincts of imperialism forced upon the monarchs from the very beginning; nor do the general security of life and property, the bettered condition of the provinces, and the long peace that had allowed the internal resources of the empire to be developed, make amends for what he considers the iniquitous tyranny practised upon the higher orders of the state. Thus he writes under a strong sense of injustice, which reaches its culmination in treating of the earlier reigns. But this does not provoke him into intemperate language, far less into misrepresentation of fact; if he disdained to complain, he disdained still more to falsify. But he cannot help insinuating; and his insinuations are of such searching power that, once suggested, they grasp hold of the mind, and will not be shaken off. Of all Latin authors none has so much power over the reader as Tacitus. If by eloquence is meant the ability to persuade, then he is the most eloquent historian that ever existed. To doubt his judgment is almost to be false to the conscience of history. Nevertheless, his saturnine portraits have been severely criticised both by English and French historians, and the arguments for the defence put forward with enthusiasm as well as force. The result is, that Tacitus's verdict has been shaken, but not reversed. The surpassing vividness of such characters as his Tiberius and Nero forbids us to doubt their substantial reality. But once his prepossessions are known and discounted, the student of his works can give a freer attention to the countervailing facts, which Tacitus is too honourable to hide.

After long wavering between the two styles, he adopted the brilliant one fashionable in his time, but he has glorified it in adopting it. Periods such as those of Pliny would be frigid in him. He still retains some traces (though they are few) of the rhetorician. In an interesting passage he complains of the comparative poverty of his subject as contrasted with that of Livy: "Ingentia illi bella, expugnationes urbium, fusos captosque reges libero egressu memorabant; nobis in arcto et inglorius labor. Immota quippe aut modice lacessita pax maestae urbis res et princeps proferendi imperii incuriosus;"—[53] but he certainly had no cause to complain. The sombre annals of the Empire were not less amenable to a powerful dramatic treatment than the vigorous and aggressive youth of the Republic had been. Nor does the story of guilt and horror depicted in the Annals fall below even the finest scenes of Livy; in intensity of interest it rather exceeds them.

Tacitus intended to have completed his labours by a history of Augustus's reign, which, however, he did not live to write. This is a great misfortune. But he has left us his opinion on the character and policy of Augustus in the first few chapters of the Annals, and a very valuable opinion it is. What makes the historian more bitter in the Annals than elsewhere, is the feeling that it was the early emperors who inaugurated the evil policy which their successors could hardly help themselves in carrying out. When the failure of Piso's conspiracy destroyed the last hopes of the aristocracy, it was hardly possible to retain for the later emperors the same intense hatred that had been felt for those whose tyranny fostered, and then remorselessly crushed, the resistance of the patrician party. The Annals, therefore, though the most concentrated, powerful, and dramatic of Tacitus's works, hardly rank quite so high in a purely historical point of view as the Histories; as Merivale has said, they are all satire.

At the same time, his facts are quite trustworthy. We know from Pliny's letters that he took great pains to get at the most authentic sources, and beyond doubt he was well qualified to judge in cases of conflicting evidence. These diverse excellences, in the opinion of Niebuhr and Arnold, place him indisputably at the head of the Roman historians. We cannot better close this account than in the eloquent words of a French writer: [54] "In Tacitus subjectivity predominates; the anger and pity which in turn never cease to move him, give to his style an expressiveness, a rich glow of sentiment, of which antiquity affords no other example. This constant union between the dramatic and pathetic elements, together with the directness, energy, and reality of the language, must act with Irresistible force upon every reader. Tacitus is a poet; but a poet that has a spirit of his own. Was he as fully appreciated in his own day as he is in ours? We doubt it. The horrors, the degeneracy of his time, awake in his brooding soul the altogether modern idea of national expiation and national chastisement. The historian rises to the sublimity of the judge. He summons the guilty to his tribunal, and it is in the name of the Future and of Posterity that he pronounces the implacable and irreversible verdict."

The poetical and Greek constructions with which Tacitus's style abounds, the various artifices whereby he relieves the tedium of monotonous narrative, or attains brevity or variety, have been so often analysed in well-known grammatical treatises that it is unnecessary to do more than allude to them here.



We now enter on a new and in some respects a very interesting era. From the influence exerted on the last period by the family of Seneca, we might call it the epoch of Spanish Latinity; from the similar influence now exerted by the African school, we might call the present the epoch of African Latinity. Its chief characteristic is ill-digested erudition. Various circumstances combined to make a certain amount of knowledge general, and the growing cosmopolitan sentiment excited a strong interest in every kind of exotic learning. With increased diffusion depth was necessarily sacrificed. The emperor set the example of travel, which was eagerly followed by his subjects. Hence a large mass of information was acquired, which injuriously affected those who possessed it. They appear, as it were, crushed by its weight, and become learned triflers or uninteresting pedants. By far the most considerable writer of this period was Suetonius, but then he had been trained in the school of Pliny, of whom for several years he was an intimate friend. Hadrian himself (76-138 A.D.), among his many other accomplishments, gave some attention to letters. Speeches, treatises of various kinds, anecdotes, and a collection of oracles, are ascribed to his pen. Also certain epigrams which we still possess, and chiefly that exquisite address to his soul, composed on his death-bed: [1]

"Animala vagula blandula Hospes comesque corporis Quae nunc abibis in loca, Pallidula rigida nudula? Nec ut soles dabis iocos."

Hadrian was also a patron of letters, though an inconstant one. His vanity led him to wish to have distinguished writers about him, but it also led him to wish to be ranked as himself the most distinguished. His own taste was good; he appreciated and copied the style of the republican age; but he encouraged the pedantic Fronto, whose taste was corrupt and ruinously influential. So that while with one hand he benefited literature, with the other he injured it.

The birth year of C. SUETONIUS TRANQUILLUS is uncertain, but may be assigned with probability to 75 A.D. [2] We may here remark the extraordinary reticence of the later writers on the subject of their younger days. Seneca alone is communicative. All the rest show an oblivion or indifference most unlike the genial communicativeness of Cicero, Horace, and Ovid. His father was one Suetonius Lenis, a military tribune and wearer of the angusticlave. Muretus, however, desirous to give him a more illustrious origin, declares that his father was the Suetonius Paulinus mentioned by Tacitus. We learn a good deal of his younger days from the letters of Pliny, and can infer something of his character also. In conformity with what we know from other sources of the tendencies of the age, we find that he was given to superstition. [3] At this time (i.e. under Trajan) Suetonius wavered between a literary and a political career. Pliny was able and willing to help him in the latter, and got him appointed to the office of tribune (102 A.D.). [4] Some years later (112 A.D.), he procured for him the jus trium liberorum, though Suetonius was childless. We see that Augustus's excellent institutions had already turned into an abuse. The means for keeping up the population had become a compensation for domestic unhappiness. [5] Suetonius practised for some years at the bar, and seems to have amassed a considerable fortune. We find him begging Pliny to negotiate for him for the purchase of an estate. [6] Shortly after this he was promoted to be Hadrian's secretary, which gave him an excellent opportunity of enriching his stores of knowledge from the imperial library. Of this opportunity he made excellent use, and after his disgrace, owing, it is said, to too great familiarity with, the empress (119 A.D.), he devoted his entire time to those multifarious and learned works, which gave him the position of the Varro of the imperial period. His life was prolonged for many years, probably until 160 A.D. [7]

The writings of Suetonius were encyclopaedic. Following the culture of his day, he seems to have written partly in Greek, partly in Latin. This had been also the practice of Cicero, and of many of the greatest republican authors. The difference between them lies, not in the fact that Suetonius's Greek was better, but that his Latin is less good. Instead of a national it is fast becoming a cosmopolitan dialect. Still Suetonius tried to form his taste on older and purer models, and is far removed from the denationalised school of Fronto and Apuleius.

The titles of his works are a little obscure. Both, following Suidas, gives the following. (1) peri ton par Ellaesi paidion Biblion, a book of games. This is quoted or paraphrased by Tzetzes, [8] and several excerpts from it are preserved in Eustathius. It was no doubt written in Greek, but perhaps in Latin also. (2) peri ton para Romaiois theorion kai agonon biblia g, an account in three books of the Roman spectacles and games, of which an interesting fragment on the Troia ludus is preserved by Tertullian. [9] (3) peri tou kata Romaious eniautou biblion, an archaeological investigation into the theory of the Roman year. (4) peri ton en tois bibliois saemeion, on the signification of rare words. (5) peri taes Kikeronos politeias, a justification of the conduct of Cicero, in opposition to some of his now numerous detractors, especially one Didymus, a conceited Alexandrine, called Chalcenterus, "the man of iron digestion," on account of his immense powers of work. (6) peri onomaton kai ideas esthaematon kai upodaematon, a treatise on the different names of shoes, coats, and other articles of dress. This may seem a trivial subject; but, after Carlyle, we can hardly deny its capability of throwing light on great matters. Besides, in ancient times dress had a religious origin, and in many cases a religious significance. And two passages from the work preserved by Servius, [10] are important from this point of view. (7) peri dusphaemon lexeon aetoi blasphaemiom, an inquiry into the origin and etymology of the various terms of abuse employed in conversation and literature. This was almost certainly written in Greek. (8) peri Romaes kai ton en autae nomimon kai aethon biblia b, a succinct account of the chief Roman customs, of which only a short passage on the Triumph has come down to us through Isidore. [11] (9) Syngenikon Kaisaron, [12] a biography of the twelve Caesars, divided into eight books. (10) Stemma Romaion andron episaemon, a gallery of illustrious men, the plan of which was followed by Jerome in his history of the worthies of the church. But Suetonius's catalogue seems to have been confined to those eminent in literature, and to have treated only of poets, orators, historians, philosophers, grammarians, and rhetoricians. Of this we possess considerable fragments, especially the account of the grammarians, and the lives of Terence, Horace, and Pliny. (11) peri episaemon pornon, an account of those courtesans who had become renowned through their wit, beauty, or genius. (12) De Vitiis Corporalibus, a list of bodily defects, written perhaps to supplement the medical works of Celsus and Scribonius Largus. (13) De Institutione Officiorum, a manual of rank as fixed by law, and of social and court etiquette. This, did we possess it, would be highly interesting, and might throw light on many now obscure points. (14) De Regibus, in three books, containing short biographies of the most renowned monarchs in each of the three divisions of the globe, treated in his usual style of a string of facts coupled with a list of virtues and vices. (15) De Rebus Variis, a sort of ana, of which we can detect but few, and those insignificant, notices. (16) Prata, or miscellaneous subjects, in ten or perhaps twelve books, which work was greatly admired not only in the centuries immediately succeeding, but also throughout the Middle Ages. It is extremely probable, as Teuffel thinks, that many of the foregoing treatises may really have been simply portions of the Prata cited under their separate names. The first eight books were confined to national antiquities and other similar points of interest; the rest were given to natural science and that sort of popular philosophy so much in vogue at the time, which finds a parallel between every fact of the physical universe and some phenomenon of the human body or mind. They were modelled on Varro's writings, which to a large extent they superseded, except for great writers like Augustine, who went back to the fountain head. [13] It is uncertain whether Suetonius treated history; but a work on the wars between Pompey and Caesar, Antony and Octavian, is indicated by some notices in Dio Cassius and Jerome. All these writings, however, are lost, and the sole work by which we can form an estimate of Suetonius's genius is his lives of the Caesars, which we fortunately possess almost entire.

Suetonius possessed in a high degree some of the most essential qualifications of a biographer. He was minute, laborious, and accurate in his investigation of facts; he neglected nothing, however trivial or even offensive, which he thought threw light upon the character or circumstances of those he described. And he is completely impartial; it would perhaps be more correct to say indifferent. His accounts have been well compared by a French writer to the proces verbal of the law courts. They are dry, systematic, and uncoloured by partisanship or passion. Such statements are valuable in themselves, and particularly when read as a pendant to the history of Tacitus, which they often confirm, often correct, and always illustrate. To take a single point; we see from Tacitus how it was that the emperors were so odious to the aristocracy; we see from Suetonius how it was that they became the idols of the people. Many of the details are extremely disgusting, but this strong realism is a Roman characteristic, and adds to their value. To the higher attributes of a historian Suetonius has no pretension. He scarcely touches on the great historic events, and never ventures a comprehensive judgment; nor can he even take a wide survey of the characters he pourtrays. But he is a faithful collector of evidence on which the philosophic biographer may base his own judgment; and as he generally gives his sources, which are authentic in almost every case, we may use his statements with perfect confidence.

His style is coloured with rhetoric, and occasionally with poetic embellishment, but is otherwise terse and vigorous. The extreme curtness he cultivated often leads him into something bordering on obscurity. His habit of alluding to sources of information instead of being at the pains to describe them at length, while it adds to the neatness of his periods, detracts from its value to ourselves. He rises but rarely into eloquence, and still more rarely shows dramatic power. The best known of his descriptive scenes is the death of Julius Caesar, but that of Nero is almost more graphic. It may interest the reader to give a translation of it. [14] The scene is the palace, the time, the night before his death:—

"He thus put off deciding what to do till next day. But about midnight he awoke, and finding the guard gone, leapt out of bed, and sent round messages to his friends; but meeting with no response, he himself, accompanied by one or two persons, called at their houses in turn. But every door was shut, and no one answered his inquiries, so he returned to his chamber to find the guard had fled, carrying with them the entire furniture, and with the rest his box of poison. He at once asked for Spiculus the mirmillo or some other trained assassin to deal the fatal blow, but could get no one. This seemed to strike him; he cried out, 'Have I then neither friend nor enemy?' and ran forward as if intending to throw himself into the river. But checking his steps he begged for some better concealed hiding place where he might have time to collect his thoughts. The freedman Phaon offered his suburban villa, situate four miles distant, midway between the Salarian and Nomentane roads; so just as he was, bare-foot and clad in his tunic, he threw round him a faded cloak, and covering his head, and binding a napkin over his face, mounted a horse with four companions of whom Sporus was one. On starting he was terrified by a shock of earthquake and an adverse flash of lightning, and heard from the camp hard by the shouts of the soldiers predicting his ruin and Galba's triumph. A traveller, as they passed, observed, 'Those men are pursuing Nero;' another asked, 'Is there any news in town about Nero?' His horse took fright at the smell of a dead body which had been thrown into the road; in the confusion his disguise fell off, and a praetorian soldier recognised and saluted him. Arrived at the post-house, they left their horses, and struggled through a thorny copse by following a track in the sandy soil, but were obliged to put cloths under their feet as they walked. However, they arrived safely at the back wall of the villa. Phaon then suggested that they should hide in a cavern hard by, formed by a heap of sand. But Nero declaring that he would not be buried alive, they waited a little, till a chance should offer of entering the villa unobserved. Seeing some water in a little pool, he scooped some up with his hand, and just before drinking said 'This is Nero's distilled water!' then, seeing how his cloak was torn by the brambles, he peeled off the thorns from the branches that crossed the path. Then crawling on all fours, he passed through a narrow passage out of the cavern into the nearest cellar, and there laid himself on a pallet made of old straw and furnished with anything but a comfortable pillow. Becoming both hungry and thirsty, he refused some musty bread that was offered him, but drank a little tepid water. To free himself from the constant shower of abuse that those who came to gaze poured on him, he ordered a pit to be made according to the measure of his body, and any bits of marble that lay by to be heaped together, and water and wood to be brought for the proper disposing of the corpse; weeping at each stage of the proceedings, and saying every now and then, 'Oh! what an artist the world is losing!' [15]

"While thus occupied a missive was brought to Phaon. Nero snatched it out of his hand, and read that he had been decreed an enemy by the Senate, and was demanded for punishment 'according to the manner of our ancestors.' He asked what this meant. Being told that he would be stripped naked, his neck fixed in a pitchfork, and his back scourged until he was dead, he seized in his terror two daggers which he had brought with him, but after feeling their edge put them back into their sheaths, alleging that the fated hour had not yet come. Sometimes he would ask Sporus to raise the funeral lamentation, then he would implore some one to set him an example of courage by dying first; sometimes he would chide his own irresoluteness by saying—'I am a base degenerate man to live! This does not beseem Nero! We must be steady on occasions like these—come, rouse yourself!' [16] Already the horsemen were seen approaching who had received orders to carry him off alive. Crying out in the words of Homer:

'The noise of swift-footed steeds strikes my ears,'

he drove the weapon into his throat with the help of his secretary Epaphroditus, and immediately fell back half-dead. The centurion now arrived, and, under the pretence of assisting him, put his cloak to the wound; Nero only replied, 'Too late!' and 'This is your loyalty!' With these words he died, his eyes being quite glazed, and starting out in a manner horrible to witness. His continual and earnest petition had been that no one should have possession of his head, but that come what would, he might be buried whole. This Talus, Galba's freedman, granted."

It will be seen that his narrative, though not lofty, is masterly, clear, and impressive.

Besides Suetonius we have a historian, though a minor one, in P. ANNIUS FLORUS, [17] who is now generally identified with the rhetorician and poet mentioned more than once by Pliny, and author of a dialogue, "Vergilius Orator an Poeta," and some lines De Rosis and De Qualitate Vitae. [18] Little is known of his life, except that he was a youth in the time of Domitian, was vanquished at the Capitoline contest through unjust partiality, and settled at Tarraco as a professional rhetorician. Under Hadrian he returned to Rome, and probably did not survive his reign. The epitome of Livy's history, or rather the wars of it, from the foundation of Rome to the era of Augustus, in two short books, is a pretentious and smartly written work. But it shows no independent investigation, and no power of impartial judgment. Its views of the constitution [19] are even more superficial than those of Livy. The first book ends with the Gracchi, after whom, according to the author, the decline began. The frequent moral declamations were greatly to the taste of the Middle Ages, and throughout them Florus was a favourite. Abridgments were now the fashion; perhaps that of Pompeius Trogus by JUSTINUS belongs to this reign. [20] Many historians wrote in Greek.

Jurisprudence was also actively cultivated. We have the two great names of SALVIUS JULIANUS and SEX. POMPONIUS, both of whom continued to write under the Antonines. They were nearly of an age. Pomponius, we infer from his own words, [22] was born somewhere about 84 A.D., and as he lived to a great age, it is probable that he survived his brother jurist. Both enjoyed for several centuries a high and deserved reputation. The rise of philosophical jurisprudence coincides with the decline of all other literature. It must be considered to belong to science rather than letters, and is far too wide a subject to be more than merely noticed here, Both these authors wrote a digest, as well as numerous other works. The best-known popular treatise of Pomponius was his Enchiridion, or Manual of the Law of Nations, containing a sketch of the history of Roman law and jurisprudence until the time of Julian. [23]

The study of grammar and rhetoric was pursued with much industry, but by persons of inferior mark. ANTONIUS JULIANUS, a Spaniard, some account of whom is given by Gellius, [24] kept up the older style as against the new African fashion. His declamations have perished; but those of CALPURNIUS FLACCUS still remain. The chief rhetoricians seem to have confined themselves to declaiming in Greek. The celebrated Favorinus, at once philosopher, rhetorician, and minute grammarian, was one of the most popular. TERENTIUS SCAURUS wrote a book on Latin grammar, and commentaries on Plautus and Virgil. We have his treatise De Orthographia, which contains many rare ancient forms. His evident desire to be brief has caused some obscurity. The author formed his language on the older models; like Suetonius, following Pliny, and through him, the classical period.

Philosophers abounded in this age, and one at least, Plutarch, has attained the highest renown. As he, in common with all the rest, wrote in Greek, no more will be said about them here.

A medical writer of some note, whose two works on acute (celeres passiones) and chronic (tardae) diseases have reached us, is CAELIUS AURELIANUS. His exact date is not known. But as he never alludes to Galen, it is probable be lived before him. He was born at Sicca in Numidia, and chiefly followed Soranus.

The reigns of Antoninus Pius and his son, the saintly M. Aurelius, covered a space of forty-two years, during which good government and consistent patronage did all they could for letters. But though the emperor could give the tone to such literature as existed, he could not revive the old force and spirit, which were gone for ever. The Romans now showed all the signs of a decaying people. The loss of serious interest in anything, even in pleasure, argues a reduced mental calibre; and the substitution of minute learning for original thought always marks an irrecoverable decadence. The chief writer during the earlier part of this period is M. CORNELIUS FRONTO (90-168 A.D.), a native of Cirta, in Numidia, who had been held under Hadrian to be the first pleader of the day; and now rose to even greater influence from being intrusted with the education of the two young Caesars, M. Aurelius and L. Verus. Fronto suffered acutely from the gout, and the tender solicitude displayed by Aurelius for his preceptor's ailments is pleasant to see, though the tone of condolence is sometimes a little mawkish. Fronto was a thorough pedant, and of corrupt taste. He had all the clumsy affectation of his school. Aurelius adopted his teacher's love of archaisms with such zest that even Fronto was obliged to advise a more popular style. When Aurelius left off rhetoric for the serious study of philosophy, Fronto tried his best to dissuade him from such apostasy. In his eyes eloquence, as he understood it, was the only pursuit worthy of a great man. In later life Aurelius arrived at better canons of judgment; in his Meditations he praises Fronto's goodness, [25] but says not a word about his eloquence. His contemporaries were less reserved. They extolled him to the skies, and made him their oracle of all wisdom. Eumenius [26] says, "he is the second and equal glory of Roman eloquence;" and Macrobius [27] says, "There are four styles of speech; the copious, of which Cicero is chief; the terse, in which Sallust holds sway; the dry, [28] which is assigned to Fronto; the florid, in which Pliny luxuriates." With testimonies like these before them, and the knowledge that he had been raised to the consulship (143) and to the confidential friendship of two emperors, scholars had formed a high estimate of his genius. But the discovery of his letters by Mai (1815) undeceived them. Independently of their false taste, which cannot fail to strike the reader, they show a feeble mind, together with a lack of independence and self-reliance. He has, however, a good naturel, and a genial self-conceit, which attracts us to him, and we are not surprised at the affection of his pupil, though we suspect it has led him to exaggerate his master's influence.

Until these came to light, scarcely anything was known of Fronto's works. Five discussions on the signification of words had been preserved in Gellius, and a passage in which he violently attacks the Christians in Minucius Felix. But the letters give an excellent idea of his mind, i.e. they are well stocked with words, and supply as little as possible of solid information. Family matters, mutual condolences, pieces of advice, interspersed with discussions on eloquence, form their staple. The collection consisted of ten books, five written to Aurelius as heir- apparent, and five to him as emperor. But we have lost the greater part of the latter series. Of Fronto's numerous other writings only scattered fragments remain. They are as follows:—(1) Panegyric speeches addressed to Hadrian [29] and Antoninus (among which was the celebrated one on his British victories 140 A.D.). (2) A speech returning thanks to the senate on behalf of the Carthaginians. (3) Speeches for the Bithynians and Ptolomacenses. (4) Speeches for and against individuals. (5) The speech against the Christians quoted by Minucius. (6) Appended to the letters are also some Greek epistles to members of the imperial household, a consolation from Aurelius to Fronto on the death of his grandson, and his reply, which is a mixture of desponding pessimism and philological pedantry. [30] (7) Trifles like the erotikos, a study based on Plato's theory of love, the story of Arion, the feriae alsienses, in which he humorously advises the prince to take a holiday, the laudes fumi et pulveris, a rhetorical exercise, [31] show that he was quite at home in a less ambitious vein.

The best example of his style and habits of thought is found in the letters De Eloquentia on p. 139 sqq. of Naber's edition.

His life was soured by suffering and bereavement. His wife and all his children but one died before him, and he himself was a victim to various diseases. His interest for us is due to his relations with Aurelius and the general dearth at that period of first-rate writers. He died probably before the year 169. With Fronto's letters are found a considerable number of those of Aurelius, but they do not call for any remark. The writings that have brought him the purest and loftiest fame are not in Latin but in Greek. It would therefore be out of place to dwell on them here.

A younger contemporary and admirer of Fronto is AULUS GELLIUS (l25?-175 A.D.), author of the Noctes Atticae, in twenty books, a pleasant, gossiping work, written to occupy the leisure of his sons, and containing a vast amount of interesting details on literature and religious or antiquarian lore. Gellius is a man of small mind, but makes up by zeal for lack of power. He was trained in philosophy under Favorinus, in rhetoric under Antonius Julianus and, perhaps, Fronto, but his style and taste are, on the whole, purer than those of his preceptors. The title Noctes Atticae was chosen, primarily, because the book was written at Athens and during the lucubrations of the night; but its modesty was also a recommendation in his eyes. The subjects are very various, but grammar or topics connected with it preponderate. A large space is devoted to anecdotes, literary and historical, and among these are found both the most interesting and the best written passages. Another element of importance is found in the quotations, which are very numerous, from ancient authors. The reader will appreciate the value of these from the continual references to Gellius which have been made in this work. [32]

The style of Gellius abounds with archaisms and rare words, e.g., edulcare, recentari, aeruscator, adulescentes frugis, elegans verborum, and shows an unnecessary predilection for frequentatives. [33] It is obvious that in his day men had ceased to feel the full meaning of the words they used. As a depraved bodily condition requires larger and stronger doses of physic to affect it, so Gellius, when his subject is most trivial, strives most for overcharged vigour of language. [34] But these defects are less conspicuous in the later books, where his thought also rises not unfrequently into a higher region. The man's nature is amiable and social; he enlisted the help of his friends in the preparation of his little essays, [35] and seems to have been on kindly terms with most of the chief writers of the day. Among the ancients his admiration was chiefly bestowed on Virgil and Cicero as representatives of literature, on Varro and Nigidius Figulus, [36] as representatives of science. His power of criticism is narrowed by pedantry and small passions, but when these are absent he can use his judgment well. [37] He preserves many interesting points of etymology [38] and grammar, [39] and is a mine of archaic quotation. Among contemporary philosophers he admires most Plutarch, Favorinus, and Herodes Atticus the rival of Fronto. He smiles at the enthusiasm with which some regard all that is obsolete, and mentions the Ennianistae [40] with half-disapproval. But his own bias inclines the same way, only he brings more taste to it than they. On the whole he is a very interesting writer, and the last that can be called in anyway classical. He is well spoken of by Augustine; [41] and Macrobius, though he scarcely mentions him, pillages his works without reserve. His eighth book is lost, but the table of contents is fortunately preserved.

A great genius belonging to this time is the jurist GAIUS (110-180 A.D.). His nomen is not known; whence some have supposed that he never came to Rome. But this is both extremely unlikely in itself, and contradicted by at least one passage of his works. He was a professor of jurisprudence for many years, and from the style of his extant works Teuffel conjectures that they originated from oral lectures. It is astonishing how clear even the later Latin language becomes when it touches on congenial subjects, such as agriculture or law. The ancient legal phraseology had been seriously complained of as being so technical as to baffle all but experts in deciphering its meaning. Horace ridicules the cunning of the trained legal intellect in more than one place. But this reproach was no longer just. The series of able and thoughtful writers who had carried out a successive and systematic treatment of law since the Augustan age had brought into it such matchless clearness, that they have formed the model for all subsequent philosophic jurists. The amalgamation of the great Stoic principles of natural right, the equality of man, and the jus gentium, which last was gradually expanding into the conception of international law, contributed to make jurisprudence a complete exponent of the essential character of the Empire as the "polity of the human race." The works of Gaius included seven books Rerum Cotidianarum, which, like the work of Apuleius, were styled Aurei; and an introduction to the science of law, called Institutiones, or Instituta, in four books. These were published 161 A.D., and at once established themselves as the most popular exposition of the subject. Gaius was a native of the east, but of what country is uncertain. The names of several other jurists are preserved. They were divided into two classes, [42] the practicians, who pleaded or responded, and the regularly endowed professors of jurisprudence. Of the former class SEX. JULIUS AFRICANUS was the most celebrated for his acute intellect and the extreme difficulty of his definitions; ULPIUS MARCELLUS for his deep learning and the prudence of his decisions. He was an adviser of the emperor Aurelius. A third writer, one of whose treatises—that on the divisions of money, weights, and measures,—is still extant, was L. VOLUSIUS MAECIANUS. The reader is referred for information on this subject to Teuffel's work, and Poste's edition of the Institutes of Gaius.

Among minor authors we may mention C. SULPICIUS APOLLINARIS, a Carthaginian, who became a teacher of rhetoric and grammar, and numbered among his pupils Aulus Gellius. He and ARRUNTIUS CELSUS devoted their talents for the most part to subjects of archaic interest. Erudition of a certain kind had now become universal, and was discussed with all the formality and exuberance of public debate. The disputations of the mediaeval universities seem to have found their germ in these animated discussions on trivial subjects, such as are described in chapters of Gellius to which the reader has already been referred. [43]

Historical research flagged; epitomizers had possession of the field. We have the names of L. AMPELIUS, the author of an abridged "book of useful information on various subjects," history predominating, called Liber Memorialis, which still remains; and of GRANIUS LICINIANUS, short fragments of whose Roman history in forty books are left to us.

Poetry was even more meagrely represented. Aulus Gellius [44] has preserved a translation of one of Plato's epigrams, which he calls ouk amousos, by a contemporary author, whose name he does not give. It is written in dimeter iambics, an easier measure than the hexameter, and therefore more within the reduced capacity of the time. The loose metrical treatment proceeds not so much from ignorance of the laws of quantity as from imitation of Hadrian's lax style, [45] and perhaps from a tendency, now no longer possible to resist, to adopt the plebeian methods of speech and rhythm into the domain of recognised literature. As the fragment may interest our readers, we quote it:

"Dum semibiulco savio Meum puellum savior, Dulcemque florem spiritus Duco ex aperto tramite; Animula aegra et saucia Cucurrit ad labias mihi, Rictumque in oris pervium Et labra pueri mollia, Rimata itineri transitus Ut transiliret, nititur. Tum si morae quid plusculae Fuisset in coetu osculi Amoris igni percita Transisset, et me linqueret: Et mira prorsum res foret, Ut ad me fierem mortuus, Ad puerum intus viverem."

In the fifth and last lines we see a reversion to the ante-classical irregularities of scansion. The reader should refer to the remarks on this subject on page 20.

Perhaps the much-disputed poem called Pervigilium Veneris belongs to this epoch. [46] It is printed in Weber's Corpus Poetarum, [47] and is well worth reading from the melancholy despondency that breathes through its quiet inspiration. The metre is the trochaic tetrameter, which is always well suited to the Latin language, and which here appears treated with Greek strictness, except that in lines 55, 62, 91, a spondee is used in the fifth foot instead of a trochee. The refrain—

"Cras amet qui nunquam amavit, quique amavit, eras amet,"

may be called the "last word" of expiring epicureanism.

The last writer that comes before us is the rhetorician and pseudo- philosopher, L. APULEIUS. He was born at Madaura, in Africa, 114 A.D. [48] and calls himself Seminumida et Semigaetula. [49] His parents were in easy circumstances, and sent him to school at Carthage, which was fast rising to the highest place among the seminaries of rhetoric. By his father's death he came into a considerable fortune, and in order to finish his education spent some time at Athens, and travelled through many parts of the East hunting up all the information he could find on magic and necromancy, and getting himself initiated into all the different mysteries. About 136 he came to Rome, where he practised at the bar for about two years. He then returned to Madaura; but soon growing discontented determined to indulge his restless craving for travel and acquiring knowledge. He therefore set out for Egypt, the nurse of all occult wisdom, and the centre of attraction for all curious spirits. On his way he fell ill and was detained at Oea, where he met a rich widow named Pudentilla, whom in course of time he married. Her two sons had not been averse to the match, indeed Apuleius says they strongly urged it forward. But very soon they found their step-father an inconvenience, and through their uncle Aemilianus instituted a suit against him on the ground of his having bewitched their mother into marrying him. This serious charge, which was based principally on the disparity of years, Pudentilla being sixty (though her husband maintains she is only forty), Apuleius refutes in his Apologia, [50] a valuable relic of the time, which well deserves to be read. The accusation had been divided into three parts, to each of which the orator replies. The first part or preamble had tried to excite odium against him by alleging his effeminacy in using dentifrice, in possessing a mirror, and in writing lascivious poems, and also by alluding to his former poverty. His reply to this is ready enough; he admits that nature has favoured him with a handsome person of which he is not ashamed of trying to make the best; besides, how do they know his mirror is not used for optical experiments? As to poverty, if he had been poor, he gloried in the fact; [51] many great and virtuous men had been so too, and some thought poverty an essential part of virtue. The preamble disposed of, he proceeds to the more serious charge of magic. He has, so the indictment says, fascinated a child; he has bought poisons; he keeps something uncanny in his handkerchief, probably some token of sorcery: he offers nocturnal sacrifices, vestiges of which of a suspicious character have been found; and he worships a little skeleton he has made and which he always carries about with him. His answer to these charges is as follows:—the child was epileptic and died without his aid; the poisons he has bought for purposes of natural science; the image he carries in his handkerchief is that of Plato's monarch (vous Basileus), devotion to which is only natural in a professed Platonist; and as for the sacrifices, they are pious prayers, offered outside the town solely in order to profit by the peaceful inspirations which the country awakens. The third part of the indictment concerned his marriage. He has forced the lady's affections; he has used occult arts as her own letters show, to gain an influence over her; love-letters have passed between them, which is a suspicious thing when the lady is sixty years of age; the marriage was celebrated out of Oea; and last but not least, he has got possession of her very considerable fortune. His answers are equally to the point here. So far from being unwilling to espouse him or needing any compulsion, the good lady with difficulty waited till her sons came of age, and then brooked no further delay; moreover he had not pressed his suit, though her sons themselves had strongly wished him to do so; as regards the correspondence, a son who reads his mother's private letters is hardly a witness to command confidence; as regards her age she is forty, not sixty; as regards the place of her marriage both of them preferred the country to the town; and as regards the fortune, which he denies to be a rich one, the will provides that on her death it shall revert to her sons. Having now completed his argument he lets loose the flood-gates of his satire; and with a violence, an indecency, and a dragging to light of home secrets, scarcely to be paralleled except in some recent trials, he flays the reputation of uncle and nephews, and triumphantly appeals to the judge to give a verdict in his favour. [52]

We next find him at Carthage where he gave public lectures on rhetoric. He had enough real ability joined with his affectation of wisdom to ensure his success in this sphere. Accordingly we find that he attained not only all the civil honours that the city had to bestow, but also the pontificate of Aesculapius, a position even more gratifying to his tastes. During his career as a rhetorician he wrote the Florida, which consists for the most part of selected passages from his public discourses. It is now divided into four books, but apparently at first had no such division. It embraces specimens of eloquence on all kinds of subjects, in a middle style between the comparatively natural one of his Apologia and the congeries of styles of all periods which his latest works present. In these morceaux, some of which are designed as themes for improvisation, he pretends to an acquaintance with the whole field of knowledge. As a consequence, it is obvious that his knowledge is nowhere very deep. He was equally fluent in Greek and Latin, and frequently passed from one language to the other at a moment's notice.

He now cultivated that peculiar style which we see fully matured in his Metamorphoses. It is a mixture of poetical and prose diction, of archaisms and modernisms, of rare native and foreign terms, of solecisms, conceits, and quotations, which render it repulsive to the reader and betray the chaotic state of its creator's canons of taste. The story is copied from Lucian's Aoukios ae Onos, but it is on a larger scale, and many insertions occur, such as adventures with bandits or magicians; accounts of jugglers, priests of Cybele, and other vagrants; details on the arts; a description of an opera; licentious stories; and, above all, the pretty tale of Cupid and Psyche, [53] which came originally from the East, but in its present form seems rather to be modelled on a Greek redaction. "The golden ass of Apuleius," as the eleven books of Metamorphoses are called by their admirers, was by no means thought so well of in antiquity as it is now. Macrobius expresses his wonder that a serious philosopher should have spent time on such trifles. St Augustine seems to think it possible the story may be a true one: "aut indicavit aut finxit." It is a fictitious autobiography, narrating the adventures of the author's youth; how he was tried for the murder of three leather-bottles and condemned; how he was vivified by an enchantress with whom he was in love; how he wished to follow her through the air as a bird, but owing to a mistake of her maids was transformed into an ass; how he met many strange adventures in his search for the rose-leaves which alone could restore his lost human form. The change of shape gave him many chances of observing men and women: among other incidents he is treated with disdain by his own horse and mule, and severely beaten by his groom. He hears his character openly defamed; his resentment at this, and the frequent attempts he makes to assert his rationality, are among the most ludicrous parts of the book; finally, after many adventures, he is restored to human shape by some priests of Isis or Osiris, to whose service he devotes himself for the rest of his life.

Some have considered this extravagant story to be an allegory, [54] others, again, a covert satire on the vices of his countrymen. This latter supposition we may at once discard. The former is not unlikely, though the exact explanation of it will be a matter of uncertainty. Perhaps the ass symbolizes sensuality; the rose-leaves, science; the priests of Isis, either the Platonic philosophy, or the Mysteries; the return to human shape, holiness or virtue. It is also possible that it may be a plea for paganism against the new religious elements that were gathering strength at Carthage; but if so, it is hard to see why he should have chosen as his model the atheistic story of Lucian. In a similar manner the story of Cupid and Psyche has been made a type of the progress of the soul. Apuleius was one of those minds not uncommon in a decaying civilization, in which extreme quasi-religious exaltation alternates with impure hilarity. He is a licentious mystic; a would-be magician; [55] a hierophant of pretentious sanctity, something between a Cagliostro and a Swedenborg; a type altogether new in Roman literature, and a gloomy index of its speedy fall.

Besides these works of Apuleius, we possess some short philosophical tracts, embodying some of his Platonist and Pythagorean doctrines. They are De deo Socratis, De Dogmate Platonis in three books, and the De Mundo, a popular theologico-scientific exposition, drawn from Aristotle. The general tenor of these works will be considered in the next chapter, as their bearing on the thought of the times gives them considerable importance.



During the second century after Christ we have the remarkable spectacle of the renaissance of Greek literature. The eloquence which had so long been silent now was heard again in Dio Chrysostom, the delicate artillery of Attic wit was revived by Lucian, the dignity of sublime thought was upheld by Arrian and Marcus Aurelius. It should be remarked that the Greeks had never quite discontinued the art of eloquence. When their own political independence ended, they carried their talents into other lands, into Egypt, India, Asia Minor, sowing colonies of intelligence wherever they went; but the chief place to which they flocked was Rome. At Rome the hold they gained was such that even tyranny itself could not loosen it. Their light spirits and plastic nature made them adapt themselves to every fashion without difficulty and without regret; even under Tiberius or Domitian there was always something for a cultured Greek to do. [1]

Rhetoric was the inheritance of the dethroned Greek nation, and they clung to it with all the fondness of gratitude. Long after the pacification of the world had destroyed all the subject-matter of oratory, they cherished the form of it, and practised it with a zeal proportioned to its worthlessness. Even in her best days, as we know from Thucydides, Greece had been a victim to fine talking; the words of her delicious language seemed by their mere sound to have power over those that used them; and now that patriotism had ceased to inspire her orators, they naturally sought in the splendour of the Asiatic style an equivalent for the chaste beauties of ancient national eloquence. There were two classes of Greeks at this period who effected in no small degree the general spread of culture. These were the rhetors and the sophists; properly speaking distinct, but often confounded under the general name of sophist.

The rhetors proper have been already described. We need only notice here the gradually increasing insignificance of the themes they chose. In the Claudian era the points discussed were either historical, mythical, or legal. All had some reference, however distant, to actual pleading before a court of law. But now even this element of reality has disappeared. The poetical readings which had been the fashion under Domitian gave place to rhetorical ostentations which were popular in proportion to their frivolity or misplaced ingenuity. The heroes of Marathon, [2] the sages of ancient Greece, had once been the objects of praise. They were now made the objects of derision and invective. [3] Speeches against Socrates, Achilles, or Homer, and in favour of Busiris, were commonly delivered, in which every argument was acutely misapplied, and every established belief acutely combated. Panegyrics of cities, gods, or heroes, had been a favourite exercise of the orator's art. Now these panegyrics were expended upon the most contemptible themes, infames materiae as they were called. Fronto sang the praises of idleness, of fever, of the vomit, of gout, of smoke, of dust; Lucian, in a speech still extant, of the fly; others of the ass, the mouse, the flea! Such were the detestable travesties into which Greek eloquence had sunk. Roman statesmen frequently displayed their talents in this way; but as a rule they declaimed in Greek. These orations were delivered in a basilica or theatre, and for two days previously criers ranged through the city, advertising the inhabitants of the lecturer's name and subject.

Other aspirants to fame, gifted with less refinement, paraded the streets in rags and filth, and railed sardonically at all the world, mingling flattery of the crowd with abuse of the great, and of all the restrictions of society. These were the street preachers of cynicism, who found their trade by no means an unprofitable one. Often, after a few years of squalid abstinence and quack philosophy, they had picked up enough to enable them to shave their beards, don the robes of good society, and end their days in the vicious self-indulgence which was the original inspirer of their tirades.

Every great city was full of these caterers for itching ears, the one sort fashionable, the other vulgar, but both equally acceptable to their audience. Some more ambitious spirits, of whom Apuleius is the type, not content with success in a single town, moved from place to place, challenging the chief sophist in each city to enter the lists against them. If he declined the contest, his popularity was at an end for ever. If he accepted it, the risk was enormous, lest a people tired of his eloquence might prefer the sound of a new voice, and thus force on him the humiliation of surrendering his crown and his titles to another. For in their delirious enthusiasm the cities of Greece and Asia lavished money, honours, immunities, and statues, upon the mountebank orators who pleased them. Emperors saluted them as equals; the people chose them for ambassadors; until their conceit rose to such a height as almost to pass the bounds of belief. [4] And their morals, it will readily be guessed, did not rise above their intellectual capacities. Instead of setting an example of virtue, they were below the average in licentiousness, avarice, and envy. Effeminate in mind, extravagant in purse, they are perhaps the most contemptible of all those who have set themselves up as the instructors of mankind.

But all were not equally debased. Side by side with this truckling to popular favour was a genuine attempt to preach the simple truths of morality and religion. For near a century it had been recognised that certain elements of philosophy should be given forth to the world. Even the Stoics, according to Lactantius, [5] had declared that women and slaves were capable of philosophical pursuits. Apuleius, conspicuous in this department also, was a distinguished itinerant teacher of wisdom. Lucian at one time lectured in this way. But the most eloquent and natural of all was Dio Chrysostom, who, though a Greek, is so pleasing a type of the best popular morals of the time, that we may, perhaps, be excused for referring to him. He was a native of Bithynia, but in consequence of some disagreement with his countrymen, he came to Rome during the reign of Domitian. Having offended the tyrant by his freedom of speech, he was compelled to flee for his life. For years he wandered through Greece and Macedonia in the guise of a beggar, doing menial work for his bread, but often asked to display his eloquence for the benefit of those with whom he came in contact. Once while present at the Olympic festival and silently standing among the throng, he was recognised as one who could speak well, and compelled to harangue the assembled multitudes. He chose for his subject the praises of Jupiter Olympius, which he set forth with such majestic eloquence that all who heard him were deeply moved, and a profound silence, broken only by sobs of emotion, reigned throughout the vast crowd. Other stories are told showing the effect of his words. On one occasion he recalled a body of soldiers to their allegiance; on another he quelled a sedition; on a third he rebuked the mob of Alexandria for its immoral conduct, and, strange as it may seem, was listened to without interruption. When Domitian's death allowed him to return to Rome, he maintained the same courageous attitude. Trajan often asked his advice, and he discoursed to him freely on the greatness of royalty and its duties. He seems to have held a lofty view of his mission; he calls it a proppaesis iera, [6] or holy proclamation, and he speaks of himself as a prophaetaes alaethestatos taes athanatou physeus. [7]

What he taught, therefore, was a popular moral doctrine, based upon some of the simpler theories of philosophy, such as were easily intelligible to the unlearned, and admitted of rhetorical amplification and illustration by mythology and anecdote. Considered in one way, this was a great step in advance from the total neglect of the people by the earlier teachers of virtue. It shows the more humane spirit which was slowly leavening the once proud and exclusive possessors of intellectual culture. By exciting a general interest in the great questions of our being, it paved the way for a readier reception of the Gospel among those classes to whom it was chiefly preached. But at the same time by its want of authority, depending as it did solely on the eloquence or benevolence of the individual sophist, it prevented the possibility of anything like a systematic amelioration of the people's character. This side of the question, however, is too wide to be more than alluded to here, and it is besides foreign to our present subject. We must turn to consider the state of cultured thought on matters philosophical and religious; a point of great importance as bearing on the decline and speedy extinction of literary effort in Rome.

To begin with philosophy. We have seen that Rome had gradually become a centre of free thought, as it had become a centre of vice and luxury. The prejudices against philosophy complained of by Cicero, and even by Seneca, had now almost vanished. Instead of being indifferent, men took to it so readily as to excite the fears of more than one emperor. Nero had persecuted philosophers; Vespasian had removed them from Rome, Domitian from Italy. After Domitian's death, they returned with greater influence than ever. Hadrian and Antoninus were favourable to them. Aurelius was himself one of their number. Philosophy had had its martyrs; [8] and, after suffering, it had turned towards proselytism. The provinces had embraced it with enthusiasm. The narrow prejudice which had envied their intellectual culture [9] now envied their moral advancement; but equally without effect. Long before this, Musonius Rufus, an aristocratic Stoic, had admitted slaves to his lectures, [10] and at the risk of his life had preached peace to the armies of Vitellius and Vespasian. [11] And this wide-spread movement had, as we have seen, been continued by men like Dio, and later still by Apuleius.

But by thus gaining in width it lost greatly in depth. There is a danger when teaching becomes mainly practical of its losing sight of the fundamental laws amid the multitude of details, and attaching itself to trifles. There is a superstition in philosophy as well as in religion. Epictetus gives directions for the trimming of the beard in a tone as serious as if he were speaking of the summum bonum. And stoicism from the very first, by its absurd paradox that all faults are equal, obviously fell into this very snare, which, the moment it was popularized, could not fail with disastrous effect to come to the surface.

Again, the intrusive element of rhetoric greatly impeded strength of argument. In all practical teaching the point of the lesson is known beforehand; it is the manner of enforcing it that alone excites interest. Thus philosophy and rhetoric, which had hitherto been implacable foes, became reconciled in the furtherance of a common object. Seneca had affected to despise learning; Gellius and Favorinus, on the contrary, delighted in its minutest subtleties. Philosophers now declaimed like rhetoricians, and indifferently in either language. But in proportion as they addressed a larger public, it became more necessary to use the Greek, which was now the language of the civilized world. Favorinus, Epictetus, M. Aurelius himself, all wrote and generally spoke in it.

The reconciliation between philosophy and religion was not less remarkable than that between philosophy and rhetoric. It seemed as if all the separate domains of thought were gradually being fused into a kind of popular moral culture. The old philosophers had as a rule kept morals altogether distinct from religion. Epictetus and Aurelius make the two altogether identical. The old philosophers had kept away from the temples, or, if they went, had taken pains to mock the ceremonies they performed and to announce that their conformity was a pure matter of custom. The new philosophers were strictly regular in their religious worship, and not only observed and respected, but earnestly defended the entire popular cult. The nobler side of this "reconciliation" is shown in Plutarch, the grosser and more material side in Apuleius; but in both there is no mistaking its reality. Plutarch's idea of philosophy is "to attain a truer knowledge of God." [12] Philostratus, when asked what wisdom was, replied, "the science of prayers and sacrifices." [13] These men sought their knowledge of the Divine, not, as did Aristotle, in speculative thought, but in the collecting and explaining of legends. Stoicism had sought by compromise after compromise to satisfy the general craving for a religious philosophy reconcilable with the popular superstition. Its great exponents had stretched the elasticity of their system to the uttermost. They had given to their Supreme Being the name of Jove, they had admitted all the other deities of the Pantheon as emanations or attributes of the Supreme, they had justified augury by their theory of fate, they had explained away all the inconsistencies and immoralities of the popular creed by an elaborate system of allegory; but yet they had failed to content the religious masses, who divined as by an instinct the hollow and artificial character of this fabric of compromise. Hence there arose a new school more suited to the requirements of the time, which gave itself out as Platonist. This new philosophy was anything but a genuine reproduction of the thought of the great Athenian. With some of his more popular and especially his oriental conceptions, it combined a mass of alien importations drawn from foreign cults, and in particular from Egypt.

We read how Juvenal deplores the inroads of Eastern superstition into Rome. [14] Syria, Babylon, and Asia Minor had added their mysteries to the Roman ceremonial. Astrologers were consulted by small and great; the Galli or eunuch-priests of Cybele were among the most influential bodies in Rome; and the impure goddess Isis was universally worshipped. [15] Egypt, which in classic times had been held as the stronghold of bestial superstition, was now spoken of as a "Holy Land," and "the temple of the universe." [16] The Stoics had studied in books, or by questioning their own mind; the Platonists sought for wisdom by travelling all over the world. Not content with the rites already known, they raked up obscure ceremonies and imported strange mysteries. Reflection and dialectic were no longer sufficient to ensure knowledge; asceticism, devotion, and initiation, were necessary for divine science. The idea broached by Plato in the Timaeus of intermediate beings between the gods and man, seemed to meet their requirements; and accordingly they at once adopted it. An entire hierarchy of daimones was imagined, and on this a system of quasi-religious philosophy was founded, of which Apuleius is the popular exponent.

The main tenets of this, the last attempt to explain the mystery of the universe which gained currency in Rome, were as follows—it will be seen how completely it had passed from philosophy to theosophy:—The supreme being is one, eternal, absolute, indescribable, and incomprehensible; but may be envisaged by the soul for a moment like a flash of lightning. [17] The great gods are of two kinds, visible, as the sun and stars, and invisible, as Jupiter and the rest; both these are inaccessible to human communion. Then come the daemons in their order, and with these man holds intercourse. Plutarch had adopted a tentative and incomplete form of this doctrine, e.g. he denied the visibility of Socrate's daemon, and spoke of the death of Pan. But Apuleius is much more thorough-going; he supposes all the daemons to be at once immortal and visible. Each great god has a daemon or double, who loves to use his name; and all the stories of the gods are in reality true of their daemons. In a moral point of view, daemons are of all characters—good and bad, cheerful and gloomy. [18] Their interventions, which are perpetual, explain what the stories could not explain, viz. the idea of Providence. In fact the whole current theory of the supernatural is easily explained when the existence of these intermediate beings is admitted. Aware that this theory wandered far from Roman ideas, Apuleius tries to reconcile it with the national religion by calling the daemons genii, lares, and manes, which are true Italian conceptions. To a certain extent the device succeeded; at any rate the new philosophy resulted in making devotees of the higher classes, as superstition had long since done with the people.

It seems incredible that any one who had studied the Platonic dialogues should have fancied theories like these to be their essence. Nevertheless, so it was. Men found in them what they wished to find, and perhaps no greater witness could be given to the immense fertility of Plato's thought. However, when these conceptions came to be imported into philosophy, it is clear that philosophy no longer knew herself. She had become hopelessly unable to cope with the problems of actual life; henceforth there was nothing left but the rigours of the ascetic or the ecstacy of the mystic. Into these still later paths we shall not follow it. Apuleius is the last Roman who, writing in the Latin language, pretends to succeed to the line of thinkers of whom Varro, Cicero, and Seneca, were the chief. It is true he is immeasurably below them. In his effeminate union of licentiousness and mysticism he is far removed from the masculine, if inconsistent, practical wisdom of Seneca, further still from the glowing patriotism and lofty aspirations of Cicero. Still as a type of his age, of that country which already exercised, and was soon to exercise in a far higher degree, an influence on the thought of the world, [19] he is well worthy of attentive study.

We may now, in conclusion, very shortly review the main features in the history of Roman literature from Ennius, its first conscious originator, until the close of the Antonine period.

The end which Ennius had set before him was two-fold, to familiarise his countrymen with Greek culture, and to enlighten their minds from error. And to this double object the great masters of Roman literature remained always faithful. With more or less power and success, Terence, Lucilius, the tragedians, and even the mimists, elevated while they amused their popular audiences. In the last century of the Republic, literature still addressed, in the form of oratory, the great masses to whom scarce any other culture was accessible. But in poetry and philosophy it had broken with them, and thus showed the first sign of withdrawal from that thoroughly national mission with which the old father of Latin poetry had set out. Yet this very exclusiveness was not without its use. It enabled the best writers to aim at a far higher ideal of perfection than would have been possible for a popular author, however scrupulously he might strive for excellence. It enabled the best minds to concentrate their efforts upon all that was most strictly national because most strictly aristocratic, and thus to form those great representative works of Roman thought and style which are found in the writings of Cicero and Livy, and the poetry of Horace and Virgil. The responsibility which the possession of culture involves was now acknowledged only within narrow limits. The motto, "pingui nil mihi cum populo," was strictly followed, and all the best literature addressed only to a select circle. Meanwhile the people, for whom tragedy and comedy had done something, however little, that was good, neglected by the literary world, debased by bribery and the coarse pleasures of conquest, sunk lower and lower until they had become the brutal, sensual mob, inaccessible to all higher influences, which satirists and philosophers paint in such hideous colours, but which they did nothing and wrote nothing to improve. Then came the era of the decline, in which, for the first time, we observe that literature has lost its supremacy. It is still cultivated with enthusiasm, and numbers many more votaries than it had ever done before; nevertheless, its influence is disputed, and with success, by other forces; by tyranny in the first place, by a defiant philosophy which set itself against aesthetic culture in the second, and by revived and daily increasing superstition in the third. This is the beginning of the people's retaliation on those who should have enlightened them. In vain do emperors issue edicts for the suppression of foreign rites; in vain do courtly satirists or fierce declaimers complain that Rome will not be satisfied with ancestral beliefs and ancestral virtues. The people are asserting themselves in the sphere of thought, as they had asserted themselves in the sphere of politics ages before. But the difference between the two peoples was immense. The one had consisted of virtuous peasants and industrious tradesmen, working for generations to attain what they knew to be their right; the other was formed of slaves, of freedmen, many of them foreigners, and others engaged in occupations by no means honourable; of all that motley multitude who lived on Caesar's rations and spent their days in idleness, in the circus, and in crime. Rotten in its highest circles, equally rotten in its lowest, society could no longer be regenerated by any of the forces then known to it. The national superstitions, out of which literature had at first emerged, were replaced by cosmopolitan superstitions of an infinitely worse kind, which threatened to engulf it at its close, and against which in the persons of such men as Seneca, Juvenal, and Tacitus, it strove for a while with convulsive vigour to make head. But these great spirits only arrested, they could not avert, the inevitable decay. Where public morals are corrupt, where national life is diseased, it is impossible that literature can show a healthy life. The despair that has taken possession of men's souls, which sheds a misanthropic gloom over the writings of the elder Pliny and embitters even the noble mind of Tacitus, results from a conviction that things are incurably wrong, and from a feeling that there is no conceivable remedy. Men of feebler mould strive to forget themselves in exciting pleasures, as Statius and Martial; or in courtly society, as the younger Pliny; or in fond study of the past, as Quintilian; or in minute and pedantic erudition, as Aulus Gellius. The literature of the Silver Age is throughout conscious of its powerlessness; and this consciousness deadens it into tame acquiescence or galls it into hysterical effort, according to the time and temperament of the author. Pliny the younger and Quintilian alone show the happily-balanced disposition of the Golden Age; but what they gain in classic finish they lose in human interest. The decay of Greece had been insignificant, pretty but paltry; the decay of Rome on the other hand is unlovely but colossal. Perhaps in native strength none of her earlier authors equal Juvenal and Tacitus; none certainly exceed them. But they are the last barriers that stem the tide. After them the flood has already rushed in, and before long comes the collapse. In Suetonius and Florus we already see the pioneers of a pigmy race; in Gellius, Fronto, and Apuleius, they are present in all their uncouth dwarfishness. Meanwhile the clamours of the world for guidance grow louder and louder, and there is no one great enough or bold enough to respond to them. The good emperor would do so if he could; but in his perplexity he looks this way and that, bringing into one focus all the cults and ceremonies of the known world, in the vain hope that by indiscriminate piety he may avert the calamities under which his empire groans. But nothing is of any avail. The barbarians without, the pestilence within, decimate his subjects, the hostile gods seem to mock his goodness, and the simple people who look up to him as their tutelary power wonder hopelessly why he cannot save them. And thus on all sides the incapacity of the world to right itself is made clearer and clearer. The gross darkness that had been once partly put to flight by the light of Greek genius when philosophy rose upon the world, and once again had been retarded by the heroic examples of Roman conduct and Roman wisdom, now closed murkily over the whole world. It was indeed time that a new order of thought should arise, which should recreate the dead matter and bring out of it a new and more enduring principle of life, which should give the past its meaning and the future its hope; and, in especial, should reveal to literature its true end, the enlightenment and elevation, not of one class nor of one nation, but of every heart and every intellect that can be made to respond to its influence among all the nations of the earth.



B.C. 240 Livius begins to exhibit. 239 Ennius born. 235 Naevius begins to exhibit. 234 Cato born. 225 Fabius Pictor served in the Gallic War. 219 Pacuvius born. 218 Cincius Alimentus described the passage of Hannibal into Italy. 217 Cato begins to be known. 216 Fabius Pictor sent as ambassador to Delphi. 207 The poem on the victory of Sena entrusted to Livius. 204 Cato quaestor; brings Ennius to Rome. 201 Naevius dies (?). 191 Cato military tribune. 190 Cincius still writes. 189 Ennius goes with Fulvius into Aetolia. 185 Terence born. [2] 184 Cato censor. Plautus dies. 179 Caecilius flourished. 173 Ennius wrote the twelfth book of the Annals. 170 Accius born. 169 Ennius dies. Cato's speech pro lege Voconia. 168 Caecilius dies. 166 Terence's Andria. 165 Terence's Hecyra. 163 Terence's Hautontimorumenos. 161 Terence's Eunuchus and Phormio. 160 Terence's Adelphoe. 159 Terence dies. 154 Pacuvius flourished. 151 Albinus, the consul, writes history (Gell. xi. 8). 150 Cato finishes the Origines. 149 Cato, aged 85, accuses Galba. Dies in the same year. C. Calpurnius Piso Frugi, the historian. 148 Lucilius born. 146 Cassius Hemina flourished. C. Fannius, the historian, serves at Carthage. 142 Antonius, the orator, born. 140 Crassus, the orator, born. Accius, aged 30, Pacuvius, aged 80, exhibit together. 134 Sempronius Asellio served at Numantia. Lucilius begins to write. 123 Caelius Antipater flourished. 119 Crassus accuses Carbo. 116 Varro born. 115 Hortensius born. 111 Crassus and Scaevola quaestors. [3] 109 Atticus born. 107 Crassus tribune. 106 Cicero born. 103 The Tereus of Accius. Death of Turpilius. 102 Furius Bibaculus born at Cremona. 100 Aelius Stilo. 98 Antonius defends Aquillius. 95 First public appearance of Hortensius. Lucretius born (?). 92 Crassus censor. Opilius teaches rhetoric. 91 Crassus dies. Pomponius flourished. 90 Scaurus flourished. 89 Cicero serves under the consul Pompeius. 88 Cicero hears Philo and Molo at Rome. Rutilius resident at Mitylene. Plotius Gallus first Latin teacher of Rhetoric. 87 Antonius slain. Sisenna the historian. Catullus born (?). 86 Sallust born. 82 Varro of Atax born. Calvus born. 81 Cicero pro Quinctio. Valerius Cato Grammaticus. Otacilius, first freedman who attempts history. 80 Pro Roscio. 79 Cicero at Athens; hears Antiochus and Zeno. 78 Cicero hears Molo at Rhodes. 77 Cicero returns to Rome. 76 Asinius Pollio born (?). 75 Cicero quaestor in Sicily. 74 Cicero again in Rome. 70 Divinatio and Actio I. in Verrem. Virgil born. 69 Cicero aedile. 67 Varro wins a naval crown under Pompey in the Piratic War (Plin. N. H. xvi. 4). 66 Cicero praetor. Pro lege Manilia. Pro Cluentio. M. Antonius Gnipho flourished. 65 Pro Cornelia. Horace born. 64 In toga candida. 63 Consular orations of Cicero. Pro Murena. 62 Pro P. Sulla. 61 Annaeus Seneca born. 59 Livy born(?). Aelius Tubero with Cicero in Asia. Pro A. Thermo. Pro L. Flacco. 58 Cicero goes into exile. 57 Cicero recalled. Calidius a good speaker. 56 Pro Sextio. In Vatinium. De Provinciis Consularibus. 55 In Calpurnium Pisonem. De Oratore. Virgil assumes the toga virilis. 54 Pro Vatinio. Pro Scauro. De Republica. 52 Pro Milone. Lucretius dies(?). [4] 51 Cicero proconsul in Cilicia. 50 Death of Hortensius. Sallust expelled from the senate. 49 Cicero at Rome. Varro lieutenant of Pompey in Spain. 48 Lenaeus satirizes Sallust. Cicero in Italy. 47 Cicero at Brundisium. Hyginus brought to Rome by Caesar. Catullus still living (C. 52). 46 The Brutus written. Calvus dies. Sallust praetor. Pro Marcello. Pro Ligario. 45 Cicero's Orator. Pro Deiolaro. 44 The first four Philippics. Death of Caesar. 43 The later Philippics. Death of Cicero. Birth of Ovid. 42 Horace at Philippi. 40 Cornelius Nepos flourished. Perhaps Hor. Sat. i. 2. Epod. xiii. 39 Ateius Philologus born at Athens. Perhaps Virg. Ecl. vi. viii. Hor. Od. ii. 7. Epod iv. 38 Perhaps Ecl. vii. Hor. Sat. i. 3. 37 Varro (aet. 80) writes de Re Rustica. Perh. Ecl. x. Sat. i. 5 and 6. Epod. v. 36 Cornelius Severus(?) Hor. Sat. i. 8, 35 Bavius dies. Hor. Sat. i. 4, 9, 10. 34 Sallust dies. Sat. ii. 2. Epod. iii. 33 Sat. ii. 3. Epod. xi. xiv. 32 Atticus dies. Sat. ii. 4, 5. Epod. vii. 31 Messala consul. Sat. ii. 6. Epod. i. and ix. 30 Gallus made praefect of Egypt. Cassius Severus dies. Tibullus El. i. 3. The Georgics published. Hor. Sat. ii. 7, 8, and perhaps 1, Epod ii. 29 Livy writing his first book. Propertius I. 6. 28 Varro dies. 27 Od. i. 35. Vitruvius writing his work. 26 Gallus dies (aet. 40). Second book of Propertius published (?). [5] 25 Livy's first book completed before this year. Hor. Od. ii. 4. 24 Quintil. Varus dies (= the poet of Cremona, mentioned in the ninth Eclogue [?]). 23 The first three books of the Odes published. 22 Marcellus dies. Virgil reads the sixth Aeneid to Augustus and Livia. Third book of Propertius (?). 21 Hor. writes Ep. i. 20 (aet. 44). 20 First book of Epistles. 19 Virgil dies at Brundisium. His epitaph:

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