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A History of Roman Literature by Charles Thomas Cruttwell

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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

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

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



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

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

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.



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
142 Antonius, the orator, born.
140 Crassus, the orator, born. Accius, aged 30, Pacuvius, aged 80, exhibit
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
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 (?).
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:

"Mantua me genuit: Calabri rapuere: tenet nunc
Parthenope: cecini pascua rura duces."

Tibullus dies. Domitius Marsus writes.
18 Livy working at his fifty-ninth book.
17 Porcius Latro. The _Carmen Saeculare_. Varius and Tucca edit the
16 Aemilius Macer of Verona dies. Od. iv. 9, to Lollius.
15 Death of Propertius. Victories of Drusus. Od. iv. 4.
14 The fourth book of the Odes(?).
13 Cestius of Smyrna teaches rhetoric.
12 Death of Agrippa.
11 The Epistle to Augustus (Ep. ii. 1).
10 Passienus and Hyginus Polyhistor.
9 Ovid's _Amores_.
8 Death of Horace.
7 Birth of Seneca (?).
6 Albucius Silo a professor of rhetoric.
5 Tiro, Cicero's freedman, dies (aet. 100).
4 Porcius Latro commits suicide. Ovid now in his fortieth year.
2 Ovid's _Art of Love_.

1 The _Remedium Amoris_.
2 Velleius Paterculus serves under C. Caesar.
4 Pollio dies. Velleius serves with Tiberius in Germany.
7 Velleius quaestor.
8 Verrius Flaccus, the grammarian, flourished. Ovid banished to Tomi, in
December (Tr. 1, 10, 3).

"_Aut hanc me gelidi tremerem cum mense Decembris
Scribentem mediis Adria vidita quis._"

9 The _Ibis_ of Ovid.
11 Death of Messala. [6]
12 The _Tristia_ finished.
13 The Epistles from Pontus were being written.
14 Death of Augustus. Velleius praetor.
18 Death of Ovid at 60; of Livy at 76. Valerius Maximus accompanied Sex.
Pompeius to Asia.
19 The elder Seneca writes his "recollections."
24 Cassius Severus in exile. Pliny the elder born (?).
25 Death of Cremutius Cordus. Votienus banished.
26 Haterius flourished.
30 Asinius Gallus imprisoned.
31 Valerius Maximus wrote ix. 11, 4 (_extern._), soon after the
death of Sejanus.
33 Death of Cassius Severus the orator. His works proscribed. Death of
Asinius Gallus.
34 Persius born.
40 Lucan brought to Rome.
41 Seneca's _de Ira_. Exile of Seneca at the close of this year.
42 Asconius Pedianus flourished.
43 Martial born.
45 Domitius Afer flourished.
48 Remmius Palaemon in vogue as a grammarian.
49 Seneca recalled from exile, and made Nero's tutor.
56 Seneca's _de Clementia_.
57 Probus Berytius a celebrated grammarian.
59 Death of Domitius Afer.
61 Pliny the younger born (?).
62 Death of Persius. Seneca in danger, Burrus being dead.
63 The _Naturales Quaestiones_ of Seneca.
65 Death of Seneca (_Ann._ xv. 60).
66 Martial comes to Rome.
68 Quintilian accompanies Galba to Rome. Silius Italicus consul.
69 Silius in Rome.
75 The dialogue _de Oratoribus_, written (C. 17).
77 Pliny's _Natural History_. Gabinianus, the rhetorician,
79 Death of the elder Pliny.
80 Pliny the younger begins to plead.
88 Suetonius now a young man, Tacitus praetor.
89 Quintilian teaches at Rome. His professional career extends over 20
90 Philosophers banished. Pliny praetor. _Sulpiciae Satira_ (if
95 Statii Silv. iv. 1. The _Thebaid_ was nearly finished.
96 Pliny's accusation of Publicius Certus.
97 Frontinus curator aquarum. Tacitus consul suffectus.
98 Trajan.
99 The tenth book of Martial. Silius at Naples.
100 Pliny and Tacitus accuse Marius Priscus. Pliny's panegyric.
103 Pliny at his province of Bithynia.
104 His letter about the Christians. Martial goes to Bilbilis.
109 Pliny (aet. 48) at the zenith of his fame.
118 Juvenal wrote Satire xiii. this year.
132 Salvius Julianus's Perpetual Edict.
138 Death of Hadrian.
143 Fronto consul suffectus.
164 Height of Fronto's fame.
166 Fronto proposes to describe the Parthian war.
180 Death of Marcus Aurelius.

A large number of other dates will be found in the body of the work,
especially for the later period; but as they are not absolutely certain,
they have not been inserted here.



WORDSWORTH. Fragments and Specimens of early Latin. 1874.
LIVIUS ANDRONICUS. H. Duntzer. Berlin. 1835.
NAEVIUS. Ribbeck. _Trag. Lat. Relliquiae_, p. 5.
PLAUTUS. Ritschl or Fleckeisen. Unfinished.
ENNIUS. Vahlen. _Ennianae Poeseos Relliquiae._
PACUVIUS. Ribbeck, as above.
TERENCE. Wagner. Cambridge. 1869. Text by Umpfenbach. 1870
TURPILIUS. Fragments in Bothe (_Poet. Scen._ V. 2, p. 58-76), and
Ribbeck's _Comic. Lat. Relliq._
THE EARLY HISTORIANS. Peter (_Veterum Historicorum Romanorum
Relliquiae._ Lips. 1870).
CATO. De Re Rustica. _Scriptores rei rusticae veteres Latini,
curante_ I. M. Gesnero. Lips. 1735 Vol. 1.
CATO. Fragmenta praeter libros de Re Rustica. Jordan. Lips. 1860.
THE OLD ORATORS TO HORTENSIUS. H. Meyer. _Oratorum Romanorum Fragmenta.
Zurich. 1842.
ACCIUS. Tragedies. Fragments in Ribbeck, as above.
----- Praeter Scenica. Lucian Muller. _Lucilii Saturaran Relliquiae._
Lips. 1872. Lachmann.
ATTA. Fragments. Bothe. _Scen. Lat._ v. 2, p. 97-102. Ribbeck.
AFRANIUS. Bothe, p. 156-9. Ribbeck.
LUCILIUS. Lucian Muller, as above.
SUEVIUS. Lucian Muller, as above.
ATELLANAE. Fr. in Ribbeck. _Com. Lat. Rel._ p. 192.
AUCTOR AD HERENNIUM. Kayser. _Lips._ 1854.


VARRO. Saturae Menippeae. Riese. Lips. 1865.
----- Antiquities. Fragments in R. Merkel. Introduction to Ovid's _Fasti_.
----- De Vita Populi Romani. Fragments in Kettner. Halle. 1863.
----- De Lingua Latina. C. O. Muller. Lips, 1833.
----- De Re Rustica. Gesner, as above. See _Cato_.
CICERO. Speeches. G. Long. London. 1862. In four volumes.
----- Verrine Orations. Long, as above. Zumpt. Berlin. 1831.
CICERO. Pro Cluentio. Classen. Bonn. 1831. Ramsay. Clarendon Press.
----- In Catilinam. Halm. Lips.
----- Pro Plancio. E. Wunder. 1830.
----- Pro Murena. Zumpt. Berlin. 1859.
----- Pro Roscio. Buchner. Lips. 1835.
----- Pro Sestio. Halm. Lips. 1845. And Teubner edition.
----- Pro Milone. Orelli. Lips. 1826. School edition by Purton. Cambridge.
----- Second Philippic, with notes from Halm, by J. E. B. Mayor.
----- De Inventione. Lindemann. Lips. 1829.
----- De Oratore. Ellendt. Konigsberg. 1840.
----- Brutus. Ellendt. 1844.
----- Philosophical Writings. Orelli. Vol. IV.
----- De Finibus. Madvig. Copenhagen. Second Edition. 1871. F. G. Otto.
----- Academica (with De Fin.). Orelli. Zurich. 1827.
----- Tusculanae Disputationes (with Paradoxa). Orelli. 1829.
----- De Natura Deorum. Schomann. Berlin. 1850.
----- De Senectute. Long. London. 1861.
----- De Amicitia. Nauck. Berlin. 1867.
----- De Officiis. 0. Heine. Berlin. 1857.
----- De Republica. Heinrich. Bonn. 1828.
----- De Legibus. Vahlen. 1871.
----- De Divinatione. Giese. Lips. 1829.
----- Select Letters. Watson. Oxford.
----- Entire Works. Orelli. Zur. 1845. Nobbe. Lips. 1828.
LABERIUS. Ribbeck. _Com. Lot. Relliquiae_, p. 237.
FURIUS BIBACULUS. Weichert. _Poet. Lat. Rell._, p. 325.
SYRI. Sententiae. Woelfflin. 1869.
CAESAR. Speeches. Meyer. _Orat. Rom. Fragmenta._
----- Letters. Nipperdey. _Caesar_, p. 766-599.
----- Commentaries. Nipperdey. Lips. 1847-1856.
----- Gallic War. Long. London. 1859.
NEPOS. Nipperdey. Lips. 1849. School edition by 0. Browning.
LUCRETIUS. Munro. Cambridge. 1866.
SALLUST. All his extant works. Gerlach. Basle. 1828-31.
VARRO ATACINUS. Fragments in Riese, _Sat. Menippeae._
CHINA. Weichert. _Poetarum Lat. Vitae_, p. 187.
CATULLUS. R. Ellis. Oxford. 1867
----- Commentary. R. Ellis. Oxford. 1876.
POLLIO. Fragments in Meyer. _Orat Rom. Fragmenta._
VARIUS. Ribbeck's _Tragic. Lat. Relliquiae._
VIRGIL. Ribbeck. 4 vols. With an Appendix Virgiliana. Conington. 3 vols.
Oxford. A good school edition by Bryce. (Glasgow University Classics.)
HORACE. Orelli. Third edition, 1850. 2 vols. School editions, by Macleane
and Currie, both with good English Notes. Odes and Epodes, by Wickham.
TIBULLUS and PROPERTIUS. Lachmann. Berlin. 1829.
OVID. Entire Works. R. Merkel. Lips. 1851. 3 vols.
----- Fasti. Paley.
----- Heroides. Terpstra. 1829. Arthur Palmer. Longman. 1874.
----- Tristia and Ibis. Merkel. 1837.
----- Metamorphoses. Bach. 1831-6. 2 vols.
GRATIUS. Haupt. Lips. 1838. Including the Halieuticon, &c.
MANILIUS. Scaliger. 1579. Bentley. 1739. Jacob. Berlin. 1846.
LIVY. Drakenborg. 7 vols. Teubner text. Weissenbom, with an excellent
German Commentary.
----- Book I. Professor Seeley. Cambridge.
JUSTIN (Trogus). Jeep. Lips. 1859.
VERRIUS FLACCUS. C. O. Muller. Lips. 1839.
VITRUVIUS. Schneider. Lips. 1807. 3 vols. Rose. 1867.
SENECA (the elder). Keissling (Teubner series). Oratorum et Rhetorum
sententiae divisiones colores. Bursian. 1857.


GERMANICUS (translation of Aratus). Breysig. Berlin. 1867.
VELLEIUS. Kritz. Lips. 1840. Halm.
VALERIUS MAXIMUS. Kempf. Berl. 1854.
CELSUS. Daremberg. Lips. Teubner.
PHAEDRUS. Orelli. Zur. 1831. Lucian Muller. 1876.
SENECA. Tragedies. Peiper and Richter. Lips, 1867.
----- Entire Works. Fr. Haase. 3 vols. 1862-71. (Teubner.)
----- Naturales Quaestiones. Koeler. 1818.
CURTIUS. Zumpt. Brunsw. 1849.
COLUMELLA. In Gesner, _Scriptures Rei Rusticae_.
MELA. Parthey. Berl. 1867.
VALERIUS PROBUS. In Keil _Grammatici Latini_. Vol. I. 1857.
PERSIUS. Jahn. Lips. 1843. Conington. Oxford. 1869.
LUCAN. C. F. Weber. Lips. 1821. C. H. Weisse. Lips. 1835.
PETRONIUS. Bucheler. Berl. 1871. Second edition.
CALPURNIUS. Glaeser. Gottingen. 1842,
ETNA. Munro. Cambridge. 1867.
PLINY. Sillig. Lips. 8 vols.
----- Chrestomathia Pliniana, a useful text-book by Urlichs. Berlin. 1857.
VALERIUS FLACCUS. Lemaire. Paris. 1824. Schenkl. 1871.
SILIUS. Ruperti. Gottingen. 1795.
STATIUS. Silvae. Markland. Lips. 1827.
----- Entire works. Queck. 1854.
----- Thebaid and Achilleid. Vol. I. 0. Muller. Lips. 1871.
MARTIAL. Schneidevin. 1842.
----- Select Epigrams. Paley. London. 1875.
QUINTILIAN. Bonnell. (Teubner.) 1861.
----- Halm. 2 vols. 1869.
----- Lexicon to, by Bonnell. 1834.
FRONTINUS. Text by Dederich, in Teubner edition. 1855.
JUVENAL. Heinrich. Bonn. 1839. Mayor. London. 1872. Vol. I. (for schools).
Otto Iahn. 1868.
TACITUS. Works. Orelli. 1846. Ritter. 1864.
----- Dialogue. Ritter. Bonn. 1836.
----- Agricola. Kritz. Berlin. 1865.
----- Germania. Kritz. Berlin. 1869. Latham. London. 1851.
----- Annales. Nipperdey. Berlin. 1864.
PLINY the younger. Keil. Lips. 1870.
----- Letters. G. E. Gierig. 2 vols. 1800-2.
----- Letters and Panegyric. Gierig. 1806.
SUETONIUS. Roth. Teubner. 1858.
----- Praeter Caesarum Libros. D. Reifferscheid. Lips. 1860.
FLORUS. Jahn. Lips. 1856.
FRONTO. Niebuhr. Berl. 1816. Supplement. 1832. S. A. Naber. (Teubner.)
PERVIGILIUM VENERIS. Bugheler. 1859. Riese's Anthologia Latina i. p. 144.
GELLIUS. Hertz. Lips. 1853.
GAIUS. Lachmann. Berlin. 1842.
----- Institutes. Poste. Oxf. 1871.
APULEIUS. Hildebrand. Lips. 1842. 2 vols.
Finder. Berlin. 1848.


1. Trace the influence of conquest on Roman literature.

2. Examine Niebuhr's hypothesis of an old Roman epos.

3. Compare the Roman conception of law as manifested in an argument of
Cicero, with that of the Athenians, as displayed in any of the great Attic

4. Trace the causes of the special devotion to poetry during the Augustan

5. The love of nature in Roman poetry.

6. What were the _Collegia poetarum?_ In what connection are they

7. What methods of appraising literary work existed at Rome? Was there
anything analogous to our review system? If so, how did it differ at
different epochs?

8. Sketch the development of the _Mime_, and account for its decline.

9. Criticise the merits and defects of the various forms which historical
composition assumed at Rome (Hegel, _Philos. of History, Preface_).

10. "_Inveni lateritiam: reliqui marmoream_" (Augustus). The material
splendour of imperial Rome as affecting literary genius. (Contrast the
Speech of Pericles. Thuc. ii. 37, _sqq._)

11. _Varro dicit Musas Plautino sermone locuturas fuisse, si Latine loqui
vellent_ (Quintil.). Can this encomium be justified? If so, show how.

12. "_Cetera quae vacuas tenuissent carmine mentes._" Is the true end of
poetry to occupy a vacant hour? Illustrate by the chief Roman poets.

13. The vitality of Greek mythology in Latin and in modern poetry.

14. State succinctly the debt of Roman thought, in all its branches, to

15. What is the permanent contribution to human progress given by Latin

16. Criticise Mommsen's remark, that the drama is, after all, the form of
literature for which the Romans were best adapted.

17. Form some estimate of the historical value of the old annalists.

18. What sources of information were at Livy's command in writing his
history? Did he rightly appreciate their relative value?

19. What influence did the old Roman system have in repressing poetical

20. In what sense is it true that the intellectual progress of a nation is
measured by its prose writers?

21. Philosophy and poetry set before themselves the same problem.
Illustrate from Roman literature.

22. Account for the notable deficiency in lyric inspiration among Roman

23. Compare the influence on thought and action of the elder and younger

24. Examine the alleged incapacity of the Romans for speculative thought.

25. Compare or contrast the Italic, the Etruscan, the Greek, and the Vedic
religions, as bearing on thought and literature.

26. Compare the circumstances of the diffusion of Greek and Latin beyond
the limits within which they were originally spoken.

27. Analyse the various influences under which the poetical vocabulary of
Latin was formed.

28. Give the rules of the Latin accent, and show how it has affected Latin
Prosody. Is there any reason for thinking that it was once subjected to
different rules?

29. "Latin literature lacks originality." How far is this criticism sound?

30. Examine the influence of the Alexandrine poets upon the literature of
the later Republic, and of the Augustan Age.

31. What is the value of Horace as a literary critic?

32. Give a brief sketch of the various Roman writers on agriculture.

33. It has been remarked, that while every great Roman author expresses a
hope of literary immortality, few, if any, of the great Greek authors
mention it. How far is this difference suggestive of their respective
national characters, and of radically distinct conceptions of art?

34 What instances do we find in Latin literature of the novel or romance?
When and where did this style of composition first become common?

35. Trace accurately the rhythmical progress of the Latin hexameter, and
indicate the principal differences between the rhythm of Lucretius,
Virgil, and Horace's epistles.

36. Distinguish between the development and the corruption of a language.
Illustrate from Latin literature.

37. "_Virgilius amantissimus vetustatis._" Examine in all its bearings the
antiquarian enthusiasm of Virgil.

38. "_Verum orthographia quoque consuetudini servit, ideoque saepe mutata
est_" (Quintil.). What _principles_ of spelling (if any), appear to be
adopted by the best modern editors?

39. Show that the letter _v_, in Latin, had sometimes the sound of _w_,
sometimes that of _b_; that the sounds _o u_, _e i_, _i u_, _e q_, were
frequently interchanged respectively.

40. Examine the traces of a satiric tendency in Roman literature,
independent of professed satire.

41. How far did the Augustan poets consciously modify the Greek metres
they adopted?

42. Is it a sound criticism to call the Romans a nation of grammarians?
Give a short account of the labours of any two of the great Roman
grammarians, and estimate their value.

43. Cicero (_De Leg._ i. 2, 5) says: "_Abest historia a literis nostris._"
Quintilian (x. i. 101) says: "_Historia non cesserit Graecis._" Criticise
these statements.

44. "_O dimidiate Menander._" By whom said? Of whom said? Criticise.

45. Examine and classify the various uses of the participles in Virgil.

46. What are the chief peculiarities of the style of Tacitus?

47. "Roman history ended where it had begun, in biography." (Merivale).
Account for the predominance of biography in Latin literature.

48. The Greek schools of rhetoric in the Roman period. Examine their
influence on the literature of Rome, and on the intellectual progress of
the Roman world.

49. In what sense can Ennius rightly be called the father of Latin

50. Can the same rules of quantity be applied to the Latin comedians as to
the classical poets?

51. Mention any differences in syntax between Plautus and the Augustan

62. Examine the chief defects of ancient criticism.

53. The value of Cicero's letters from a historical and from a literary
point of view.

54. What evidence with regard to Latin pronunciation can be gathered from
the writings of Plautus and Terence?

55. Examine the nature of the chief problems involved in the settlement of
the text of Lucretius.

56. Compare the Homeric characters as they appear in Virgil with their
originals in the Iliad and Odyssey, and with the same as treated by the
Greek tragedians.

57. How far is it true that Latin is deficient in abstract terms? What
new coinages were made by Cicero?

58. Contrast Latin with Greek (illustrating by any analogies that may
occur to you in modern languages) as regards facility of composition. Did
Latin vary in this respect at different periods?

59. What are the main differences in Latin between the language and
constructions of poetry and those of prose?

60. The use of _tmesis, asyndeton, anacoluthon, aposiopesis, hyperbaton,
hyperbole, litotes_, in Latin oratory and poetry.

61. What traces, are there of systematic division according to a number of
lines in the poems of Catullus or any other Latin poet with whom you are
familiar? (See Ellis's _Catullus_).

62. Trace the history of the _Atellanae_, and account for their being
superseded by the Mime.

63. Examine the influence of the other Italian nationalities on Roman

64. Which of the great periods of Greek literature had the most direct or
lasting influence upon that of Rome?

65. What has been the influence of Cicero on modern literature (1) as a
philosophical and moral teacher; (2) as a stylist?

66. Give some account of the Ciceronianists.

67. What influence did the study of Virgil exercise (1) on later Latin
literature; (2) on the Middle Ages; (3) on the poetry of the eighteenth

68. Who have been the most successful modern writers of Latin elegiac

69. Distinguish accurately between _oratory_ and _rhetoric_. Discuss their
relative predominance in Roman literature, and compare the latter in this
respect with the literatures of England and France.

70. Give a succinct analysis of any speech of Cicero with which you are
familiar, and show the principles involved in its construction.

71. Discuss the position and influence of the Epicurean and Stoic
philosophies in the last age of the Republic.

72. State what plan and principle Livy lays down for himself in his
_History_. Discuss and illustrate his merits as a historian, showing how
far he performs what he promises.

73. Give the political theory of Cicero as stated in his _De Republica_
and _De Legibus_, and contrast it with either that of Plato, Aristotle,
Machiavel, or Sir Thomas More.

74. Analyse the main argument of the _De Natura Deorum_. Has this treatise
a permanent philosophical value?

75. How far did the greatest writers of the Empire understand the
conditions under which they lived, and the various forces that acted
around them?

76. Examine the importance of the tragedies ascribed to Seneca in the
history of European literature. To whom else have they been ascribed?

77. How did the study of Greek literature at Rome affect the vocabulary
and syntax of the Latin language?

78. The influence of patronage on literature. Consider chiefly with
reference to Rome, but illustrate from other literatures.

79. Are there indications that Horace set before him, as a satirist, the
object of superseding Lucilius?

80. Compare the relation of Persius to Horace with that of Lucan to

81. Account for the imperfect success of Varro as an etymologist, and
illustrate by examples.

82. What is known of Nigidius Figulus, the Sextii, Valerius Soranus, and
Apuleius as teachers of philosophic doctrine?

83. Sketch the literary career of the poet Accius.

84 What were the main characteristics of the old Roman oratory? What
classical authorities exist for its history?

85. Prove the assertion that jurisprudence was the only form of
intellectual activity that Rome from first to last worked out in a
thoroughly national manner.

86. Compare the portrait of Tiberius as given by Tacitus, with any of the
other great creations of the historic imagination. How far is it to be
considered truthful?

87. At what time did abridgments begin to be used at Rome? Account for
their popularity throughout the Middle Ages, and mention some of the most
important that have come down to us.

88. What remains of the writers on applied science do we possess?

89. Is it probable that the great developments of mathematical and
physical science at Alexandria had any general effect upon the popular
culture of the Roman world?

90. What are our chief authorities for the old Roman religion?

91. Account for the influence of Fronto, and give a list of his writings.

92. Which are the most important of the public, and which ef the private,
orations of Cicero? Give a short account of one of each class, with date,
place, and circumstances of delivery. How were such speeches preserved?
Had the Romans any system of reporting?

93. A life of Silius Italicus with a short account of his poem.

94. Who, in your opinion, are the nearest modern representatives of
Horace, Lucilius, and Juvenal?

95. In what particulars do the alcaic and sapphic metres of Horace differ
from their Greek models? What are the different forms of the asclepiad
metre in Horace? Have any of the Horatian metres been used by other

96. Enumerate the chief imitations of Ennius in Virgil, noting the
alterations where such occur.

97. Point out the main features of the Roman worship. (See index to
Merivale's _Rome_, s. v. _Religion_.)

98. Write a life of Maecenas, showing his position as chief minister of
the Empire, and as the centre of literary society of Rome during the
Augustan Age.

99. Donaldson, in his _Varronianus_, argues that the French rather than
the Italian represents the more perfect form of the original Latin. Test
this view by a comparison of words in both languages with the Latin forms.

100. Give a summary of the argument in any one of the following works:--
Cicero's _De Finibus, Tusculan disputations, De Officis_, or the first and
second books of Lucretius.

101. State the position and influence on thought and letters of the two
Scipios, Laelius, and Cato the censor.

102. Give Caesar's account of the religion of the Gauls, and compare it
with the _locus classicus_ on the subject in Lucan (I. 447). What were the
national deities of the Britons, and to which of the Roman deities were
they severally made to correspond?

103. Examine the chief differences between the Ciceronian and Post-
Augustan syntax.

104. Trace the influence of the study of comparative philology on Latin

105. "Italy remained without national poetry or art" (Mommsen). In what
sense can this assertion be justified?

106. What passages can you collect from Virgil, Horace, Tacitus, and
Juvenal, showing their beliefs on the great questions of philosophy and

107. Examine the bearings of a highly-developed inflectional system like
those of the Greek and Latin languages, upon the theory of prose

108. To what periods of the life of Horace would you refer the composition
of the Book of Epodes and the Books of Satires and Epistles? Confirm your
view by quotations.

109. What is known of Suevius, Pompeius Trogus, Salvius Julianus, Gaius,
and Celsus?

110. Who were the chief writers of encyclopaedias at Rome?

111. How do you account for the short duration of the legitimate drama at

112. Who were the greatest Latin scholars of the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries? In what department of scholarship did they mostly labour, and

113. Enumerate the chief losses which Latin literature has sustained.

114. Who were the original inhabitants of Italy? Give the main
characteristics of the Italic family of languages. To which was it most
nearly akin?

115. Illustrate from Juvenal the relations between patron and client.

116. Contrast briefly the life and occupations of an Athenian citizen in
the time of Pericles and Plato, with those of a Roman in the age of Cicero
and Augustus.

N.B.--Many other questions will be suggested by referring to the Index.



[1] Quint. I. 5, 72. The whole chapter is most interesting.

[2] How different has been the lot of Greek! An educated Greek at the
present day would find little difficulty in understanding Xenophon or
Menander. The language, though shaken by rude convulsions, has changed
according to its own laws, and shown that natural vitality that belongs to
a genuinely popular speech.

[3] See Conington on the Academical Study of Latin. Post. Works, i. 206.

[4] See esp. R. II. Bk. 1, ch. ix. and xv.



[1] _E.g._ Finns, Lapps, or other Turanian tribes.

[2] The Latin agrees with the Celtic in the retention of the dat. plur. in
_bus_ (Celt, _ib_), _Rigaib = regibus_; and the pass. in _r_, _Berthar =

[3] Cf. Plaut. Cure. 150, _Lydi_ (v. 1, ludii) _barbari_. So _Vos, Tusci
ac barbari_, Tib. Gracch. apud Cic. de Div. ii. 4. Compare Virgil's
_Pinguis Tyrrhenus_.

[4] It is probable that Sp. Carvilius merely popularised the use of this
letter, and perhaps gave it its place in the alphabet as seventh letter.

[5] Inst. Or. 1, 7, 14.

[6] In Cicero's time the semi-vowel _j_ in the middle of words was often
denoted by _ii_; and the long vowel _i_ represented by the prolongation of
the letter above and sometimes below the line.

[7] 1, 4, 7.

[8] This subject is well illustrated in the introduction to Masson's ed.
of Todd's Milton.

[9] The reader should consult the introduction to Notes I. in Munro's

[10] Var. L. L. v. 85.

[11] Hor. Ep. ii. 1, 86.

[12] _E.g. edepol, ecastor_.

[13] Prob. an old optative, afterwards used as a fut.

[14] Cf. _dic. fer_.

[15] L. L. vii. 26, 27.

[16] Oscan _estud_. This is one of several points in which the oldest
Latin approximates to the other Italian dialects, from which it gradually
became more divergent. Cf. _paricidas_ (Law of Numa) nom. sing. with Osc.

[17] Pol. iii. 22. Polybius lived in the time of the younger Scipio; but
the antiquity of this treaty has recently been impugned.

[18] Inst. Or. i. 7, 12.

[19] Or, accentuating differently, "quoius forma virtutei | parisuma
fuit." We notice the strange quantity Lucius, which recalls the Homeric

[20] From Thompson's _Essay on the Sources and Formation of the Latin
Language; Hist. Of Roman Literature; Encyclopaedia Metropolitana_.


[1] The Ludi Romani, as they were afterwards called.

[2] Satura.

[3] The early laws were called "carmina," a term applied to any set form
of words, Liv. i. 25, _Lex horrendi carminis_. The theory that all laws
were in the Saturnian rhythm is not by any means probable.

[4] The passages on which this theory was founded are chiefly the
following:--"_Cic. Brut._ xix. utinam extarent illa carmina, quae multis
saeculis ante suam aetatem in epulis esse cantitata a singulis convivis de
clarorum virorum laudibus in Originibus seriptum reliquit Cato." _Cf.
Tusc._ i. 2, 3, and iv. 2, s.f. Varro, as quoted by Non, says: "In
conviviis pueri modesti ut cantarent carmina antiqua, in quibus laudes
erant maiorum, et assa voce et cum tibicine." Horace alludes to the
custom, _Od._ iv. 15, 27, _sqq._

[5] Poeticae arti honos uon erat: si qui in ea re studebat, aut sese ad
convivia adplicabat, grassator vocabatur.--_Cato ap. Aul Gell. N.A._ xi.
2, 5.

[6] In his epitaph.

[7] See Mommsen Hist. i. p. 240.

[8] It is a term of contempt in Ennius, "_quos olim Fauni vatesque

[9] Virg. Ecl. ix. 34.

[10] Fest. p. 333a, M.

[11] Ep. ii. 1, 162.

[12] It has been argued from a passage in Livy (ix. 36), "_Habeo auctores
vulgo tum Romanos pueros, sicut nunc Graecis, ita Etruscis literis erudiri
solitos_," that literature at Rome must be dated from the final conquest
of Etruria (294 B.C.); but the Romans had long before this date been
familiar with Etruscan literature, such as it was. We have no ground for
supposing that they borrowed anything except the art of divination, and
similar studies. Neither history nor dramatic poetry was cultivated by the

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