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Preface

This webpage reproduces a section of
Noctes Atticae (Attic Nights)

by
A. Cornelius Gellius

published in Vol. I
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1927
(revised 1946)

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Book II

(Vol. I) Gellius
Attic Nights

p3 Book I

1 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Plutarch's account of the method of comparison and the calculations which the philosopher Pythagoras used in determining the great height of Hercules, while the hero was living among men.

1 In the treatise1 which he wrote on the mental and physical endowment and achievements of Hercules while he was among men, Plutarch says that the philosopher Pythagoras reasoned sagaciously and acutely in determining and measuring the hero's superiority in size and stature. 2 For since it was generally agreed that Hercules paced off the race-course of the stadium at Pisae, near the temple of Olympian Zeus, and made it six hundred feet long, and since the other courses in the land of Greece, constructed later by other men, were indeed six hundred feet in length, but yet were somewhat shorter than that at Olympia, he readily concluded by a process of comparison that the measured length of Hercules' foot was greater than that of other men in the same proportion as the course at Olympia was longer than the other stadia. 3 Then, having ascertained the size p5of Hercules' foot, he made a calculation of the bodily height suited to that measure,2 based upon the natural proportion of all parts of the body, and thus arrived at the logical conclusion that Hercules was as much taller than other men as the course at Olympia exceeded the others that had been constructed with the same number of feet.3

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The apt use made by Herodes Atticus, the ex-consul, in reply to an arrogant and boastful young fellow, a student of philosophy in appearance only, of the passage in which Epictetus the Stoic humorously set apart the true Stoic from the mob of prating triflers who called themselves Stoics.

1 While we were students at Athens, Herodes Atticus, a man of consular rank and of true Grecian eloquence, often invited me to his country houses near that city, in company with the honourable4 Servilianus and several others of our countrymen who had withdrawn from Rome to Greece in quest of culture. 2 And there at that time, while we were with him at the villa called Cephisia, both in the heat of summer and under the burning autumnal sun, we protected ourselves against the trying temperature by the shade of its spacious groves, its long, soft5 promenades, the cool location of the house, its elegant baths with their abundance of sparkling water, and the charm of the villa as a while, which was everywhere melodious with plashing waters and tuneful birds.

p7 3 There was with us there at the time a young student of philosophy, of the Stoic school according to his own account, but intolerably loquacious and presuming. 4 In the course of the conversations which are commonly carried on at table after dinner, this fellow often used to prate unseasonably, absurdly, and at immoderate length, on the principles of philosophy, maintaining that compared with himself all the Greek-speaking authorities, all wearers of the toga, and the Latin race in general were ignorant boors. As he spoke, he rattled off unfamiliar terms, the catchwords of syllogisms and dialectic tricks, declaring that no one but he could unravel the "master," the "resting," and the "heap" arguments,6 and other riddles of the kind. Furthermore, as to ethics, the nature of the human intellect, and the origin of the virtues with their duties and limits, or on the other hand the ills caused by disease and sin, and the wasting and destruction of the soul, he stoutly maintained that absolutely no one else had investigated, understood and mastered all these more thoroughly than himself. 5 Further, he believed that torture, bodily pain and deadly peril could neither injure nor detract from the happy state and condition of life which, in his opinion, he had attained, and that no sorrow could even cloud the serenity of the Stoic's face and expression.

p9 6 Once when he was puffing out these empty boasts, and already all, weary of his prating, were thoroughly disgusted and longing for an end, Herodes, speaking in Greek as was his general custom, said: "Allow me, mightiest of philosophers, since we, whom you call laymen, cannot answer you, to read from a book of Epictetus, greatest of Stoics, what he thought and said about such big talk as that of yours." And he bade them bring the first7 volume of the Discourses of Epictetus, arranged by Arrian, in which that venerable old man with just severity rebukes those young men who, though calling themselves Stoics, showed neither virtue nor honest industry, but merely babbled of trifling propositions and of the fruits of their study of such elements as are taught to children.

7 Then, when the book was brought, there was read the passage which I have appended, in which Epictetus with equal severity and humour set apart and separated from the true and genuine Stoic, who was beyond question without restraint or constraint, unembarrassed, free, prosperous and happy, that other mob of triflers who styled themselves Stoics, and casting the black soot of their verbiage before the eyes of their hearers, laid false claim to the name of the holiest of sects: " 'Speak to me of good and evil.' — 8 Listen:

The wind, bearing me from Ilium, drove me to the Cicones.8

9 "Of all existing things some are good, some evil, and some indifferent. Now the good things are virtues and what partakes of them, the evil are vice and what partakes of vice, and the indifferent lie p11between these: wealth, health, life, death, pleasure, pain.910 'How do you know this?' — Hellanicus says so in his Egyptian History. For what difference does it make whether you say that, or that it was Diogenes in his Ethics or Chrysippus or Cleanthes? Have you then investigated any of these matters and formed an opinion of your own? 11 Let me see how you are accustomed to act in a storm at sea. Do you recall this classification when the sail cracks and you cry aloud? If some idle fellow should stand beside you and say: 'Tell me, for Heaven's sake, what you told me before. It isn't a vice to suffer shipwreck, is it? It doesn't partake of vice, does it?' Would you not hurl a stick of wood at him and cry: 'What have we to do with you, fellow? We perish and you come and crack jokes.' 12 But if Caesar should summon you to answer an accusation . . ."

13 On hearing these words, that most arrogant of youths was mute, just as if the whole diatribe had been pronounced, not by Epictetus against others, but against himself by Herodes.

3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The difficult decision which the Lacedaemonian Chilo made to save a friend; and that one should consider scrupulously and anxiously whether one ought ever to do wrong in the interest of friends, with notes and quotations on that subject from the writings of Theophrastus and Marcus Cicero.

1 Of Chilo the Lacedaemonian, one of that famous group of sages,10 it is written in the books of those p13who have recorded the lives and deeds of distinguished men, that he, Chilo, at the close of his life, when death was already close upon him, thus addressed the friends about his bedside:

2 "That very little of what I have said and done in the course of a long life calls for repentance, you yourselves may perhaps know. 3 I, at any rate, at such a time as this do not deceive myself in believing that I have done nothing that it troubles me to remember, except for just one thing; and as to that it is not even now perfectly clear to me whether I did right or wrong.

4 "I was judge with two others, and a friend's life was at stake. Therefore, either my friend must suffer capital punishment or violence must be done to the law. 5 I considered for a long time how to remedy so difficult a situation. The course which I adopted seemed, in comparison with the alternative, the less objectionable; 6 I myself secretly voted for conviction, but I persuaded my fellow judges to vote for acquittal. 7 Thus I myself in a matter of such moment did my duty both as a judge and as a friend. But my action torments me with the fear that there may be something of treachery and guilt in having recommended to others, in the same case, at the same time, and in a common duty, a course for them contrary to what I thought best for myself."

8 This Chilo, then, though a man of surpassing wisdom, was in doubt how far he ought to have gone counter to law and counter to equity for the sake of a friend, and that question distressed him even at the very end of his life. 9 So too many subsequent students of philosophy, as appears in their works, p15have inquired very carefully and very anxiously, to use their own language, εἰ δεῖ βοηθεῖν τῷ φίλῳ παρὰ τὸ δίκαιον καὶ μέχρι πόσου καὶ ποῖα.11 That is to say, they inquired "whether one may sometimes act contrary to law or contrary to precedent in a friend's behalf, and under what circumstances and to what extent."

10 This problem has been discussed, as I have said, not only by many others, but also with extreme thoroughness by Theophrastus, the most conscientious and learned of the Peripatetic school; the discussion is found, if I remember correctly, in the first book of his treatise On Friendship. 11 That work Cicero evidently read when he too was composing a work On Friendship. Now, the other material that Cicero thought proper to borrow from Theophrastus his talent and command of language enabled him to take and to translate with great taste and pertinence; 12 but this particular topic which, as I have said, has been the object of much inquiry, and is the most difficult one of all, he passed over briefly and hurriedly, not reproducing the thoughtful and detailed argument of Theophrastus, but omitting his involved and as it were over-scrupulous discussion and merely calling attention in a few words to the nature of the problem. 13 I have added Cicero's words, in case anyone should wish to verify my statement:12 "Therefore these are the limits which I think ought to be observed, namely: when the characters of friends are blameless, then there should be complete harmony of opinions and inclinations in everything without any exception; p17and, even if by some chance the wishes of a friend are not altogether honourable and require to be forwarded in matters which involve his life or reputation, we should turn aside from the straight path, provided, however, utter disgrace does not follow. For there are limits to the indulgence which can be allowed to friendship."13

"When it is a question," he says, "either of a friend's life or good name, we must turn aside from the straight path, to further even his dishonourable desire." 14 But he does not tell us what the nature of that deviation ought to be, how far we may go to help him, and how dishonourable the nature of the friend's desire may be. 15 But what does it avail me to know that I must turn aside from the straight path in the event of such dangers to my friends, provided I commit no act of utter disgrace, unless he also informs me what he regards as utter disgrace and, once having turned from the path of rectitude, how far I ought to go? "For," he says, "there are limits to the indulgence which can be allowed to friendship." 16 But that is the very point on which we most need instruction, but which the teachers make least clear, namely, how far and to what degree indulgence must be allowed to friendship. 17 The sage Chilo whom I mentioned before, turned from the path to save a friend. But I can see how far he went; for he gave unsound advice to save his friend. 18 Yet even as to that he was in doubt up to his last hour whether he deserved criticism and censure.

"Against one's fatherland," says Cicero,14 "one must not take up arms for a friend." 19 That of course everybody knew, and "before Theognis was born," p19as Lucilius says.15 But what I ask and wish to know is this: when it is that one must act contrary to law and contrary to equity in a friend's behalf, albeit without doing violence to the public liberty and peace; and when it is necessary to turn aside from the path, as he himself put it, in what way and how much, under what circumstances, and to what extent that ought to be done. 20 Pericles, the great Athenian, a man of noble character and endowed with all honourable achievements, declared his opinion — in a single instance, it is true, but yet very clearly. For when a friend asked him to perjure himself in court for his sake, he replied in these words: "One ought to aid one's friends, but only so far as the gods allow."16

21 Theophrastus, however, in the book that I have mentioned, discusses this very question more exhaustively and with more care and precision than Cicero. 22 But even he in his exposition does not express an opinion about separate and individual action, nor with the corroborative evidence of examples, but treats classes of actions briefly and generally, in about the following terms:

23 "A small and trifling amount of disgrace or infamy," he says, "should be incurred, if thereby great advantage may be gained for a friend; for the insignificant loss from impairment of honour is repaid and made good by the greater and more substantial honour gained by aiding a friend, and that slight break or rift, so to speak, in one's reputation is repaired by the buttress formed by the advantages p21gained for one's friend. 24 "Nor ought we," says he, "to be influenced by mere terms, because my fair fame and the advantage of a friend under accusation are not of the same class. For such things must be estimated by their immediate weight and importance, not by verbal terms and the merits of the classes to which they belong. 25 For when the interests of a friend are put into the balance with our own honour in matters of equal importance, or nearly so, our own honour unquestionably turns the scale; but when the advantage of a friend is far greater, but our sacrifice of reputation in a matter of no great moment is insignificant, then what is advantageous to a friend gains in importance in comparison with what is honourable for us, exactly as a great weight of bronze is more valuable than a tiny shred of gold."

On this point I append Theophrastus' own words:17 26 "If such and such a thing belongs to a more valuable class, yet it is not true that some part of it, compared with a corresponding part of something else, will be preferable. This is not the case, for example, if gold is more valuable than bronze, and a portion of gold, compared with a portion of bronze of corresponding size, is obviously of more worth; but the number and size of the portions will have some influence on our decision."

27 The philosopher Favorinus too, somewhat loosening and inclining the delicate balance of justice to suit the occasion, thus defined such an indulgence in favour:18 "That which among men is called favour is the relaxing of strictness in time of need."

28 Later on Theophrastus again expressed himself to about this effect: "The relative importance and insignificance of things, and all these considerations p23of duty, are sometimes directed, controlled, and as it were steered by other external influences and other additional factors, so to say, arising from individuals, conditions and exigencies, as well as by the requirements of existing circumstances; and these influences, which it is difficult to reduce to rules, make them appear now justifiable and now unjustifiable."

29 On these and similar topics Theophrastus wrote very discreetly, scrupulously and conscientiously, yet with more attention to analysis and discussion than with the intention or whether of arriving at a decision, since undoubtedly the variations in circumstances and exigencies, and the minute distinctions and differences, do not admit of a definite and universal rule that can be applied to individual cases; and it is such a rule, as I said at the beginning of this essay, of which we are in search.

30 Now this Chilo, with whom I began this little discussion, is the author not only of some other wise and salutary precepts, but also of the following, which has been found particularly helpful, since it confines within due limits those two most ungovernable passions, love and hatred. "So love," said he, "as if you were possibly destined to hate; and in the same way, hate as if you might perhaps afterwards love."19

31 Of this same Chilo the philosopher Plutarch, in the first book of his treatise On the Soul, wrote as follows:20 "Chilo of old, having heard a man say that he had no enemy, asked him if he had no friend, believing that enmities necessarily followed and were involved in friendships."

p25 4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The care and fine taste with which Antonius Julianus examined the artful substitution of one word for another by Marcus Cicero in one of his orations.

1 The rhetorician Antonius Julianus had an exceedingly noble and winning personality. He also possessed learning of a delightful and helpful sort, devoting great attention to the refinements of the writers of old and readily recalling them. Moreover, he inspected all the earlier literature with such care, weighing its merits and ferreting out its defects, that you might say that his judgment was perfect.21

2 This Julianus expressed the following opinion of the syllogism which is found in the speech of Marcus Tullius spoken In Defence of Gnaeus Plancius223 but first I will quote the exact words on which he passed judgment: "And yet, a debt of money is a different thing from a debt of gratitude. For he who discharges a debt in money ceases forthwith to have that which he has paid, while one who continues in debts keeps what belongs to another. But in the case of a debt of gratitude, he who returns it has it; and he who has it returns it by the mere fact of having it.23 In the present instance I shall not cease to be Plancius' debtor if I pay this debt, nor should I be paying him any the less simply by feeling goodwill, if the present unfortunate situation had not occurred."24 4 "Here," said Julianus, "is to be sure a fine artistry in the way the words are marshalled, something well-rounded that charms the ear by its mere music; but it must be read with the privilege of a slight change in the meaning of one word in order to p27preserve the truth of the proposition. 5 Now the comparison of a debt of gratitude with a pecuniary debt demands the use of the word 'debt' in both instances. For a debt of money and a debt of gratitude will seem to be properly compared, if we may say that both money and gratitude are owed; but let us consider what happens in the owing or paying of money, and on the other hand in the owing and paying of a debt of gratitude, if we retain the word 'debt' in both instances. 6 Now Cicero," continued Julianus, "having said that a debt of money was a different thing from a debt of gratitude, in giving his reason for that statement applies the word 'owe' to money, but in the case of gratitude substitutes 'has' (i.e. 'feels') for 'owes'; for this is what he says: 'But in the case of a debt of gratitude, he who returns it has it; and he who has it returns it by the mere fact of having it.' 7 But that word 'has' does not exactly fit the proposed comparison. For it is the owing, and not the having, of gratitude that is compared with money, and therefore it would have been more consistent to say: 'He who owes pays by the mere fact of owing.' But it would be absurd and quite too forced if a debt of gratitude that was not yet paid should be said to be paid by the mere fact that it was owed. 8 Therefore," said Julianus, "Cicero made a change and substituted a similar word for one which he had dropped, in order to seem to have kept the idea of a comparison of debts, and at the same time retained the careful balance of his period." Thus it was that Julianus elucidated and criticized passages in the earlier literature, which a select group of young men read under his guidance.

p29 5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That the orator Demosthenes was criticized because of his care for his person and attire, and taunted with foppishness; and that the orator Hortensius also, because of similar foppishness and the use of theatrical gestures when he spoke, was nicknamed Dionysia the dancing-girl.

1 It is said that Demosthenes in his dress and other personal habits was excessively spruce, elegant and studied. It was for that reason that he was taunted by his rivals and opponents with his "exquisite, pretty mantles" and "soft, pretty tunics";25 for that reason, too, that they did not refrain from applying to him foul and shameful epithets, alleging that he was no man and was even guilty of unnatural vice.

2 In like manner Quintus Hortensius, quite the most renowned orator of his time with the exception of Marcus Tullius, because he dressed with extreme foppishness, arranged the folds of his toga with great care and exactness, and in speaking used his hands to excess in lively gestures, was assailed with gibes and shameful charges; and many taunts were hurled at him, even while he was pleading in court, for appearing like an actor. 3 But when Sulla was on trial, and Lucius Torquatus, a man of somewhat boorish and uncouth nature, with great violence and bitterness did not stop with calling Hortensius an actor in the presence of the assembled jurors, but should that he was a posturer and a Dionysia — which was the name of a notorious dancing-girl — then Hortensius round in a soft and gentle tone: "I would rather be a Dionysia, Torquatus, yes, a Dionysia, than like you, a stranger to the Muses, to Venus and to Dionysus."26

p31 6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] An extract from the speech delivered to the people by Metellus Numidicus when he was censor, urging them to marry; why that speech has been criticized and how on the contrary it has been defended.

1 A number of learned men were listening to the reading of the speech which Metellus Numidicus,27 an earnest and eloquent man, delivered to the people when he was censor, On Marriage, urging them to be ready to undertake its obligations. 2 In that speech these words were written: "If we could get on without a wife, Romans, we would all avoid that annoyance; but since nature has ordained that we can neither live very comfortably with them nor at all without them, we must take thought for our lasting well-being rather than for the pleasure of the moment."

3 It seemed to some of the company that Quintus Metellus, whose purpose as censor was to encourage the people to take wives, ought not to have admitted the annoyance and constant inconveniences of the married state; that to do this was not so much to encourage, as to dissuade and deter them. But they said that his speech ought rather to have taken just the opposite tone, insisting that as a rule there were no annoyances in matrimony, and if after all they seemed sometimes to arise, they were slight, insignificant and easily endured, and whether completely forgotten in its greater pleasures and p33advantages; furthermore, that even these annoyances did not fall to the lot of all or from any fault natural to matrimony, but as the result of the misconduct and injustice of some husbands and wives. 4 Titus Castricius, however, thought that Metellus had spoken properly and as was altogether worthy of his position. "A censor," said he, "ought to speak in one way, an advocate in another. It is the orator's privilege to make statements that are untrue, daring, crafty, deceptive and sophistical, provided they have some semblance of truth and can by any artifice be made to insinuate themselves into the minds of the persons who are to be influenced. Furthermore," he said, "it is disgraceful for an advocate, even though his case be a bad one, to leave anything unnoticed or undefended. 5 But for a Metellus, a blameless man, with a reputation for dignity and sense of honour, addressing the Roman people with the prestige of such a life and course of honours, it was not becoming to say anything which was not accepted as true by himself and by all men, especially when speaking on a subject which was a matter of everyday knowledge and formed a part of the common and habitual experience of life. 6 Accordingly, having admitted the existence of annoyances notorious with all men, and having thus established confidence in his sincerity and truthfulness, he then found it no difficult or uphill work of convince them of what was the soundest and truest of principles, that the State cannot survive without numerous marriages."

7 This other passage also from the same address of Metellus in my opinion deserves constant reading, not less by Heaven! than the writings of the p35greatest philosophers. 8 His words are these: "The immortal gods have mighty power, but they are not expected to be more indulgent than our parents. But parents, if their children persist in wrong-doing, disinherit them. What different application of justice then are we to look for from the immortal gods, unless we put an end to our evil ways? Those alone may fairly claim the favour of the gods who are not their own worst enemies.28 The immortal gods ought to support, not supply, virtue."

7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] In these words of Cicero, from his fifth oration Against Verres, hanc sibi rem praesidio sperant futurum, there is no error in writing or grammar but those are wrong who do violence to good copies by writing futuram; and in connection mention is also made of another word of Cicero's which, though correct, is wrongly changed; with a few incidental remarks on the melody and cadence of periods for which Cicero earnestly strove.

1 In the fifth oration of Cicero Against Verres,29 in a copy of unimpeachable fidelity, since it was the result of Tiro's30 careful scholarship, is this passage: 2 "Men of low degree and humble birth sail the seas; they come to places which they had never before visited. They are neither known to those to whom they have come nor can they always find acquaintances to vouch for them, yet because of this mere faith in their citizenship they believe that they will be safe, not only before our magistrates, who are constrained by fear of the p37laws and public opinion, and not only among Roman citizens, who are united by the common bond of language, rights, and many interests, but wherever they may come, they hope that this possession will protect them."

3 It seemed to many that there was an error in the last word. For they thought that futuram should be written instead of futurum, and they were sure that the book ought to be corrected, lest like the adulterer in the comedy of Plautus31 — for so they jested about the error which they thought they had found — this solecism in an oration of Cicero's should be "caught in the act."

4 There chanced to be present there a friend of mine, who had become an expert from wide reading and to whom almost all the older literature had been the object of study, meditation and wakeful nights. 5 He, on examining the book, declared that there was no mistake in writing or grammar in that word, but that Cicero had written correctly and in accordance with early usage. 6 "For futurum is not," said he, "to be taken with rem, as hasty and careless readers think, nor is it used as a participle. It is an infinitive, the kind of word which the Greeks call ἀπαρέμφατος or 'indeterminate,' affected neither by number nor gender, 7 but altogether free and independent, such a word as Gaius Gracchus used in the speech entitled On Publius Popilius, delivered in the places of assembly,32 in which we read: 'I suppose that my enemies will say this.' He said dicturum, not dicturos; and is it not clear that dicturum in Gracchus is used 8 according to the same principle p39as futurum in Cicero? Just as in the Greek language, without any suspicion of error, words such as ἐρεῖν, ποιήσειν, ἔσεσθαι, and the like, are used in all genders and all numbers without distinction." 9 He added that in the third book of the Annals of Claudius Quadrigarius are these words:33 "While they were being cut to pieces, the forces of the enemy would be busy there (copias . . . futurum)"; and at the beginning of the eighteenth book of the same Quadrigarius:34 "If you enjoy health proportionate to your own merit and our good-will, we have reason to hope that the gods will bless the good (deos . . . facturum)"; 10 that similarly Valerius Antias also in his twenty-fourth book wrote: "If those religious rites should be performed, and the omens should be wholly favourable, the soothsayers declared that everything would proceed as they desired (omnia . . . processurum esse)."35 11 "Plautus also in the Casina,36 speaking of a girl, used occisurum, not occisuram in the following passage:

Has Casina a sword? — Yes, two of them. —

Why two? — With one she'd fain the bailiff slay,

With t'other you.

12 So too Laberius in The Twins wrote:37

I thought not she would do (facturum) it.

13 Now, all those men were not unaware of the nature of a solecism, but Gracchus used dicturum, Quadrigarius futurum and facturum, Antias processurum, Plautus occisurum and Laberius facturum, in the infinitive mood, 14 a mood which is not inflected for mood or number or person or tense or gender, p41but expresses them all by one and the same form, 15 just as Marcus Cicero did not use futurum in the masculine or neuter gender — for that would clearly be a solecism — but employed a form which is independent of any influence of gender."38

16 Furthermore, that same friend of mine used to say that in the oration of that same Marcus Tullius On Pompey's Military Command39 Cicero wrote the following, and so my friend always read it: "Since you know that your harbours, and those harbours from which you draw the breath of life, were in the power of the pirates." 17 And he declared that in potestatem fuisse40 was not a solecism, as the half-educated vulgar think, but he maintained that it was used in accordance with a definite and correct principle, one which the Greeks also followed; and Plautus, who is most choice in his Latinity, said in the Amphitruo:41

Número mihi in mentém fuit,

not in mente, as we commonly say.

18 But besides Plautus, whom my friend used as an example in this instance, I myself have come upon a great abundance of such expressions in the early writers, and I have jotted them down here and there in these notes of mine. 19 But quite apart from that rule and those authorities, the very sound and order of the words make it quite clear that it is more in accordance with the careful attention to diction and the rhythmical style of Marcus Tullius that, either p43being good Latin, he should prefer to say potestatem rather than potestate. 20 For the former construction is more agreeable to the ear and better rounded, the latter harsher and less finished, provided always that a man has an ear attuned to such distinctions, not one that is dull and sluggish; it is for the same reason indeed that he preferred to say explicavit rather than explicuit, which was already coming to be the commoner form.

These are his own words from the speech which he delivered On Pompey's Military Command:42 "Sicily is a witness, which, begirt on all sides by many dangers, he freed (explicavit), not by the threat of war, but by his promptness in decision." But if he had said explicuit, the sentence would halt with weak and imperfect rhythm.43

8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] An anecdote found in the works of the philosopher Sotion about the courtesan Lais and the orator Demosthenes.

1 Sotion was a man of the Peripatetic school, far from unknown. He wrote a book filled with wide and varied information and called it Κέρας Ἀμαλθείας,44 2 which is about equivalent to The Horn of Plenty.

3 In that book is found the following anecdote about the orator Demosthenes and the courtesan Lais: "Lais of Corinth," he says, "used to gain a great deal of money by the grace and charm of her beauty, and was frequently visited by wealthy men from all over Greece; but no one was received who did not give what she demanded, and her p45demands were extravagant enough." 4 He says that this was the origin of the proverb common among the Greeks:

Not every man may fare to Corinth town,45

for in vain would any man go to Corinth to visit Lais who could not pay her price. 5 "The great Demosthenes approached her secretly and asked for her favours. But Lais demanded ten thousand drachmas" — a sum equivalent in our money to ten thousand denarii.46 6 "Amazed and shocked at the woman's great impudence and the vast sum of money demanded, Demosthenes turned away, remarking as he left her: 'I will not buy regret at such a price.' " But the Greek words which he is said to have used are neater; he said: Ούκ ὠνοῦμαι μυρίων δραχμῶν μεταμέλειαν.47

9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] What the method and what the order of the Pythagorean training was, and the amount of time which was prescribed and accepted as the period for learning and at the same time keeping silence.

1 It is said that the order and method followed by Pythagoras, and afterwards by his school and his successors, in admitting and training their pupils were as follows: 2 At the very outset he "physiognomized" the young men who presented themselves for instruction. That word means to inquire into the character and dispositions of men by an inference drawn from their facial appearance and p47expression, and from the form and bearing of their whole body. 3 Then, when he had thus examined a man and found him suitable, he at once gave orders that he should be admitted to the school and should keep silence for a fixed period of time; this was not the same for all, but differed according to his estimate of the man's capacity for learning quickly. 4 But the one who kept silent listened to what was said by others; he was, however, religiously forbidden to ask questions, if he had not fully understood, or to remark upon what he had heard. Now, no one kept silence for less than two years, and during the entire period of silent listening they were called ἀκουστικοί or "auditors." 5 But when they had learned what is of all things the most difficult, to keep quiet and listen, and had finally begun to be adepts in that silence which is called ἐχεμυθία or "continence in words," they were then allowed to speak, to ask questions, and to write down what they had heard, 6 and to express their own opinions. During this stage they were called μαθηματικοί or "students of science," evidently from those branches of knowledge which they had now begun to learn and practise; for the ancient Greeks called geometry, gnomonics,48 music and other higher studies μαθήματα or "sciences"; but the common people apply the term mathematici to those who ought to be called by their ethnic name, Chaldaeans.49 7 Finally, equipped with this scientific training, they advanced to the investigation of the phenomena of the universe and the laws of nature, p49and then, and not till then, they were called φυσικοί or "natural philosophers."

8 Having thus expressed himself about Pythagoras, my friend Taurus continued: "But nowadays these fellows who turn to philosophy on a sudden with unwashed feet,50 not content with being wholly 'without purpose, without learning, and without scientific training,' even lay down the law as to how they are to be taught philosophy. 9 One says, 'first teach me this,' another chimes in, "I want to learn this, I don't want to learn that'; one is eager to begin with the Symposium of Plato because of the revel of Alcibiades,51 another with the Phaedrus on account of the speech of Lysias.52 10 By Jupiter!" said he, "one man actually asks to read Plato, not in order to better his life, but to deck out his diction and style, not to gain in discretion, but in prettiness." 11 That is what Taurus used to say, in comparing the modern students of philosophy with the Pythagoreans of old.

12 But I must not omit this fact either — that all of them, as soon as they had been admitted by Pythagoras into that band of disciples, at once devoted to the common use whatever estate and property they had, and an inseparable fellowship was formed, like the old-time association which in Roman legal parlance was termed an "undivided inheritance."53

p51 10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] In what terms the philosopher Favorinus rebuked a young man who used language that was too old-fashioned and archaic.

1 The philosopher Favorinus thus addressed a young man who was very fond of old words and made a display in his ordinary, everyday conversation of many expressions that were quite too unfamiliar and archaic: "Curius," said he, "and Fabricius and Coruncanius, men of the olden days, and of a still earlier time than these famous triplets, the Horatii, talked clearly and intelligibly with their fellows, using the language of their own day, not that of the Aurunci, the Sicani, or the Pelasgi, who are said to have been the earliest inhabitants of Italy. 2 You, on the contrary, just as if you were talking to‑day with Evander's mother,54 use words that have already been obsolete for many years, because you want no one to know and comprehend what you are saying. Why not accomplish your purpose more fully, foolish fellow, and say nothing at all? 3 But you assert that you love the olden time, because it is honest, sterling, sober and temperate. 4 Live by all means according to the manners of the past, but speak in the language of the present, and always remember and take to heart what Gaius Caesar, a man of surpassing talent and wisdom, wrote in the first book of his treatise On Analogy:55 'Avoid, as you would a rock, a strange and unfamiliar word.' "

p53 11 1  [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The statement of the celebrated writer Thucydides, that the Lacedaemonians in battle used pipes and not trumpets, with a citation of his words on that subject; and the remark of Herodotus that king Alyattes had female lyre-players as part of his military equipment; and finally, some notes on the pipe used by Gracchus when addressing assemblies.

1 Thucydides, the most authoritative of Greek historians, tells us56 that the Lacedaemonians, greatest of warriors, made use in battle, not of signals by horns or trumpets, but of the music of pipes, certainly not in conformity with any religious usage or from any ceremonial reason, nor yet that their courage might be roused and stimulated, which is the purpose of horns and trumpets; but on the contrary that they might be calmer and advance in better order, 2 because the effect of the flute-player's notes is to restrain impetuosity. So firmly were they convinced that in meeting the enemy and beginning battle nothing contributedº more to valour and confidence than to be soothed by gentler sounds and keep their feelings under control. 3 Accordingly, when the army was drawn up, and began to advance in battle-array against the foe, pipers stationed in the ranks began to play. 4 Thereupon, by this quiet, pleasant, and even solemn prelude the fierce impetuosity of the soldiers was checked, in conformity with a kind of discipline of military music, so to speak, so that they might not rush forth in straggling disorder.

5 But I should like to quote the very words of that outstanding writer, which have greater distinction and credibility than my own: "And after this the p55attack began. The Argives and their allies rushed forward eagerly and in a rage, but the Lacedaemonians advanced slowly to the music of many flute-players stationed at regular intervals; this not for any religious reason, but in order that they might make the attack while marching together rhythmically, and that their ranks might not be broken, which commonly happens to great armies when they advance to the attack."

6 Tradition has it that the Cretans also commonly entered battle with the lyre playing before them and regulating their step. 7 Furthermore, Alyattes, king of the land of Lydia, a man of barbaric manners and luxury, when he made war on the Milesians, as Herodotus tells us in his History,57 had in his army and his battle-array orchestras of pipe- and lyre-players, and even female flute-players, such as are the delight of wanton banqueters. 8 Homer, however, says58 that the Achaeans entered battle, relying, not on the music of lyres and pipes, but on silent harmony and unanimity of spirit:

In silence came the Achaeans, breathing rage,

resolved in mind on one another's aid.

9 What then is the meaning of that soul-stirring shout of the Roman soldiers which, as the annalists have told us, was regularly used when charging the foe?59 Was that done contrary to so generally accepted a rule of old-time discipline? Or are a quiet advance and silence needful when an army is marching against an enemy that is far off and visible from a distance, but when you have almost come to blows, then must the foe, already at close quarters, be driven back by a violent assault and terrified by shouting?

p57 10 But, look you, the Laconian pipe-playing reminds me also of that oratorical pipe, which they say was played for Gaius Gracchus when he addressed the people, and gave him the proper pitch. 11 But it is not at all true, as is commonly stated, that a musician always stood behind him as he spoke, playing the pipe, and by varying the pitch now restrained and now animated his feelings and his delivery. 12 For what could be more absurd than that a piper should play measures, notes, and a kind of series of changing melodies for Gracchus when addressing an assembly, as if for a dancing mountebank? 13 But more reliable authorities declare that the musician took his place unobserved in the audience and at intervals sounded on a short pipe a deeper note, to restrain and calm the exuberant energy of the orator's delivery. 14 And that in my opinion is the correct view, for it is unthinkable that Gracchus' well-known natural vehemence needed any incitement or impulse from without. 15 Yet Marcus Cicero thinks that the piper was employed by Gracchus for both purposes, in order that with notes now soft, now shrill, he might animate his oratory when it was becoming weak and feeble, or check it when too violent and passionate. I quote Cicero's own words:60 16 "And so this same Gracchus, Catulus, as you may hear from your client Licinius, an educated man, who was at that time Gracchus' slave and amanuensis,61 used to have a skilful musician stand behind him in concealment when he addressed an audience, who could quickly breathe a note to arouse the speaker if languid, or recall him from undue vehemence."

p59 17 Finally, Aristotle wrote in his volume of Problems62 that the custom of the Lacedaemonians which I have mentioned, of entering battle to the music of pipers, was adopted in order to make the fearlessness and ardour of the soldiers more evident and indubitable. 18 "For," said he, "distrust and fear are not at all consistent with an advance of that kind, and such an intrepid and rhythmical advance cannot be made by the faint-hearted and despondent."63 19 I have added a few of Aristotle's own words on the subject: "Why, when on the point of encountering danger, did they advance to music of the pipe? In order to detect the cowards by their failure to keep time." ***64

12 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] At what age, from what kind of family, by what rites, ceremonies and observances, and under what town a Vestal virgin is "taken" by the chief pontiff; what legal privileges she has immediately upon being chosen; also that, according to Labeo, she is lawfully neither heir of an intestate person, nor is anyone her heir, in case she dies without a will.

1 Those who have written about "taking" a Vestal virgin, of whom the most painstaking is Antistius Labeo,65 have stated that it is unlawful for a girl to be chosen who is less than six, or more than ten, years old; 2 she must also have both father and mother living; 3 she must be free too from any impediment in her speech, must not have impaired hearing, or be marked by any other bodily defect; p614 she must not herself have been freed from paternal control,66 nor her father before her, even if her father is still living and she is under the control of her grandfather;67 5 neither one nor both of her parents may have been slaves or engaged in mean occupations.68 6 But they say that one whose sister has been chosen to that priesthood acquires exemption, as well as one whose father is a flamen or an augur, one of the Fifteen in charge of the Sibylline Books,69 one of the Seven who oversee the banquets of the gods, or a dancing priest of Mars. 7 Exemption from that priesthood is regularly allowed also to the betrothed of a pontiff and to the daughter of a priest of the tubilustrium.70 8 Furthermore the writings of Ateius Capito inform us71 that the daughter of a man without residence in Italy must not be chosen, and that the daughter of one who has three children must be excused.

9 Now, as soon as the Vestal virgin is chosen, escorted to the House of Vesta and delivered to the pontiffs, she immediately passes from the control of her father without the ceremony of emancipation or loss of civil rights, and acquires the right to make a will.

10 But as to the method and ritual for choosing a Vestal, there are, it is true, no ancient written records, p63except that the first to be appointed was chosen by Numa. 11 There is, however, a Papian law,72 which provides that twenty maidens be selected from the people at the discretion of the chief pontiff, that a choice by lot be made from that number in the assembly,73 and that the girl whose lot is drawn be "taken" by the chief pontiff and become Vesta's. 12 But that allotment in accordance with the Papian law is usually unnecessary at present. For if any man of respectable birth goes to the chief pontiff and offers his daughter for the priesthood, provided consideration may be given to her candidacy without violating any religious requirement, the senate grants him exemption from the Papian law.

13 Now the Vestal is said to be "taken," it appears, because she is grasped by the hand of the chief pontiff and led away from the parent under whose control she is, as if she had been taken in war. 14 In the first book of Fabius Pictor's History74 the formula is given which the chief pontiff should use in choosing a Vestal. It is this: "I take thee, Amata, as one who has fulfilled all the legal requirements, to be priestess of Vesta, to perform the rites which it is lawful for a Vestal to perform for the Roman people, the Quirites."

15 Now, many think that the term "taken" ought to be used only of a Vestal. But, as a matter of fact, the flamens of Jupiter also, as well as the augurs, were said to be "taken." 16 Lucius Sulla, in the second book of his Autobiography,75 wrote as follows: "Publius Cornelius, the first to receive the surname Sulla, was taken to be flamen of Jupiter." 17 Marcus p65Cato, in his accusation of Servius Galba, says of the Lusitanians:76 "Yet they say that they wished to revolt. I myself at the present moment wish a thorough knowledge of the pontifical law; shall I therefore be taken as chief pontiff? If I wish to understand the science of augury thoroughly, shall anyone for that reason take me as augur?"

18 Furthermore, in the Commentaries on the Twelve Tables compiled by Labeo77 we find this passage: "A Vestal virgin is not heir to any intestate person, nor is anyone her heir, should she die without making a will, but her property, they say, reverts to the public treasury. The legal principle involved is an unsettled question."

19 The Vestal is called "Amata" when taken by the chief pontiff, because there is a tradition that the first one who was chosen bore that name.78

13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On the philosophical question, what would be more proper on receipt of an order — to do scrupulously what was commanded, or sometimes even to disobey, in the hope that it would be more advantageous to the giver of the order; and an exposition of varying views on that subject.

1 In interpreting, evaluating and weighing the obligations which the philosophers call καθήκοντα, or "duties," the question is often asked, when some task has been assigned to you and exactly what was to be done has been defined, whether you ought to do anything contrary to instructions, if by so doing p67it might seem that the outcome would be more successful and more advantageous to the one who imposed the task upon you. 2 It is a difficult question which has been answered both ways by wise men. 3 For several have taken a position on the one side and expressed the decided belief that when a matter has once for all been determined, after due deliberation, by the one whose business and right are concerned, nothing should be done contrary to his order, even if some unlooked for occurrence should promise a better way of accomplishing the end in view; for fear that, if the expectation were not realized, the offender would be liable to blame and inexorable punishment for his insubordination. 4 If, on the other hand, the affair chanced to result more favourably, thanks would indeed be due the gods, but nevertheless a precedent would seem to have been established, which might ruin well-laid plans by weakening the binding force of a command. 5 Others have thought that the disadvantages to be feared, in case the order was not strictly obeyed, should carefully be weighed in advance against the advantage hoped for, and if the former were comparatively light and trivial, while on the contrary a greater and more substantial advantage was confidently to be expected, then they judged that one might go counter to instructions, to avoid losing a providential opportunity for successful action; 6 and they did not believe that a precedent for disobedience was to be feared, provided always that considerations of such a kind could be urged. 7 But they thought that particular regard should be paid to the temperament and disposition of the person whose business and command were involved: he must not be stern, p69hard, autocratic and implacable, as in the case of the orders of a Postumius and a Manlius.79 8 For if an account must be rendered to such a commander, they recommended that nothing be done contrary to the letter of his order.

9 I think that this question of obedience to commands of such a nature will be more clearly defined, if I add the example set by Publius Crassus Mucianus, a distinguished and eminent man. 10 This Crassus is said by Sempronius Asellio80 and several other writers of Roman history to have had the five greatest and chiefest of blessings; for he was very rich, of the highest birth, exceedingly eloquent, most learned in the law, and chief pontiff. 11 When he, in his consulship, was in command in81 the province of Asia, and was making preparations to beset and assault Leucae, he needed a long, stout beam from which to make a battering-ram, to breach the walls of that city. Accordingly, he wrote to the chief engineer of the people of Mylatta,82 allies and friends of the Romans, to have the larger of two masts which he had seen in their city sent him. 12 Then the chief engineer on learning the purpose for which Crassus wanted the mast, did not send him the larger, as had been ordered, but the smaller, which he thought was more suitable, and better adapted for p71making a ram, besides being easier to transport. 13 Crassus ordered him to be summoned, asked why he had not sent the mast which had been ordered, and ignoring the excuses and reasons which the man urged, caused him to be stripped and soundly beaten with rods; for he thought that all the authority of a commander was weakened and made of no effect, if one might reply to orders which he received, not with due obedience, but with an unsolicited plan of his own.

14 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] What was said and done by Gaius Fabricius, a man of great renown and great deeds, but of simple establishment and little money, when the Samnites offered him a great amount of gold, in the belief that he was a poor man.

1 Julius Hyginus, in the sixth book of his work On the Lives and Deeds of Famous Men,83 says that a deputation from the Samnites came to Gaius Fabricius, the Roman general, and after mentioning his many important acts of kindness and generosity to the Samnites since peace was restored, offered him a present of a large sum of money, begging that he would accept and use it. And they said that they did this because they saw that his house and mode of life were far from magnificent, and that he was not so well provided for as his high rank demanded. 2 Thereupon Fabricius passed his open hands from his ears to his eyes, then down to his nose, his mouth, his throat, and finally to the lower part of his belly; then he replied to the envoys: "So long as I can restrain and control all those members which I have touched, I shall never lack p73anything; therefore I cannot accept money, for which I have no use, from those who, I am sure, do have use for it."

15 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] What a tiresome and utterly hateful fault is vain and empty loquacity, and how often it has been censured in deservedly strong language by the greatest Greek and Latin writers.

1 The talk of empty-headed, vain and tiresome babblers, who with no foundation of solid matter let out a stream of tipsy, tottering words, has justly been thought to come from the lips and not from the heart. Moreover, men say that the tongue ought not to be unrestrained and rambling, but guided and, so to speak, steered by cords connected with the heart and inmost breast. 2 Yet you may see some men spouting forth words with no exercise of judgment, but with such great and profound assurance that many of them in the very act of speaking are evidently unaware that they are talking. 3 Ulysses, on the contrary, a man gifted with sagacious eloquence, spoke, not from his lips but from his heart, as Homer says — a remark which applies less to the sound and quality of his utterance than to the depth of the thoughts inwardly conceived; and the poet went on to say, with great aptness, that the teeth form a rampart to check wanton words, in order that reckless speech may not only be restrained by that watchful sentry the heart, but also hedged in by a kind of outpost, so to speak, stationed at the lips.

p75 4 The words of Homer which I mentioned above are these:84

When from his breast his mighty voice went forth

and:85

What a word has passed the barrier of your teeth.

5 I have added also a passage from Marcus Tullius, in which he expresses his strong and just hatred of silly and unmeaning volubility. He says:86 6 "Provided this fact be recognized, that neither should one commend the dumbness of a man who knows a subject, but is unable to give it expression in speech, nor the ignorance of one who lacks knowledge of his subject, but abounds in words; yet if one must choose one or the other alternative, I for my part would prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity." 7 Also in the first book of the De Oratore87 he wrote as follows: "For what is so insane as the empty sound of words, however well-chosen and elegant, if there be no foundation of sense or sagacity?" 8 But Marcus Cato in particular is a relentless assailant of this fault. 9 For in the speech entitled If Caelius, tribune of the commons, should have summoned him,88 he says: "That man is never silent who is afflicted with the disease of talking, as one in a lethargy is afflicted with that of drinking and sleeping. For if you should not come together when he calls an assembly, so eager is he to talk that he would hire someone to listen. And so you hear him, but you do not listen, just as if he were a quack. For a quack's words are heard, but no one trusts himself p77to him when he is sick." 10 Again Cato, in the same speech,89 upbraiding the same Marcus Caelius, tribune of the commons, for the cheapness at which not only his speech but also his silence could be bought, says: "For a crust of bread he can be hired either to keep silence or to speak." 11 Most deservedly too does Homer call Thersites alone of all the Greeks ἀμετροεπής, "of measureless speech," and ἀκριτόμυθος,90 "a reckless babbler," declaring that his words are many and ἄκοσμα, or "disordered," like the endless chatter of daws;91 for what else does ἐκολώα ("he chattered") mean? 12 There is also a line of Eupolis most pointedly aimed at men of that kind:92

In chatter excellent, unable quite to speak,

13 and our countryman Sallust, wishing to imitate this, writes:93 "Talkative rather than eloquent." 14 It is for the same reason that Hesiod, wisest of poets, says94 that the tongue should not be vulgarly exposed but hidden like a treasure, and that it is exhibited with best effect when it is modest, restrained and musical. His own words are:

The greatest of man's treasures is the tongue,

Which wins most favour when it spares its words

And measured is of movement.

15 The following verse of Epicharmus is also to the point:95

Thou art not skilled in speech, yet silence cannot keep,

16 and it is from this line surely that the saying arose: "Who, though he could not speak, could not be silent."

p79 17 I once heard Favorinus say that the familiar lines of Euripides:96

Of unrestrained mouth

And of lawless folly

Is disaster the end,

ought not to be understood as directed only at those who spoke impiously or lawlessly, but might even with special propriety be used also of men who prate foolishly and immoderately, whose tongues are so extravagant and unbridled that they ceaselessly flow and seethe with the foulest dregs of language, the sort of persons to whom the Greeks apply the highly significant term κατάγλωσσοι, or "given to talk." 18 I learned from a friend of his, a man of learning, that the famous grammarian Valerius Probus, shortly before his death, began to read Sallust's well-known saying,97 "a certain amount of eloquence but little discretion", as "abundant talkativeness, too little discretion," and that he insisted that Sallust left it in that form, since the word loquentia was very characteristic of Sallust, an innovator in diction,98 while eloquentia was not at all consistent with lack of discretion.

19 Finally, loquacity of this kind and a disorderly mass of empty grandiloquence is scored with striking epithets by Aristophanes, wittiest of poets, in the following lines:99

A stubborn-creating, stubborn-pulling fellow,

Uncurbed, unfettered, uncontrolled of speech,

Unperiphrastic, bombastiloquent.

p81 20 And no less pointedly did our forefathers also call men of that kind, who were drowned in words, "babblers, gabblers and chatterboxes."

16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That those words of Quadrigarius in the third book of his Annals, "there a thousand of men is killed," are not used arbitrarily or by a poetic figure, but in accordance with a definite and approved rule of the science of grammar.

1 Quadrigarius in the third book of his Annals100 wrote the following: "There a thousand of men is killed," using occiditur, near occiduntur. 2 So too Lucilius in the third book of his Satires,

From gate to gate a thousand of paces is.

Thence to Salernum six,101

3 has mille est, not mille sunt. 3 Varro in the seventeenth book of his Antiquities of Man writes:102 "To the beginning of Romulus' reign is more than a thousand and one hundred years," 4 Marcus Cato in the first book of his Origins,103 "From there it is nearly a thousand of paces." 5 Marcus Cicero has in his sixth Oration against Antony,104 "is the middle Janus105 so subject to the patronage of Lucius Antonius? Who has ever been found in that Janus who would lend Lucius Antonius a thousand of sesterces?"

6 In these and many other passages mille is used in the singular number, 7 and that is not, as some think, a concession to early usage or admitted as a neat figure of speech, but it is obviously demanded p83by rule. 8 For the word mille does not stand for the Greek χίλιοι, "thousand," but for χιλιάς, "a thousand"; and just as they say one χιλιάς, or two χιλιάδες, so we say one thousand and two thousands according to a definite and regular rule. 9 Therefore these common expressions are correct and good usage, "There is a thousand of denarii in the chest," and "There is a thousand of horsemen in the army." 10 Furthermore Lucilius, in addition the example cited above, makes the point still clearer in another place also: 11 for in his fifteenth book he says:106

This horse no jolting fine Campanian steed,

Though he has passed him by one thousand, aye

And twain, of paces, can in a longer course

Compete with, but he will in fact appear

To run the other way.

12 So too in the ninth book:107

With sesterces a thousand you can gain

A hundred thousand.

13 Lucilius wrote milli passum instead of mille passibus and uno milli nummum for unis mille nummis, thus showing clearly that mille is a noun, and that it also forms an ablative case. 14 Nor ought we to expect the rest of these cases; for there are many other words which are declined only in single cases, and even some which are not declined at all. 15 Therefore we can no longer doubt that Cicero, in the speech which he wrote In Defence of Milo,108 used these words: "Before the estate of Clodius, where fully a thousand of able-bodied p85men was employed on those crazy substructures," not "were employed," as we find it in less accurate copies; for one rule requires us to say "a thousand men," but another, "a thousand of men."

17 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The patience with which Socrates endured his wife's shrewish disposition; and in that connection what Marcus Varro says in one of his satires about the duty of a husband.

1 Xanthippe, the wife of the philosopher Socrates, is said to have been ill-tempered and quarrelsome to a degree, with a constant flood of feminine tantrums and annoyances day and night. 2 Alcibiades, amazed at this outrageous conduct of hers towards her husband, asked Socrates what earthly reason he had for not showing so shrewish a woman the door. 3 "Because," replied Socrates, "it is by enduring such a person at home that I accustom and train myself to bear more easily away from home the impudence and injustice of other persons."a

4 In the same vein Varro also said in the Menippean Satire109 which he entitled On the Duty of a Husband:110 "A wife's faults must be either put down or put up with. He who puts down her faults, makes his wife more agreeable; he who puts up with them, improves himself." 5 Varro contrasted the two words tollere and ferre very cleverly,111 to be sure, p87but he obviously uses tollere in the sense of "correct." 6 It is evident that Varro thought that if a fault of that kind in a wife cannot be corrected, it should be tolerated, in so far of course as a man may endure it honourably; for faults are less serious than crimes.

18 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] How Marcus Varro, in the fourteenth book of his Antiquities of Man,112a criticizes his master Lucius Aelius for a false etymology; and how Varro in his turn, in the same book, gives a false origin for fur.

1 In the fourteenth book of his Divine Antiquities112b Marcus Varro shows that Lucius Aelius, the most learned Roman of his time, went astray and followed a false etymological principle in separating an old Greek word which had been taken over into the Roman language into two Latin words, just as if it were of Latin origin.

2 I quote Varro's own words on the subject: "In this regard our countryman Lucius Aelius, the most gifted man of letters within my memory, was sometimes misled. For he gave false derivations of several early Greek words, under the impression that they were native to our tongue. We do not use the word lepus ('hare') because the animal is levipes ('light-footed'), as he asserts, but because it is an old Greek word. Many of the early words of that people are unfamiliar, because to‑day the Greeks use other words in their place; and it may not be generally known that among these are Graecus, for which they now use Ἕλλην, puteus ('well') which p89they call φρέαπ, and lepus, which they call λαγωός. But as to this, far from disparaging Aelius' ability, I commend his diligence; for it is good fortune that brings success, endeavour that deserves praise."

3 This is what Varro wrote in the first part of his book, with great skill in the explanation of words, with wide knowledge of the usage of both languages, and marked kindliness towards Aelius himself. 4 But in the latter part of the same book he says that fur is so called because the early Romans used furvus for ater ('black'), and thieves steal most easily in the night, which is black. 5 Is it not clear that Varro made the same mistake about fur that Aelius made about lepus. For what the Greeks now call κλέπτης, or "thief," in the earlier Greek language was called φώρ. Hence, owing to the similarity in sound, he who in Greek is φώρ, in Latin is fur. 6 But whether that fact escaped Varro's memory at the time, or on the other hand he thought that fur was more appropriately and consistently named from furvus, that is, "black," as to that question it is not for me to pass judgment on a man of such surpassing learning.

19 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The story of king Tarquin the Proud and the Sibylline Books.

1 In ancient annals we find this tradition about the Sibylline Books. 2 An old woman, a perfect stranger, came to king Tarquin the Proud, bringing nine books; she declared that they were oracles of the gods and that she wished to sell them. 3 Tarquin inquired the price; 4 the woman demanded an immense p91and exorbitant sum: the king laughed her to scorn, believing her to be in her dotage. 5 Then she placed a lighted brazier before him, burned three of the books to ashes, and asked whether he would buy the remaining six at the same price. 6 But at this Tarquin laughed all the more and said that there was now no doubt that the old woman was crazy. 7 Upon that the woman at once burned up three more books and again calmly made the same request, that he would buy the remaining three at the original figure. 8 Tarquin now became serious and more thoughtful, and realising that such persistence and confidence were not to be treated lightly, he bought the three books that were left at as high a price as had been asked for all nine. 9 Now it is a fact that after then leaving Tarquin, that woman was never seen again anywhere. 10 The three books were deposited in a shrine113 and called "Sibylline";114 11 to them the Fifteen115 resort whenever the immortal gods are to be consulted as to the welfare of the State.

20 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On what the geometers call ἐπίπεδος, στερεός, κύβος and γραμμή, with the Latin equivalents for all these terms.

1 Of the figures which the geometers call σχήματα there are two kinds, "plane" and "solid." 2 These the Greeks themselves call respectively ἐπίπεδος and στερεός. A "plane" figure is one that has all its lines in two dimensions only, breadth and length; for p93example, triangles and squares, which are drawn on a flat surface without height. 3 We have a "solid" figure, when its several lines do not produce merely length and breadth in a plane, but are raised so as to produce height also; such are in general the triangular columns which they call "pyramids," or those which are bounded on all sides by squares, such as the Greeks call κύβοι,116 and we quadrantalia. 4 For the κύβος is a figure which is square on all its sides, "like the dice," says Marcus Varro,117 "with which we play on a gaming-board, for which reason the dice themselves are called κύβοι." 5 Similarly in numbers too the term κύβος is used, when every factor118 consisting of the same number is equally resolved into the cube number itself,119 as is the case when three is taken three times and the resulting number itself is then trebled.

6 Pythagoras declared that the cube of the number three controls the course of the moon, since the moon passes through its orbit in twenty-seven days, and the ternio, or "triad," which the Greeks call τριάς, when cubed makes twenty-seven.

7 Furthermore, our geometers apply the term linea, or "line," to what the Greeks call γραμμή. 8 This is defined by Marcus Varro as follows:120 "A line," says he, "is length without breadth or height." 9 But Euclid says more tersely, omitting "height":121 "A line is μῆκος ἀπλατές, or 'breadthless length.' " Ἀπλατές cannot be expressed in Latin by a single word, unless you should venture to coin the term inlatabile.

p95 21 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The positive assertion of Julius Hyginus that he had read a manuscript of Virgil from the poet's own household, in which there was written et ora tristia temptantum sensus torquebit amaror and not the usual reading, sensu torquebit amaro.

1 Nearly everyone reads these lines from the Georgics of Virgil122 in this way:

At sapor indicium faciet manifestus et ora

Tristia temptantum sensu torquebit amaro.123

2 Hyginus, however, on my word no obscure grammarian, in the Commentaries124 which he wrote on Virgil, declares and insists that it was not this that Virgil left, but what he himself found in a copy which had come from the home and family of the poet:

et ora

Tristia temptantum sensus torquebit amaror,125

3 and this reading has commended itself, not to Hyginus alone, but also to many other learned men, because it seems absurd to say "the taste will distort with its bitter sensation." "Since," they say, "taste itself is a sensation, it cannot have another sensation in itself, but it is exactly as if one should say, 'the sensation will distort with a bitter sensation.' " 4 Moreover, when I had read Hyginus' note to Favorinus, and the strangeness and harshness of the phrase "sensu torquebit amaro" at once displeased him, p97he said with a laugh, "I am ready to swear by Jupiter and the stone,126 which is considered the most sacred of oaths, that Virgil never wrote that, but I believe that Hyginus is right. 5 For Virgil was not the first to coin that word arbitrarily, but he found it in the poems of Lucretius and made use of it, not disdaining to follow the authority of a poet who excelled in talent and power of expression." 6 The passage, from the fourth book of Lucretius, reads as follows:127

dilutaque contra

Cum tuimur misceri absinthia, tangit amaror.128

7 And in fact we see that Virgil imitated, not only single words of Lucretius, but often almost whole lines and passages.

22 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Whether it is correct Latin for counsel for the defence to say superesse se, "that he is appearing for" those whom he is defending; and the proper meaning of superesse.

1 An incorrect and improper meaning of a word has been established by long usage, in that we use the expression hic illi superest when we wish to say that anyone appears as another's advocate and pleads his cause. 2 And this is not merely the language of the streets and of the common people, but is used in the forum, the comitium and the courts. 3 Those, however, who have spoken language undefiled have p99for the most part used superesse in the sense of "to overflow, be superfluous, or exceed the required amount." 4 Thus Marcus Varro, in the satire entitled "You know not what evening may bring,"129 uses superfuisse in the sense of having exceeded the amount proper for the occasion. 5 These are his words: "Not everything should be read at a dinner party, but preferably such works as are at the same time improving and diverting, so that this feature of the entertainment also may seem not to have been neglected, rather than overdone."

6 I remember happening to be present in the court of a praetor who was a man of learning, and that on that occasion an advocate of some repute pleaded in such fashion that he wandered from the subject and did not touch upon the point at issue. Thereupon the praetor said to the man whose case was before him: "You have no counsel." And when the pleader protested, saying "I am present (supersum) for the honourable gentleman," the praetor wittily retorted: "You surely present too much, but you do not represent your client."130

7 Marcus Cicero, too, in his book entitled On Reducing the Civil Law to a System131 wrote these words: "Indeed Quintus Aelius Tubero did not fall short of his predecessors in knowledge of the law, in learning he even outstripped them." In this passage superfuit seems to mean "he went beyond, surpassed and excelled his predecessors in his learning, which, however, was excessive and overabundant";132 for Tubero was thoroughly versed in Stoic dialectics. p1018 Cicero's use of the word in the second book133 of the Republic also deserves attention. This is the passage in question: "I should not object, Laelius, if I did not think that these friends wished, and if I myself did not desire, that you should take some part in this discussion of ours, especially since you yourself said yesterday that you would give us even more than enough (te superfuturum). But that indeed is impossible: we all ask you not to give us less than enough (ne desis)."

9 Now Julius Paulus, the most learned man within my recollection, used to say with keenness and understanding that superesse and its Greek equivalent had more than one meaning: for he declared that the Greeks used περισσόν both ways, either of what was superfluous and unnecessary 10 or of what was too abundant, overflowing and excessive; that in the same way our earliest writers also employed superesse sometimes of what was superfluous, idle and not wholly necessary, a sense which we have just cited from Varro, and some, as in Cicero, of that which indeed surpassed other things in copiousness and plentifulness, yet was immoderate and too extensive, and gushed forth more abundantly than was sufficient. 11 Therefore one who says superesse se with reference to a man whom he is defending tries to convey none of these meanings, but uses superesse in a sense that is unknown and not in use. 12 And he will not be able to appeal even of that authority of Virgil, who in his Georgics wrote as follows:134

I will be first to bear, so but my life still last (supersit),

Home to my native land . . .

p103 For in this place Virgil seems to have used that word somewhat irregularly in giving supersit the sense of "be present for a longer or more extended period," 13 but on the contrary his use of the word in the following line is more nearly the accepted one:135

They cut him tender grass,

Give cornº and much fresh water, that his strengthen

Be more than equal to (superesse) the pleasing toil.

for here superesse means to be more than equal to the task and not be crushed by it.

14 I also used to raise the question whether the ancients used superesse in the sense of "to be left and be lacking for the completion of an act." 15 For to express that idea Sallust says, not superesse, but superare. These are his words in the Jugurtha:136 "This man was in the habit of exercising a command independently of the king, and of attending to all business which had been left undone (superaverant) by Jugurtha when he was weary or engaged in more important affairs." 16 But we find in the third book of Ennius' Annals:137

Then he declares one tasks's left over (super esse) for him,

that is, is left and remains undone; but there superesse must be divided and read as if it were not one part of speech, but two, as in fact it is. 17 Cicero, however, in his second Oration against Antony138 expresses "what is left" by restare, not by superesse.

18 Besides these uses we find superesse with the meaning "survive." 19 For it is so employed in the book of letters of Marcus Cicero to Lucius Plancus,139 as p105well as in a letter of Marcus Asinius Pollio to Cicero,140 as follows: "For I wish neither to fail the commonwealth nor to survive it (superesse)," meaning that if the commonwealth should be destroyed and perish, he does not wish to live. 20 Again in the Asinaria of Plautus that same force is still more evident in these, the first verses of that comedy:141

As you would hope to have your only son

Survive (superesse) you and be ever sound and hale.

21 Thus we have to avoid, not merely an improper use of the word, but also the evil omen, in case an older man, acting as advocate for a youth, should say that he "survives" him.

23 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Who Papirius Praetextatus was; the reason for that surname; and the whole of the entertaining story about that same Papirius.

1 The story of Papirius Praetextatus was told and committed to writing in the speech which Marcus Cato made To the soldiers against Galba,142 with great charm, brilliance and elegance of diction. 2 I should have included Cato's own words in this very commentary, if I had had access to the book at the time when I dictated this extract. 3 But if you would like to hear the bare tale, without the noble and dignified language, the incident was about as follows: 4 It was formerly the custom at Rome for senators to enter the House with their sons under age.143 5 In those days, when a matter of considerable importance p107had been discussed and was postponed to the following day, it was voted that no one should mention the subject of the debate until the matter was decided. The mother of the young Papirius, who had been in the House with his father, asked her son what the Fathers had taken up in the senate. 6 The boy replied that it was a secret and that he could not tell. 7 The woman became all the more eager to hear about it; the secrecy of the matter and the boys' silence piqued her curiosity; she therefore questioned him more pressingly and urgently. 8 Then the boy, because of his mother's insistence, resorted to a witty and amusing falsehood. He said that the senate had discussed the question whether it seemed more expedient, and to the advantage of the State, for one man to have two wives or one woman to have two husbands. 9 On hearing this, she is panic-stricken, rushed excitedly from the house, 10 and carries the news to the other matrons. Next day a crowd of matrons came to the senate, imploring with tears and entreaties that one woman might have two husbands rather than one man two wives. 11 The senators, as they entered the House, were wondering at this strange madness of the women and the meaning of such a demand, 12 when young Papirius, stepping forward to the middle of the House, told in detail what his mother had insisted on hearing, what he himself had said to her, in fact, the whole story exactly as it had happened. 13 The senate paid homage to the boy's cleverness and loyalty, but voted that thereafter boys should not enter the House with their fathers, save only this Papirius; and the boy was henceforth honoured with the p109surname Praetextatus, because of his discretion in keeping silent and in speaking, while he was still young enough to wear the purple-bordered gown.

24 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Three epitaphs of three early poets, Naevius, Plautus and Pacuvius, composed by themselves and inscribed upon their tombs.

1 There are three epitaphs of famous poets, Gnaeus Naevius, Plautus and Marcus Pacuvius, composed by themselves and left to be inscribed upon their tombs, which I have thought ought to be included among these notes, because of their distinction and charm.

2 The epitaph of Naevius, although full of Campanian144 arrogance, might have been regarded as a just estimate, if he had not written it himself:145

If that immortals might for mortals weep,

Then would divine Camenae146 weep for Naevius.

For after he to Orcus as treasure was consigned,

The Romans straight forgot to speak the Latin tongue.

3 We should be inclined to doubt whether the epitaph of Plautus was really by his own hand, if it had not been quoted by Marcus Varro in the first book of his work On Poets:147

p111

Since Plautus has met death, Comedy mourns,

Deserted is the stage; then Laughter, Sport and Wit,

And Music's countless numbers148 all together wept.149

4 Pacuvius' epitaph is the most modest and simple, worthy of his dignity and good taste:150

Young man, although you haste, this little stone

Entreats thee to regard it, then to read its tale.

Here lie the bones of Marcus, hight Pacuvius.

Of this I would not have you unaware. Good-bye.

25 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Marcus Varro's definition of the word "indutiae"; to which is added a somewhat careful investigation of the derivation of that word.

1 Marcus Varro, in that book of his Antiquities of Man which treats Of War and Peace,151 defines indutiae (a truce) in two ways. "A truce," he says, "is peace for a few days in camp;" 2 and again in another place, "A truce is a holiday in war." 3 But each of these definitions seems to be wittily and happily concise rather than clear or satisfactory. 4 For a truce is not a peace — since war continues, although fighting ceases — nor is it restricted to a camp or to a few days only. 5 For what are we to say if a truce is made for some months, and the p113troops withdraw from camp into the towns? Have we not then also a truce? 6 Again, if a truce is to be defined as only lasting for a few days, what are we to say of the fact, recorded by Quadrigarius in the first book of his Annals, that Gaius Pontius the Samnite asked the Roman dictator for a truce of six hours?152 7 The definition "a holiday in war," too, is rather happy than clear or precise.

8 Now the Greeks, more significantly and more pointedly, have called such an agreement to cease from fighting ἐκεχειρία, or "a staying of hands," substituting for one letter of harsher sound a smoother one.153 9 For since there is no fighting at such a time and their hands are withheld, they called it ἐκεχειρία. 10 But it surely was not Varro's task to define a truce too scrupulously, and to observe all the laws and canons of definition; 11 for he thought it sufficient to give an explanation of the kind which the Greeks call τύποι ("typical") and ὑπογραφαί ("outline"), rather than ὁρισμοί ("exact definition").

12 I have for a long time been inquiring into the derivation of indutiae, 13 but of the many explanations which I have either heard or read this which I am going to mention seems most reasonable. 14 I believe that indutiae is made up of inde uti iam ("that from then on"). 15 The stipulation of a truce is to this effect, that there shall be no fighting and no trouble up to a fixed time, but that after that time all the laws of war shall again be in force. 16 Therefore, since a definite date is set and an agreement is p115made that before that date there shall be no fighting but when that time comes, "that from then on," fighting shall be resumed: by uniting (as it were) and combining those words which I have mentioned the term indutiae is formed.154

17 But Aurelius Opilius, in the first book of his work entitled The Muses, says:155 "It is called a truce when enemies pass back and forth from one side to another safely and without strife; from this the name seems to be formed, as if it were initiae,156 that is, an approach and entrance." 18 I have not omitted this note of Aurelius, for fear that it might appear to some rival of these Nights a more elegant etymology, merely because he thought that it had escaped my notice when I was investigating the origin of the word.

26 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The answer of the philosopher Taurus, when I asked him whether a wise man ever got angry.

1 I once asked Taurus in his lecture-room whether a wise man got angry. 2 For after his daily discourses he often gave everyone the opportunity of asking whatever questions he wished. 3 On this occasion he first discussed the disease or passion of anger at length, setting forth what is to be found in the books of the ancients and in his own commentaries; then, turning to me who had asked p117the question, he said: "This is what I think about getting angry, 4 but it will not be out of place for you to hear also the opinion of my master Plutarch, a man of great learning and wisdom. 5 Plutarch," said he, "once gave orders that one of his slaves, a worthless and insolent fellow, but one whose ears had been filled with the teachings and arguments of philosophy, should be stripped of his tunic for some offence or other and flogged. 6 They had begun to beat him, and the slave kept protesting that he did not deserve the flogging; that he was guilty of no wrong, no crime. 7 Finally, while the lashing still went on, he began to shout, no longer uttering complaints or shrieks and groans, but serious reproaches. Plutarch's conduct, he said, was unworthy of a philosopher; to be angry was shameful: his master had often descanted on the evil of anger and had even written an excellent treatise Περὶ Ἀοργησίας;157 it was in no way consistent with all that was written in that book that its author should fall into a fit of violent rage and punish his slave with many stripes. 8 Then Plutarch calmly and mildly made answer: 'What makes you think, scoundrel, that I am now angry with you. Is it from my expression, my voice, my colour, or even my words, that you believe me to be in the grasp of anger? In my opinion my eyes are not fierce, my expression is not disturbed, I am neither shouting madly nor foaming at the mouth nor getting red in the face; I am saying nothing to cause me shame or regret; I am not trembling at all from anger or making violent gestures. 9 For all these actions, if you did but know it, are the usual signs of angry passions.' And with these words, turning to the man who was plying the lash, p119he said: 'In the meantime, while this fellow and I are arguing, do you keep at it.' "

10 Now the sum and substance of Taurus' whole disquisition was this: he did not believe that ἀοργησία or "freedom from anger," and ἀναλγησία, or "lack of sensibility," were identical; but that a mind not prone to anger was one thing, a spirit ἀνάλγητος and ἀναίσθητος, that is, callous and unfeeling, quite another. 11 For as of all the rest of the emotions which the Latin philosophers call affectus or affectiones, and the Greeks πάθη, so of the one which, when it becomes a cruel desire for vengeance, is called "anger," he did not recommend as expedient a total lack, στέρησις as the Greeks say, but a moderate amount, which they call μετριότης.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 This work, probably entitled Βίος Ἠρακλέους, has not survived.

2 The proper height was six times the length of the foot.

3 According to Apollodorus, II.IV.9, Hercules was 4 cubits in height; according to Herodorus, 4 cubits and one foot; see J. Tzetzes, Chiliades, II.210. The phrase ex pede Herculem has become proverbial, along with ex ungue leonem, ab uno disce omnes (Virg. Aen. II.65 f.).

4 Clarissimus became a standing title of men of high rank, especially of the senatorial order.

5 Cf. Plin. Epist. II.XVII.15, vinea . . . nudis etiam pedibus mollis et cedens.

6 Where there are three propositions, any two of which are at variance with the third, they may be taken in pairs as true, rejecting the third as false. This is called the "master" argument, from κυριεύω, "to be master over"; see Epictetus, ii.18 and 19. The fallacy is due to the fact that all persons do not hold to the truth of the same pair, and it is impossible to maintain all three propositions at once. The "sorites" raised the question, if one grain at a time were taken from a heap, when it would cease to be a heap; and conversely, if one grain at a time were added, when it would become a heap; see Cic. Acad. ii.49. A variant, called the φαλακρός, inquired whether a man was bald after the loss of one hair, of two, or of how many. Horace, in Epist. II.1.45‑47, has combined both of these with the story told by Plutarch of Sertorius (Sert. 16). The "silent," or "resting" argument consisted in stopping and refusing to answer. It was used to meet the logical fallacy of the "sorites."

7 Actually the second book, II.19.

8 Εἰπέ . . . is the request of the pseudo-philosopher, Ἄκουε the answer of Epictetus, who quotes a line of Homer (Odyss. IX.39) which is here meaningless, implying that the pretended Stoics quote both poetry and ethics glibly, but without understanding.

9 Some assign this speech — "Of all existing things . . . pain" to Epictetus, quoting the pseudo-Stoic jargon; others to the pseudo-philosopher. The former seems to fit best with what follows.

10 The names of these are variously given. They generally include, in addition to Chilo: Cleobulus of Lindus in Rhodes, Periander of Corinth, Pittacus of Mitylene, Bias of Priene, Thales of Miletus, and Solon of Athens. Plato, Protag. p343A, gives Myson of Chen in place of Periander.

11 The sentence which follows translates the Greek literally, except that for τὸ δίκαιον, "what is right," we have in the Latin ius moremve, "law or precedent." The Romans laid great stress on the mos maiorum, the precedent set by their forefathers.

12 De Amicitia, 61.

13 Translation by Falconer, L. C. L.

14 De Amicitia, 36; Gellius does not quote verbally from Cicero.

15 952 Marx, who cites for the proverb Plutarch, Cum princip. esse philos. 2, p777C (C.A.F. II, p495K) and restores Lucilius' line as: hoc priusquam nasceretur Theognis omnes noverant.

16 That is, so far as one can do so without violating the laws of the gods or breaking an oath which one has taken in the name of a god; cf. Cic. Off. III.44, quae salva fide facere possit.

17 Fr. 81, Wimmer.

18 Fr. 102, Marres.

19 Cicero, De Amicitia, 59, attributes this saying to Bias, another of the seven sages, as do also Aristotle, Diogenes Laertius and Valerius Maximus. It has appeared in various forms in later times.

20 vii, p19, Bern.

21 Lit., "according to a rule or level."

22 § 68.

23 The point of this passage depends on the meaning of referre gratiam, "requite" ("pay" a debt of gratitude), and habere gratiam, "feel gratitude." I have followed to some extent the rendering of Watts (L. C. L.), but with some changes.

24 That is, the prosecution of Plancius, which enabled Cicero to pay his debt by defending his friend.

25 Aeschines, in Tim. 131.

26 Cf. "Wer nicht liebt Wein, Weib und Sang, Der bleibt ein Narr sein Leben lang", falsely attributed to Luther.

27 Metellus Numidicus was censor in 102 B.C. Livy (Periocha 59) attributes a speech on this subject to Q. Caecilius Metellus Macedonicus, censor in 131 B.C., which he says was read to the people by Augustus; cf. Suet. Aug. LXXXIX. Since Suetonius, who gives the name simply as Q. Metellus, cites the speech under the title De Prole Augenda and the Periocha says that it was delivered ut cogerentur omnes ducere uxores liberorum creandorum causa, it seems probable that it was not identical with this address of Metellus Numidicus.

28 Sibi is taken by some as referring to dii, but see Lane, Lat. Gr. 2343.

29 II.5.167.

30 Cicero's favourite freedman, who not only aided him in his literary work, but also, after the orator's death, collected, arranged, and published his patron's writings, in particular his correspondence.

31 Bacch. 918.

32 Gracchus delivered two speeches against Popilius, one in the Forum at Rome (pro rostris), the other circum conciliabula, in the market-places of various towns of Latium; see Meyer, O.R.F.2, p239.

33 Fr. 43, Peter.

34 Fr. 79, Peter.

35 Fr. 59, Peter.

36 V.691.

37 v. 51, Ribbeck3.

38 Gellius' friend was partly right. Such forms as dicturum were derived from the second supine dictu*erom (earlier *esom), the infinitive of sum. Later, the resulting form dicturum was looked upon as a participle and declined. In the early writers such infinitives did not change their form, and did not add the tautological esse.

39 § 33.

40 That is, for in potestate.

41 V.180. Leo reads num número mi in mentém fuit, "it hasn't just occurred to me, has it?"

42 § 30.

43 The cadence A breveA macronA breveA macron was a favourite one with Cicero at the end of a sentence.

44 The Horn of Amaltheia; see Greek Index.

45 Cf. Horace, Epist. I.17.36.

46 The drachma and the denarius (about 8d. or 16 cents) was the average wage of a day-labourer.

47 I will not buy regret for ten thousand drachmas.

48 The science of dialling, concerned with the making and testing of sun-dials (γνώμονες).

49 Chaldaei and mathematici were general terms for astrologers at Rome; see e.g. Suet. Dom. XIV.1, XV.3; Tib. LXIXetc.

50 Proverbial for "without preparation."

51 Ch. 30.

52 Ch. 6.

53 See Servius on Aen. VIII.642, "ercto non cito," id est, hereditate non divisa; nam citus divisus significat.

54 Evander, a Greek from Pallanteum in Arcadia, migrated to Italy and settled on the Palatine hill before the coming of Aeneas.

55 A work on grammar in two books, mentioned among the writings of Caesar by Suet. Jul. LVI.5; Fronto, p221, Naber (L. C. L. II, pp29 and 255 ff.); described by Cic. Brut. 253 as de ratione Latine loquendi.

56 V.70.

57 I.17.

58 Iliad, III.8.

59 This is approved by Julius Caesar, Bell. Civ. III.92.5.

60 De Orat. III.225.

61 The more usual expression for "amanuensis" is (servus) a manu, but ad manum also occurs.

62 The work discusses thirty-eight problems, or questions, dealing for the most part with Natural History, but also with Music and Poetry. The collection as it has come down to us is only in part the work of Aristotle. Frag. 244, V. Rose.

63 The marching of the cowards, because of their fear, would not be in time with the music.

64 Some comment on the quotation should follow. Hertz indicated a lacuna.

65 De Iure Pontificali, fr. 21, Huschke; 3, Bremer.

66 The Roman father had control over his children (patria potestas) until he died, or lost his civic rights through some misconduct, or voluntarily "emancipated" them; for a striking example see Suet. Tib. XV.2.

67 If a man was emancipated after having children born to him, the latter remained under the control of their grandfather (cf. Gaius, I.133) and were legally orphans, hence not patrima et matrima; Pruner, Hestia-Vesta, p273, n1.

68 Cf. Cic. De Off. I.150.

69 The XVviri sacris faciundis, who had charge of the Sibylline Books. Tarquin appointed IIviri sacris faciundis for the purpose (Livy, V.13.6), but by the Licinian laws of 367 B.C. the number was increased to ten, five patricians and five plebeians. The Fifteen are first mentioned by Cicero (Epist. VIII.4.1) in 51 B.C. They were ex-praetors or ex-consuls until a late period, and the priesthood continued to exist until the books were burned by Stilicho in the fourth century.

70 At the tubilustrium, on March 23, the trumpets used in sacred rites were purified by the tibicines sacrorum populi Romani; at the same time the Salii had their third procession in honour of Mars and Nerio; cf. Festus, 482.27, Lindsay.

71 De Iure Pontificali, fr. 11, Huschke; 7, Bremer.

72 The date of this law is unknown; it is not identical with the lex Papia-Poppaea of 250 B.C.

73 The comitia calata; see XV.27.1 ff.

74 Fr. 4, Huschke; 1, Bremer.

75 Fr. 2, Peter.

76 The title of the oration is variously given as Contra Servium Galbam and Pro Direptis Lusitanis; perhaps the two titles were combined in one. See Jordan's Cato, p27.

77 Fr. 24, Huschke; 2, Bremer. The comment quoted by Gellius is on Twelve Tables V.1.

78 Various other reasons have been given, of which perhaps the most attractive is that it is from an original ἀδαμάτα, unwedded. According to Pruner, Hestia-Vesta, p276, followed by Rossbach in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v., amata is not a proper name, but means "beloved."

79 Titus Manlius Torquatus had his own son executed for disobedience to his father's command; see IX.13.20.º A similar story is told of Postumius; see XVII.21.17; cf. Otto, Sprichw. p209.

80 Fr. 8, Peter.

81 In the year of his consulship (131 B.C.) he was sent with an army against Aristonicus, who laid claim to the kingdom of Pergamum, which Attalus III had bequeathed to the Romans.

82 The text seems hopelessly corrupt. We perhaps have a fusion of ἐπάρχων ἀρχιτεκτόνων (Dittenberger3, 804.5) and its equivalent magister (= praefectus) fabrum. With ἀρχιτέκτονα (Hertz), the meaning would be "builder." With magistrum (Hosius), "the chief magistrate," or perhaps "a ship-captain" (sc. navis). For the town, Bergk proposed Mytilene; Hosius, Myrina. The MSS. suggest Mylasa (Mylassa, Mylatta).

83 Fr. 3, Peter.

84 Iliad, III.221.

85 Iliad, IV.350, etc.

86 De Orat. III.142.

87 I.51.

88 See Jordan's Cato, XL.1. The meaning of the title, which is uncertain, is discussed in his Prolegomena, p. lxix f. Se refers to Cato himself. By some the speech is regarded as identical with the one mentioned by Fronto, vol. I, p117, L. C. L., and by Plutarch, Cato IX.7, vol. II, p329, L. C. L.

89 xl.2, Jordan.

90 Iliad, II.212, 246.

91 Iliad, II.213.

92 Fr. 95, Koch.

93 Hist. IV.43, Maur.

94 Works and Days, 719.

95 Fr. 272, Kaib.

96 Bacch. 386.

97 Cat. v.4.

Thayer's Note: The online transcription keeps eloquentiae.

98 It is true that Sallust was fond of new words, but the best MSS. of Sallust are unanimous for eloquentiae. Besides this passage of Gellius, L. and S. cite loquentia only in Plin. Epist. V.20.5, Iulius Cordus . . . solet dicere aliud esse eloquentiam, aliud loquentiam.

99 Frogs, 837 ff., Rogers (L. C. L.). The epithets are applied to Aeschylus!

100 Fr. 44, Peter.

101 V.124, Marx, who has exinde for sex inde and supplies sumus profecti.

102 XVIII, fr. 2, Mirsch.

103 Fr. 26, Peter.

104 Phil. VI.15.

105 The "middle Janus" was the seat of money-lenders and bankers. As a district it extended along the northern side of the Forum Romanum. The "Janus" itself was near the basilica Aemilia, perhaps at the entrance to the Argiletum.

Thayer's Note: For full details, see the article Janus Geminus in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

106 506 ff., Marx, who punctuates with a comma after succussor, with a slight change in the meaning, taking nulla sequetur in the sense of non sequetur. On the Campanian horses see Livy, VIII.11.5 and XXVI.4.3, 6; Val. Max. II.3.3.

107 327, Marx.

108 § 53.

Thayer's Note: But the online transcription has the plural versabantur.

109 Varro's Menippean Satires, in 150 books, based to some extent on the Σπευδογέλοιον of Menippus, a Cynic philosopher of the third century B.C., treated in a mixture of prose and verse a great variety of moral and serious topics in a playful and sometimes jocose manner. For other titles see Index under (M.) Terentius Varro, and for the fragments, Bücheler's Petronius, 3d. ed., Berlin, 1882, pp161 ff.

110 Fr. 83, Bücheler.

111 For a similar play on two meanings of tollere, cf. Suet. Aug. XII.

112a 112b Fr. 99, Agahd. In the lemma, or chapter heading, Varro's statement is wrongly referred to the Antiquities of Man, the other division of his great work Antiquitatum Libri XLI, treating the political and religious institutions of the Romans. Only scanty fragments have survived.

113 In the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol. Augustus transferred them to the temple of Apollo on the Palatine; see Suet. Aug. XXXI.1.

Thayer's Note: For further details and citations, see the articles Aedes Apollinis Palatini and Aedes Iovis Optimi Maximi Capitolini in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

114 Because the old woman was regarded as a Sibyl. Although the books came to Tarquin by way of Cumae, the origin of the Sibylline books was probably Asia Minor. There were several Sibyls (Varro enumerates ten), of whom the Erythraean, from whom the books apparently came, was the most important; see Marquardt, Staatsverw. III2.350 ff.

115 See note 4, page 61.

116 See Euclid, Elementa I, Definitions, 20, cubus autem est aequaliter aequalis aequaliter, sive qui tribus aequalibus numeris comprehenditur.

117 Fr. p350, Bipont.

118 Euclid, l.c., 17, ubi autem tres numeri inter se multiplicantes numerum aliquem efficiunt, numerus inde ortus "solidus" (= κύβος) est, latera autem eius numeri inter se multiplicantes.

119 That is, is an equal factor in the cube number.

120 Fr. p337, Bipont.

121 l.c. 2, γραμμὴ δὲ μῆκος ἀπλατές.

122 II.246 f.

Thayer's Note: But the online transcription has the common reading, not that of Hyginus.

123 But the taste will tell its tale full plainly, and with its bitter flavour will distort the testers' soured mouths.

124 Fr. 4, p528, Fun.

125 But the bitterness of the sensation will distort the testers' soured mouths.

126 This much discussed oath is best taken as equivalent to per Iovem et lapidem; see Fowler, Roman Festivals, p231; Nettleship, Essays, p35, and others. The locus classicus on the process is Polybius, III.25; cf. Plutarch, Sulla, 10.

127 IV.221 f.

128 When we look on at the mixing of a decoction of wormwood in our presence, its bitterness affects us.

129 Fr. 340, Bücheler.

130 It is difficult to reproduce the word-play on superesse, "be present for" and "be superfluous." There is a pun also on adesse, "be present" and "help, assist."

131 Fr. 2, p980, Orelli2; Fr. 1, Huschke, and Bremer.

132 It was superfluous in being more than he needed for the practice of his profession.

133 An error of Gellius; the reference is III.32.

134 III.10.

135 III.126.

136 LXX.2.

137 V.158, Vahlen2.

138 Phil. II.71, cum praesertim belli pars tanta restaret.

139 The tenth book of the Epist. ad Fam. contains numerous letters of Cicero to Plancus and of Plancus to Cicero.

140 Ad Fam. X.33.5. It should be Gaius Asinius Pollio.

141 V.16.

142 XXXIX, Jordan.

143 The toga praetexta, with a purple border, was worn by senators and also by boys of free birth until they assumed the toga virilis.

Thayer's Note: For full details, see these paragraphs of the article Toga in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

144 This has been regarded as evidence that Naevius was a native of Campania; but Campanian arrogance was proverbial.

145 The authorship of all these epitaphs is questioned: Gudeman thought they came from Varro's Imagines; see Trans. Amer. Phil. Assoc. XXV, 150 ff.; cf. p296.3, Bährens.

146 The Latin equivalent of the Greek Muses.

147 p296.4, Bährens.

148 Numeri innumeri was formerly rendered "unrhythmic measures" and applied to Plautus's supposed irregularities in scansion; it rather refers to the variety of his metres.

149 The metre of the Latin is dactylic hexameter; final a in deserta is lengthened, and s in ludus is suppressed.

150 p296.5, Bährens.

151 XXII, fr. 1, 2, Mirsch.

152 Fr. 21, Peter.

153 That is, ἐκεχειρία instead of an original ἐχεχειρία, from ἔχω and χείρ, the first χ, an aspirate, being reduced to the smooth mute κ, since in Greek an aspirate may not begin two successive syllables.

Thayer's Note: If I were the editor establishing the text, I would bracket substituting for one letter of harsher sound a smoother one as a gloss; it is irrelevant to Gellius' subject and has all the earmarks of a crib for a student with little Greek.

154 The correct derivation seems to be from *in‑du‑tus (cf. duellum for bellum), "not in a state of war."

155 p88, Fun.

156 This derivation is clearer from the older form induitiae, see the critical note.

157 On Freedom from Anger; the work has not survived.


Thayer's Note:

a That Socrates said this about his wife to Alcibiades is very commonly repeated; what I've never seen said, however, yet wonder, is whether Socrates with his fine sense of low-key humor and his constant concern for improving all whom he touched, and in view of the gross impudence of the question, might not just be administering a scathing rebuke to Alcibiades — one of those "other persons" — and in fact not so much telling us what he thought than batting back at Alcibiades what the latter wanted to hear, show him what it sounded like. He married Xanthippe after all, and not Alcibiades.


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