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Book II

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

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 IV

(Vol. I) Gellius
Attic Nights

 p235  Book III

1 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A discussion of the question why Sallust said that avarice rendered effeminate, not only a manly soul, but also the very body itself.

1 When winter was already waning, we were walking with the philosopher Favorinus in the court of the Titian baths,1 enjoying the mild warmth of the sun; and there, as we walked, Sallust's Catiline was being read, a book which Favorinus had seen in the hands of a friend and had asked him to read. 2 The following passage from that book had been recited:2 "Avarice implies a desire for money, which no wise man covets; steeped as it were with noxious poisons, it renders the most manly body and soul effeminate; it is ever unbounded, nor can either plenty or want make it less." 3 Then Favorinus looked at me and said: "How does avarice make a man's body effeminate? For I seem to grasp in general the meaning of his statement that it has that effect on a manly soul, but how also it makes his body effeminate I do not yet comprehend." 4 "I too," said I, "have for a long time been putting myself that question, and if you had not anticipated me, I should of my own accord have asked you to answer it."

5 Scarcely had I said this with some hesitation, when one of the disciples of Favorinus, who seemed  p237 to be an old hand in the study of literature, broke in: "I once heard Valerius Probus say that Sallust here used a kind of poetic circumlocution, and meaning to say that a man was corrupted by avarice, spoke of his body and soul, the two factors which indicate a man; for man is made up of body and soul." 6 "Never," replied Favorinus, "at least, so far as I know, was our Probus guilty of such impertinent and bold subtlety as to say that Sallust, a most skilful artist in conciseness, used poetic paraphrases."

7 There was with us at the time in the same promenade a man of considerable learning. 8 He too, on being asked by Favorinus whether he had anything to say on the subject, answered to this effect: 9 "We observe that almost all those whose minds are possessed and corrupted by avarice and who have devoted themselves to the acquisition of money from any and every source, so regulate their lives, that compared with money they neglect manly toil and attention to bodily exercise, as they do everything else. 10 For they are commonly intent upon indoor and sedentary pursuits, in which all their vigour of mind and body is enfeebled and, as Sallust says, 'rendered effeminate.'

11 Then Favorinus again asked to have the same words of Sallust read again, and when they had been read, he said: "How then are we to explain the fact, that it is possible to find many men who are greedy for money, but nevertheless have strong and active bodies?" 12 To this the man replied thus: "Your answer is certainly to the point. Whoever," said he, "is greedy for money, but nevertheless has a body that is strong and in good condition, must necessarily be possessed either by an interest in, or devotion to,  p239 other things as well, and cannot be equally niggardly in his care of himself. 13 For if extreme avarice, to the exclusion of everything else, lay hold upon all a man's actions and desires, and if it extend even to neglect of his body, so that because of that one passion he has regard neither for virtue nor physical strength, nor body, nor soul — then, and then only, can that vice truly be said to cause effeminacy both of body and soul, since such men care neither for themselves nor for anything else except money." 14 Then said Favorinus: "Either what you have said is reasonable, or Sallust, through hatred of avarice, brought against it a heavier charge than he could justify."3

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Which was the birthday, according to Marcus Varro, of those born before the sixth hour of the night, or after it; and in that connection, concerning the duration and limits of the days that are termed "civil" and are reckoned differently all over the world; and in addition, what Quintus Mucius wrote about that woman who claimed freedom from her husband's control illegally, because she had not taken account of the civil year.

1 It is often inquired which day should be considered and called the birthday of those who are born in the third, the fourth, or any other hour of the night; that is, whether it is the day that preceded, or the day that followed, that night. 2 Marcus Varro, in that book of his Human Antiquities which he wrote On Days, says:4 "Persons who are born during the  p241 twenty-four hours between one midnight and the next midnight are considered to have been born on one and the same day." 3 From these words it appears that he so apportioned the reckoning of the days, that the birthday of one who is born after sunset, but before midnight, is the day after which that night began; but that, on the other hand, one who is born during the last six hours of the night is considered to have been born on the day which dawned after that night.

4 However, Varro also wrote in that same book5 that the Athenians reckon differently, and that they regard all the intervening time from one sunset to the next as one single day. 5 That the Babylonians counted still differently; for they called by the name of one day the whole space of time between sunrise and the beginning of the next sunrise; 6 but that in the land of Umbria many said that from midday to the following midday was one and the same day. "But this," he said, "is too absurd. For the birthday of one who is born among the Umbrians at midday on the first of the month will have to be considered as both half of the first day of the month and that part of the second day which comes before midday."6

7 But it is shown by abundant evidence that the Roman people, as Varro said, reckoned each day from midnight to the next midnight. 8 The religious ceremonies of the Romans are performed in part by day, others by night; but those which take place by night are appointed for certain days, not for nights; 9 accordingly, those that take place during the last six hours of the night are said to take place on the day which dawns immediately after that night. 10 Moreover,  p243 the ceremony and method of taking the auspices point to the same way of reckoning; for the magistrates, whenever they must take the auspices, and transact the business for which they have taken the auspices, on the same day, take the auspices after midnight and transact the business after midday, when the sun is high, and they are then said to have taken the auspices and acted on the same day. 11 Again, when the tribunes of the commons, who are not allowed to be away from Rome for a whole day, leave the city after midnight and return after the first lighting of the lamps on the following day, but before midnight, they are not considered to have been absent for a whole day, since they returned before the completion of the sixth jour of the night, and were in the city of Rome for some part of that day.

12 I have read that Quintus Mucius, the jurist, also used to say7 that a woman did not become her own mistress who, after entering upon marriage relations with a man on the day called the Kalends of January, left him, for the purpose of emancipating herself, on the fourth day before the Kalends of the following January;8 for the period of three nights, during which the Twelve Tables9 provided that a woman must be separated from her husband for the purpose of gaining her independence, 13 could not be completed since the last10 six hours of the third night belonged to the next year, which began on the first of January.

14 Now since I found all the above details about the duration and limits of days, pertaining to the observance and the system of ancient law, in the works of our early writers, I did not doubt that Virgil also  p245 indicated the same thing, not directly and openly, but, as became one treating poetic themes, by an indirect and as it were veiled allusion to ancient observance. He said:11

15 For dewy Night has wheeled her way

Far past her middle course; the panting steeds

Of orient Morn breathe pitiless on me.

16 For in these lines he wished to remind us covertly, as I have said, that the day which the Romans have called "civil" begins after the completion of the sixth hour of the night.

3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On investigating and identifying the comedies of Plautus, since the genuine and the spurious without distinction are said to have been inscribed with his name; and further as to the report that Plautus wrote plays in a bakery and Naevius in prison.

1 I am convinced of the truth of the statement which I have heard made by men well trained in literature, who have read a great many plays of Plautus with care and attention: namely, that with regard to the so‑called "doubtful" plays they would12 trust, not the lists of Aelius or Sedigitus or Claudius or Aurelius or Accius or Manilius, but Plautus himself and the characteristic features of his manner and diction. 2 Indeed, this is the criterion which we find Varro using. 3 For in addition to those one and twenty known as "Varronian," which he set apart from the rest because they were not questioned but by common consent were attributed to Plautus, he accepted also some others, influenced by the style and humour of their language, which was  p247 characteristic of Plautus; and although these had already been listed under the names of other poets, he claimed them for Plautus: for example, one that I was recently reading, called The Boeotian Woman. 4 For although it is not among those one and twenty and is attributed to Aquilius, still Varro had not the least doubt that it was Plautine, nor will any other habitual reader of Plautus doubt it, even if he knows only the following verses from that play, which, since they are, to speak in the manner of that famous poet, most Plautine, I recall and have noted down. 5 There a hungry parasite speaks as follows:13

The gods confound the man who first found out

How to distinguish hours! Confound him, too,

Who in this place set up a sundial

To cut and hack my days so wretchedly

Into small portions! When I was a boy,

My belly was my only sun-dial, one more sure,

Truer, and more exact than any of them.

This dial told me when 'twas proper time

To go to dinner, when I had aught to eat;

But nowadays, why even when I have,

I can't fall to unless the sun gives leave.

The town's so full of these confounded dials

The greatest part of the inhabitants,

Shrunk up with hunger, crawl along the streets.

6 My master Favorinus too, when I was reading the Nervularia of Plautus, and he had heard this line of the comedy:14

Old, wheezing, physicky, mere foundered hags

With dry, parched, painted hides, shrivell'd and shrunk,

 p249  delighted with the wit of the archaic words that describe the ugly defects of harlots, cried: "By heaven! just this one verse is enough to convince one that the play is Plautine."

7 I myself too a little while ago, when reading the Fretum — that is the name of a comedy which some think is not Plautine — had no manner of doubt that it was by Plautus and in fact of all his plays the most authentic. 8 From it I copied these two lines,15 with the intention of looking up the story of the Arretine oracle:16

Now here we have at the great games17 the Arretine response:

I perish if I don't, and if I do, I'm flogged.

9 Now Marcus Varro, in the first book of his Comedies of Plautus,18 quotes these words of Accius:19 "For not the Twin Panders nor the Slave-ring nor the Old Woman were the work of Plautus, nor were ever the Twice Violated or the Boeotian Woman, nor were the Clownish Rustic or the Partners in Death the work of Titus Maccius."20

10 In that same book of Varro's we are told also that there was another writer of comedies called Plautius. Since his plays bore the title "Plauti,"21 they were accepted as Plautine, although in fact they were not Plautine by Plautus, but Plautinian by Plautius.

 p251  11 Now there are in circulation under the name of Plautus about one hundred and thirty comedies; 12 but that most learned of men Lucius Aelius thought that only twenty-five of them were his.22 13 However, there is no doubt that those which do not appear to have been written by Plautus but are attached to his name, were the work of poets of old but were revised and touched up by him, and that is why they savour of the Plautine style. 14 Now Varro and several others have recorded that the Saturio, the Addictus, and a third comedy, the name of which I do not now recall, were written by Plautus in a bakery, when, after losing in trade all the money which he had earned in employments connected with the stage, he had returned penniless to Rome, and to earn a livelihood had hired himself out to a baker, to turn a mill, of the kind which is called a "push-mill."23

15 So too we are told of Naevius that he wrote two plays in prison, the Soothsayer and the Leon, when by reason of his constant abuse and insults aimed at the leading men of the city, after the manner of the Greek poets, he had been imprisoned at Rome by the triumvirs.24 And afterwards he was set free by the tribunes of the commons, when he had apologized for his offences and the saucy language with which he had previously assailed many men.

 p253  4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That it was an inherited custom of Publius Africanus and other distinguished men of his time to shave their beard and cheeks.

1 I found it stated in books which I read dealing with the life of Publius Scipio Africanus, that Publius Scipio, the son of Paulus, after he had celebrated a triumph because of his victory over the Carthaginians and had been censor, was accused before the people by Claudius Asellius, tribune of the commons, whom he had degraded from knighthood during his censorship; and that Scipio, although he was under accusation, neither ceased to shave his beard and to wear white raiment nor appeared in the usual garb of those under accusation. 2 But since it is certain that at that time Scipio was less than forty years old, I was surprised at the statement about shaving his beard. 3 I have learned, however, that in those same times the other nobles shaved their beards at that time of life, and that is why we see many busts of early men represented in that way, men who were not very old, but in middle life.25

5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] How the philosopher Arcesilaus severely yet humorously taunted a man with the vice of voluptuousness and with unmanliness of expression and conduct.

1 Plutarch tells us26 that Arcesilaus the philosopher used strong language about a certain rich man, who was too pleasure-loving, but nevertheless had a  p255 reputation for uprightness and freedom from sensuality. 2 For when he observed the man's affected speech, his artfully arranged hair, and his wanton glances, teeming with seduction and voluptuousness, he said: "It makes no difference with what parts of your body you debauch yourself, front or rear."

6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On the natural strength of the palm-tree; for when weights are placed upon its wood, it resists their pressure.

1 A truly wonderful fact is stated by Aristotle in the seventh book of his Problems,27 and by Plutarch in the eighth of his Symposiaca.28 2 "If," say they, "you place heavy weights on the wood of the palm-tree, and load it so heavily and press it down so hard that the burden is too great to bear, the wood does not give way downward, nor is it made concave, but it rises against the weight and struggles upward and assumes a convex form.29 3 It is for that reason," says Plutarch, "that the palm has been chosen as the symbol of victory in contests, since the nature of its wood is such that it does not yield to what presses hard upon it and tries to crush it."

7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A tale from the annals about Quintus Caedicius, tribune of the soldiers; and a passage from the Origins of Marcus Cato, in which he likens the valour of Caedicius to that of the Spartan Leonidas.

1 A glorious deed, by the gods! and well worthy of the noble strains of Greek eloquence, is that of  p257 the military tribune Quintus Caedicius, recorded by Marcus Cato in his Origins.30

2 The actual account runs about as follows: 3 In the first Punic war the Carthaginian general in Sicily advanced to meet the Roman army and was first to take possession of the hills and strategic points. As the result of this, the Roman soldiers made their way 4 into a place exposed to surprise and extreme danger. 5 The tribune went to the consul and pointed out that destruction was imminent from their unfavourable position and from the fact that the enemy had surrounded them. 6 "My advice is," said he, "if you want to save the day, that you order some four hundred soldiers to advance to yonder wart" — for that is Cato's term for a high and rough bit of ground — "and command and conjure them to hold it. When the enemy see that, undoubtedly all their bravest and most active men will be intent upon attacking and fighting with them; they will devote themselves to that one task, and beyond a doubt all those four hundred will be slaughtered. 7 Then in the meantime, while the enemy is engaged in killing them, you will have time to get the army out of this position. 8 There is no other way of safety but this." The consul replied to the tribune that the plan seemed to him equally wise; "but who, pray," said he, "will there be to lead those four hundred men of yours to that place in the midst of the enemy's troops?" 9 "If you find no one else," answered the tribune, "you may use me for that dangerous enterprise. I offer this life of mine to you and to my country." 10 The consul thanked and commended the tribune. 11 The tribune and his four hundred marched forth to death. 12 The  p259 enemy marvelled at their boldness; they were on tiptoe of expectation to see where they would go. 13 But when it appeared that they were on their way to occupy that hill, the Carthaginian commander sent against them the strongest men in his army, horse and foot. 14 The Roman soldiers were surrounded; though surrounded, they resisted; 15 the battle was long and doubtful. 16 At last numbers triumphed. Every man of the four hundred fell, including the tribune, either run through with swords or overwhelmed with missiles. 17 Meanwhile the consul, while the battle was raging there, withdrew to a safe position on high ground.

18 But what, by Heaven's help, befell that tribune, the leader of the four hundred soldiers, in the battle, I have added, no longer using my own words, but giving those of Cato himself, who says: 19 "The immortal gods gave the tribune good fortune equal to his valour; for this is what happened. Although he had been wounded in many places during the battle, yet his head was uninjured, and they recognized him among the dead, unconscious from wounds and loss of blood. They bore him off the field, he recovered, and often after that rendered brave and vigorous service to his country; and by that act of leading that forlorn hope he saved the rest of the army. But what a difference it makes where you do the same service!31 The Laconian Leonidas, who performed a like exploit at Thermopylae, because of his valour won unexampled glory and gratitude from all Greece, and was honoured with memorials of the highest distinction; they showed their appreciation of that deed of his by pictures, statues and honorary inscriptions, in their histories, and in other ways; but the tribune  p261 of the soldiers, who had done the same thing and saved an army, gained small glory for his deeds."

20 With such high personal testimony did Marcus Cato honour this valorous deed of Quintus Caedicius the tribune. 21 But Claudius Quadrigarius, in the third book of his Annals,32 says that the man's name was not Caedicius, but Laberius.

8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A fine letter of the consuls Gaius Fabricius and Quintus Aemilius to king Pyrrhus, recorded by the historian Quintus Claudius.

1 At the time when king Pyrrhus was on Italian soil and had won one or two battles, when the Romans were getting anxious, and the greater part of Italy had gone over to the king, a certain Timochares, an Ambracian and a friend of king Pyrrhus, came stealthily to the consul Gaius Fabricius and asked a reward, promising that if they could come to terms, he would poison the king. This, he said, could easily be done, since his son was the monarch's cup-bearer. 2 Fabricius transmitted this offer to the senate. 3 The senate sent envoys to the king, instructing them not to reveal anything about Timochares, but to warn the king to act with more caution, and be on his guard against the treachery of those nearest to his own person. 4 This, as I have told it, is the version found in the History of Valerius Antias.33 5 But Quadrigarius, in his third book,34 says that it was not Timochares, but Nicias, that approached the consul; that the embassy was not sent by the senate, but by the consuls; and that Pyrrhus thanked and complimented the Roman people in a  p263 letter, besides clothing and returning all the prisoners that were then in his hands.

6 The consuls at that time were Gaius Fabricius and Quintus Aemilius.35 7 The letter which they sent to king Pyrrhus about that matter, according to Claudius Quadrigarius, ran as follows:

8 "The Roman consuls greet king Pyrrhus.

We, being greatly disturbed in spirit because of your continued acts of injustice, desire to war with you as an enemy. But as a matter of general precedent and honour, it has seemed to us that we should desire your personal safety, in order that we may have the opportunity of vanquishing you in the field. Your friend Nicias came to us, to ask for a reward if he should secretly slay you. We replied that we had no such wish, and that he could look for no advantage from such an action; at the same time it seemed proper to inform you, for fear that if anything of the kind should happen, the nations might think that it was done with our connivance, and also because we have no desire to make war by means of bribes or rewards or trickery. As for you, if you do not take heed, you will have a fall."

9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The characteristics of the horse of Seius, which is mentioned in the proverb; and as to the colour of the horses which are called spadices; and the explanation of that term.

1 Gavius Bassus in his Commentaries,36 and Julius Modestus in the second book of his Miscellaneous Questions,37 tell the history of the horse of Seius, a  p265 tale wonderful and worthy of record. 2 They say that there was a clerk called Gnaeus Seius, and that he had a horse foaled at Argos, in the land of Greece, about which there was a persistent tradition that it was sprung from the breed of horses that had belonged to the Thracian Diomedes, those which Hercules, after slaying Diomedes, had taken from Thrace to Argos. 3 They say that this horse was of extraordinary size, with a lofty neck, bay in colour, with a thick, glossy mane, and that it was far superior to all horses in other points of excellence; but that same horse, they go on to say, was of such a fate or fortune, that whoever owned and possessed it came to utter ruin, as well as his whole house, his family and all his possessions. 4 Thus, to begin with, that Gnaeus Seius who owned him was condemned and suffered a cruel death at the hands of Marcus Antonius, afterwards one of the triumvirs for setting the State in order.38 At that same time Cornelius Dolabella, the consul, on his way to Syria, attracted by the renown of this horse, turned aside to Argos, was fired with a desire to own the animal, and bought it for a hundred thousand sesterces; but Dolabella in his turn was besieged in Syria during the civil war, and slain. And soon afterwards Gaius Cassius, who had besieged Dolabella, carried off this same horse, which had been Dolabella's. 5 It is notorious too that this Cassius, after his party had been vanquished and his army routed, met a wretched end. Then later, after the death of Cassius, Antonius, who had defeated him, sought for this famous horse of Cassius, and after getting possession of it was himself afterwards defeated and deserted in his turn, and died an ignominious death. 6 Hence the proverb,  p267 applied to unfortunate men, arose and is current: "That man has the horse of Seius."

7 The meaning is the same of that other old proverb, which I have heard quoted thus: "the gold of Tolosa." For when the town of Tolosa in the land of Gaul was pillaged by the consul Quintus Caepio, and a quantity of gold was found in the temples of that town, whoever touched a piece of gold from that sack died a wretched and agonizing death.

8 Gavius Bassus reports that he saw this horse at Argos; that it was of incredible beauty and strength and of the richest possible colouring.

9 This colour, as I have said, we call poeniceus; the Greeks sometimes name it φοῖνιξ, at others σπάδιξ, since the branch of the palm (φοῖνιξ), torn from the tree with its fruit, is called spadix.39

10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That in many natural phenomena a certain power and efficiency of the number seven has been observed, concerning which Marcus Varro discourses at length in his Hebdomades.40

1 Marcus Varro, in the first book of his work entitled Hebdomades or On Portraits, speaks of many varied excellencies and powers of the number seven, which the Greeks call ἑβδομάς. 2 "For that number," he says, "forms the Greater and the Lesser Bear in the heavens; also the vergiliae,41 which  p269 the Greeks call πλειάδες; and it is likewise the number of those stars which some call 'wandering,' but Publius Nigidius 'wanderers.' "42 3 Varro also says that there are seven circles in the heavens, perpendicular to its axis. The two smallest of these, which touch the ends of the axis, he says are called πόλοι, or "poles"; but that because of their small diameter they cannot be represented on what is termed an armillary sphere.43 4 And the zodiac itself it is not uninfluenced by the number seven; for the summer solstice occurs in the seventh sign from the winter solstice, and the winter solstice in the seventh after the summer, and one equinox in the seventh sign after the other. 5 Then too those winter days during which the kingfishers nest on the water he says are seven in number.44 6 Besides this, he writes that the course of the moon is completed in four time seven complete days; "for on the twenty-eighth day," he says, "the moon returns to the same point from which it started," and he quotes Aristides45 of Samos as his authority for this opinion. In this case he says that one should not only take note of the fact that the moon finishes its journey in four times seven, that is eight and twenty, days, but also that this number seven, if, beginning with one and going on until it reaches itself, it includes the sum of all the numbers through which it has passed and then adds itself, makes the number of eight and twenty, which is the number of days of the revolution of the moon.46 7 He says that the influence of that number  p271 extends to and affects also the birth of human beings. "For," says he, "when the life-giving seed has been introduced into the female womb, in the first seven days it is compacted and coagulated and rendered fit to take shape. Then afterwards in the fourth hebdomad the rudimentary male organ, the head, and the spine which is in the back, are formed. But in the seventh hebdomad, as a rule, that is, by the forty-ninth day," says he, "the entire embryo is formed in the womb." 8 He says that this power also has been observed in that number, that before the seventh month neither male nor female child can be born in health and naturally, and that those which are in the womb the most regular time are born two hundred and seventy-three days after conception, that is, not until the beginning of the fortieth hebdomad. 9 Of the periods dangerous to the lives and fortunes of all men, which the Chaldaeans call "climacterics," all the gravest are combinations of the number seven. 10 Besides this, he says that extreme limit of growth of the human body is seven feet. 11 That, in my opinion, is truer than the statement of Herodotus, the story-teller, in the first book of his History,47 that the body of Orestes was found under ground, and that it was seven cubits in height, that is, twelve and a quarter feet; unless, as Homer thought,48 the men of old were larger and taller of stature, but now, because the world is ageing, as it were, men and things are diminishing in size. 12 The teeth too, he says, appear  p273 in the first seven months seven at a time in each jaw, and fall out within seven years, and the back teeth are added, as a rule, within twice seven years. 13 He says that the physicians who use music as a remedy declare that the veins of men, or rather their arteries, are set in motion according to the number seven,49 and this treatment they call τὴν διὰ τεσσάρων συμφωνίαν,50 because it results from the harmony of four tones. 14 He also believes that the periods of danger in diseases have greater violence on the days which are made up of the number seven, and that those days in particular seem to be, as the physicians call them, κρισίμοι or "critical"; namely, the first, second and third hebdomad. 15 And Varro does not fail to mention a fact which adds to the power and influence of the number seven, namely, that those who resolve to die of starvation do not meet their end until the seventh day.

16 These remarks of Varro about the number seven show painstaking investigation. But he has also brought together in the same place others which are rather trifling: for example, that there are seven wonderful works in the world, that the sages of old were seven, that the usual number of rounds in the races in the circus is seven, and that seven champions were chosen to attack Thebes. 17 Then he adds in that book the further information that he had entered upon the twelfth hebdomad of his age, and that up to that day he has completed seventy hebdomads of books,51 of which a considerable number were destroyed when his library was plundered, at the time of his proscription.52

 p275  11 1  [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The weak arguments by which Accius in his Didascalica attempts to prove that Hesiod was earlier than Homer.

1 As to the age of Homer and Hesiod opinions differ. 2 Some, among whom are Philochorus53 and Xenophanes,54 have written that Homer was older than Hesiod; others that he was younger, among them Lucius Accius the poet and Euphorus the historian.55 3 But Marcus Varro, in the first book of his Portraits,56 says57 that it is not at all certain which of the two was born first, but that there is no doubt that they lived partly in the same period of time, and that this is proved by the inscription58 engraved upon a tripod which Hesiod is said to have set up on Mount Helicon. 4 Accius, on the contrary, in the first book of his Didascalica,59 makes use of very weak arguments in his attempt to show that Hesiod was the elder: 5 "Because Homer," he writes, "when he says at the beginning of his poem60 that Achilles was the son of Peleus, does not inform us who Peleus was; and this he unquestionably would have done, if he did not know that the information had already been given by Hesiod.61 Again, in the case of Cyclops," says Accius, "he would not have failed to note such a striking characteristic and to make particular mention of the fact that he was one-eyed, were it not that this was equally well known from the poems of his predecessor Hesiod."62

6 Also as to Homer's native city there is the very greatest divergence of opinion. Some say that he was from Colophon, some from Smyrna; others  p277 assert that he was an Athenian, still others, an Egyptian; and Aristotle declares63 that he was from the island of Ios. 7 Marcus Varro, in the first book of his Portraits, placed this couplet under the portrait of Homer:64

This snow-white kid the tomb of Homer marks;

For such the Ietae65 offer to the dead.

12 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That Publius Nigidius, a man of great learning, applied bibosus to one who was given to drinking heavily and greedily, using a new, but hardly rational, word-formation.

1 Publius Nigidius, in his Grammatical Notes,66 calls one who is found of drinking bibax and bibosus. 2 Bibax, like edax, I find used by many others; but as yet I have nowhere found an example of bibosus, except in Laberius, and there is no other word similarly derived. 3 For vinosus, or vitiosus, and other formations of the kind, are not parallel, since they are derived from nouns, not from verbs. 4 Laberius, in the mime entitled Salinator, uses this word thus:67

Not big of breast, not old, not bibulous, not pert.

13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] How Demosthenes, while still young and a pupil of the philosopher Plato, happening to hear the orator Callistratus addressing the people, deserted Plato and became a follower of Callistratus.

1 Hermippus has written68 that Demosthenes, when quite young, used to frequent the Academy and  p279 listen to Plato. 2 "And this Demosthenes," says he, "when he had left home and, as usual, was on his way to Plato, saw great throngs of people running to the same place; he inquired the reason of this, and learned that they were hurrying to hear Callistratus. 3 This Callistratus was one of those orators in the Athenian republic that they call δημαγωγοί, or 'demagogues.'69 4 Demosthenes thought it best to turn aside for a moment and find out whether the discourse justified such eager haste. 5 He came," says Hermippus, "and heard Callistratus delivering that famous speech of his, ἡ περὶ Ὠρωποῦ δίκη.70 He was so moved, so charmed, so captivated, that he became a follower of Callistratus from that moment, deserting Plato and the Academy."

14 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That whoever says dimidium librum legi, or dimidiam fabulam audivi, and uses other expressions of that kind, speaks incorrectly; and that Marcus Varro gives the explanation of that error; and that no early writer has used such phraseology.

1 Varro believes the dimidium librum legi ("I have read half the book"), or dimidiam fabulam audivi ("I have read half the play"), or any other expression of that kind, is incorrect and faulty usage. 2 "For," says he,71 "one ought to say dimidiatum librum ('the halved book'), not dimidium, and dimidiatam fabulam, not dimidiam. But, on the contrary, if from a pint a half-pint has been poured, one should not say that 'a halved pint' has been poured, but a 'half-pint,' and when one has received  p281 five hundred sesterces out of a thousand that were owing him, we must say that he has received a half sestertium,72 not a halved one. 3 But if a silver bowl," he says, "which I own in common with another person, has been divided into two parts, I ought to speak of it as 'halved,' not as 'a half'; but my share of the silver of which the bowl is made is a 'half,' not 'halved.' " 4 Thus Varro discusses and analyzes very acutely the difference between dimidium and dimidiatum, 5 and he declares that Quintus Ennius spoke, in his Annals, with understanding in the line:73

As if one brought a halvéd cup of wine,

and similarly the part that is missing from the cup should be spoken of as "half," not "halved."

6 Now the point of all this argument, which Varro sets forth acutely, it is true, but somewhat obscurely, is this: dimidiatum is equivalent to dismediatum, and means "divided into two parts," 7 and therefore dimidiatum cannot properly be used except of the thing itself that is divided; 8 dimidium, however, is not that which is itself divided, but is one of the parts of what has been divided. 9 Accordingly, when we wish to say that we have read the half part of a book or heard the half part of a play, if we say dimidiam fabulam or dimidium librum, we make a mistake; for in that case you are using dimidium of the whole thing which has been halved and divided. 10 Therefore Lucilius, following this same rule, says:74

With one enemy and two feet, like halvéd pig,

and in another place:75

 p283  Why not? To sell his trash the huckster lauds

(The rascal!) half a shoe, a strigil split.

11 Again in his twentieth book it is clearer still that Lucilius carefully avoids saying dimidiam horam, but puts dimidium in the place of dimidiam in the following lines:76

At its own season and the self-same time,

The half an hour and three at least elapsed,

At the fourth hour again.77

12 For while it was natural and easy to say "three and a half elapsed," he watchfully and carefully shunned an improper term. 13 From this it is quite clear that not even "half an hour" can properly be said, but we must say either "a halved hour" or "the half part of an hour." 14 And so Plautus as well, in the Bacchides,78 writes "half of the gold," not "the halved gold," 15 and in the Aulularia,79 "half of the provisions," not "the halved provisions," in this verse:

He bade them give him half of all the meats;

16 But in the Menaechmi he has "the halved day," not "half," as follows:80

Down to the navel now the halvéd day is dead.

 p285  17 Marcus Cato, too, in his work On Farming, writes:81 "Sow cypress seed thick, just as flax is commonly sown. Over it sift earth from a sieve to the depth of a halved finger. Then smooth it well with a board, with the feet, or with the hands." 18 He says "a halved finger," not "a half." For we ought to say "half of a finger," but the finger itself should be said to be "halved." 19 Marcus Cato also wrote of the Carthaginians:82 "They buried the men half-way down (dimidiatos) in the ground and built a fire around them; thus they destroyed them." 20 In fact, no one of all those who have spoken correctly has used these words otherwise than in the way I have described.

15 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That it is recorded in literature and handed down by tradition, that great and unexpected joy has brought sudden death to many, since the breath of life was stifled and could not endure the effects of an unusual and strong emotion.

1 Aristotle the philosopher relates83 that Polycrita, a woman of high rank in the island of Naxos, on suddenly and unexpectedly hearing joyful news, breathed her last. 2 Philippides too, a comic poet of no little repute, when he had unexpectedly won the prize in a contest of poets at an advanced age, and was rejoicing exceedingly, died suddenly in the midst of his joy. 3 The story also of Diogoras of Rhodes is widely known. This Diogoras had three young sons, a boxer, the second a pancratist,84 and the third a wrestler. He saw them all victors  p287 and crowned at Olympia on the same day, and when the three young men were embracing him there, and having placed their crowns on their father's head were kissing him, and the people were congratulating him and pelting him from all sides with flowers, there in the very stadium, before the eyes of the people, amid the kisses and embraces of his sons, he passed away.

4 Moreover, I have read in our annals that at the time when the army of the Roman people was cut to pieces at Cannae,85 an aged mother was overwhelmed with grief and sorrow by a message announcing the death of her son; but that report was false, and when not long afterwards the young man returned from that battle to the city, the aged mother, upon suddenly seeing her son, was overpowered by the flood, the shock, and the crash, so to speak, of unlooked-for joy descending upon her, and gave up the ghost.

16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The variations in the period of gestation reported by physicians and philosophers; and incidentally the views also of the ancient poets on that subject and many other noteworthy and interesting particulars; and the words of the physician Hippocrates, quoted verbatim from his book entitled Περὶ Τροφῆς.86

1 Both physicians and philosophers of distinction have investigated the duration of the period of gestation in man. The general opinion, now accepted as correct, is that after the womb of a woman has conceived the seed, the child is born rarely in the seventh month, never in the eighth, often in ninth, more often in the tenth in number; and that the end of the tenth month, not its beginning, is  p289 the extreme limit of human gestation. 2 And this we find the ancient poet Plautus saying in his comedy the Cistellaria, in these words:87

And then the girl whom he did violate

Brought forth a daughter when ten months had sped.

3 That same thing is stated by Menander also, a still older poet and exceedingly well informed as to current opinion; I quote his words on that subject from the play called Plocium or The Necklace:88

The woman is ten months with child . . .

4 But although our countryman Caecilius wrote a play with the same name and of the same plot, and borrowed extensively from Meander, yet in naming the months of delivery he did not omit the eighth, which Menander had passed by. These are the lines from Caecilius:89

And may a child in the tenth month be born? —

By Pollux! in the ninth, and seventh, and eighth.

5 Marcus Varro leads us to believe that Caecilius did not make this statement thoughtlessly or differ without reason from Menander and from the opinions of many men. 6 For in the fourteenth book of his Divine Antiquities he has left the statement on record that parturition sometimes takes place in the eighth month.90 In this book he also says that sometimes a child may be born even in the eleventh month, and he cites Aristotle91 as authority for his statement in regard both to the eighth and the eleventh month. 7 Now, the reason for this disagreement as  p291 to the eighth month may be found in Hippocrates' work entitled Περὶ Τροφῆς, or On Nurture, from which these words are taken:92 "Eighth-month's children exist and do not exist." 8 This statement, so obscure, abrupt, and apparently contradictory, is thus explained by the physician Sabinus, who wrote a very helpful commentary on Hippocrates: "They exist, since they appear to live after the miscarriage; but they do not exist, since they die afterwards; they exist and do not exist therefore, since they live for the moment in appearance, but not in reality."

9 But Varro says93 that the early Romans did not regard such births as unnatural rarities, but they did believe that a woman was delivered according to nature in the ninth or tenth month, and in no others, and that for this reason they gave to the three Fates names derived from bringing forth, and from the ninth and tenth months. 10 "For Parca," says he, "is derived from partus with the change of one letter, and likewise Nona and Decima from the period of timely delivery."94 11 But Caesellius Vindex in his Ancient Readings says: "The names of the Fates are three: Nona, Decuma, Morta; and he quotes this verse from the Odyssey of Livius, the earliest of our poets,95

When will the day be present that Morta has predicted?

But Caesellius, though a man not without learning, took Morta as a name, when he ought to have taken it as equivalent to Moera.96

 p293  12 Furthermore, besides what I have read in books about human gestation, I also heard of the following case, which occurred in Rome: A woman of good and honourable character, of undoubted chastity, gave birth to a child in the eleventh month after her husband's death, and because of the reckoning of the time the accusation was made that she had conceived after the death of her husband, since the decemvirs had written97 that a child is born in ten months and not in the eleventh month. The deified Hadrian, however, having heard the case, decided that birth might also occur in the eleventh month, and I myself have read the actual decree with regard to the matter. In that decree Hadrian declares that he makes his decision after looking up the views of the ancient philosophers and physicians.

13 This very day I chanced to read these words in a satire of Marcus Varro's entitled The Will:98 'If one or more sons shall be born to me in ten months, let them be disinherited, if they are asses in music;99 but if one be born to me in the eleventh month, according to Aristotle,100 let Attius have the same rights under my will as Tettius." Just as it used commonly to be said of things that did not differ from each other, "let Attius be as Tettius," 14 so Varro means by this old proverb that children born in ten months and in eleven are to have the same and equal rights.101

15 But if it is a fact that gestation cannot be prolonged beyond the tenth month, it is pertinent to ask why Homer wrote that Neptune said to a girl whom he had just violated:102

 p295  Rejoice, O woman, in this act of love;

A year gone by, fair offspring shall be thine,

For not unfruitful is a god's embrace.

16 When I had brought this matter to the attention of several scholars, some of them argued that in Homer's time, as in that of Romulus, the year consisted, not of twelve months, but of ten; others, that it was in accord with Neptune and his majesty that a child by him should develop through a longer period than usual; and others gave other nonsensical reasons. 17 But Favorinus tells me that περιπλομένου ἐνιαυτοῦ does not mean "when the year is ended" (confectus), but "when it is nearing its end" (adfectus).

18 In this instance Favorinus did not use the word adfectus in its popular signification (but yet correctly); 19 for as it was used by Marcus Cicero and the most polished of the early writers, it was properly applied to things which had advanced, or been carried, not to the very end, but nearly to the end. Cicero gives the word that meaning in the speech On the Consular Provinces.103

20 Moreover, Hippocrates, in that book of which I wrote above, when he mentioned the number of days within which the embryo conceived in the womb is given form, and had limited the time of gestation itself to the ninth or tenth month, but had said that this nevertheless was not always of the same duration, but that delivery occurred sometimes more quickly, sometimes later, finally used these words: "In these cases there are longer and shorter periods, both wholly and in part; but the longer are not much longer or the shorter much shorter."104 By this he means that whereas a birth  p297 sometimes takes place more quickly, yet it occurs not much more quickly, and when later, not much later.

21 I recall that this question was carefully and thoroughly investigated at Rome, an inquiry demanded by a suit at law of no small moment at the time, whether, namely, a child that had been born alive in the eighth month but had died immediately, satisfied the conditions of the ius trium liberorum,105 since it seemed to some that the untimely period of the eighth month made it an abortion and not a birth.

22 But since I have told what I have learned about a birth after a year in Homer and about the eleventh month, I think I ought not to omit what I read in the seventh book of the Natural History of Plinius Secundus. 23 But because that story might seem to be beyond belief, I have quoted Pliny's own words:106 "Masurius makes the statement107 that the praetor Lucius Papirius, when an heir in the second degree108 brought suit the possession of an inheritance, decided against him, although the mother109 said that she had been pregnant for thirteen months; and the reason for his decision was that it seemed to him that no definite period of gestation had been fixed by law." 24 In the same book of Plinius Secundus are these words:110 "Yawning during childbirth is fatal, just as to sneeze after coition produces abortion."

 p299  17 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The statement of men of the highest authority that Plato bought three books of Philolaus the Pythagorean, and that Aristotle purchased a few books of the philosopher Speusippus, at prices beyond belief.

1 The story goes that the philosopher Plato was a man of very slender means, but that nevertheless he bought three books of Philolaus the Pythagorean for ten thousand denarii.111a 2 That sum, according to some writers, was given him by his friend Dion of Syracuse.

3 Aristotle too, according to report, bought a very few books of the philosopher Speusippus, after the latter's death, for three Attic talents, a sum equivalent in our money to seventy-two thousand sesterces.111b

4 The bitter satirist Timon wrote a highly abusive work, which he entitled Σίλλος.112 5 In that book he addresses the philosopher Plato in opprobrious terms, alleging that he had bought a treatise on the Pythagorean philosophy at an extravagant figure, and that from it he had compiled that celebrated dialogue the Timaeus. 6 Here are Timon's lines on the subject:113

Thou, Plato, since for learning thou didst yearn,

A tiny book for a vast sum did'st buy,

Which taught thee a Timaeus to compose.

 p301  18 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] What is meant by pedariº senatores, and why they are so called; also the origin of these words in the customary edict of the consuls: "senators and those who are allowed to speak in the senate."

1 There are many who think that those senators were called pedariiº who did not express their opinion in words, but agreed with the opinion of others by stepping to their side of the House. 2 How then? Whenever a decree of the senate was passed by division, did not all the senators vote in that manner? 3 Also the following explanation of that word is given, in which Gavius Bassus has left recorded in his Commentaries. 4 For he says114 that in the time of our forefathers senators who had held a curule magistracy used to ride to the House in a chariot, as a mark of honour; that in that chariot there was a seat on which they sat, which for that reason was called curulis;115 but that those senators who had not yet held a curule magistracy went on foot to the House: and that therefore the senators who had not yet held the higher magistracies were called pedarii. 5 Marcus Varro, however, in the Menippean Satire entitled Ἱπποκύων, says116 that some knights were called pedarii, and he seems to mean those who, since they had not yet been enrolled in the senate by the censors, were not indeed senators, but because they had held offices by vote of the people, used to come into the senate and had the right of voting. 6 In fact, even those who had filled curule magistracies, if they had not  p303 yet been added by the censors to the list of senators, were not senators, and as their names came among the last, they were not asked their opinions, but went to a division on the views given by the leading members. 7 That was the meaning of the traditional proclamation, which even to‑day the consuls, for the sake of following precedent, use in summoning the senators to the House. 8 The words of the edict are these: "Senators and those who have the right to express their opinion in the senate."

9 I have had a line of Laberius copied also, in which that word is used; I read it in a mime entitled Stricturae:117

The aye-man's vote is but a tongueless head.

10 I have observed that some use a barbarous form of this word; for instead of pedarii they say pedanii.

19 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Why, according to Gavius Bassus, a man is called parcus and what he thought to be the explanation of that word; and how, on the contrary, Favorinus made fun of that explanation of his.

1 At the dinners of the philosopher Favorinus, after the guests had taken their places and the serving of the viands began, a slave commonly stood by his table and began to read something, either from Grecian literature or from our own. For example, one day when I was present the reading was from the treatise of the learned Gavius Bassus On the Origin of Verbs and Substantives. 2 In it this passage occurred:118 "Parcus is a compound word, made up  p305 of par arcae, that is 'like a strong-box;' for just as all valuables are put away in a strong-box and preserved and kept under its protection, just so a man who is close and content to spend little keeps all his property guarded and hidden away, as in a strong-box. For that reason he is called parcus, as if it were par arcus."119

3 Then Favorinus, on hearing these words, said: "That fellow Gavius Bassus has made up and contrived an origin for that word in an unnatural, altogether laboured and repellent manner, rather than explained it. 4 For if it is permissible to draw on one's imagination, why would it not seem more reasonable to believe that a man is called parcus for the reason that he forbids and prevents the spending of money, as if he were pecuniarcus. 5 Why not rather," he continued, "adopt an explanation which is simpler and nearer the truth? For parcus is derived neither from arca nor from arceo, but from parum and parvum."120

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Otherwise unknown. The Baths of Titus were Thermae and the adj. is Titianae.

2 xi.3.

3 The reading of the MSS., potuit, might perhaps be supported by such expressions as Catull. LXXVI.16, hoc facias, sive id non pote, sive pote.

4 XIII. Frag. 2, Mirsch.

5 XIII. Frag. 3, Mirsch.

6 That is, according to the Roman reckoning. By the alleged Umbrian reckoning, the first day of the month would begin at midday and end at the next midday.

7 Fr. 7, Huschke; Jur. Civ. IV.2, Bremer.

8 Dec. 27th; December at that time had twenty-nine days.

9 VI.4.

10 Posterioris is nom. pl. See Varro, De Ling. Lat. VIII.66.

11 Aen. V.738.

12 Crediturum seems an archaism for credituros; see I.7.

13 Fr. V.21 Götz; II, p38, Ribbeck. Translation by Thornton and Warner.

14 Fr. V.100 Götz; translation by Thornton and Warner.

15 Fr. V.76 Götz.

16 Nothing is known of this oracle. The inferior manuscripts and earlier editors read Arietini and interpreted it as that of Jupiter Ammon, because that god is sometimes represented as a ram (aries), or with a ram's head. According to Bücheler, Thes. Ling. Lat. II.636.9, the reference is to a person, not to the town of Arretium. Text and meaning are most uncertain.

17 According to Bücheler, T.L.L. II.636.9, the reference is to the ludi Romani, Sept. 5‑19.

18 Fr. p193, Bipont.

19 Didascalica, fr. inc., Müller.

20 On this passage see Leo, Plaut. Forsch., p32, who sees three categories: three plays under the name of Plautus, two under that of Titus Maccius, and two (Agroecus and Boeotia) anonymous.

21 The early gen. both of Plautius and Plautus.

22 p58.4, Fun.

23 A large mill with two handles, which two men, ordinarily slaves, pushed (truso, cf. trudo) upon, in order to turn the mill, Contrasted by Cato (Agr. X.4 and XI.4) with molae asinariae, which had one handle, to which a horse or an ass was attached and drew the mill around.

This whole account is discredited by Leo. Plaut., Forsch., 70 ff., but defended by Marx and others. On this, and on Varro's threefold division of the plays, see Klingelhoefer, Phil. Quart. IV., pp336 ff.

24 The triumviri capitales, policy magistrates, in charge of the public prisons.

25 This fashion changed with Hadrian.

26 Sympos. VII.5.3, De Tuend. San. 7.

27 Fr. 229, Rose.

28 4.5.

29 Hardly to be taken literally. The same statement is made by Pliny, N. H. XVI.223; Theophr. Enquiry into Plants, V.6 (I.453, L. C. L.); Xen. Cyrop. VII.5.11 (II.267, L. C. L.).

Thayer's Note: also by Strabo, XV.3.10, quoting "Aristobulus or Nearchus or Onesicritus".

30 Fr. 83, Peter.

31 Cf. Sall. Cat. VIII.

32 Fr. 42, Peter.

33 Fr. 21, Peter.

34 Fr. 40, Peter.

35 282 B.C.

36 Fr. 4, Fun.

37 p15, Bunte.

38 IIIviri reipublicae constituendae was the formal designation of the powers conferred upon Antony, Octavian and Lepidus in 43 B.C. by the bill of the tribune P. Titius. The so‑called "first triumvirate," in 60 B.C., was a private arrangement by Caesar, Pompey and Crassus.

39 See II.26.10. The colour is a purple-red, or reddish purple.

40 Fr. p255, Bipont. This work, more commonly called Imagines, consisted of seven hundred portraits of distinguished men, arranged in seven categories of Greeks and Romans; besides the fourteen books thus formed there was an introductory fifteenth. Under each portrait was a metrical elogium and an account of the personage in prose. Cf. Plin. N. H. XXXV.11.

41 So called (from ver) because their rising, from April 22 to May 10, marked the beginning of spring.

42 Fr. 87, Swoboda. The planets of the ancients were Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, to which they added the moon.

43 An arrangement of rings (armillae), all circles of a single sphere, intended to show the relative position of the principal celestial circles. The sphere of Ptolemy has the earth in the centre, that of Copernicus the sun. Since the purpose is to show the apparent motions of the solar system, the former is the one most used.

44 That is, seven before, and seven after the winter solstice. During these fourteen "halcyon days" the sea was supposed to be perfectly calm.

45 A mistake for Aristarchus.

46 That is, the sum of the numbers 1 to 7 inclusive is 28.

47 I.68.

48 Iliad, V.302:

ὁ δὲ χερμάδιον λάβε χειρὶ

Τυδείδης, μέγα ἔργον, ὃ οὐ δύο γ’ ἄνδρε φέροιεν,

Οἶοι νῦν βροτοί εἰσ’· ὁ δέ μιν ῥέα πάλλε καὶ οἶος.

XII.383; etc.

49 That is, by the use of the seven-stringed lyre.

50 The harmony produced by the striking of four different strings.

51 Only 39 titles have come down to us, through Hieronymus, De Vir. Ill. 54, whose catalogue is unfinished and also includes ten libri singulares under one head. Ritschl estimated Varro's publications as 74 works, comprising 620 books.

52 By Antony in 43 B.C. Varro was saved from death by Fufius Calenus, and died in 27 B.C., at the age of nearly ninety.

53 F. H. G. I.393, Müller.

54 Poet, Phil. Frag. 13, Diels; Poesis Ludib. fr. 5, p191, Wachsmuth.

55 F. H. G. I.277, Müller.

56 See note 2, p267.

57 Fr. p258, Bipont.

58 Anth. Pal. VII.53, Greek Anth. L. C. L.II.53:

Ησίοδος Μούσαις Ἑλικωνίσι τόνδ’ ἀνέθηκα.

ὕμνῳ νικήσας ἐν Χαλκίδι θεῖον Ὅμηρον.

59 Fr. 1, Müller; FPR 7, Bährens.

60 Iliad, I.1.

61 Frag. 102, Rzach.

62 Theogony, 14.2.

63 Frag. 76, Rose.

64 FPR 1, Bährens.

65 That is, the inhabitants of Ios.

66 Fr. 5, Swoboda.

67 v.80, Ribbeck3.

68 Fr. Hist. Gr. III.49, Müller.

69 "Leaders of the people."

70 The Action about Oropus.

71 Fr. p349, Bipont.

72 The sestertium was the designation of a thousand sesterces, originally a gen. plur., later a nom. sing. neut.

73 Ann. 536, Vahlen2, reading sicut.

74 1342, Marx.

75 1282 f., Marx.

76 570, Marx.

77 The meaning is very uncertain. Marx thinks that the reference is to the quartan ague, "the attacks of which regularly subside at the same time (eandem ad quartam horam), after a minimum duration of three hours and a half.' Lucilius refers, not to the fourth hour of the day (non diei horam dicit), but to every fourth hour of the period of illness (totius temporis spatii quo aegrotus cubat febri correptus). Dumtaxat is to be taken with the numeral, as in Plaut. Truc. 445. For ad quartam he cites Seneca, Nat. Quaest. III.16.2, quartana ad horam venit, and Suet. Aug. LXXXVI.1, ad Kalendas Graecas soluturos.

78 1189.

79 291.

80 157.

81 De Agr. 151.

82 p56, fr. 3, Jordan.

83 Frag. 559, V. Rose.

84 The pancratium was a contest including both wrestling and boxing.

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

85 216 B.C.

86 On Nurture.

87 162.

88 Fr. 413, Kock.

89 164, Ribbeck3.

90 Fr. 12, Agahd.

91 Hist. Anim. VII.4.

92 II p23, Kühn; vol. I, p356, xlii, L. C. L. The text is not the same as that of Gellius, but the meaning is practically the same.

93 l.c.

94 These are the Roman names of the Fates. The Greek Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos were adopted with the rest of the Greek mythology.

95 Fr. 12, Bährens.

96 i.e. the Greek Μοῖρα, Fate.

97 XII Tab. IV.4, Schöll. The fragment is not extant, but it is cited also by Ulpian, Dig. XXXVIII.16.3.11: post decem menses mortis natus non admittetur ad legitimam hereditatem.

98 Fr. 543, Bücheler3.

99 That is, "stupid," "half-witted."

100 i.e., as Aristotle says may happen; Hist. Anim. VII.4.

101 Attius and Tettius stand for any names like Smith and Jones in English.

102 Odyss. XI.248.

103 § 19, bellum adfectum videmus et, vere ut dicam, paene confectum; cf. § 29.

104 See note 1, p291. Here Gellius' text is followed.

105 The fathers of three children were granted certain privileges and immunities.

Thayer's Note: For details, see the article Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

106 VII.40.

107 Fr. 24, Huschke; Memor. 21, Jur. Civ. 31, Bremer.

108 The heir or heirs in the second degree inherited only in case the heirs in the first degree died, or were otherwise incompetent.

109 That is, the mother of the heir in the first degree.

110 VII.42.

111a 111b These were very high prices. The first book of Martial's Epigrams, 700 lines, in an elegant form, cost only five denarii, and cheaper editions could be bought for from six to ten sesterces. See Martial, I.117.15 ff., and Friedländer, Roman Life and Manners, Eng. Trans., III, p37.

112 Meaning a lampoon, or satirical poem.

113 Poet. Phil. Frag. 54, Diehls; Poesis Ludib. 26, p100, Wachsmuth.

114 Frag. 7, Fun.

115 For currulus, from currus. This derivation is given by Thurneysen, TLL s.v., with the suggestion that the name, as well as the seat itself, was of Etruscan origin.

116 Frag. 220, Bücheler.

117 v.88, Ribbeck3, who reads: sine língua caput pedárii senténtias, and gives other versions.

118 Frag. 6, Fun.

119 That is, he is like a strong-box.

120 It is needless to say that all these derivations are wrong, and that parcus is connected with parco, "spare."

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