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Book V

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

by
A. Cornelius Gellius

published in Vol. II
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1927

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 VII

(Vol. II) Gellius
Attic Nights

p3 Book VI

1 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Some remarkable stories about the elder Publius Africanus, drawn from the annals.

1 The tale which in Grecian history is told of Olympias, wife of king Philip and mother of Alexander, is also recorded of the mother of that Publius Scipio who was the first to be called Africanus. 2 For both Gaius Oppius1 and Julius Hyginus,2 as well as others who have written of the life and deeds of Africanus, declare that his mother was for a long time thought to be barren, and that Publius Scipio, her husband, had also given up hope of offspring; 3 that afterwards, in her own room and bed, when she was lying alone in the absence of her husband and had fallen asleep, of a sudden a huge serpent was seen lying by her side; and that when those who had seen it were frightened and cried out, the snake glided away and could not be found. It is said that Publius Scipio himself consulted soothsayers about the occurrence; that they, after offering sacrifice, declared that he would have children, 4 and not many days after that serpent had been seen in her bed, the woman began to experience p5the indications and sensation of conception.3 Afterwards, in the tenth month, she gave birth to that Publius Scipio who conquered Hannibal and the Carthaginians in Africa in the second Punic war.4 5 But it was far more because of his exploits than because of that prodigy that he too5 was believed to be a man of godlike excellence.

6 This too I venture to relate, which the same writers that I mentioned before have put on record: This Scipio Africanus used often to go to the Capitolium in the latter part of the night, before the break of day, give orders that the shrine of Jupiter be opened,6 and remain there a long time alone, apparently consulting Jupiter about matters of state; and the guardians of the temple were often amazed that on his coming to the Capitolium alone at such an hour the dogs,7 that flew at all other intruders, neither barked at him nor molested him.

7 These popular beliefs about Scipio seemed to be confirmed and attested by many remarkable actions and sayings of his. Of these the following is a single example: 8 He was engaged in the siege of a town8 in Spain, which was strongly fortified and defended, protected by its position, and also well provisioned; and there was no prospect of taking it. One day he sat holding court in his camp, at a point from which there was a distant view of the town. p79 Then one of his soldiers who were on trial before him asked in the usual way on what day and in what place he bade them give bail for their appearance. 10 Then Scipio, stretching forth his hand towards the very citadel of the town he was besieging, said: "Appear the day after to‑morrow in yonder place." 11 And so it happened; on the third day, the town was captured, and on that same day he held court in the citadel of the place.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Of a disgraceful blunder of Caesellius Vindex, which we find in his work entitled Archaic Terms.

1 In those highly celebrated notes of Caesellius Vindex On Archaic Terms we find a shameful oversight, although in fact the man is seldom caught napping. 2 This error has escaped the notice of many, in spite of their diligent search for opportunities to find fault with Caesellius, even through misrepresentation. 3 Now, Caesellius wrote that Quintus Ennius, in the thirteenth book of his Annals, used cor in the masculine gender.

4 I add Caesellius' own words: "Ennius used cor, like many other words, in the masculine gender; for in Annals XIII he wrote quem cor." 5 He then quoted two verses of Ennius:9

While Hannibal, of bold breast, did me exhort

Not to make war, what heart thought he was mine?

p9 6 The speaker is Antiochus, king of Asia. He is surprised and indignant that Hannibal, the Carthaginian, discourages his desire to make war on the people of Rome.10 7 Now, Caesellius understands the lines to mean that Antiochus says: "Hannibal dissuades me from making war. In so doing, what kind of heart does he think I have, and how foolish does he believe me to be, when he gives me such advice?"

8 So Caesellius; but Ennius' meaning was quite different. 9 For there are three verses, not two, which belong to this utterance of the poet's, and Caesellius overlooked the third verse:

Through valour war's great advocate and friend.

10 The meaning and arrangement of these three verses I believe to be this: "Hannibal, that boldest and most valiant of men, who I believed (for that is the meaning of cor meum credidit, exactly as if he had said "who I, foolish man, believed") would strongly advise war, discourages and dissuades me from making war." 11 Caesellius, however, somewhat carelessly misled as to the connection of the words, assumed that Ennius said quem cor, reading quem with an acute accent,11 as if it belonged with cor and not with Hannibal. 12 But I am well aware that one might, if anyone should have so little understanding, defend Caesellius' masculine cor by maintaining that the third verse should be read apart from the others, as if Antiochus had exclaimed in broken and abrupt language "a mighty adviser!" But those who would argue thus do not deserve a reply.

p11 3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] What Tullius Tiro, Cicero's freedman, criticized in the speech which Marcus Cato delivered in the senate in defence of the Rhodians; and our answer to his strictures.

1 The State of Rhodes is famed for the happy situation of the island, its celebrated works of art, its skill in seamanship and its naval victories. 2 Although a friend and ally of the Roman people, that State was on cordial terms with Perses, son of Philip and king of Macedon, with whom the Romans were at war;12 accordingly, the Rhodians often sent envoys to Rome and tried to reconcile the contending parties. 3 But when their attempts at peace-making failed, many of the Rhodians harangued the people in their assemblies, agreeing that if peace were not made, the Rhodians should aid the king in his contest with the people of Rome; 4 but as to that question no official action was taken. 5 When, however, Perses was defeated and taken prisoner, the Rhodians were in great fear because of what had been said and done on many occasions in the popular assemblies; and they sent envoys to Rome, to apologize for the hastiness of some of their fellow-citizens and vindicate their loyalty as a community. 6 When the envoys reached Rome and were admitted to the p13senate, after having humbly pleaded their cause they left the House, and the senators were called upon for their opinions. 7 When some of the members complained of the Rhodians, declaring that they had been disloyal, and recommended that war be declared upon them, then Marcus Cato arose. He endeavoured to defend and save our very good and faithful allies, to whom many of the most distinguished senators were hostile through a desire to plunder and possess their wealth; and he delivered that famous speech entitled For the Rhodians, which is included in the fifth book of his Origins and is also in circulation as a separate publication.

8 Now Tullius Tiro, Marcus Cicero's freedman, was unquestionably a man of refined taste and by no means unacquainted with our early history and literature. He had been liberally educated from his earliest years, and Cicero found in him an assistant, and in a sense a partner, in his literary work. 9 But surely Tiro showed more presumption than can be tolerated or excused. 10 For he wrote a letter13 to Quintus Axius, a friend of his patron, with excessive assurance and warmth, in which, as he imagined, he criticized that speech For the Rhodians with keen and fine judgment. 11 It chanced to take my fancy to touch upon certain of the animadversions which he makes in that letter, and I shall doubtless be the more readily pardoned for finding fault with Tiro, because he took Cato to task.

12 His first charge was that Cato, "ignorantly and absurdly," to use Tiro's own language, made use of a preamble which was excessively severe and fault-finding, in which he declared that he feared lest the fathers, having their p15minds upset by joy and exultation at their success, might act unwisely and be in no state of mind for understanding and deliberating aright. 13 Tiro says: "Advocates who are pleading for clients ought in their opening remarks to win over and propitiate the jurors with complimentary and respectful language; they ought, while their minds, as they wait to hear the case, are still in suspense and cool, to render them complacent, and not to arouse contradiction by insults and arrogant threats." 14 Then he has given us Cato's own preamble, which runs as follows:14 "I am aware that in happy, successful and prosperous times the minds of most men are wont to be puffed up, and their arrogance and self-confidence to wax and swell. Therefore I am now gravely concerned, since this enterprise has gone on so successfully, lest something adverse may happen in our deliberations, to bring to naught our good fortune, and lest this joy of ours become too extravagant. Adversity subdues and shows what ought to be done; prosperity, since it inspires joy, commonly turns men aside from wise counsel and right understanding. Therefore it is with the greater emphasis that I advise and urge that this matter be put off for a few days, until we regain our self-command after so great rejoicing."

15 "Then what Cato says next," continues Tiro, "amounts to a confession rather than a defence; for it does not contain a refutation or shifting of the charge, but the sharing of it with many others, which of course amounts to nothing in the way of excuse. Moreover," says Tiro, "he also acknowledges that the Rhodians, who were accused of favouring the king's cause against the Roman people p17and wishing him success, did so from motives of self-interest, for fear that the Romans, already proud and self-confident, with the addition of a victory over king Perses might become immoderately insolent." 16 And he gives Cato's own words, as follows:15 "And I really think that the Rhodians did not wish us to end the war as we did, with a victory over king Perses. But it was not the Rhodians alone who had that feeling, but I believe that many peoples and many nations agreed with them. And I am inclined to think that some of them did not wish us success, not in order that we might be disgraced, but because they feared that if there were no one of whom we stood in dread, we would do whatever we chose. I think, then, that it was with an eye to their own freedom that they held that opinion, in order not to be under our sole dominion and enslaved to us. But for all that, the Rhodians never publicly aided Perses. Reflect how much more cautiously we deal with one another as individuals. For each one of us, if he thinks that anything is being done contrary to his interests, strives with might and main to prevent it; but they in spite of all permitted this very thing to happen."

17 Now as to his criticism of Cato's introduction, Tiro ought to have known that although Cato defended the Rhodians, he did so as a senator who had been consul and censor and was recommending what he thought was best for the public welfare, not as an advocate pleading the cause of the accused. 18 For one kind of introduction is appropriate for a man who is defending clients before jurors and striving in every way to excite pity and compassion; quite another for a man of eminent authority, when the p19senate is asked for its opinion on a matter of State, and when, indignant at the highly unjust opinions of some of the members, he gives plain and emphatic expression at once to his indignation and his sorrow, speaking in behalf of the public welfare and the safety of our allies. 19 Indeed, it is a proper and salutary rule of the schools of rhetoric, that jurors who are to pass judgment on the person of a stranger and on a case which does not personally concern them (so that apart from the duty of acting as jurors no danger or emolument will come to them) ought to be conciliated and induced by mild and soothing language to have regard for the reputation and safety of the prisoner at the bar. 20 But when the common prestige, honour and advantage of all are involved, and therefore one must advise what is to be done, or what must be put off that has already been begun, then one who busies himself with an introduction designed to make his hearers friendly and kindly disposed towards himself wastes his efforts in needless talk. 21 For the common interests and dangers have themselves already disposed the jurors to listen to advice, and it is rather they themselves that demand good-will16 on the part of their counsellor. 22 But when Tiro says that Cato admitted that the Rhodians did not wish the Romans to fight as successfully as they did, and king Perses to be conquered by the Roman people, and when he asserts that he declared that not the Rhodians alone, but many other nations too, had the same feeling, but that this availed nothing in excuse or extenuation of their fault — in this very first point Tiro is guilty of a shameless lie. 23 He quotes Cato's words, yet misrepresents him by giving them a false interpretation. p2124 For Cato does not admit that the Rhodians did not wish the Roman people to be victorious, but said that he thought they did not; and this was unquestionably an expression of his own opinion, not aº concession of the guilt of the Rhodians. 25 On this point, in my judgment at least, Cato is not only free from reproach, but is even deserving of praise and admiration. For he apparently expressed a frank and conscientious opinion adverse to the Rhodians; but then, having established confidence in his candour,17 he so changed and shifted that very statement which seemed to militate against them, that on that account alone it seemed right that they should be more highly esteemed and beloved by the people of Rome; inasmuch as they took no steps to aid the king, although they wished him to succeed and although his success would have been to their advantage.

26 Later on, Tiro quotes the following words from the same speech:18 "Shall we, then, of a sudden abandon these great services given and received and this strong friendship? Shall we be the first to do what we say they merely wished to do?" 27 "This," says Tiro, "is a worthless and faulty argument.19 For it might be replied: 'Certainly we shall anticipate them, for if we do not, we shall be caught unawares and must fall into the snares against which we failed to guard in advance.' 28 Lucilius," he says, "justly criticizes20 the poet Euripides for this reason, that when king Polyphontes declared that he had killed his brother, because his brother had p23previously planned to slay him, Meropa, his brother's wife, confuted the king with these words:21

If, as you say, my husband planned your death,

You too should only plan, till that time came.

29 But that," says Tiro, "is altogether full of absurdity, to wish to do something, and yet have the design and purpose of never doing what you wish to do." 30 But, as a matter of fact, Tiro failed to observe that the reason for taking precautions is not the same in all cases, and that the occupations and actions of human life, and the obligations of anticipation or postponement or even of taking vengeance or precautions, are not like a combat of gladiators. 31 For to a gladiator ready to fight the fortune of battle offers the alternative, either to kill, if he should conquer, or to die, if he should yield. 32 But the life of men in general is not restricted by such unfair or inevitable necessities that one must be first to commit an injury in order to avoid suffering injury. 33 In fact, such conduct was so alien to the humanity of the Roman people that they often forbore to avenge the wrongs inflicted upon them.

34 Then Tiro says that later in that same speech Cato used arguments that were disingenuous and excessively audacious, not suited to the character which Cato showed at other times, but cunning and deceitful, resembling the subtleties of the Greek sophists. 35 "For although," says he, "he charged the Rhodians with having wished to make war on the Roman people, he declared that they did not deserve punishment, because they had not made war in spite of their strong desire to do so." He says that Cato introduced what the logicians call an p25ἐπαγωγή,22 a most treacherous and sophistical device, designed not so much for the truth as for cavil, since by deceptive examples he tried to establish and prove that no one who wished to do wrong deserved to be punished, unless he actually accomplished his desire. 36 Now Cato's words in that speech are as follows:23 "He who uses the strongest language against them says that they wished to be our enemies. Pray is there any one of you who, so far as he is concerned, would think it fair to suffer punishment because he is accused of having wished to do wrong? No one, I think; for so far as I am concerned, I should not." 37 Then a little farther on he says:24 "What? Is there any law so severe as to provide that if anyone wish to do so and so, he be fined a thousand sesterces, provided that be less than half his property;25 if anyone shall desire to have more than five hundred acres,26 let the fine be so much; if anyone shall wish to have a greater number of cattle, let the fine be thus and so. In fact, we all wish to have more, and we do so with impunity." 38 Later he continues:27 "But if it is not right for honour to be conferred because anyone says that he wished to do well, but yet did not do so, shall the Rhodians suffer, not because they did wrong, but because they are said to have wished to do wrong?" 39 With such arguments Tullius Tiro says that Marcus Cato strove to show that the Rhodians also ought not to be punished, because although they had wished to be enemies of the Roman people, p27they had actually not been such. 40 Furthermore, he says that it cannot be denied that to wish to have more than five hundred acres, which was forbidden by Stolo's28 bill, is not exactly the same thing as to wish to make an unjust and unrighteous war upon the Roman people; also that it could not be denied that rewards and punishments belong to different categories. 41 "For services," he says, "that are promised should be awaited, and not rewarded until they are performed; but in the case of threatening injuries, it is fair to guard against them rather than wait for them. 42 For it is an admission of the greatest folly," he declares, "not to go to meet wickedness that is planned, but to await and expect it, and then, when it has been committed and accomplished, at last to inflict punishment, when what is done cannot be undone."

43 These are the criticisms which Tiro passed upon Cato, not altogether pointless or wholly unreasonable; 44 but as a matter of fact, Cato did not leave this ἐπαγωγή bare, isolated and unsupported, but he propped it up in various ways and clothed it with many other arguments. Furthermore, since he had an eye as much to the interests of the State as to those of the Rhodians, he regarded nothing that he said or did in that matter as discreditable, provided he strove by every kind of argument to save our allies. 45 And first of all, he very cleverly sought to find actions which are prohibited, not by natural or by international law, but by statutes passed to remedy some evil or meet an emergency; such for example as the one which limited the number of cattle or the amount of land. 46 In such cases that which is forbidden cannot lawfully be done; but to p29wish to do it, and if it should be allowed, is not dishonourable. 47 And then he gradually compared and connected such actions as these with that which in itself it is neither lawful to do nor to wish to do. Then finally, in order that the impropriety of the comparison may not become evident, he defends it by numerous bulwarks, not laying great stress on those trivial and ideal censures of unlawful desires, such as form the arguments of philosophers in their leisure moments, but striving with might and main for one single end, namely, that the cause of the Rhodians, whose friendship it was to the interests of the commonwealth to retain, should be shown either to be just, or in any event, at least pardonable. Accordingly, he now affirms that the Rhodians did not make war and did not desire to do so; but again he declares that only acts should be considered and judged, and that mere empty wishes are liable neither to laws nor punishment; sometimes, however, as if admitting their guilt, he asks that they be pardoned and shows that forgiveness is expedient in human relations, arousing fear of popular outbreaks, if pardon is not granted, and on the other hand showing that if they forgive, the greatness of the Roman people will be maintained.

48 The charge of arrogance too, which in particular was brought against the Rhodians in the senate at that time, he evaded and eluded by a brilliant and all but inspired mode of reply. 49 I shall give Cato's very words,29 since Tiro has passed them by: 50 "They say that the Rhodians are arrogant, bringing a charge against them which I should on no account wish to have brought against me and my children. Suppose they are arrogant. What is that to us? p31Are you to be angry merely because someone is more arrogant than we are?" 51 Absolutely nothing could be said with greater force or weight than this apostrophe against men proud of their deeds, loving pride in themselves, but condemning it in others.

52 It is further to be observed that throughout that speech of Cato's recourse is had to every weapon and device of the art rhetorical; but we are not conscious of their use, as we are in mock combats or in battles feigned for the sake of entertainment. For the case was not pleaded, I say, with an excess of refinement, elegance and observance of rule, but just as in a doubtful battle, when the troops are scattered, the contest rages in many parts of the field with uncertain outcome, so in that case at that time, when the notorious arrogance of the Rhodians had aroused the hatred and hostility of many men, Cato used every method of protection and defence without discrimination, at one time commending the Rhodians as of the highest merit, again exculpating them and declaring them blameless, yet again demanding that their property and riches should not be coveted, now asking for their pardon as if they were in the wrong, now pointing out their friendship to the commonwealth, appealing now to clemency, now to the mercy shown by our forefathers, now to the public interest. 53 All this might perhaps have been said in a more orderly and euphonic style, yet I do not believe that it could have been said with greater vigour and vividness. 54 It was therefore unfair of Tullius Tiro to single out from all the qualities of so rich a speech, apt in their connection with one another, a small and bare part to criticize, by asserting that it was not worthy p33of Marcus Cato to maintain that the mere desire for delinquencies that were not actually committed did not merit punishment.

55 But one will form a juster and more candid opinion of these words of mine, spoken in reply to Tullius Tiro, and judge accordingly, if one will take in hand Cato's own speech in its entirety, and will also take the trouble to look up and read the letter of Tiro to Axius. For then he will be able either to correct or confirm what I have said more truthfully and after fuller examination.

4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] What sort of slaves Caelius Sabinus, the writer on civil law, said were commonly sold with caps on their heads, and why; and what chattels were sold under a crown in the days of our forefathers; and the meaning of that same expression "under a crown."

1 Caelius Sabinus, the jurist, has written30 that it was usual, when selling slaves, to put caps on those for whom the seller assumed no responsibility. 2 He says that the reason for that custom was, that the law required that slaves of that kind be marked when offered for sale, in order that buyers might not err and be deceived; that it might not be necessary to wait for the bill of sale, but might be obvious at once what kind of slaves they were. 3 "Just so," he says, "in ancient times slaves taken by right of conquest were sold wearing garlands, and hence were said to be sold 'under a crown.' For as the crown was a sign that those who were being sold were captives, so a cap upon the head indicated that slaves were being sold for whom the seller gave the buyer no guarantee."

p35 4 There is, however, another explanation of the reason for the common saying that captives were sold "under a crown" namely, because a guard of soldiers stood around the bands of prisoners that were offered for sale, and such a ring of soldiers was called corona. 5 But that the reason which I first gave is the more probable one is made clear by Marcus Cato in the book which he wrote On Military Science.

Cato's words are as follows:31 "That the people may rather crown themselves and go to offer thanks for success gained through their own efforts than be crowned and sold because of ill-success."

5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A noteworthy story about the actor Polus.32

1 There was in the land of Greece an actor of wide reputation, who excelled all others in his clear delivery and graceful action. 2 They say that his name was Polus, and he often acted the tragedies of famous poets with intelligence and dignity. 3 This Polus lost by death a son whom he dearly loved. 4 After he felt that he had indulged his grief sufficiently, he returned to the practice of his profession.

5 At that time he was to act the Electra of Sophocles at Athens, and it was his part to carry an urn which was supposed to contain the ashes of Orestes. 6 The plot of the play requires that Electra, who is represented as p37carrying her brother's remains, should lament and bewail the fate that she believed had overtaken him. 7 Accordingly Polus, clad in the mourning garb of Electra, took from the tomb the ashes and urn of his son, embraced them as if they were those of Orestes, and filled the whole place, not with the appearance and imitation of sorrow, but with genuine grief and unfeigned lamentation. 8 Therefore, while it seemed that a play was being acted, it was in fact real grief that was enacted.

6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] What Aristotle wrote of the congenital absence of some of the senses.

1 Nature has given five senses to living beings; sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell, called by the Greeks αἰσθήσεις.a Of these some animals lack one and some another, being born into the world blind, or without the sense of smell or hearing. 2 But Aristotle asserts that no animal is born without sense of taste or of touch.

3 His own words, from the book which he wrote On Memory, are as follows:33 "Except for some imperfect animals, all have taste or touch."

p39 7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Whether affatim, like admodum, should be pronounced with an acute accent on the first syllable; with some painstaking observations on the accents of other words.

1 The poet Annianus,34 in addition to his charming personality, was highly skilled in ancient literature and literary criticism, and conversed with remarkable grace and learning. 2 He pronounced affatim, as he did admodum, with an acute accent35 on the first, and not on the medial, syllable; and he believed that the ancients so pronounced the word. 3 He adds that in his hearing the grammarian Probus thus read the following lines of the Cistellaria of Plautus:36

Canst do a valiant deed? — Enough (áffatim) there be

Who can. I've no desire to be called brave,

4 and he said that the reason for that accent was that affatim was not two parts of speech, but was made up of two parts that had united to form a single word; just as also in the word which we call exadversum he thought that the second syllable should have the acute accent, because the word was one part of speech, and not two. Accordingly, he maintained that the two following verses of Terence37 ought to be read thus:

Over against (exádversum) the school to which she went

A barber had his shop.

p41 5 He added besides that the preposition ad was commonly accented when it indicated ἐπίτασις, or as we say, "emphasis," as in ádfabre, ádmodum, and ádprobe.

6 In all else, indeed, Annianus spoke aptly enough. But if he supposed that this particle was always accented when it denoted emphasis, that rule is obviously not without exceptions; 7 for when we say adpotus, adprimus, and adprime, emphasis is evident in all those words, yet it is not at all proper to pronounce the particle ad with the acute accent. 8 I must admit, however, that adprobus, which means "highly approved," ought to be accented on the first syllable. 9 Caecilius uses that word in his comedy entitled The Triumph:38

Hierocles, my friend, is a most worthy (ádprobus) youth.

10 In those words, then, which we say do not have the acute accent, is not this the reason — that the following syllable is longer by nature, and a long penult does not as a rule39 permit the accenting of the preceding syllable in words of more than two syllables? 11 But Lucius Livius in his Odyssey uses ádprimus in the sense of "by far the first" in the following line:40

And then the mighty hero, foremost of all (ádprimus), Patroclus.

12 Livius in his Odyssey too pronounces praemodum like admodum; he says41 parcentes praemodum, which means "beyond measure merciful," and praemodum is equivalent to praeter modum. And in this word, of course, the first syllable will have to have the acute accent.

p43 8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] An incredible story about a dolphin which loved a boy.

1 That dolphins are affectionate and amorous is shown, not only by ancient history, but also by tales of recent date. 2 For in the sea of Puteoli, during the reign of Augustus Caesar, as Apion has written, and some centuries before at Naupactus, as Theophrastus tells us, dolphins are positively known to have been ardently in love. 3 And they did not love those of their own kind, but had an extraordinary passion, like that of human beings, for boys of handsome figure, whom they chanced to have seen in boats or in the shoal waters near the shore.

4 I have appended the words of that learned man Apion, from the fifth book of his Egyptian History, in which he tells of an amorous dolphin and a boy who did not reject its advances, of their intimacy and play with each other, the dolphin carrying the boy and the boy bestriding the fish; and Apion declares that of all this he himself and many others were eye-witnesses. 5 "Now I myself," he writes,42 "near Dicaearchia43 saw a dolphin that fell in love with a boy called Hyacinthus. For the fish with passionate eagerness came at his call, and drawing in his fins, to avoid wounding the delicate skin of the object of his affection, carried him as if mounted upon a horse for a distance of two hundred stadia. Rome and all Italy turned out to see a fish that was under the sway of Aphrodite." 6 To this he adds a detail that is no less wonderful. "Afterwards," he says, "that same boy who was beloved by the p45dolphin fell sick and died. 7 But the lover, when he had often come to the familiar shore, and the boy, who used to await his coming at the edge of the shoal water, was nowhere to be seen, pined away from longing and died. He was found lying on the shore by those who knew the story and was buried in the same tomb with his favourite."44

9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That many early writers used peposci, memordi, pepugi, spepondi and cecurri, and not, as was afterwards customary, forms with o or u in the first syllable, and that in so doing said that they followed Greek usage; that it has further been observed that men who were neither unlearned nor obscure made from the verb descendo, not descendi, but descendidi.

1 Poposci, momordi, pupugi and cucurri seem to be the approved forms, and to‑day they are used by almost all better-educated men. 2 But Quintus Ennius in his Satires wrote memorderit with an e, and not momorderit, as follows:45

'Tis not my way, as if a dog had bit me (memorderit).

3 So too Laberius in the Galli:46

Now from my whole estate

A hundred thousand have I bitten off (memordi).

4 The same Laberius too in his Colorator:47

And when, o'er slow fire cooked, I came beneath her teeth,

Twice, thrice she bit (memordit).

p47 5 Also Publius Nigidius in his second book On Animals:48 "As when a serpent bites (memordit) one, a hen is split and placed upon the wound." 6 Likewise Plautus in the Aulularia:49

How he the man did fleece (admemordit).

7 But Plautus again, in the Trigemini, said neither praememordisse nor praemomordisse, but praemorsisse, in the following line:50

Had I not fled into your midst,

Methinks he'd bitten me (praemorsisset).

8 Atta too in the Conciliatrix says:51

A bear, he says, bit him (memordisse).

9 Valerius Antias too, in the forty-fifth book of his Annals, has left on record peposci, not poposci52 in this passage: "Finally Licinius, tribune of the commons, charged him with high treason and asked (peposcit) from the praetor Marcus Marcius a day for holding the comitia."53

10 In the same way Atta in the Aedilicia says:54

But he will be afraid, if I do prick him (pepugero).

11 Probus has noted that Aelius Tubero also, in his work dedicated to Gaius Ippius, wrote occecurrit, and he has quoted him as follows:55 "If the general form should present itself (occecurrerit)." 12 Probus also observed that Valerius Antias in the twenty-second book of his Histories wrote speponderant, and he quotes his words as follows:56 "Tiberius Gracchus, p49who had been quaestor to Gaius Mancinus in Spain, and the others who had guaranteed (speponderant) peace."

13 Now the explanation of these forms might seem to be this: since the Greeks in one form of the past tense, which they call παρακείμενον, or "perfect," commonly change the second letter of the verb to e, as φράφω γέγραφα, ποιῶ πεποίηκα, λαλῶ λελάληκα, κρατῶ κεκράτηκα, λούω λέλουκα, so accordingly mordeo makes memordi, 14 posco peposci, tendo tetendi, tango tetigi, pungo pepugi, curro cecurri, tollo tetuli, and spondeo spepondi. 15 Thus Marcus Tullius57 and Gaius Caesar58 used mordeo memordi, pungo pepugi, spondeo spepondi.

I find besides that from the verb scindo in the same way was made, not sciderat, but sciciderat. 16 Lucius Accius in the first book of his Sotadici writes sciciderat. These are his words:59

And had the eagle then, as these declare,

His bosom rent (sciciderat)?

17 Ennius too in his Melanippa says:60

When the rock he shall split (sciciderit).

*   *   *   *   *61

Valerius Antias in the seventy-fifth book of his Histories wrote these words:62 "Then, having arranged for the funeral, he went down (descendidit) to the Forum." 18 Laberius too in the Catularius wrote thus:63

I wondered how my breasts had fallen low (descendiderant).

p51 10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] As ususcapio is treated as a compound noun in the nominative case, so pignoriscapio is taken together as one word in the same case.

1 As ususcapio is treated as a compound word, in which the letter a is pronounced long, just so pignoriscapio was pronounced as one word with a long a. 2 These are the words of Cato in the first book of his Epistolary Questions:64 "Pignoriscapio, resorted to because of military pay65 which a soldier ought to receive from the public paymaster, is a word by itself."66 3 From this it is perfectly clear that one may say capio as if it were captio, in connection with both usus and pignus.

11 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That neither levitas nor nequitia has the meaning that is given to those words in ordinary conversation.

1 I observe that levitas is now generally used to denote inconsistency and changeableness, and nequitia, in the sense of craftiness and cunning. 2 But those of the men of early days who spoke properly and purely applied the term leves to those whom we now commonly call worthless and meriting no esteem. That is, they used levitas with precisely the force of vilitas, and applied the term nequam to a man of no p53importance nor worth, the sort of man that the Greeks usually call ἄσωτος (beyond recovery) or ἀκόλαστος (incorrigible).

3 One who desires examples of these words need not resort to books that are very inaccessible, but he will find them in Marcus Tullius' second Oration against Antony. 4 For when Cicero wished to indicate a kind of extreme sordidness in the life and conduct of Marcus Antonius, that he lurked in a tavern, that he drank deep until evening, and that he travelled with his face covered, so as not to be recognized — when he wished to give expression to these and similar charges against him, he said:67 "Just see the worthlessness (levitatem) of the man," as if by that reproach he branded him with all those various marks of infamy which I have mentioned. 5 But afterwards, when he had heaped upon the same Antony other scornful and opprobrious charges, he finally added "O man of no worth (nequam)! for there is no term that I can use more fittingly."

6 But from that passage of Marcus Tullius I should like to add a somewhat longer extract: "Just see the worthlessness of the man! Having come to Saxa Rubra at about the tenth hour of the day,68 he lurked in a certain low tavern, and shutting himself up there drank deep until evening. Then riding swiftly to the city in a cab, he came to his home with covered face. The doorkeeper asked: 'Who are you?' 'The bearer of a letter from Marcus,' was the reply. He was at once taken to the lady on whose account he had come,69 and handed her the letter. While she read it with tears — for it was written in amorous terms and its p55main point was this: that hereafter he would have nothing to do with that actress, that he had cast aside all his love for her and transferred it to the reader — when the woman wept still more copiously, the compassionate man could not endure it; he uncovered his face and threw himself on her neck. O man of no worth! — for I can use no more fitting term; was it, then, that your wife might unexpectedly see you, when you had surprised her by appearing as her lover, that you upset the city with terror by night and Italy with dread for many days?"

7 In a very similar way Quintus Claudius too, in the first book of his Annals, called a prodigal and wasteful life of luxury nequitia, using these words:70 "They persuade a young man from Lucania, who was born in a most exalted station, but had squandered great wealth in luxury and prodigality (nequitia)." 8 Marcus Varro in his work On the Latin Language says:71 "Just as from non and volo we have nolo, so from ne and quicquam is formed nequam, with the loss of the medial syllable." 9 Publius Africanus, speaking In his own Defence against Tiberius Asellus in the matter of a fine, thus addressed the people:72 "All the evils, shameful deeds, and crimes that men commit come from two things, malice and profligacy (nequitia). Against which charge do you defend yourself, that of malice or profligacy, or both together? If you wish to defend yourself against the charge of profligacy, well and good; if you have squandered more money on one harlot than you reported for the census as the value of all the equipment p57of your Sabine estate; if this is so, who pledges a thousand sesterces?73 If you have wasted more than a third of your patrimony and spent it on your vices; if that is so, who pledges a thousand sesterces? You do not care to defend yourself against the charge of profligacy; at least refute the charge of malice. If you have sworn falsely in set terms knowingly and deliberately; if this is so, who pledges a thousand sesterces?"

12 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Of the tunics called chiridotae; that Publius Africanus reproved Sulpicius Gallus for wearing them.

1 For a man to wear tunics coming below the arms and as far as the wrists, and almost to the fingers, was considered unbecoming in Rome and in all Latium. 2 Such tunics our countrymen called by the Greek name chiridotae (long-sleeved), and they thought that a long and full-flowing garment was not unbecoming for women only, to hide their arms and legs from sight. 3 But Roman men at first wore the toga alone without tunics; later, they had close, short tunics ending below the shoulders, the kind which the Greeks call ἐξωμίδες (sleeveless).74 4 Habituated to this older fashion, Publius Africanus, son of Paulus, a man gifted with all worthy arts and every virtue, among many other things with which he p59reproached Publius Sulpicius Gallus, an effeminate man, included this also, that he wore tunics which covered his whole hands. 5 Scipio's words are these:75 "For one who daily perfumes himself and dresses before a mirror, whose eyebrows are trimmed, who walks abroad with beard plucked out and thighs made smooth, who at banquets, though a young man, has reclined in a long-sleeved tunic on the inner side of the couch with a lover, who is fond not only of wine but of men — does anyone doubt that he does what wantons commonly do?"

6 Virgil too attacks tunics of this kind as effeminate and shameful, saying:76

Sleeves have their tunics, and their turbans, ribbons.

7 Quintus Ennius also seems to have spoken not without scorn of "the tunic-clad men" of the Carthaginians.77

13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Whom Marcus Cato calls classici or "belonging to a class," and whom infra classem or "below class."

1 Not all those men who were enrolled in the five classes78 were called classici, but only the men of the first class, who were rated at a hundred and twenty-five thousand asses or more. 2 But those of the second class and of all the other classes, who were rated at p61a smaller sum than that which I just mentioned, were called infra classem. 3 I have briefly noted this, because in connection with the speech of Marcus Cato In Support of the Voconian Law the question is often raised, what is meant by classicus and what by infra classem.

14 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Of the three literary styles; and of the three philosophers who were sent as envoys by the Athenians to the senate at Rome.

1 Both in verse and in prose there are three approved styles, which the Greeks call χαρακτῆρες and to which they have given the names of ἁδρός, ἰσχνός and μέσος. 2 We also call the one which I put first "grand," the second "plain," and the third "middle."

3 The grand style possesses dignity and richness, the plain, grace and elegance; the middle lies on the border line and partakes of the qualities of both.

4 To each of these excellent styles there are related an equal number of faulty ones, arising from unsuccessful attempts to imitate their manner and character. 5 Thus very often pompous and bombastic speakers lay claim to the grand style, the mean and bald to the plain, and the unclear and ambiguous to the middle. 6 But true and genuine Latin examples of these styles are said by Marcus Varro79 to be: Pacuvius of the grand style, Lucilius of the plain, and Terence of the middle. 7 But in early days these same three styles of speaking were exemplified in three men by Homer: the grand and rich in p63Ulysses, the elegant and restrained in Menelaus, the middle and moderate in Nestor.

8 This threefold variety is also to be observed in the three philosophers whom the Athenians sent as envoys to the senate at Rome, to persuade the senators to remit the fine which they had imposed upon the Athenians because of the sack of Oropos;80 and the fine amounted to nearly five hundred talents. 9 The philosophers in question were Carneades of the Academy, Diogenes the Stoic, and Critolaus the Peripatetic. When they were admitted to the House, they made use of Gaius Acilius, one of the senators, as interpreter; but beforehand each one of them separately, for the purpose of exhibiting his eloquence, lectured to a large company. 10 Rutilius81 and Polybius82 declare that all three aroused admiration for their oratory, each in his own style. "Carneades," they say, "spoke with a vehemence that carried you away, Critolaus with art and polish, Diogenes with restraint and sobriety."

11 Each of these styles, as I have said, is more brilliant when it is chastely and moderately adorned; when it is rouged and bepowdered, it becomes mere jugglery.

15 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] How severely thieves were punished by the laws of our forefathers; and what Mucius Scaevola wrote about that which is given or entrusted to anyone's care.

1 Labeo, in his second book On the Twelve Tables,83 wrote that cruel and severe judgments were passed p65upon theft in early times, and that Brutus used to say84 that a man was pronounced guilty of theft who had merely led an animal to another place than the one where he had been given the privilege of using it, as well as one who had driven it farther than he had bargained to do. 2 Accordingly, Quintus Scaevola, in the sixteenth book of his work On the Civil Law, wrote these words:85 "If anyone has used something that was entrusted to his care, or having borrowed anything to use, has applied it to another purpose than that for which he borrowed, he is liable for theft."

16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A passage about foreign varieties of food, copied from the satire of Marcus Varro entitled Περὶ Ἐδεσμάτων, or On Edibles; and with it some verses of Euripides, in which he assails the extravagant gluttony of luxurious men.

1 Marcus Varro, in the satire which he entitled Περὶ Ἐδεσμάτων, in verses written with great charm and cleverness, treats of exquisite elegance in banquets and viands. 2 For he has set forth and described in senarii86 the greater number of things of that kind which such gluttons seek out on land and sea.87

3 As for the verses themselves, he who has leisure may find and read them in the book which I have mentioned. 4 So far as my memory goes, these are the varieties and names of the foods surpassing all others, which a bottomless gullet has hunted out and which Varro has assailed in his satire, with the places where they are found: 5 a peacock from Samos, a woodcock from Phrygia, cranes of Media, p67a kid from Ambracia, a young tunny from Chalcedon, a lamprey from Tartessus, codfish from Pessinus, oysters from Tarentum, cockles from Sicily, a swordfish from Rhodes,88 pike from Cilicia, nuts from Thasos, dates from Egypt, acorns from Spain.

6 But this tireless gluttony, which is ever wandering about and seeking for flavours, and this eager quest for dainties from all quarters, we shall consider deserving of the greater detestation, if we recall the verses of Euripides of which the philosopher Chrysippus made frequent use,89 to the effect that gastronomic delicacies were contrived, not because of the necessary uses of life, but because of a spirit of luxury that disdains what is easily attainable because of the immoderate wantonness that springs from satiety.

7 I have thought that I ought to append the verses of Euripides:90

What things do mortals need, save two alone,

The fruits of Ceres and the cooling spring,

Which are at hand and made to nourish us?

With this abundance we are not content,

But hunt out other foods through luxury.

17 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A conversation held with a grammarian, who was full of insolence and ignorance, as to the meaning of the word obnoxius; and of the origin of that word.

1 I inquired at Rome of a certain grammarian who had the highest repute as a teacher, not indeed p69for the sake of trying or testing him, but rather from an eager desire for knowledge, what obnoxius meant and what was the origin and the history of the word. 2 And he, looking at me and ridiculing what he considered the insignificance and unfitness of the query, said: "Truly a difficult question is this that you ask, one demanding very many sleepless nights of investigation! 3 Who, pray, is so ignorant of the Latin tongue as not to know that one is called obnoxius who can be inconvenienced or injured by another, to whom he is said to be obnoxius because the other is conscious of his noxa, that is to say, of his guilt? Why not rather," said he, "drop these trifles and put questions worthy of study and discussion?"

4 Then indeed I was angry, but thinking that I ought to dissemble, since I was dealing with a fool, I said: "If, most learned sir, I need to learn and to know other things that are more abstruse and more important, when the occasion arises I shall inquire and learn them from you; but inasmuch as I have often used the word obnoxius without knowing what I was saying, I have learned from you and am now beginning to understand what not I alone, as you seem to think, was ignorant of; for as a matter of fact, Plautus too, though a man of the first rank in his use of the Latin language and in elegance of diction, did not know the meaning of obnoxius. For there is a passage of his in the Stichus which reads as follows:

By heaven! I now am utterly undone,

Not only partly so (non obnoxie).91

This does not in the least agree with what you have p71taught me; for Plautus contrasted plane and obnoxie as two opposites, which is far removed from your meaning."

5 But that grammarian retorted foolishly enough, as if obnoxius and obnoxie differed, not merely in form, but in their substance and meaning: "I gave a definition of obnoxius, not obnoxie." 6 But then I, amazed at the ignorance of the presumptuous fellow, answered, "Let us, as you wish, disregard the fact that Plautus said obnoxie, if you think that too far-fetched; 7 and let us also say nothing of the passage in Sallust's Catiline:92 'Also to threaten her with his sword, if she would not be submissive (obnoxia) to him'; 8 but explain to me this example, which is certainly more recent and more familiar. For the following lines of Virgil's are very well known:93

For now the stars' bright sheen is seen undimmed.

The rising Moon owes naught (nec . . . obnoxia) to brother's rays;

9 but you say that it means 'conscious of her guilt.' In another place too Virgil uses this word with a meaning different from yours, in these lines:94

What joy the fields to view

That owe no debt (non obnoxia) to hoe or care of man.

For care is generally a benefit to fields, not an injury, as it would be according to your definition of obnoxius. 10 Furthermore, how can what Quintus Ennius writes in the following verses from the Phoenix95 agree with you:

p73 'Tis meet a man should live inspired by courage true,

In conscious innocence should boldly challenge foes.

True freedom his who bears a pure and steadfast heart,

All else less import has (obnoxiosae) and lurks in gloomy night"?

11 But our grammarian, with open mouth as if in a dream, said: "Just now I have no time to spare. When I have leisure, come to see me and learn what Virgil, Plautus, Sallust and Ennius meant by that word."

12 So saying that fool made off; but in case anyone should wish to investigate, not only the origin of this word, but also its variety of meaning, in order that he may take into consideration this Plautine use also, I have quoted the following lines from the Asinaria:96

He'll join with me and hatch the biggest jubilee,

Stuff'd with most joy, for son and father too.

For life they both shall be in debt (obnoxii) to both of us,

By our services fast bound.

13 Now, in the definition which that grammarian gave, he seems in a word of such manifold content to have noted only one of its uses — a use, it is true, which agrees with that of Caecilius in these verses of the Chrysium:97

Although I come to you attracted by your pay,

Don't think that I for that am subject to your will (tibi . . . obnoxium);

If you speak ill of me, you'll hear a like reply.

p75 18 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On the strict observance by the Romans of the sanctity of an oath; and also the story of the ten prisoners whom Hannibal sent to Rome under oath.

1 An oath was regarded and kept by the Romans as something inviolable and sacred. This is evident from many of their customs and laws, and this tale which I shall tell may be regarded as no slight support of the truth of the statement. 2 After the battle of Cannae Hannibal, commander of the Carthaginians, selected ten Roman prisoners and sent them to the city, instructing them and agreeing that, if it seemed good to the Roman people, there should be an exchange of prisoners, and that for each captive that one side should receive in excess of the other side, there should be paid a pound and a half of silver. 3 Before they left, he compelled them to take oath that they would return to the Punic camp, if the Romans would not agree to an exchange.

4 The ten captives come to Rome. 5 They deliver the message of the Punic commander in the senate. 6 The senate refused an exchange. 7 The parents, kinsfolk and connexions of the prisoners amid embraces declared that they had returned to their native land in accordance with the law of postliminium,98 and that their condition of independence was complete and inviolate; they therefore besought them not to think of returning to the enemy. 8 Then eight of their number rejoined that they had no just right of postliminium, since they were bound by an oath, and they at once went back to Hannibal, as they had sworn to do. 9 The other two remained p77in Rome, declaring that they had been released and freed from their obligation because, after leaving the enemy's camp, they had returned to it as if for some chance reason, but really with intent to deceive, and having thus kept the letter of the oath, they had come away again unsworn. 10 This dishonourable cleverness of theirs was considered so shameful, that they were generally despised and reprobated; and later the censors punished them with all possible fines and marks of disgrace, on the ground that they had not done what they had sworn to do.

11 Furthermore Cornelius Nepos, in the fifth book of his Examples,99 has recorded also that many of the senators recommended that those who refused to return should be sent to Hannibal under guard, but that the motion was defeated by a majority of dissentients. He adds that, in spite of this, those who had not returned to Hannibal were so infamous and hated that they became tired of life and committed suicide.

19 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A story, taken from the annals, about Tiberius Gracchus, tribune of the commons and father of the Gracchi; and also an exact quotation of the decrees of the tribunes.

1 A fine, noble and generous action of Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus is recorded in the Examples.100 2 It runs as follows: Gaius Minucius Augurinus, tribune of the commons, imposed a fine on Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, brother of Scipio Africanus the elder,101 and demanded that he should give security p79for its payment. 3 Scipio Africanus appealed to the college of tribunes on behalf of his brother, asking them to defend against the violent measures of their colleague a man who had been consul and had celebrated a triumph. 4 Having heard the case, eight102 of the tribunes rendered a decision.

5 The words of their decree, which I have quoted, are taken from the records of the annals: "Whereas Publius Scipio Africanus has asked us to protect his brother, Lucius Scipio Asiaticus, against the violent measures of one of our colleagues, in that, contrary to the laws and the customs of our forefathers, that tribune of the commons, having illegally convened an assembly without consulting the auspices, pronounced sentence upon him and imposed an unprecedented fine, and compels him to furnish security for its payment, or if he does not do so, orders that he be imprisoned; and whereas, on the other hand, our colleague has demanded that we should not interfere with him in the exercise of his legal authority — our unanimous decision in this matter is as follows: If Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus will furnish security in accordance with the decision of our colleague, we will forbid our colleague to take him to prison; but if he shall not furnish the securities in accordance with our colleague's decision, we will not interfere with our colleague in the exercise of his lawful authority."

6 After this decree, Lucius Scipio refused to give security and the tribune Augurinus ordered him to be arrested and taken to prison. Thereupon Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, one of the tribunes of the commons and father of Tiberius and Gaius p81Gracchus, although he was a bitter personal enemy of Publius Scipio Africanus because of numerous disagreements on political questions, publicly made oath that he had not been reconciled with Publius Africanus nor become his friend, and then read a decree which he had written out.

7 That decree ran as follows: "Whereas Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus, during the celebration of a triumph, cast the leaders of the enemy into prison, it seems contrary to the dignity of our country that the Roman people's commander should be consigned to the same place to which he had committed the leaders of the enemy; therefore I forbid my colleague to take violent measures towards Lucius Scipio Asiaticus."

8 But Valerius Antias, contradicting this record of the decrees and the testimony of the ancient annals, has said103 that it was after the death of Africanus that Tiberius Gracchus interposed that veto in behalf of Scipio Asiaticus; also that Scipio was not fined, but that being convicted of embezzlement of the money taken from Antiochus and refusing to give bail, was just being taken to prison when he was saved by this veto of Gracchus.

20 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That Virgil removed Nola from one of his lines and substituted ora because the inhabitants of Nola had refused him water; and also some additional notes on the agreeable euphony of vowels.

1 I have found it noted in a certain commentary that the following lines were first read and published by Virgil in this form:104

p83 Such is the soil that wealthy Capua ploughs

And Nola near Vesuvius' height.

That afterwards Virgil asked the people of Nola to allow him to run their city water into his estate, which was near by, but that they refused to grant the favour which he asked; that thereupon the offended poet erased the name of their city from his poem, as if consigning it to oblivion, changing from Nola to ora (region) and leaving the phrase in this form:

The region near Vesuvius' height.

2 With the truth or falsity of this note I am not concerned; but there is no doubt that ora has a more agreeable and musical sound than Nola. 3 For the last vowel in the first line and the first vowel in the following line being the same, the sound is prolonged by an hiatus that is at the same time melodious and pleasing. 4 Indeed, it is possible to find in famous poets many instances of such melody, which appears to be the result of art rather than accident; but in Homer they are more frequent than in all other poets. 5 In fact, in one single passage he introduces a number of sounds of such a nature, and with such an hiatus, in a series of successive words; for example:105

The other fountain e'en in summer flows,

Like upon hail, chill snow, or crystal ice,106

and similarly in another place:107

Up to the top he pushed (ἄνω ὤθεσκε) the stone.

6 Catullus too, the most graceful of poets, in the following verses,108

p85

Boy, who servest old Falernian,

Pour out stronger cups for me,

Following queen109 Postumia's mandate,

Tipsier she than tipsy grape,

although he might have said ebrio, and used acinum in the neuter gender, as was more usual, nevertheless through love of the melody of that Homeric hiatus he said ebria, because it blended with the following a. But those who think that Catullus wrote ebriosa or ebrioso — for that incorrect reading is also found — have unquestionably happened upon editions copied from corrupt texts.

21 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Why it is that the phrases quoad vivet and quoad morietur indicate the very same time, although based upon opposite things.

1 When the expressions quoad vivet, or "so long as he shall live," and quoad morietur, or "until he shall die," are used, two opposite things really seem to be said, but the two expressions indicate one and the same time. 2 Also when we say "as long as the senate shall be in session," and "until the senate shall adjourn," although "be in session" and "adjourn" are opposites, yet one and the same idea is expressed by both phrases. 3 For when two periods of time are opposed to each other and yet are so connected that the end of one coincides with the beginning of the other, it makes no difference whether the exact point of their meeting is designated by the end of the first period or the beginning of the second.

p87 22 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On the custom of the censors of taking their horse from corpulent and excessively fat knights; and the question whether such action also involved degradation or left them their rank as knights.

1 The censors used to take his horse from a man who was too fat and corpulent, evidently because they thought that so heavy a person was unfit to perform the duties of a knight. 2 For this was not a punishment, as some think, but the knight was relieved of duty without loss of rank. 3 Yet Cato, in the speech which he wrote On Neglecting Sacrifice,110 makes such an occurrence a somewhat serious charge, thus apparently indicating that it was attended with disgrace. 4 If you understand that to have been the case, you must certainly assume that it was because a man was not looked upon as wholly free from the reproach of slothfulness, if his body had bulked and swollen to such unwieldy dimensions.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Fr. 2, Peter2.

2 Fr. 4, Peter2; p37, Bunte.

3 A similar story is told of Augustus (Suet. Aug. XCIV.4) as well as of Alexander the Great (§ 1 and Livy, XXVI.19.7).

4 At Zama, 202 B.C.

5 As well as Alexander and Augustus; see note 3.

6 The name Capitolium was applied to the southern summit of the Capitoline Hill, and also to the temple of Juppiter Optimus Maximus. The temple contained three shrines, to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva.

7 The temple was guarded at night by dogs, as were doubtless other similar places, and as it is said that the ruins of Pompeii are to‑day. Geese were also used for the purpose; see Cic. pro Sex. Rosc. 56, anseribus cibaria publice locantur et canes aluntur in Capitolio, ut significent, si fures venerint.

8 According to Valerius Maximus, III.7.1, the town was Badia.

9 381 ff., Vahlen2.

10 Antiochus did not follow Hannibal's advice and suffered a crushing defeat at Thermopylae in 191 B.C.

11 The interrogative quem would be stressed (have "an acute accent"), while the relative quem would not (i.e., would have a grave accent).

12 The second Macedonian war, 171‑168 B.C. The Rhodians sided with the Romans until 169 B.C., when they sent envoys to the Roman head-quarters and to the senate, declaring that they would no longer tolerate a war which injured their traffic with Macedonia and diminished their revenues; that they were disposed to declare war against the party which should refuse to make peace, and that they had already formed an alliance with Crete and with the Asiatic cities. The Romans, who had in the past treated the Rhodians with special favour, were indignant and glad of the opportunity to humble the presumptuous State. When it was proposed in the senate to declare war upon Rhodes, the Rhodians resorted to every means of placating the Romans. Cato pleaded their cause, pointing out that they had committed no offence, unless the Romans wished to punish mere wishes and thoughts. His words, however, were in vain. The senate deprived the Rhodians of their possessions on the mainland and humiliated them in other ways. Alliance with Rhodes was not renewed until 164 B.C., and then only after many entreaties.

13 p9, Lion.

14 Origines, V.1, Jordan.

15 Origines, V.2, Jordan.

16 That is, towards the welfare of the State. Tiro seems to be making a word-play, using benivolos and benivolentiam in the same sense, but with a different application.

17 Cf. I.6.6.

18 V.3, Jordan.

19 An enthymeme in logic was an argument consisting of two propositions, the antecedent and its consequence.

20 1169, Marx.

21 Fr. 451, Nauck2.

22 Defined by Cicero, Topica, 42 f., as inductio, or an inductive argument, with examples; see also §§ 45‑47, below.

23 V.4, Jordan.

24 V.5, Jordan.

25 The law provided that a man should not be fined in a sum greater than half his property.

26 This was forbidden by a Licinian Law, passed in 367 B.C.; the iuger was really about two-thirds of an acre. Another Licinian Law provided that no one should pasture more than 100 head of cattle, or 500 of smaller animals, on the public lands. The number, and the amount of the fine, are here expressed indefinitely.

27 V.6, Jordan.

28 That is, the Licinian Law of C. Licinius Stolo.

29 V.7, Jordan.

30 Fr. 2, Huschke; De Manc. fr. 19, Bremer.

31 Fr. 2, Jordan, p80.

32 On this famous tragic actor see O'Connor, Chapters in the History of Actors and Acting in Ancient Greece (Princeton dissertation, 1908), pp128 ff. He flourished toward the end of the fourth century B.C.

33 Περὶ Ὕπνου or On Sleep, 2. Gellius is mistaken in his title.

34 One of the few poets of Hadrian's time. He wrote Falisca, on rural life, and Fescennini. Like other poets of his time, he was fond of unusual metres; see Gr. Lat. VI.122, 12, K.

35 This seems to mean no more than "accent"; see note 2, p9, above.

36 231.

37 Phormio, 88.

38 228, Ribbeck3.

39 Gellius is perhaps thinking of such exceptions as éxinde and súbinde, in which however the penult is not long by nature, but by position.

40 Fr. 11, Bährens.

41 Fr. 29, Bährens.

42 F. H. G. III.510.

43 The early Greek name of Puteoli.

44 With this story cf. Pliny, Epist. IX.33.

45 63, Vahlen2.

46 49, Ribbeck3.

47 27, Ribbeck3.

48 Fr. 112, Swoboda.

49 Fr. 2, p95, Götz.

50 120, Götz.

51 6, Ribbeck3.

52 Fr. 60, Peter2.

53 The trial was held before the comitia centuriata.

54 Fr. 2, Ribbeck3.

55 Fr. 2, Huschke; I p367, Bremer.

56 Fr. 57, Peter2.

57 Fr. 14, p1060, Orelli2.

58 ii. p158, Dinter.

59 Fr. I.2, Müller; 8, Bährens.

60 252, Ribbeck3.

61 There is evidently a lacuna here.

62 Fr. 62, Peter2.

63 19, Ribbeck3.

64 p. cviii, Jordan. It should be Varro rather than Cato.

65 That is, pay in arrears.

66 Ususcapio or usucapio is a "taking," or claim to possession, by right of actual tenure (usus); pignoriscapio is a seizure of goods. On the latter see Mommsen, Staatsrecht, I3, p160, and cf. Suet. Jul. XVII.2. The a is not long in either word, but has the accent, which may be what Gellius means.

67 Phil. II.77.

68 About four o'clock in the afternoon.

69 His wife, Fulvia.

70 Fr. 15, Peter2.

71 X.5.81.

72 O.R.F., p183, Meyer2.

73 The lexicons and commentators define the sponsio as a "legal wager," in which the two parties to a suit put up a sum of money, which was forfeited by the one who lost the case; and they cite Gaius, Inst. IV.93. But in IV.94 Gaius says that only one party pledged a sum of money (unde etiam is, cum quo agetur, non restipulabatur), that it was merely a preliminary to legal action, and that the sum was not forfeited (non tamen haec summa sponsionis exigitur; nec enim poenalis sed praeiudicialis, et propter hoc solum fit, ut per eam de re iudicetur). Wagers, however, were common: see Plaut. Pers. 186 ff.; Cas. prol. 75; Catull. 44.4; Ovid, Ars Amat. I.168.

74 More literally, "leaving the shoulders bare."

75 O.R.F., p181, Meyer2.

76 Aen. IX.616.

77 Ann. 325, Vahlen2.

78 The five classes into which the Roman citizens were divided by the constitution attributed to Servius Tullius. The division was for military purposes and was made on the basis of a property qualification.

79 Fr. 80, Wilmanns.

80 The embassy was sent in 155 B.C. Plutarch, Cat. Mai.

81 Fr. 3, Peter2.

82 XXXIII.2, p1287H.

83 Fr. 23, Huschke; 1, Bremer.

84 Resp. 6, Bremer.

85 Fr. 2, Huschke; Iur. Civ. xvi.1, Bremer (I, p97).

86 That is, iambic trimeters, consisting of six iambic feet.

87 Fr. 403, Bücheler.

88 Or perhaps a sturgeon; the identification of some of these beasts and fish is very uncertain.

89 p344, Baguet.

90 Fr. 884, Nauck2.

91 497. Cf. Salmasius, ad loc., obnoxie perire dicitur, qui non plane nec funditus perit, sed aliquam spem salutis habet. Cf. Poen. 787; Amph. 372.

92 xxiii.3.

93 Georg. I.395‑6.

94 Georg. II.438.

95 257 ff., Ribbeck3.

96 282.

97 21, Ribbeck3.

98 Recovery of civic rights by a person who has been reduced to slavery by capture in war, Pomponius, Dig. XLIX.15.5, and 19.

99 Corn. Nepos, Ex. fr. 2, Peter2.

100 Nepos, Ex., fr. 3, Peter2.

101 The famous conqueror of Hannibal at Zama in 202 B.C. He served as legatus under his brother in the war against Antiochus, in 190 B.C.

102 At this period there were ten tribunes; Augurinus and Gracchus were the other two.

103 Page 267 note, Peter2.

104 Georg. II.244 f.

105 Iliad XXII.151.

106 The instances referred to are προρέει εἰκυῖα, χαλάζῃ ἢ, and ψυχρῇ ἢ.

107 Odyss. XI.596.

108 XXVII.1.

109 Postumia is the magistra bibendi, who regulated the proportion of wine and water and the size of the cups, and imposed penalties for breaking her rules. Cf. Hor. Odes, I.4.18.

110 xviii.5, Jord.


Thayer's Note:

a The translation is ambiguous and misleading. It would have been better to write: five senses, called by the Greeks αἰσθήσεις, to living beings; sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.


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