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Book VIII

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 X

(Vol. II) Gellius
Attic Nights

p153 Book IX

1 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Why Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius, in the nineteenth book of his Annals, wrote that missiles hit their mark more accurately and surely if they are hurled from below, than if they are hurled from above.

1 When Quintus Claudius, in the nineteenth book of his Annals, was describing an attack upon a town by the proconsul Metellus, and its defence against him by the townspeople from the top of the walls, he wrote these words:1 "The archers and slingers on both sides showered their weapons with the utmost vigour and courage. But there is this difference between shooting an arrow or a stone downward or upward; for neither missile can be discharged accurately downward, but both upwards with excellent effect. Therefore the soldiers of Metellus suffered far fewer wounds, and, what was of the greatest importance, they very easily drove the enemy back from the battlements by means of their slingers."

2 I asked Antonius Julianus, the rhetorician, why what Quadrigarius had said was so; namely, that the shots of missiles are closer and more accurate if you discharge a stone or an arrow upwards rather than downwards, in spite of the fact that a throw from above downward is swifter and easier than one in the opposite direction. 3 Then p155Julianus, after commending the character of the question, said: "His statement about an arrow and a stone may be made about almost any missile weapon. 4 But, as you have said, throwing is easier if you throw downwards, provided you wish only to throw, and not to hit a mark. 5 But when the direction and force of the throw must be regulated and guided, then, if you are throwing downwards, the control and command of the marksman are impaired by the downward impulse itself, such as it is, and by the weight of the falling missile. 6 But if you throw your weapon upwards, and direct hand and eye to hitting something above you, the missile which you have hurled will go to the spot to which the impulse which you have given bears it." 7 It was to this general effect that Julianus chatted with us about those words of Quintus Claudius.

8 With regard to the remark of the same Claudius, "they very easily drove the enemy from the battlements," it must be observed that he used the word defendebant, not in the sense which it commonly has, but yet quite properly and in accordance with good Latin usage. 9 For defendere and offendere are opposed to each other, the latter meaning ἐμποδὼν ἔχειν, that is, "to run against something and fall upon it," the former, ἐκποδὼν ποιεῖν, that is, "to avert and drive away"; and the latter is Claudius' meaning in this passage.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] In what terms Herodes Atticus reproved a man who in appearance and dress falsely laid claim to the title and character of philosopher.

1 To Herodes Atticus, the ex-consul, renowned for his personal charm and his Grecian eloquence, there p157once came, when I was present, a man in a cloak, with long hair and a beard that reached almost to his waist, and asked that money be given him εἰς ἄρτους, that is, "for bread." 2 Then Herodes asked him who on earth he was, 3 and the man, with anger in his voice and expression, replied that he was a philosopher, adding that he wondered why Herodes thought it necessary to ask what was obvious. 4 "I see," said Herodes, "a beard and a cloak; the philosopher I do not yet see. 5 Now, I pray you, be so good as to tell me by what evidence you think we may recognize you as a philosopher." 6 Meanwhile some of Herodes' companions told him that the fellow was a vagabond of worthless character, who frequented foul dives and was in the habit of being shamefully abusive if he did not get what he demanded. 7 Thereupon Herodes said: "Let us give him some money, whatever his character may be, not because he is a man, but because we are men," and he ordered enough money to be given him to buy bread for thirty days.

8 Then, turning to those of us who were with him, he said: "Musonius2 ordered a thousand sesterces to be given to a fakir of this sort who posed as a philosopher, and when several told him that the fellow was a rascal and knave and deserving of nothing good, Musonius, they say, replied with a smile: ἄξιος οὖν ἐστὶν ἀργυρίου, 'then he deserves money.' 9 But," said Herodes, "it is rather this that causes me resentment and vexation, that foul and evil beasts of this sort usurp a most sacred name and call themselves philosophers. 10 Now, my ancestors the Athenians by public decree made it unlawful for slaves ever to be given the names of those valiant youths Harmodius p159and Aristogeiton, who to restore liberty tried to slay the tyrant Hippias;3 for they thought it impious for the names of men who had sacrificed themselves for their country's freedom to be disgraced by contact with slavery. 11 Why then do we allow the glorious title of philosopher to be defiled in the person of the basest of men? Moreover," said he, "I hear that the early Romans, setting a similar example in a case of the opposite nature, voted that the forenames of certain patricians who had deserved ill of their country and for that reason had been condemned to death should never be given to any patrician of the same clan, in order that their very names might seem to be dishonoured and done to death, as well as the malefactors themselves."4

3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A letter of king Philip to the philosopher Aristotle with regard to the recent birth of his son Alexander.

1 Philip, son of Amyntas, was king of the land of Macedonia. Through his valour and energy the Macedonians had greatly increased and enriched their kingdom, and had begun to extend their power over many nations and peoples, so that Demosthenes, in those famous orations and addresses,5 insists that his power and arms are to be feared and dreaded by all Greece. 2 This Philip, although most constantly busied and distracted by the labours and triumphs of war, yet never was a stranger to the Muse of the liberal arts and the pursuit of culture, but his p161acts and words never lacked charm and refinement. 3 In fact collections of his letters are in circulation, which abound in elegance, grace, and wisdom, as for example, the one in which he announced to the philosopher Aristotle the birth of his son Alexander.6

4 Since this letter is an encouragement to care and attention in the education of children, I thought that it ought to be quoted in full, as an admonition to parents. 5 It may be translated, then, about as follows:

"Philip to Aristotle, Greeting.

"Know that a son is born to me. For this indeed I thank the gods, not so much because he is born, as because it is his good fortune to be born during your lifetime. For I hope that as a result of your training and instruction he will prove worthy of us and of succeeding to our kingdom."

6 But Philip's own words are these:

Φίλιππος Ἀριστοτέλει χαίρειν.

Ἴσθι μοι γεγονότα υἱόν. πολλὴν οὖν τοῖς θεοῖς ἔχω χάριν, οὐχ οὕτως ἐπὶ τῇ γενέσει τοῦ παιδός, ὡς ἐπὶ τῷ κατὰ σὴν ἡλικίαν αὐτὸν γεγονέναι· ἐλπίζω γάρ αὐτὸν ὑπὸ σοῦ τραφέντα καὶ παιδευθέντα ἄξιον ἔσεσθαι καὶ ἡμῶν καὶ τῆς τῶν πραγμάτων διαδοχῆς.

4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On some extraordinary marvels found among barbarian peoples; and on awful and deadly spells; and also on the sudden change of women into men.

1 When I was returning from Greece to Italy and had come to Brundisium, after disembarking I was p163strolling about in that famous port, which Quintus Ennius called praepes, or "propitious,"7 using an epithet that is somewhat far-fetched, but altogether apt. There I saw some bundles of books exposed for sale, 2 and I at once eagerly hurried to them. 3 Now, all those books were in Greek, filled with marvellous tales, things unheard of, incredible; but the writers were ancient and of no mean authority: Aristeas of Proconnesus, Isigonus of Nicaea, Ctesias and Onesicritus, Philostephanus and Hegesias.8 4 The volumes themselves, however, were filthy from long neglect, in bad condition and unsightly. 5 Nevertheless, I drew near and asked their price; then, attracted by their extraordinary and unexpected cheapness, I bought a large number of them for a small sum, and ran through all of them hastily in the course of the next two nights. As I read, I culled from them, and noted down, some things that were remarkable and for the most part unmentioned by our native writers; these I have inserted here and there in these notes, so that whoever shall read them may not be found to be wholly ignorant and ἀνήκοος, or "uninstructed," when hearing tales of that kind.

6 Those books, then, contained matter of the following sort: that the most remote of the Scythians, who pass their life in the far north, eat human flesh and subsist on the nourishment of that food, and are called ἀνθρωποφάγοι, or "cannibals." Also that there are men in the same latitude having one eye in the middle of the forehead and called Arimaspi, who are of the appearance that the poets give the Cyclopes.9 That there are also in the same region p165other men, of marvellous swiftness, whose feet are turned backwards and do not point forward, as in the rest of mankind.10 Further, that it was handed down by tradition that in a distant land called Albania men are born whose hair turns white in childhood and who see better by night than in the daytime. That it was also a matter of assured belief that the Sauromatae, who dwell far away beyond the river Borysthenes, take food only every other day11 and fast on the intervening day.

7 In those same books I ran upon this statement too, which I later read also in the seventh book of the Natural History of Plinius Secundus,12 that in the land of Africa there are families of persons who work spells by voice and tongue; 8 for if they should chance to have bestowed extravagant praise upon beautiful trees, plentiful crops, charming children, fine horses, flocks that are well fed and in good condition, suddenly, for no other cause than this, all these would die. That with the eyes too a deadly spell is cast, is written in those same books, and it is said that there are persons among the Illyrians who by their gaze kill those at whom they have looked for some time in anger; and that those persons themselves, both men and women, who possess this power of harmful gaze, have two pupils in each eye. 9 Also that in the mountains of the land of India there are men who have the heads of dogs, and bark, and that they feed upon birds and wild animals which they have taken in the chase. That in the remotest lands of the east too there are p167other marvellous men called monocoli, or "one-legged," who run by hopping with their single leg and are of a most lively swiftness.13 And that there are also some others who are without necks and have eyes in their shoulders. 10 But all bounds of wonder are passed by the statement of those same writers, that there is a tribe in farthest India with bodies that are rough and covered with feathers like birds, who eat no food but live by inhaling the perfume of flowers. 11 And that not far from these people is the land of Pygmies, the tallest of whom are not more than two feet and a quarter in height.

12 These and many other stories of the kind I read; but when writing them down, I was seized with disgust for such worthless writings, which contribute nothing to the enrichment or profit of life. 13 Nevertheless, the fancy took me to add to this collection of marvels a thing which Plinius Secundus, a man of high authority in his day and generation by reason of his talent and his position, recorded in the seventh book of his Natural History,14 not as something that he had heard or read, but that he knew to be true and had himself seen. 14 The words therefore which I have quoted below are his own, taken from that book, and they certainly make us hesitate to reject or ridicule that familiar yarn of the poets of old about Caenis and Caeneus.15 15 He says that the change of women into men is not a fiction. "We find," says he, "in the annals that in the consulship of Quintus Licinius Crassus and Gaius Cassius Longinus16 a girl at Casinum was changed into a boy in the house of her parents and by direction of the diviners was deported to a desert island. Licinius Mucianus has stated p169that he saw at Argos one Arescontes, whose name had been Arescusa; that she had even been married, but presently grew a beard, became a man, and had taken a wife: and that at Smyrna also he had seen a boy who had experienced the same change. I myself in Africa saw Lucius Cossutius, a citizen of Thysdrus, who had been changed into a man on his wedding day and was still living when I wrote this."

16 Pliny also wrote this in the same book:17 'There are persons who from birth are bisexual, whom we call 'hermaphrodites'; they were formerly termed androgyni and regarded as prodigies, but now are instruments of pleasure."

5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Diverse views of eminent philosophers as to the nature and character of pleasure; and the words in which the philosopher Hierocles attacked the principles of Epicurus.

1 As to pleasure the philosophers of old expressed varying opinions. 2 Epicurus makes pleasure the highest good, but defines it18 as σαρκὸς εὐσταθὲς κατάστημα, or "a well-balanced condition of body." 3 Antisthenes the Socratic calls it the greatest evil; for this is the expression he uses:19 μανείην μᾶλλον ἢ ἡσθείην; that is to say, "may I go mad rather than feel pleasure." 4 Speusippus and all the old Academy declare20 that pleasure and pain are two evils opposed to each other, but that what lay midway between the two was the good. 5 Zeno thought21 that pleasure was indifferent, that is neutral, neither good nor evil, that, p171namely, which he called by the Greek term ἀδιάφορον. 6 Critolaus the Peripatetic declares that pleasure is an evil and gives birth to many other evils: injustice, sloth, forgetfulness, and cowardice. 7 Earlier than all these Plato discoursed in so many and varied ways about pleasure, that all those opinions which I have set forth may seem to have flowed from the founts of his discourses; for he makes use of each one of them according to the suggestion offered by the nature of pleasure itself, which is manifold, and according to the demands made by the character of the topics which he is treating and of the effect that he wishes to produce. 8 But our countryman Taurus, whenever mention was made of Epicurus, always had on his lips and tongue these words of Hierocles the Stoic, a man of righteousness and dignity: "Pleasure an end, a harlot's creed; there is no Providence, not even a harlot's creed."

6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] With what quantity the first syllable of the frequentative verb from ago should be pronounced.

1 From ago and egi are derived the verbs actito and actitavi, which the grammarians call "frequentatives."22 2 These verbs I have heard some men, and those not without learning, pronounce with a shortening of the first syllable, and give as their reason that the first letter of the primitive ago is pronounced short. 3 Why then do we make the first vowel long in the frequentative forms esito and unctito, which are derived from edo and ungo, in which the first letter is short; p173and on the contrary, pronounce the first vowel short in dictito from dīco? Accordingly, should not actito and actitavi rather be lengthened? For the first syllable of almost all frequentatives is pronounced in the same way as the same syllable of the past participle of the verbs from which they are formed: for example, lego lēctus makes lēctito; ungo ūnctus, ūnctito; scrībo scrīptus, scrīptito; moveo mōtus, mōtito; pendeo pēnsus, pēnsito; edo ēsus, ēsito; but dīco dĭctus forms dĭctito; gĕro gĕstus, gĕstito; vĕho vĕctus, vĕctito; răpio răptus, răptito; căpio căptus, căptito; făcio făctus, făctito. So then āctito should be pronounced with the first syllable long, since it is from ago and āctus.

7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That the leaves of the olive tree turn over at the summer and the winter solstice, and that the lyre at that same season produces sounds from other strings than those that are struck.

1 It is commonly both written and believed that at the winter and the summer solstice the leaves of olive trees turn over, and that the side which had been underneath and hidden becomes uppermost and is exposed to sight and to the sun. 2 And I myself was led to test this statement more than once, and found it to be almost exactly true.

3 But about the lyre there is an assertion that is less often made and is even more remarkable. And this both other learned men and also Suetonius Tranquillus, in the first book of his History of the Games,23 p175declare to have been fully investigated and to be generally accepted; namely, that when some strings of the lyre are struck with the fingers at the time of the winter solstice, other strings give out sound.

8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That it is inevitable that one has much should need much, with a brief and graceful aphorism of the philosopher Favorinus on that subject.

1 That is certainly true which wise men have said as the result of observation and experience, that he who has much is in need of much, and that great want arises from great abundance and not from great lack; for many things are wanted to maintain the many things that you have. 2 Whoever then, having much, desires to provide and take precaution that nothing may fail or be lacking, needs to lose, not gain, and must have less in order to want less.

3 I recall that Favorinus once, amid loud and general applause, rounded off this thought, putting it into the fewest possible words:24 "It is not possible for one who wants fifteen thousand cloaks to want more things;25 for if I want more than I possess, by taking away from what I have I shall be contented with what remains."

9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] What method should be followed in translating Greek expressions; and on those verses of Homer which Virgil is thought to have translated either well and happily or unsuccessfully.

1 Whenever striking expressions from the Greek poets are to be translated and imitated, they say that p177we should not always strive to render every single word with exact literalness. 2 For many things lose their charm if they are transplanted too forcibly — unwillingly, as it were, and reluctantly.26 3 Virgil therefore showed skill and good judgment in omitting some things and rendering others, when he was dealing with passages of Homer or Hesiod or Apollonius or Parthenius or Callimachus or Theocritus, or some other poet.

4 For example, when very recently the Bucolics of Theocritus and Virgil were being read together at table, we perceived that Virgil had omitted something that in the Greek is, to be sure, wonderfully pleasing, but neither could nor ought to have been translated. 5 But what he has substituted for that omission is almost more charming and graceful. Theocritus writes:27

But when her goatherd boy goes by you should see my Cleärist

Fling apples, and her pretty lips call pouting to be kissed.

Virgil has:28

6 My Phyllis me with pelted apples plies,

Then tripping to the woods the wanton hies,

And wishes to be seen before she flies.

7 Also in another place I notice that what was very sweet in the Greek was prudently omitted. Theocritus writes:29

O Tityrus, well-belovéd, feed my goats,

And lead them to the front, good Tityrus;

But 'ware yon buck-goat yellow, lest he butt.

p179 8 But how could Virgil reproduce τὸ καλὸν πεφιλημένε ("well-beloved"), words that, by Heaven! defy translation, but have a certain native charm? 9 He therefore omitted that expression and translated the rest very cleverly, except in using caper for Theocritus' ἐνόρχας; 10 for, according to Marcus Varro,30 a goat is called caper in Latin only after he has been castrated. Virgil's version is:31

11 Till I return — not long — feed thou my goats;

Then, Tityrus, give them a drink, but as you go,

Avoid the buck-goat's horn — the fellow butts!

12 And since I am speaking on the subject of translation, I recall hearing from pupils of Valerius Probus, a learned man and well trained in reading and estimating the ancient writings, that he used to say that Virgil had never translated Homer less successfully than in these delightful lines which Homer wrote about Nausicaa:32

As when o'er Erymanth Diana roves,

Or wide Taÿgetus' resounding groves,

A silver train the huntress queen surrounds,

Her rattling quiver from her shoulder sounds;

Fierce in the sport, along the mountain's brow

They bay the boar or chase the bounding roe;

High o'er the lawn, with more majestic pace,

Above the nymphs she treads with stately grace;

Distinguished excellence the goddess proves,

Exults Latona as the virgin moves:

With equal grace Nausicaa trod the plain,

And shone transcendent o'er the beauteous train.

This passage Virgil renders thus:33

p181 13 As on Eurotas' banks or Cynthus' heights

Diana guides her dancing bands, whose train

A thousand Oreads follow, right and left;

A quiver bears she on her shoulder fair,

And as she treads, the goddesses o'ertops;

Joys thrill Latona's silent breast.

14 First of all, they said that Probus thought that in Homer the maiden Nausicaa, playing among her girl companions in solitary places, was consistently and properly compared with Diana hunting on the mountain heights among the rural goddesses; but that Virgil had made a comparison that was by no means suitable, since Dido, walking with dignified dress and gait in the midst of a city, and surrounded by the Tyrian chiefs, "pressing on the work of her rising kingdom," as he himself says,34 can have no points of similarity corresponding with the sports and hunts of Diana. 15 Then secondly, that Homer mentions plainly and directly Diana's interest and pleasure in the chase, while Virgil, not having said a word about the goddess' hunting, merely pictures her as carrying a quiver on her shoulder, as if it were a burden or a pack. And they said that Probus was particularly surprised at this feature of Virgil's version, that while Homer's Leto rejoices with a joy that is unaffected, deep, and springing from the very depths of her heart and soul — for the words γέγηθε δέ τε φρένα Λητώ, or "Leto rejoiced in heart," mean nothing else — Virgil, on the other hand, in his attempt to imitate this, had depicted a joy that is passive, mild, slow, and as it were floating on the surface of the heart; 16 for Probus said that he did not know what else the word pertemptant could mean.35 p183Besides all this, Virgil seemed to have left out the flower of the whole passage, by giving only a faint shadow of this verse of Homer's:

And shone transcendent o'er the beauteous train.36

17 For no greater or more complete praise of beauty can be expressed than that she alone excelled where all were beautiful, that she alone was easily distinguished from all the rest.

10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The low and odious criticism with which Annaeus Cornutus befouled the lines of Virgil in which the poet with chaste reserve spoke of the intercourse of Venus and Vulcan.

1 The poet Annianus,37 and with him many other devotees of the same Muse, extolled with high and constant praise the verses of Virgil in which, while depicting and describing the conjugal union of Vulcan and Venus, an act that nature's law bids us conceal, he veiled it with a modest paraphrase. 2 For thus he wrote:38

So speaking, the desired embrace he gave,

And sinking on the bosom of his spouse,

Calm slumber then he wooed in every limb.

3 But they thought it less difficult, in speaking of such a subject, to use one or two words that suggest it by a slight and delicate hint, such as Homer's παρθενίη ζώνη, or "maiden girdle";39 λέκτροιο θεσμόν, "the right of the couch";40 and ἔργα φιλοτήσια, "love's labours";41 4 that no other than Virgil has ever spoken of those sacred mysteries of chaste intercourse in so p185many and such plain words, which yet were not licentious, but pure and honourable.

5 But Annaeus Cornutus, a man in many other respects, to be sure, lacking neither in learning nor taste, nevertheless, in the second book of the work which he compiled On Figurative Language, defamed the high praise of all that modesty by an utterly silly and odious criticism. 6 For after expressing approval of that kind of figurative language, and observing that the lines were composed with due circumspection, he added: "Virgil nevertheless was somewhat indiscreet in using the word membra."42

11 1  [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Of Valerius Corvinus and the origin of his surname.

1 There is not one of the well-known historians who has varied in telling the story of Valerius Maximus, who was called Corvinus because of the help and defence rendered him by a raven. 2 That truly remarkable event is in fact thus related in the annals:43 3 In the consulship of Lucius Furius and Appius Claudius,44 a young man of such a family45 was appointed tribune of the soldiers. 4 And at that time vast forces of Gauls had encamped in the Pomptine district, and the Roman army was being drawn up in order of battle by the consuls, who were not a little disquieted by the strength and number of the enemy. 5 Meanwhile the leader of the Gauls, a man of enormous size and stature, his armour gleaming with gold, advanced with long strides and flourishing his spear, at the same time casting haughty and contemptuous glances p187in all directions. Filled with scorn for all that he saw, he challenged anyone from the entire Roman army to come out and meet him, if he dared. 6 Thereupon, while all were wavering between fear and shame, the tribune Valerius, first obtaining the consuls' permission to fight with the Gaul who was boasting so vainly, advanced to meet him, boldly yet modestly. They meet, they halt, they were already engaging in combat. And at that moment a divine power is manifest: 7 a raven, hitherto unseen, suddenly flies to the spot, perches on the tribune's helmet, and from there begins an attack on the face and the eyes of his adversary. It flew at the Gaul, harassed him, tore his hand with its claws, obstructed his sight with its wings, and after venting its rage flew back to the tribune's helmet. 8 Thus the tribune, before the eyes of both armies, relying on his own valour and defended by the help of the bird, conquered and killed the arrogant leader of the enemy, and thus won the surname Corvinus. 9 This happened four hundred and five years after the founding of Rome.

10 To that Corvinus the deified Augustus caused a statue to be erected in his Forum.46 On the head of this statue is the figure of a raven, a reminder of the event and of the combat which I have described.

12 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On words which are used with two opposite meanings, both active and passive.

1 As the adjective formidulosus may be used both of one who fears and of one who is feared, invidiosus of p189one who envies and of one who is envied, suspiciosus of one who suspects and of one who is suspected, ambitiosus of one who courts favour and one who is courted, gratiosus also of one who gives, and of one who receives, thanks, laboriosus of one who toils and of one who causes toil — as many other words of this kind are used in both ways, so infestus too has a double meaning. 2 For he is called infestus who inflicts injury on anyone, and on the other hand he who is threatened with injury from another source is also said to be infestus.

3 But the meaning which I gave first surely needs no illustration, so many are there who use infestus in the sense of hostile and adverse; but that second meaning is less familiar and more obscure. 4 For who of the common run would readily call a man infestus to whom another is hostile? However, not only did many of the earlier writers speak in that way, but Marcus Tullius also gave the word that meaning in the speech which he wrote In Defence of Gnaeus Plancius, saying:47 5 "I were grieved, gentlemen of the jury, and keenly distressed, if this man's safety should be more endangered (infestior) for the very reason that he had protected my life and safety by his own kindliness, protection and watchfulness." 6 Accordingly, I inquired into the origin and meaning of the word and found this statement in the writings of Nigidius:48 "Infestus is derived from festinare," says he, "for one who threatens anyone, and is in hasten to attack him, and hurries eagerly to crush him; or on the other hand one whose peril and ruin are being hastened — both of these are called infestus from the urgent imminence of the injury which one is either about to inflict on someone, or to suffer."49

p191 7 Now, that no one may have to search for an example of suspiciosus, which I mentioned above, and of formidulosus in its less usual sense, Marcus Cato, On the Property of Florius, used suspiciosus as follows:50 "But except in the case of one who practised public prostitution, or had hired himself out to a procurer, even though he had been ill-famed and suspected (suspiciosus), they decided that it was unlawful to use force against the person of a freeman." 8 For in this passage Cato uses suspiciosus in the sense of "suspected," not that of "suspecting." 9 Sallust too in the Catiline uses formidulosus of one who is feared, in this passage:51 "To such men consequently no labour was unfamiliar, no region too rough or too steep, no armed foeman to be dreaded (formidulosus)."

10 Gaius Calvus also in his poems uses laboriosus, not in the ordinary sense of "one who toils," but of that on which labour is spent, saying:52

The hard and toilsome (laboriosum) country he will shun.

11 In the same way Laberius also in the Sister says:53

By Castor! sleepy (somniculosum) wine!

12 and Cinna in his poems:54

As Punic Psyllus doth55 the sleepy (somniculosam) asp.56

13 Metus also and iniuria, and some other words of the kind, may be used in this double sense; for metus hostium, "fear of the enemy," is a correct expression p193both when the enemy fear and when they are feared. 14 Thus Sallust in the first book of his History57 speaks of "the fear of Pompey," not implying that Pompey was afraid, which is the more common meaning, but that he was feared. These are Sallust's words: "That war was aroused by the fear of the victorious Pompey, who was restoring Hiempsal to his kingdom." 15 Also in another passage:58 "After the fear of the Carthaginians had been dispelled and there was leisure to engage in dissensions." 16 In the same way we speak of the "injuries," as well as of those who inflict them as of those who suffer them, and illustrations of that usage are readily found.

17 The following passage from Virgil affords a similar instance of this kind of double meaning; he says:59

Slow from Ulysses' wound,

using vulnus, not of a wound that Ulysses had suffered, but of one that he had inflicted. 18 Nescius also is used as well of one who is unknown as of one who does not know; 19 but its use in the sense of one who does not know is common, while it is rarely used of that which is unknown. 20 Ignarus has the same double application, not only to one who is ignorant, but also to one who is not known. 21 Thus Plautus in the Rudens says:60

In unknown (nesciis) realms are we where hope knows naught (nescia).61

22 And Sallust:62 "With the natural desire of mankind to visit unknown (ignara) places."

And Virgil:63

Unknown (ignarum) the Laurentine shore doth Mimas hold.

p195 13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A passage from the history of Claudius Quadrigarius, in which he pictured the combat of Manlius Torquatus, a young noble, with a hostile Gaul, who challenged the whole Roman army.

1 Titus Manlius was a man of the highest birth and of exalted rank. 2 This Manlius was given the surname Torquatus. 3 The reason for the surname, we are told, was that he wore as a decoration a golden neck-chain, a trophy taken from an enemy whom he had slain. 4 But who the enemy was, and what his nationality, how formidable his huge size, how insolent his challenge, and how the battle was fought — all this Quintus Claudius has described in the first book of his Annals with words of the utmost purity and clearness, and with the simple and unaffected charm of the old-time style. 5 When the philosopher Favorinus read this passage from that work, he used to say that his mind was stirred and affected by no less emotion and excitement than if he were himself an eye-witness of their contest.

6 I have added the words of Quintus Claudius in which that battle is pictured: 7 "In the meantime a Gaul came forward, who was naked except for a shield and two swords and the ornament of a neck-chain and bracelets; in strength and size, in youthful vigour and in courage as well, he excelled all the rest. 8 In the very height of the battle, when the two armies were fighting with the utmost ardour, he began to make signs with his hand to both sides, to cease fighting. 9 The combat ceased. 10 As soon as silence was secured, he called out in a mighty voice that if anyone wished to engage him in single combat, p197he should come forward. 11 This no one dared do, because of his huge size and savage aspect. 12 Then the Gaul began to laugh at them and to stick out his tongue. 13 This at once roused the great indignation of one Titus Manlius, a youth of the highest birth, that such an insult should be offered his country, and that no one from so great an army should accept the challenge. 14 He, as I say, stepped forth, and would not suffer Roman valour to be shamefully tarnished by a Gaul. Armed with a foot-soldier's shield and a Spanish sword, he confronted the Gaul. 15 Their meeting took place on the very bridge, in the presence of both armies, amid great apprehension. 16 Thus they confronted each other, as I said before: the Gaul, according to his method of fighting, with shield advanced and awaiting an attack; Manlius, relying on courage rather than skill, struck shield against shield, and threw the Gaul off his balance. 17 While the Gaul was trying to regain the same position, Manlius again struck shield against shield, and again forced the man to change his ground. In this fashion he slipped in under the Gaul's sword and stabbed him in the breast with his Spanish blade. Then at once with the same mode of attack he struck his adversary's right shoulder, and he did not give ground at all until he overthrew him, without giving the Gaul a chance to strike a blow. 18 After he had overthrown him, he cut off his head, tore off his neck-chain, and put it, covered with blood as it was, around his own neck. 19 Because of this act, he himself and his descendants had the surname Torquatus."64

20 From this Titus Manlius, whose battle Quadrigarius described above, all harsh and cruel commands are p199called "Manlian"; for at a later time, when he was consul in a war against the Latins, Manlius caused his own son to be beheaded, because he had been sent by his father on a scouting expedition with orders not to fight,65 and disregarding the command, had killed one of the enemy who had challenged him.

14 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That Quadrigarius also, with correct Latinity, used facies as a genitive; and some other observations on the inflection of similar words.

1 The expression that I quoted above from Quintus Claudius,66 "On account of his great size and savage aspect (facies)," I have inquired into by examining several old manuscripts, and have found it to be as I wrote it. 2 For it was in that way, as a rule, that the early writers declined the word — facies facies — whereas the rule of grammar now requires faciei as the genitive. But I did find some corrupt manuscripts in which faciei was written, with erasure of the former reading.

3 I remember too having found both facies and facii written in the same manuscript of Claudius67 in the library at Tibur. But facies was written in the text and facii, with double i, in the margin opposite; 4 nor did I regard that as inconsistent with a certain early usage; for from the nominative dies they used both dies and dii as the genitive, and from fames, both famis and fami.

p201 5 Quintus Ennius, in the sixteenthº book of his Annals, wrote dies for diei in the following verse:68

Caused by the distant time of the last day (dies).

6 Caesellius asserts that Cicero also wrote dies for diei in his oration For Publius Sestius, and after sparing no pains and inspecting several old manuscripts, I found Caesellius to be right. 7 These are the words of Marcus Tullius:69 "But the knights shall pay the penalty for that day (dies)." As a result, I readily believe those who have stated that they saw a manuscript from Virgil's own hand, in which it was written:70

When Libra71 shall make like the hours of day (dies) and sleep,

where dies is used for diei.

8 But just as in this place Virgil evidently wrote dies, so there is no doubt that he wrote dii for diei in the following line:72

As gifts for that day's (dii) merriment,

where the less learned read dei,73 doubtless shrinking from the use of so uncommon a form. 9 But the older writers declined dies dii, as they did fames fami, pernicies pernicii, progenies progenii, luxuries luxuri, acies acii. 10 For Marcus Cato in his oration On the Punic War wrote as follows:74 "The women and children were driven out because of the famine (fami causa)." 11 Lucilius in his twelfth book has:75

Wrinkled and full of hunger (fami).

p203 12 Sisenna in the sixth book of his History writes:76 "That the Romans came for the purpose of dealing destruction (pernicii)." 13 Pacuvius in the Paulus says:77

O sire supreme of our own race's (progenii) sire.

14 Gnaeus Matius in the twenty-first book of his Iliad:78

The army's (acii) other part the river's wave had shunned.

15 Again Matius in Book XXIII writes:79

Or bides in death some semblance of a form (specii)

Of those who speak no more.

16 Gaius Gracchus, On the Publishing of the Laws has:80 "They say that those measures were taken because of luxury (luxurii causa)," 17 and farther on in the same speech we find: "What is necessarily provided to sustain life is not luxury (luxuries)," 18 which shows that he used luxurii as the genitive of luxuries. 19 Marcus Tullius also has left pernicii on record, in the speech in which he defended Sextus Roscius. These are his words:81 "We think that none of these things was produced by divine will for the purpose of dealing destruction (pernicii), but by the very force and greatness of Nature." 20 We must therefore suppose that Quadrigarius wrote either facies or facii as the genitive; but I have not found the reading facie in any ancient manuscript.

21 But in the dative case those who spoke the best Latin did not use the form faciei, which is now current, but facie. 22 For example, Lucilius in his Satires:82

Which first is joined to a fair face

And youth.

p205 23 And in his seventh book:83

Who loves you, and who to your youth and charms (facie),

Plays courtier, promising to be your friend.

24 However, there are not a few who read facii in both these passages of Lucilius. 25 But Gaius Caesar, in the second book of his treatise On Analogy,84 thinks that we should use die and specie as genitive forms.

26 I have also found die in the genitive case in a manuscript of Sallust's Jugurtha of the utmost trustworthiness and of venerable age. These were the words:85 "when scarcely a tenth part of the day (die) was left." For I do not think we ought to accept such a quibble as the assertion that die is used for ex die.

15 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On the kind of debate which the Greeks call ἄπορος.

1 With the rhetorician Antonius Julianus I had withdrawn to Naples during the season of the summer holidays, wishing to escape the heat of Rome. 2 And there was there at the time a young man of the richer class studying with tutors in both languages, and trying to gain a command of Latin eloquence in order to plead at the bar in Rome; and he begged Julianus to hear one of his declamations. 3 Julianus went to hear him and I went along with him. 4 The young fellow entered the room, made some preliminary remarks in a more arrogant and presumptuous style than became his years, and then asked that subjects for debate be given him.

p207 5 There was present there with us a pupil of Julianus, a man of ready speech and good ability, who was already offended that in the hearing of man like Julianus the fellow should show such rashness and should dare to test himself in extempore speaking. 6 Therefore, to try him, he proposed a topic for debate that was not logically constructed, of the kind which the Greeks call ἄπορος, and in Latin might with some propriety be termed inexplicabile, that is, "unsolvable." 7 The subject was of this kind: "Seven judges are to hear the case of a defendant, and judgment is to be passed in accordance with the decision of a majority of their number. When the seven judges had heard the case, two decided that the defendant ought to be punished with exile; two, that he ought to be fined; the remaining three, that he should be put to death. 8 The execution of the accused is demanded according to the decision of the three judges, but he appeals."

9 As soon as the young man had heard this, without any reflection and without waiting for other subjects to be proposed, he began at once with incredible speed to reel off all sorts of principles and apply them to that same question, pouring out floods of confused and meaningless words and a torrent of verbiage. All the other members of his company, who were in the habit of listening to him, showed their delight by loud applause, but Julianus blushed and sweat from shame and embarrassment. 10 But when after many thousand lines of drivel the fellow at last came to an end and we went out, his friends and comrades followed Julianus and asked him for his opinion. 11 Whereupon Julianus very wittily replied "Don't ask me what I think; without controversy86 this young man is eloquent."

p209 16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] How Plinius Secundus, although not without learning, failed to observe and detect the fallacy in an argument of the kind that the Greeks call ἀντιστρέφον.

1 Plinius Secundus was considered the most learned man of his time. 2 He left a work, entitled For Students of Oratory, which is by no manner of means to be lightly regarded. 3 In that work he introduces much varied material that will delight the ears of the learned. 4 He also quotes a number of arguments that he regards as cleverly and skilfully urged in the course of debates. 5 For instance, he cites this argument from such a debate: " 'A brave man shall be given the reward which he desires. A man who had done a brave deed asked for the wife of another in marriage, and received her. Then the man whose wife she had been did a brave deed. He demands the return of his wife, but is refused.' 6 On the part of the second brave man, who demanded the return of his wife," says Pliny, "this elegant and plausible argument was presented: 'If the law is valid, return her to me; if it is not valid, return her.' "87 7 But it escaped Pliny's notice that this bit of reasoning, which he thought very acute, was not without the fallacy which the Greeks call ἀντιστρέφον, or "a convertible proposition." And that is a deceptive fallacy, which lies concealed under a false appearance of truth; for that very argument may just as easily be turned about and used against the same man, and might, for example, be put thus by that former husband: "If the law is valid, I do not return her; if it is not valid, I do not return her."


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Fr. 85, Peter2.

2 p132, Hense.

3 In 514 B.C. They slew Hipparchus, brother of Hippias and son of Pisistratus. Hippias was afterwards driven from the city and the tyrannicides, who had lost their lives in the attempt, received almost divine honours.

4 An example, the discarding of the forename Lucius by the Claudii, is given by Suetonius, Tib. I.2.

5 The Philippics.

6 At Pella, in 356 B.C.

7 Ann. 488, Vahlen2; cf. VII.6.6, where Gellius quotes the line and discusses the word.

8 See the Index.

9 The Arimaspi mentioned as good riders by Aeschylus, Prom. 805. Since Herodotus (IV.27; L. C. L. II, p227) says that in Scythian ἄριμα meant "one" and σποῦ, "eye," Strabo (I.2.10; L. C. L. vol. I, pp77 ff.) thought that Homer might have derived his Cyclopes from the Scythian Arimaspi. See Milton, P.L. 2, 945.

10 Cf. Plin. N. H. VII.11; Augustine, Civ. Dei, XVI.8.

11 That is, every third day, according to the Roman method of reckoning; cf. XVII.12.2, febrim quartis diebus recurrentem, and XVII.12.5, haec biduo medio intervallata febris, and see Class. Phil. VIII, pp1 ff.

12 VII.16.

13 Cf. Plin. N. H. VII.23.

14 VII.36.

15 Caenis was a girl whom her lover Poseidon changed into a man and who was then called Caeneus; see Ovid, Met. XII.171 ff.; Virg. Aen. VI.448.

16 171 B.C.

17 VII.34.

18 Fr. 28, Usener.

19 FPG II.286.65.

20 FPG III.92.169.

21 p169, Pearson; i.195, Arn.

22 Most modern grammarians prefer the more comprehensive term "intensives."

23 The title as given in full by Suidas is "On the Festivals and Games of the Romans, two books." See Fr. 181, Reiff.

24 Fr. 81, Marres. We may compare Hor. Epist. I.6.40 ff.

25 ad ea quae habet tuenda see § 1.

26 Cf. Hor. Ars Poet. 149‑150.

27 Idyls V.88 f; the translation is that of Edmonds, L. C. L.

28 Ecl. III.64 ff., translation by Dryden.

29 Idyls III.3 ff.

30 Fr. 104, G. & S.

31 Ecl. IX.23.

32 Odyss. VI.102 ff., translation by Dryden.

33 Aen. I.498 ff.

34 Aen. I.504.

35 Pertempto means "try thoroughly," hence "affect deeply." Probus must have taken per in the sense of "over," "on the surface," thus giving pertempto a meaning of which no example exists.

36 Literally, "And is readily recognized, though all are fair."

37 A name of Celtic origin, according to Schulze, Eigenn. 426.

38 Aen. VIII.404 ff.

39 Odyss. XI.245.

40 Odyss. XXIII.296.

41 Odyss. XI.246.

42 Having in mind a special meaning of membrum.

43 e.g. Claud. Quadr. Fr. 12, Peter2.

44 349 B.C.

45 That is, as had been described in what preceded.

46 In the colonnades of his Forum Augustus placed statues of "the leaders who had raised the estate of the Roman people from obscurity to greatness"; see Suetonius, Aug. xxxi.5.

47 § 1.

48 Fr. 47, Swoboda.

49 The usual derivation is from infendo (cf. offendo), but this is rejected by Walde, who compares Gk. θάρσος.

50 lvii.1, Jordan.

51 vii.5.

52 Fr. 2, Bährens, F.P.R.

53 86, Ribbeck3.

54 Fr. 2, Bährens.

55 Some such word as "handle" is to be supplied.

56 The Psylli, according to Plin. Nat. Hist. VII.14, were an African people whose bodies contained a poison deadly to serpents, and gave out an odour which put snakes to flight; see also Nat. Hist. VIII.93; Dio Cassius, LI.14. Psyllus came to be a general term for snake-charmers and healers of snake-bites, as in Suetonius, Aug. xvii.4.

57 I.53, Maur.

58 I.12, Maur.

59 Aen. II.436.

60 V.275.

61 That is, not knowing what to expect.

62 Hist. I.103, Maur.

63 Aen. X.706.

64 Fr. 10b, Peter2.

65 There is a lacuna in the text, but this seems to express the general sense.

66 IX.13.11.

67 Frag. 30, Peter2.

68 Ann. 413, Vahlen2; Vahlen reads postremo and omits quod.

69 Sest. 28; our texts commonly read diei.

70 Georg. I.208.

71 The constellation of the Balance.

72 Aen. I.636.

73 Making munera dei = "the gifts of the god (Bacchus)."

74 xxxvii.1, Jordan.

75 430, Marx, who completes the line with distendere ventrem, "to fill a belly."

76 Fr. 128, Peter2.

77 i, p325, Ribbeck3.

78 Fr. 7, Bährens; Iliad XXI.3 f.

79 Fr. 8, Bährens; Iliad XXIII.103 f.

80 O.R.F., p235, Meyer2.

81 Pro Rosc. Amer. 131.

82 1257, Marx, who fills out the second line with naturas dotibus aetas; tantisω.

83 269, Marx.

84 II, p129, Dinter.

85 Jug. xcvii.3.

86 Sine controversia is of course used in a double sense: "without question," and "without an opponent" (i.e., where there is no one to argue against him).

87 If the law was valid, the second man ought to be granted what he desired; that is, the return of his wife. If the law was not valid, the first man's desire should not have been granted, and the second man's wife should not have been taken from him. Cf. V.10 for a similar argument.


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