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Book IX

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

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 XI

(Vol. II) Gellius
Attic Nights

 p213  Book X

1 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Whether one ought to say tertium consul or tertio; and how Gnaeus Pompeius, when he would inscribe his honours on the theatre which he was about to dedicate, by Cicero's advice evaded the difficulty as to the form of that word.

1 I sent a letter from Athens to a friend of mine in Rome. 2 In it I said that I had now written him for the third time (tertium). 3 In his reply he asked employ to give my reason for having written tertium and not tertio. He added that he hoped that I would at the same time inform him what I thought about the question whether one should say tertium consul, meaning "consul for the third time," and quartum, or tertio and quarto; since he had heard a learned man at Rome say tertio and quarto consul, not tertium and quartum; also, that Coelius had so written​1 at the beginning of his third book and that Quintus Claudius in his eleventh book said​2 that Marius was chosen consul for the seventh time, using septimo.

4 In reply to these questions, to decide both matters about which he had written to me, I contented myself with quoting Marcus Varro, a more learned man in my opinion than Coelius and Claudius together. 5 For Varro has made it quite plain what ought to be said, and I did not wish, when at a distance, to enter into a dispute with a man who had the name of being learned.

 p215  6 Marcus Varro's words, in the fifth book of his Disciplinae, are as follows:​3 "It is one thing to be made praetor quarto, and another quartum; for quarto refers to order and indicates that three were elected before him;​4 quartum refers to time and indicates that he had been made praetor three times before. Accordingly Ennius was right when he wrote:5

Quintus, his sire, a fourth time (quartum) consul is,

and Pompeius was timid when, in order to avoid writing consul tertium or tertio on his theatre, he did not write the final letters."6

7 What Varro briefly and somewhat obscurely hinted at concerning Pompey, Tullius Tiro, Cicero's freedman, wrote at greater length in one of his letters, substantially as follows:​7 "When Pompey was preparing to consecrate the temple of Victory, the steps of which formed his theatre,​8 and to inscribe upon it his name and honours, the question arose whether consul tertium should be written, or tertio. Pompey took great pains to refer this question to the most learned men of Rome, and when there was difference of opinion, some maintaining that tertio ought to be written, others tertium, Pompey asked Cicero," says Varro, "to decide upon what seemed to him the more correct form." Then Cicero was reluctant to pass judgment upon learned men, lest he might seem to have censured the men themselves in criticizing their opinion. "He accordingly advised Pompey to write neither tertium nor tertio, but to inscribe the first  p217 four letters only, so that the meaning was shown without writing the whole word, but yet the doubt as to the form of the word was concealed."

8 But that of which Varro and Tiro spoke is not now written in that way on this same theatre. 9 For when, many years later, the back wall of the stage had fallen and was restored, the number of the third consul­ship was indicated, not as before, by the first four letters, but merely by three incised lines.9

10 However, in the fourth book of Marcus Cato's Origines we find:​10 "The Carthaginians broke the treaty for the sixth time (sextum)." This word indicates that they had violated the treaty five times before, and that this was the sixth time. 11 The Greeks too in distinguishing numbers of this kind use τρίτον καὶ τέταρτον, which corresponds to the Latin words tertium quartumque.

2 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] What Aristotle has recorded about the number of children born at one time.

1 The philosopher Aristotle has recorded​11 that a woman in Egypt bore five children at one birth; this, he said, was the limit of human multiple parturition; more children than that had never known to be born at one time, and even that number was very rare. 2 But in the reign of the deified Augustus the historians of the time say that a maid servant of Caesar Augustus in the region of Laurentum brought forth five children, and that they lived for a few days; that their mother died not long after she had been delivered, whereupon a monument was erected to her by order of Augustus  p219 on the via Laurentina, and on it was inscribed the number of her children, as I have given it.

3 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A collection of famous passages from the speeches of Gaius Gracchus, Marcus Cicero and Marcus Cato, and a comparison of them.

1 Gaius Gracchus is regarded as a powerful and vigorous speaker. No one disputes this. But how can one tolerate the opinion of some, that he was more impressive, more spirited and more fluent than Marcus Tullius? 2 Indeed, I lately read the speech of Gaius Gracchus On the Promulgation of Laws, in which, with all the indignation of which he is master, he complains that Marcus Marius and other distinguished men of the Italian free-towns were unlawfully beaten with rods by magistrates of the Roman people.

3 His words on the subject are as follows:​12 "The consul lately came to Teanum Sidicinum. His wife said that she wished to bathe in the men's baths. Marcus Marius, the quaestor of Sidicinum, was instructed to send away the bathers from the baths. The wife tells her husband that the baths were not given up to her soon enough and that they were not sufficiently clean. Therefore a stake was planted in the forum and Marcus Marius, the most illustrious man of his city, was led to it. His clothing was stripped off, he was whipped with rods. The people of Cales, when they heard of this, passed a decree that no one should think of using the public baths when a Roman magistrate was in town. At Ferentinum, for the  p221 same reason, our praetor ordered the quaestors to be arrested; one threw himself from the wall, the other was caught and beaten with rods."

4 In speaking of such an atrocious action, in so lamentable and distressing a manifestation of public injustice, has he said anything either fluent or brilliant, or in such a way as to arouse tears and pity; is there anything that shows an outpouring of indignation and solemn and impressive remonstrance? Brevity there is, to be sure, grace, and a simple purity of expression, such as we sometimes have in the more refined of the comedies.

5 Gracchus also in another place speaks as follows:​13 "I will give you a single example of the lawlessness of our young men, and of their entire lack of self-control. Within the last few years a young man who had not yet held a magisterial office was sent as an envoy from Asia. He was carried in a litter. A herdsman, one of the peasants of Venusia, met him, and not knowing whom they were bearing, asked in jest if they were carrying a corpse. Upon hearing this, the young man ordered that the litter be set down and that the peasant be beaten to death with the thongs by which it was fastened."

6 Now these words about so lawless and cruel an outrage do not differ in the least from those of ordinary conversation. 7 But in Marcus Tullius, when in a similar case Roman citizens, innocent men, are beaten with rods contrary to justice and contrary to the laws, or tortured to death, what pity is then aroused! What complaints does he utter! How he brings the whole scene before our eyes! What a mighty surge of indignation and bitterness comes seething forth! 8 By Heaven! when I read those  p223 words of Cicero's, my mind is possessed with the sight and sound of blows, cries and lamentation. 9 For example, the words which he speaks about Gaius Verres, which I have quoted so far as my memory went, which was all that I could do at present:​14 "The man himself came into the forum, blazing with wickedness and frenzy. His eyes burned, every feature of his face displayed cruelty. All were waiting to see to what ends he would go, or what he would do, when on a sudden he gave orders that the man be dragged forth, that he be stripped in the middle of the forum and bound, and that rods be brought." 10 Now, so help me! the mere words "he ordered that he be stripped and bound, and rods brought" arouse such emotion and horror that you do not seem to hear the act described, but to see it acted before your face.

11 But Gracchus plays the part, not of one who complains or implores, but of a mere narrator: "A stake," he says, "was planted in the forum, his clothing was stripped off, he was beaten with rods." 12 But Marcus Cicero, finely representing the idea of continued action, says,​15 not "he was beaten," but "a citizen of Rome was being beaten with rods in the middle of the forum at Messana, while in the meantime no groan, no sound was heard from that wretched man amid his torture and the resounding blows except these words, 'I am a Roman citizen.' By thus calling to mind his citizen­ship he hoped to avert all their stripes and free his body from torture." 13 Then Cicero with vigour, spirit and fiery indignation complains of so cruel an outrage and inspires the Romans with hatred and detestation of Verres by these words:​16 "O beloved name of liberty! O  p225 eminent justice of our country! O Porcian and Sempronian laws! O authority of the tribunes, earnestly desired and finally restored to the Roman commons! Pray, have all these blessings fallen to this estate, that a Roman citizen, in a province of the Roman people, in a town of our allies, should be bound and flogged in the forum by one who derived the emblems of his power from the favour of the Roman people? What! when fire and hot irons and other tortures were applied, although your victim's bitter lamentation and piteous outcries did not affect you, were you not moved by the tears and loud groans even of the Roman citizens who were then present?"

14 These outrages Marcus Tullius bewailed bitterly and solemnly, in appropriate and eloquent terms. 15 But if anyone has so rustic and so dull an ear that this brilliant and delightful speech and the harmonious arrangement of Cicero's words do not give him pleasure; if he prefers the earlier oration because it is unadorned, concise and unstudied, yet has a certain native charm, and because it has, so to say, a shade and colour of misty antiquity — let such a one, if he has any judgment at all, study the address in a similar case of Marcus Cato, a man of a still earlier time, to whose vigour and flow of language Gracchus could never hope to attain. 16 He will realize, I think, that Cato was not content with the eloquence of his own time, but aspired to do even then what Cicero later accomplished. 17 For in the speech which is entitled On Sham Battles he thus made complaint of Quintus Thermus:​17 "He said that his provisions had not been satisfactorily attended to by the decemvirs.​18 He ordered them to be stripped and scourged. The  p227 Bruttiani​19 scourged the decemvirs, many men saw it done. Who could endure such an insult, such tyranny, such slavery? No king has ever dared to act thus; shall such outrages be inflicted upon good men, born of a good family, and of good intentions? Where is the protection of our allies? Where is the honour of our forefathers? To think that you have dared to inflict signal wrongs, blows, lashes, stripes, these pains and tortures, accompanied with disgrace and extreme ignominy, since their fellow citizens and many other men looked on! But amid how great grief, what groans, what tears, what lamentations have I heard that this was done? Even slaves bitterly resent injustice; what feeling do you think that such men, sprung from good families, endowed with high character, had and will have so long as they live?

18 When Cato said "the Bruttiani scourged them," lest haply anyone should inquire the meaning of Bruttiani, it is this: 19 When Hannibal the Carthaginian was in Italy with his army, and the Romans had suffered several defeats, the Bruttii were the first people of all Italy to revolt to Hannibal. Angered at this, the Romans, after Hannibal left Italy and the Carthaginians were defeated, by way of ignominious punishment refused to enrol the Bruttii as soldiers or treat them as allies, but commanded them to serve the magistrates when they went to their provinces, and to perform the duties of slaves. Accordingly, they accompanied the magistrates in the capacity of those who are called "floggers" in the plays, and bound or scourged those whom they were ordered. And because they came from the land of the Bruttii,​20 they were called Bruttiani.

 p229  4 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] How Publius Nigidius with great cleverness showed that words are not arbitrary, but natural.

1 Publius Nigidius in his Grammatical Notes shows that nouns and verbs were formed, not by a chance use, but by a certain power and design of nature, a subject very popular in the discussions of the philosophers; 2 for they used to inquire whether words originate by "nature" or are man-made.​21 3 Nigidius employs many arguments to this end, to shown that words appear to be natural rather than arbitrary. Among these the following seems particularly neat and ingenious:​22 4 "When we say vos, or 'you,' " says Nigidius, "we make a movement of the mouth suitable to the meaning of the word; for we gradually protrude the tips of our lips and direct the impulse of the breath towards those with whom we are speaking. But on the other hand, when we say nos, or 'us,' we do not pronounce the word with a powerful forward impulse of the voice, nor with the lips protruded, but we restrain our breath and our lips, so to speak, within ourselves. The same thing happens in the words tu or 'thou,' ego or 'I,' tibi 'to thee,' and mihi 'to me.' For just as when we assent or dissent, a movement of the head or eyes corresponds with the nature of the expression, so too in the pronunciation of these words there is a kind of natural gesture made with the mouth and breath. The same principle that we have noted in our own speech applies also to Greek words."

 p231  5 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Whether avarus is a simple word or, as it appears to Publius Nigidius, a compound, made up of two parts.

1 Publius Nigidius, in the twenty-ninth book of his Commentaries,​23 declares that avarus is not a simple word, but is compounded of two parts: "For that man," he says, "is called avarus, or 'covetous,' who is avidus aeris, or 'eager for money;' but in the compound the letter e is lost." 2 He also says​24 that a man is called by the compound term locuples, or "rich" when he holds pleraque loca, that is to say, "many possessions."25

3 But his statement about locuples is the stronger and more probable. As to avarus there is doubt; for why may it not seem to be derived from one single word, namely aveo,​26 and formed in the same way as amarus, about which there is general agreement that it is not a compound?

6 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That a fine was imposed by the plebeian aediles on the daughter of Appius Caecus, a woman of rank, because she spoke too arrogantly.

1 Public punishment was formerly inflicted, not only upon crimes, but even upon arrogant language; so necessary did men think it to maintain the dignity of Roman conduct inviolable. 2 For the daughter of the celebrated Appius Caecus, when leaving the plays of  p233 which she had been a spectator, was jostled by the crowd of people that surrounded her, flocking together from all sides. When she had extricated herself, complaining that she had been roughly handled, she added: "What, pray, would have become of me, and how much more should I have been crowded and pressed upon, had not my brother Publius Claudius lost his fleet in the sea-fight and with it a vast number of citizens?​27 Surely I should have lost my life, overwhelmed by a still greater mass of people. How I wish," said she, "that my brother might come to life again, take another fleet to Sicily, and destroy that crowd which has just knocked poor me about." 3 Because of such wicked and arrogant words, Gaius Fundanius and Tiberius Sempronius, the plebeian aediles,​28 imposed a fine upon the woman of twenty five thousand pounds of full-weight bronze.​29 4 Ateius Capito, in his commentary On Public Trials, says​30 that this happened in the first Punic war, in the consul­ship of Fabius Licinus and Otacilius Crassus.31

7 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Marcus Varro, I remember, writes that of the rivers which flow outside​32 the limits of the Roman empire the Nile is first in size, the Danube second, and next the Rhone.

1 Of all the rivers which flow into the seas included within the Roman empire, which the Greeks call  p235 "the inner sea," it is agreed that the Nile is the greatest. Sallust wrote​33 that the Danube is next in size; 2 but Varro, when he discussed the part of the earth which is called Europe, placed​34 the Rhone among the first three rivers of that quarter of the earth, by which he seems to make it a rival of the Danube; for the Danube also is in Europe.

8 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That among the ignominious punishments which were inflicted upon soldiers was the letting of blood; and what seems to be the reason for such a penalty.

1 This also was a military punishment in old times, to disgrace a soldier by ordering a vein to be opened, and letting blood. 2 There is no reason assigned for this in the old records, so far as I could find; but I infer that it was first done to soldiers whose minds were affected and who were not in a normal condition, so that it appears to have been not so much a punishment as a medical treatment. 3 But afterwards I suppose that the same penalty was customarily inflicted for many other offences, on the ground that all who sinned were not of sound mind.35

9 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] In what way and in what form the Roman army is commonly drawn up, and the names of the formations.

1 There are military terms which are applied to an army drawn up in a certain manner: "the front,"  p237 "reserves," "wedge," "ring," "mass," "shears," "saw," "wings," "towers."​36 2 These and some other terms you may find in the books of those who have written about military affairs. 3 However, they are taken from the things themselves to which the names are strictly applied, and in drawing up an army the forms of the objects designated by each of these words is represented.

10 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The reason why the ancient Greeks and Romans wore a ring on the next to the little finger of the left hand.​a

1 I have heard that the ancient Greeks wore a ring on the finger of the left hand which is next to the little finger. They say, too, that the Roman men commonly wore their rings in that way. 2 Apion in his Egyptian History says​37 that the reason for this practice is, that upon cutting into and opening human bodies, a custom in Egypt which the Greeks call ἀνατομαί, or "dissection," it was found that a very fine nerve proceeded from that finger alone of which we have spoken, and made its way to the human heart; that it therefore seemed quite reasonable that this finger in particular should be honoured with such an ornament, since it seems to be joined, and as it were united, with that supreme organ, the heart.

 p239  11 1  [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The derivation and meaning of the word mature, and that it is generally used improperly; and also that the genitive of praecox is praecocis and not praecoquis.

1 Mature in present usage signifies "hastily" and "quickly," contrary to the true force of the word; for mature means quite a different thing. 2 Therefore Publius Nigidius, a man eminent in the pursuit of all the liberal arts, says:​38 "Mature means neither 'too soon' nor 'too late,' but something between the two and intermediate."

3 Publius Nigidius has spoken well and properly. For of grain and fruits those are called matura, or "mature," which are neither unripe and hard, nor falling and decayed, but full-grown and ripened in their proper time. 4 But since that which was not done negligently was said to be done mature, the force of the word has been greatly extended, and an act is now said to be done mature which is done with some haste, and not one which is done without negligence; whereas such things are immoderately hastened are more properly called inmatura, or "untimely."​b

5 That limitation of the word, and of the action itself, which was made by Nigidius was very elegantly expressed by the deified Augustus with two Greek words; for we are told that he used to say in conversation, and write in his letters, σπεῦδε βραδέως, that is, "make haste slowly,"​39 by which he recommended that to accomplish a result we should use at once the promptness of energy and the delay of carefulness, and it is from these two opposite qualities that maturitas springs. 6 Virgil also, to one  p241 who is observant, has skilfully distinguished the two words properare and maturare as clearly opposite, in these verses:40

Whenever winter's rains the hind confine,

Much is there that at leisure may be done (maturare),

Which in fair weather he must hurry on (properanda).

7 Most elegantly has he distinguished between those two words; for in rural life the preparations during rainy weather may be made at leisure, since one has time for them; but in fine weather, since time presses, one must hasten.

8 But when we wish to indicate that anything has been done under too great pressure and too hurriedly, then it is more properly said to have been done praemature, or "prematurely," than mature. Thus Afranius in his Italian play called The Title says:41

With madness premature (praemature) you seek a hasty power.

9 In this verse it is to be observed that he says praecocem and not praecoquem; for the nominative case is not praecoquis, but praecox.

12 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Of extravagant tales which Plinius Secundus most unjustly ascribes to the philosopher Democritus; and also about the flying image of a dove.

1 Pliny the Elder, in the twenty-eighth book of his Natural History asserts​42 that there is a book of that  p243 most famous philosopher Democritus On the Power and Nature of the Chameleon, and that he had read it; and then he transmits to us many foolish and intolerable absurdities, alleging that they were written by Democritus. Of these unwillingly, since they disgust me, I recall a few, as follows: 2 that the hawk, the swiftest of all birds, if it chance to fly over a chameleon which is crawling on the ground, is dragged down and falls through some force to the earth, and offers and gives itself up of its own accord to be torn to pieces by the other birds. 3 Another statement too is past human belief, namely, that if the head and neck of the chameleon be burned by means of the wood which is called oak, rain and thunder are suddenly produced, and that this same thing is experienced if the liver of that animal is burned upon the roof of a house. 4 There is also another story, which by heaven! I hesitated about putting down, so preposterous is it; but I have made it a rule that we ought to speak our mind about the fallacious seduction of marvels of that kind, by which the keenest minds are often deceived and led to their ruin, and in particular those which are especially eager for knowledge. But I return to Pliny. 5 He says​43 that the left foot of the chameleon is roasted with an iron heated in the fire, along with an herb called by the same name, "chameleon"; both are mixed in an ointment, formed into a paste, and put in a wooden vessel. He who carries the vessel, even if he go openly amid a throng, can be seen by no one.

6 I think that these marvellous and false stories written by Plinius Secundus are not worthy of the name of Democritus; 7 the same is true of what the same Pliny, in his tenth book, asserts​44 that Democritus  p245 wrote; namely, that there were certain birds with a language of their own, and that by mixing the blood of those birds a serpent was produced; that whoso ate it would understand the language of birds and their conversation.

8 Many fictions of this kind seem to have been attached to the name of Democritus by ignorant men, who sheltered themselves under his reputation and authority. 9 But that which Archytas the Pythagorean is said to have devised and accomplished ought to seem no less marvellous, but yet not wholly absurd. For not only many eminent Greeks, but also the philosopher Favorinus, a most diligent searcher of ancient records, have stated most positively that Archytas made a wooden model of a dove with such mechanical ingenuity and art that it flew; so nicely balanced was it, you see, with weights and moved by a current of air enclosed and hidden within it. 10 About so improbable a story I prefer to give Favorinus' own words: "Archytas the Tarentine, being in other lines also a mechanician, made a flying dove out of wood. Whenever it lit, it did not rise again. For until this . . . ."45

13 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] On what principle the ancients aid cum partim hominum.

1 Partim hominum venerunt is a common expression, meaning "a part of the men came," that is, "some men." For partim is here an adverb and is not declined by cases. Hence we may say cum partim hominum, that is, "with some men" or "with a certain  p247 part of the men." 2 Marcus Cato, in his speech On the Property of Florius has written as follows:​46 "There she acted like a harlot, she went from the banquet straight to the couch and with a part of them (cum partim illorum) she often conducted herself in the same manner." 3 The less educated, however, read cum parti, as if partim were declined as a noun, not used as an adverb.

4 But Quintus Claudius, in the twenty-first book of his Annals, has used this figure in a somewhat less usual manner; he says: "For with the part of the forces (cum partim copiis) of young men that was pleasing to him."​47 Also in the twenty-third book of the Annals of Claudius are these words:​48 "But that I therefore acted thus, but whether to say that it happened from the negligence of a part of the magistrates (neglegentia partim magistratum), from avarice, or from the calamity of the Roman people, I know not."

14 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] In what connection Cato said iniuria mihi factum itur.

1 I hear the phrase illi iniuriam factum iri, or "injury will be done to him," I hear contumeliam dictum iri, or "insult will be offered," commonly so used everywhere, and I notice that this form of expression is a general one; I therefore refrain from citing examples. 2 But contumelia illi or iniuria factum itur, "injury or insult is going to be offered him," is somewhat less common, and therefore I shall give an example of that. 3 Marcus Cato, speaking For Himself against  p249 Gaius Cassius, says:​49 "And so it happened, fellow citizens, that in this insult which is going to be put upon me (quae mihi factum itur) by the insolence of this man I also, fellow citizens (so help me!), pity our country." 4 But just as contumeliam factam iri means "to go to inflict an injury," that is, to take pains that it be inflicted, just so contumelia mihi factum itur expresses the same idea, merely with a change of case.

15 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Of the ceremonies of the priest and priestess of Jupiter and words quoted from the praetor's edict, in which he declares that he will not compel either the Vestal virgins or the priest of Jupiter to take oath.

1 Ceremonies in great number are imposed upon the priest of Jupiter​50 and also many abstentions, of which we read in the books written On the Public Priests; and they are also recorded in the first book of Fabius Pictor.​51 2 Of these the following are in general what I remember: 3 It is unlawful for the priest of Jupiter to ride upon a horse; 4 it is also unlawful for him to see the "classes​52 arrayed" outside the pomerium,​53 that is, the army in battle array; hence the priest of Jupiter is rarely made consul, since wars were entrusted to the consuls; 5 also it is always unlawful for the priest to take an oath; 6 likewise to wear a ring, unless it be perforated and without a gem. 7 It is against the law for fire to be taken from the flaminia, that is, from the home of the flamen  p251 Dialis, except for a sacred rite; 8 if a person in fetters enter his house, he must be loosed, the bonds must be drawn up through the impluvium54 to the roof and from there let down into the street. 9 He has no knot in his head-dress, girdle, or any other part of his dress; 10 if anyone is being taken to be flogged at his feet as a suppliant, it is unlawful for the man to be flogged on that day. 11 Only a free man may cut the hair of the Dialis. 12 It is not customary for the Dialis to touch, or even name, a she-goat, raw flesh, ivy, and beans.

13 The priest of Jupiter must not pass under an arbour of vines. 14 The feet of the couch on which he sleeps must be smeared with a thin coating of clay, and he must not sleep away from this bed for three nights in succession, and no other person must sleep in that bed. At the foot of this bed there should be a box with sacrificial cakes. 15 The cuttings of the nails and hair of the Dialis must be buried in the earth under a fruitful tree. 16 Every day is a holy day for the Dialis. 17 He must not be in the open air without his cap; that he might go without it in the house has only recently been decided by the pontiffs, so Masurius Sabinus wrote,​55 18 and it is said that some other ceremonies have been remitted and he has been excused from observing them.

19 "The priest of Jupiter" must not touch any bread fermented with yeast. 20 He does not lay off his inner tunic except under cover, in order that he may not be naked in the open air, as it were under the eye of Jupiter. 21 No other has a place at table above the flamen Dialis, except the rex sacrificulus.​56 22 If the  p253 Dialis has lost his wife he abdicates his office. 23 The marriage of the priest cannot be dissolved except by death. 24 He never enters a place of burial, he never touches a dead body; 25 but he is not forbidden to attend a funeral.

26 The ceremonies of the priestess of Jupiter are about the same; 27 they say that she observes other separate ones; for example, that she wears a dyed robe, 28 that she has a twig from a fruitful tree in her head-dress, 29 that it is forbidden for her to go up more than three rounds of a ladder, except the so‑called Greek ladders;​57 30 also, when she goes to the Argei,​58 that she neither combs her head nor dresses her hair.

31 I have added the words of the praetor in his standing edict concerning the flamen Dialis and the priestess of Vesta:​59 "In the whole of my jurisdiction I will not compel the flamen of Jupiter or a priestess of Vesta to take an oath." 32 The words of Marcus Varro about the flamen Dialis, in the second book of his Divine Antiquities, are as follows:​60 "He alone has a white cap, either because he is the greatest of priests, or because a white victim should be sacrificed to Jupiter."61

 p255  16 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Errors in Roman History which Julius Hyginus noted in Virgil's sixth book.

1 Hyginus criticizes​62 a passage in Virgil's sixth book and thinks that he would have corrected it. 2 Palinurus is in the Lower World, begging Aeneas to take care that his body be found and buried. His words are:63

O save me from these ills, unconquered one;

Or through thou earth upon me, for you can,

And to the port of Velia return.

3 "How," said he, "could either Palinurus know and name 'the porta of Velia,' or Aeneas find the place from that name, when the town of Velia, from which he has called the harbour in that place 'Veline' was founded in the Lucanian district and called by that name when Servius Tullius was reigning in Rome,​64 more than six hundred years after Aeneas came to Italy? 4 For of those," he adds, "who were driven from the land of Phocis​65 by Harpalus,​66 prefect of king Cyrus, some founded Velia, and others Massilia. 5 Most absurdly, then, does Palinurus ask Aeneas to seek out the Veline port, when at that time no such name existed anywhere. 6 Nor ought that to be considered a similar error," said he, "which occurs in the first book:67

Exiled by fate, to Italy fared and to Lavinian strand,

 p257  7 and similarly in the sixth book:68

At last stood lightly poised on the Chalcidian height,

8 since it is usually allowed the poet himself to mention, κατὰ πρόληψιν, 'by anticipation,' in his own person some historical facts which took place later and of which he himself could know; just as Virgil knew the town of Lavinium and the colony from Chalcis. 9 But how could Palinurus," he said, "know of events that occurred six hundred years later, unless anyone believes that in the Lower World he had the power of divination, as in fact the souls of the deceased commonly do? 10 But even if you understand it in that way, although nothing of the kind is said, yet how could Aeneas, who did not have the power of divination, seek out the Veline port, the name of which at that time, as we have said before, was not in existence anywhere?"

11 He also censures the following passage in the same book, and thinks that Virgil would have corrected it, had not death prevented: 12 "For," says he, "when he had named Theseus among those who had visited the Lower World and returned, and had said:69

But why name Theseus? why Alcides great?

And my race too is from almighty Jove,

he nevertheless adds afterwards:70

Unhappy Theseus sits, will sit for aye.

13 But how," says he, "could it happen that one should sit for ever in the Lower World whom the poet mentions before among those who went down there and returned again, especially when the story of  p259 Theseus says that Hercules tore him from the rock and led him to the light of the Upper World?"

14 He also says that Virgil erred in these lines:71

He Argos and Mycenae shall uproot,

City of Agamemnon, and the heir

Of Aeacus himself, from war-renowned

Achilles sprung,​72 his ancestors of Troy

Avenging and Minerva's spotless shrine.​73

15 "He has confounded," says Hyginus, "different persons and times. For the wars with the Achaeans and with Pyrrus were not waged at the same time nor by the same men. 16 For Pyrrus, whom he calls a descendant of Aeacus, having crossed over from Epirus into Italy, waged war with the Romans against Manius Curius, who was their leader in that war.​74 17 But the Argive, that is, the Achaean war, was carried on many years after under the lead of Lucius Mummius.​75 18 The middle verse, therefore, about Pyrrus," says he, "may be omitted, since it was inserted inopportunely; and Virgil," he said, "undoubtedly would have struck it out."

17 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Why and how the philosopher Democritus deprived himself of his eye-sight; and the very fine and elegant verses of Laberius on that subject.

1 It is written in the records of Grecian story that the philosopher Democritus, a man worthy of  p261 reverence beyond all others and of the highest authority, of his own accord deprived himself of eye-sight, because he believed that the thoughts and meditations of his mind in examining nature's laws would be more vivid and exact, if he should free them from the allurements of sight and the distractions offered by the eyes. 2 This act of his, and the manner too in which he easily blinded himself by a most ingenious device, the poet Laberius has described, in a farce called The Ropemaker, in very elegant and finished verses; but he has imagined another reason for voluntary blindness and applied it with no little neatness to his own subject. 3 For the character who speaks these lines in Laberius is a rich and stingy miser, lamenting in vigorous terms the excessive extravagance and dissipation of his young son. 4 These are the verses of Laberius:76

Democritus, Abdera's scientist,

Set up a shield to face Hyperion's rise,

That sight he might destroy by blaze of brass,

Thus by the sun's rays he destroyed his eyes,

Lest he should see bad citizens' good luck;

So I with blaze and splendour of my gold,

Would render sightless my concluding years,

Lest I should see my spendthrift son's good luck.

18 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The story of Artemisia; and of the contest at the tomb of Mausolus in which celebrated writers took part.

1 Artemisia is said to have loved her husband with a love surpassing all the tales of passion and beyond one's conception of human affection.  p263 2 Now Mausolus, as Marcus Tullius tells us,​77 was king of the land of Caria; according to some Greek historians he was governor of a province, the official whom the Greeks term a satrap. 3 When this Mausolus had met his end amid the lamentations and in the arms of his wife,​78 and had been buried with a magnificent funeral, Artemisia, inflamed with grief and with longing for her spouse, mingled his bones and ashes with spices, ground them into the form of a powder, put them in water, and drank them; and she is said to have given many other proofs of the violence of her passion. 4 For perpetuating the memory of her husband, she also erected, with great expenditure of labour, that highly celebrated tomb,​79 among the seven wonders of the world.​80 5 When Artemisia dedicated this monument, consecrated to the deified shades of Mausolus, she instituted an agon, that is to say, a contest in celebrating his praises, offering magnificent prizes of money and other valuables. 6 Three men distinguished for their eminent talent and eloquence are said to have come to contend in this eulogy, Theopompus, Theodectes​81 and Naucrates; some have even written that Isocrates himself entered the lists with them. But Theopompus was adjudged the victory in that contest. He was a pupil of Isocrates.

 p265  7 The tragedy of Theodectes, entitled Mausolus, is still extant to‑day; and that in it Theodectes was more pleasing than in his prose writings is the opinion of Hyginus in his Examples.82

19 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That a sin is not removed or lessened by citing in excuse similar sins which others have committed; with a passage from a speech of Demosthenes on that subject.

1 The philosopher Taurus once reproved a young man with severe and vigorous censure because he had turned from the rhetoricians and the study of eloquence to the pursuit of philosophy, declaring that he had done something dishonourable and shameful. Now the young man did not deny the allegation, but urged in his defence that it was commonly done and tried to justify the baseness of the fault by citing examples and by the excuse of custom. 2 And then Taurus, being the more irritated by the very nature of his defence, said: "Foolish and worthless fellow, if the authority and rules of philosophy do not deter you from following bad examples, does not even the saying of your own celebrated Demosthenes occur to you? For since it is couched in a polished and graceful form of words, it might, like a sort of rhetorical catch, the more easily remain fixed in your memory. 3 For," said he, "if I do not forget what among I read in my early youth, these are the words of Demosthenes, spoken against one who, as you now do, tried to justify and excuse his own sin by those of others:​83 'Say not, Sir, that this has often been done, but that it ought to be so done; for if anything was ever done contrary to the  p267 laws, and you followed that example, you would not for that reason justly escape punishment, but you would suffer much more severely. For just as, if anyone had suffered a penalty for it, you would not have proposed this, so if you suffer punishment now, no one else will propose it.' " 4 Thus did Taurus, by the use of every kind of persuasion and admonition, incline his disciples to the principles of a virtuous and blameless manner of life.

20 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The meaning of rogatio, lex, plebisscitum and privilegium, and to what extent all those terms differ.

1 I hear it asked what the meaning is of lex, plebisscitum, rogatio, and privilegium. 2 Ateius Capito, a man highly skilled in public and private law, did the meaning of lex in these words:​84 "A law," said he, "is a general decree of the people, or of the commons, answering an appeal​85 made to them by a magistrate." 3 If this definition is correct, neither the appeal for Pompey's military command, nor about the recall of Cicero, nor as to the murder of Clodius, nor any similar decrees of the people of commons, can be called laws. 4 For they are not general decrees, and they are framed with regard, not to the whole body of citizens, but to individuals. Hence they ought rather to be called privilegia, or "privileges," since the ancients used priva where we now use singula (private or individual). This word Lucilius used in the first book of his Satires:86

I'll give them, when they come, each his own (priva) piece

Of tunny belly and acarne​87 heads.

 p269  5 Capito, however, in the same definition divided​88 the plebes,​89 or "commons," from the populus, or "people," since in the term "people" are embraced every part of the state and all its orders, but "commons" is properly applied to that part in which the patrician families of the citizens are not included. 6 Therefore, according to Capito, a plebisscitum is a law which the commons, and not the people, adopt.

7 But the head itself, the origin, and as it were the fount of this whole process of law is the rogatio, whether the appeal (rogatio) is to the people or to the commons, on a matter relating to all or to individuals. 8 For all the words under discussion are understood and included in the fundamental principle and name of rogatio; for unless the people or commons be appealed to (rogetur), no decree of the people or commons can be passed.

9 But although all this is true, yet in the old records we observe that no great distinction is made among the words in question. For the common term lex is used both of decrees of the commons and of "privileges," 10 and all are called by the indiscriminate and inexact name rogatio.

Even Sallust, who is most observant of propriety in the use of words, has yielded to custom and applied the term "law" to the "privilege" which was passed with reference to the return of Gaius Pompeius. The passage, from the second book of his Histories, reads as follows:​90 "For when Sulla, as consul, proposed a law (legem) touching his return, the tribune of the commons, Gaius Herennius, had vetoed it by previous arrangement."

 p271  21 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] Why Marcus Cicero very scrupulously avoided any use of the words novissime and novissimus.

1 It is clear that Marcus Cicero was unwilling to use many a word which is now in general circulation, and was so in his time, because he did not approve of them; for instance, novissimus and novissime. 2 For although both Marcus Cato​91 and Sallust,​92 as well as others also of the same period, have used that word generally, and although many men besides who were not without learning wrote it in their books, yet he seems to have abstained from it, on the ground that it was not good Latin, since Lucius Aelius Stilo,​93 who was the most learned man of his time, had avoided its use, as that of a novel and improper word.

Moreover, what Marcus Varro too thought of that word I have deemed it fitting to show from his own words in the sixth book of his De Lingua Latina, dedicated to Cicero:​94 "What used to be called extremum or 'last,' " says he, "is beginning to be called generally novissimum, a word which within my own memory both Aelius and several old men avoided as too new a term; as to its origin, just as from vetus we have vetustior and veterrimus, so from novus we get novior and novissimus."95

 p273  22 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A passage taken from Plato's book entitled Gorgias, on the abuses of false philosophy, with which those who are ignorant of the rewards of true philosophy assail philosophers without reason.

1 Plato, a man most devoted to the truth and most ready to point it out to all, has said truly and nobly, though not from the mouth of a dignified or suitable character, all that in general may be said against those idle and worthless fellows, who, sheltered under the name of philosophy, follow profitless idleness and darkness of speech and life. 2 For although Callicles, whom he makes his speaker, being ignorant of true philosophy, heaps dishonourable and undeserved abuse upon philosophers, yet what he says is to be taken in such a way that we may gradually come to understand it as a warning to ourselves not to deserve such reproofs, and not by idle and foolish sloth to feign the pursuit and cultivation of philosophy.

3 I have written down Plato's own words on this subject from the book called Gorgias, not attempting to translate them, because no Latinity, much less my own, can emulate their qualities:​96 4 "Philosophy, Socrates, is indeed a nice thing, if one pursue it in youth with moderation; but if one occupy oneself with it longer than is proper, it is a corrupter of men. 5 For even if a man be well endowed by nature and follow philosophy when past his youth, he must necessarily be ignorant of all those things in which a man ought to be versed if he is to be honourable, good and of high repute. 6 For such men are ignorant both of the laws relating to the city, and of the language which  p275 it is necessary to use in the intercourse of human society, both privately and publicly, and of the pleasures and desires of human life; in brief, they are wholly unacquainted with manners. 7 Accordingly, when they engage in any private or public business, they become a laughing-stock; 8 just exactly as statesmen, I suppose, become ridiculous 9 when they enter into your debates and discussions."

10 A little later he adds the following: "But I think it best to take part in both. It is good to pursue philosophy merely as a matter of education, and to be a philosopher is not dishonourable when one is young; but when one who is already older persists in the business, the thing becomes laughable, Socrates, 11 and I for my part feel the same towards those who philosophize as towards those who lisp and play. 12 Whenever I see a little boy, to whom it is fitting to speak thus, lisping and playing, I am pleased, and it seems to me becoming and liberal and suited to the age of childhood; 13 but when I hear a small boy speaking with precision, it seems to me to be a disagreeable thing; it wounds my ears and appears to be something befitting a slave. 14 When, however, one hear a man lisping, or sees him playing, it appears ridiculous, unmanly and deserving of stripes. 15 I feel just the same way towards the philosophers. 16 When I see philosophy in a young man, I rejoice; it seems to me fitting, and I think that the young man in question is ingenuous; that he who does not study philosophy is not ingenuous and will never himself be worthy of anything noble or generous. 17 But when I see an older man still philosophizing and not giving it up, such a man, Socrates, seems to me to deserve stripes. 18 For, as I have just said, it is possible for such a man, even  p277 though naturally well endowed, to become unmanly, avoiding the business of the city and the market-place, where, as the poet says,​97 men become "most eminent," and living the rest of his life in hiding with young men, whispering in a corner with three or four of them, 19‑23 but never accomplishing anything liberal, great or satisfactory.

24 These sentiments, as I have said, Plato put into the mouth of a man of no great worth indeed, yet possessing a reputation for common sense and understanding and a kind of uncompromising frankness. He does not, of course, refer to that philosophy which is the teacher of all the virtues, which excels in the discharge of public and private duties alike, and which, if nothing prevents, governs cities and the State with firmness, courage and wisdom; but rather to that futile and childish attention to trifles which contributes nothing to the conduct and guidance of life, but in which people of that kind grow old in "ill-timed playmaking,"​98 regarded as philosophers by the vulgar, as they were by him from whose lips the words that I have quoted come.99

23 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A passage from a speech of Marcus Cato on the mode of life and manners of women of the olden time; and also that the husband had the right to kill his wife, if she were taken in adultery.

1 Those who have written about the life and civilization of the Roman people say that the women of Rome and Latium "lived an abstemious life"; that  p279 is, that they abstained altogether from wine, which in the early language was called temetum; that it was an established custom for them to kiss their kinsfolk for the purpose of detection, so that, if they had been drinking, the odour might betray them. 2 But they say that the women were accustomed to drink the second brewing, raisin wine, spiced wine​100 and other sweet-tasting drinks of that kind. And these things are indeed made known in those books which I have mentioned, 3 but Marcus Cato declares that women were not only censured but also punished by a judge no less severely if they had drunk wine than if they had disgraced themselves by adultery.

4 I have copied Marcus Cato's words from the oration entitled On the Dowry, in which it is also stated that husbands had the right to kill wives taken in adultery:​101 "When a husband puts away his wife," says he, "he judges the woman as a censor would, and has full powers if she has been guilty of any wrong or shameful act; she is severely punished if she has drunk wine; if she has done wrong with another man, she is condemned to death." 5 Further, as to the right to put her to death it was thus written: "If you should take your wife in adultery, you may with impunity put her to death without a trial; but if you should commit adultery or indecency, she must not presume to lay a finger on you, nor does the law allow it."

 p281  24 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That the most elegant speakers used the expressions die pristini, die crastini, die quarti, and die quinti, not those which are current now.

1 I hear die quarto and die quinto, which the Greeks express by εἰς τετάρτην καὶ εἰς πέμπτην, used nowadays even by learned men, and one who speaks otherwise is looked down upon as crude and illiterate. But in the time of Marcus Tullius, and earlier, they did not, I think, speak in that way; for they used diequinte and diequinti as a compound adverb, with the second syllable of the word shortened. 2 The deified Augustus, too, who was well versed in the Latin tongue and an imitator of his father's​102 elegance in discourse, has often in his letters​103 used that means of designating the days. 3 But it will be sufficient to show the undeviating usage of the men of old, if I quote the regular formula of the praetor, in which, according to the usage of our forefathers, he is accustomed to proclaim the festival known as the Compitalia.​104 His words are as follows: "On the ninth day the Roman people, the Quirites, will celebrate the Compitalia; when they shall have begun, legal business ceases." The praetor says dienoni, not die nono.

4 And not the praetor alone, but almost all antiquity, spoke in that way. 5 Look you, this passage of the well-known poet Pomponius comes to my mind, from the Atellan farce entitled Mevia:105

For six days now I've done no stroke of work;

The fourth day (diequarte) I, poor wretch, shall starve to death.

 p283  6 There is also the following passage from Coelius in the second book of his Histories:​106 "If you are willing to give me the cavalry and follow me yourself with the rest of the army, on the fifth day (diequinti) I will have your dinner ready for you in the Capitol at Rome."​107 7 But Coelius took both the story itself and the word from the fourth book of Marcus Cato's Origines, where we find the following:​108 'Then the master of the horse thus advised the Carthaginian dictator: 'Send me to Rome with the cavalry; on the fifth day (diequinti) your dinner shall be ready for you in the Capitol.' "

8 The final syllable of that word I find written sometimes with e and sometimes with i; for it was usual with those men of olden times very often to use those letters without distinction, saying praefiscine and praefiscini, proclivi and proclive, and using many other words of that kind with either ending; in the same way too they said die pristini, that is, "the day before," which is commonly expressed by pridie, changing the order of the words in the compound, as if it were pristino die. 9 Also by a similar usage they said die crastini, meaning crastino die or "to‑morrow." 10 The priests of the Roman people, too, when they make a proclamation for the third day, say diem perendini. But just as very many people said di pristini, so Marcus Cato in his oration Against Furius109 said die proximi or "the next day"; and Gnaeus Matius, an exceedingly learned man, in his Mimiambi, instead of our nudius quartus,º or "four days ago," has die quarto, in these lines:110

Of late, four days ago (die quarto), as I recall,

The only pitcher in the house he broke.

 p285  Therefore the distinction will be found to be, that we use die quarto of the past, but diequarte of the future.

25 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] The names of certain weapons, darts and swords, and also of boats and ships, which are found in the books of the early writers.

1 Once upon a time, when I was riding in a carriage, to keep my mind from being dull and unoccupied and a prey to worthless trifles, it chanced to occur to me to try to recall the names of weapons, darts and swords which are found in the early histories, and also the various kinds of boats and their names. 2 Those, then, of the former that came to mind at the time are the following: spear, pike, fire-pike, half-pike, iron bolt, Gallic spear, lance, hunting-darts, javelins, long bolts, barbed-javelins, German spears, thonged-javelin, Gallic bolt, broadswords, poisoned arrows,​111 Illyrian hunting-spears, cimeters, darts, swords, daggers, broadswords, double-edged swords, small-swords, poniards, cleavers.

3 Of the lingula, or "little tongue," since it is less common, I think I ought to say that the ancients applied that term to an oblong small-sword, made in the form of a tongue; it is mentioned by Naevius in his tragedy Hesione. I quote the line:112

Pray let me seem to please you with my tongue,

But with my little tongue (lingula).

4 The rumpia too is a kind of weapon of the Thracian people, and the word occurs in the fourteenth book of the Annals of Quintus Ennius.113

 p287  5 The names of ships which I recalled at the time are these: merchant-ships, cargo-carriers, skiffs, warships, cavalry-transports, cutters, fast cruisers, or, as the Greeks call them, κέλητες, barques, smacks, sailing-skiffs, light galleys, which the Greeks call ἱστιοκόποιº or ἐπακτρίδες, scouting-boats, galliots, tenders, flat-boats, vetutiae moediae, yachts, pinnaces, long-galliots, scullers' boats, caupuls,​114 arks, fair-weather craft, pinks, lighters, spy-boats.

26 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That Asinius Pollio showed ignorance in criticizing Sallust because he used transgressus (crossing) for transfretatio (crossing the sea) and transgressi (those who had crossed) for qui transfretaverant (those who had crossed the sea).

1 Asinius Pollio, in a letter which he addressed to Plancus, and certain others who were unfriendly to Gaius Sallustius, thought that Sallust deserved censure because in the first book of his Histories he called the crossing of the sea and a passage made in ships transgressus, using transgressi of those who had crossed the sea, for which the usual term is transfretare. 2 I give Sallust's own words:​115 "Accordingly Sertorius, having left a small garrison in Mauretania and taking advantage of a dark night and a favourable tide, tried either by secrecy or speed to avoid a battle while crossing (in transgressu)." 3 Then later he wrote:​116 "When they had crossed (transgressos), a mountain which had been seized in advance by the Lusitanians gave them all shelter."

4 This, they say, is an improper and careless usage, supported by no adequate authority. "For transgressus, says Pollio, "comes from transgredi, 'to step  p289 across,' and this word itself refers to walking and stepping with the feet." 5 Therefore Pollio thought that the verb transgredi did not apply to those who fly or creep or sail, but only to those who walk and measure the way with their feet. Hence they say that in no good writer can transgressus be found applied to ships, or as the equivalent of transfretatio.

6 But, since cursus, or "running," is often correctly used of ships, I ask why it is that ships may not be said to make a transgressus, especially since the small extent of the narrow strait which flows between Spain and the Afric land is most elegantly described by the word transgressio, as being a distance of only a few steps. 7 But as to those who ask for authority and assert that ingredi or transgredi is not used of sailing, I should like them to tell me how much difference they think there is between ingredi, or "march," and ambulare, or "walk." 8 Yet Cato in his book On Farming says:​117 "A farm should be chosen in a situation where there is a large town near by and the sea, or a river where ships pass (ambulant)." 9 Moreover Lucretius, by the use of this same expression, bears testimony that such figures are intentional and are regarded as ornaments of diction. For in his fourth book he speaks of a shout as "marching" (gradientem) through the windpipe and jaws, which is much bolder than the Sallustian expression about the ships. The lines of Lucretius are as follows:118

The voice besides doth often scrape the throat;

A shout before marching (gradiens) doth make the windpipe rough.

 p291  10 Accordingly, Sallust, in the same book, uses progressus, not only of those who sailed in ships, but also of floating skiffs. I have added his own words about the skiffs:​119 "Some of them, after going (progressae) but a little way, the load being excessive and unstable, when panic had thrown the passengers into disorder, began to sink."

27 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] A story of the Roman and the Carthaginian people, showing that they were rivals of nearly equal strength.

1 It is stated in ancient records that the strength, the spirit and the numbers of the Roman and the Carthaginian people were once equal. 2 And this opinion was not without foundation. With other nations the contest was for the independence of one or the other state, with the Carthaginians it was for the rule of the world.

3 An indication of this is found in the following word and act of each of the two peoples: Quintus Fabius, a Roman general, delivered a letter to the Carthaginians, in which it was written that the Roman people had sent them a spear and a herald's staff, signs respectively of war and peace; they might choose whichever they pleased and regard the one which they should choose as sent them by the Roman people. 4 The Carthaginians replied that they chose neither one; those who had brought them might leave whichever they liked; that whatever should be left them they would consider that they themselves had chosen.

5 Marcus Varro, however, says that neither the spear itself nor the staff was sent, but two  p293 tokens, on one of which was engraved the representation of a staff; on the other that of a spear.

28 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] About the limits of the periods of boyhood, manhood and old age, taken from the History of Tubero.

1 Tubero, in the first book of his History,​120 has written that King Servius Tullius, when he divided the Roman people into those five classes of older and younger men for the purpose of making the enrolment, regarded as pueri, or "boys," those who were less than seventeen years old; then, from the seventeenth year, when they were thought to be fit for service, he enrolled them as soldiers, calling them up to the age of forty-six iuniores or "younger men," and beyond that age, seniores, or "elders."

2 I have made a note of this fact, in order that from the rating of Servius Tullius, that most sagacious king, the distinctions between boyhood, manhood, and old age might be known, as they were established by the judgment, and according to the usage, of our forefathers.

29 [Legamen ad versionem Latinam] That the particle atque is not only conjunctive, but has many and varied meanings.

1 The particle atque is said by the grammarians to be a copulative conjunction. And as a matter of fact, it very often joins and connects words; but sometimes it has certain other powers, which are  p295 not sufficiently observed, except by those engaged in a diligent examination of the early literature. 2 For it has the force of an adverb when we say "I have acted otherwise than (atque) you," for it is equivalent to aliter quam tu;' and if it is doubled, it amplifies and emphasizes a statement, as we note in the Annals of Quintus Ennius, unless my memory of this verse is at fault:121

And quickly (atque atque) to the walls the Roman manhood came.​c

3 The opposite of this meaning is expressed by deque, also found in the early writers.122

4 Atque is said to have been used besides for another adverb also, namely statim, as is thought to be the case in these lines of Virgil, where that particle is employed obscurely and irregularly:123

Thus, by Fate's law, all speeds towards the worse,

And giving way, falls back; e'en as if one

Whose oars can barely force his skiff upstream

Should chance to slack his arms and cease to drive;

Then straightway (atque) down the flood he's swept away.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Fr. 59, Peter2.

2 Fr. 82, Peter2.

3 p202, Bipont.

4 That is, that he was fourth in order of election.

5 Ann. 295, Vahlen2.

6 He wrote tert.; see § 7. Tertium is correct; the inscription on the Pantheon reads M. Agrippa, L. f., cos. tertium fecit.

[image ALT: A Greco-Roman temple with a pediment supported by 8 columns, fronting on a piazza, in the foreground of which, to the left, can be seen the base of an obelisk in a pool of water. It is the Pantheon, in Rome.]

The bronze letters are modern; only the holes for them have survived, but it's good enough to get the inscription from them. For full details on the Pantheon, see the article in Platner & Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome.

7 p12, Lion.

8 Because of the sentiment against a permanent theatre at Rome, Pompey placed a temple of Venus Victrix at the top of his theatre, so that the seats of the auditorium formed an approach to it. It was built in 55 B.C.

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

9 That is, by the Roman numeral III.

10 Fr. 84, Peter2.

11 Cf. Hist. Anim. VII.4, p584, 29.

12 O.R.F., p236, Meyer2.

13 O.R.F., p236, Meyer2.

14 In Verr. II.5.161.

15 In Verr. II.5.162.

16 Id. II.5.163.

17 ix, Jordan.

18 The local magistrates.

19 See § 18, below.

20 The name Bruttium is of late origin.

21 That is, whether language is a natural growth or a conscious product.

22 Fr. 41, Swoboda.

23 Fr. 42, Swoboda.

24 Id. fr. 44.

25 The derivation from locus and the root ple- (of pleo, plenus, etc.) seems to be correct.

26 This is, of course, the accepted etymology. The derivation of amarus is uncertain; it is perhaps connected with Greek ὠμός, "raw" (cf. crudus and crudelis). Sanscrit âma‑s.

27 In 249 B.C. He was warned not to fight by the refusal of the sacred chickens to eat; but he threw them overboard, saying that they might drink, since they would not eat. See Suet. Tib. II.2.

28 The two plebeian aediles were first appointed with the tribunes of the commons in 494 B.C. (see XVII.21.11), and the designation plebei or plebi was perhaps not added until the appointment of two curule aediles in 388 B.C. They were assistants to the tribunes, but also had the right of independent action, as here. Julius Caesar added two aediles ceriales; Suet. Jul. XLI.1.

29 Aes gravis or aes libralis refers to the old coinage, when the as was equal to a pound of copper or bronze.

30 Fr. 2, Huschke; 2 Bremer (II, p284).

31 246 B.C.

32 This was true in Varro's time.

33 Hist. III.80, Maur.

34 Ant. Hum. xiii, fr. 6, Mirsch.

35 Muretus, Var. Lect. xiii, p199, thought it was in order that they might lose with ignominy the blood which they had been unwilling to shed for their country.

36 The globus was a detached body of troops, qui a sua acie separatus incursat. The forfex or forceps was arranged in the form of a letter V, to take in the enemy's wedge (cuneus) and attack it on both sides (Veget. III.19). The serra was a constant advance and retreat, corresponding to the motion of a saw (Paul.-Fest. p467, Linds.). The turris was probably a kind of square formation for attack.

37 F. H. G. III.511.

38 Fr. 48, Swoboda.

39 See Suetonius, Aug. XXV.4. Hence the common festina lente and German Eile mit Weile.

40 Georg. I.259 ff.; Dryden's translation.

41 ii, 335 Ribbeck3.

42 XXVIII.112.

43 XXVIII.115.

44 X.137.

45 There is a lacuna and the sense is uncertain.

46 p64.8, Jordan.

47 Fr. 87, Peter. The passage is corrupt and unintelligible.

48 Fr. 89, Peter.

49 p63.6, Jordan.

50 The flamen was the special priest of an individual deity. There were three flamines maiores — of Jupiter (Dialis), Mars and Quirinus — and twelve flamines minores. For "taboos" imposed on priests see Frazer, Golden Bough, ch. 2.

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

51 Fr. 19, 24, 35, 46, R. Peter; fr. 3, Huschke; id. Bremer (I, p10).

52 Classis originally meant one of the classes into which the citizens were divided by the Servian constitution, then, collectively, the army composed of the classes.

53 The pomerium was the religious boundary of the city: see XIII.14.

Thayer's Note: A skeletal simplification adequate for a quick footnote; but for exhaustive details, see the article Pomerium in Platner & Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, and the links there, especially Smith's Dictionary and, at a scholar­ly level, the journals: TAPA, AJA, etc.

54 The opening in the roof of the atrium or main room of a Roman house.

55 Fr. 28, Huschke; Memor. 16, Bremer (II, p372).

56 The priest who succeeded the kings, after their expulsion, in presiding over the sacrifices. Although he nominally outranked the flamens and the pontifex Maximus, the office was unimportant.

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

57 What these were is uncertain. Probably they offered less exposure of the person than an ordinary ladder.

58 The term Argei was applied to twenty-four chapels distributed among the four regions of early Rome, and also called Sacella Argeiorum and Argea. It also designated the same number of puppets, or bundles of straw in the shape of men, which were thrown from the Pons Sublicius into the Tiber by the Vestal virgins on the Ides of May. See Fowler, Roman Festivals, pp111 ff. and Thes. Ling. Lat. s.v. Argei.

Thayer's Note: For full details, see the articles Argeorum Sacraria in Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome, and Argei in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

59 Fontes Jur. Rom., p197.

60 Fr. 4, p. cxiii, Merkel.

61 White was emblematic of royalty. Cf. Suet. Jul. LXXIX.1.

62 Fr. 7, Fun.

63 Aen. VI.365 ff.

64 578‑534 B.C., traditional chronology.

65 Phocis, a district of Greece west of Boeotia, was confused by Hyginus with Phocaea, a city on the western coast of Asia Minor.

66 Probably an error for Harpagus.

67 Aen. I.2.

68 Aen. VI.17.

69 Aen. VI.122.

70 Aen. VI.617.

71 Aen. VI.838. The rendering is by Rhoades, except for "spotless" in the last line.

72 Neoptolemus, also called Pyrrus (or Pyrrhus), the son of Achilles and Deidameia.

73 Probably either Gellius or Hyginus misquotes Virgil. With their version we have a transfer of the epithet intemerata from Minerva to her shrine.

74 280‑275 B.C.

75 146 B.C.

76 ii, 72, Ribbeck3.

77 Tusc. Disp. III.75.

78 In 353 B.C.

79 The famous Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, adorned by Scopas, Bryaxis, Timotheus and Leochares with sculptures, the remains of which are now in the British Museum. It was a square building, 140 feet high, surrounded by Ionic columns. It stood upon a lofty base and was surmounted by a pyramid of steps ending in a platform, on which was a four-horse chariot. The term mausoleum was applied by the Romans to large and magnificent tombs such as the mausoleum of Augustus and that of Hadrian.

Thayer's Note: Actually, no one is very sure what the Mausoleum looked like, and different reconstructions appeal to different scholars. For a good illustrated approach to the monument, see W. R. Lethaby's The Tomb of Mausolus; and the further links there.

80 The other six "wonders" were: The walls and hanging gardens of Babylon; the temple of Diana at Ephesus; the statue of Olympian Zeus by Phidias; the Pyramids; and the Pharos, or lighthouse, at Alexandria.

81 The more approved spelling is Theodectas; see CIG II.977.

82 Fr. 1, Peter.

83 Adv. Androt. 7, p595.

84 Fr. 22, Huschke; Coniect. fr. 13, Bremer.

85 That is, a rogatio.

86 v.49, Marx.

87 The acarne was a kind of sea-fish.

88 Fr. 23, Huschke; 14, Bremer.

89 The older form of the nominative plebs.

90 ii.21, Maur.

91 Fr. inc. 51, Jordan.

92 Cat. xxxiii.2; Jug. x.2; xix.7, etc.

93 p53, 15, Fun.

94 vii.59.

95 Novissimus occurs in Caesar and in Cicero, Rosc. Com. 30; novior is avoided wholly by the classical writers.

96 Gorgias 40, p484C‑D; 485A‑E.

97 Homer, Iliad IX.441 f. οὔπω εἰδοθ’ ὁμοιίου πολέομιο Οὐδ’ ἀγορέων, ἵνα τ’ ἄνδρες ἀπιπρεπέες τελέθουσιν.

98 Cf. Hor. Odes IV.6.15, Troas male feriatos. Since Gellius mentions Horace by name only once, and once by possible implication (see Index), the expression had doubtless become proverbial.

99 That is, Callicles; see § 2.

100 Flavoured with myrrh.

101 p.68.3, Jordan.

102 That is, his adoptive father, Julius Caesar.

103 p145, Weichert.

104 A movable festival, celebrated between Dec. 15 and Jan. 5, at cross-roads, in honour of the Lares compitales.

105 ii.77, Ribbeck3.

106 Fr. 25, Peter2.

107 Said to Hannibal by his officer Maharbal after the battle of Cannae, 216 B.C.

108 Fr. 86, Peter2.

109 xix.7, Jordan.

110 Fr. 11, Bährens.

111 See McCartney, Figurative Use of Animal Names, p47.

112 Fr. 1, Ribbeck3, who gives the title as Aesiona. There is of course a word-play on lingula.

113 Ann. 390, Vahlen2; cf. Livy XXXI.39.11.

114 Many of these names, both of weapons and ships, are most uncertain; for some no exact equivalent can be found.

115 Hist. i.104, Maur.

116 ib. i.105.

117 I.3.

118 IV.526.

119 Hist. i.98, Maur.

120 Fr. 4, Peter2.

121 Ann. 537, Vahlen2.

122 Text and meaning are uncertain of this and the following sentence; see critical note.

123 Georg. I.199.

Thayer's Notes:

a For further details, see the article Annulus in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, and my note there.

b As often, our grammarian is fighting a rearguard battle against the natural evolution of language. Among many counter-examples, one may read an unambiguous use of maturare to mean "hasten" — in an unimpeachable author of the 1c B.C., whom Gellius admires, and who is if anything given to archaism: Sallust, in speaking of Catiline's botched attempt at revolution in Rome, writes "Quodni Catilina maturasset pro curia signum sociis dare, translated by J. C. Rolfe as "had not Catiline not been over-hasty in giving the signal to his accomplices in front of the senate-house" (Cat. 18.8).

c Incidentally — the final e's were elided — a very fine piece of alliteration, vividly depicting the clatter and rush of the crowd of armed men to the walls.

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