Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

The satire of Seneca on the Apotheosis of Claudius commonly called the Apocolocyntosis; online

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tongue. See Introd. p. 6. Cf. in Sen. Ep. 40, 9, a remark
of Geminus Varius about P. Vinicius, whose manner of speak-
ing was said to be tractim^ tria verba non potest iungere. The
expression, "three words," was proverbial. See Otto, and
compare also, e.g.., Plant. Trinum. 963, te tribus verbis volo ;
Lipsius's Somnium, 6, tria verba latine scribe. Stahr finds
here a hint of a legal expression like the formula, hie meus est,
with which a master claimed a runaway slave as his property.

et servum me ducat : " and he can have me."

hunc deum quis colet ? Augustus apparently has overlooked
the circumstance mentioned at the end of c. 8, parum est
quod, etc.

nemo vos deos esse credet : Cf. c. 9, quid de nobis existimabit f

summa rei: an exceptional ellipsis ; cf. ad summam.

si honeste me inter vos gessi : me is not in the ms., but a
conjecture of Haase.

c. II.] NOTES 217

clarius: so the St. G. ms. Val. gives clarus. Several of
the later mss. and the editio prmceps give durus. The
change is easily made. Rhenanus and most of the editors
give durius. Wehle conjectures acrius^ but admits that
clarius may refer to Augustus's well-known reserve of speech.
Cf. Suet. Aug. 84 : pronuntiebat dulci et propria quodam oris
sono. Apart from this implication, cf Suet. Cal, 22 : cum
Capitolino love secreto fabulabatur \_Caligida\, modo insu-
surrans . . . jnodo clarius nee sine iurgiis ; id. Vitell. 14: . . .
dare jnaledixertmt. Here the apparent change of sense is
due of course to an accidental association.

ex tabella recitavit : as Augustus was noted for trusting
himself little to extemporary speech in important matters ;
Suet. Aug. 84. Cf. A. Gellius, vii. 19, Gracchus . . . decre-
tum ex tabella recitavit. The use of manuscript in rendering
the formal sententiae of senatorial debates in Rome appears
to have been a matter of personal preference. Decisions in
trials, however, were regularly rendered in written form. Cf.
Suet. CI. 15, where half the joke in one of Claudius's ridicu-
lous judgments was that it was read ex tabella.

divus Claudius : Cf. the same in c. 9. Bucheler suggests
that the present instance may be a copyist^s blunder for Ti

socerum suum, Appium Silanum : C. Appius Junius Silanus
(cf. Dessau, Prosop. I. 541), according to the Fasti^ was con-
sul ordinarius a.d. 28 ; maies talis accjisatus a.d. 32, sed abso-
lutus. Claudius treated him with high honor and married him
to Messalina's mother (Dio, Ix. 14). In 42, Messalina, whom
he had angered, joined the freedman Narcissus in a plot against
him. They both reported to Claudius that they had dreamed
of his murder by Appius, and the emperor in fright immedi-
ately consented to the death of the latter. Cf. also Suet. CI.
29 and 37 ; Tac. Aftn. xi. 29.

Appius, though here called socer, was strictly, so to say,
Claudius's step-father-in-law. In Suet. CI. 29, he is called
consocer, but not correctly so, though he would be if, as stated


by Ruhkopf and Bucheler, he instead of Marcus was the
father of Lucius Silanus, on whom see note, c. lo.

generos duos Magnum Pompeium et L. Silanum : Cf. Dio,
Ix. 5 : TQM yovv Ovyarepa^ . . . Tr)v /xev iyyvijcra'S AovKto)
'lovvto) StAavo), TTjv Sk ckSovs Fvatu) no/xTrryto) Mayvo). Simi-
larly, Suet. C/. 29, already cited. In Dio, Ix. 21, both Mag-
nus and Silanus are called ya/x/Jpo:', though to Silanus Octavia
was only affianced. Cf. Verg. A en. ii. 344, where the usage
is the same ; also Hor. Epod. vi. 13.

Crassum Frugi hominem : Many of the early editions have
Crassum^ frugi hominem ; it was, however, printed as a cog-
nomen in the editio princeps. There may possibly be, as
Fromond says, an intended play upon the word in both

tarn similem sibi quam ovo ovum : See Otto. Cf. Cic. Acad,
pr. ii. 1 7, 54 : ut sibisint et ova ovorum et apes apium simillimae ;
ibid. 18, 57 : Videsne ut in proverbio sit ovorum inter se simili-
tudo? So also Quintil. v. 11, 30: ut illud: non ovum tam
simile ovo. Erasmus discusses the proverb in his Adag. 1410.
In a similar sense are quoted the Plautine, neque lac lactis
magis est simile and ex uno puteo similior nunquam aqua
aquae^ and the Greek, otvaco) ovkov ovSc %.v ovtws ofJiOLOVy etc.
The resemblance of Crassus to Claudius was doubtless in the
qualification mentioned above, tam/atuum, etc.

nee illi rerum iudicandarum vacationem dari : This and the
following clauses specifically explain the first, in eum severe

Schusler says : Eadem fort ass e ratione h. /., qua apud Nep.
Att. 7 et Cic. Coel. 2^ explicandum esse censeo ; uti enim ibi
aetatis et adolescentiae vacatio est liberation quae aetatis et ado-
lescentiae causa obtinetur, sic h. I. reru7n iudicandarum vaca-
tio est liberatio reru?n iudicandarmn gratia^ qua alicui reo
facultas datur se defendendi. Hanc igitur Claudio negari
placet August 0^ iure, qmmi eadein ratione ille quam pluritnos
damnavisset. Bucheler takes the same direction, saying that
the genitive does not mean, as in militiae vacationetn^ the ob-

c. II.] NOTES 219

ject from which freedom is sought, but simply a general rela-
tion to the substantive by which it stands, as in the instances
cited by Schusler. All this seems to me unnecessary and far-
fetched. Rertifn itidicandarimi may very well be taken as
the objective genitive common with vacatio. Here is the
first of a series of proposals of poetic justice (cf. c. 12, nenia,
I. 20 seq.), others appearing in cc 14 and 15. Claudius in his
lifetime had persisted in conducting trials very badly; now
for all eternity he is to be condemned to weary himself un-
ceasingly with the same employment. That the penalty would
have been an awkward one to carry out does not matter.
Nobody waited to see the joke applied. The whole thing
seems obvious. Cf. also Cic. N.D. i. 20, 53 : beatam vitam
. , . et in 07?miu7Ji vac at tone ?}iuner7i?n po?timus.

exportari et . . . excedere : Note the e(, making the explana-
tory clause apparently coordinate with the preceding. Cf.
animadverti nee . . . dari.

caelo intra triginta dies . . . Olympo intra diem tertium :
Olympus corresponding to the city, caelo to Italy, in the case
of a Roman banishment. According to the theory of the ten
celestial spheres, of which Olympus (regio fixariim) was the
first, this would very properly require, as Fromond observes,
one-tenth of the time to pass.

pedibus in banc sententiam itum est: cf. Livy, xxvii. 34:
[M. LiviHs\ ant verbo adsentiebatur ant pedibus in senten-
tiam ibat. Here the celestial senators, seeing no further need
of individual expression, simply came over to the side of the
last speaker, as in a '^ division," discessio.

nee mora : like haud mora, an expression frequent in the
poets. Cf. also, e.g., Petron. ^(),/in.

Cyllenius : from his birthplace on Mount Cyllene, Mercury,

coUo obtorto : as we might say, " seized him by the collar."
Cf. Plant. Poen. 790 : obtorto collo ad praetorem trahor ; simi-
larly, Cic. Ver. Act. II. iv. 10, obtorta gtda, etc. ; phrases com-
mon in connection with the leading away of the condemned.


trahit ad inferos [a caelo], etc.: The mss. as well as the
first edition have ad inferos a caelo unde negant, etc., which
is evidently wrong. The verse in Catullus begins with
illuc unde, and the first word was inserted in this text by
Muretus and has since been generally given. Each of the
two phrases, ad inferos and a caelo, has been rejected as a
gloss. Biicheler and Wehle bracket ad inferos, leaving
a caelo illuc unde, etc. Guasco, Ruhkopf, Fickert, Schusler,
Haase, and others omit a caelo and give ad inferos, illuc unde,
etc. Quite the simplest way of dealing with the text, how-
ever, is to leave the line from Catullus incomplete, as it is in
the MSS. (since there is really no reason for assuming that
Seneca had to quote the whole), and regard a caelo as the
gloss, unless indeed we prefer to suppose that the two
phrases have accidentally exchanged position, and originally
read : trahit a caelo ad inferos, unde, etc.

unde negant redire quemquam: from Catullus, iii. 12. Cf.
in an epigram to Priapus, Meyer, Anth. Lat. 1704, 11 : Unde
fata negant redire quemquam; as in Hamlet's soliloquy
(Ham. Act iii. Sc. i) :

" The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns."

Cf. also Anacreon, Ivi. fin., cts cavrov:

'AtSeo) yap ecrrt 8ctvos
Mv;(09, dpyaXerj 8* i<s avTov
Ka^o8o5 • Koi yap troiyiov
K-ara/SavTi [Jltj dvaPrjvai.

12. descendant per viam Sacram: distinctively the street
of processions. As to the direction, there may be a reminis-
cence of the allusion in c. i to the via Appia, which was a
continuation of the same way. Mercury and Claudius were
going toward the spot indicated in the next chapter, inter
Tiber im et viam Tectam,

c. 12.] NOTES 221

quid sibi velit . . . num . . . esset: Note the colloquial
confusion of tense in the indirect questions after the historical

impensa cura, plane ut scires deum efferri : The irony of this
juxtaposition needs no comment. On the elaborateness of
Claudius's funeral, cf. Suet. Nero, 9: Orsus Nero hinc a
pietatis ostentatione, Claudium, apparatisswio funere elatum,
Imidavit et consecravit ; Tac. Ann. xii. 69: caelestesque ho-
nor es Claudio decernunttir ct ftmeris sollemne peri7ide ac divo
Augiisto celebrahir, ae??mlante Agrippina proaviae Liviae
magnificentia7n, Herodianus (iv. 2) gives an extended ac-
count of the ceremonies of an imperial deification of the time
of Septimius Severus, the resemblance of which to that of
Claudius may roughly be assumed. The reading of the editio
princeps here is impensa car a plemtm, etc.

tubicinum: The reading of the St. G. text is evidently
preferable to the tibicinum of the other MSS. and the editio
princeps, from the generalization which immediately follows,
omnis getter is aenatoriifu.

aenatorum : The mss. have for this word senatorum ; Rhe-
nanus's conjecture of aeneatorum is a very evident improve-
ment. The sonatoru?n of the editio princeps is simply an
ill-advised effort in the same direction. Properly, according
to the definition of aenafores in Festus (ed. Miiller, p. 20,
Pauli Ex.), cornicines dicunttir, id est cornu canentes, but here,
in general, players upon all sorts of brass instruments ; vari-
ously explained in the glossaries as cornicines, liticines, tubi-
cines, Kv^iPaXoKpovaraL, etc. They were military musicians ;
cf. the use of the word in Suet. Caes. 32 and Sen. Ep. 84, 10.
Cf. P. Cauer in EpA. Epig. IV. 374, De Muneribus Militaribtis.
On \hecollegittm aeneatoriim, see Mommsen, Staatsr. (3d ed.),
III. p. 288. Cf. eg. C.I.L. X. 5173 and 5415.

tantus concentus : ed. prin., conventtis, and so in various

ambulabat tanquam liber : Cf. c. i : ego scio nie liber um


Agatho : apparently one of the causidici; otherwise un-
known. The name is that of an unctuarius in Petron. 74,
and appears frequently in inscriptions. It is the title of one
of Varro's Menippeae^ the fragments of which are insufficient
to give much idea of its character. Frag. 13 (ed. Bucheler)
reads, quid niulta f f actus sum vespertilw, neqtie in rmiribus
plane neque in volucribus suin^ which, in view of such a phrase
as advocati nocturni of Petron. 15, suggests the possibility that
Varro's satire may be related to the same subject, the causidici^
and its title, Agatho^ stands as the type of the class.

et pauci causidici plorabant : They had had their day. Cf.
Suet. CI. 15 : illud quoque a maioribiis natu atidiebam, adeo
causidicos patientia eius solitos abuti, ut descendentem e tribu-
nali non solum voce revocarent^ sed et, lacinia togae retenta,
inter dum pede apprehenso, detinerent. Tac. Ann. xi. 5 : nam
cuncta legum et magistratuu7n munia in se trahens princeps
materiam praedandi patefecerat.

But Claudius's special claim to the regard of the causidici
was his abrogation of the Lex Cincia, qtia cavettcr antiquitus
ne quis ob causam orandam pecuniam donumve accipiat. After
listening to the arguments of the professional advocates, tit
minus decora haec^ ita haud frtistra dicta princeps ratus, capi-
endis pecuniis statuit modum Usque ad dena sestertia, quern
egressi repetundarum tenerentur (Tac. Ann. xi. 5-7). The
business of the causidici, though looked down upon (cf. Colu-
mella, R.R. praef. lib. i., sine ludicris artibus atque etia7n
causidicis olim satis felices ftiere, etc.), was notoriously lucra-
tive; cf. Petron. 46; Juv. i. 32. The present grief of the
shysters was well founded, for under Nero the old law was
soon revived (Tac. Ann. xiii. 5).

Compare in Hor. S. i. 2 (init.) the similar mourning of other
classes, quite as disreputable, upon the death of a benefactor ;

^ * * 3~4 ' hoc genus omne

Maestum et sollicitmn est cantoris morte Tigelli.

Rather oddly, Gellius, xii. 2, quoting various opinions upon

c. 12.] NOTES 223

Seneca's own style, speaks of his res et sententiae as character-
ized by a causidicali argiitia (ed. Hertz, 1885).

sed : The adversative is to the patcci ; they made up in sin-
cerity what they lacked in numbers.

iurisconsulti : legal advisers, who appear not to have been
in great request under the caprices of Claudiuses administra-
tion. Their profession and that of the advocatus were more
distinct than with us are those of the attorney and barrister.

e tenebris : Cf. Hor. Carm. Saec. 57-59 :

lam Fides et Pax et Honos Pudorque
Priscus et neglecta redire Virtus

turn maxima : This is the reading of the St. G. and Val.
Mss. and of the editio princeps. The reading commoner in
the editions is cu?H?naxime, as in Paris 8717.

dicebam vobis : " I told you so."

non semper Saturnalia enint : Note the parataxis after dice-
bam. On the use of the phrase, cf. note on Satiirnalicius^ c.
8 ; especially cf. Petron. 44 : isti maiores maxillae semper
Saturnalia agtint. Otto quotes Lucian de Merc, Cond, 16;
oiti yap CIS act Atovixrta coprao'ctv ; and the German, £s
ist nicht immer Kirmes. We say, "Every dog has his

ingenti fic^dXw x^P'-'^^ • The tautology has condemned the
reading, which is clearly that of the St. G. MS., in the minds
of some of the editors, who have adopted the correction of
Junius, fi€ya\7jyopLa. But a " great big chorus " seems alto-
gether in the spirit of the situation, particularly as one of the
adjectives is Greek.

nenia cantabatur anapaestis : Cf. Suet. Aug. 100 : in con-
nection with Augustus's funeral, canentibus neniam principu?n
liberis utriusque sexus. The word is defined in Festus (Paul,
ex Fest. p. 61, M.), naenia est carmen qtwd in funere lau-
dandi gratia cantatur ad tibia?n, and Cic. de Leg. ii. 24, 62,
honoratorum virorum laudes in contione memorentur easque

224 ^-^^ SATIRE OF SENECA [c. 12.

etiam cantus ad tibicinem prosequatu7' , cm nomen neniae.
Compare the verses in Mercury's proclamation in Julian's
Caesar es^ 18. The anapaest is familiar in marching time,
and the anapaestic dimeter is common in Seneca's tragedies,
edite planctus : Cf. Sen. Troad, 93-94 :

Vacet ad crebri verbera planctus
Furibunda manus. placet hie habitus.

Cf. also id. Thyest. 1049-1050 :

pectora illiso sonent
Contusa planctu.

After these words, the editio princeps^ in which the lines are
arranged three dipodies long, has the dipody, fingite mugi-
tus. This is not in the St. G. and Val. mss., but occurs in
some of the later ones, and either in this form or that of
Rhenanus's conjecture, fingite luctus, appears in most of the
editions. It might possibly be an instance of double entente
in the vford fingite, but seems on the whole an inept interpo-
lation. The dirge had not reached the stage of frankness for
saying, " counterfeit sorrow."

resonet tristi clamore forum: At the Forum began the
march toward the place in the Campus Martins where the
pyre was burned (Herodianus). Bucheler recalls Appian,
Bel. Civ. ii. 146, telling how the funeral hymn to Caesar
began there after Antony's oration.

cecidit pulchre cordatus homo: Referring to such a butt
of ridicule as Claudius, who was understood to have died of
eating poisoned mushrooms, the irony of this makes a good
beginning. On the adjective, cf. Ennius, Ann. 335, ap. Cic.
Tusc. i. 9, 18: Egregie cordatus homo, cat us Aeliu'^ Sextus.
(Same ap. id. Rep. i. 18, and De Or. i. 45.) This sense of
the word cor is commonest in the anteclassical poets.

quo non alius : Cf. the same expression below, and in Ov.
Met. ill. 615, similarly with a comparative. More usual is
nemo alius or alius nemo.

c. 12.] NOTES 225

fortior : Cf. Suet. CI. 35 : nihil aeque quam timidtis ac
diffidens fuit. . . . neque convivia inire ausus est nisi ut
speculatores cum lanceis circumstarent^ etc. Cf. Dio, Ix. 2.

citato . . . cursu : On his halting gait, cf. c. i and c 5, and

rebelles fundere Parthos: On the troubles with the Parthians,
who could not strictly be called " rebels," cf. Tac. Ann. xii.
44-51. In the last fight with them recorded in Claudiuses
reign the Parthians were victorious over the Hiberi (the allies
of Rome), but atrox hiems sen pariim provisi commeatiis et
orta ex utroque tabes perpellunt Volugesen [regem Parthortim]
omittere praesentia (ib. 50). It was not, however, till Nero^s
time, that abscessere Armenia Part hi, tamqtiam differ rent
bellum (ibid. xiii. 7).

Persida: i.e. Persas. Persia for the Persians, by me-

certaque manu : Cf. c. 6, fin. solutae manus ; Dio, Ix. 2 :
TO §€ 8^ <TU)fjja vo(Tii)Sr)^ cJore kol . . . rats xcpcrlv VTrorpe/xctv.

pictaque Medi terga fugacis : Ruhkopfs explanation of this
line is, pictis sagidis amicti, aut picta scuta in terga reiicientes
fugiendo. The costumes of the Medes and Persians always
excited the Graeco-Roman imagination. Cf. Pers. iii. 53 :
Medi bracati, and similar allusions. The reference here is
doubtless to the well-known fashion of flight while shooting
their arrows backward, which was especially Parthian, but
not here precisely discriminated.

Britannos ultra noti litora ponti: This is an heroic exag-
geration, even for Claudiuses time. His expedition to Britain,
however, was in some respects the most spectacular achieve-
ment of his reign. Cf. Tac. Agric. 13-14, reviewing the
earlier relations of the Britons with the empire, and ib. fin.,
Divus Claudius auctor operis, . . . redactaqiie paulatim in
for mam provinciae proxima pars Britamiiae. Suet. CI. 17
gives Claudius's personal motive for the expedition. Compare
also, on the expedition and the triumph with which it was
celebrated, Dio, Ix. 19-23. On the latter part of the war in


Britain, after Claudius had returned to Rome, cf. Tac. Ann,
xii. 31-40. The expedition was a favorite subject of epigram.
Cf. in Meyer, Anthol. Lat. 762, fin.. Qui fitiis mundo est, non
erat miperio, and others there given.

Brigantas : Though these for a time stopped fighting (Tac.
Ann. xii. 32), they were not part of the province reduced to
actual subjection in Claudius's time, but were conquered by
Vespasian. Cf. Tac. Agric. 17, where the Brigantum civitas
is described as mcmerosissirna provinciae totius. They lived
in the north of England.

ipsum . . . tremere Oceanum: Cf. Suet. CI. 17, inter hostilia
spolia navalem corona7n . . . traiecti et quasi domiti Oceani
insigne. Also Meyer, Anthol. Lat. 765, 5-6 :

At nunc Oceanus geminos interluit orbesy
Pars est imperii, terminus ante fuit.

Romanae iura securis tremere: Cf. Caes. B.G. vii. TJ,
\Gallid\ securibus subiecta, and Hor. Carm. Saec. 54, Medus
Alb anas timet secures.

non alius potuit citius discere causas, etc. : Cf. c. 7 and 10
(^fin.) ; see Introd. p. 9, on Claudius's taste for the judgment
seat. Suet. CI. 15 is the locus classicus ior instances. Facilius
might have been added to citius in reference to at least one
judgment there recorded : secundum eos se sentire, qui vera

una tantum parte audita : Cf. Suet. CI. 29 : nee defensione
ulla data. Also on the irregularities of Claudius's condemna-
tions, cf. Dio, Ix. 16 (init.).

saepe ne utra : so Bucheler, edit. min. In the editio prin-
cepSy saepe et neutra, followed by most of the editions. Saepe
neutra, frankly taken, would be no worse, metrically, than
ultra noti above.

tibi iam cedet sede relicta : Minos, acknowledging himself

populo . . . silenti: Cf. Verg. Aen. vi. 264, umbrae silentes,
and similar instances.

c. 13.] NOTES 227

Cretaea tenens oppida centum : Cf. Hor. Epod. ix. 29 : cen-
tum nobileni Cretam urbibtis ; id. Carm. iii. 27, 33 ; similarly
Homer, //. ii. 649, Kprjrrjv eKaro/XTroAtv.

causidici, venale genus : See note on causidici above, and
especially Tac. Ann, xi. 5, 7iec qiiicqiiajn . . . tain venale
fnit quam advocatoruin perfidia. The writer concludes with
this appeal the mock glorification of Claudius's judicial ser-
vices, which followed the enumeration of his achievements as
a conquering prince. Here, however, the temptation to an
outburst of unconventional frankness introduces two more
appeals for the mourning of classes who had profited by
Claudius's weak points. Ve?iale gemis is an epithet no less
biting that it was lawfully applicable, since the advocati were
authorized to take payment for their services (Tac. Ann.
xi. 7). Cf. Petron. 14, on the venality of courts in general.

vosque poetae, etc. : On Claudius's interest in literature, cf.
c. 5. Cf. Suet. CI. 40-42 ; also Pliny, Ep. i. 13, 3, on his will-
ingness to listen to other writers. Recall his production at
his own expense of a Greek comedy in honor of Germanicus,
which was awarded the prize by the decision of the judges
(Suet. CI. 11). The satirist's own attitude toward X\iQ poetae
novi is to be inferred from the Apoc. c. 2.

qui concusso magna parastis lucra fritillo : Cf. Hor. Carm,
iii. 24, 58, vetita legibus alea. But Claudius aleani studiosis-
sinie lusit, de cuius arte librutn quoque emisit (Suet. CI. 33).
Cf. ibid. 5 : et aleae infainiam subiit, and id. Vitell. 4 : Clati-
dio per aleae studium fainiliaris. See cc. 14 and 15.

13. Talthybius deorum : Talthybius, the herald of Agamem-
non in the Trojan War, was proverbial for a swift and zealous
messenger. Cf. Plaut. Stichus, 305, where the hurrying Dina-
cium says, Contu?idam facta Talthybi contemna?nque omnis
nuntios. The Talthybius of the gods was evidently Mercury.
After deorum the mss. and most of the editions have the word
nuntius (bracketed by Biicheler and omitted by Ruhkopf and
Schusler), which clearly destroys the sense and must be a


capite obvoluto : This might conceivably be an allusion to
the fact mentioned by Dio (Ix. 2) that Claudius was the first
Roman to go in a litter with a covering over his head. The
motive here given {ne quis, etc.) was only one of several pos-
sible ones, however, for an act that was common. Cf. e.g,
Petron. 20 : operuerat Ascyltos pallio caputs adjnonztus scilicet
periculosum esse, alienis intervenire secretis. Men covered
their heads, as now they would pull their hats down over their
eyes, lest they should be recognized, or indeed to keep from
seeing something distasteful, or to conceal their own expres-
sion, as Caesar when he resigned himself to his assassins
(Suet. Caes. 82).

inter Tiberim et viam Tectam : at the northern extremity of
the Campus Martius, where the via Tecta (associated with the
via Flaminia in Martial, viii. 75, 2 ; cf. id. iii. 5, 5) or via
fornicata (cf. Liv. xxii. 36) seems to have been a species of
arcade with shops. The region was near the Mausoleum of
Augustus, where Claudius's ashes were actually laid away.
The tale of his descent to Hades here is evidently based on
the popular superstitions connected with the Campus ignifer,
the Tarentum or Terentum of the Ludi Terentini, and the
stor}^ told by Valer. Max. ii. 4, 5, of Valesius the Sabine and
his sick children. Cf. Zosimus, Historia Nova, ii. i and 2.
The pool fed by hot springs and other signs of volcanic
action had originally marked the spot, and here was the Ara
Ditis patris et Proserpinae, which was discovered in 1886-
1887 with the celebrated Co^njnentarium ludorum saecularium
{C.LL. VI. 877; Mon. Antichi Accad. Line, 1891, p. 618;
Lanciani, Rtmis and Exc. p. 446). Cf. Festus (ed. M. p.
329), s.v. saeculares ludi, . . . quod populus R. in loco eo
antea sacra fecerat et arani quoque Dili ac Proserpinae conse-
craverat^ in extre7no Martio campo quod Terent2t7n appellatur.

The locality of Claudius's descent into Hades seems itself
a hint at his antiquarian propensities, especially after his cele-

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Online LibraryLucius Annaeus SenecaThe satire of Seneca on the Apotheosis of Claudius commonly called the Apocolocyntosis; → online text (page 15 of 18)