Sir John Edwin Sandys.

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Learning they were less studied than the Letters of Cicero. In modem
times they have been mainly appreciated for the light which they throw on
social life in the age of Trajan.

1013. C. Suetonius Tranquillus (c. 75—160 A.D.), the son of a tribune of the xilith

legion who took part in the battle of Bedriacum (69 A.D.), was one of the

Suetonius. correspondents of the younger Pliny, who obtained for him a military

tribuneship» and the ius trium liber&rum, helped him to purchase a small

estate, and urged him to publish some of his writings (v 10). Under Hadrian he was

ntagister epistularum, but was dismissed in iii and devoted the rest of his life to literary

pursuits.

1 014. His work De uita Caesarum, published in 119 — lai a.d., com-
prises the lives of the first twelve Caesars, beginning with
CMt^tM. lulius and ending with Domitian. He uses original
authorities, such as the Monumentum Ancyranum, the Acta
Poptili and Acta Senatus, with autograph documents of the emperors
(Aug, 87 ; JVero 5 a). He rarely quotes Tacitus and never names that
historian or the elder Pliny or Cluuius Rufus. He seldom supplies us with
any dates, and the larger part of his work consists of personal anecdotes of
the private lives of the Caesars, without regard to the general course of the
history of the Empire. He has given us a most vivid description of the
death of lulius Caesar and of Nero. He is, however, neither a historian
nor a biographer, but an industrious collector and a methodical sorter of



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IOI2— ioi8] SUETONIUS. CENSORINUS. FLORUS 683

biographical items, who remains in the background and allows the facts to
speak for themselves. He is only too fond of recording gossip and scandal,
and he recounts creditable and discreditable facts with an apparent
partiality for the latter. Each of the ' lives ' falls, in general, into four
sections, — name, exploits, manner of life, and death. All these are neatly
summed up in the Caesares of Ausonius : —

* Snetonios olhn
nomina, res gestas, aitamqae obitumque peregit '.

His style is marked by simplicity, lucidity, and terseness. It is said of him
by Vopiscus: — *Suetonio...familiare fuit amare breuitatem'.

10x5. His treatise De uiris illustriius dealt with poets, orators, historians, philoso-
phers, 'grammarians * (i,e, scholars), and rhetoricians. It was probably
published in 106 — 113 a.d. It is now represented by the greater part iUusMlms,
of the section de grammaticis $t rkiioribus^ and by the lives of Terence,
Horace, and Lucan, and that of the elder Pliny. The anthor's general attitude is that of
Quintilian (x 1). His earliest orator is Cicero ; his earliest historian, Sallust ; and he,
severely criticises Locan, and Seneca {Nero, 53). Hence it may be inferred that he was not
attracted either by the archaic or the modem style. Excerpts from the lost portions of
the above work have been preserved by Jerome, who borrows its title in a work of his
own.

xoz6. Suetonius was also the author of various works which may be grouped under the
head of Antiquities, Natural History, and Grammar. The first of these
comprised, under the general title of Roma^ treatises on manners and AntiqidtUs.
customs, on the Roman year, on Roman games and dress. There were
also separate works on Greek games, and on public offices. The second (under the title of
Praia) treated of man and nature, and of Ae divisions of time. The
third, of Greek terms of vituperation, of grammatical questions, and of Hutori
S3rmbols used for purposes of textual criticism. Through Isidore of Grammar.
Seville, these lost works had a consideroble influence on the literature of
the Middle Ages. The incomplete treatise of Censorinus, De die naiali Censorlnua.
(138 A.D.), containing much valuable information on points of chronology,
is mainly compiled from Varro, and from a lost work of Suetonius.

1017. P. Annius Floras wrote, in the reign of Hadrian, his Bellorum Romanorum Hbri
duo, an epitome of Roman history mainly founded on Livy. His work is
practically a panegyric on the Roman Empire. Its hero is the populus Plonis.

Romanus, whose ' infancy ' (says Floras) had been the age of the kings,
while its * adolescence' ended with the conquest of Italy, and its 'youth ' with Augustus,
who marks the beginning of its * old age *. The author is particularly fond of words such
as quippe and the apologetic qutui, and he abounds in exaggerations and in exclamations.
His work is, in fact, a dithyramb in prose. He often borrows from Lucan, and his diction
is partly poetical, and partly rhetorical. In all probability he is identical with the
rhetorician Floras, who discussed the question whether Virgil was to be regarded as a
poet or as an orator ; and with the poet Floras, the author of the lines on Hadrian
beginning * ego nolo Caesar esse, ambulare per Britannos ', which had the honour of a
, retort from Hadrian himself (Spartianus, Hadrian^ 16, 3).

Z018. To the age of Hadrian we may ascribe a short history of the Roman republic
bearing the name of Granius Licinianus. The extant portion refers to
163—78 B.c. The author depends mainly on Livy, while he regards Licinianus.
Sallust as an orator rather than as a historian. His date is determined by
his reference to the completion of the Olympieum^ an event which took place under



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684 LITERATURE LVHl i

Hadrian. He has a predtlectioo for miracles and for fictitious stories. He may be

identified with the antiquarian of the same name quoted by Macrobius and Seruius.

Z019. The imperial biographies of Suetonius were continued by Marius Maximus

(r. 165 — 130), who wrote the lives of the emperors beginning with Nerua

hi^'t^i?''* ^^^ ending with Elagabalus. Meagre extracts from these lives arc

auguBtaa. preserved in the first half of the Scriptores historiae augustae. This

comprehensive title is given to the six authors of the lives of the emperors

beginning with Hadrian and ending with Numerianus (117 — 184), the MSS of which are

all derived from a lost original in which the years 944 to 360 are missing. Four of the six

wrote as early as the age of Diocletian (284 — 305), viz. AeHus Spartianus (the biographer

of Hadrian, Aelius, Didius lulianus, Septimius Seuerus, Pescennius Niger, Caracalla and

Geta) ; luiius Capitolinus (the biographer of Antoninus Pins, Marcus Aurelius, Verus,

Pertinax, Clodius Albinos, Macrinus, the two Maximini, the three Gordiani, Maximus and

Balbinus) ; Vulcacius Gallicanus wrote the life of Auidius Cassius; Trebellim Pollio^ those

of the Valeriani, the Gallieni» the ' thirty tyrants ', and Claudius. The attitude of these

biographers is invariably that of servile courtiers; they dwell mainly on the merest personal

details ; they have no literary skill ; but they may be regarded as honest and truthfiil

witnesses to the facts reconied by them* The other two 'Scriptores' are Aelius

Lampridiiu (the biographer of Commodus, Elagabalus and Alex. Seuerus), and Vapiscus

(who b^an with Aurelian and ended with the sons of Cams). Some of the biographies

are dedicated to Diocletian and others to Constantine. The difficult questions raised by

them have been much discussed in recent years^.

1020. The reigns of Hadrian and the Antonines were included in the
. lifetime of the admirable jurist, Gaius (c, no— r. 180), who

was probably bom in the East, and was a private lecturer on
law in Rome, where he published the substance of his lectures in 161 a.d.
This work, which is known as the InsiiiutioneSy forms an introduction to
Roman jurisprudence. It has been solely preserved in a fifth-century
palimpsest discovered in 181 6 by Niebuhr at Verona. Graceful and natural
in its language, and easy in its transitions, it is marked by an absence of
archaisms and by a close adherence to the best classical models. Jurists in
general are credited by Quintilian with a 'summus circa uerbonim pro-
prietatem labor' (v 14, 34); and Mommsen has described the style of Gaius
in particular as *■ naturali sua simplicitate...prisco candore nitentem**.

loaz. M. Cornelius Fronto of Cirta in Northern Africa {c, 100 — 175) was con-
Pronto spicuous as an orator under Hadrian, while, under Antoninus Pius, he
was consul in 143, and preceptor of his sons, M. Aurelius and L. Verus.
The greater part of Frontons correspondence with M. Aurelius, as heir apparent and as
emperor, is still extant, having been first published by Mai (in 181 5-13) from a
palimpsest of the sixth century. Fronto was an enthusiastic admirer of the early Latin
literature. His favourite poets were Ennius, Accius, Plautus, and Lucretius, while, in
prose, he preferred Cato, Gracchus, and Sallust. He never actually mentions Terence or
Virgil, but he has some reminiscences of Virgil, Horace and Tacitus. He has an antipathy
to the teaching and the style of Seneca. He has read all the works of Cicero, and prelers
his Letters to his Speeches. He occasionally praises him, but he repeatedly uses the epithet
Tullianus in a somewhat contemptuous sense. He stands self-condemned, when he finds
fault with Cicero for never using ' insperata atque inopinata uerba * in his public orations,
Fronto's own preference being for an archaic and recondite vocabulary. In the eyes of

^ Curt Wachsmuth, Einleitung^ 690, n. 5.
^ £d. Ki-Uger-Studemuud, p. xvii.



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IOI9— 1023] GAIUS. FRONTO. GELLIUS. APULEIUS 685

Fronto, rhetoric is the crown of human life, and the counsellor and consoler of the human
race. The ruler finds his most potent weapon in the word ; even the general is powerless
without it ! When M. Anrelius sensibly resigned the study of rhetoric for that of
philosophy, Fronto raised a voice of warning and drew a gloomy picture of the con-
sequences of this resolve. What a noble occupation it is (he exclaims) to collect
synonjrms, to search out exquisite expressions, and to translate Latin into Greek 1 A
Gallic panegjrrist (Eumenius) describes him as 'eloquentiae non secundum, sed alteram
decus '. His main merit is that he was the tutor of M. Aurelius, who caused a sUtue to be
set up in his honour. As soon as the recovery of his Letters was announced, Niebuhr
eagerly resolved on editing them, and he even kept his promise. But there is a tone of
disenchantment in his final verdict : — ' Fronto was in fact a dolt ; he would have done
better, if he had adopted a mechanical trade instead of the profession of an orator and an
author *i.

zo2a. Aulus Gellius, bom c, 150 A.D., possibly in Northern Africa, studied * grammar*
in Rome under Sulpicius Apollinaris of Carthage. He was a friend of
the rhetoricians Fronto and Fauorinus. About the age of 50, after Qelliua.
holding office as a iudext he spent a year in Athens, where he interested
himself in Platonism, made the acquaintance of the Cjrnic, Peregrinus Proteus, and was
often invited to the country-house of Herodes Atticus. He returned to Rome, but of his
later life we know nothing.

Gellius, who was a diligent collector of literary miscellemea^ began arranging his
materials in the long winter evenings near Athens, and was thus led to give bis work the
name of Noctes Atticae {praef, 4). It is full of varied lore on philosophy, rhetoric, history,
literature, and philology. Its author is a typical scholar; he frequents libraries, and
examines MSS of Fabius Pictor, Cato, Catullus, Sallust, Cicero, and Viigil. He discusses
the different senses of obncxiuSf the exact meaning of ex iure manum consertum in Ennius,
Cicero*s use oipaenitere^ and the terms assiduus and proUtarius, He contrasts a * scriptor
proleiarius* with a 'scriptor classi€us\ deriving both metaphors from the classes of
Seruius Tullius, those in the first class being called elassici and those in the '\asX proletarii.
He takes pains to enliven his learning by throwing his information into the form of a
description, an anecdote, or an imaginary dialogue, with his friends figuring as interlocutors,
but the form of the dialogue is not consistently maintained. Once (in ix 4) he professes
to quote, firom second-hand copies of six Greek authors, whose works he has picked up at
a book-stall in Brundisium, certain wonderful stories, which, strange to say, he 'after*
wards found in the seventh book of Pliny'. It is from Pliny that he borrows the whole
of his account of hellebore, but Pliny's name is only casually mentioned. Many of his
other quotations are doubtless second-hand. For literary criticism and for incidents in
the lives of Latin poets he is indebted to Varro, from whose work De Poetis he quotes the
epitaph of Plautus : —

'postquam est mortem aptus Plautus, Comoedia luget,
scaena est deserta, [ac] dein Risus, Ludus locusque,
et Numeri innumeri simul omnes collacrimarant '.

Niebuhr has severely said of Gellius : — * He does not possess the least knowledge of
antiquity ; and has no idea of law, nor of ordinary lite. Respecting the colonies, for
example, of which there existed hundreds in his time, he is perfectly ignorant, and give?t
the most ludicrous definition of them' (xvi 11)*.

1023. The Platonist and rhetorician L. Apuleius, bom c, 115 at Madaura, was educated
at Carthage and Athens, travelled in Greece and Asia Minor, practised as
an advocate in Rome, and lectured on philosophy and rhetoric in Africa. Apul*lu».
He was sacerdos prouinciae at Carthage, where two statues were erected
in his honour.

* Kleine Schriften (1828), 316.

• Lectures on Roman History ^ E. T., iii a 41.



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686 LITERATURE [VIII i

The most attractive, and probably the earliest, of his works is the AfetamorphoseSy a
satirical novel describing the strange adventures of a youth who has been transformed into
an ass. It is derived from the same Greek source as the Asinus of Pseudo-Lucian, and
that source is supposed to have been Lucius of Patrae, whose work was known to Photius.
The author has introduced into his narrative no less than 17 incidental stories. The most
celebrated of these is the 'bella fabella' of Cupid and Psyche (iv 18 — ^vi 14), a popular tale
of Indo-European origin, written in imitation of a lost Greek model, and interspersed with
a few touches of Roman colouring. In the language of Apuleius popular Latin is strangely
commingled with classical Latin of different ages and different literary types, while both
are combined with various foreign elements. His style in general is florid and fantastic,
and is marked by an extraordinary number of epithets and diminutives. He coins new
words, sometimes solely for the sake of symmetry of form, e.g. 'mulieres candido
splendentes amicimine, uario laetsmtes gestamine, uemo florentes coronamine' (Met. xi 9).
He is a most versatile writer ; he plays many parts, and vaingloriously describes himself
as a votary of all the nine Muses [Fior. p. 34). His other writings include (i) the Apologia^
a defence on the charge of witchcraft {f. 155-8); («) the Florida^ an anthology of excerpts
from his speeches and declamations ; (3) De Deo Socratis^ (4) De Plaione et eius dogmate^
and (5) De mundo, modelled on the Pseudo-Aristotelian treatise TtpH KhafJLOv, His style
varies with his different works. The excerpts in his Florida are in the same affected style
as his Metamorphoses ; his Apologia is, in general, written in a clear and simple Ciceronian
style ; his De Platone and De mundo are entirely in the plain style ; while his De Deo
Socratis is in a style intermediate between the plain and the florid.

1024. Minucius Felix, an author of uncertain date who flourished either before 161 or
. between 913 and 950, is possibly of African origin. The influence of

p^l2^ Cicero is clearly marked in his Octauius, The scene of the dialogue is

laid on the sea-shore at Ostia ; the current arguments against Christianity
are set forth with vivacity and acumen, and are refuted with ingenuity and eloquence.
The date of the work has been much disputed. It has certain points in common with
the liher Apohgeticus of TertuUian (c, 200). To account for this fact, some have held
that TertulUan borrowed from Minucius Felix ; others that the converse was the case ;
while others again (with less probability) have supposed that both borrowed from a
common source which is now lost. The question asked in c. 18, 5, *has any partnership
of a throne ever begun in good faith and ended without bloodshed ? ', suggests a date
earlier than 161, the beginning of the joint rule of Marcus Aurelius and L. Verus,
who had a dutiful reverence for his wiser colleague. The work may have been meant
as a reply to a possibly recent attack on Christianity made by the tutor of those two
emperors, Fronto, who died c, 175, and is noticed in at least two passages (9, 6; 31, a).
The description of the scene of the dialogue reminds us of Cicero ; the combatants on
both sides borrow their weapons mainly from the De Natura Deorum^ and also from the
De Diuinatione. The author is also indebted to Seneca's treatises on Providence and on
Superstition, and he is familiar with Lucretius, Virgil, Horace, and Lucan. His work
has more than once been called a ' golden book * ; his style is fluent and elegant ; and
the closing syllables of his sentences have a distinctly Ciceronian rhythm. The following
extract will illustrate his fondness for placing two or three nouns or verbs in close juxta-
position : — ' quae singula, non modo ut crearentur fierent disponerentur, summi opificis et
perfectae rationis eguenint, uerum etiam sentiri perspid intellegi sine summa sollertia
et ratione non possunt* (17, 6; cp. 13, 13, and ^4, i).

1025. The author of another well-known Apologia^ Q. Septimius Florens Tertullianus

of Carthage (c. 1 50 — 330), has long been recognised as a writer of rare
TertuUian. genius, vivid imagination and passionate fervour. He has been charac-
terised as *ardens uir* by Jerome (Ep. 84, 2), who elsewhere refers to his
*acre et uehemens ingenium' {de uir, illustr, 53). The son of a centurion, and probably
himself originally an advocate, he mingles metaphors from the camp and the law-court
with the language of letters and the language of the people, and thus creates a new
language to meet the new needs of the Christian Church. He is our earliest authority



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I024— 1027] MINUCIUS FELIX— ARNOBIUS 687

for as many as 153 words ending^ in -tor or -trix. He not only coins new words, but he
also w&^ old words in new meanings, while Greek idioms abound in his renderings from
the Greek. His style is sometimefl extraordinarily difficult ; he combines the crabbed
obscurity of a Persius with the vehement indignation of his own finvourite authors, Juvenal
and Tacitus. One of his successors, Lactantius, himself a master of a smoother type of
Latinity, describes him as 'omni genere litteranim peritus, sed in eloquendo parum
fadlis et minus comptus et multum obscurus' {Di9$* Inst. 5, x). Some of his briefer
and simpler sentences have become proverbial: — 'O testimonium animae naturaliter
Christianae' (ApoL 17) ; * semen est sanguis Christianorum* {ib, 50); and his paradoxical
phrase : — 'certum est quia impossibile est' {De camt ChrisH, 5).

ioa6. Cyprian (c, 100—965), ^^o ^^^ * martyr's death as bishop of Carthage, had
received, like Minucius Felix and TertuUian, a rhetorical education. It
is said that he never passed a day without reading TertuUian, and that he Cyprian,
often asked for his works in the words : — * da mihi magistrum ' (Jerome,
Di uiris illastribus, 53). He was influenced by the thought and not by the language oi
his * master', whom he fa^ excels in the lucidity of his style and the smoothness of his
diction, while, in the rhythm of his clausulae^ he closely follows the example of Cicero.
He renounces the direct citation of classical authors, though he imitates their style
to enhance the stateliness of his language. In classical prose Cicero and Seneca are
apparently the only authors with whom he is intimately acquainted. But he also knows
his Virgil, and his own style is full of poetic elements. His normal word for * often*
is frequenter^ with saepius and saepissimi for its comparative and superlative, while
saepe is never used except for reasons of rhjrthm. He avoids mcx^ and uses eito and
utlocUer in its place. He uses words in new forms and new meanings, and with a new
syntax. He frequently expresses the oblique cases by means of prepositions, such as
de or adt and the future tense by habirt and the infinitive ; and he supplies ns with the
earliest example of uelle as a future auxiliary : — 'addiderunt (martyres) non in hoc fidere
ut liberari in praesentia nellent' (p. 484, 11). In the structure of his clauses he aims
at S3rmmetry, and nothing shows his rhetorical training more vividly than his use of
rhythm, of rhyme, and of alliteration. He has a complete command of all the technical
devices of the rhetoricians, combined with amplitude of expression, and a smooth move-
ment of the period. His expansive sentences are seldom varied with pointed epigrams
of the following type : — ^ madet orbis mutuo sanguine ; et, homiddium cum admittunt
singuli, crimen est; uirtus uocatur, cum publioe geritur; impunitatem sceleris adquirit non
innocentiae ratio, sed saeuitiae magnitudo ' {ad Donaium^ 6). Some of his sayings have
become memorable. At the outbreak of the plague in Carthage, in exhorting his flock
to be never deterred by the fear of death from ministering to the djring, he bids them be
true to their heritage : — ' respondere nos decet natalibus nostris ' ( Vita Pontii^ 9) ; else-
where (De Mortalitatg, 15) he tells them not to sorrow for the faithful departed, 'cum
sciamus non eos amitti, sed praemitti*,— 'not lost, but gone before*. Lastly, in his letter
to the martjrrs imprisoned in the mines, their 'feet in blessed bondage bound ' are the
theme of a fine anaphora: — *o pedes felidter uincti, qni non a fabro sed a Domino
resoluuntur; o pedes feliciter uincti, qui itinere salutari ad paradisum diriguntur; o pedes
in saeculo ad praesens ligati, ut sint semper apud Deum liberi ' (Ep. 76, c. a).

zoay. The African rhetorician, Amobius, in his polemical pamphlet on the poly-
theism of the Gentile world (c, 395), gives proof of a command of the
most varied vocabulary, combined with strong and violent language, and Amobius.
a constant readiness to resort to rhetorical interrogation. In his Latin
style, he lollows the ordinary classical tradition, as opposed to the modem mannerisms
of writers like Apuleius, but he is discredited by the violence of his invective. He is
described by Jerome as ' inaequalis et nimius et absque operis sui partitione confusus *
{Ep. 58, 10), while his own pupil, Lactantius, in recounting the litterati who had defended
Christianity, preserves an impressive silence on the achievement of his master. Amo-
bius pointedly refers (iii 6) to Cicero De Natura Deorum ; but he derives most of hb
materials from Epicureans, such as Lucretius. On antiquarian matters (for which alone



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688 LITERATURE [VIII i

he is now of much value) he is mainly indebted to a recent writer on the Etruscan and
Roman religion, Cornelius Labeo, and to Varro, * ille Romanus multiformibus eminens
disdplinis ' (v S), whom he effectively quotes in the following passage : — ' Quid ergo,
dixerit quispiam, sacrificia censetis nulla esse omnino facienda? Ut uobis non nostra, sed
Varronis uestn sententia respondeamus, nulla' (vii i).

xoaS. The hme of the Ciceronian eloquence of Amobius* disciple, Lactantius, led

to his being summoned by Diocletian from Sicca in Northern Africa to
LactanduB. teach rhetoric in the new capital, Nicomedeia. When this appointment

lapsed with the outbreak of the Diocletian persecution (303), Lactantius
found consolation in literary work. He is prompted to compose his earliest extant
treatise, De opificio Dei {c* 304), by the undue brevity with which human physiology
had been treated by his great master, Cicero. In the course of its pages, he repeatedly
quotes Virgil and refutes Lucretius. On the positive, as well as on the negative side,
his Diuinae InstUutiones (307 — 310) owe much to Cicero De Natura Deorum, of which
he incidentally declares, that ' the whole of the third book destroys all forms of religion ',
while he repeatedly echoes Cicero's language of regretful resignation: — 'utinam tam
facile uera innenire possim quam falsa conuincere' (i 91). He also quotes Lucretius
and Virgil, as well as the Fasti and Metamorphoses of Ovid, besides Ennius, Plautus,
Terence, Lucilius, Horace and Persius, with Vlmro, Sallust and Seneca. He reveals his



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