The Ancient Library

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On this page: Litterator – Litteratus – Litters



A new kind of literature, in the form of poetic fables, was introduced into literature byPiMDRUS (died about 40), and martial (died 102 A.D.) elaborated the epigram as an independent branch of poetry. The tragedies of seneca (died 65 a.d.) are not intended for the stage, on which mimes and pantomimes alone bore sway, but are simply declamatory exercises. The most important prose writers of the time are the same Seneca, who composed numerous philoso­phical treatises; petron!us (died 67) with his satirical novel; the elder pliny (died 79) with his gigantic Natural History; quintilian (died about 118), who, in his Instltutio OrOtS-rfa, sought to cause a re­action to the old models in oratory ; the great historian TiclTus (died about 120) ; and the younger pliny (died about 114 a.d.) with his Letters and the Panegyric on Trajan, the pattern of the later Pane­gyrics. Beside these must be mentioned the writers of research, velleios pater-culus and valerius max!mus (both about 30), curtius rufus (about 40), fsontincs (died about 104), who was also an active contributor to technical literature, the geo­grapher pomponius mela (about 40), the physicians celsus (about 30) and scri-bonius largus (about 45), the writer on husbandry C6LUMELLA (about 65), the grammarian remmius pal.emon (about 50), the textual critic probus (about 65), and the commentator asconius ped!anus (died 88 a.d.).

Period IV. The Literature in its Decline. From Hadrian (117 A.D.) to the 6th


Of the numerous poets of this period only a few, and those belonging to the later time, are of special interest; e.g. ausonius (4th century), claudian, namatianus, dracon-Tlus (5th century). In prose literature, from the time of Hadrian, jurisprudence takes a prominent position. It was mainly represented by gaius, papinian, ulpian, and paulus (2nd to 3rd century), and a magnificent completion was given to their labours by the Corpus luris Clvllis com­piled under Justinian I (6th century). Among the historians the most noteworthy are sueton!us (2nd century), who was also the compiler of numerous writings on ! archfeology, literary criticism, and gram­mar, which were no less eagerly read by subsequent generations than Varro's; and ammiands marcellinus (4th century). The rest, such as florus (2nd century), the

Scriptores ffistOrlce Augustce (3rd and 4th centuries). justin, aurelius victor, ectropius, etc., are only epitomizers. From the 4th century onwards the influence of Christianity made itself felt in this sub­ject, as with SuLPlcius and orosids. In the 2nd century fronto gave a new direc­tion to oratory by reverting to the writers of the archaic era. In this he was followed by the rhetorician apuleius, the writer of a humorous and fanciful novel of character, one of the most interesting products of the period. Gaul was from the end of the 3rd ! century the headquarters of oratory, in which the panegyric style predominates, as in the collection called the Panegyricl LMlnl, and in symmachus (end of 4th century), who, as well as SID6NIUS apoll!-naris (5th century), is also known by his letters. Besides Suetonius already named, grammar found numerous votaries, who were, however, more remarkable as zealous compilers than as original investigators. gellius (2nd century), nonius (3rd cen­tury), DoNATUS, CHARlSIUS, DBMEDES,

servius (4th century), macrobius (5th cen­tury), and priscian (about 500 a.d.) may be cited. Works on the educational curri­culum were written by martianus capella (5th century) and CASSlODORUS (6th cen­tury). The above-mentioned Apuleius and also BSETHlus (6th century) are worthy of mention as philosophic writers. As repre­sentatives of other subjects may be adduced censorinus (3rd century) and FiRMlcus maternus (4th century) for astrology; vegetius renatus (4th century) for tac­tics ; palladius (4th century) for husban­dry ; c.elius aurelianus and marcellus EMPlRlcus (5th century), for medicine.

LittSrator. The Roman designation of an elementary instructor (see education, 2).

Litt£ratna. The Roman term for the teacher who imparted the higher branches of knowledge (Suetonius, De Grammaticis, §§ 4, 12).

Litters, in ancient Greece, were for the most part used only for the conveyance of sick people and women; in other cases their use was regarded as a luxury. Among the Romans they appear to have first come into vogue along with the other luxuries of Asia after the victory over the Syrian king, Antlochus the Great (b.c. 190). They were used principally in the country and upon journeys. As in Greece, so in Rome, where driving was only exceptionally allowed (see chariots, 2), their use was at firsr, confined to invalids and women; but when men

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