The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Liturgia – Lituus – Livius



AUGUR>S wand.

also began to use them in the town, they formed in the first instance a privilege of certain classes, until in the course of the imperial time they came into general use. Two kinds were distinguished: (1) the lectica, resembling a palanquin, adapted for lying down : this was a framework spanned by girths and with a bolster and pillow ; and (2) the sella, a sedan chair, for one or two persons, which was used par­ ticularly by the emperors and consulUres. Both kinds were provided with an arched covering, which could be closed up, even at the sides, by means of curtains or windows made of thin plates of talc [Ifipis specu- laris, Juv. iv 21, iii 242]. The litter was carried upon poles, which were either low and therefore hung in straps, or else rested upon the shoulders of the bearers, who were two, four, six, and even eight, according to its size. In distinguished houses special slaves (lectlcdril) of particularly powerful bodily frame, in later times especial!}' Cappa- docians, were kept for this purpose ; these used to wear a red livery. For those who could not afford the expense of a private litter, there were also hack-litters. In the later imperial time a litter called a basterna came into fashion, which was carried by two mules in shafts before and behind. Liturgia. See leitourgia. LHuus. (1) The Roman term for the augur's wand. It was a staff hooked at the upper end ; with ^) it the augur marked out the // sacred region (templum) for /( the observation of birds (see V\ cut and cp. augures). (2) The signal-trumpet of the cavalry, bent at the lower end ; it was blown by the litlcen, and emitted a clear, shrill note (cp. tuba).

Living. (1) Livius Andronlcus, the foun­der of Roman epic and dramatic poetry. He was by birth a Greek of Southern Italy, and was brought as a slave to Rome, after the conquest of Tarentum in 272 b.c., while still of tender age. His master, a Livius, whose name he bears, gave him his liberty, and he imparted instruction in the Greek and Latin languages. This employment probably gave occasion for his translation of the Homeric Odyssey into Saturnian metre ; in spite of its imperfections, this remained a school-book in Rome for cen­turies. In 240 b.c. he brought on the Roman stage the first drama composed after a Greek model, and with such success that thenceforward dramatic poetry was

well established in Rome. According to ancient custom he appeared as an actor in his own pieces. His dramatic compositions, tragedies, and comedies were faithful but undoubtedly imperfect translations of Greek originals. He attempted lyric poetry also, for he was commissioned by the State to write a march in honour of luno Reyina Scanty remains of his works are all that have come down to us.

(2) Titus Livius, the celebrated Roman historian, was born at Patavium (59 b.c.), apparently of good family. He was care­fully educated, and betook himself early (certainly before 31 b.c.) to Rome, where he soon became acquainted with the most dis­tinguished men of the time. Even Augustus entertained friendly relations towards him in spite of his openly expressed republican convictions, for which he called him a partisan of Pompey. He does not seem to have taken public office, but to have lived exclusively for literature. Esteemed by his contemporaries, he died in his native town in 17 A.D. He must have begun his-great historical work between 27 and 25 B.C.; it can only have been completed shortly before his death, as he did not publish the first twenty-one books until after the death of Augustus (14 a.d.). He recounts the history of Rome in 142 books, extending from the foundation of the city (whence the title Ab Urbe Condlta librl) to the death of Drusus (9 A.D.). His own death must have prevented its continuation to the death of Augustus, as he doubtless proposed. He published his work from time to time, in separate parts. He arranged his material—at least for the first ninety books—as far as possible in decads (portions consisting of ten books), and half-decads ; the division into decads was however first carried through in the 5th century, prob­ably for convenience of handling so vast a series of books. There still remain only the first decad (to 293 b.c.), the third, fourth, and half of the fifth decad (218-167); of the remainder, with the exception of a fairly large portion of book 91, only inconsiderable fragments. We also possess from an unknown pen, summaries (peridchw) of all the books except 136 and 137, and a scanty extract from the account of the portents (prodigm), which appeared in 249 B.C. and following year; this is by a certain lulius Obsequens, and perhaps dates from the 4th century.

Livy's importance rests more on the magnitude of his patriotic undertaking and

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.