The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Pacatus – Pacuvius – Paean

441

PACATUS——P^EAN.

(7) A Calendar of Roman Festivals (Fasti), begun in the last years before his banish­ment, and originally in twelve books, cor­responding to the number of the months. Of these only six are preserved, probably because Ovid had not quite completed them at Rome, and had not the means to do so at Tomi. It was originally intended for dedication to Augustus. After Augustus' death the poet began to revise it, with a view to its dedication to Germanlcus; he did not, however, proceed with his revision beyond the first book. It contains in elegiac metre the most important celestial pheno­mena and the festivals of each month, with a description of their celebration and an ac­count of their origin according to the Italian legends. (8) Poems of Lamentation (Tris-t/fl), to his family, to his friends, and to Augustus, belonging to the years 9-13 A.D., in five books; the first of these was written while he was still on his journey to Tomi. (9) Letters from Pontus (Epistuliit ex Ponto), in four books, only distinguished from the previous poems by their epistolary form. (W)-Ibis, an imitation of the poem of the same name by Callimachus, who had attacked under this name Apollonius of Rhodes, consisting of imprecations on a faithless friend at Rome, written in the learned and obscure style of the Alexandrian

poets. (11) A short fragment of a didactic poem on the fish in the Black Sea (Ilali-eutica), written in hexameters. Besides these Ovid wrote during his exile nume­rous poems which have been lost, among them a eulogy of the deceased Augustus in the Getic tongue, a sufficient proof of the strength of his bent and talent for poetry. In both of these respects he is distinguished above all other Roman poets. Perhaps no one ever composed with less exertion; at the same time no one ever used so impor­tant a faculty for so trivial a purpose. His poetry is for the most part simply enter­taining ; in this kind of writing he proves his mastery by his readiness in language and metre, by his unwearied powers of invention, by his ever-ready wit, elegance, and charm, though, on the other hand, he is completely wanting in deep feeling and moral earnestness. By hia talent Ovid (as well as Vergil) has had great influence on the further development of Roman poetry, I especially with regard to metre. Many imitated his style so closely, that their poems were actually attributed to himself. Among these, besides a number of HeroldSs (see above), we have the ^ix, the nut tree's complaint of the ill-treatment it met with, a poem in elegiac verse, which was at all events written in the time of Ovid.

Pacatus(Latlnits Drfpanius). A Roman rhetorician of Burdigala (Bordeaux), a younger contemporary and friend of the poet Ausonius. We possess from his pen a panegyric on the emperor TheOdSsIus the Great, delivered before the Senate at Rome in 389 B.C. It is distinguished beyond the other speeches of this class by a certain rigour of thought, and is also of value as an historical authority.

Pacftvlus (Marcus). The Roman trage­dian, born about 220 B.C. at Brundlsium, son of Ennius" sister, and pupil of the poet. He spent most of his life at Rome, where he gained his livelihood as a dramatic poet and as a painter. In his old age he returned to Brundisium, and died there, at the age of ninety, about 130 B.C. He is the first Roman dramatist who confined himself to the composing of tragedies. Titles and fragments of some thirteen of his imitations of Greek plays are preserved, as well as fragments of a prwtexta (tj.v.) entitled Paulus, whose hero was probably the victor

of Pydna, .lEmillus Paulus. If this small number justifies any opinion on his poetical activity, he was far less productive than his predecessor Ennius and his successor Accius. Nevertheless, he and Accius were considered the most important tragedians of Rome. In the judgment of literary critics, who followed the traditions of the Ciceronian age, he was preferred to Accius for finish and learning, but Accius excelled him in fire and natural power [Horace, Ep. ii 1, 55, 56; Quintiliau, x 1, 97; see Prof. Nettleship, " On Literary Criticism in Latin Antiquity," in Journal of Philology, xviii 263]. His style was praised for its copiousness, dignity, and stateliness, but Cicero (Brutus, 258] declines to give him credit for pure and genuine Latinity. Even in Cicero's time, however, the revival of his playa was often welcomed by Roman audiences.

Psean (Gr. Paian, properly Paieon, the " healer," "helper"). In Homer [II. v 401, 899], the physician of the Olympian gods;

Pages
About | First | Index

440

441

442
letter/word  
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.