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POMPONIUS——PONTIFEX.

Macedonian empire founded by Philip; it began with Ninus, and reached down to his own time. With the historical narrative there were interwoven interesting descrip­tions relating to geography, ethnography, and natural science ; and indeed he is said to have also composed zoological and botani­cal works. Of the histories we now possess only lists of the contents of the several books (called the prdlogi) and the epitome of Justin. (See justinus.)

Pomponius. (1) Lucius Pomponius Bononiensis, i.e. of Bononia (Bologna), flourished about 90 b.c. He was the first to raise the hitherto improvised popular plays called AtcllancK (q.v.) to a species of art by the introduction of written composition in the metrical forms and technical rules of the Greeks. He is particularly praised for richness of fancy, liveliness in plays upon words, and readiness in the use of rustic and farcical language. [Velleius Pat., ii 9 § 6; Macrobius, Saturnalia vi 9 § 4 ; Seneca, Controv. vii 18 § 9.] About 70 titles of plays by him are mentioned, a pro­ductiveness explained by the small compass of the Atellance as being after-pieces. Some titles point to travesties of mythological subjects, such as the Supposititious Aga­memnon and the Award of the Armour (of Achilles).

(2) Titus PompOnius Attlcus. See atticus.

(3) Lucius PompOnius SScundus. The most important tragedian of the time of the Empire, probably the last who wrote for the stage. He lived under Tiberius and was a partisan of Sejanus, after whose fall (31 a.d.) he had to submit to be kept in custody by his brother for six years, until Caligula gave him his freedom. In 44 he was consul; in 50 he fought with success against the Chatti, and received triumphal honours from Claudius. His poetical pro­ductions are highly spoken of by Tacitus [Ann. xii 28] and Quintilian [x 1 § 98]. We possess only very scanty remains of his tragedies.

(4) PompOnius Mela. A native of Tingentera in Spain. He composed a ' description of the world in three books (De. ChOrSgraphta), the earliest work of this kind which we possess, and the only special work on the subject, which Roman literature has to show. According to a notice in the book [iii 49], it was written either in 40 a.d., when Caligula triumphed over the Britons, or in 44, when Claudius did the same. The author's information

does not rest upon personal inspection, but it is drawn from good, though mostly antiquated, Greek sources. Writing in a brief and concise style, he describes in the form of a coasting-voyage, with North Africa for its starting-point, the various countries of the then known world in geographical order, until he comes back by way of Western Africa to the point from which he set out. His language bears the rhetorical character of his time.

(5) Sextus PompOnius. A distinguished jurist of the first half of the 2nd century a.d. He composed, among other works, a history of law and jurisprudence down to the time of Hadrian, which is frequently quoted in the Digest.

(6) Pomponius Porphyrlo. Roman gram­marian, who lived in the first half of the 2nd century A.D., and composed a commen­tary on Horace, a fragmentary abridgment of which is still preserved.

Pontifex. A member of the highest priestly college in Rome, to which belonged the superintendence over all sacred obser­vances, whether performed by the State or by private persons. The meaning of the name is uncertain; the interpretation which follows most obviously from the form of the word, that of "bridge-builder," referred in particular to the sacred bridge on piles (pans sublfclus) over the Tiber, is open to many objections.1 The foundation of the college is ascribed to Numa; at first it pro­bably consisted of six patrician members, with the addition of the king, whose place, after the abolition of the Monarchy, was transferred to the pontifex maxlmus (high-pontiff) : from 300 b.c. it was composed of nine members (4 patrician and 5 plebeian), from the time of Sulla of fifteen (7 patrician and 8 plebeian); Caesar added another mem­ber ; and the emperors also raised the number at their pleasure. The office was for life, as was also that of the president. While, in the time of the Monarchy, the pontiffs were probably named by the king, under the Republic the college for a long time filled up its own numbers by co-optation, and also appointed the high-pontiff from among its members. From somewhere about 250 b.c. the election of the latter took place in the c6m1Vla of the tribes under the pre­sidency of a pontiff, and, from 103 b.c., the

1 Professor Nettleship argues in support of it in his Lectures and Essays, p. 27. If the Italian immigration came overland, the office of bridge-builder would be of great importance. It is apparently connected with river-worship.

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