The Ancient Library

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On this page: Silius Italicus – Silvanus – Silver Shields, Bearers of the – Simonides



ported by the other Satyrs; or, again, as tending and educating the child Bacchus, as he is represented in the celebrated group in the Louvre at Paris. A similar group in the Vatican at Rome is reproduced in the accompanying cut. Figures of him standing


or reclining were used, especially at Athens, as caskets for keeping within them precious pieces of carved work [Plato, Symp. 215, A, Bj. There were also Sileni which were regarded in Asia as the inventors of the native music on the flute and the syrinx (sec marsyas); their father was Pappo-silcnus, who was represented as completely covered with hair and bestial in form.

Sillus Itallcus (Gaius). AjRoman poet, born A.D. 25, probably at Itallca [near Seville], in Spain. After having been consul in 68, and proconsul in Asia, he retired from public life, and went to his estates in the south of Italy, to spend the rest of his life in learned studies and in the composition of poetry. He paid almost divine honours to the memory of his

favourite poet Vergil, whom he selected as his model [Martial, xi 48, 49; vii 63], but whom he rarely equalled. He died in 102 by starving himself to death [Pliny, Ep. iii 7; vii 63J. We possess a poem of his on the second Punic War in seventeen books (Punlca); it is founded on careful historical studies, but is far from brilliant, and, in spite of all its ornamental details, contains little that is truly poetic. He appears to have been soon forgotten. [Quintilian's silence in his enumeration of the epic poets of Rome has been rightly ascribed to the fact that the poet was still alive, and had not yet published his poem. The poet's younger and abler contemporary Statlus, in Silvcp. iv 7, 14, alludes to Silius' Pttnica i 233.]

Silli. A peculiar kind of Greek lampoons in an epic form, such as Xenophanes of Colophon was the first .to level against poets and philosophers. The principal represen­tative of this class was Timon of Phlius. (See timon.)

Silvanus. An old Italian divinity, related to Faunus. Originally he was a god of woods and of plantations of trees in fields and gardens; subsequently he was regarded as protector of the fields and gardens themselves, as well as of the cattle that grazed in the meadows, and especially those in or near the woods. He was at the same time guardian of the boundaries between meadows. The Italian country people therefore honoured him with worship under three different aspects: (1) as ddmcs-ftcus, protector of the house and all that belongs to it; (2) as agrestis, to whose care the shepherd and his flock were recom­mended ; (3) as SnentaJis, he that watches over the boundaries. In this last capacity he used to have a grove dedicated to him on the boundary of different estates. At the harvest festivals, farmers, vinedressers, and those who had plantations of trees, offered him, on rustic altars, corn, grapes, and fruits, and also pigs and rams. Like Faunus, he was afterwards identified with Pan f~ and to him, as to Pan, the sudden terror caused by the solitude of a wood was ascribed. It was also believed that there were numerous Silvan/.

Silver Shields, Bearers of. A corps of guards in the army of Alexander the Great. 'See argyraspides.)

SImonldes. (1) Of Amorgos. A Greek iambic poet. He was born in the island of SamSs, from which he led a colony to the island of Amorgos; he lived about the

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