The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Tzetzes – Ulysses – Umbraculum – Urania – Urna – Valerius



by means of which he put an end to the divisions subsisting among the Spartans, and an anapaestic March, we possess three complete specimens of his war songs, called Hypothekai, or exhortations, in which he encourages young men to take to heart the duty and honour of courage. Their themes are singularly simple and pathetic, and they are among the most beautiful remains of ancient poetry.

Tzetzes (loannSs). A Greek grammarian and poet of the second half of the 12th century a.d. He lived in Constantinople, and though for his time he may be called learned, he was a most conceited and super­ficial personage, as is amply proved by his numerous writings. Besides commentaries on Homer, HesiodjAristenhaues, Lycfiphron,

and other writers, which are valuable for the authorities quoted in them, he composed, in 1,665 wretched hexameters, an epic poem entitled Iltdca, containing the legend of Troy from the birth of Paris till the opening of the Iliad, the incidents of the Iliad in detail, and the further course of the war up to the return of the Greeks. Besides this he wrote a book of histories of 12,661 "political verses." These are commonly but wrongly called chiliads, from an arbitrary division of the work into books of 1,000 lines each. He ia also the author of a col­lection of stories partly mythical, partly historical, worthless in themselves, but valuable as including numerous items of information which would otherwise have been unknown to us.

tllixes. See odysseus.

Ulplanus (Domltlus). Next to Papimanus the most celebrated among Roman jurists. He was born at Tyre about 170 A.D. He began his career in Rome under Septlmius Severus as assessor of Papinianus; and, under Elagabalus and Alexander Sfiverus, whose preceptor and guardian he had been, filled the office of a prcefectus prcetorlo. During his tenure of this office he was mur­dered (228) before the eyes of the emperor by the prsetorians, whom he had exasperated by the strictness of his discipline. His two chief works, on the praetorian law, Ad Edic-tum, in 83 books, and on the civil law (Ad Sdblnum) in 51 books, were held in high esteem, and formed the foundation of the Pandects of Justinian's Corpus lurts. Of this portion the extracts from his writings form a full third. Besides these excerpts we have a small part of his RggulSrum Liber Singulflris and of his Institutions.

Ulysses. See odysseus.


Umbracftlum (umbella). A sun-shade. (See clothing.)

Urania. (1) Epithet of Aphrodite (q.v.).

(2) The Muse of astronomy (see muses).

(3) A Greek game at bull ( q.v.).

Uranus (lit. heaven). Son and husband of Gaea, the Earth, who bore to him the Titans, the Cyclopes, and HecS,toncheir8s. He did not allow the children born to him to see the light, but concealed them in the depths of the earth. Enraged at this, Gsea stirred up her children against him, and CrSnus, the youngest of the Titans, unmanned him with the sickle which his mother had given to him. From the blood_ that fell upon the earth were born the Erinyes and the Giants. The member which was cut off fell into the sea, and out of the foam pro­duced around it there came into being the goddess called Aphrodite (hence called Aphr6glneid, i.e. foam-born).

Urna. A Roman water-vessel. (See i vessels.)

Valerius. (1) Valerius AntWs, a Roman annalist. (See annalists.)

(2) Maximus, a Roman historian. Of his life we know only that he accompanied the proconsul Sextus Pompeius to Asia in 27 a.d. On his return he composed, between 29 and 32 a.d., a collection of historical anecdotes in nine books, Factdrum ft DictSrum MimSrabilium Libri, which he dedicated to the emperor Tiberius. The


j book consists of an uncritical collection of I extracts taken mostly from Livy and Cicero, i but also from Sallust and Pompeius Trogus. i These are divided in to domestic and foreign instances under different headings, mostly descriptive of moral qualities. The style is bad, and full of declamatory bombast; the character of the compiler reveals itself in abject flattery of Tiberius. Neverthe­less, owing to the convenient selection of

About | First | Index



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