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AVIANUS.

Our space does not allow us here to enter into ' a critical examination of the character of Augus­tus : what he did is recorded in history, and public opinion in his own time praised him for it as an excellent prince and statesman ; the investigation of the hidden motives of his actions is such a deli­cate subject, that both ancient and modern writers have advanced the most opposite opinions, and both supported by strong arguments. The main difficulty lies in the question, whether his govern­ment was the fruit of his honest intentions and wishes, or whether it was merely a means of satis­fying his- own ambition and love of dominion ; in other words, whether he was a straightforward and honest man, or a most consummate hypocrite. Thus much is certain, that his reign was a period of happiness for Italy and the provinces, and that it removed the causes of future civil wars. Pre­vious to the victory of Actium his character is less a matter of doubt, and there we find sufficient proofs of his cruelty, selfishness, and faithlessness towards his friends. He has sometimes been charged with cowardice, but, so far as military courage is concerned, the charge is unfounded.

(The principal ancient sources concerning the life and reign of Augustus are : Sueton. Augustus ; Nicolaus Darnasc. De Vita Augusti; Dion Cass. xlv.—Ivi.; Tacitus, Annal. i. ; Cicero's 1 Epistles and Philippics ; Yell. Pat. ii. 59—124; Plut. An- tonius. Besides the numerous modern works on the History of Rome, we refer especially to A. Weichert, Imperatoris Caesaris Auyusti Scriptorum Reliquiae, Fasc. i., Grimae, 1841, 4to., which con­ tains an excellent account of the youth of Augustus and his education ; Drumann, Geschichte Roms^ vol. iv. pp. 245—302, who treats of his history down to the battle of Actium ; Loebell, Ueber das Prin­ cipal des Augustus., in Raumer's Historisches Tas- chenbuch, 5ter, Jahrgang, 1834; Kail Hoeck, RomiscJie Geschichte vom Verfall der Republik bin zur Vollendung der Monarchic unier Constantin, i. 1. pp. 214—421.) [L. S.J

COIN OF AUGUSTUS.

AVIANUS, M. AEMILIUS, a friend of Cicero, and the patron of Avianus Evandcr and Avianus Hammonius. (Cic. ad Fam. xiii. 2, 21, 27.)

AVIANUS, FLA'VIUS, the author of a col­lection of forty-two Aesopic fables in Latin elegiac verse, dedicated to a certain Theodosius, who is addressed as a man of great learning and highly cultivated mind. The designation of this writer appears under a number of different shapes in dif­ferent MSS., such as Avianus^ Anianus^ Abidmts, Abienus, and Avienus^ from which last form he was by many of the earlier historians of Roman litera­ture, such as Vossius and Funccius, identified with the geographical poet, Rufus Festus Avienus. [AviENUS.] But, independent of the circumstance that no fact except this resemblance of name can be adduced in support of such an opinion, the ar-

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AVIANUS.

gument derived from the style of these compositiona must, to every reader of taste and discrimination, appear conclusive. Nothing can be imagined more unlike the vigorous, bold, spirited, and highly em­bellished rotundity which characterizes the Des-criptio Orbis and the Aratea than the feeble, hesi­tating, dull meagreness of the fabulist. Making all allowances for numerous corruptions in the text, we can scarcely regard these pieces in any other light than as the early effusions of some unprac­tised youth, who patched very unskilfully expres­sions borrowed from the purer classics, especially Virgil, upon the rude dialect of an unlettered age. Cannegieter, in his erudite but most tedious dissertation, has toiled unsuccessfully to prove that Avianus flourished under the Antonines. Werns-dorf, again, places him towards the end of the fourth century, adopting the views of those who believe that the Theodosius of the dedication may be Aurelius Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius, the grammarian, and adding the conjecture, that the Flavianus of the Saturnalia may have been cor­rupted by transcribers into Fl. Avianus. These are mere guesses, and may be taken for what they are worth. Judging from the language, and we have nothing else whatever to guide us, we should feel inclined to place him a hundred years later.

Avianus was first printed independently by Jac. de Breda, at Deventer in Holland, in the year 1494, 4to., Gothic characters, under the title " Apologus Aviani civis Romani adolescentulis ad mores et Latinum sermonem capessendos utilissi-mus;" but the editio princeps is appended to the fables of Aesop which appeared about 1480. The earlier editions contain only twenty-seven fables; the whole forty-two were first published by Rigal-tius, along with Aesop and other opuscula (16mo. Lugd. 1570). The most complete edition is that of Cannegieter, 8vo. Amstel. 1731, which was fol­lowed by those of Nodell, 8vo. Amstel. 1787, and of C. H. Tzschucke, 12mo. Lips. 1790.

" The fables of Avian translated into Englyshe" are to be found at the end of " The Subtyl Histo- ryes and Fables of Esope, translated out of Frenshe into Englysshe, by William Caxton at Westmyn- stre. In the yere of our lorde m cccc Ixxxiii., &c. Enprynted by the same the xxvj daye of Marchetheyere of our lord M cccc Ixxxiij, And the fyrsi yere of the, regne ofkyng Rychard the thyrde" folio. This book was reprinted by Pynson. We have a translation into Italian by Giov. Gris. Trombelli, 8vo. Venez. 1735; and into German by H. Fr. Kerler, in his Rom. Fabeldichter^ Stuttgard, 1838. (Vossius, de PoetisLatt. p. 56 ; Funccius, de Vegeta L.L.Senec- tuie, cap. in. § Ivi.; Barth. Adversar. xix. 24, xxvii. 3, xxxix. 7 and 13, xlvi. 4, 7, 16; Wernsdorf, Poett. Latt. Minn. vol. v. pars. ii. p. 663, who effec­ tually destroys the leading argument of Cannegieter that Avianus must be intermediate between Phae- drus and Titianus, upon which idea the hypothesis that he lived under the Antonines rests.) [W.R.] AVIA'NUS EVANDER. [evander.] AVIA'NUS FLACCUS. [flaccus.] AVIA'NUS HAMMO'NIUS, [hammonius.] AVIA'NUS, LAETUS, the name prefixed to an epigram in bad Latin, comprised in three ele­ giac distichs, on the famous work of Martianus Capella. The subject proves that it cannot be ear­ lier than the end of the fifth century. (Burmann, Antholog. Add. i. p. 738, or Ep. n. 553, ed. Meyer.; Barth. Adversar, xviii. 21.) [W. R.]

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