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CAPITO, 1NSTEIUS, a centurion in the Roman army which carried on the war under Domi-tius Corbulo against the Parthian Vologeses, A. d. 54. The king, after being defeated, sent hostages who were delivered up to Capito. He is probably the same whom we meet with three years later, in those same regions as praefectus castrorum, to whom Corbulo entrusted some of the smaller fortresses in Armenia. (Tac. Ann. xiii. 9,39.) [L. S.]
CAPITO, C. MA'BIUS, occurs on several coins of the Maria gens, a specimen of which is given below, but this Marius Capito is not mentioned by any ancient writer. The obverse represents the head of Ceres, the reverse a man ploughing.
CAPITO, VIRGI'NIUS. During the war between the supporters of Vitellius and Vespasian, a. d. 69, Virginius Capito sent a slave to L. Vitel lius, the emperor's brother, promising to surrender to him the citadel of Terracina, if he would receive the garrison. The slave was afterwards hanged for having assisted in carrying out a treacherous design. (Tac. Hist. iii. 77, iv. 3.) [L. S.]
CAPITOLINUS, a family-name in several Roman gentes, which was no doubt originally given to a person who lived on the hill Capitolinus. In the same way Aventinensis, Caelioinontanus, Esquilinus, frequently occur as the names of families at Rome. [L. S.]
CAPITOLINUS, JU'LIUS. We possess a volume containing the biographies of various Roman emperors and pretenders to the purple, compiled by writers who flourished towards the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth century, dedicating their works for the most part to Diocletian or Constantine. The number of pieces is in all thirty-four. They reach from Hadrian to the death of Carinus, that is, from A. d. 117 to A. d. 284, extending over a space of 167 years, and forming a sort of supplement to the Caesars of Suetonius, which terminate with Domitian. No immediate connexion, however, is established with the last-named work, since Nerva and Trajan are passed over; nor is the series absolutely complete, even within its. own proper limits, for there is a gap of nine years, from the third Gordian to Vale-rianus, that is, from A. d. 244 to a. d. 253, including the reigns of Philippus, Decius, Gallus, and Aemilianus. It is by no means unlikely, indeed, that these, as well as Nerva and Trajan, may originally have formed a part of the whole, and that the existing blanks are owing to the mutilation of the MS. which formed the archetype ; but this is merely a probable conjecture. The authors of the collection are commonly classed together under the title "Historiae Augustae Scriptores sex," their names being Aelius Spartianus, Julius Capitolinus, Vulcatius Gallicanus, Aelius Lampridiiis, Trebellius
Pollio, and Flavins Vopiscus. In consequence of the confusion which prevails in the MSS. it is impossible to assign each section with absolute certainty to its real owner, and no trustworth}T conclusion can be drawn from comparing the styles of the different portions, for the lives do not exhibi-the well-digested result of careful and extensive research, but are in many instances evidently made up of scraps derived from different sources and possessing different degrees of merit, loosely tacked together, and often jumbled into a rough mass destitute of form and symmetry. Hence we find numerous repetitions of frivolous details, a strange mixture of what is grave and valuable with the most puerile and worthless rubbish, and a multitude of irrecon-cileable and contradictory statements freely admitted without remark or explanation. We have history here presented to us in its lowest and crudest shape—a total want of judgment in the selection and classification of facts; an absence of all unity of purpose, no attempt being made to establish a relation between the circumstances recorded and the character of the individual under discussion; and a total disregard of philosophical combination and inference. The narratives have all the bareness and disjointed incoherence of a meagre chronicle without possessing simplicity and methodical arrangement. These strictures may perhaps be slightly modified in favour of Vopiscus, who appears to have had access to valuable public records, and to have taken some pains to extract what was most interesting, although he often exhibits as little discretion as the rest in working up his raw materials. But, notwitlistanding all these defects, this compilation is of no small importance in enabling us to form a just conception of an important period of Roman history. We have no reason to question the general accuracy of the great events recorded, although blended with idle rumours and false details; nor the general fidelity of the portraits of the leading men, although the likenesses may be in some instances flattered and in others caricatured, according to the predilections of the artist. The antiquarian, above all, will here discover a mass of curious statements with regard to the formal administration of public affairs and the history of jurisprudence, together with a multitude of particiilars illustrating the state of literature and the arts, the social usages and modes of thought and feeling which prevailed among the different classes of the community during this stormy period. Nay, the very frivolous minuteness with which these writers descant upon matters connected with the private life and habits of the personages who pass under review, although unworthy of the dignity of history, opens up to us a very singular region for observation and inquiry, the more interesting because usually inaccessible. In these departments also we may receive the information conveyed without suspicion, for upon such topics there could be no conceivable motive for falsehood or misrepresentation ; and the worst we have to fear is, that the love of the marvellous may occasionally have given rise to exaggeration in describing the fantastic extravagance and profusion so characteristic of that epoch.
Nine biographies bear the name of Capitolinus ; 1. Antoninus Pius, 2. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, 3. L. Verus, 4. Pertinax, 5. Clodius Albinus, 6. Opilius Macrinus, 7. the two Maximini, 8. the three Gordiani, 9. Maximus and Balbinus. Of