The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Cominius – Comminianus – Commius – Commodianus – Commodus



Spoletium. He died shortly before Cicero com­posed his "Brutus," namely b. c. 45, in which he calls Cominius his friend, and praises his well-arranged, lively, and clear style of speaking. (Ascon. in Cornel.; Cic. Brut. 78.)

7. Q. cominius, one of Caesar's officers, was taken prisoner with L. Ticida by Virgilius, a Pompeian commander, near Thapsus, in crossing over to Africa, b. c. 47. (Hirt. B. Afr. 44, 46.)

8. L. cominius pedarius, appointed by Augustus to assist Messalla Corvinus in his super­intendence over the aquaeducts. (Frontin. de Aquaechict. 99.)

9. C. cominius, a Roman knight, was the author of a libellous poem against Tiberius, but was pardoned by the emperor on the entreaty of his brother, who was a senator, A. d. 24. (Tac. Ann. iv. 31.)

COMINIUS, PO'NTIUS, a youth of great bravery and activity, who offered to go to the senate, when besieged in the Capitol by the Gauls, to convey the wish of the Roman army at Veii, that Camillus should be appointed dictator. He arrived at the Capitol in safety by floating down the Tiber in the bark of a tree. (Liv. v. 46 ; Plut. CamilL 25 ; Zonar. vii. 23.)

COMMINIANUS, a Latin grammarian, who was intermediate between Donatus, whom he quotes, and Servius, by whom he is quoted (Virg. Ed. iii. 21, Georg. i. 215), and therefore belongs to the latter part of the fourth century. Large extracts from his work are to be found in Chari- sius, and a few fragments in Lindemann, Gram- matt. Inedit. Lot. i. Zittau. 1822, and in Mai, Classici Auctores eoe Codicibus Vaticanis, vol. v. p. 150. [W. R.]

COMMIUS, king of the Atrebates, was ad­ vanced to that dignity by Caesar. When Caesar's projected invasion of Britain became known to the inhabitants, ambassadors from various states came to him. Commius, in whose fidelity Caesar had great confidence, and whose influence in Britain was great, was sent back with them, accompanied by a small body of cavalry. He was seized and cast into chains by the Britons, but was released when, after a defeat, they found it expedient to Sue for peace. (Caes. B. G. iv. 21, 27, 35.) In •b. c. 53, we find him serving under Caesar against the Menapii (vi. 6) ; but towards the close of 52, when an extensive league was formed by the Gauls for the purpose of relieving Alesia, his pa­ triotism proved stronger than his gratitude. He joined the confederates, and was one of those to whom the chief command was assigned, (vii. 76, 79, &c.) In the course of the ensuing winter, an ineffectual attempt was made by T. Labienus to assassinate him. (viii. 23.) We find him again in 51 one of the two leaders of the confederacy formed by the Bellovaci and the neighbouring tribes. (For an account of the operations which ensued, see B. G. viii. 7—23.) When the Atre­ bates were reduced to subjection, Commius con­ tinued to carry on a predatory warfare against the Romans, but, having lost a great part of his men in an engagement, he made his submission to An- tonius (viii. 47, 48.) [C. P. M.]

COMMODIANUS, the Christian composer of a prosaic poem against the Pagan divinities, divid­ed into eighty sections, and entitled Instructiones adversus Gentium Deos pro Christiana Disdplina. Of these the first thirty-six are addressed to the


Gentiles with the object of gaining them over to the true faith ; in the nine which follow an attempt is made to bring home conviction to the obstinate ignorance of the Jews; the remainder are devoted to the instruction of catechumens and penitents. Whatever knowledge we possess with regard to this author is derived exclusively from his work. The general style and the peculiar words occasion­ally employed lead us to infer that he was of African extraction. It is expressly and repeatedly declared, that for a long period he was heathen, but was converted by perusing the Scriptures (e. g. Praef. 5, Instruct, xxvi. 24, Ixi. 1); while the epi­thet Gazaeus, which he applies to himself, may either indicate that he was connected with the city of Gaza in Palestine, or, more probably, that he was indebted for support to the treasury of the church. Doubts have been entertained with re­gard to the period when he flourished. R,igaltius concluded, from a conjectural emendation of his own upon the text of an obscure passage (Instruct. xxxiii. 5), that it contained an allusion to pope Sylvester (a. d. 31 4—335), the contemporary of Constantine the Great; but the careful and accu­rate researches of Cave and Dodwell have clearly proved that Commodianus belongs to the third century (comp. Instruct, vi. 6), and may with tole­rable certainty be placed about A. i>. 270.

The Instructiones display much devotion and a fervent zeal for the propagation of the Gospel, but from their harshness, dryness, and total want

of all poetic fire, they present few attractions as

literary productions. The versification is curious, since it exhibits an early specimen of the Versus Politici, in which, while an attempt is made to imitate the general rhythm of some ancient mea­sure, the rules of quantity are to a great extent neglected. Thus the following lines from the Praefatio are intended for dactylic hexameters:

Praefatio nostra viam erranti demonstrat Respectumque bonum, cum venerit saeculi meta Aeternum fieri: quod discredunt inscia corda.

The taste for acrostics also is largely developed : the initials of the twenty-six concluding verses, when read backwards, form the words Commodia­nus Mendicus Christi, and in like manner the general subject and contents of each chapter are expressed by the first letters of the opening lines.

The Instructiones of Commodianus were first published by Rigaltius at Toul (Tullum Leucorum), 4to."1650. They were subsequently printed at the end of the edition of Cyprian by Priorius, Paris, 1666, fol.; in the Bibliotheca Patrum Lugdun. vol. xxvii.; in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland, vol. iii. p. 621 ; and in an independent form, by Schurzfleiseh,Vitemberg. Saxon. 4to. 1704. [W.R.]

COMMODUS, the name of a family of the Ceionii under the emperors.

1. L. ceionius commodus, appears in the Fasti as consul under Vespasian, a. d. 78.

2. ceionius commodus, who according to some was named also Verus, according to others L. Au^ rdius, according to many Annius, descended from a noble family of Etruria or Faventia (Spartian. Ael. Ver. 2), was the father of

3. L. ceionius commodus, otherwise called L. aurelius verus, who was adopted by Hadrian when that emperor, feeling that his health was sinking under the attacks of protracted disease, deemed it expedient to select an assistant and

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of