The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Lot Is – Loxias – Lua

-LUCANUS.

(Pliti.; H> N. xxxiv. 8. s. 19. § 34: the common editions have Leophon.) [P. S/j.

LOT IS, a nymph, who in her escape from the embraces of Priapus was metamorphosed into a tree, called after her Lotis. (Ov. Met. ix. 347, &c.) [L. S.]

LOXIAS (Aortas), a surname of Apollo, which is derived by some from his intricate and ambiguous oracles (^o$), but it is unquestionably connected with the verb Aey«j>, and describes the god as the prophet or interpreter of Zeus. (Herod, i. 91, viii. 136 ; Aeschyl. Eum. 19 ; Aristoph. Plut. 8 ; Eu- stath. ad Horn. p. 794 ; Macrob. Sat. i. 17.) [L. S.] LOXO (Ao|co), a daughter of Boreas, one of the Hyperborean maidens, who brought the worship of Artemis to Delos, whence it is also used as a surname of Artemis herself. (Callim. Hymn, in Del. 292 ; Nonnus, Dio?iys. v. p. 168; comp. Spanheim, ad Callim. I. c.) [L. S.]

LUA, also called Lua mater or Lua Saturni, one of the early Italian divinities, whose worship was forgotten in later times. It may be that she was no other than Ops, the wife of Saturn ; but all we know of her is, that sometimes the arms taken from a defeated enemy were dedicated to her, and burnt as a sacrifice, with a view to avert punish­ ment or any other calamity. (Liv. viii. 1, xlv. 33 ; Gellius, xiii. 22 ; Varro,de Ling. Lat. viii. 36, with Muller's note.) [L. S.] t LUCA'NUS, M. ANNAEUS. The short no­ tices of this poet in common circulation, such as that prefixed to the edition of Weise, although par­ ticularly meagre, contain a series of statements many of which rest upon very uncertain evidence, while the longer biographies, such as that of Nisard, are almost purely works of imagination. In order that we may be enabled to separate those portions of the narrative which admit of satisfactory proof from those which are doubtful or fictitious, we must .examine our materials and class them according to their quality.

I. The facts collected from the writings of Sta-tius, Martial, Juvenal, Tacitus, the Eusebian Chronicle as translated by Jerome and Sidonius Apollinaris, may be received with confidence. Ac­cording to these authorities Lucan was a native of Cordova ; his father was L. Annaeus Mella, a man of equestrian rank and high considera­tion, who, satisfied with amassing a large fortune by acting as agent for the imperial revenues (procurator), did not seek the same distinction in literature or politics, which was achieved by his brothers M. Seneca and Junius Gallio. The talents of the son developed themselves at a very early age and excited such warm and general admiration as to awaken the jealousy of Nero? who, unable to brook competition, forbade him to recite in public. Stung to the quick by this prohibition the fiery young Spaniard embarked in the famous conspiracy of Piso, was betrayed, and, by a promise of pardon, was with some difficulty induced to turn informer. In order to excuse the hesitation he had at first displayed, and to prove the absolute sincerity of his repentance, he began by denouncing his own mother Aciiia (or Atilia), and then revealed the rest of his accomplices without reserve. But he received^ a traitor's reward. After the more impor­tant victims had been despatched, the emperor issued the mandate for the death of his poetical rival who, finding escape hopeless, caused his veins to be opened. When, from the rapid effusion of

807

LUCANUS.

blood, he felt his extremities becoming chill, but while still retaining full consciousness, he recalled to recollection and began to repeat aloud some verses which he had once composed descriptive of a wounded soldier perishing by a like death, and with these lines upon his lips expired (a. d. 65). The following inscription which, if genuine, seems to have been a tribute to his memory proceeding from the prince himself, was preserved at no dis­tant period in one of the Roman churches: —

M. ANNAEO . LUCANO . CORDUBENSI . POETAE. BENEFJCIO . NERONIS . FAMA . SERVATA.

From the birthday ode in honour of the de­ceased, addressed to his widow Polla Argentaria, by Statius, we gather that his earliest poem was on the death of Hector and the recovery of his body by Priam ; the second, on the descent of Orpheus to the infernal regions ; the third on the burning of Rome ; the fourth, an address to his wife ; the last, the Pharsalia ; there is also an al­lusion to the success which attended his essays in prose composition, and we infer from an expression of Martial that his muse did not confine herself exclusively to grave and dignified themes. (Stat. Silv. ii. praef. and Carm. 7 ; Martial, Ep. i. 61, vii. 21, 22, 23, x. 64, xiv. 194 ; Juv. vii. 79 ; Tac. Ann. xv. 49, 56, 70, xvi. 17 ; comp. Dialog, de Oral. 20 ; Hieron. in Chron. Euseb. n. 2080; Sidon. Apollin. x. 239, xxiii. 165 ; Wernsdorff, Poet. Lat. Min. vol. iv. pp. 41, 587.)

II. In a short trumpery fragment entitled " Vita Lucani," ascribed to Suetonius, and which may be an extract from the treatise of that grammarian, " De claris Poetis," we are told that Lucan made his first public appearance by reciting at the quin­quennial games the praises of Nero, who ranked him among his chosen friends, and raised him to the quaestorship. This good understanding, how­ever, was short-lived, and the courtly bard having been, as he conceived, insulted by his patron, from that time forward seized every opportunity of at­tacking him in the most bitter lampoons, and eventually took a lead in the plot which proved the destruction of himself and his associates.

III. Another " Vita Lucani," said to be " Ex Commentario Antiquissimo," but which can scarcely be regarded as possessing much weight, furnishes sundry additional purticulars. It sets forth that he was born on the 3d of Nov. a. d. 39, that he was conveyed from his native country to Rome when only eight years old, that his education was superintended by the most eminent preceptors of the day, that he gave proofs of extraordinary pre­cocity, attracted the attention of Nero, and while yet almost a boy was admitted into the senate, raised to the dignity of the quaestorship, that he exhibited in that capacity gladiatorial shows, and was soon after invested with a priesthood, that he incurred the hatred of. Nero by defeating him and carrying oif the prize with his Orpheus, in a poetical contest at the quinquennial games, in con­sequence of which he was prohibited from writing poetry or pleading at the bar ; that, seeking re­venge, he found death, and perished on the last day of April, A. d. 65, in the 26th year of his agev Then follows a catalogue of his works, many of the-names being evidently corrupt: Iliacon. Suturna-lia. Catascomon (probably Catacausmos> i. e, Kara-Kavff(jt.6s). Sylvarum X. Tragoedia Medea imper* fecta. Salticae Fahulae XIV* Hippamata prosq

3 F 4

Pages
About | First

806

807

808
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.