The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Lucflius


,ma"n"ding the fleet of Dolabella in Gilicia, b. c. 43 ^(Cic. ad Fam. xii. 13. § 3). Instead of Lucilius, Manutius wishes, on the authority of some MSS., to read Lucius, understanding thereby L. Figulug, whom Appian (B. C. iv. 60) mentions as the legate of Dolabella.

4. C. lucilius, was, on account of his intimacy with Cicero, a friend of Milo. (Ascon. in Mil. p. 37, ed. Orelli.)

5. lucilius, fought on the side of Brutus at the battle of Philippi, b. c. 42, and when the repub­lican army was in flight and the enemy had nearly overtaken Brutus, he represented himself to be the latter in order to save his friend. He was brought before M. Antony, who was so struck with his magnanimity, that he not only forgave him, but treated him ever afterwards as one of his most intimate friends. (Appian, B. C. iv. 129 ; Plut. Brut. 50, Anton. 69.)

LUCFLIUS, C. Our information with regard to this poet^ although limited in extent, is sufficiently precise. In'the version of the Eusebian Chronicle, by Jerome, it is recorded that he was born b.c. 148, that he died at Naples b. c. 103, in the 46th year of his age, and that he received the honour of a public funeral. From the words of Juvenal, compared with those of Ausonius, we learn that Suessa of the Aurunci was the place of his nati-yity ; from Velleius, that he served in the cavalry under Scipio in the Numantine war; from Horace and the old scholiast on Horace, that he lived upon terms of the most close and playful familiarity with Africanus and Laelius ; from Aero and Porphyrio, that he was either the maternal grand-uncle, or, which is less probable, the maternal grandfather of Pompey the Great. Ancient critics agree that, if not absolutely the inventor of Roman satire, he Was the first to mould it into that form which after­wards assumed consistency, and received full de-velopement in the hands of Horace, Persius, and Juvenal. The first of these three great masters, while he censures the harsh versification and turbid redundancy which resulted from the slovenly haste with which Lucilius threw off his compositions, and from his impatience of the toil necessary for their correction, acknowledges} with the same ad­miration as the two others, the uncompromising boldness of purpose, the fiery vehemence of attack, and the trenchant sharpness of stroke which cha­racterised his encounters with the vices and follies of his contemporaries, who were fearlessly as­sailed without respect to the rank, power, or numbers of those selected as the most fitting objects of hostility. One of the speakers in the De Oratore praises warmly his learning and wit {homo doctus et perurbanus), although in another piece Cicero, when discoursing in his own person, in some degree qualifies this eulogium ; and pay­ing a high tribute to his urbanitas, pronounces his doctrina to be mediocris only. Quintilian, however, considered his erudition wonderful, and refused to admit the justice of the other strictures which had been passed upon his style, declaring that many persons, although he is himself as far from agreeing with them as with Horace, considered him superior, not only to all writers of his own class, but to all poets whatsoever. (Hieron. in Chronr. Euseb. Olymp. clviii. 1, clxix. 2; Juv. i. 20 ; Auson. Epist. xv. 9 ; Veil Pat. ii. 9 ; Hor. Sat. ii. 1. 73, &c.; Plin. H. N. praef; Quintil. x. 1; Hor. Sat. ii. 1. 62, &c.; Pers. i. 115; Juven. L 165 ;



Hor. Sat. i, 4. 6, i. 10. 1, &c., 46, '&c> Cic. </* Oral. ii. 6, de Fin. i. 3.) .

It must not be concealed that the accuracy of many of the above statements with regard to matters of fact, although resting upon the best evidence that antiquity can supply, have been called in question. Bayle adduces three arguments to prove that the dates given by Jerome must be erroneous.

1. If Lucilius was born in b. c. 148, since Numantia was taken in b. c. 133, he could have scarcely been fifteen years old when he joined the army; but the military age among the Romans was seventeen or, at the earliest, sixteen.

2. A. Gellius (ii. 24) gives a quotation from Lucilius, in which mention is made of the Liciniaft sumptuary law ; but this law was passed about b. c. 98, therefore Lucilius must have been alive at least five years after the period assigned for his death. •: :

3. Horace (Sat. ii. 1. 28), when describing the devotion of Lucilius to his books, to which he com­mitted every secret thought, and which thus present a complete and vivid picture of his life and cha­racter, .uses the expression

—-——————:——— quo fit ut omnis Votiva pateat veluti descripta tabella Vita senis

but the epithet senis could not with any propriety be applied to one who died at the age of forty-six. To these arguments we may briefly reply-—

1. It can be proved by numerous examples that not only was it common for youths under the regular military age to serve as volunteers, but that such service was frequently compulsory. This appears clearly from the law passed by C. Gracchus b. c. 124, to prevent any one from being forced to enter the army who had not attained to the age of seventeen. (See Stevech. ad Veget. i. 7; Liv. xxv. 5 ; Sigon. de Jure Civ. Rom. i. 15; Manut. de Leg* 12.)

2. It is here taken for granted that the Lex liicinia sumptuwria, was passed in the year b. c. 98^ or rather, perhaps, b.c. 97, in the consulship of Cri. Cornelius Lentulus and P. Licinius Crassus. But the learned have been long at variance with regard to the date of this enactment; Pighius, in his Annals, and Freinsheim, in his Supplement to Livy (Ixiv. 52), refer it to b.c. 112 ; Wulmer, in his treatise "De Laevio Poeta," to the praetorship of Licinius Crassus, b. c. 104, relying chiefly on the words of Macrobius (Sat. ii. 13) ; Bach, in his history of Roman jurisprudence, to b. c. 97 ; Gro-r novius, on A. Gellius, to b. c. 88 ; Meyer, in his Collection of the Fragments .of Roman Orators, to the second consulship of Pompey and Crassus, b. c. 55. It is evident that no conclusion can be drawn from a matter on which such a remarkable diver­ sity of opinion prevails. .

3. It is not necessary to interpret senis as an epithet descriptive of the advanced age of the indi^ viduaL It may, without any violence, relate to; the remote period when he lived, being in this sense equivalent to priscus or antiques. Thus when we are told that

'•—— aufert

Pacuvius docti famam senis, Accius alti,

we do not understand that there is any allusion here to the years of the two dramatists, but to their

3 g 4

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