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since Livy (xxxviii. 56) tells us that the speech which Scipio delivered in his defence on the occasion referred to, did not contain the name of the accuser. (Meyer, Orator. Roman. Fragm. p. 6, &c., 2d ed.)
7. naevius turpio, a quadruplator or public informer, was one of the unscrupulous agents of Verres in plundering the unhappy Sicilians. He had been previously condemned for injuriae by the praetor C. Sacerdos. (Cic. Verr. ii. 8, iii. 39, 40,
stated by Cicero to have been afoot taller than the tallest man that ever lived. This statement of Cicero, which is quoted by Columella (iii. 8. § 2), was doubtless contained in his work entitled Ad-miranda. Pliny also speaks (H. N. vii. 16) of the great height of this Naevius Pollio, but says that the annals did not specify what his height was.
CN. NAE'VIUS. Of the life of this ancient Roman poet but few particulars have been recorded. It has been commonly supposed that he was a native of Campania, because Gellius (i. 24) characterises the epitaph which he composed upon himself as " plenum superbiae Campanae." Kluss-mann, however, the most recent editor of Naevius's fragments, thinks that he was a Roman, from the circumstance of Cicero's alluding to him in the De Oratore (iii. 12) as a model of pure elocution, and contends that no inference can be drawn from the mention of Campanian piide, which, as is shown by Cicero's speech, DeLege A gr. (ii. 33), had become proverbial. But to this it may be objected, that in the passage of the De Oratore the name of Plautus, an Umbrian, is coupled with that of Naevius ; a fact which invalidates that argument for his Roman birth. And though the pride of the Campanians may have become a proverb, it is difficult to see how it could with propriety be applied to any but those Gascons of ancient Italy. However this may be, it is probable that Naevius was at least brought early to Rome ; but at what time cannot be said, as the date of his birth cannot be fixed with any accuracy. The fact, however, of his having died at an advanced age about the middle of the sixth century of Rome, may justify us in placing his birth some ten or twenty years before the close of the preceding one, or somewhere between the years 274 and 264 b. c. And this agrees well enough with what Gellius tells us (xvii. 21), on the authority of Varro, about his serving in the<first Punic war, which began in 264 b. c., and lasted twenty-four years. The first literary attempts of Naevius were in the drama, then recently introduced at Rome by Livius An-dronicus. According to Gellius, in the passage just cited, Naevius produced his first play in the year of Rome 519, or b. c. 235. Gellius, however, makes this event coincident with the divorce of a certain Carvilius Ruga, which, in another passage (iv, 3) he places four years later (b. c. 231), but mentions wrong consuls. Dionysius (ii. 25) also fixes the divorce of Carvilius at the latter date ; Valerius Maximus (ii. 1) in b. c. 234. These variations are too slight to be of much importance.
Naevius was attached to the plebeian party; an opponent of the nobility, and inimical to the innovations then making in the national literature. These feelings he shared with Cato; and, though the great censor was considerably his junior, it is probable, as indeed we may infer from Cicero's Goto (c. 14), that a friendship existed between them. It was in his latter days, and when Cato must have already entered upon public life, that Naevius, with the licence of the old Attic comedy, made the stage a vehicle for his attacks upon the aristocracy. Gellius (vi. 8) has preserved the following verses, where a little scandalous anecdote respecting the elder Scipio is accompanied with the praise justly due to his merits: —
Etiam qui res magnas manu saepe gessit gloriose, Cujus facta viva nunc vigent, qui apud gentes solus
praestat, Eum suus pater cum pallio uno ab arnica abduxit.
These lines, a fragment probably of some interlude, would have derived much of their piquancy from their contrast with the current story of Scipio's continence after the taking of Carthago Nova, in b.c. 210. Asconius (Cic. Verr. i. 10) has preserved the following lampoon on the Me-telli: —
Fato Metelli Romae fiunt consules j
where the insinuation is, as Cicero explains in the passage to which the note of Asconius refers, that the Metelli attained to the consular dignity, not by any merit of their own, but through the blind influence of fate. In what year could this attack have been made ? From the way in which the answer to it is recorded by Asconius, it would seem to have been during the actual consulship of one of the family. (Cui tune Metellus consul iratus responderat senario hypercatalecto, qui et Saturnius dicitur,
Dabunt malum Metelli Naevio poetae).
It can hardly be doubted, therefore, that the person in question was Q. Caecilius Metellus, consul in b. c. 206. The haughty aristocracy of Rome were by no means disposed to let such attacks pass unpunished. By the law of the Twelve Tables a libel was a.capital offence, and Metellus carried his threat into execution by indicting Naevius. The poet escaped with his life, but was given into the custody of the triumviri capitales (Gell. iii. 3); an imprisonment to which Plautus alludes in his Miles Gloriosus (ii. 2. 56). Confinement brought repentance. Whilst in prison he composed two plays, the Hariolus and Leon> in which he recanted his previous imputations, and thereby obtained his release through the tribunes of the people. (Gell. /. c.) His repentance, however, did not last long, and he was soon compelled to expiate a new offence by exile. At that time a man might choose his own place of banishment, and Naevius fixed upon Utica. Here it was, probably, that he wrote his poem on the first Punic war, which, as we learn from Cicero (De Senect. 14), was the work of his old age ; and here it is certain that he died; but as to the exact year there is some difference of opinion. According to Cicero (Brut. 15), his decease took place in the consulship of Cethegus and Tuditanus, b. c. 204» As we learn, however, from the same passage that