The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Silvanus

SILVANUS.

orientals; that is, the god presiding over the point at which an estate begins. Hence Silvani are often spoken of in the plural. In connection with woods (sylvestris deus), he especially presided over plan­ tations, and delighted in trees growing wild (Tibull. ii. 5. 30 ; Lucan, Phars. iii. 402 ; Plin. H. JV. xii. 2 ; Ov. Met. i. 193); whence he is represented as carrying the trunk of a cypress (Sez^Spo^opos, Virg. Georg. i. 20). Respecting the cypress, however, the following story is told. Silvanus, or according to others, Apollo (Serv. ad Aen. iii. 680 ; Ov. Met. x. 106, &c.), was in love with the youth Cyparissus, and once by accident killed a hind belonging to Cyparissus. The latter died of grief, and was metamor­ phosed into a cypress (Serv. ad Virg. Georg. i. 20, Edog. x. 26, Aen. iii. 680). He is further described as the divinity protecting the flocks of cattle, warding off wolves, and promoting their fertility (Virg. Aen. viii. 601 ; Tibull. i. 5. 27 ; Cato, De Re Rust. 83; Nonn. ii. 324). Being the god of woods and flocks, he is also described as fond of music ; the syrinx was sacred to him (Tibull. ii. 5. 30), and he is mentioned along with the Pans and Nymphs (Virg. Georg. i. 21 ; Lucan, I.e.}. Later speculators even iden­ tified Silvanus with Pan, Faunus, Inuus and Aegipan (Pint. Par ail. Min. 22). Cato (I.e.) calls him Mars Silvanus, from which it is clear that he must have been connected with the Italian Mars, and it is further stated that his connection with agriculture referred only to the labour per­ formed by men, and that females were excluded from his worship (Schol. ad Juven. vi. 446). In the Latin poets, as well as in works of art, he always appears as an old man, but as cheerful and in love with Pomona (Virg. Georg. ii. 494; Horat. Epod. ii. 21, Carm. iii. 8 ; Ov. Met. xiv. 639). The sacrifices offered to him consisted of grapes, corn-ears, milk, meat, wine and pigs. (Horat. Epod. ii. 22, Epist. ii. 1. 143; Tibull. i. 5. 27 ; Juven. vi. 446 ; comp. Voss. MyihoL Briefe, ii. 68; Hartung, Die Relig. der Rom. vol. ii. p. 170, &c.) [L. S.]

SILVANUS, a general of infantry in Gaul, where he completely succeeded in quelling a for­midable insurrection of the barbarians during the reign of Constantius (a. d. 355), to whom he had rendered an important service upon a former oc­casion by deserting, with a large body of cavalry, from Magnentius, immediately before the great battle of Mursa. Having been falsely accused of treason by an informer who produced forged docu­ments in support of the charge, he was urged by despair to commit the crime of which he had been so villanously impeached, and assumed the purple at Cologne, about the end of July a.d. 355, almost at the very moment when his innocence had been triumphantly established before the im­perial tribune at Milan. Ursicinus having been despatched with a few followers to crush this rebel­lion as best he might, effected by treachery the destruction of Silvanus, who was murdered twenty-eight days after he had been proclaimed Augustus. He is represented by a contemporary historian as an officer of great experience and skill, not less remarkable for his gentle temper and amiable manners, than for his warlike prowess. It is not improbable that he may be the Silvanus named in the Codex Theodosianus (Chron. A. d. 349) as a commander of infantry and cavalry under Constans,

SILVANUS.

(The details with regard to the unfortunate usurpation of Silvanus are given with animated minuteness by Ammianus Marcellinus, xv. 5, 6, who accompanied Ursicinus upon his hazardous mission. See also Julian. Orat. i. ii.; Mamertin. Panegyr. ii. ; Aurel. Vict. de Caes. 42, Epit. 42 ; Eutrop. x. 7 ; Zonar. xiii. 9.) [W. R.]

SILVANUS, M. CEIO'NIUS, consul under Antoninus a. d. 156, with C. Serius Augurinus (Fasti).

SILVANUS, GRA'NIUS, tribune of a prae­torian cohort under Nero, was commissioned by the emperor, on the detection of the conspiracy of Piso, a. d. 65, to demand from the philosopher Se­neca an explanation of certain suspicious words which he was charged with having spoken to An-tonius Natalis. Silvanus himself was involved in the conspiracy ; and though he was acquitted, he put an end to his own life (Tac. Ann. xv. 60, and 50, 71). Orelli, in his edition of Tacitus, reads Gavius Silvanus instead of Granius Silvanus.

SILVANUS, PLAU/rriUS. 1. M. plau-tius silvanus, tribune of the plebs, b. c. 89, proposed a law that fifteen persons should be annually elected by each tribe, out of its own body, to be placed in the Album Judicum (Ascon. in Cornel, p. 79, ed. Orelli). In conjunction with his colleague, C. Papirius Carbo, he also proposed a law conferring the Roman franchise upon the citizens of the foederatae civitates. (Cic. pro Arch. 4 ; comp. Diet, of Antiq. p. 293, a, 2d ed.)

2. M. plautius M. f. A. n. silvanus, was consul b. c. 2. He afterwards served with great distinction under Tiberius in the Pannonian and Illyrican wars, and obtained in consequence, as we learn from an inscription, the triumphal ornaments (Veil. Pat. ii. 112; Dion Cass, Iv. 34, Ivi. 12; Gruter, p. 452. 6).

3. plautius silvanus, praetor a. d. 24, threw his wife Apronia out of the window, and having been accused of the crime, anticipated his con­demnation by a voluntary death. (Tac. Ann. iv. 22).

4. Ti. plautius silvanus aelianus, offered up the prayer as pontifex when the first stone of the Capitol was laid, in a. d. 70 (Tac. Hist. iv. 53). We learn from an inscription (Gruter, p, 453 ; Orelli, n. 750) that he held many important military commands, and that he was twice consul. The date of these consulships, in both of which he was consul suffectus, is uncertain. Baiter, in his Fasti Consulares, places the first in the reign of Claudius, a. d. 47, and the second in the reign of Vespasian, A. d. 76.

5. M. plautius silvanus, consul suffectus in a. d. 68 (Fasti).

SILVANUS, POMPEIUS, consul suffectus under Claudius, a.d. 45 (Fasti), is perhaps the same as the Pompeius or Poppaeus Silvanus, a man of consular rank, who governed Dalmatia at the death of Nero, and is described by Tacitus as rich and aged. He espoused the side of Vespasian, but prosecuted the war with little vigour. He entered Rome along with the other generals of Vespasian, and was appointed by the senate to superintend the loan of money which the state was to obtain from private persons. (Hist. ii. 86, iii. 50, iv. 47.)

SILVANUS, POMPO'NIUS, was proconsul of Africa, and was accused by the provincials in the reign of Nero, A. d. 58, but he was acquitted in consequence of his being an old man possessing

Pages
About | First

824

825

826
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.