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SISENNA.

thenticity has found a warm advocate in Baluze. (See his Dissertatio de Concilia Teleptensi.)

IV. Ad diversos Episcopos. The original title is lost. Written, probably, about a. d. 386, ex­horting the prelates to whom it is addressed to observe closely the rules laid down by the Council of Nice regarding the choice and ordination of bishops.

V. Ad diversos Episcopos contra Jovinianum, written about the commencement of A. d. 389, an­nouncing to the Church at Milan the condemnation of Jovinian by the unanimous voice of the whole Roman clergy assembled in judgment (omnium nostrum tarn Presbyterorum et Diaconorum^ quam etiam totius Cleri una sententia). The reply of Ambrose is still extant.

VI. Ad Any slum Thessalonicensem Episcopumet alias Illyrici Episcopos de Bonoso. Written at the very end of a. d. 391, or in the early part of A. d. 392, in reply to the application of the Illyrian bishops, who had requested his advice with regard to Bonosus, charged with having maintained that the Virgin Mary had borne children after the birth of our Lord. A reference is here made to the de­liberations upon this very question at the Council of Capua, held in November, A. d. 391. This letter was ascribed at one time to Ambrose, and by some, most ignorantly, to Damasus, but has been fully proved by Justellus, in his Code of Canons (8vo. Par. 1610, 1615, 1660, Not. ad Canon. 48, Cod. Eccl. Afric.}, and by others to be the production of Siricius.

Several epistles have been lost, such as:—Ad Maximum Imperatorem, A. d. 385, praying for the discouragement of the Priscillianists ; De Itha-cianorum Causa, A. d. 386 ; A d Theodosium Impe-ratorem, against Flavianus ; Ad Rufinum, a. d. 398, an account of which, as well as of those falsely attributed to Siricius, will be found in Constant.

The six epistles are contained in the Epistolae Pontiftcum Romanorum of Coustant, fol. Paris, 1721, vol. i. p. 622 ; and under their best form in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland, vol. vii. (fol. Venet. 1770), p. 533.

(Consult the notes of Coustant, and the Prole­ gomena of Galland to vol. vii. cap. xiii. p. xviii. ; Dupin, Ecclesiastical History of the Fourth Century; Schonemann, Bibliotfieca Patrum Lat. vol. i. cap. L§23.) [W. R.]

SISAMNES. [otanes, No. 2,]

SISENNA, P. CORNE'LIUS, praetor nrbanus in b.c. J83. (Liv. xxxix. 45.)

COIN OF CN. CORNELIUS SISENNA.

SISENNA, CN. CORNE'LIUS occurs only on coins, a specimen of which is annexed. The obverse represents the head of Pallas with sisena and roma, the reverse Jupiter in a quadriga hurling his thunderbolt at the prostrate giants. The sun, the moon, and a star are also seen on the reverse ; the legend is cn. cornel. l. f.

84J

SISENNA.

SISENNA, L. CORNE'LIUS, a Roman an­nalist whom Qicero pronounces far superior to any of his predecessors, and whose name Varro prefixed to his own work upon history, is said by Velleius to have been a young man (Juvenis) at the period of the Numantine war, the contemporary of Rutilius Rufus, Claudius Quadrigarius, and Valerius An-tias. The date thus indicated will by no means agree with the statements contained in Cicero'* Brutus (64, 68), that he was intermediate between Hortensius and Sulpicius, of whom the former was born in b. c. 114, the latter in b. c. 124. The ac­count here given is confirmed by the fact, which seems to be clearly established, that he was praetor in the year when Sulla died (b. c. 78), for sup­posing him to have obtained the office " suo anno," his birth would thus be fixed to b. c. 118 or 119* He probably obtained Sicily for his province, in b, c. 77> and from the local knowledge thus ac­quired was enabled to render good service to Verres, whose cause he espoused (Cic. Verr. ii. 45, iv. 20). During the piratical war (b. c. 67) he acted as the legatus of Pompeius, and having been despatched to Crete in command of an army, died in that island at the age of about fifty-two.

His great work, entitled Historiae, extended to at least twelve or fourteen books, but we cannot speak with confidence of a greater number, for al­though in certain editions of Nonius (s. v. refraga-bunt) we find a reference to book xxiii., some MSS., instead of xxiii., have xxii., and some xiv. Many quotations are to be found in the gram­marians, especially in Nonius, but they are not of such a description as to convey any information with regard to the events which the author was describing, being very brief, and for the most part merely examples of uncommon words with which he delighted, in the character of an improver of the ordinary language of the clay, to overload his phraseology (" Sisenna quasi emendator sermonis usitati cum esse vellet ne a C. Rusio quidem accu-satore deterred potuit quominus inusitatis verbis uteretur," Cic. Brut. 76). He seems to have com­menced his literary labours in early years with a narrative of the Marsic war, and when further advanced in life, entered in his sixth book on the civil strife of Marius and Sulla, a subject which, according to Sallust, he treated with great skill and research, although somewhat reserved in the expression of his own opinions (" L. Sisenna optume et diligentissime omnium qui Sullae res dixere per-secutus parum mini libero ore locutus videtur," Sail. Jug. 95).

While Cicero, as we have noticed above, awards to him the palm over all previous and con­temporary historians, he at the same time qualifies this praise by observing that however great his merits might be when compared with those of others, yet the distance by which he was removed from a high standard of excellence afforded a clear indication of how much this species of composition had been neglected by his countrymen. When characterising his oratorical powers, he represents him as well educated, speaking with purit}r, witty, and conversant with state affairs, but not laborious, little practised in pleading, and by no means dis­tinguished for eloquence.

In addition to his Historiae, Sisenna, as we learn from Ovid, translated the Milesian fables of Aristides, and he also composed a commentary upon Plautus, of which a few scraps have been

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