THE TWELVE CAESARS
||To which are added,
HIS LIVES OF THE GRAMMARIANS, RHETORICIANS, AND POETS.
||The Translation of
Alexander Thomson, M.D.
revised and corrected by
T.Forester, Esq., A.M.
||LIVES OF EMINENT GRAMMARIANS
The science of grammar  was in ancient times far from being in
vogue at Rome; indeed, it was of little use in a rude state of society,
when the people were engaged in constant wars, and had not much time to
bestow on the cultivation of the liberal arts . At the outset, its
pretensions were very slender, for the earliest men of learning, who were
both poets and orators, may be considered as half-Greek: I speak of
Livius  and Ennius , who are acknowledged to have taught both
languages as well at Rome as in foreign parts . But they (507) only
translated from the Greek, and if they composed anything of their own in
Latin, it was only from what they had before read. For although there
are those who say that this Ennius published two books, one on "Letters
and Syllables," and the other on "Metres," Lucius Cotta has
satisfactorily proved that they are not the works of the poet Ennius, but
of another writer of the same name, to whom also the treatise on the
"Rules of Augury" is attributed.
Crates of Mallos , then, was, in our opinion, the first who
introduced the study of grammar at Rome. He was cotemporary with
Aristarchus , and having been sent by king Attalus as envoy to the
senate in the interval between the second and third Punic wars ,
soon after the death of Ennius , he had the misfortune to fall into
an open sewer in the Palatine quarter of the city, and broke his leg.
After which, during the whole period of his embassy and convalescence, he
gave frequent lectures, taking much pains to instruct his hearers, and he
has left us an example well worthy of imitation. It was so far followed,
that poems hitherto little known, the works either of deceased friends or
other approved writers, were brought to light, and being read and
commented on, were explained to others. Thus, Caius Octavius Lampadio
edited the Punic War of Naevius , which having been written in one
volume without any break in the manuscript, he divided into seven books.
After that, Quintus Vargonteius undertook the Annals of Ennius, which he
read on certain fixed days to crowded audiences. So Laelius Archelaus,
and Vectius Philocomus, read and commented on the Satires of their friend
Lucilius , which Lenaeus Pompeius, a freedman, tells us he studied
under Archelaus; and Valerius Cato, under Philocomus. Two others also
taught and promoted (508) grammar in various branches, namely, Lucius
Aelius Lanuvinus, the son-in-law of Quintus Aelius, and Servius Claudius,
both of whom were Roman knights, and men who rendered great services both
to learning and the republic.
Lucius Aelius had a double cognomen, for he was called Praeconius,
because his father was a herald; Stilo, because he was in the habit of
composing orations for most of the speakers of highest rank; indeed, he
was so strong a partisan of the nobles, that he accompanied Quintus
Metellus Numidicus  in his exile. Servius  having
clandestinely obtained his father-in-law's book before it was published,
was disowned for the fraud, which he took so much to heart, that,
overwhelmed with shame and distress, he retired from Rome; and being
seized with a fit of the gout, in his impatience, he applied a poisonous
ointment to his feet, which half-killed him, so that his lower limbs
mortified while he was still alive. After this, more attention was paid
to the science of letters, and it grew in public estimation, insomuch,
that men of the highest rank did not hesitate in undertaking to write
something on the subject; and it is related that sometimes there were no
less than twenty celebrated scholars in Rome. So high was the value, and
so great were the rewards, of grammarians, that Lutatius Daphnides,
jocularly called "Pan's herd"  by Lenaeus Melissus, was purchased by
Quintus Catullus for two hundred thousand sesterces, and shortly
afterwards made a freedman; and that Lucius Apuleius, who was taken into
the pay of Epicius Calvinus, a wealthy Roman knight, at the annual salary
of ten thousand crowns, had many scholars. Grammar also penetrated into
the provinces, and some of the most eminent amongst the learned taught it
in foreign parts, particularly in Gallia Togata. In the number of these,
we may reckon Octavius (509) Teucer, Siscennius Jacchus, and Oppius Cares
, who persisted in teaching to a most advanced period of his life,
at a time when he was not only unable to walk, but his sight failed.
The appellation of grammarian was borrowed from the Greeks; but at
first, the Latins called such persons literati. Cornelius Nepos, also,
in his book, where he draws a distinction between a literate and a
philologist, says that in common phrase, those are properly called
literati who are skilled in speaking or writing with care or accuracy,
and those more especially deserve the name who translated the poets, and
were called grammarians by the Greeks. It appears that they were named
literators by Messala Corvinus, in one of his letters, when he says,
"that it does not refer to Furius Bibaculus, nor even to Sigida, nor to
Cato, the literator,"  meaning, doubtless, that Valerius Cato was
both a poet and an eminent grammarian. Some there are who draw a
distinction between a literati and a literator, as the Greeks do between
a grammarian and a grammatist, applying the former term to men of real
erudition, the latter to those whose pretensions to learning are
moderate; and this opinion Orbilius supports by examples. For he says
that in old times, when a company of slaves was offered for sale by any
person, it was not customary, without good reason, to describe either of
them in the catalogue as a literati, but only as a literator, meaning
that he was not a proficient in letters, but had a smattering of
The early grammarians taught rhetoric also, and we have many of their
treatises which include both sciences; whence it arose, I think, that in
later times, although the two professions had then become distinct, the
old custom was retained, or the grammarians introduced into their
teaching some of the elements required for public speaking, such as the
problem, the periphrasis, the choice of words, description of character,
and the like; in order that they might not transfer (510) their pupils to
the rhetoricians no better than ill-taught boys. But I perceive that
these lessons are now given up in some cases, on account of the want of
application, or the tender years, of the scholar, for I do not believe
that it arises from any dislike in the master. I recollect that when I
was a boy it was the custom of one of these, whose name was Princeps, to
take alternate days for declaiming and disputing; and sometimes he would
lecture in the morning, and declaim in the afternoon, when he had his
pulpit removed. I heard, also, that even within the memories of our own
fathers, some of the pupils of the grammarians passed directly from the
schools to the courts, and at once took a high place in the ranks of the
most distinguished advocates. The professors at that time were, indeed,
men of great eminence, of some of whom I may be able to give an account
in the following chapters.
SAEVIUS  NICANOR first acquired fame and reputation by his
teaching: and, besides, he made commentaries, the greater part of which,
however, are said to have been borrowed. He also wrote a satire, in
which he informs us that he was a freedman, and had a double cognomen, in
the following verses;
Saevius Nicanor Marci libertus negabit,
Saevius Posthumius idem, sed Marcus, docebit.
What Saevius Nicanor, the freedman of Marcus, will deny,
The same Saevius, called also Posthumius Marcus, will assert.
It is reported, that in consequence of some infamy attached to his
character, he retired to Sardinia, and there ended his days.
AURELIUS OPILIUS , the freedman of some Epicurean, first taught
philosophy, then rhetoric, and last of all, grammar. (511) Having closed
his school, he followed Rutilius Rufus, when he was banished to Asia, and
there the two friends grew old together. He also wrote several volumes
on a variety of learned topics, nine books of which he distinguished by
the number and names of the nine Muses; as he says, not without reason,
they being the patrons of authors and poets. I observe that its title is
given in several indexes by a single letter, but he uses two in the
heading of a book called Pinax.
MARCUS ANTONIUS GNIPHO , a free-born native of Gaul, was
exposed in his infancy, and afterwards received his freedom from his
foster-father; and, as some say, was educated at Alexandria, where
Dionysius Scytobrachion  was his fellow pupil. This, however, I am
not very ready to believe, as the times at which they flourished scarcely
agree. He is said to have been a man of great genius, of singular
memory, well read in Greek as well as Latin, and of a most obliging and
agreeable temper, who never haggled about remuneration, but generally
left it to the liberality of his scholars. He first taught in the house
of Julius Caesar , when the latter was yet but a boy, and,
afterwards, in his own private house. He gave instruction in rhetoric
also, teaching the rules of eloquence every day, but declaiming only on
festivals. It is said that some very celebrated men frequented his
school,--and, among others, Marcus Cicero, during the time he held the
praetorship . He wrote a number of works, although he did not live
beyond his fiftieth year; but Atteius, the philologist , says, that
he left only two volumes, "De Latino Sermone;" and, that the other works
ascribed to him, were composed by his disciples, and were not his,
although his name is sometimes to be found in them.
M. POMPILIUS ANDRONICUS, a native of Syria, while he professed to
be a grammarian, was considered an idle follower of the Epicurean sect,
and little qualified to be a master (512) of a school. Finding,
therefore, that, at Rome, not only Antonius Gnipho, but even other
teachers of less note were preferred to him, he retired to Cumae, where
he lived at his ease; and, though he wrote several books, he was so
needy, and reduced to such straits, as to be compelled to sell that
excellent little work of his, "The Index to the Annals," for sixteen
thousand sesterces. Orbilius has informed us, that he redeemed this work
from the oblivion into which it had fallen, and took care to have it
published with the author's name.
ORBILIUS PUPILLUS, of Beneventum, being left an orphan, by the death
of his parents, who both fell a sacrifice to the plots of their enemies
on the same day, acted, at first, as apparitor to the magistrates. He
then joined the troops in Macedonia, when he was first decorated with the
plumed helmet , and, afterwards, promoted to serve on horseback.
Having completed his military service, he resumed his studies, which he
had pursued with no small diligence from his youth upwards; and, having
been a professor for a long period in his own country, at last, during
the consulship of Cicero, made his way to Rome, where he taught with more
reputation than profit. For in one of his works he says, that "he was
then very old, and lived in a garret." He also published a book with the
title of Perialogos; containing complaints of the injurious treatment to
which professors submitted, without seeking redress at the hands of
parents. His sour temper betrayed itself, not only in his disputes with
the sophists opposed to him, whom he lashed on every occasion, but also
towards his scholars, as Horace tells us, who calls him "a flogger;"
 and Domitius Marsus , who says of him:
Si quos Orbilius ferula scuticaque cecidit.
If those Orbilius with rod or ferule thrashed.
(513) And not even men of rank escaped his sarcasms; for, before he
became noticed, happening to be examined as a witness in a crowded court,
Varro, the advocate on the other side, put the question to him, "What he
did and by what profession he gained his livelihood?" He replied, "That
he lived by removing hunchbacks from the sunshine into the shade,"
alluding to Muraena's deformity. He lived till he was near a hundred
years old; but he had long lost his memory, as the verse of Bibaculus
Orbilius ubinam est, literarum oblivio?
Where is Orbilius now, that wreck of learning lost?
His statue is shown in the Capitol at Beneventum. It stands on the left
hand, and is sculptured in marble , representing him in a sitting
posture, wearing the pallium, with two writing-cases in his hand. He
left a son, named also Orbilius, who, like his father, was a professor of
ATTEIUS, THE PHILOLOGIST, a freedman, was born at Athens. Of him,
Capito Atteius , the well-known jurisconsult, says that he was a
rhetorician among the grammarians, and a grammarian among the
rhetoricians. Asinius Pollio , in the book in which he finds fault
with the writings of Sallust for his great affectation of obsolete words,
speaks thus: "In this work his chief assistant was a certain Atteius, a
man of rank, a splendid Latin grammarian, the aider and preceptor of
those who studied the practice of declamation; in short, one who claimed
for himself the cognomen of Philologus." Writing to Lucius Hermas, he
says, "that he had made great proficiency in Greek literature, and some
in Latin; that he had been a hearer of Antonius Gnipho, and his Hermas
, and afterwards began to teach others. Moreover, that he had for
pupils many illustrious youths, among whom were the two (514) brothers,
Appius and Pulcher Claudius; and that he even accompanied them to their
province." He appears to have assumed the name of Philologus, because,
like Eratosthenes , who first adopted that cognomen, he was in high
repute for his rich and varied stores of learning; which, indeed, is
evident from his commentaries, though but few of them are extant.
Another letter, however, to the same Hermas, shews that they were very
numerous: "Remember," it says, "to recommend generally our Extracts,
which we have collected, as you know, of all kinds, into eight hundred
books." He afterwards formed an intimate acquaintance with Caius
Sallustius, and, on his death, with Asinius Pollio; and when they
undertook to write a history, he supplied the one with short annals of
all Roman affairs, from which he could select at pleasure; and the other,
with rules on the art of composition. I am, therefore, surprised that
Asinius Pollio should have supposed that he was in the habit of
collecting old words and figures of speech for Sallust, when he must have
known that his own advice was, that none but well known, and common and
appropriate expressions should be made use of; and that, above all
things, the obscurity of the style of Sallust, and his bold freedom in
translations, should be avoided.
VALERIUS CATO was, as some have informed us, the freedman of one
Bursenus, a native of Gaul. He himself tells us, in his little work
called "Indignatio," that he was born free, and being left an orphan, was
exposed to be easily stripped of his patrimony during the licence of
Sylla's administrations. He had a great number of distinguished pupils,
and was highly esteemed as a preceptor suited to those who had a poetical
turn, as appears from these short lines:
Cato grammaticus, Latina Siren,
Qui solus legit ac facit poetas.
Cato, the Latin Siren, grammar taught and verse,
To form the poet skilled, and poetry rehearse.
Besides his Treatise on Grammar, he composed some poems, (515) of which,
his Lydia and Diana are most admired. Ticida mentions his "Lydia."
Lydia, doctorum maxima cura liber.
"Lydia," a work to men of learning dear.
Cinna  thus notices the "Diana."
Secula permaneat nostri Diana Catonis.
Immortal be our Cato's song of Dian.
He lived to extreme old age, but in the lowest state of penury, and
almost in actual want; having retired to a small cottage when he gave up
his Tusculan villa to his creditors; as Bibaculus tells us:
Si quis forte mei domum Catonis,
Depictas minio assulas, et illos
Custodis vidit hortulos Priapi,
Miratur, quibus ille disciplinis,
Tantam sit sapientiam assecutus,
Quam tres cauliculi et selibra farris;
Racemi duo, tegula sub una,
Ad summam prope nutriant senectam.
"If, perchance, any one has seen the house of my Cato, with marble slabs
of the richest hues, and his gardens worthy of having Priapus  for
their guardian, he may well wonder by what philosophy he has gained so
much wisdom, that a daily allowance of three coleworts, half-a-pound of
meal, and two bunches of grapes, under a narrow roof, should serve for
his subsistence to extreme old age."
And he says in another place:
Catonis modo, Galle, Tusculanum
Tota creditor urbe venditahat.
Mirati sumus unicum magistrum,
Summum grammaticum, optimum poetam,
Omnes solvere posse quaestiones,
Unum difficile expedire nomen.
En cor Zenodoti, en jecur Cratetis!
"We lately saw, my Gallus, Cato's Tusculan villa exposed to public sale
by his creditors; and wondered that such an unrivalled master of (516)
the schools, most eminent grammarian, and accomplished poet, could solve
all propositions and yet found one question too difficult for him to
settle,--how to pay his debts. We find in him the genius of Zenodotus
, the wisdom of Crates." 
CORNELIUS EPICADIUS, a freedman of Lucius Cornelius Sylla, the
dictator, was his apparitor in the Augural priesthood, and much beloved
by his son Faustus; so that he was proud to call himself the freedman of
both. He completed the last book of Sylla's Commentaries, which his
patron had left unfinished. 
LABERIUS HIERA was bought by his master out of a slave-dealer's
cage, and obtained his freedom on account of his devotion to learning.
It is reported that his disinterestedness was such, that he gave
gratuitous instruction to the children of those who were proscribed in
the time of Sylla.
CURTIUS NICIA was the intimate friend of Cneius Pompeius and Caius
Memmius; but having carried notes from Memmius to Pompey's wife ,
when she was debauched by Memmius, Pompey was indignant, and forbad him
his house. He was also on familiar terms with Marcus Cicero, who thus
speaks of him in his epistle to Dolabella : "I have more need of
receiving letters from you, than you have of desiring them from me. For
there is nothing going on at Rome in which I think you would take any
interest, except, perhaps, that you may like to know that I am appointed
umpire between our friends Nicias and Vidius. The one, it appears,
alleges in two short verses that Nicias owes him (517) money; the other,
like an Aristarchus, cavils at them. I, like an old critic, am to decide
whether they are Nicias's or spurious."
Again, in a letter to Atticus , he says: "As to what you write about
Nicias, nothing could give me greater pleasure than to have him with me,
if I was in a position to enjoy his society; but my province is to me a
place of retirement and solitude. Sicca easily reconciled himself to
this state of things, and, therefore, I would prefer having him.
Besides, you are well aware of the feebleness, and the nice and luxurious
habits, of our friend Nicias. Why should I be the means of making him
uncomfortable, when he can afford me no pleasure? At the same time, I
value his goodwill."
LENAEUS was a freedman of Pompey the Great, and attended him in most
of his expeditions. On the death of his patron and his sons, he
supported himself by teaching in a school which he opened near the temple
of Tellus, in the Carium, in the quarter of the city where the house of
the Pompeys stood . Such was his regard for his patron's memory,
that when Sallust described him as having a brazen face, and a shameless
mind, he lashed the historian in a most bitter satire , as "a
bull's-pizzle, a gormandizer, a braggart, and a tippler, a man whose life
and writings were equally monstrous;" besides charging him with being "a
most unskilful plagiarist, who borrowed the language of Cato and other
old writers." It is related, that, in his youth, having escaped from
slavery by the contrivance of some of his friends, he took refuge in his
own country; and, that after he had applied himself to the liberal arts,
he brought the price of his freedom to his former master, who, however,
struck by his talents and learning, gave him manumission gratuitously.
QUINTUS CAECILIUS, an Epirot by descent, but born at Tusculum, was
a freedman of Atticus Satrius, a Roman (518) knight, to whom Cicero
addressed his Epistles . He became the tutor of his patron's
daughter , who was contracted to Marcus Agrippa, but being suspected
of an illicit intercourse with her, and sent away on that account, he
betook himself to Cornelius Gallus, and lived with him on terms of the
greatest intimacy, which, indeed, was imputed to Gallus as one of his
heaviest offences, by Augustus. Then, after the condemnation and death
of Gallus , he opened a school, but had few pupils, and those very
young, nor any belonging to the higher orders, excepting the children of
those he could not refuse to admit. He was the first, it is said, who
held disputations in Latin, and who began to lecture on Virgil and the
other modern poets; which the verse of Domitius Marcus  points out.
Epirota tenellorum nutricula vatum.
The Epirot who,
With tender care, our unfledged poets nursed.
VERRIUS FLACCUS , a freedman, distinguished himself by a new
mode of teaching; for it was his practice to exercise the wits of his
scholars, by encouraging emulation among them; not only proposing the
subjects on which they were to write, but offering rewards for those who
were successful in the contest. These consisted of some ancient,
handsome, or rare book. Being, in consequence, selected by Augustus, as
preceptor to his grandsons, he transferred his entire school to the
Palatium, but with the understanding that he should admit no fresh
scholars. The hall in Catiline's house, (519) which had then been added
to the palace, was assigned him for his school, with a yearly allowance
of one hundred thousand sesterces. He died of old age, in the reign of
Tiberius. There is a statue of him at Praeneste, in the semi-circle at
the lower side of the forum, where he had set up calendars arranged by
himself, and inscribed on slabs of marble.
LUCIUS CRASSITIUS, a native of Tarentum, and in rank a freedman,
had the cognomen of Pasides, which he afterwards changed for Pansa. His
first employment was connected with the stage, and his business was to
assist the writers of farces. After that, he took to giving lessons in a
gallery attached to a house, until his commentary on "The Smyrna" 
so brought him into notice, that the following lines were written on him:
Uni Crassitio se credere Smyrna probavit.
Desinite indocti, conjugio hanc petere.
Soli Crassitio se dixit nubere velle:
Intima cui soli nota sua exstiterint.
Crassitius only counts on Smyrna's love,
Fruitless the wooings of the unlettered prove;
Crassitius she receives with loving arms,
For he alone unveiled her hidden charms.
However, after having taught many scholars, some of whom were of high
rank, and amongst others, Julius Antonius, the triumvir's son, so that he
might be even compared with Verrius Flaccus; he suddenly closed his
school, and joined the sect of Quintus Septimius, the philosopher.
SCRIBONIUS APHRODISIUS, the slave and disciple of Orbilius, who was
afterwards redeemed and presented with his freedom by Scribonia ,
the daughter of Libo who had been the wife of Augustus, taught in the
time of Verrius; whose books on Orthography he also revised, not without
some severe remarks on his pursuits and conduct.
C. JULIUS HYGINUS, a freedman of Augustus, was a native of Spain,
(although some say he was born at Alexandria,) (520) and that when that
city was taken, Caesar brought him, then a boy, to Rome. He closely and
carefully imitated Cornelius Alexander , a Greek grammarian, who,
for his antiquarian knowledge, was called by many Polyhistor, and by some
History. He had the charge of the Palatine library, but that did not
prevent him from having many scholars; and he was one of the most
intimate friends of the poet Ovid, and of Caius Licinius, the historian,
a man of consular rank , who has related that Hyginus died very
poor, and was supported by his liberality as long as he lived. Julius
Modestus , who was a freedman of Hyginus, followed the footsteps of
his patron in his studies and learning.
CAIUS MELISSUS , a native of Spoletum, was free-born, but
having been exposed by his parents in consequence of quarrels between
them, he received a good education from his foster-father, by whose care
and industry he was brought up, and was made a present of to Mecaenas, as
a grammarian. Finding himself valued and treated as a friend, he
preferred to continue in his state of servitude, although he was claimed
by his mother, choosing rather his present condition than that which his
real origin entitled him to. In consequence, his freedom was speedily
given him, and he even became a favourite with Augustus. By his
appointment he was made curator of the library in the portico of Octavia
; and, as he himself informs us, undertook to compose, when he was
a sexagenarian, his books of "Witticisms," which are now called "The Book
of Jests." Of these he accomplished one hundred and fifty, to which he
afterwards added several more. He (521) also composed a new kind of
story about those who wore the toga, and called it "Trabeat." 
MARCUS POMPONIUS MARCELLUS, a very severe critic of the Latin
tongue, who sometimes pleaded causes, in a certain address on the
plaintiff's behalf, persisted in charging his adversary with making a
solecism, until Cassius Severus appealed to the judges to grant an
adjournment until his client should produce another grammarian, as he was
not prepared to enter into a controversy respecting a solecism, instead
of defending his client's rights. On another occasion, when he had found
fault with some expression in a speech made by Tiberius, Atteius Capito
 affirmed, "that if it was not Latin, at least it would be so in
time to come;" "Capito is wrong," cried Marcellus; "it is certainly in
your power, Caesar, to confer the freedom of the city on whom you please,
but you cannot make words for us." Asinius Gallus  tells us that he
was formerly a pugilist, in the following epigram.
Qui caput ad laevam deicit, glossemata nobis
Praecipit; os nullum, vel potius pugilis.
Who ducked his head, to shun another's fist,
Though he expound old saws,--yet, well I wist,
With pummelled nose and face, he's but a pugilist.
REMMIUS PALAEMON , of Vicentia , the offspring of a
bond-woman, acquired the rudiments of learning, first as the companion of
a weaver's, and then of his master's, son, at school. Being afterwards
made free, he taught at Rome, where he stood highest in the rank of the
grammarians; but he was so infamous for every sort of vice, that Tiberius
and his successor Claudius publicly denounced him as an improper person
to have the education of boys and young men entrusted to him. Still, his
powers of narrative and agreeable style of speaking made him very
popular; besides which, he had the gift of making extempore verses. He
also wrote a great many in (522) various and uncommon metres. His
insolence was such, that he called Marcus Varro "a hog;" and bragged that
"letters were born and would perish with him;" and that "his name was not
introduced inadvertently in the Bucolics , as Virgil divined that a
Palaemon would some day be the judge of all poets and poems." He also
boasted, that having once fallen into the hands of robbers, they spared
him on account of the celebrity his name had acquired.
He was so luxurious, that he took the bath many times in a day; nor did
his means suffice for his extravagance, although his school brought him
in forty thousand sesterces yearly, and he received not much less from
his private estate, which he managed with great care. He also kept a
broker's shop for the sale of old clothes; and it is well known that a
vine , he planted himself, yielded three hundred and fifty bottles
of wine. But the greatest of all his vices was his unbridled
licentiousness in his commerce with women, which he carried to the utmost
pitch of foul indecency . They tell a droll story of some one who
met him in a crowd, and upon his offering to kiss him, could not escape
the salute, "Master," said he, "do you want to mouth every one you meet
with in a hurry?"
MARCUS VALERIUS PROBUS, of Berytus , after long aspiring to
the rank of centurion, being at last tired of waiting, devoted himself to
study. He had met with some old authors at a bookseller's shop in the
provinces, where the memory of ancient times still lingers, and is not
quite forgotten, as it is at Rome. Being anxious carefully to reperuse
these, and afterwards to make acquaintance with other works of the same
kind, he found himself an object of contempt, and was laughed (523) at
for his lectures, instead of their gaining him fame or profit. Still,
however, he persisted in his purpose, and employed himself in correcting,
illustrating, and adding notes to many works which he had collected, his
labours being confined to the province of a grammarian, and nothing more.
He had, properly speaking, no scholars, but some few followers. For he
never taught in such a way as to maintain the character of a master; but
was in the habit of admitting one or two, perhaps at most three or four,
disciples in the afternoon; and while he lay at ease and chatted freely
on ordinary topics, he occasionally read some book to them, but that did
not often happen. He published a few slight treatises on some subtle
questions, besides which, he left a large collection of observations on
the language of the ancients.
LIVES OF EMINENT RHETORICIANS.
Rhetoric, also, as well as Grammar, was not introduced amongst us
till a late period, and with still more difficulty, inasmuch as we find
that, at times, the practice of it was even prohibited. In order to
leave no doubt of this, I will subjoin an ancient decree of the senate,
as well as an edict of the censors:--"In the consulship of Caius Fannius
Strabo, and Marcus Palerius Messala : the praetor Marcus Pomponius
moved the senate, that an act be passed respecting Philosophers and
Rhetoricians. In this matter, they have decreed as follows: 'It shall be
lawful for M. Pomponius, the praetor, to take such measures, and make
such provisions, as the good of the Republic, and the duty of his office,
require, that no Philosophers or Rhetoricians be suffered at Rome.'"
After some interval, the censor Cnaeus Domitius Aenobarbus and Lucius
Licinius Crassus issued the following edict upon the same subject: "It is
reported to us that certain persons have instituted a new kind of
discipline; that our youth resort to their schools; that they have
assumed the title of Latin Rhetoricians; and that young men waste their
time there for whole days together. Our ancestors have ordained what
instruction it is fitting their children should receive, and what schools
they should attend. These novelties, contrary to the customs and
instructions of our ancestors, we neither approve, nor do they appear to
us good. Wherefore it appears to be our duty that we should notify our
judgment both to those who keep such schools, and those who are in the
practice of frequenting them, that they meet our disapprobation."
However, by slow degrees, rhetoric manifested itself to be a (525) useful
and honourable study, and many persons devoted themselves to it, both as
a means of defence and of acquiring reputation. Cicero declaimed in
Greek until his praetorship, but afterwards, as he grew older, in Latin
also; and even in the consulship of Hirtius and Pansa , whom he
calls "his great and noble disciples." Some historians state that Cneius
Pompey resumed the practice of declaiming even during the civil war, in
order to be better prepared to argue against Caius Curio, a young man of
great talents, to whom the defence of Caesar was entrusted. They say,
likewise, that it was not forgotten by Mark Antony, nor by Augustus, even
during the war of Modena. Nero also declaimed  even after he became
emperor, in the first year of his reign, which he had done before in
public but twice. Many speeches of orators were also published. In
consequence, public favour was so much attracted to the study of
rhetoric, that a vast number of professors and learned men devoted
themselves to it; and it flourished to such a degree, that some of them
raised themselves by it to the rank of senators and the highest offices.
But the same mode of teaching was not adopted by all, nor, indeed, did
individuals always confine themselves to the same system, but each varied
his plan of teaching according to circumstances. For they were
accustomed, in stating their argument with the utmost clearness, to use
figures and apologies, to put cases, as circumstances required, and to
relate facts, sometimes briefly and succinctly, and, at other times, more
at large and with greater feeling. Nor did they omit, on occasion, to
resort to translations from the Greek, and to expatiate in the praise, or
to launch their censures on the faults, of illustrious men. They also
dealt with matters connected with every-day life, pointing out such as
are useful and necessary, and such as are hurtful and needless. They had
occasion often to support the authority of fabulous accounts, and to
detract from that of historical narratives, which sort the Greeks call
"Propositions," "Refutations" and "Corroboration," until by a gradual
process they have exhausted these topics, and arrive at the gist of the
Among the ancients, subjects of controversy were drawn either from
history, as indeed some are even now, or from (526) actual facts, of
recent occurrence. It was, therefore, the custom to state them
precisely, with details of the names of places. We certainly so find
them collected and published, and it may be well to give one or two of
them literally, by way of example:
"A company of young men from the city, having made an excursion to Ostia
in the summer season, and going down to the beach, fell in with some
fishermen who were casting their nets in the sea. Having bargained with
them for the haul, whatever it might turn out to be, for a certain sum,
they paid down the money. They waited a long time while the nets were
being drawn, and when at last they were dragged on shore, there was no
fish in them, but some gold sewn up in a basket. The buyers claim the
haul as theirs, the fishermen assert that it belongs to them."
- "Some dealers having to land from a ship at Brundusium a cargo of
slaves, among which there was a handsome boy of great value, they, in
order to deceive the collectors of the customs, smuggled him ashore in
the dress of a freeborn youth, with the bullum  hung about his neck.
The fraud easily escaped detection. They proceed to Rome; the affair
becomes the subject of judicial inquiry; it is alleged that the boy was
entitled to his freedom, because his master had voluntarily treated him
Formerly, they called these by a Greek term, syntaxeis, but of late
"controversies;" but they may be either fictitious cases, or those which
come under trial in the courts. Of the eminent professors of this
science, of whom any memorials are extant, it would not be easy to find
many others than those of whom I shall now proceed to give an account.
LUCIUS PLOTIUS GALLUS. Of him Marcus Tullius Cicero thus writes to
Marcus Titinnius : "I remember well that when we were boys, one
Lucius Plotius first began to teach Latin; and as great numbers flocked
to his school, so that all who were most devoted to study were eager to
take lessons from him, it was a great trouble to me that I too was not
allowed to do so. I was prevented, however, by the decided opinion (527)
of men of the greatest learning, who considered that it was best to
cultivate the genius by the study of Greek." This same Gallus, for he
lived to a great age, was pointed at by M. Caelius, in a speech which he
was forced to make in his own cause, as having supplied his accuser,
Atracinus , with materials for his charge. Suppressing his name, he
says that such a rhetorician was like barley bread  compared to a
wheaten loaf,--windy, chaffy, and coarse.
LUCIUS OCTACILIUS PILITUS is said to have been a slave, and,
according to the old custom, chained to the door like a watch-dog ;
until, having been presented with his freedom for his genius and devotion
to learning, he drew up for his patron the act of accusation in a cause
he was prosecuting. After that, becoming a professor of rhetoric, he
gave instructions to Cneius Pompey the Great, and composed an account of
his actions, as well as of those of his father, being the first freedman,
according to the opinion of Cornelius Nepos , who ventured to write
history, which before his time had not been done by any one who was not
of the highest ranks in society.
About this time, EPIDIUS  having fallen into disgrace for
bringing a false accusation, opened a school of instruction, in which he
taught, among others, Mark Antony and Augustus. On one occasion Caius
Canutius jeered them for presuming to belong to the party of the consul
Isauricus  in his administration of the republic; upon which he
replied, that he would rather be the disciple of Isauricus, than of
Epidius, the false accuser. This Epidius claimed to be descended from
Epidius Nuncio, who, as (528) ancient traditions assert, fell into the
fountain of the river Sarnus  when the streams were overflown, and
not being afterwards found, was reckoned among the number of the gods.
SEXTUS CLODIUS, a native of Sicily, a professor both of Greek and
Latin eloquence, had bad eyes and a facetious tongue. It was a saying of
his, that he lost a pair of eyes from his intimacy with Mark Antony, the
triumvir . Of his wife, Fulvia, when there was a swelling in one of
her cheeks, he said that "she tempted the point of his style;"  nor
did Antony think any the worse of him for the joke, but quite enjoyed it;
and soon afterwards, when Antony was consul , he even made him a
large grant of land, which Cicero charges him with in his Philippics
. "You patronize," he said, "a master of the schools for the sake
of his buffoonery, and make a rhetorician one of your pot-companions;
allowing him to cut his jokes on any one he pleased; a witty man, no
doubt, but it was an easy matter to say smart things of such as you and
your companions. But listen, Conscript Fathers, while I tell you what
reward was given to this rhetorician, and let the wounds of the republic
be laid bare to view. You assigned two thousand acres of the Leontine
territory  to Sextus Clodius, the rhetorician, and not content with
that, exonerated the estate from all taxes. Hear this, and learn from
the extravagance of the grant, how little wisdom is displayed in your
CAIUS ALBUTIUS SILUS, of Novara , while, in the execution (529)
of the office of edile in his native place, he was sitting for the
administration of justice, was dragged by the feet from the tribunal by
some persons against whom he was pronouncing a decree. In great
indignation at this usage, he made straight for the gate of the town, and
proceeded to Rome. There he was admitted to fellowship, and lodged, with
Plancus the orator , whose practice it was, before he made a speech
in public, to set up some one to take the contrary side in the argument.
The office was undertaken by Albutius with such success, that he silenced
Plancus, who did not venture to put himself in competition with him.
This bringing him into notice, he collected an audience of his own, and
it was his custom to open the question proposed for debate, sitting; but
as he warmed with the subject, he stood up, and made his peroration in
that posture. His declamations were of different kinds; sometimes
brilliant and polished, at others, that they might not be thought to
savour too much of the schools, he curtailed them of all ornament, and
used only familiar phrases. He also pleaded causes, but rarely, being
employed in such as were of the highest importance, and in every case
undertaking the peroration only.
In the end, he gave up practising in the forum, partly from shame, partly
from fear. For, in a certain trial before the court of the One Hundred
, having lashed the defendant as a man void of natural affection for
his parents, he called upon him by a bold figure of speech, "to swear by
the ashes of his father and mother which lay unburied;" his adversary
taking him up for the suggestion, and the judges frowning upon it, he
lost his cause, and was much blamed. At another time, on a trial for
murder at Milan, before Lucius Piso, the proconsul, having to defend the
culprit, he worked himself up to such a pitch of vehemence, that in a
crowded court, who loudly applauded him, notwithstanding all the efforts
of the lictor to maintain order, he broke out into a lamentation on the
miserable state of Italy , then in danger of being again reduced, he
said, into (530) the form of a province, and turning to the statue of
Marcus Brutus, which stood in the Forum, he invoked him as "the founder
and vindicator of the liberties of the people." For this he narrowly
escaped a prosecution. Suffering, at an advanced period of life, from an
ulcerated tumour, he returned to Novara, and calling the people together
in a public assembly, addressed them in a set speech, of considerable
length, explaining the reasons which induced him to put an end to
existence: and this he did by abstaining from food.
 It will be understood that the terms Grammar and Grammarian have
here a more extended sense than that which they convey in modern use.
See the beginning of c. iv.
 Suetonius's account of the rude and unlettered state of society in
the early times of Rome, is consistent with what we might infer, and with
the accounts which have come down to us, of a community composed of the
most daring and adventurous spirits thrown off by the neighbouring
tribes, and whose sole occupations were rapine and war. But Cicero
discovers the germs of mental cultivation among the Romans long before
the period assigned to it by Suetonius, tracing them to the teaching of
Pythagoras, who visited the Greek cities on the coast of Italy in the
reign of Tarquinius Superbus.--Tusc. Quaest. iv. 1.
 Livius, whose cognomen Andronicus, intimates his extraction, was
born of Greek parents. He began to teach at Rome in the consulship of
Claudius Cento, the son of Appius Caecus, and Sempronius Tuditanus,
A.U.C. 514. He must not be confounded with Titus Livius, the historian,
who flourished in the Augustan age.
 Ennius was a native of Calabria. He was born the year after the
consulship mentioned in the preceding note, and lived to see at least his
seventy-sixth year, for Gellius informs us that at that age he wrote the
twelfth book of his Annals.
 Porcius Cato found Ennius in Sardinia, when he conquered that
island during his praetorship. He learnt Greek from Ennius there, and
brought him to Rome on his return. Ennius taught Greek at Rome for a
long course of years, having M. Cato among his pupils.
 Mallos was near Tarsus, in Cilicia. Crates was the son of
Timocrates, a Stoic philosopher, who for his critical skill had the
surname of Homericus.
 Aristarchus flourished at Alexandria, in the reign of Ptolemy
Philometer, whose son he educated.
 A.U.C. 535-602 or 605.
 Cicero [De Clar. Orat. c. xx., De Senect. c. v. 1] places the
death of Ennius A.U.C. 584, for which there are other authorities; but
this differs from the account given in a former note.
 The History of the first Punic War by Naevius is mentioned by
Cicero, De Senect, c. 14.
 Lucilius, the poet, was born about A.U.C. 605.
 Q. Metellus obtained the surname of Numidicus, on his triumph over
Jugurtha, A.U.C. 644. Aelius, who was Varro's tutor, accompanied him to
Rhodes or Smyrna, when he was unjustly banished, A.U.C. 653.
 Servius Claudius (also called Clodius) is commended by Cicero,
Fam. Epist. ix. 16, and his singular death mentioned by Pliny, xxv. 4.
 Daphnis, a shepherd, the son of Mercury, was said to have been
brought up by Pan. The humorous turn given by Lenaeus to Lutatius's
cognomen is not very clear. Daphnides is the plural of Daphnis;
therefore the herd or company, agaema; and Pan was the god of rustics,
and the inventor of the rude music of the reed.
 Oppius Cares is said by Macrobius to have written a book on Forest
 Quintilian enumerates Bibaculus among the Roman poets in the same
line with Catullus and Horace, Institut. x. 1. Of Sigida we know
nothing; even the name is supposed to be incorrectly given. Apuleius
mentions a Ticida, who is also noticed by Suetonius hereafter in c. xi.,
where likewise he gives an account of Valerius Cato.
 Probably Suevius, of whom Macrobius informs us that he was the
learned author of an Idyll, which had the title of the Mulberry Grove;
observing, that "the peach which Suevius reckons as a species of the
nuts, rather belongs to the tribe of apples."
 Aurelius Opilius is mentioned by Symmachus and Gellius. His
cotemporary and friend, Rutilius Rufus, having been a military tribune
under Scipio in the Numantine war, wrote a history of it. He was consul
A.U.C. 648, and unjustly banished, to the general grief of the people,
 Quintilian mentions Gnipho, Instit. i. 6. We find that Cicero was
among his pupils. The date of his praetorship, given below, fixes the
time when Gnipho flourished.
 This strange cognomen is supposed to have been derived from a cork
arm, which supplied the place of one Dionysius had lost. He was a poet
 See before, JULIUS, c. xlvi.
 A.U.C. 687.
 Suetonius gives his life in c. x.
 A grade of inferior officers in the Roman armies, of which we have
no very exact idea.
 Horace speaks feelingly on the subject:
Memini quae plagosum mihi parvo
Orbilium tractare. Epist. xi. i. 70.
I remember well when I was young,
How old Orbilius thwacked me at my tasks.
 Domitius Marsus wrote epigrams. He is mentioned by Ovid and
 This is not the only instance mentioned by Suetonius of statues
erected to learned men in the place of their birth or celebrity.
Orbilius, as a schoolmaster, was represented in a sitting posture, and
with the gown of the Greek philosophers.
 Tacitus [Annal. cxi. 75] gives the character of Atteius Capito.
He was consul A.U.C. 758.
 Asinius Pollio; see JULIUS, c. xxx.
 Whether Hermas was the son or scholar of Gnipho, does not appear,
 Eratosthenes, an Athenian philosopher, flourished in Egypt, under
three of the Ptolemies successively. Strabo often mentions him. See
 Cornelius Helvius Cinna was an epigrammatic poet, of the same age
as Catullus. Ovid mentions him, Tristia, xi. 435.
 Priapus was worshipped as the protector of gardens.
 Zenodotus, the grammarian, was librarian to the first Ptolemy at
Alexandria, and tutor to his sons.
 For Crates, see before, p. 507.
 We find from Plutarch that Sylla was employed two days before his
death, in completing the twenty-second book of his Commentaries; and,
foreseeing his fate, entrusted them to the care of Lucullus, who, with
the assistance of Epicadius, corrected and arranged them. Epicadius also
wrote on Heroic verse, and Cognomina.
 Plutarch, in his Life of Caesar, speaks of the loose conduct of
Mucia, Pompey's wife, during her husband's absence.
 Fam. Epist. 9.
 Cicero ad Att. xii. 36.
 See before, AUGUSTUS, c. v.
 Lenaeus was not singular in his censure of Sallust. Lactantius,
11. 12, gives him an infamous character; and Horace says of him,
Libertinarum dico; Sallustius in quas
Non minus insanit; quam qui moechatur.--Sat. i. 2. 48.
 The name of the well known Roman knight, to whom Cicero addressed
his Epistles, was Titus Pomponius Atticus. Although Satrius was the name
of a family at Rome, no connection between it and Atticus can be found,
so that the text is supposed to be corrupt. Quintus Caecilius was an
uncle of Atticus, and adopted him. The freedman mentioned in this
chapter probably assumed his name, he having been the property of
Caecilius; as it was the custom for freedmen to adopt the names of their
 Suetonius, TIBERIUS, c. viii. Her name was Pomponia.
 See AUGUSTUS, c. lxvi.
 He is mentioned before, c. ix.
 Verrius Flaccus is mentioned by St. Jerome, in conjunction with
Athenodorus of Tarsus, a Stoic philosopher, to have flourished A.M.C.
2024, which is A.U.C. 759; A.D. 9. He is also praised by Gellius,
Macrobius, Pliny, and Priscian.
 Cinna wrote a poem, which he called "Smyrna," and was nine years
in composing, as Catullus informs us, 93. 1.
 See AUGUSTUS, cc. lxii. lxix.
 Cornelius Alexander, who had also the name of Polyhistor, was born
at Miletus, and being taken prisoner, and bought by Cornelius, was
brought to Rome, and becoming his teacher, had his freedom given him,
with the name of his patron. He flourished in the time of Sylla, and
composed a great number of works; amongst which were five books on Rome.
Suetonius has already told us [AUGUSTUS, xxix.] that he had the care of
the Palatine Library.
 No such consul as Caius Licinius appears in the Fasti; and it is
supposed to be a mistake for C. Atinius, who was the colleague of Cn.
Domitius Calvinus, A.U.C. 713, and wrote a book on the Civil War.
 Julius Modestus, in whom the name of the Julian family was still
preserved, is mentioned with approbation by Gellius, Martial, Quintilian,
 Melissus is mentioned by Ovid, De Pontif. iv 16-30.
 See AUGUSTUS, c. xxix. p. 93, and note.
 The trabea was a white robe, with a purple border, of a different
fashion from the toga.
 See before, c. x.
 See CLAUDIUS, c. x1i. and note.
 Remmius Palaemon appears to have been cotemporary with Pliny and
Quintilian, who speak highly of him.
 Now Vicenza.
 "Audiat haec tantum vel qui venit, ecce, Palaemon."--Eccl. iii.
 All the editions have the word vitem; but we might conjecture,
from the large produce, that it is a mistake for vineam, a vineyard: in
which case the word vasa might be rendered, not bottles, but casks. The
amphora held about nine gallons. Pliny mentions that Remmius bought a
farm near the turning on the Nomentan road, at the tenth mile-stone from
 "Usque ad infamiam oris."--See TIBERIUS, p. 220, and the notes.
 Now Beyrout, on the coast of Syria. It was one of the colonies
founded by Julius Caesar when he transported 80,000 Roman citizens to
foreign parts.--JULIUS, xlii.
 This senatus consultum was made A.U.C. 592.
 Hirtius and Pansa were consuls A.U.C. 710.
 See NERO, c. x.
 As to the Bullum, see before, JULIUS, c. lxxxiv.
 This extract given by Suetonius is all we know of any epistle
addressed by Cicero to Marcus Titinnius.
 See Cicero's Oration, pro Caelio, where Atracinus is frequently
mentioned, especially cc. i. and iii.
 "Hordearium rhetorem."
 From the manner in which Suetonius speaks of the old custom of
chaining one of the lowest slaves to the outer gate, to supply the place
of a watch-dog, it would appear to have been disused in his time.
 The work in which Cornelius Nepos made this statement is lost.
 Pliny mentions with approbation C. Epidius, who wrote some
treatises in which trees are represented as speaking; and the period in
which he flourished, agrees with that assigned to the rhetorician here
named by Suetonius. Plin. xvii. 25.
 Isauricus was consul with Julius Caesar II., A.U.C. 705, and again
with L. Antony, A.U.C. 712.
 A river in the ancient Campania, now called the Sarno, which
discharges itself into the bay of Naples.
 Epidius attributes the injury received by his eyes to the corrupt
habits he contracted in the society of M. Antony.
 The direct allusion is to the "style" or probe used by surgeons in
 Mark Antony was consul with Julius Caesar, A.U.C. 709. See
before, JULIUS, c. lxxix.
 Philipp. xi. 17.
 Leontium, now called Lentini, was a town in Sicily, the foundation
of which is related by Thucydides, vi. p. 412. Polybius describes the
Leontine fields as the most fertile part of Sicily. Polyb. vii. 1. And
see Cicero, contra Verrem, iii. 46, 47.
 Novara, a town of the Milanese.
 St. Jerom in Chron. Euseb. describes Lucius Munatius Plancus as
the disciple of Cicero, and a celebrated orator. He founded Lyons during
the time he governed that part of the Roman provinces in Gaul.
 See AUGUSTUS, c. xxxvi.
 He meant to speak of Cisalpine Gaul, which, though geographically
a part of Italy, did not till a late period enjoy the privileges of the
other territories united to Rome, and was administered by a praetor under
the forms of a dependent province. It was admitted to equal rights by
the triumvirs, after the death of Julius Caesar. Albutius intimated that
those rights were now in danger.