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Volumes: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - Lives of the Grammarians - Lives of the Poets


  1. Plin. Epist. i. 18, 24, iii. 8, v. 11, ix. 34, x. 95.

  2. Lycee, part I. liv. III. c. i.

  3. Julius Caesar Divus. Romulus, the founder of Rome, had the honour of an apotheosis conferred on him by the senate, under the title of Quirinus, to obviate the people's suspicion of his having been taken off by a conspiracy of the patrician order. Political circumstances again concurred with popular superstition to revive this posthumous adulation in favour of Julius Caesar, the founder of the empire, who also fell by the hands of conspirators. It is remarkable in the history of a nation so jealous of public liberty, that, in both instances, they bestowed the highest mark of human homage upon men who owed their fate to the introduction of arbitrary power.

  4. Pliny informs us that Caius Julius, the father of Julius Caesar, a man of pretorian rank, died suddenly at Pisa.

  5. A.U.C. (in the year from the foundation of Rome) 670; A.C. (before Christ) about 92.

  6. Flamen Dialis. This was an office of great dignity, but subjected the holder to many restrictions. He was not allowed to ride on horseback, nor to absent himself from the city for a single night. His wife was also under particular restraints, and could not be divorced. If she died, the flamen resigned his office, because there were certain sacred rites which he could not perform without her assistance. Besides other marks of distinction, he wore a purple robe called laena, and a conical mitre called apex.

  7. Two powerful parties were contending at Rome for the supremacy; Sylla being at the head of the faction of the nobles, while Marius espoused the cause of the people. Sylla suspected Julius Caesar of belonging to the Marian party, because Marius had married his aunt Julia.

  8. He wandered about for some time in the Sabine territory.

  9. Bithynia, in Asia Minor, was bounded on the south by Phrygia, on the west by the Bosphorus and Propontis; and on the north by the Euxine sea. Its boundaries towards the east are not clearly ascertained, Strabo, Pliny, and Ptolemy differing from each other on the subject.

  10. Mitylene was a city in the island of Lesbos, famous for the study of philosophy and eloquence. According to Pliny, it remained a free city and in power one thousand five hundred years. It suffered much in the Peloponnesian war from the Athenians, and in the Mithridatic from the Romans, by whom it was taken and destroyed. But it soon rose again, having recovered its ancient liberty by the favour of Pomnpey; and was afterwards much embellished by Trajan, who added to it the splendour of his own name. This was the country of Pittacus, one of the seven wise men of Greece, as well as of Alcaeus and Sappho. The natives showed a particular taste for poetry, and had, as Plutarch informs us, stated times for the celebration of poetical contests.

  11. The civic crown was made of oak-leaves, and given to him who had saved the life of a citizen. The person thus decorated, wore it at public spectacles, and sat next the senators. When he entered, the audience rose up, as a mark of respect.

  12. A very extensive country of Hither Asia; lying between Pamphylia to the west, Mount Taurus and Amanus to the north, Syria to the east, and the Mediterranean to the south. It was anciently famous for saffron; and hair-cloth, called by the Romans ciliciun, was the manufacture of this country.

  13. A city and an island, near the coast of Caria famous for the huge statue of the Sun, called the Colossus. The Rhodians were celebrated not only for skill in naval affairs, but for learning, philosophy, and eloquence. During the latter periods of the Roman republic, and under some of the emperors, numbers resorted there to prosecute their studies; and it also became a place of retreat to discontented Romans.

  14. Pharmacusa, an island lying off the coast of Asia, near Miletus. It is now called Parmosa.

  15. The ransom, too large for Caesar's private means, was raised by the voluntary contributions of the cities in the Asiatic province, who were equally liberal from their public funds in the case of other Romans who fell into the hands of pirates at that period.

  16. From Miletus, as we are informed by Plutarch.

  17. Who commanded in Spain.

  18. Rex, it will be easily understood, was not a title of dignity in a Roman family, but the surname of the Marcii.

  19. The rites of the Bona Dea, called also Fauna, which were performed in the night, and by women only.

  20. Hispania Boetica; the Hither province being called Hispania Tarraconensis.

  21. Alexander the Great was only thirty-three years at the time of his death.

  22. The proper office of the master of the horse was to command the knights, and execute the orders of the dictator. He was usually nominated from amongst persons of consular and praetorian dignity; and had the use of a horse, which the dictator had not, without the order of the people.

  23. Seneca compares the annals of Tanusius to the life of a fool, which, though it may he long, is worthless; while that of a wise man, like a good book, is valuable, however short.--Epist. 94.

  24. Bibulus was Caesar's colleague, both as edile and consul. Cicero calls his edicts "Archilochian," that is, as full of spite as the verses of Archilochus.--Ad. Attic. b. 7. ep. 24.

  25. A.U.C. 689. Cicero holds both the Curio's, father and son, very cheap.--Brut. c. 60.

  26. Regnum, the kingly power, which the Roman people considered an insupportable tyranny.

  27. An honourable banishment.

  28. The assemblies of the people were at first held in the open Forum. Afterwards, a covered building, called the Comitium, was erected for that purpose. There are no remains of it, but Lumisden thinks that it probably stood on the south side of the Forum, on the site of the present church of The Consolation.--Antiq. of Rome, p. 357.

  29. Basilicas, from Basileus; a king. They were, indeed, the palaces of the sovereign people; stately and spacious buildings, with halls, which served the purpose of exchanges, council chambers, and courts of justice. Some of the Basilicas were afterwards converted into Christian churches. "The form was oblong; the middle was an open space to walk in, called Testudo, and which we now call the nave. On each side of this were rows of pillars, which formed what we should call the side-aisles, and which the ancients called Porticus. The end of the Testudo was curved, like the apse of some of our churches, and was called Tribunal, from causes being heard there. Hence the term Tribune is applied to that part of the Roman churches which is behind the high altar."--Burton's Antiq. of Rome, p. 204.

  30. Such as statues and pictures, the works of Greek artists.

  31. It appears to have stood at the foot of the Capitoline hill. Piranesi thinks that the two beautiful columns of white marble, which are commonly described as belonging to the portico of the temple of Jupiter Stator, are the remains of the temple of Castor and Pollux.

  32. Ptolemy Auletes, the son of Cleopatra.

  33. Lentulus, Cethegus, and others.

  34. The temple of Jupiter Capitolinus was commenced and completed by the Tarquins, kings of Rome, but not dedicated till the year after their expulsion, when that honour devolved on M. Horatius Fulvillus, the first of the consuls. Having been burnt down during the civil wars, A.U.C. 670, Sylla restored it on the same foundations, but did not live to consecrate it.

  35. Meaning Pompey; not so much for the sake of the office, as having his name inserted in the inscription recording the repairs of the Capitol, instead of Catulus. The latter, however, secured the honour, and his name is still seen inscribed in an apartment at the Capitol, as its restorer.

  36. It being the calends of January, the first day of the year, on which the magistrates solemnly entered on their offices, surrounded by their friends.

  37. Among others, one for recalling Pompey from Asia, under the pretext that the commonwealth was in danger. Cato was one of the colleagues who saw through the design and opposed the decree.

  38. See before, p. 5. This was in A.U.C. 693.

  39. Plutarch informs us, that Caesar, before he came into office, owed his creditors 1300 talents, somewhat more than 565,000 pounds of our money. But his debts increased so much after this period, if we may believe Appian, that upon his departure for Spain, at the expiration of his praetorship, he is reported to have said, Bis millies et quingenties centena minis sibi adesse oportere, ut nihil haberet: i. e. That he was 2,000,000 and nearly 20,000 sesterces worse than penniless. Crassus became his security for 830 talents, about 871,500 pounds.

  40. For his victories in Gallicia and Lusitania, having led his army to the shores of the ocean, which had not before been reduced to submission.

  41. Caesar was placed in this dilemma, that if he aspired to a triumph, he must remain outside the walls until it took place, while as a candidate for the consulship, he must be resident in the city.

  42. Even the severe censor was biassed by political expediency to sanction a system, under which what little remained of public virtue, and the love of liberty at Rome, were fast decaying. The strict laws against bribery at elections were disregarded, and it was practised openly, and accepted without a blush. Sallust says that everything was venal, and that Rome itself might be bought, if any one was rich enough to purchase it. Jugurth, viii. 20, 3.

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