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FLAMEN 100.00%
The special priest of a special deity among the Romans. There were 15 Flamines; three higher ones (Flamines maiores) of patrician rank: these were the flamen Dialis (of Jupiter), Martialis (of Mars), and Quirinalis (of Quirinus). The remaining 12 were flamines minores, plebeians, and attached to less important deities, as Vulcanus, Flora, Pomona, and Carmenta. Their office was for life, and they could only be deprived of it in certain events. The emblem of their dignity was a white conical hat (apex), made out of the hide of a sacrificed animal, and having an olive branch and woollen thread at the top. This the flamines were obliged to wear always out of doors, indeed the Flamen Dialis had originally to wear it indoors as well. They were exempted from all the duties of civic life, and excluded at the same time from all participation in politics. In course of time, it is true, they were allowed to hold urban offices, but even then they were forbidden to go out of Italy. The Flamen Dialis was originally not allowed to spend a night away from home: in later times, under the Empire, the Pontifex could allow him to sleep out for two nights in the year. Indeed, the Flamen Dialis, whose superior position among the flamens conferred upon him certain privileges, as the toga proetexta, the sella curulis, a seat in the senate, and the services of a lictor, was in proportion obliged to submit to more restrictions than the rest. He, his wife, their children, and his house on the Palatine were dedicated to this god. He must be born of a marriage celebrated by confarreatio, and live himself in indissoluble marriage. (See MARRIAGE.) If his wife died, he resigned his office. In the performance of his sacred functions he was assisted by his children as camilli. (See CAMILLUS.) Every day was for him a holy day, so that he never appeared without the insignia of his office, the conical hat, the thick woollen toga proetexta woven by his wife, the sacrificial knife, and a rod to keep the people away from him. He was preceded by his lictor, and by heralds, who called on the people to stop their work, as the flamen was not permitted to look upon any labour. He was not allowed to cast eyes on an armed host, to mount, or even to touch, a horse, to touch a corpse, or grave, or a goat, or a dog, or raw meat or anything unclean. He must not have near him, or behold, anything in the shape of a chain. Consequently there must be no knots, but only clasps, on his raiment; the ring on his finger was broken, and any one who came into his house with chains must instantly be loosened. If he were guilty of any carelessness in the sacrifices, or if his hat fell off his head, he had to resign. His wife; the flaminica, was priestess of Juno. She had, in like manner, to appear always in her insignia of office, a long woollen robe, with her hair woven with a purple fillet, and arranged in pyramidal form, her head covered with a veil and a kerchief, and carrying a sacrificial knife. On certain days she was forbidden to comb her hair. The chief business of the flamens consisted in daily sacrifices: on certain special occasions they acted with the Pontifices and the Vestal Virgins. The three superior flamens offered a sacrifice to Fides Publica on the Capitol on the 1st October, driving there in a two-horse chariot. During the imperial period flamines of the deified emperors were added to the others.
An ancient Italian goddess of prophecy, who protected women in child-birth. In Rome she had a priest attached to her, the flamen Carmentalis, and a shrine near the gate under the Capitol, named after her the porta Carmentalis. On this spot the Roman matrons celebrated in her honour the festival of the Carmentalia, the flamen and pontifex assisting. Two Carmentes, called Porrima or Antevorta, and Postvorta, were worshipped as her sisters and attendants. These names were sometimes explained with reference to childbirth, sometimes as indicating the power of the goddess of fate to look into the fast and future. In the legend of the foundation of Rome Carmenta appears as the prophetic mother, or wife, of the Arcadian stranger Evander.
ROBIGUS 64.49%
the male, Robigo, the female deity among the Romans who protected the corn from blight (robigo). On April 25th a festival called the Robigalia, supposed to have been instituted by Numa, was held in their honour in their grove, distant nearly five miles from Rome. The citizens marched to the spot in white festal attire, under the conduct of the flamen Quirinalis, Robigus having at first apparently represented only a particular function of Mars (or Quirinus), as protector of the arable land. After a prayer, accompanied by offerings of incense and wine, for the preservation of the ripening seed, the flamen offered sacrifice with the entrails of a young sorrel dog and a sheep. Certain races were also held.
MAIA 52.22%
Daughter of Atlas and Pleione, one of the Pleiads (q.v.), mother of Hermes by Zeus. The Romans identified her with an old Italian goddess of spring, Maia Maiestas (also called Fauna, Bona Dea, Ops), who was held to be the wife of Vulcan, and to whom the flamen of that god sacrificed a pregnant sow on the 1st of May.
POMONA 51.65%
The Latin goddess of fruit trees, who in Rome bad a flamen of her own (Pomonalis). Like Vertumnus, who was regarded as her husband, she was particularly honoured in the country. Art represents her as a fair damsel, with fruits in her bosom, and the pruning-knife in her hand.
The Roman god of harbours. 1 Like Janus, the god of coming in and going out, he was represented with a key, and was perhaps only a personification of one attribute of Janus. He bad a special flamen in Rome (Portunalis), and at the harbour on the Tiber he had a temple, where a festival, the Portunalia, was held in his honour every year on August 17th. In later times he was identified with the Greek Palaemon.
The Latin name for the boys and girls who attended on the priests and priestesses during the performance of their religious functions. It was necessary that they should be born of free parents, and have both parents living. These attendants were especially attached to the Flamen Dialis, and his wife the Flaminica, and also to the Curiones. The priests generally brought up their own children, by preference, for this service, to teach them their duties, and secure them a succession to the priestly office.
The Latin term for the chair of office belonging to the curule magistrates (consuls, praetors, curule aeediles, dictator, magister equitum, and flamen Dialis), and also to the emperors. It was of ivory, without a back, and with curved legs, like those of a camp-stool, so arranged that it could be folded up. The seat was of plaited leather straps. The curule magistrates sat on this seat while engaged in all official business, and also took it with them in war.
ARGEI 31.51%
The name of certain chapels at Rome, probably twenty-four in number, each of the four tribes of the city having six. To these chapels a procession was made on March 16 and 17, at which the wife of the Flamen Dialis walked with unkempt hair as a sign of mourning. On May 15 the Pontiffs, Vestal Virgins, Praetors, and all citizens who had a right to assist at sacrifices, marched to the wooden bridge over the Tiber (Pons Sublicius), and after sacrificing, threw into the river twenty-four men of straw, likewise named Argei, which had probably been hung up in the chapels at the first procession, and were fetched away at the second. The sacrifice was regarded as expiatory, and the puppets as substitutes for former human victims. The meaning of the name was unknown to the ancients, and so was the deity to whom the sacrifice was offered.
MARS 28.75%
With Jupiter the principal deity of the inhabitants of Italy, and therefore honoured with particular reverence by the Latins and Romans from the very earliest times, especially as the latter regarded him as the father of Romulus, the founder of Rome. He was held to be the son of Juno, who bore him in consequence of touching a wonderful spring-flower, and the husband of Nerio or Nerlene, a goddess of strength. Through the emphasising of one of his attributes he gradually came to be considered as, above all, the god of war; for originally he is at the same time one of the mightiest gods of nature, who accords fertility and protection to fields and herds. The first month of the old Roman year was dedicated to him as the fertilizing god of spring; in the very ancient chant of the Arval brothers (q.v.), at the May-day festival of the Dea Dia, the help and protection of Mars were demanded. In earlier times he was also invoked at the hallowing of the fields (See AMBARVALIA), that he might bless the family, the field and the cattle, and keep off sickness, bad weather, and all else that did harm. (Cp. ROBIGUS.) In later times the names of Ceres and Bacchus were substituted for his on this particular occasion. At the festival on 15th October (see below) a horse was sacrificed to him to insure the fair growth of the seed that had been sown. As god of war he had the special name Gradixus, the strider, from the rapid march in battle 1 (Cp. QUIRINUS), and his symbols were the ravenous wolf, the prophetic and warlike woodpecker, and the lance. When war broke out, the general solemnly invoked his aid, by smiting his holy lance and the holy shields (ancilia -see ANCILE) with the cry, Mars, awake! (Mars vigila!) Many sacrifices were also offered to him during the campaign and before battle; and in his name military honours were conferred. The Field of Mars (Campus Martius) was dedicated to him as the patron god of warlike exercises; contests with battle-steeds, called Equirria, were there held in his honour on the 27th February, 14th March, and 15th October. On the last-mentioned day the horse on the right of the victorious team was sacrificed on his altar in the Field of Mars; it was known as the horse of October (October equus), and its blood was collected and preserved in the temple of Vesta, and used at the Palilia for purposes of purification. The cult of Mars was entrusted to a special priest, the flamen Martialis (see FLAMEN), and the college of the Salii (q.v.), which worshipped him more particularly as god of war. His principal festival was in March, the month sacred to him. As early as the time of king Tullus Hostilius, Pavor and Pallor, Fear and Pallor, are said to have been worshipped as his companions in the fight, in sanctuaries of their own. Augustus caused him to be honoured in a new form, as Mars Ultor (avenger of Caesar), in the magnificent temple in the Forum Augusti, consecrated B.C. 2, where statues of him and of Venus, as the two divine ancestors of the Julian family, were set up. In later times he was identified completely with the Greek Ares (q.v.).
The Sabine Dame of Mars, as the god who brandished the lance (from Sabine curis=Latin quiris, the lance). The Sabines worshipped him under this nameas the father of the founder of their old capital, Cures, just as the Romans honoured Mars as the father of Romulus. When the Sabines migrated to Rome, they took the cult and the name of the god of their race to their now abode on the Quirinal hill. In this way Quirinus, though identical with Mars, had a distinct and separate worship on the slope of the Quirinal. He possessed a temple with priests (See FLAMEN and SALII) and a special festival. When, in the course of time, their connexion was forgotten, Quirinus was identified with the deified Romulus, the son of Mars. For Janus Quirinus See JANUS.
According to the common legend, wife of the herdsman Faustulus, and nurse to Romalus and Remus; according to another, a favourite of Hercules, and wife to a rich Etruscan, Tarutius, whose possessions she bequeathed to Romulus or (according to another account) the Roman people. She is said to have had twelve sons, with whom she sacrificed once a year for the fertilizing of the Roman fields (arva), and who were thence named Arval Brothers (fratres arvales). One of them having died, Romulus took his place, and founded the priesthood so called. (See ARVAL BROTHERS.) She at last disappeared on the spot where, afterwards, at the feast of Larentalia (Dec. 23), the flamen of Quirinus and the pontiffs sacrificed to her while invoking Jupiter. All this, together with her name, meaning "mother of the Lares," shows that she was originally a goddess of the earth, to whose care men entrusted their seed-corn and their dead. (See LARES.) In particular she personified the city lands and their crops. Probably she is the Dea Dia worshipped by the Arval Brothers.
A member of the highest priestly college in Rome, to which belonged the superintendence over all sacred observances, whether performed by the State or by private persons. The meaning of the name is uncertain; the interpretation which follows most obviously from the form of the word, that of "bridge-builder," referred in particular to the sacred bridge on piles (pons sublicius) over the Tiber, is open to many objections. 1 The foundation of the college is ascribed to Numa; at first it probably consisted of six patrician members, with the addition of the king, whose place, after the abolition of the Monarchy, was transferred to the pontifex maximus (high-pontiff); from 300 B.C. it was composed of nine members (4 patrician and 6 plebeian), from the time of Sulla of fifteen (7 patrician and 8 plebeian); Caesar added another member; and the emperors also raised the number at their pleasure. The office was for life, us was also that of the president. While, in the time of the Monarchy, the pontiffs were probably named by the king, under the Republic the college for a long time filled up its own numbers by co-optation, and also appointed the high-pontiff from among its members. From somewhere about 250 B.C. the election of the latter took place in the comitia of the tribes under the presidency of a pontiff, and, from 103 B.C., the other members were also elected in the comitia out of a fixed number of candidates presented by the college. Under the Empire a preliminary election was held by the Senate, and merely confirmed by the comitia. Besides the pontiffs proper, there were also included in the college the rex sacrorum, the three higher flamens and the three pontifices minores, who assisted the pontiffs in transactions relating to sacrifices and in their official business, besides sharing in the deliberations and the banquets of the whole college: these ranked according to length of service. In the earlier time an advanced age, with freedom from secular offices, was necessary for eligibility to the pontificate; the high-pontiff, among other restrictions, was not allowed to leave Italy, was obliged to have a wife without reproach, and might not enter upon a second marriage or see a dead body, much less touch one. As regards his position, he was, as spiritual successor of the king, the sole holder and exerciser of the pontifical power; and his official dwelling was in the king's house, the regia of Numa adjoining the Forum, the seat of the oldest State worship. The college existed by his side only as a deliberative and executive body of personal assistants. He appointed to the most important priestly offices of the State, those of flamen, of vestal, and of rex sacrorum; he made public the authoritative decisions of the college. In matters which came within the limits of his official action, he had the right of taking: auspices, of holding assemblies of the people, and of publishing edicts. He also exercised a certain jurisdiction over the persons subject to his high-priestly power, especially the flamens and Vestals, over whom his authority was that of an actual father. Owing to the great importance of the office, the emperors from the time of Augustus undertook it themselves, and retained it, even in Christian times, until the year 382. As regards the functions of the college, besides performing a number of special sacrifices in the service of the household gods, they exercised (as already mentioned) a superintendence over the whole domain of the religious services recognised by the State, public and private. In all doubts which arose concerning the religious obligations of the State towards the gods, or concerning the form of any religious offices which were to be undertaken, their opinion was asked by the Senate and by the other secular bodies, who were obliged unhesitatingly to follow it. In the various religious transactions, expiatory offerings, vows, dedications, consecrations, solemn appropriations, undertaken on behalf of the State, their assistance was invited by the official bodies, in order that they might provide for the correct performance, especially by dictating the prayers. The knowledge of the various rites was handed down by the libri pontificii, which were preserved in the official dwelling of the high-pontiff and kept secret. These included the forms of prayer, the rules of ritual for the performance of ceremonial observances, the acta pontificum, i.e. the records relating to the official actions of the college, and the commentarii pontificum, i.e. the collection of opinions delivered, to which they were as a rule obliged to have recourse when giving new ones. An important and indeed universal influence was exercised by the pontiffs, not only on religious, but also on civic life, by means of the regulation of the calendar, which was assigned to them as possessing technical knowledge of the subject; and by means of their superintendence over the observance of the holidays. Owing to the character of the Roman reckoning of the year, it was necessary from time to time to intercalate certain days, with a view to bringing the calendar into agreement with the actual seasons to which the festivals were originally attached; and special technical knowledge was needed, in order to be sure on what day the festivals fell. This technical knowledge was kept secret by the pontiffs as being a means of power. It was for the month actually current that they gave information to the people as to the distribution of the days, the festivals falling within the month, and the lawful and unlawful days (fasti and nefasti, q.v. for civil and legal transactions. In 304 B.C. the calendar of the months was made public by Gnaeus Flavius; but the pontiffs still retained the right of regulating the year by intercalations, and thereby the power of furthering or hindering the aims of parties and individuals by arbitrary insertion of intercalary months. This they kept until the final regulation of the year introduced by Caesar as high-pontiff in 46 B.C. Closely connected with the superintendence of the calendar was the keeping of the lists of the yearly magistrates, especially of the consuls, since it was by their names that the years were dated, as well as the keeping of the yearly chronicle. (See ANNALS.) As experts in the law of ritual, the pontiffs had the superintendence over many transactions of private life, so far as ceremonial questions were connected with them, such as the conclusion of marriages, adoption by means of arrogation, and burial. Even upon the civil law they had originally great influence, inasmuch as they alone were in traditional possession of the solemn legal formuloe, known as the legis actiones, which were necessary for every legal transaction, including lawsuits. They even gave legal opinions, which obtained recognition in the courts as customary law, by the side of the written law, and grew into a second authoritative source of Roman law. Until the establishment of the praetorship (866 <smalCaps>B.C.), a member of the college was appointed every year to impart information to private persons concerning the legal forms connected with the formulating of plaints and other legal business. The legis actiones were made public for the first time by the above-mentioned Flavius at the same time as the calendar. (See JURISPRUDENCE.)
FLORA 23.64%
A goddess, originally Sabine, of the spring and of flowers and blossoms in general, to whom prayers were offered for the prospering of the ripe fruits of field and tree. She was also regarded as a goddess of the flower of youth and its pleasures. Her worship was said to have been introduced into Rome by the Sabine king Titus Tatius, and her special priest, the Flamen Floralis, to have been appointed by Numa. A temple was erected to her in the Circus Maximus in 238 B.C. At the same time a theatrical festival, the Floralia, was instituted at the behest of the Sibylline books. At this feast the men decked themselves and their animals with flowers, especially roses; the women put aside their usual costume, and wore the gay dresses usually forbidden. The scene was one of unrestrained merriment. From 173 B.C. the festival was a standing one, and lasted six days, from April 28, the anniversary of the foundation of the temple, to May 3. For the first five days of the games, for the superintendence of which the curule aediles were responsible, there were theatrical performances, largely consisting of the very indecent farces called mimes. On the last day goats, hares, and other animals were hunted in the circus. The people were regaled during the games with porridge, peas, and lentils. Flora was in later times identified with the Greek Chloris (See HORAe). In works of art she was represented as a blooming maiden, decked with flowers.
The god of the river Tiber; according to tradition, an old king of the country, who is said to have been drowned while swimming across the river Albula, which thenceforth was named Tiber (Tiberis) after him. The Roman legends represented him as raising the mother of Romulus and Remus, Rhea Silvia, who had been thrown into the Tiber, to the position of his consort and of goddess of the stream. As the river was of great importance to Rome, the river-god was highly bonoured, and was invoked by the pontifices and augurs in their prayers for the welfare of the State. His shrine was on the island of the Tiber, where offerings were made to him on Dec. 8th. On June 7th fishermen celebrated special games in his honour (ludi piscatarii) on the opposite bank of the Tiber. Under the name of Volturnus, i.e. "the rolling stream," or "river" generally, he appears to have had a flamen (Volturnalis) and a feast, the Volturnalia, on Aug. 27th. Of extant representations of the god the finest is a colossal figure in the Louvre, representing him in a reclining posture, as a victor crowned with bay, holding in one band a rudder, and in the other a cornucopia, with the she-wolf and Romulus and Remus by his side.
The Italian god of fire and of the art of forging and smelting; corresponding to, and identified with, the Greek Hephaestus. As god of the forge, he also bears the name Mulciber, the softener or smelter of metal. As a beneficent god of nature, who ripens the fruit by his warmth, he is the husband of the Italian goddess of spring, Maia or Maiesta, who shared the sacrifices offered by his priest, the flamen Volcanalis, after he had become identified with Hephaestus. Venus, who is identified with Aphrodite, was regarded as his wife. Among his shrines in Rome the most noteworthy is that called Volcanal, a level space raised above the surface of the Comitium, and serving as the hearth of the spot where the citizens' assemblies were held. His chief festival, the Volcanalia, was kept on August 23rd, when certain fish were thrown into the fire on the hearth, and races were held in the Circus Flaminius. Sacrifices were offered to him as god of metal-working on May 23rd, the day appointed for a cleansing of the trumpets used in worship (tubilustrium). As lord of fire he was also the god of conflagrations; hence his temples were built outside the city, while his temple in Rome was situated in the Campus Martius. Juturna (q.v.) and Stata Mater, who causes fires to cease, were worshipped with him as goddesses who protect from fires, and a public sacrifice was offered to them and him at the festival of the Volcanalia. (Cp. HEPHAeSTUS.)
The Latin name for a college of priests consisting of twelve life-members, who performed the worship of Dea Dia, a goddess not otherwise mentioned, but probably identical with the old Roman goddess of cornfields, Acca Larentia (q.v.), who also is said to have founded this fraternity. Our more accurate knowledge of it we owe to its annual reports inscribed on the marble tablets, ninety-six in number, which have been dug up (1570-1869) on the site of its meeting-place, a grove at the fifth milestone from Rome, and which extend from A.D. 14-241. About its condition under the Republic we have no information; but under the Empire its members were persons of the highest rank. The emperors themselves belonged to it, either as ordinary members, or, if the numbers were filled up, as extraordinary. The election was by co-optation on the motion of the president (magister), who himself, together with a flamen, was elected for one year; their badge was a white fillet and a wreath of ears of corn. The Arvales held their chief festival on three days in May, on the 1st and 3rd in Rome, on the 2nd in the grove, with a highly complicated ceremonial, including a dance in the temple of the goddess, to which they sang the written text of a hymn so antiquated that its meaning could scarcely be understood. This Arval Hymn, in which the Lares and Mars are invoked, is one of the oldest monuments we possess of the Latin tongue. Amongst other duties of this priesthood should especially be mentioned the expiatory sacrifices in the grove. These had to be offered if any damage had been done to it through the breaking of a bough, the stroke of lightning, or other such causes; or again if any labour had been performed in it, though ever so necessary, especially if iron tools had been used. The Arval brothers had also to offer solemn vows on behalf of the Imperial House, both statedly on January 3rd, and on extraordinary occasions, and were bound to fulfil them.
LICTORS 21.51%
Attendants who bore the fasces (q.v.) before Roman magistrates who had a right to these insignia. They were generally freedmen, and formed in Rome a corps consisting of three decuriae under ten presidents. From these decuriae, the first of which was exclusively reserved for the consuls, the magistrates in office drew their lictors, while the provincial office-bearers nominated their own for their term of power. There was besides another decuria of thirty lictores curiati to attend on the public sacrifices, to summon the comitia curiata, and, when these meetings became little more than formal, to represent in them the thirty curiae; from this decuria probably were also chosen the lictors of the flamen dialis and of the Vestals. It was the duty of the lictors to accompany the magistrate continually, whenever he appeared in public. On these occasions they marched before him in single file, last in order and immediately preceding him being the lictor proximus, who was superior in rank. All passers by, with the exception of matrons and Vestals, were warned by the lictors to stand aside and make due obeisance. The space required for official purposes was kept clear by them. Sentences of punishment were also executed by them. Their dress corresponded to that of the magistrate; inside the city the toga, outside, and in a triumph, the red military cloak.
the "king of sacrifice." The name given by the Romans to a priest who, after the abolition of the royal power, had to perform certain religious rites connected with the name of king. He resembles the archon basileus of the Athenian constitution. He was always a patrician, was elected for life by the pontifex maximus with the assistance of the whole pontifical college (of which he became a member), and was inaugurated by the augurs. Although he was externally of high rank and, like the pontifex maximus, had an official residence in the Regia, the royal castle of Numa, and took the chair at the feasts and other festivities of the pontifices, yet in his religious authority he ranked below the pontifex maximus, and was not allowed to hold any public office, or even to address the people in public. His wife (like the wives of the flamens) participated in the priesthood. Our information as to the details of the office is imperfect. Before the knowledge of the calendar became public property, it was the duty of the rex sacrorum to summon the people to the Capitol on the calends and nones of each month, and to announce the festivals for the month. On the calends he and the regina sacrificed, and at the same time invoked Janus. Of the other sacrifices known to us we may mention the regifugium on Feb. 24th, when the rex sacrorum sacrificed at the comitium, and then fled in haste. This has been erroneously explained as a commemoration of the fight of Tarquinius Superbus, the last of the Roman kings; but it is much more probably one of the customs handed down from the time of the kings themselves, and perhaps connected with the purificatory sacrifice from which the month of February derived its name. At the end of the Republic the office, owing to the political disability attaching to the holder, proved unattractive, and was sometimes left unfilled: but under Augustus it appears to have been restored to fresh dignity, and in imperial times it continued to exist, at any rate, as late as the 3rd century.
The great Roman Satirist, born at Aquinum, a town of the Volscians, about 47 A.D. According to the accounts of his life which have come down to us, he was the son, either real or adopted, of a wealthy freedman, and spent the first half of his life in Rome engaged in declamatory exercises, more for pleasure than as a preparation for the Forum or the schools. He continued there until he became a knight. In an inscription of the time of Domitian he is named as duumvir and as a flamen of Vespasian in his native town, and also as tribune of the first Dalmatian cohort. The command of a cohort is also specified in the accounts already mentioned. According to these he was sent into banishment under the pretence of military distinction, because in a satirical composition he had taken the liberty of denouncing the political influence of a favourite comedian of the emperor. As to the place and date of his banishment, the accounts vary between Britain and Egypt; and also between the last years of Domitian (against which theory there are weighty objections) and the reigns of either Trajan or Hadrian. In any case he died after 127 A.D., according to one account, in the eighty-second year of his life, or about 130, the cause being grief at his exile. By others he is made to return to Rome before his death. We possess sixteen satires by him, which the grammarians have divided into five books. In these he delineates with moral indignation and with pitiless scorn the universal corruption of society, particularly in the times of Domitian, painting its vices in all their nakedness and ugliness with the most glaring colours. His composition is often concise to the verge of obscurity, and by its strong rhetorical colouring betrays his earlier studies. In his own day, and afterwards, his satires enjoyed great popularity, and were hold in high repute even in the Middle Ages. Owing to his obscurity he early attracted the attention of learned men of old, and we still possess the remains of their industry in a collection of Scholia. [About the life of the poet nothing certain can be really ascertained except from the hints given in his own writings. The biographies which have come down to us must be used with extreme caution: and it is not at all certain that tie inscription mentioned above refers to him at all.]
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