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OBSEQUENS 100.00%

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A Latin author. (See LIVY, 2.)
 
FLORUS 33.31%
A Roman historian of the time of Hadrian, 117-138 A.D. He wrote, in two books, a history of the wars of Rome, from the time of the kings to the closing of the temple of Janus under Augustus (25 B.C.). In the title, as we have it, the book is called an excerpt from Livy (Epitome de Titi Livii bellorum omnium annorum DCC). But this is not an adequate description of it. Florus, it is true, has used Livy a great deal, though not exclusively, and the work is really a panegyric on the greatness of Rome. It is the production of a rhetorician, as is shown by the tasteless and inflated language, with its poetical echoes of Vergil and Horace, and its tendency to exaggeration. Numerous gross errors testify to the insufficiency of the writer's knowledge. Worthless as it is, the book was much read and quoted in the Middle Ages.
 
TALASSIO 24.48%
 
CURTIUS RUFUS 17.09%
A Roman historian, who probably lived and practised as a rhetorician about the middle of the 1st century A.D., and wrote a history of Alexander the Great, in ten books, in the reign of Claudius (A.D. 44-54). The first two books are lost, and the fifth mutilated at the end, the sixth at the beginning. He seems to aim more at rhetorical effect than at historical accuracy. In the use of his authorities he is uncritical, as he follows untrustworthy writers like Clitarchus, knowing them to be untrustworthy. His work contains many errors in geography and chronology, and his accounts of the battles show that he had no military knowledge. But he understands the art of interesting his readers by a pleasant narrative and lifelike drawing, and there, is a certain charm in the numerous speeches which he has inserted in his text, in spite of their strong rhetorical colouring. His language reminds us of Livy. It is curious that he is never mentioned in antiquity.
 
POMERIUM 16.97%
A name given by the Romans to the space, originally along the city-wall within and without, which was left vacant and reckoned holy. This space was marked off by stones, and in respect to the auspices formed the limit between city and country. [See Livy, i 44, and Cicero, De Natura Deorum ii 11, ed. J. B. Mayor.) The old Pomerium remained unchanged until the time of Sulla; after him it was again extended by Caesar, Augustus, Claudius, Nero, Vespasian and Titus, Hadrian, and probably also Trajan and Aurelian. An extension of the Pomerium was only admissible on the ground of an extensionof the legal boundaries of the Empire. [Tacitus, Ann. xii 23.]
 
POMPELUS TROGUS 16.35%

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A contemporary of Livy, author of the first Roman general history. He was of Gaulish origin; his grandfather received the Roman citizenship from Pompeius in the Sertorian War, and his father served under Caesar, and discharged at the same time the offices of a secretary, an ambassador, and a keeper of the seals. His extensive work in 44 books was drawn from Greek sources, and was entitled Historioe Philippicoe, because the history of the various peoples was grouped round the Macedonian e founded by Philip; it began with Ninus, and reached down to his own time. With the historical narrative there were interwoven interesting descriptions relating to geography, ethnography, and natural science; and indeed he is said to have also composed zoological and botanical works. Of the histories we now possess only lists of the contents of the several books (called the prologi) and the epitome of Justin. (See JUSTINUS.)
 
SPOLIA 15.77%
 
LIVIUS 15.27%
Titus Livius, the celebrated Roman historian, was born at Patavium, (59 B.C.), apparently of good family. He was carefully educated, and betook himself early (certainly before 31 B.C.) to Rome, where he soon became acquainted with the most distinguished men of the time. Even Augustus entertained friendly relations towards him in spite of his openly expressed republican convictions, for which he called him a partisan of Pompey. He does not seem to have taken public office, but to have lived exclusively for literature. Esteemed by his contemporaries, he died in his native town in 17 A.D. He must have begun his great historical work between 27 and 25 B.C.; it can only have been completed shortly before his death, as he did not publish the first twenty-one books until after the death of Augustus (14 A.D.). He recounts the history of Rome in 142 books, extending from the foundation of the city (whence the title Ab Urbe Condita libri) to the death of Drusus (9 A.D.). His own death must have prevented its continuation to the death of Augustus, as he doubtless proposed. He published his work from time to time, in separate parts. He arranged his material--at least for the first ninety books--as far as possible in decads (portions consisting of ten books), and half-decads; the division into decade was however first carried through in the 5th century, probably for convenience of handling so vast a series of books. There still remain only the first decad (to 293 B.C.), the third, fourth, and half of the fifth decad (218-167); of the remainder, with the exception of a fairly large portion of book 91, only inconsiderable fragments. We also possess from an unknown pen, summaries (periochoe) of all the books except 136 and 137, and a scanty extract from the account of the portents (prodigia), which appeared in 249 B.C. and following year; this is by a certain Iulius Obsequens, and perhaps dates from the 4th century. Livy's importance rests more on the magnitude of his patriotic undertaking and the style of his narrative than upon his thoroughness as a historic inquirer. His preliminary studies were inadequate, and his knowledge of Roman law, and still more of the military system of Rome, was insufficient. He was content to select what seemed to him the most probable and reasonable statement from the authorities which happened to be familiar and accessible to him, without regard to completeness, and without severely scrutinising their value,--a method which necessarily led to numerous inaccuracies and serious errors. Primarily, his great aim was not critical research into the history of his country. He desired rather by a lively and brilliant narrative, which should satisfy the more exacting taste of the time, to rekindle the flagging patriotism of his countrymen, and to raise his politically and socially degraded contemporaries to the level of their ancestors' exploits. And his narrative in fact deserves the fullest admiration, especially for its descriptions of events and the actors in them, and for the speeches which are inserted in the work. The latter show his rhetorical training in all its brilliance. His language is choice and tasteful, although in details it marks a decline from the strictly classical standard. Asinius Pollio, in allusion to the author's birthplace, charged it with a certain patavinitas. This can only mean a provincial departure from the peculiar language of the metropolis, which is to us no longer perceptible. Livy's work enjoyed the greatest renown down to the latest days of Roman literature, and has been the great mine of information for knowledge of the past to all succeeding generations.
 
VER SACRUM 14.16%
A dedication practised by the Italian tribes, whereby, in times of severe hardship, all the products of the succeeding spring, i.e. the months of March and April, were conserated to the gods. All the fruits and cattle were actually offered up in sacrifice; while the children that were then born, as soon as they were grown up, were driven out of the country as forfeited to heaven, and required to seek a new home. Whole generations in this way left their country, those of the Sabine stock being led by the animals sacred to Mars-a bull, a woodpecker, or a wolf. In Rome, whose origin is traced back by many to a ver sacrum, the pontifices superintended the vow and its fulfilment. The ver sacrum was vowed for the last time in the econd Punic War. [B.C. 217, Livy xxii 10; but the vow was not fulfilled until twenty-one years afterwards, B.C. 195 and 194, ib. xxxiii 44 and xxxiv 44].
 
ASINIUS POLLIO 11.11%

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A celebrated Roman poet, orator, and historian. He was born B.C. 75, and made his first public appearance by bringing an impeachment in B.C. 54; in the Civil Wars he fought on Caesar's side at Pharsalus and in Africa and Spain. After the murder of Caesar he at first inclined to the Republicans, but in B.C. 43 joined Antony, and on the break-up of the Triumvirate obtained Gallia Transpadana for his province. In the redistribution of lands there he saved the poet Vergil's paternal estate for him. After negotiating the Peace of Brundisium between Antony and Octavian, B.C. 41, he became consul in 40, conquered the Parthini in Dalmatia in 39, and celebrated a triumph. He then retired from political life, and devoted himself to the advancement of learning. He served the cause of literature not only by his own writings, but by setting up the first public library at Rome, and by introducing the custom of reading new works aloud to a circle of experts, before publication. (See RECITATIO.) He was himself a stern critic of others, as we see by his strictures on Cicero, Sallust and Livy, though it was remarked that he was not always so severe upon himself. He was especially celebrated as an orator; yet his speeches, in spite of careful preparation, were devoid of elegance, and, as Quintilian remarks, might be supposed to have been written a century earlier than Cicero's. He wrote tragedies also, in which the same stiffness and dryness are complained of. And he composed a history of the Civil Waxs in seventeen books, from the first Triumvirate to the battle of Philippi, which seems not to have been published in a complete form till after his death. Not one of his works has survived. [The history of Caesar's African campaign, Bellum Africum, has recently been attributed to him, but on insufficient grounds.] He died 80 years old, A.D. 4.
 
SACRAMENTUM 10.92%
 
ROSTRA 8.52%
(properly the ships' prows, from rostrum, the iron-Lund prow, lit. "beak," of a ship). The orators' platform in the Forum at Rome, so called because it was embellished wil the bronze prows of the ships of the Latin fleet captured at Antium in 338 B.C. [Livy, viii 14]. Besides these it was also decorated with other monuments of the greatness of Rome, such as the Laws of the Twelve Tables, the columna rostrata of Duilius, and numerous statues of men of mark. Originally it stood between the part of the Forum called the Comitium and the Forum proper, opposite the Curia [no. 18a in Plan s.v. FORUM]; but in 44 B.C. Caesar moved it to the north end of the Forum under the Capitol [no. 6 in same Plan; cp. Cic., Phil. ix 2], and here built up part of it by the employment of the old materials. It was not completed until after his death, by Antonius. This now platform, which was afterwards repeatedly restored, appears by the existing remains to have consisted of an erection 11 feet higher than the pavement of the Forum, about 78 feet in length, and 33 feet in depth. [Cp. Middleton's Remains of Ancient Rome, 244, 246.] The front was decorated with two rows of ships' prows. The way up to the platform was at the back. This platform also was used down to the latest times of the Empire as a place for setting up honorary statues. [The Rostra Iulia, so called to distinguish it from the other rostra, was the projecting podium of the heroon of Julius Coesar, built by Augustus, (no. 21 in plan). Affixed to this were the prows of the vessels captured at Actium: Dion Cassius, li 19 (Middleton, l.c., pp. 262-8).]
 
CATO 8.45%
The earliest important representative of Latin prose, and an ardent champion of Roman national feeling in life as in literature. He was born 234 B.C., at Tusculum, and passed his youth in a laborious life in the country. At the age of seventeen he entered the army, and fought with distinction in the Haunibalic war in Italy, Sicily and Africa. He was elected quaestor in 204, aedile in 199, and praetor in 198 B.C., when he administered the province of Sardinia. He attained the consulship in B.C. 195. As proconsul he was so successful in the measures he adopted for the subjugation of the province of Spain, that he was honoured with a triumph on his return. Four years later, in the capacity of legatus, he dealt the decisive stroke which gave the Romans the victory over the troops of king Antiochus at Thermopylae. In 184 he was elected censor, and administered his office with such strictness that he received the cognomen of Censorius. He was the enemy of all innovations, especially of the Greek influence which was making itself felt at Rome. Everything which he thought endangered the ancient Roman discipline, he met with unwearied opposition, regardless of any unpopularity he might incur. He is said to have been prosecuted forty-four times, and to have been always acquitted. The occasions on which he himself appeared as prosecutor were even more numerous. Even in extreme old age he retained the vigour of his intellect, and was as active as before in politics and literature. He is said to have been an old man when he made his first acquaintance with Greek literature. He died 149 B.C., in his eighty-sixth year. [See Livy xxxix 40.] Cato was the first writer who composed a history of Rome in Latin, and who published any considerable number of his own speeches. His chief work was the Origines, or seven books of Italian and Roman history. The title Origines, or "Early History," applied properly only to the first three books, which contained the story of the kings, and traced the rise of the various cities of Italy. But it was afterwards extended to the whole work, which included the history of Rome down to B.C. 151. In the narrative of his own achievements he inserted his own speeches. From early manhood he displayed great energy as an orator. More than 150 of his speeches were known to Cicero, who speaks with respect of his oratorical performances. The titles, and some fragments of eighty of his orations have survived. In the form of maxims addressed to his son (Praecepta ad Filium) he drew a comprehensive sketch of everything which, in his opinion, was useful for a young man to know if he was to be a vir bonus. He also put together in verse some rules for every-day conduct (Carmen De Moribus). The only work of Cato which has come clown to us in anything like completeness is his treatise on agriculture (De Re Rustica), though even this we do not possess in its original shape. This was intended as a manual for the private use of one Manlius, and had reference to a particular estate belonging to him. One part is written sysmatically, the other is a miscellaneous collection of various rules. There is also a collection of 146 proverbs, each in a couple of hexameters, which bears the name of Cato. But this belongs to the later Empire, though it is probably not later than the end of the 4th century A.D. This little book was a well known manual all through the Middle Ages, and was widely circulated in translations.
 
OLYMPIEUM 6.00%
 
MYSTERIES 5.77%
 
HIPPEIS 5.50%
 
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