Imágenes de páginas

It would be a post-Ciceronian form of speech to say that the consular rank would be “a mere farce" (mimum), though Suetonius uses mimus exactly in this way.

Cicero in using fabula would mean'a by-word,' as Persius (v. 152) in the words cinis et manes et fabula fies, and Seneca in the passage (Troad. 403) :

Rumores vacui verbaque inania

Et par sollicito fabula somnio. According to this view the gloss writer must be supposed to have explained the word fabulam wrongly, when he explained it to mean'a farce.'

I. 19. 3:

“Et, paký túpov, Lentulus.” None of the commentators, so far as I know, quote on this expression the verse confirming the usual comment (founded only on the context) that it is a proverb indicating “pains thrown away.The verse is from Strattis (Phoenissae) and is preserved in Athenaeus :

παραινέσαι δε σφών τι βούλομαι σοφών,

όταν φακήν έψητε, μη 'πιχείν μύρον. Suidas gives a different account of the proverb. He says (and a Schol. on Ar. Plut. agrees with him), that the proverb refers to a nouveau riche; abandoning his lentil fare the nouveau riche can now afford unguents. So Ar.

Plut. 1005:

έπειτα πλουτών ούκέθ' ήδεται φακή,
προτού δ' υπό της πενίας άπαντ' επήσθιε. .

II. 1. 8.

“Dicit enim tamquam in Platonis molirela non tamquam in Romuli faece sententiam."

This famous criticism of Cicero on the political attitude of Cato seems to me to be very strangely expressed. The

dregs of Romulus' is “a vile phrase," reminding one of the Plautine hallex viri. Yet all the editors acquiesce, deceived, perhaps, by the apparently (but by no means really) correct antithesis between Platonis and Romuli. It might perhaps be said that Juvenal's turba Remi' is a smilar expression to faex Romuli; for my part I do not think Cicero would have said turba Romuli ; and moreover faex unqualified does not mean the same thing as turba, but only when qualified as in the expression faex urbis in Cic. ad Att. I. 16. It may be argued that faex Romuli means 'that colluvio brought together by Romulus, to form the population of the city at its foundation ;' but this is quite foreign to the antithesis. It is to the degenerate Rome of the present day that his remark refers.

I must therefore profess myself dissatisfied with the expression, though there is very strong evidence for the genuineness of the words in the fact that Plutarch (Phoc. 3) uses the expression ¿v tý Pwuúlov útoorábuy, apparently a translation of in Romuli faece, which seems to show that if there is an error it is older than Plutarch.

If however Cicero wrote in ROMULAE faece, the corruption would be sure and speedy. We have the most favourable condition of a depravation, a άπαξ ειρημένον closely resembling such a common word as Romuli. The sentence would then mean, “Cato speaks as if he were in the Fair City of Plato, not amid the very lees of our degenerate Rome." Faex Romulae would be just the same as faex Urbis in 1. 16. It is well known that the diminutive form often conveys contempt, as in homunculus, homullus; so in Plautus dicax is 'witty,' dicaculus is ‘loquacious. If Cicero wrote Romulea, it would not be inconsistent with Plutarch's translation-which, odou trápe you, is not quoted by any of the commentators on this passage—but Cicero would perhaps hardly use the adjective Romuleus, or Romulus (as Horace does). I may here observe that it seems to me a great mistake to ascribe carelessness to Cicero's Letters. His style is to some extent colloquial, and often finds its parallel in the language of the Comic Drama-a fact too much overlooked in the criticism of the Letters. For is it not to be expected a priori that the language of familiar conversation would closely resemble the language of familiar letter-writing? A Plautine analogue, therefore, may vindicate a phrase in Cicero's Letters, though by no means in his Orations or Philosophical works. But let no one say that his Letters are written carelessly, who remembers the passage (vii. 3. 10) where he so earnestly defends his use of in before Piraceum (while he avows with shame that he should have written Piraceum not Piraeea) on the ground that Piraeeus cannot be regarded as a a town ; citing in defence of his usage the opinions of Dionysius and Nicias, and quoting a passage in point from Caecilius, whom he candidly allows to be but a poor authority, as well as from Terence, whose elegantia he considers beyond dispute. All this, too, at a time when one might have supposed that he would have been more concerned in deciding on the political position to be assumed by him on his return to Rome, which he was fast approaching, and from which were constantly reaching him “miri terrores Caesariani,” and “falsa, spero, sed certe horribilia.”

1. 3. 1.

“Id iudicium Attilio condonatum putabatur. Et Epicratem suspicor, ut scribis, lascivum fuisse; etenim mihi caligae eius, ut fasciae cretatae, non placebant.”

Here, and here only, Cicero refers to Pompeius under the name Epicrates. In a letter to Tiro (Epp. ad Fam. xvi. 21) he speaks of a friend of his at Athens named Epicrates; and in the Verrine Orations he speaks of an Epicrates of Agyrium, and of another of the same name, a native of Bidis, both victims of the oppression of Verres ; but of course none of these furnish any analogue to Pompeius, nor can be supposed in any way to have suggested to Cicero the application of the name Epicrates to Pompeius.

Now it is of course possible that he chooses here, as he might anywhere else, to call Pompeius “our influential (or successful) friend,” or it may be said that Cicero calls Pompeius “Prince Paramount,” wishing to hint at some excessive use of his influence at the recent trials. But Epicratem is not highly coloured enough to give this meaning. There is always more point in Cicero's soubriquets. He calls the same Pompeius Hiesosolymarius in ironical glorification of his Eastern expeditions; so one might call an Englishman who made rather too much of some exploits in Japan “ our friend, the Mikado.” On the same principle Pompeius is called Alabarches or “the Sheik” in other places. But why Epicrates here?

I think it may be that the word which should stand here is not Epicratem but Iphicratem.

The Athenian Iphicrates is well known to have invented a new sort of legging or military boot, commonly called 'Ipuparides after his name; so that Wellington and Blucher were not the first Generals who gave their names to a species of boot. Pompeius must have affected some singularity in the colour or' shape of his caligae and fasciaefor the mere wearing of caligae and fasciae was usual, and would not have provoked remark-and hence Cicero calls him “our Iphicrates.” It is well known that E and I are often confused in Latin MSS. the horizontal strokes in the letter E were very short indeed, especially the middle one. I having been changed to E, the h would naturally be omitted, as Ephicrates does not occur, while Epicrates is found three times in Cicero. In Virg. Aen. II. 340 Epytus and Iphytus are variants for the same name.

II. 17. 3.

Alabarches has, of course, no connexion with the word alapa, ‘ink,' found in Hesychius, and often supposed to afford the etymology of this word. Nor is there any need to discuss the question between Alabarches and Arabarches. Alabarches is Arabarches, just as Parilia is Palilia, in the first syllable being changed to l on account of the recurrence of r at the end of the word. The same sensitiveness about the recurrence of r and I changed caeluleus to caeruleus, peregrinus to pellegrino, altare to autel, &c.

IV. 10. 2.
“Ut possim tibi aliquid in eo genere respondere.”

Boot conjectures reponere, but respondere means 'to make a return to one for a thing,' in the phrase subsidiis amicorum respondemus, IV. 3. 6.

IV. 15. 4. “Debemus patrem familias domi suae occidere nolle.”

Occidere is 'to be murdered, as in Milo VII., si unus ille occidisset Milo; cf. úmò å delpon átolaváv, ‘having been murdered by his brother,' Ar. Pol. V. Therefore Boot's suggested change of occidere to occidi is unnecessary.

IV. 16. 6.

“ At Senatus decrevit, ut tacitum iudicium ante comitia fieret quae erant ** sortita in singulos candidatos.”

Sortita passive is hardly to be ascribed to Cicero, and Boot suggests sorte ducta; but the difficulty is avoided by regarding the words TACITUM-CANDIDATOS as the words of the decree, and indicating this by printing them in capitals. The language of laws, &c., is always archaic. Sortitus is passive in Propertius and Statius, but this would not defend such an usage in Cicero. One might almost lay down as the essential difference of Old Latin as compared with the language of the golden age, the activising of deponent verbs. Sortio, potio, amplecto, frustro, contemplo, intermino, cuncto, are found in Plautus, and the Fragments of Livius Andronicus, Ennius, Naevius, Pacuvius, Afranius, Titinius afford many instances of active forms of verbs used only as deponent in later Latin.

IV. 18. 1.

“Quae (litterae) tantum habent mysteriorum ut eas ne librariis quidem fere committamus lepidum quo excidat.”

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