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2. On the national character of the Romans see R. Ihering, Geist des röm. Rechts I espec. p. 291-313. Bernhardy, History of the Rom. Lit. p. 2 sq. W. Teuffel, on the character of Horace p. 23-34. Bunsen, Egypt's place &c. I p. 194 etc. K. F. Hermann, History of Civilisation among the Greeks and Romans II p. 26 etc. Mommsen, Roman History in many places, e. g. I (sec. ed.) p. 28 sq. C. Peter, Studies on Roman History, (1863) p. 116 sqq. Pantke, A Parallel between the national character of the Greeks and Romans, Vienna 1854. E. Zeller, Religion and Philosophy among the Romans (Berl. 1866) p. 8 sqq. Köpke, on the aesthetic views of the Romans as compared with the Greeks, Berlin 1867. L. Friedländer, on the artistic taste of the Romans in the Imperial period, Königsberg 1851. K. F. Hermann, on the artistic taste of the Romans and their place in the history of ancient art, Göttingen 1855.
2. As long as the peculiar character of the Roman nation remained unaltered, literary occupation was thought admissible only so far as it was of practical value. The authors were for long of foreign origin, little respected, and had to struggle with poverty; hence they became tainted with the Roman indifference to form and style. It is true that the importance of eloquence as a means of political influence, the value of information in regard to events that had taken place, and the importance of jurisprudence were recognized at an early time; but all other fields of knowledge were all the more neglected; poetry was tolerated only for the purposes of worship, and during a long time limited to a single species. Only in the course of the sixth century (A. v. c.), the increased acquaintance with Greek life and literature produced new ideas, interests and requirements.
1. Cic. p. Planc. 27, 66: M. Catonis illud quod in principio scripsit Originum suarum semper magnificum et praeclarum putavi: clarorum hominum atque magnorum non minus otii quam negotii rationem exstare oportere. The same Cato (ap. Gell. N. A. XI 2, 5) says in praise of ancient Rome: poeticae artis honos non erat. si quis in ea re studebat aut sese ad convivia adplicabat grassator vocabatur. Festus p. 333a M.: scribas proprio nomine antiqui et librarios et poetas vocabant. The literary activity of old Cato sufficiently shows what branches of literature were held admissible; he feared ὡς ἀποβαλοῦσι Ῥωμαῖοι τὰ πράγ ματα γραμμάτων ἑλληνικῶν ἀναπλησθέντες (Plut. Cato mai. 23). Cic. (Tusc. I 1—3.) gives a sketch of the part taken by the Romans in literature. 2. Voorduin, de artibus et doctrinis in quibus Romani elaboraverunt, Ghent 1822. 150 pp. 4. M. Hertz, the Authors and the reading public of Rome. Berlin 1853. 45 pp. 8.
3. Of the various kinds of poetry, dramatic poetry seems after all to be most in conformity with the character of the Roman people. Like all Italians, the Romans possessed
a quick eye for all peculiarities of outward appearance, the talent of close observation, lively imitation and quick repartee. Hence it comes that improvisation and songs of a jocular and abusive character, poetical dialogues and amoebaean ditties are found in Italy at a very remote date.
1. Specimens of italum acetum (Hor. S. I 7, 32 comp. maledica civitas Cic. p. Cael. 16, 38; Romanorum facetiae, Trebell. Gallien. 9) are furnished by the numerous surnames which were originally nicknames taken from corporal peculiarities; see Quintil I. O. I 4, 25. Fr. Ellendt, de cognomine etc. (Königsberg 1853) p. 9-22. This quality was further developed by the political and legal quarrels of subsequent times. Cf. Cic. de or. II 54 sqq. Quintil. VI 3.
2. The 'occentationes' were prohibited in the XII tables, on punishment of flogging. Plaut. Aul. III 2, 31 sq.: nisi reddi mihi vasa iubes pipulo hic differam ante aedes.- For the satirical songs on the triumphator, see below 74. The custom is described by Suet. Vesp. 19: in funere Favor archimimus personam eius (i. e. Vespasiani) ferens imitansque, ut est mos, facta ac dicta vivi. The amoebaean form prevails in the songs of the fratres arvales, the Fescennine songs, the songs used in the triumphs, songs of beggars (Schol. Hor. Ep. I 17, 48), shepherds' songs (amant alterna Camenae, Virg. Ecl. III 59.)
3. A certain liking for dialogue long prevails in Roman literature, in the instance of the jurisprudent Junius Brutus and C. Curio. Its popularity appears e. g. from the inscription of Aesernia I. R. N. 5078.
4. On festive occasions merry performances of this kind took place even in public to the accompaniment of a tibia and with dancing. The actors were disguised, in accordance with the fondness of Southern nations for mummery, their faces being painted or masked. There was only a small step from the farcical representation of an actual event to exhibiting a fictitious action, in which the plot was invented and set down, but the detail of the execution left to the performers. Popular performances of this kind were the Fescennine songs, the Saturae, the Mimi, and later on the Atellanae.
1. Virg. Ge. II 385 sqq.: Ausonii.. coloni versibus incomptis ludunt risuque soluto oraque corticibus sumunt horrenda cavatis etc. Tibull. II 1, 55: agricola. . minio suffusus. . rubenti primus inexperta duxit ab arte choros.
2. Mommsen R. H. I2. p. 206–208.
5. The name of the Fescenninae is derived from the town of Fescennium in the South of Etruria, though they belong in general to central Italy. They made part of rustic merrymakings, being
performed on occasions of rejoicing, the performers indulging in mutual abuse and coarse jokes in the native and unrefined taste of the populace, etc. Though this custom was originally also practiced on rustic festivities (e. g. at harvest-time, and the festivals of Tellus and Silvanus), it was gradually confined to narrower limits and restricted to weddings. When, after the downfall of the Republic, the Fescenninae were drawn into the domain of artistic poetry, they were partly practiced in their scoptic character and partly used at weddings.
1. K. Zell, Writings during my Vacations II. p. 121 sqq. 0. Müller, on the Etrurians II. p. 284 sqq. R. Klotz, Hist. of Lat. Lit. 1. p. 292 sqq. W. Corssen, Origines poes. p. 124-132. A. Th. Broman, de versibus fesc. Upsala 1852. 18 pp. 4. A. Rossbach, röm. Ehe (1853) S. 340–345.
2. Festus in the abridgement of Paul. Diac. p. 85 M.: Fescennini versus, qui canebantur in nuptiis, ex urbe Fescennina dicuntur allati, sive ideo dicti quia fascinum putabantur arcere. The immediate connexion of the name with the name of the town should not be denied, witness the grammatical formation of the word and the analogy of the Atellanae. But beyond this, a common derivation from fascinus = φαλλός (in its symbolic meaning of fertility) which had its place both in rustic festivities and at weddings (Rossbach p. 343 sqq.), may be readily admitted.
3. Hor. Ep. II 1, 139 sqq.: agricolae prisci.. condita post frumenta levantes tempore festo corpus et ipsum animum . . . Tellurem porco, Silvanum lacte piabant, floribus et vino Genium.. (145) Fescennina per hunc inventa licentia morem versibus alternis (comp. Liv. VII 2, 7 and Sen. Med. 108) opprobria rustica fudit, libertasque recurrentes accepta per annos lusit amabiliter, donec iam saevus apertam in rabiem coepit verti iocus etc. etc. Liv. VII 3, 7: non . . Fescennino versu similem incompositum temere ac rudem alternis iaciebant. Lucan. II 368 sq.: non soliti lusere sales nec more Sabino excepit tristis convicia festa maritus. Macrob. Sat. III 14, 9: M. Cato senatorem non ignobilem Caecilium . . Fescenninum vocat, probably on account of his habit of ridicularia fundere, iocos dicere (ib.) Cf. Fest. v. spatiator, p. 344 b. M.
4. Catull. 61, 122 sq.: ne diu taceat (at a wedding) procax Fescennina locutio. Sen. Med. 107 sqq.: concesso iuvenes ludite iurgio. hinc illinc iuvenes mittite carmina. rara est in dominos iusta licentia. V. 113 sq.: festa dicax fundat convicia fescenninus, solvat turba iocos. Sen. Controv. VII 21 p. 223, 16 sq. Bu.: inter nuptiales fescenninos (so Plin. N. H. XV : 22, 86; cf. also Serv. on Aen. VII 695: Fescenninum oppidum est, ubi nuptialia inventa sunt carmina) in crucem generi nostri iocabantur. Auson. cento nupt. (Id. XIII): Fescenninos amat celebritas nuptialis verborumque petulantiam notus vetere instituto ludus admittit. Claudian. Fescenn. 4, 29 sqq.: ducant pervigiles carmina tibiae permissisque iocis turba licentior exsultet tetricis libera legibus.
5. Catullus' first epithalamium (LXI) is an imitation (V. 122 sqq.) of the national custom. Comp. Auson. Id. XIII s. f.: quid Anniani fescenninos (loquar)? Of Claudianus we possess in nuptias Honorii Aug. et Mariae fescennina (4 poems in different metres). On the other hand see Macrob. Sat. II 4, 21: temporibus triumviralibus Pollio, cum fescenninos in eum Augustus scripsisset, ait: at ego taceo, non est enim facile in eum scribere qui potest proscribere.
6. According to Diomedes III p. 475 P. 479, 12 K., the (later) grammarians called the amphimacer or cretic also fescenninus and amphimeres. But the original metre of the Fescenninae (as far as they may have been at all metrical) was no doubt the Saturnian line. The Fescenninae never made their way to the stage.
6. In the Saturae the dramatic element seems to have prevailed from the beginning. Most likely, they were merry performances of the country clowns of Latium, separate songs or comic stories, recited with gesticulation and dancing to the accompaniment of a tibia, more varied in their occcasions and subjects than the Fescenninae. They belonged to the popular festivities, and when in the year 390 (A. v. c.) a public stage was erected at Rome, they were also enacted on it by wandering mountebanks. Later on, when regular dramas in the Greek fashion were established among the public entertainments, they were joined to them and thus gradually came to be looked upon as farces or after-plays, exodia, though this place was afterwards occupied by the Atellanae.
1. With regard to the saturae all is obscure and uncertain. Something may be gathered from the expression saturas agere (Liv. VII 2, 7 : impletas modis saturas descripto iam ad tibicinem cantu motuque congruenti peragebant), the adaptation to the stage and so passing into the sense of exodia; see Liv. 1. 1. 11: iuventus histrionibus fabellarum actu relicto ipsa inter se more antiquo ridicula intexta versibus iactitare coepit; quae exodia postea appellata. . sunt.
485 sq. K.: satira
2. Derivation of the name. Diomed. III p. 483 P. dicta sive a Satyris, quod similiter in hoc carmine ridiculae res pudendaeque dicuntur, quae velut a Satyris proferuntur et fiunt; sive satura a lance, quae referta variis multisque primitiis in sacro apud priscos dis inferebatur. . .; sive a quodam genere farciminis, quod multis rebus refertum saturam dicit Varro vocitatum. The second of these derivations was long preferred, the name being explained now of the variety of the contents, now of the mixture of singing, dancing, mimus and words; though the special mention of variety leads us to suppose the existence of uniform rules, a point which applies only to the later kind of literary Satire. Mommsen, R. Hist. 12 p. 28. 206. 430, has revived the first derivation in a modified form. According to him, satura is "the
masque of the full men," (oάrugo, saturi, cf. Tibull. II 1, 23 saturi .. coloni) "the song enacted at a popular carnival". If so, what substantive accounts for the feminine form of the word? Is it to be res? But comp. also the Italian farsa (prop. stuffing, mixture) and the Arabic kind of poetry Quasside (orig. the full, the satisfied, H. Ewald Gött. Gel. Anz. 1861 p. 833).
3. A wooden stage in the Circus was erected for performances to amuse the people (by mimi, see § 7) in the year 390=364 B. c., Liv. VII 2. Fest. p. 326, a.: scenicos (ludos) primum fecisse C. (Ati-?)lium, M. Popilium M. f. (Cos. 395 A. v. c.) (curules) aediles memoriae (prodiderunt) historici. Mommsen I. p. 340: "The new stage.. was, indeed, originally intended for players and mountebanks of all kinds, among whom the dancers to the accompaniment of the flute, especially the Etruscans, who then enjoyed a great reputation, may have been the most prominent"; but a starting-point was thus given for a regular theatre such as was commenced by Andronicus 120 years later. After the introduction of a regular book for the play, adopted from the Greek, the old songs to a tibia may have still been used for filling up the intervals, while the farcical performances, in like manner as the Greek Satyr-drama, were added after the serious performances which were in accordance with the rules of art.
4. Exodium denotes a merry farce acted after a serious play; cf. Plut. Crass. 33: εἰς τοιοῦτό φασιν ἐξόδιον τὴν Κράσσου στρατηγίαν, ὥσπερ τραγῳδίαν, τελευτήσαι. Comp. Pelopid. 34: τὴν ταφὴν οἷον τραγωδίας μεγάλης, τῆς τυραννίδος ἐξόδιον θεατρικὸν γενομένην. Schol. Iuv. ΙΙ 175: exodiarius apud veteres in fine ludorum intrabat, quia ridiculus foret, ut quidquid lacrimarum atque tristitiae conlegissent ex tragicis affectibus huius spectaculi risus detergeret. After the disappearance of the old saturae, the Atellanae and mimi were especially used for this purpose; hence Atellanicum exodium (Suet. Tib. 45), exodium Atellanae (Iuv. VI 71) and Lyd. de mag. I 40: Ατελλάνη ἐστὶν ἡ τῶν λεγομένων ἐξοδιαρίων. Erroneously Livy VII 2, 11: quae exodia postea appellata consertaque fabellis potissimum Atellanis sunt.
7. The mimus being a farcical representation on the stage of persons and actions, is in all probability at Rome of about the same age as the stage itself. Originally these mimi may have been acted on the stage by themselves, but when performances of a serious nature had gained the ascendency, they were employed as after-plays, though for a long time they were less popular than the newly accepted Atellanic farces; until in Cicero's time the Mimus also obtained a place in literature and then maintained itself on the stage all the longer, at first as an after-play, but also in the Imperial period by itself.
Diomed. III p. 488 P. 491, 13 sqq. K.: mimus est sermonis cuiuslibet motus (sermonem movere, like iocum movere in Sall. Cat. 25) sine