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REMARKS ON SALLUST'S STYLE.
IN ancient criticisms of the style of Sallust, it is, besides his brevity, his affection for ARCHAISMS, taken from Cato, which, whether for praise or blame, is mostly insisted on1. These archaisms, however, as far as can now be ascertained, are hardly as numerous as one would be led to expect. It must also be observed that it is rather in the use of old words and forms, than in syntax, that Sallust affects antiquity, and more, as is natural and proper, in the speeches, direct or indirect, than elsewhere. Jordan, however, is going too far when he says, that the archaisms are confined to the speeches, and that while he chose to decorate his speeches with the tinsel of antiquated forms and expressions, when speaking in his own
1 Asinius Pollio: Sallustii scripta reprehendit ut nimia priscorum verborum affectatione oblita. Pollio also said that a certain Ateius Philologus antiqua verba et figuras solitum esse colligere Sallustio-a calumny surely. (Suet. de Gramm. 10). Augustus spoke of the words, quae Crispus S. excerpsit ex Originibus Catonis. Fronto, a warm admirer of the historian, calls him frequentem sectatorem Catonis. Quintilian quotes 'a well-known epigram': Et verba antiqui multum furate Catonis | Crispe Iugurthinae conditor historiae. Lenaeus (see p. ix n. 5) inveighed against Sallust as priscorum Catonisque verborum ineruditissimum furem.
person, Sallust uses the language of an unaffected man of the world.
The ancients, then, were struck mainly by the archaisms; in the present day, however, it is contended that Sallust's partiality for CONVERSATIONAL EXPRESSIONS is quite as marked. No ancient critic, I believe, notices this point, but that perhaps need not excite surprise or incredulity. Many words and expressions, of course, tend to drop out of literature but continue in the spoken language, so that the archaic and conversational often coincide. But nevertheless not only does Sallust use not a few words and expressions, archaic from the point of view of literature, which happened to be also part of the every-day speech of the time, but many words and turns, which have come direct from conversational language3. So much may be taken as fairly established. But when Wölfflin describes Sallust's style shortly as 'vulgar democrat's Latin'-that gives an exaggerated idea of the prevalence of colloquialisms in Sallust. Jordan once more strongly denies the justice of this description.
2 The reader may be reminded of: -ere for -erunt, supplicia=supplicationes, perditum ire, hostem ferire from the C. not in speeches, but see the notes passim. Jordan gives no evidence except that according to him the forms-colos, odos, labos-were employed only in speeches, and that actutum, his conjecture in J. 102. 14, occurs in an indirect report of a speech. Jordan's language, which I quote, gives on the other hand a rather exaggerated idea of the archaic tone of the speeches.
3 As samples may be taken: pergnarus, which occurs only in S. and Apuleius, portatio in S. and Vitruvius. Populares (=socii) must come rather from the sermo plebeius than the s. cotidianus.
No one, he says, could be farther removed from any tinge of vulgarity than this man of the world, who, though he had suffered shipwreck in political life, had found a very comfortable haven, and who spent his elegant ease in scourging the vices of the times. A contemporary writer, Jordan adds, could easily offer a great contrast to Cicero without drawing on colloquial sources, for the public speaking of the time, instead of corrupting the language (as the political speaking and the newspapers do now) with stereotyped and unmeaning phrases, served to maintain the language in dignity and elevation.
Certainly it is not necessary to suppose, because Sallust has many constructions which are not to be found in the writings of Cicero and Caesar, his contemporaries, that these constructions are taken from colloquial language. The rhetorical copiousness of Cicero was as little to Sallust's taste as his politics; his admiration of Caesar did not extend to the style of the Commentaries. But these writers had not a monopoly of cultivated language, and the style of history requires a vocabulary and phraseology of its own. Many words and constructions of Sallust's which are not to be found in Cicero and Caesar appear again in the polished prose of Livy. Many expressions also of a poetical colour are employed to give the required picturesque tone to the narrative.
There are archaisms and conversationalisms in Sallust's language; in its total impression, however, Sallust's style is neither affectedly archaic nor carelessly colloquial, but in the main-the man himself. His taste was, no doubt, formed on the writings of
Cato, and he wrote with effort and elaboration; but his style is still the expression of the writer's character, direct, incisive, emphatic and outspoken, averse from qualifying refinements or intricacy of any kind'.
Whether it be true, as is often maintained, that the peculiarities of his style grew upon Sallust, that in his Histories he indulged more often in archaisms and in bold and unusual constructions, is far from certain. Indeed the opposite is sometimes asserted. The fact is that we are hardly able to judge. The only complete remains of this work are the speeches, and we cannot, for the reason already mentioned, take these as representative of the whole book. The detached fragments are preserved mainly by grammarians, and are quoted not always with accuracy for some singularity of grammar. The style, however, of the Catiline and Jugurtha offers a few contrasts:
Some words and constructions employed in the
4 Some writers (especially Poppo) have maintained that Sallust's style is largely affected by imitation of Greek constructions, taken principally from Thucydides. There has however been much exaggeration in the matter. The following nevertheless may be reasonably regarded as of Greek origin: J. 84. 3 neque plebi militia volenti putabatur, J. 100. 4 uti militibus exaequatus cum imperatore labor volentibus esset. The construction does not appear to occur in Latin before Sallust. Livy has it once 21. 50. 10, and Tacitus thrice.-J. 73. 5 in maius celebrare seems to come from Thuc. 1. 21. 1 ènì тò μεîŠOV коσμоûvTES.-Quintilian (9. 3. 17) quotes vulgus amat fieri as one of Sallust's imitations of Greek phrases, probably an inexact quotation of J. 34. 1.-In J. 84. 1, multus atque ferox instare, cp. Thuc. 4. 22 TOλus évéкELTO, though this adverbial use of multus is not rare in early Latin.
Catiline are dropped afterwards. Populares (= socii), for instance, is used only in the Catiline; tametsitamen occurs for the last time in J. 38. 9, and others. More words and constructions however are peculiar to the Jugurtha-e. g. loci (for loca), duum for duorum, quis for quibus ( C. 18. 1), quamquam very often, que-et, the phrase cum animo habere (reputare), the word ostentare; ceterum is far more common in the Jugurtha, so is uti before vowels; equidem gradually assimilates to the Ciceronian use (see p. 144).
Before passing from the question of archaisms and conversationalisms, I give a full, but not complete, list of such as occur in the Jugurtha; those that occur in the Catiline are mentioned in the notes. Actutum, a conjecture, but a certain conjecture, of Jordan's in 102. 14 (for ac tum), where it will occur (as in Liv. 29. 14) in reported speech. The word is common in Plautus, but soon got antiquated, though it occurs occasionally in poetry and in official terminology. Apud illum (= in illo) 106. 6 fuere qui dicerent manu vindicandum neque apud illum tantum scelus inultum relinquendum, a conversational phrase employed to imitate the soldiers' language. Conspicor 49, 4 passive. Cum quod 102. 5 Rex Bocche, magna laetitia nobis est, cum te talem virum di monuere uti e. q.8. cp. Cic. Ep. 9. 14. 3 0 mi Cicero, inquit, gratulor tibi, cum tantum vales apud Dolabellam. Dextumus 100. 2, an antiquated superlative. Diu in the phrase diu noctuque 38. 3, 44. 5. Dolet with the dative, 84. 1 dictitare...alia praeterea magnifica pro se et illis dolentia. Fide, dative 16. 3 (and in the Hist. requie, acie). Illim, Dietsch's generally accepted