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which however but a few disconnected fragments remain. These works, as previously stated, were probably all written after his retirement from public life, though the composition of each of them has been assigned to widely different dates.
Sallust has always been regarded as a charming writer. Among Roman authors he is certainly unsurpassed in the art of historical composition. His style is one altogether peculiar, and is characterized by a sententious brevity. He is the most concise among the Roman writers of the golden age. With him style was evidently a matter of primary importance. He made Thucydides his model, and studied a pointed style, rendered more forcible by antithesis and contrast. There is this difference, however, between the Greek and the Roman : “ The brevity of Thucydides is the result of condensation; that of Sallust is elliptical expression. He gives a hint, and the reader must supply the rest: whilst Thucydides only expects his readers to unfold and develop ideas which already existed in a concentrated form. Sallust requires addition; Thucydides dilution and expansion.” (Browne’s Rom. Class. Lit.)
He is perhaps over-fond of certain antique forms and modes of expression, and clings too tenaciously to the old orthography at a time when the new was becoming very generally adopted. Yet “in the Catilina and Jugurtha there is not a single word used which is not also of frequent occurrence in contemporary and later writers.” (Merivale.) Niebuhr remarks that Sallust “preserves the old phraseology with a predilection guided by learning and judgment,” and Aulus Gellius speaks of him as “proprietatum in verbis retinentissimus.” His attempt to imitate, rather than follow the bent of his own genius, not unfrequently develops in his style more of art than of nature, and more artistic polish than native ease and grace.
Sallust's private character was a subject of controversy in ancient as it has also been in modern times, and different opinions have been formed in regard to it. The first permanent allusion to it grew out of the bitterness and animosity of partisan feeling. Sallust, in his general history, had spoken disparagingly of Pompey, and Lenaeus, the latter's freedman, replied in an invective full of virulence and slanderous accusations; and though the historian is said to have been defended
by Asconius Pediānus, who lived and wrote in the age of Augustus, the unfavorable view of his character prevailed among his contemporaries. The Declamatio in Sallustium, purporting to have been written by Cicero, simply repeats former charges, and is now very generally believed to have been the work of Porcius Latro, a rhetorician who lived in the reign of Claudius. The identity of the historian with the Sallustius whose profligacy is noticed by Horace in the second satire of the first book, is merely the result of conjecture, and has nothing more to recommend it than identity of name. That, like many of his distinguished contemporaries, Sallust was a man of loose morals, we may easily believe : the morals of the age were loose ; but that he was more than usually vicious we may reasonably refuse to believe. The heat of political controversy is not favorble to the development of truth, and in the absence of reliable testimony, it is wiser, more just and charitable to accord to Sallust a character more in accordance with the cultivated mind, the good taste, and the literary ability, which all must agree he possessed. This is the judgment to which the present age is tending, and the one on which it will doubtless rest.
1 Basilica Opimia.
C. SALLUSTI CRISPI
DE BELLO JUGURTHINO
1. Falso queritur de natura sua genus humanum, quod imbecilla atque aevi brevis forte potius quam virtute regatur. Nam contra reputando neque majus aliud neque praestabilius invenias, magisque naturae industriam hominum quam vim aut tempus deesse. 5 Sed dux atque imperator vitae mortalium animus est; qui ubi ad gloriam virtutis via grassatur, abunde pollens potensque et clarus est, neque fortuna eget, quippe probitatem, industriam aliasque artes bonas neque dare neque eripere cuiquam potest. 10 Sin captus pravis cupidinibus ad inertiam et voluptates corporis pessum datus est, perniciosa lubidine paulisper usus, ubi per socordiam vires, tempus, ingenium diffluxere, naturae infirmitas accusatur: suam quisque culpam auctores ad negotia transfe- 15 runt. Quod si hominibus bonarum rerum tanta cura esset, quanto studio aliena ac nihil profutura multaque etiam periculosa petunt, neque regerentur magis quam regerent casus, et eo magnitudinis procederent, ubi pro mortalibus gloria aeterni fie- 20 rent.
2. Nam uti genus hominum compositum ex corpore et anima est, ita res cunctae studiaque omnia nostra corporis alia, alia animi naturam sequuntur. Igitur praeclara facies, magnae divitiae, ad hoc vis 25 corporis et alia omnia hujusce modi brevi dilabuntur; at ingeni egregia facinora sicuti anima immor