« IndietroContinua »
THE advantages enjoyed by Gerlach and Jordanus in
regard to manuscripts of Sallust have put the text of that author in the most exact and complete form in which it is now likely it can appear. The labors of these scholars have rendered the historian more readable and attractive: for the sweeping emendations of Cortius too often corrupted the elegance of Sallust's style. The text here presented is accordingly based upon a careful comparison of the approved German editors just named. The oldest manuscripts of Sallust date back to the tenth century.
As Sallust is for the most part used as a preparatory text-book, the grammatical references and explanations of construction are very numerous and full; and the always interesting subject of antiquities and mythology forms not the least prominent portion of the notes. Biographical and historical explanations are given both in the Notes and in the Lexicon,
Sallust was very partial to the old phraseology and the older forms of the language; yet, as the manuscripts, our ultimate authority, exhibit great variety, it is simply impossible to present his words as he wrote them. It has therefore been deemed proper, while avoiding the widest departures from established usage, to retain what may be fairly considered the leading and distinctive features of the Sallustian orthography,
The Lexicon is quite full, containing not only all the words and names of the text, but also all the forms of less obvious derivation. The definitions are copious, much more so than in the Caesar. The young student of Caesar makes surer and more rapid progress when he can select one, even though it be not the most accurate or elegant, from a small number of definitions : with a multitude of meanings he is too apt to be perplexed, and he often passes from the Lexicon to the text with a feeling of increased bewilderment. The more advanced student of Sallust is reasonably capable of greater discrimination; in two or three lines of
may see both their natural connections and their obyious distinctions, while he may also select with a view both to accuracy and elegance.
Although the Catilina was unquestionably written before the Jugurtha, the works have been arranged in the order of their chronology rather than in that of their composition. This is, however, a matter of little importance, as the reverse order may be followed in reading.
The Plan of the Forum will localize many of the events narrated in the text, and give a sense of reality to the student's comprehension of them.
In conclusion, the Editor expresses the hope, that so charming an author as Sallust, and so deserving of a place in a course of classical study, may soon be much more extensively read and studied in the schools and seminaries of this country.
LIFE OF CAIUS SALLUSTIUS CRISPUS.
and was born at Amiternum, in the territory of the Sabines, B. C. 86. He was therefore fourteen years younger than Caesar, and twenty years younger than Cicero. The weight of authority — for the MSS. are not unanimous - seems to decide that we should write C. Sallustius Crispus, and not C. Crispus Sallustius; and Sallustius rather than Salustius. Like the sons of many provincial families in good circumstances, he received his education at Rome, and seems to have devoted his earlier years to literary pursuits.
Sallust lived in a corrupt and licentious age. The standard of both public and private morality was low. Hence the profligate and immoral life attributed to him proved no bar to political preferment. In B. C. 59, at the age of twenty-seven, he obtained the quaestorship, which entitled him to a seat in the senate. In B. C. 52, he became a tribune of the plebs, and it was while holding this office that he assisted in the prosecution of Milo for the murder of Clodius. In B. C. 50, the censors expelled Sallust from the senate on the alleged ground of his licentious conduct. But as he belonged to the faction of Caesar, whom the senatorial party were striving to repress, it is more than probable that his immorality was merely made the pretext for his exclusion. In B. C. 47, the year after the battle of Pharsalia, Sallust obtained the praetorship, and thus regained his seat in the senate. In the following year he accompanied Caesar in his campaign in Africa, where a remnant of the senatorial party had rallied under Scipio and Cato. On the conclusion of that war, Caesar left him there as governor of Numidia, in which capacity he is charged with having greatly oppressed and plundered the people. Certain it is, that though he was governor but one year, he amassed enormous wealth. The Numidians charged him with maladministration, and threatened him with a prosecution for extortion; but through the influence of Caesar, who is said to have received a portion of the plunder, he was allowed to escape. He then retired from public life, and with the wealth thus acquired he purchased a villa at Tibur, and laid out, on the Quirinālis, in the suburbs of Rome, those magnificent gardens which were afterwards called horti Sallustiani. The beauty of these gardens has been much celebrated, and after the death of Sallust they became the retreat of successive emperors down to the time of Aureliānus. In his villa at Tibur or in the splendid palace surrounded by his gardens, Sallust spent the close of his life in literary retirement; and it is more than probable that here also he composed those historical works on which his reputation depends. The story that he married Terentia, the divorced wife of Cicero, rests on insufficient authority. He died in B. C. 34.
The two great political parties in Rome were the populares, or popular party, embracing the great mass of the plebs, and sometimes an ambitious patrician, like Caesar; and the optimātes, or aristocratic party, comprising the senate, the patricians, the young nobility, and the chief part of the equites; who had almost exclusively filled the chief offices of government. Sallust was a warm supporter of the popular party, and his strong dislike of the aristocracy, particularly of its younger branch, frequently shows itself in his writings. After his expulsion from the senate he probably repaired to Caesar's quarters in Gaul, and shared the fortunes of that great commander.
The extant works of Sallust are two historical treatises on selected portions of Roman history: the Catilina, or Bellum Catilinarium, which unfolds the origin, progress, and suppres sion of the conspiracy of Catilina, of which Sallust was himself an eye-witness; and the Jugurtha, or Bellum Jugurthinum, which describes the varying fortune and the final success of the Romans in their war with Jugurtha, the wily king of Numidia. Sallust's residence in that country probably suggested the work to him, and enabled him to collect materials for it. Besides these, Sallust also wrote a Roman History in five books, of