Immagini della pagina



cc 2


THE manuscripts of the Dialogus and Agricola of Tacitus contain also a treatise "On Grammarians and Rhetoricians," attributed to Suetonius. This work was used by Gellius (Noct. Att. 15. 11) and by Hieronymus, but after the latter's day was lost for many centuries.


About the middle of the fifteenth century,1 in the course of a journey through Germany and Denmark, Enoc of Ascoli 2 found the two works of Tacitus and the treatise on Grammarians and Rhetoricians, apparently at Hersfeld and in a single codex, and brought them to Italy. This codex is now lost, but some eighteen copies of the De Grammaticis et Rhetoribus are in existence, all belonging to the fifteenth century, which show remarkable differences in reading, considering that they are derived from a single archetype, and are separated from it by so short a time. These manuscripts, not all of which have been collated, fall into two classes, distinguished from each other by the presence or absence of the index of names at the beginning of the treatise.

1 The date is variously given: 1455, Teuffel, Gesch. d. röm. Lit.; 1457-8, Gudeman, Grund. z. Gesch. d. kl. Phil.; etc.

2 Enoc's discovery of this manuscript has been doubted by some, but is now accepted by most scholars.

3 Except for one quaternio, now at Esinus (Jesi).

Roth in his edition of 1858 asserted the superiority of the former class, and Ihm is inclined to agree with him.1 For a list of the better codices with their sigla

see footnote on p. 395.

Owing to the late date of all the manuscripts, the early printed editions are of some value in the criticism of the text; see the Bibliographical Note, P. 394.

The work begins with an index, containing a list of the grammarians and rhetoricians who are to be discussed, which, as has been said, is omitted by some of the manuscripts. This is followed by an introduction on the origin and development of grammatical studies at Rome, and the connection of grammar with rhetoric, after which the individual representatives of the subject are treated. part devoted to rhetoricians also begins with an introduction on the history of the study, but the work comes to an end after dealing with five of the fifteen persons named in the index.



It has been generally recognized that this treatise "Grammarians and Rhetoricians" formed part of a larger work by Suetonius, entitled De Viris Illustribus, which treated of Romans who were eminent in the field of literature.2 It seems to have consisted of five divisions, devoted respectively to Poets, Orators, Historians, Philosophers, and Grammarians and Rhetoricians under one head. The order of the various divisions, or books, cannot be determined.3

1 Rhein. Museum, 61 (1906), p. 543.

2 See Volume I, p. xi.

3 Hieronymus used the De Viris Illustribus of Suetonius as his model in the composition of a work of the same title,

To judge from the personages treated by Suetonius and those whom he omits, the De Viris Illustribus appears to have been written between 106 and 113. It was therefore his earliest work, and is in all probability the one to which Pliny refers.1 As was the case with the Lives of the Caesars, he apparently set as his limit the close of the reign of Domitian, so that Juvenal, Tacitus and the younger Pliny were not included.

[ocr errors]

While the greater part of the De Viris Illustribus has been lost, some passages of considerable length, { in addition to the "Grammarians and Rhetoricians,' have been recovered from various sources. These consist of Lives of various Roman writers, prefixed to their works by way of introduction.2 None of these has come down to us in its original form, and they differ greatly in the amount of abridgment or of interpolation to which they have been subjected. Those which may properly be included in an edition of Suetonius are the following.

From the book on Poets (De Poetis), to which an index of thirty-three names has been compiled from the references in Hieronymus,3 we have a Life of Terence, preserved in the Commentary of Aelius Donatus, of the fourth century, and ascribed by

devoted to the worthies of the Church, as well as in his translation and enlargement of the "Chronicle" of Eusebius. From the latter numerous fragments of the De Viris Illustribus of Suetonius have been recovered, and the general plan of his work made out.

1 See Volume I, p. x, footnote 1.

2 For the manuscripts and their sigla see pp. 450 and


3 This is given on p. 450.

« IndietroContinua »