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fragments of walls and some sepulchres hewn in the rock. It stood upon a platform, surrounded on every side by deep hollows or ravines in the immediate vicinity of a spot now known as the Isola Farnese, at a distance of little more than ten miles to the North of Rome. It was nearly encompassed by two streams, now the Fosso dei due Fossi, and the Fosso di Formello, which united below the citadel, and formed the Cremera. Dionysius says that Veii, in the days of its prosperity, was equal in extent to Athens-the actual circumference of the walls must have been upwards of five miles. After its capture by the Romans it speedily sunk into obscurity, and although colonies were planted there by Julius Cæsar and Tiberius, it seems never to have revived. Propertius represents the place as completely desolate even in his time, although the following lines must have been written at the period when the attempt was making to repeople the deserted walls.
Et Veii veteres et vos tum regna fuistis,
Et vestro posita est aurea sella foro.
Nunc inter muros pastoris buccina lenti
Cantat, et in vestris ossibus arva metunt. IV. x. 27.
3. (Hæc fuit illa dies.) This is directly contradicted by Livy, who says that the destruction of the Fabii took place on the same day of the year with the defeat of the Romans by the Gauls on the Allia, the 18th of August. Liv. VI. 1.
Tum de diebus religiosis agitari cœptum, diemque ante diem XV. Kalendas Sextiles, duplici clade insignem, quo die ad Cremeram Fabii casi, quo deinde ad Alliam cum exitio urbis fœde pugnatum, a posteriore clade Alliensem appellarunt, insignemque rei nulli publice privatimque agendæ fecerunt.
6. (Gentiles manus.) The hands of the clansmen. Those belonging to the same gens, were distinguished by the epithet gentiles.
(Arma professa.) Quæ se promiserant sumturas.
9. (Carmentis, &c.) "The nearest way is through the right Janus of the Carmental gate." The meaning of these words seems to be this. Many of the ancient gates consisted of three archways, a large one in the middle, and a smaller one on each side. But every archway open at both ends, every "pervia transitio," was called a Janus ; hence in a gate such as we have described, the smaller archways would be called respectively Dexter Janus and Sinister Janus. Except upon extraordinary occasions, the middle archway, for the sake of security, would be kept closed, and those who went in and out, would pass through the wickets on the right and left. We shall illustrate this line still
1 As we see in the triumphal arches of Severus and Constantine. 2 See p. 289.
further, if we suppose that the same rule obtained in ancient times which is observed on bridges and in narrow streets in many parts of the continent, viz. that each person shall keep to his right hand, which separates the passengers going in opposite directions into two distinct streams, which never collide. Hence those who went out of a town, would, as a matter of course, take the Janus on their right; the contrary must have been the practice at the Carmental gate, and Ovid here gives an explanation of the anomaly.
13. (Cremeram.) The Cremera (La Volca), now called in the earlier part of its course the Fosso di Formello, is formed by a rivulet issuing from the Lacus Sabatinus (Lago di Baccano), and some streamlets in the immediate vicinity; it receives, as we have seen above, a small tributary under the citadel of Veii, and after a short course falls into the Tiber, immediately opposite to Castel Guibileo, the ancient Fidenæ. In summer it is a small brook.
16. (Tyrrhenum.) It must be remembered that Veii was an Etrurian city.
23. (Campus, &c.) Ovid here paints from fancy, for there is no plain bounded by hills in the immediate neighbourhood of Veii. The whole of the Roman Campagna, however, is full of deep hollows, admirably calculated to conceal an ambushed foe.
25. (Rara.) Scattered up and down. See notes p. 278, and p. 369. 31. (Discursibus.) See note p. 323.
34. (Simplex.) "Free from guile," "unsuspicious."
(Silvis...Laurentibus.) See note on Tibull. II. v. 41. p. 204. The swampy thickets on the Latian coast still abound with wild boars.
43...48. Without entering into any critical discussion with regard to the truth or falsehood of the legend of the Fabii, it will be seen at a single glance that the representation of Ovid is improbable. If three hundred fighting men of the Fabian clan had marched out of Rome, as described by the poet, they must have left behind them double that number of old men and boys, without reckoning the females at all. The narrative of Livy is not open to the same objection, for we are told that the Fabii erected a fort upon the Cremera a considerable period before the fatal event, and to this their wives and children might have been conveyed; but Dionysius is still more cautious, for he expressly states that they settled upon the Cremera accompanied by their wives and a train of clients (IX. 15,) to which we may add the testimony of Aulus Gellius, "Sex et trecenti Fabii cum familiis suis circumventi perierunt."
45. (Herculeæ...gentis.) The Fabii claimed descent from Hercules and a daughter of Evander.
49. (Maxime.) Quintus Fabius Maximus who was chosen dictator
B.C. 217, immediately after the battle of the Trasimene Lake, and for a time checked the progress of Hannibal by his wise policy, which consisted in perpetually harassing the enemy and cutting off his supplies, while, at the same time, he carefully avoided a general engagement. From his attachment to these tactics he received the appellation of Cunctator.
FASTI. I. 587.
THE more noble among the Romans had usually three names.
The Nomen, which followed, marked the Gens or clan.
Thus the name Publius Cornelius Scipio indicated that the person so called belonged to the Gens Cornelia, to the Familia of the Scipios one of the branches of that gens, and that individually he was known as Publius. Sometimes fourth name was added, arising from the subdivision of families, as in the case of Publius Cornelius Lentulus Spinther.
When an adoption took place the young man received the name of his new father, to which was appended a gentile adjective to point out his original clan. Thus when the son of Lucius Æmilius Paullus was adopted by the son of the elder Scipio, he was styled Publius Cornelius Scipio Emilianus, and in like manner when C. Octavius was adopted by Julius Cæsar, he became Caius Iulius Cæsar Octavianus.
Occasionally an individual received an epithet as a mark of honour, which was appended to his own name, but was not transmitted to his posterity. Such appellations were usually the reward of military achievements, and in that case bore reference to the country where the exploit was performed. In this manner Publius Cornelius Scipio, who vanquished Hannibal at Zama and brought the second Punic war to a happy termination, became Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus; and the same title was again bestowed on his grandson by adoption who destroyed Carthage, to which Numantinus was afterwards added upon the
capture of Numantia in Spain. Hence this celebrated personage would write himself down, Publius Cornelius Scipio Emilianus Africanus Numantinus. An epithet, such as we have been describing, was properly called Agnomen, although sometimes included under the general term Cognomen.
In the present extract the poet passes rapidly in review the most remarkable characters in Roman history who had been distinguished by Agnomina in order to prove that they were as much inferior in glory to Octavianus as their appellations were more humble than the title of Augustus.
1. (Idibus.) On the ides of January. This extract is from the first book of the Fasti.
2. (Semimaris...ovis.) A vervex or wether-sheep.
3. (Libat.) See note on Tibull. I. 1. 14. p. 132.
4. (Reddita...omnis provincia.) Liv. Epit. CXXXIV, "Cæsar, rebus compositis et omnibus provinciis in certam formam redactis, Augustus quoque cognominatus est."
All historians agree that the title of Augustus was bestowed on Octavianus in the year B. C. 27, upon the motion of Lucius Munatius Plancus, but there are variations with regard to the precise day. Ovid here fixes upon the fifteenth of January, the Fasti Verriani on the sixteenth, and Censorinus on the seventeenth. These may be easily reconciled by supposing that the proposal was made upon the first of these days, but that all the formalities were not completed until the last.
4. (Tuus...avus.) Ovid is addressing Germanicus. See note on Fasti. I. i. 10. p. 282.
(Generosa atria.) Noble-high-born halls.
(Ceras.) In allusion to the waxen figures of those who had enjoyed a curule office, which were treasured by their descendants and ranged, with the names attached, in wooden cases round the walls of the Atrium, the principal apartment of a Roman mansion.
6. (Contigerunt.) See Elements of Latin Prosody, p. 105.
7. (Africa.) This may refer either to Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus the elder, who overthrew Hannibal at Zama, B. C. 202, and thus terminated the second Punic War, or to his grandson by adoption Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus who captured and destroyed Carthage, B.C. 146.
(Isauras.) Publius Servilius Vatia Isauricus, who was consul B.C. 79 and in B. C. 77, was sent against the pirates of Cilicia. He reduced the Isauri, a mountain tribe who dwelt in the fastnesses of Taurus between Cilicia and Lycaonia, and, on his return to Rome, was honoured with a triumph and the title of Isauricus.
8. (Cretum.) Q. Cæcilius Metellus Creticus was consul B.C. 69, and the following year ravaged Crete with fire and sword, it being suspected that the Cretans were disposed to favour Mithridates.
9. (Numidæ.) Q. Cæcilius Metellus Numidicus was consul B.C. 109, and prosecuted the war against Jugurtha during that and the following year. In B.C. 107 he was superseded by Marius, to whom fell the glory of carrying Jugurtha captive to Rome, B.C. 106.
9. (Messana.) No Roman general ever received the title Messanicus but the person alluded to here in Appius Claudius Caudex, who was consul B. C. 264, and began the first Punic war by marching to the relief of the Mamertines of Messana, who were besieged by Hiero and the Carthaginians.
10. (Numantina.) The younger Scipio Africanus who, as we observed in the Introduction, received the additional title of Numantinus upon the reduction of Numantia, B.C. 133.
11. (Drusus Claudius Nero,) brother of the Emperor Tiberius, (see p. 281,) who was killed, B. C. 9, by a fall from his horse, 'in Germany, having previously received the title Germanicus on account of his victories in that country. The poem entitled Consolatio ad Liviam, addressed to the mother of Drusus upon his death, has been attributed to Ovid. See p. 44.
15. (Ex uno quidam, &c.) "Certain persons have acquired renown by vanquishing a single adversary."
(Torquis ademta.) The cognomen of Torquatus, which belonged to one of the families of the Gens Manlia, is said to have been thus acquired. Twenty eight years after the capture of Rome by the Gauls an army of these barbarians advanced as far as the third milestone from the city and encamped on the right bank of the Anio. T. Quinctius Pennus, who had been chosen dictator, went forth with a great host to meet the enemy. The rest of the narrative must be given in the picturesque language of Livy, (VII. 9. 10.)
Eo certe anno Galli ad tertium lapidem Salaria via trans pontem Anienis castra habuere. dictator cum tumultus Gallici causa iustitium edixisset, omnes iuniores sacramento adegit, ingentique exercitu ab urbe profectus in citeriore ripa Anienis castra posuit. pons in medio erat, neutris eum rumpentibus, ne timoris indicium esset. prælia de occupando ponte crebra erant; nec qui potirentur, incertis viribus satis discerni poterat. tum eximia corporis magnitudine in vacuum pontem Gallus processit, et quantum maxima voce potuit, "quem nunc" inquit "Roma virum fortissimum habet, procedat, agedum, ad pugnam, ut noster duorum eventus ostendat utra gens bello sit melior" diu inter primores iuvenum Romanorum silentium fuit, cum et abnuere certamen vererentur et præcipuam sortem periculi petere nollent. tum T.