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Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences

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Georges Cuvier

4. The Roman World / Le monde romain

10. The Rise of Rome

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1We have seen that, as a consequence of the wars waged among Alexander’s successors, the study of science was almost abandoned in Greece, Asia, and the Archipelago; that scholars took refuge in Alexandria, where a rich library was open to them and where the first Ptolemies provided them all sorts of favors; but that the last Lagids brought about through their tyranny the dispersal of many of the scholars; and that the Roman invasions completed the destruction in Egypt of the cultivation of the natural sciences, which required great expenditures.

2To these two reasons for decline we shall add another, which turned minds in an entirely different direction.

  • 1 [Neoplatonism, the last school of Greek philosophy, given its definitive shape in the third centur (...)

3At the founding of Alexandria, Alexander had settled in this city several Jews who remained there. Physcon later brought a much greater number. The religious beliefs of these foreigners impressed the Alexandrians, turning all minds towards speculative studies, and hence, Neoplatonism1 was born and the observation of natural phenomena was abandoned.

  • 2 [Pompey the Great, Latin in full Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (born 29 September 106 B.C., Rome; died 28 (...)
  • 3 [Gaius Julius Caesar, see Lesson 11.]
  • 4 [Plutarch, see Lesson 14, note 9.]
  • 5 [Lucan, Latin in full Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (born A.D. 39, Corduba, now Córdoba, Spain; died 65, (...)
  • 6 [The Pharsalia, Lucan’s only extant poem, is an account of the war between Julius Caesar and Pompe (...)

4The Alexandrian Library itself did not stay intact for long. To avoid experiencing the fate of Pompey,2 basely murdered by orders from those who guided his protegé Ptolemy, Caesar3 was obliged to burn the Alexandrian fleet. The fire spread to structures in the harbor, and reached the building where the books were deposited. At least that is the account that we find in Plutarch,4 who was the first to write about the destruction of the Library at Alexandria, two hundred years after Caesar entered the city. One might confess some doubt about the truth of this story, for Pompey’s conqueror, who left details about the danger he faced at Alexandria and about setting fire to the Egyptian fleet, says not a word about the destruction of either the buildings near the port or of the library. The poet Lucan,5 who in the Pharsalia6 recounts in his usual stately manner the danger for Caesar and the burning of the Egyptian fleet, is also completely silent about the destruction of the Alexandrian Library, which most surely could have furnished the subject of a grand bit of poetry.

  • 7 [Mark Antony, also spelled Marc Anthony, Latin Marcus Antonius (born 82/81 B.C.; died August, 30 B (...)
  • 8 [Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator (Greek: Goddess Loving Her Father) (born 69 B.C.; died 30 August 30 (...)
  • 9 [Claudius, in full Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, original name (until A.D. 41) Tib (...)
  • 10 [Caliph Omar of Damascus. As the legendary account goes, the Moslems invaded Egypt during the seve (...)
  • 11 [Paulus Orosius (born probably Braga, Spain; fl. 414-417), defender of early Christian orthodoxy, (...)
  • 12 One of the most distinguished scientists in Germany, Professor [Johann Gottlieb Gerhard] Buhle [Ge (...)

5To reconcile this negative evidence with Plutarch’s account, it was supposed that the library was divided into two separate buildings, and that but one of these had been burned. In support of this supposition, it is said that, some years after the disaster testified to by Plutarch, Antony,7 with a view to remedying it, presented Cleopatra8 with books collected by the kings of Pergamum. Claudius9 enriched this establishment and the sciences shone with a new splendor. It would be this library, thus reconstituted by the Roman emperors, that, according to historians, was burned by Omar;10 details are given of this act of vandalism that alone would lend credence to its reality. It is said, for example, that the number of books contained in the library was so considerable that it sufficed to heat the public baths for an entire month. But such details, and the fire itself attributed to Omar, are evidently a fable, for long before Omar, the Alexandrian Library no longer existed. Orosius,11 who lived in the fourth century A.D., two hundred years before Omar, reports that he wasted his time visiting it, for he found only empty cupboards.12

6Among the men who, in the midst of political troubles, contributed the most to delaying the decline of the sciences, we shall cite Attalus III, king of Pergamum, who was devoted to botany; Mithradates Eupator, king of Pontus; and Nicander, physician to the last king of Pergamum.

  • 13 [Mithradates VI Eupator, byname Mithradates the Great (died 63 B.C., Panticapaeum, now in Ukraine) (...)
  • 14 [Crateuas, also spelled Cratevas (fl. first century B.C.), classical pharmacologist, artist, and p (...)
  • 15 [Eupatorium, a large genus of plants belonging to the family Compositae and containing about 600 s (...)

7Mithradates Eupator,13 besides knowing twenty-two foreign languages, was quite learned in botany; the giving of men’s names to plants was conceived of in his honor. The rhizotome [herbalist] Crateuas14 dedicated to him Eupatorium and Mithradatea.15 The king of Pontus applied himself particularly to the study of poisons and antidotes: at that time the use of poison was so frequent that we ought not to be surprised that Mithradates was so taken up with these substances. He was also interested in pharmaceuticals, which was another way of attaining his goal, and he made a drug, named after himself, containing more than fifty-four plants.

8Pompey got hold of the papers of this druggist and botanist king after his defeat, and claimed that in his scientific research he indulged in criminal experiments, that he had tested his poisons on men who died of them, and that he practiced magic.

  • 16 [Nicander (second century B.C.), Greek poet, physician and grammarian, was born at Claros, near Co (...)
  • 17 [For Nicander’s Theriaca and Alexipharmaca, see note 16 above.]

9Nicander,16 both poet and physician, also made poisons the object of his studies, prompted in this regard, as had been Mithradates, by the extreme depravity of morals in his time, which led to the frequent use of poisons against one’s enemies. Nicander was from Colophon and lived about 100 B.C. He left two poems, one of which, entitled Theriaca, is about venoms introduced externally; and the other, entitled Alexipharmaca, is about poisons ingested into the stomach.17

  • 18 [Asp, anglicized form of Aspis, a name used in classical antiquity for a venomous snake, probably (...)
  • 19 [Ichneumon, a species of mongoose, a small carnivorous mammal of the genus Herpestes, known to att (...)

10Theriaca is the first descriptive poem that we have from the ancients. In it, the author writes about animals that have a poisonous bite; he names twelve kinds of serpents and characterizes them well enough to be recognizable, such as, for example, the asp.18 This was the serpent carried about by Egyptian conjurers, the one that was worshiped in that country and which the priests put round their head; it is also the serpent Cleopatra employed to kill herself. This animal is noted besides for the ability its neck possesses of becoming greatly inflated. Nicander tells about its encounters with the ichneumon.19

  • 20 [Cerastes, a genus of venomous, desert-dwelling snakes of the viper family, Viperidae. There are t (...)

11In the Theriaca we also recognize Cerastes20 of ancient times, the viper with two small horns that inhabits sandy plains.

12The ten other species are less easy to identify.

  • 21 [Gecko, also spelled gekko, any lizard of the harmless but noisy family Gekkonidae, which contains (...)

13After serpents, Nicander mentions geckos,21 then venomous spiders, and then nine sorts of scorpions, described well enough to be recognized, probably, if one went to look for them; what Nicander writes about them would be very good information for travelers.

  • 22 [Meadow saffron or Colchicum, a genus of flowering plants of the family Liliaceae, consisting of a (...)

14In the Alexipharmaca, Nicander deals especially with poisonous plants and the effects of their juices in the stomach. One notices in this work many popular fables, but it is also noticeable that botany had made some progress. Plants not discussed by Theophrastus are pointed out for the first time, such as, for example, meadow saffron and aconite.22 The author says that rats lick the roots of the latter plant. This assertion was long considered a fable, but recently its truth has been recognized.

15The works of Nicander, and of Agatharchides, discussed earlier, are the last gleams of light from the Greek period: they are written without method or scientific goal.

16The sciences later retrieved some luster, but then Egypt and the kingdom of Pergamum became completely subjected to Roman domination. Thus, it will henceforth be in the Roman Empire that we shall examine the development of the natural sciences. Before commencing this examination we are going to consider for an instant this famous people whose power now ruled all of the civilized Occident.

  • 23 [Cyrus II, byname Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenian empire, was born between 590 and 580 (...)

17Rome was founded in 750 B.C., that is, more than 700 years after Danaüs and Cecrops had brought from Egypt into Greece the lights of civilization, 300 years after the Greeks had founded their colonies in Asia Minor, 100 years after their emigration to Italy, and 100 years also after the founding of Carthage. It was 80 years after the creation of Rome that relations were resumed between Greece and Egypt, 200 years after Rome’s founding that Cyrus the king of Persia appeared, and 200 years after that, Alexander lived.23

  • 24 [Marcus Junius Brutus, also called Quintus Caepio Brutus (born 85 B.C.; died 42, near Philippi, Ma (...)
  • 25 [The Tarquin kings, among the last kings of Rome: Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, original name Lucomo (...)

18At first ruled by kings, Rome drove them out in the year 504 B.C. and adopted a republican form of government. The Greeks, already quite civilized, occupied at the time the area around Naples. But Italy’s interior was inhabited by indigenous peoples. The new republic founded by Brutus24 soon conquered its neighbors. The Etruscans, Latins, and Volscians who had risen in arms against the republic in support of the Tarquin kings,25 were one by one conquered; and when Alexander died as a consequence of his dissoluteness, almost all of Italy had been subdued. Two centuries later, i.e., about 30 B.C., Rome, gradually spreading her conquests, had become master of the whole periphery of the Mediterranean and possessed vast territories in the interior of Asia, Africa, and Europe.

19We are going to inquire into the learning of the Roman people before these conquests of the civilized world, and the means by which they received their learning.

20The Phoenicians were no doubt the first to bring to the West the notions of science and commerce. At about the time of the Trojan War, they founded the town of Utica; later, in 883 B.C., they built the town of Carthage; and farther yet to the west but on the opposite shore of the Mediterranean, they established several trading centers on the Spanish coast. Their sciences, customs, and religion were spread through all these countries; but the Carthaginians seem to have been the most important depositary of Phoenician knowledge and customs.

  • 26 [Hanno (fl. fifth century B.C.), a Carthaginian who conducted a voyage of exploration and coloniza (...)
  • 27 The precise time of Hanno’s voyage has not been agreed upon. Some authors give him a date much clo (...)
  • 28 [Aristotle’s mention of Hanno’s Periplus (or circumnavigation) can be found in his On Marvelous Th (...)
  • 29 [For an English translation of Hanno’s Periplus, see The Periplus of Hanno; a voyage of discovery (...)
  • 30 [James Bruce (born 14 December 1730, Larbert, Stirling, Scotland; died 27 April 1794, Larbert), ex (...)

21What we know about this people represents them as not at all advanced in the speculative sciences, given to barbaric superstitions, and completely devoted to practical knowledge and especially to commerce. Our sources of knowledge in this regard are very few, for we possess but one sole Carthaginian work, the Periplus of Hanno,26 which was made in Socrates’s time, slightly before the time of Nearchus,27 and which was cited by Aristotle.28 The Greek translation that we have29 tells us that Hanno passed the Pillars of Hercules, and that, navigating towards the south, he explored the coasts of Africa as far as Senegambia. Some of the tales contained in this travel narrative seem at first to be fabulous; but we think it is not entirely impossible to give a satisfactory explanation for them. For example, Hanno says he saw rivers of fire descending from the mountains in Africa. Probably this illusion was produced by the conflagration of ravines full of dry grasses, which, according to Bruce,30 the African herdsmen were accustomed to burn during the rainy season in order to provide more tender grazing for their animals.

22Hanno also says that he encountered men and women whose bodies were covered with hair, and that the sailors, capturing some of the latter to take back with them to Carthage, found them intractable: when they would caress them, they pinched, scratched, bit, and ended up dying from refusing all nourishment: Only their skins were brought back to Carthage by the mariners, and were hung in the Temple of Juno. It is quite likely that these so-called hairy women and men were actually large apes, such as one sees frequently on the coasts of Africa.

  • 31 [Magon or Mago (died c. 203 B.C.), a leading Carthaginian general during the Second Punic War (218 (...)
  • 32 [Scipio Africanus the Younger (born 185/184 B.C.; died 129 B.C., Rome), Roman general famed both f (...)
  • 33 [Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella, see Lesson 12, note 46.]

23Another Carthaginian author in addition to Hanno has come to our attention in an indirect manner. At some indeterminate time, Magon31 wrote twenty-eight books on agriculture. After the destruction of Carthage, Scipio the Younger32 brought them back to Rome where they were translated into Latin by order of the senate. Later, a Greek translation was made. But these two translations were lost, and we only know the few fragments preserved by Columella.33

24Thus, the Romans could receive but slight scientific knowledge from the Carthaginians. Moreover, the vicious wars waged between these two nations would destroy any intellectual influence the one might have on the other. But the Romans were able to learn through their contacts with the Etruscans, who had a quite remarkable religious and philosophical system, and among whom the sciences and arts had reached a rather high development.

  • 34 [Lydia, ancient land of western Anatolia, extending east from the Aegean Sea and occupying the val (...)
  • 35 [The origin of the Etruscans has been a subject of debate since antiquity. Herodotus (see Lesson 7 (...)

25The origin of this latter people is not known exactly; some authors think that it came from Lydia;34 others that it came down from the Tyrrhenian hills, and after becoming settled, had contacts with the Greeks.35 But what is certain, and remarkable, is that its existence goes back to the era of the great Egyptian emigrations, of which we spoke at the beginning of this history. At first, this people was extended as far as the Alps; but after being attacked by the Gauls, it fell back towards Tuscany, reached the Tiber, and thus became a neighbor of the Romans. It was to wage frequent wars against them, ending in its submission about 282 B.C.

  • 36 [Lars Porsenna (fl. the end of the sixth century B.C.), Etruscan king of Clusium (ancient Etruscan (...)
  • 37 [Volterra, town and episcopal see, in Pisa provincia, Tuscany, central Italy, northwest of Siena. (...)
  • 38 [Cloacae of Tarquin or Cloaca Maxima: The term cloaca (a common sewer) is generally used in refere (...)

26The monuments and learning of the Etruscans, famous for their culture, show striking similarities with those of the Indians, Egyptians, and Babylonians. Like the Egyptians, the Etruscans were quite skilful in digging canals; also, their monuments were in the shape of the pyramid, as the tomb of Porsenna36 proves, and one sees in the remains of the gigantic walls preserved at Volterra37 that they were well versed in the art of construction. It even seems that the astonishing works known as the Cloacae of Tarquin38 were built by them, which is true architectural progress, since the Egyptians never made vaults.

  • 39 [Augury, prophetic divining of the future by observation of natural phenomena, particularly the be (...)

27There are many similarities between the religion, or mythological system, of the Etruscans, and that of the Indians and the Egyptians. The Etruscans, like these people, were also ruled by castes that were sole possessors of the secret of the sciences and arts, which was handed down within the caste in a hereditary manner. It was from such noble Etruscans that the Romans learned the so-called science of augury.39

28The Etruscan alphabet, like all of our alphabets, was derived from the Phoenician, but they did not take it from the Greek, for they used it in writing from right to left and they suppressed the short vowels, replacing them with dots, like the Hebrews and other oriental peoples. This difference proves that they had direct relations with the Orient at a time in the distant past.

29But their finest works come after their contacts with the Greeks, for their decorations contain the mythological symbols of Greece.

30If the Etruscans were, as it would seem, the first teachers of the Romans –who, following their example, adopted the social division of patron and clients, a different one from that of patrician and plebeian– it is also certain that they succeeded in communicating to the Romans but very feeble notions on natural history. They were best able to transmit ornithological knowledge to the Romans, for the use of divination based on the flight of birds had probably led the priests to observe the customs of these animals. Pliny reports several Etruscan names of birds, but he has difficulty in applying the names, which proves that in his time the augural priests had lost, as had everyone, knowledge about religious traditions.

  • 40 [Quintus Ennius, (born 239 B.C., Rudiae, southern Italy; died 169 B.C.), epic poet, dramatist, and (...)
  • 41 [Calabria, regione, southern Italy, composed of the province of Catanzaro, Cosenza, Crotone, Reggi (...)

31The true instructors of the Romans in the sciences were the Greeks, but this did not come until much later, and incompletely then, although the Greeks had been settled on the coasts of Italy 700 years before Christ, and had kept in quite frequent contact with the mother country, which sent them learned men and received their own. The tardiness of civilization among the Romans, even though they sent embassies to Greece, was the result of the republic’s policy of rejecting the arts and sciences as being liable to soften men and thus destroy the warrior morality of the republic. For several centuries Rome had no writer. It was more than five hundred years after the founding before the poet Ennius40 appeared, the first that merits being cited; and even he was not born at Rome, but was originally from the town of Rudiae in Calabria,41 and lived on Sardinia. This poet wrote annals in heroic verse and tragedies.

  • 42 [Quintus Fabius Pictor (fl. c. 200 B.C.), one of the first Roman prose historians. A member of the (...)

32Fabius Pictor,42 his contemporary and about the same age as he, is the first writer in prose whose work has been preserved.

33Such paucity, and one might say such absence, of annalists among the first Romans is the reason for the obscurity enveloping the cradle of these people, and their history is scarcely more than an agreed-upon fable.

  • 43 [Marcus Porcius Cato, byname Cato the Censor, or Cato the Elder (born 234 B.C., Tusculum, Latium; (...)
  • 44 [Marcus Tullius Cicero, English byname Tully (born 106 B.C., Arpinum, Latium, now Arpino, Italy; d (...)
  • 45 [Carneades (born 214? B.C.; died 129?), Greek philosopher who headed the New Academy at Athens whe (...)
  • 46 [Diogenes of Babylon (born Seleucia, Mesopotamia; fl. second century B.C.), Greek Stoic philosophe (...)
  • 47 [Critolaus (fl. second century B.C.), Greek philosopher, a native of Phaselis in Lycia and a succe (...)

34The first writer of Rome to write about the natural sciences is Cato the Censor.43 He is also the first whose works have been preserved complete. Proof that previous writers had little value is that Cicero44 cites Cato’s work as the most ancient of Latin writings that deserve to be read. He wrote about agriculture, religion, morality, and history. On one of his expeditions, he visited a Pythagorean and acquired some knowledge of Greek letters; but his political ideas were not in any way affected by this, for, after returning to Rome, he gave a new proof of his aversion to science. When a dispute arose between Athens and Scio, these two cities agreed to submit to the arbitrage of the Romans, and to explain the case they sent to Rome three distinguished philosophers, Carneades,45 head of the second Academy, Diogenes the Stoic,46 and Critolaus,47 head of the Lyceum. While the affair was being examined, these wise men gave discourses in public and lessons eagerly attended by the young men of Rome. Cato was so frightened by this innovation that he made the Roman senate agree to settle the Greeks’ dispute promptly so that their ambassadors would no longer have an excuse for staying in the city. But when new ideas germinate in the mind, it is difficult to uproot them; thus, in spite of Cato’s objections, the Romans soon gave themselves up to the study of Greek letters, and Cato himself, after having raised useless dikes against the flood, ended up surrendering to it, and, as we know, cultivated Greek in his old age.

  • 48 [Cato’s only surviving work is actually titled De agri cultura (On Farming), a treatise on agricul (...)

35The work we have by Cato is entitled De re rustica.48 It is not very long and could at most make up one of our volumes in duodecimo. A regular system of agriculture is not to be found in it; it merely contains a description of everything relating to the exploitation of a country estate. The author tells how one ought to choose a farm; he gives rules of conduct regarding its steward and slaves. The latter rules are of a harshness bordering on atrocity, for he intends not only that slaves be locked up every night, but also that they be chained if there is the least reason to distrust them.

36Cato then gives several details on household economy and some bizarre formulas or superstitions for veterinary medicine. He names the diseases of domestic animals, and for curing oxen he recommends combinations of words that are neither Greek nor Latin, the frequent repetition of which, according to him, has magical power. He describes the making of hams, sausages, etc.

37Such, then, is the work of a great man who had had extended contact with a Pythagorean. But we should point out that the philosophers of this school, especially after its revival, themselves had a tendency to teach the mysterious influence of words almost as often as that of numbers.

  • 49 [Lucius Mummius (fl. mid-second century B.C.), Roman statesman and general who crushed the uprisin (...)

38Some years after the deputies Carneades, Diogenes, and Critolaus left Rome, the Romans extended their conquests into Greece. But they were still completely uneducated in the arts, for the Roman general Mummius,49 upon bringing aboard his vessels paintings and statues of brass taken from the city of Corinth to use in his triumphal procession, warned the vessels’ owners that if any of these objects were damaged or lost, they would have to replace them with like objects – of the same weight, if it were the statues of metal that were destroyed. Once the Romans were finally and definitively masters of Greece, this gross ignorance disappeared quickly. Athens especially contributed much towards giving them discernment and knowledge of the arts. Proof of the rapidity of their progress in this regard appears to us in the noticeable superiority of Varro’s works over those of Cato.

  • 50 [Marcus Terentius Varro (born 116 B.C., probably Reate, Italy; died 27 B.C.), Rome’s greatest scho (...)
  • 51 [Dedicated to Cicero, Varro’s De lingua Latina is of interest not only as a linguistic work but al (...)

39Marcus Terentius Varro50 was born in 116 B.C. He studied at Athens with his friend Cicero and dedicated to him his Treatise on the Latin Language.51 Like Cicero, he was proscribed by Anthony, but he was more fortunate than his friend, since he succeeded in escaping death and lived to a very old age. He was reputed to be the most learned of the Romans: he was a poet, scholar, general, and even physician, for he was thought to have warded off an extremely virulent epidemic that was ravaging his army and the island of Corcyra [Corfu].

  • 52 [Varro wrote about 74 works in more than 600 books on a wide range of subjects: jurisprudence, ast (...)

40He composed in the form of a dialogue a work entitled, like Cato’s, De re rustica, which is quite remarkable for its method and elegance.52

41The first volume of this book is on agriculture in general and the nature of soils; the second, on domestic animals, their husbandry and the diseases affecting them; the third, on poultry-yard fowl.

42One learns from the last book that peafowl were eaten at Roman tables. Romans had all our domestic birds, and also thrushes, which in our day are in a completely wild state.

43Among the quadrupeds that were raised in enclosures were also animals that are now found only in our forests: the deer, the roe, the boar, and three kinds of hare – the common hare, the Spanish hare or coney, and the variable Alpine hare, which has a coat that turns white in winter.

44The Romans even fattened dormice and snails in prodigious numbers for their table.

45Finally, Varro reports that his compatriots raised in ponds different species of fishes that had been collected at enormous expense, a thing we could not possibly do again today.

46This extravagance increased somewhat the knowledge of natural history.

  • 53 [De naturâ deorum (“On the nature of the gods”) 45 B.C. (Cicero (Marcus Tullius), De natura deorum(...)

47Cicero, contemporary and friend of Varro, as great a philosopher as he was an admirable orator, scarcely touched on anything but the theoretical areas of philosophy in his works. Nevertheless, one finds in his De naturâ deorum passages dealing with the natural sciences.53 In his dialogue he uses a Platonist who, in order to establish the existence of a Providence, uses some facts of natural history considered from the standpoint of final causes.

48In the next session, we shall see some more authors who wrote about the natural sciences during the Roman republic, and then we shall come to those who were devoted to this subject under the emperors.

Notes

1 [Neoplatonism, the last school of Greek philosophy, given its definitive shape in the third century A.D. by the one great philosophical and religious genius of the school, Plotinus (born A.D. 205, probably at Lyco, or Lycopolis, Egypt; died 270, Campania). The ancient philosophers who are generally classified as Neoplatonists called themselves simple “Platonists,” as did the philosophers of the Renaissance and the seventeenth century whose ideas derive from ancient Neoplatonism.]

2 [Pompey the Great, Latin in full Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (born 29 September 106 B.C., Rome; died 28 September 48 B.C., Pelusium, Egypt), one of the great statesmen and generals of the late Roman Republic, a triumvir (61-54 B.C.), the associate and later opponent of Julius Caesar. He was initially called Magnus (the Great) by his troops in Africa (82-81 B.C.)]

3 [Gaius Julius Caesar, see Lesson 11.]

4 [Plutarch, see Lesson 14, note 9.]

5 [Lucan, Latin in full Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (born A.D. 39, Corduba, now Córdoba, Spain; died 65, Rome), Roman poet and republican patriot whose historical epic, the Bellum civile, better known as the Pharsalia because of its vivid account of that battle, is remarkable as the single major Latin epic poem that eschewed the intervention of the gods (Lucan, Pharsalia [translated and with an introduction by Jane Wilson Joyce], Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993, xxix + 333 p.; see note 6, below).]

6 [The Pharsalia, Lucan’s only extant poem, is an account of the war between Julius Caesar and Pompey, carried down to the arrival of Caesar in Egypt after the murder of Pompey, when it stops abruptly in the middle of the 10th book. Lucan was not a great poet, but he was a great rhetorician and had remarkable political and historical insight, though he wrote the poem while still a young man.]

7 [Mark Antony, also spelled Marc Anthony, Latin Marcus Antonius (born 82/81 B.C.; died August, 30 B.C., Alexandria), Roman general under Julius Caesar and later, after Caesar’s death, triumvir (43-30 B.C.), who, with Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, was defeated by Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) in the last of the civil wars that destroyed the Roman Republic. Historically, Marcus Antonius was one of Caesar’s most distinguished allies. After gaining distinction as a soldier, he became Caesar’s consul in 44 B.C. In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, the noble Antony delivers the funeral oration upon Caesar’s death. His famous speech, beginning “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears,” eloquently and effectively turns the Roman populace against Brutus and his fellow conspirators, and with Octavius, Antony later defeats Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Philippi.]

8 [Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator (Greek: Goddess Loving Her Father) (born 69 B.C.; died 30 August 30 B.C., Alexandria), Egyptian queen famous in history and drama, lover of Julius Caesar and later the wife of Mark Antony. She became queen on her father’s death (51 B.C.), ruling successively with her two brothers Ptolemy XIII (51-47) and Ptolemy XIV (47-44) and her son Ptolemy XV Caesar (44-30). After the Roman armies of Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) defeated their combined forces, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide, and Egypt fell under Roman domination. Her ambition no less than her charm actively influenced Roman politics at a crucial period, and she came to represent, as did no other woman of antiquity, the prototype of the romantic femme fatale.]

9 [Claudius, in full Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, original name (until A.D. 41) Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus (born 1 August 10 B.C., Lugdunum, Gaul; died 13 October A.D. 54), Roman emperor (A.D. 41-54), who extended Roman rule in North Africa and made Britain a province.]

10 [Caliph Omar of Damascus. As the legendary account goes, the Moslems invaded Egypt during the seventh century as their fanaticism carried them on conquests that would eventually form an empire stretching from Spain to India. There was not much of a struggle in Egypt and the locals found the rule of the Caliph to be more tolerant than that of the Byzantines before them. However, when a Christian called John informed the local Arab general that there existed in Alexandria a great Library preserving all the knowledge in the world he was perturbed. Eventually he sent word to Damascus where Caliph Omar ordered that all the books in the library should be destroyed because, as he said “they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous.” Therefore, the books and scrolls were taken out of the library and distributed as fuel to the many bathhouses of the city.]

11 [Paulus Orosius (born probably Braga, Spain; fl. 414-417), defender of early Christian orthodoxy, theologian, and author of the first world history by a Christian: Historiarum adversus paganos libri VII (Seven Books of Histories Against the Pagans [translated by Deferrari Roy J.], Washington (D. C.): Catholic University of America Press, 1964, xxi + 422 p.) This book chronicles the history of the world from its creation through the founding and history of Rome up until A.D. 417. In it Orosius describes the catastrophes that befell mankind before Christianity, arguing against the contention that the calamities of the late Roman Empire were caused by its Christian conversion. Orosius’s book enjoyed great popularity in the early European Middle Ages, but only its narrative covering the years after A.D. 378 has any value to modern scholars.]

12 One of the most distinguished scientists in Germany, Professor [Johann Gottlieb Gerhard] Buhle [German scholar and philosopher, born 1763 at Brunswick, educated at Göttingen, died 1821], was the first to oppose successfully the widely received opinion about the burning of the Alexandrian Library [Buhle (Johann Gottlieb Gerhard), Geschichte der neueren Philosophie, Göttingen: J. G. Rosenbusch, 1800-1805, 6 vols]. [M. de St.-Agy.]

13 [Mithradates VI Eupator, byname Mithradates the Great (died 63 B.C., Panticapaeum, now in Ukraine), king of Pontus in northern Anatolia (120-63 B.C.). Under his energetic leadership, Pontus expanded to absorb several of its small neighbors and briefly contested Rome’s hegemony in Asia Minor.]

14 [Crateuas, also spelled Cratevas (fl. first century B.C.), classical pharmacologist, artist, and physician to Mithradates VI, king of Pontus (120-63 B.C.). Crateuas’s drawings are the earliest known botanical illustrations. His work on pharmacology was the first to illustrate the plants described; it also classified the plants and explained their medicinal use. The drawings that exist today and bear his name are copies, made about A.D. 500. Of the text of his book, only quotations by Pedanius Dioscorides, a Greek physician (born c. A.D. 40, died c. 90; see Lesson 12, note 62), are extant (see Dioscorides, The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides [illustrated by a Byzantine, A.D. 512; englished by John Goodyer, A.D. 1655; edited and first printed, A.D. 1933, by Gunther Robert T.; with three hundred and ninety-six illustrations], Oxford: Printed by J. Johnson for the author at the University Press, 1934, ix + 701 p.) All later pharmacology and medicine were influenced by Crateuas’s work.]

15 [Eupatorium, a large genus of plants belonging to the family Compositae and containing about 600 species, nearly all American and found chiefly in tropical South America, the West Indies, and Mexico. They are mostly perennial herbs, but a few are annuals, and many of the tropical species are shrubby or treelike. Members of the genus typically bear large, showy clusters of purplish, pink, blue, or white flowers. Mithradatea, properly spelled Mithridatea, an old synonym of the genus Tambourissa (family Monimiaceae), but being confined to the island of Madagascar, this plant would have probably been unavailable to the ancients. Perhaps Cuvier is referring to Mithridatium, a synonym of Erythronium (family Liliaceae), about twenty species widely distributed in North America and Eurasia.]

16 [Nicander (second century B.C.), Greek poet, physician and grammarian, was born at Claros, near Colophon, where his family held the hereditary priesthood of Apollo. He flourished under Attalus III of Pergamum. He wrote a number of works both in prose and verse, of which two are preserved (Nicander, Nicandri Theriacorum et Alexipharmacorum concordantia [conscripsit Papthomopoulos Manolis, text in English/Greek], Hildesheim; New York: Olms-Weidmann, 1996, 431 p.) The longest, Theriaca, is a hexameter poem (958 lines) on the nature of venomous animals and the wounds they inflict. The other, Alexipharmaca, consists of 630 hexameters treating of poisons and their antidotes. In his facts Nicander followed the physician Apollodorus. Among his lost works may be mentioned: A etolica, a prose history of Aetolia; Heteroeumena, a mythological epic, used by Ovid in the Metamorphoses and epitomized by Antoninus Liberalis; Georgica and Melissourgica, of which considerable fragments are preserved, said to have been imitated by Virgil (Nicander, Poems and poetical fragments [edited, with a translation and notes by Gow Andrew Sydenham Farrar and Scholfield Alwyn Faber], Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953, xi + 247 p.) The works of Nicander were praised by Cicero, imitated by Ovid, and frequently quoted by Pliny and other writers. His reputation does not seem justified; his works, as Plutarch says, have nothing poetical about them except the meter, and the style is bombastic and obscure; but they contain some interesting information as to ancient belief on the subjects treated.]

17 [For Nicander’s Theriaca and Alexipharmaca, see note 16 above.]

18 [Asp, anglicized form of Aspis, a name used in classical antiquity for a venomous snake, probably the Egyptian cobra, Naja haje. It was the symbol of royalty in Egypt, and its bite was used for the execution of favored criminals in Greco-Roman times. Cleopatra is said to have killed herself with an asp.]

19 [Ichneumon, a species of mongoose, a small carnivorous mammal of the genus Herpestes, known to attack and kill poisonous snakes. They depend on speed and agility, darting at the head of the snake and cracking the skull with a powerful bite. They are not immune to venom, as popularly believed, nor do they seek and eat an herbal remedy if bitten.]

20 [Cerastes, a genus of venomous, desert-dwelling snakes of the viper family, Viperidae. There are two species, the horned viper (Cerastes cerastes), which usually has a spinelike scale above each eye, and the common, or Sahara, sand viper (Cerastes vipera), which lacks these scales. Both species are small (seldom more than 60 cm long), stocky, and broad-headed and are found in northern Africa and the Middle East.]

21 [Gecko, also spelled gekko, any lizard of the harmless but noisy family Gekkonidae, which contains about 80 genera and about 750 species. Geckos are small, usually nocturnal reptiles with a soft skin, a short, stout body, large head, and weak limbs often equipped with suction-padded digits. Most species are 3 to 15 cm (1.2 to 6 inches) long, including tail length (about half the total). They have adapted to habitats ranging from deserts to jungles. Many species frequent human habitations, and most feed on insects.]

22 [Meadow saffron or Colchicum, a genus of flowering plants of the family Liliaceae, consisting of about 30 species of herbs native to Eurasia; the swollen underground stem of Colchicum autumnale contains colchicine, a substance used to relieve the pain of gout. Aconite, any member of two genera of perennial herbs of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae): Aconitum, consisting of summer-flowering poisonous plants (commonly called monkshood or wolfsbane), and Eranthis, consisting of spring-flowering ornamentals (winter aconite).]

23 [Cyrus II, byname Cyrus the Great, founder of the Achaemenian empire, was born between 590 and 580 B.C., either in Media, or more probably Persis, now in Iran; he died c. 529, somewhere in Asia (for notes on Cyrus I, fl. late seventh century B.C., see Lesson 1, note 25; for Cyrus the Younger, born after 423 B.C., died 401, see Lesson 6, note 26). Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C. and died in 323.]

24 [Marcus Junius Brutus, also called Quintus Caepio Brutus (born 85 B.C.; died 42, near Philippi, Macedonia, now in Greece), a leader of the conspirators who, with Gaius Cassius Longinus, assassinated the Roman dictator Julius Caesar in March 44 B.C. Five months after the assassination, Brutus and Cassius were forced by the Caesarian commander Mark Antony to leave Rome for Macedonia, where they raised an army against him. In February 43, the Senate granted them supreme command in the East. Brutus defeated the Caesarians under Octavian (later the emperor Augustus) in the first engagement of the Battle of Philippi, but his army was crushed by Antony and Octavian in a second encounter three weeks later (23 October 42). Recognizing that the republican cause was lost, he committed suicide.]

25 [The Tarquin kings, among the last kings of Rome: Lucius Tarquinius Priscus, original name Lucomo (fl. late seventh and early sixth century B.C.), traditionally the fifth king of Rome, accepted by some scholars as a historical figure and usually said to have reigned from 616 to 578. Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (fl. second half of the sixth century B.C.), the son or grandson of Tarquinius Priscus, traditionally the seventh and last king of Rome; his reign is dated from 534 to 509.]

26 [Hanno (fl. fifth century B.C.), a Carthaginian who conducted a voyage of exploration and colonization to the west coast of Africa sometime during the fifth century. Setting sail with 60 vessels holding 30,000 men and women, Hanno founded Thymiaterion (now Kenitra, Morocco) and built a temple at Soloeis (Cape Cantin, now Cape Meddouza). He then founded five additional cities in and around present Morocco, including Carian Fortress (Greek: Karikon Teichos) and Acra (Agadir). The Carian Fortress is perhaps to be identified with Essaouira on the Moroccan coast, where archaeological remains of Punic settlers have been found. Farther south he founded Cerne, possibly on the Río de Oro, as a trading post. He evidently reached the coast of present Gambia or of Sierra Leone and may have ventured as far as Cameroon. An account of his voyage was written in the temple of Baal at Carthage and survives in a tenth-century-A.D. Greek manuscript known as Periplus of Hannon, probably an ancient Greek translation from the Punic (see Hanno, The Periplus of Hannon, King of the Karchedonians, concerning the Lybian Parts of the Earth beyond the Pillars of Herakles, which he dedicated to Kronos, the Greatest God, and to all the Gods Dwelling with Him [edited by Simonides Constantin], London: Trübner & Co., 1864, 1 vol., [6] + 72 p.)]

27 The precise time of Hanno’s voyage has not been agreed upon. Some authors give him a date much closer to the birth of Christ. [M. de St.-Agy.]

28 [Aristotle’s mention of Hanno’s Periplus (or circumnavigation) can be found in his On Marvelous Things Heard, chap. 37 (Aristotle, The Complete Works of Aristotle [The revised Oxford translation, edited by Barnes Jonathan], Princeton (New Jersey): Princeton University Press, 1984, 2 vols).]

29 [For an English translation of Hanno’s Periplus, see The Periplus of Hanno; a voyage of discovery down the west African coast, by a Carthaginian admiral of the fifth century B.C. [translated from the Greek by Schoff Wilfred H.; with explanatory passages quoted from numerous authors], Philadelphia: Commercial Museum, 1912, 2 pl. + 3-27 + [1] p.]

30 [James Bruce (born 14 December 1730, Larbert, Stirling, Scotland; died 27 April 1794, Larbert), explorer who, in the course of daring travels in Ethiopia, reached the headstream of the Blue Nile, then thought to be the Nile’s main source. The credibility of his observations, published in Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile (Bruce (James), Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile in the Years 1768, 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, and 1773, Dublin: Printed by William Sleater, for P. Wogan, L. White, P. Byrne, W. Porter [and 9 others], 1790-1791, 6 vols; Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile [selected and edited with an introduction by Beckingham Charles Fraser], Edinburgh: University Press, 1964, 281 p. + 42 pls), was questioned in Britain, partly because he had first told the French court of his discoveries. Reports by later travelers, however, confirmed the accuracy of his account.]

31 [Magon or Mago (died c. 203 B.C.), a leading Carthaginian general during the Second Punic War (218-201 B.C.) against Rome. He was the youngest of the three sons of the Carthaginian statesman and general Hamilcar Barca. In the Second Punic War, Magon accompanied his brother Hannibal on the invasion of Italy and held key commands in the great victories of the first three years of that conflict. After the Carthaginian triumph at the Battle of Cannae (216), he was sent to Spain to fight alongside his other brother, Hasdrubal. There, in a battle at Ilipa (206), Magon was defeated by the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio (later known as Scipio Africanus). He stayed for several months in Gades (now Cádiz) before carrying the war into Liguria in Italy. In 203, he was finally defeated in Cisalpine Gaul. He died of wounds on the return voyage to Carthage.]

32 [Scipio Africanus the Younger (born 185/184 B.C.; died 129 B.C., Rome), Roman general famed both for his exploits during the Third Punic War (149-146 B.C.) and for his subjugation of Spain (134-133 B.C.) He received the name Africanus and a “triumph” in Rome after his destruction of Carthage (146 B.C.)]

33 [Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella, see Lesson 12, note 46.]

34 [Lydia, ancient land of western Anatolia, extending east from the Aegean Sea and occupying the valleys of the Hermus and Cayster rivers. The Lydians were said to be the originators of gold and silver coins. During their brief hegemony over Asia Minor from the middle of the seventh to the middle of the sixth century B.C., the Lydians profoundly influenced the Ionian Greeks to their west.]

35 [The origin of the Etruscans has been a subject of debate since antiquity. Herodotus (see Lesson 7), for example, argued that the Etruscans descended from a people who invaded Etruria from Anatolia before 800 B.C. and established themselves over the native Iron Age inhabitants of the region, whereas Dionysius of Halicarnassus (fl. c. 20 B.C.; Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric whose history of Rome, from its origins to the First Punic War, written from a pro-Roman standpoint but carefully researched, is the most valuable source for early Roman history; Dionysius, Antiquités romaines [text in French; ed. and transl. by Fromentin Valérie], Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1998, XCIX + [1] + 291 + [9] p.) believed that the Etruscans were of local Italian origin. Both theories, as well as a third nineteenth-century theory, have turned out to be problematic, and today scholarly discussion has shifted its focus from the discussion of provenance to that of the formation of the Etruscan people.]

36 [Lars Porsenna (fl. the end of the sixth century B.C.), Etruscan king of Clusium (ancient Etruscan town on the site of modern Chiusi, in Tuscany, north-central Italy), who, according to ancient tradition, defeated the Romans, seized the city, and expelled its last king (the tyrannical Lucius Tarquinius Superbus whose reign is dated from 534 to 509; see note 25, above). But, before Porsenna could establish himself as monarch, he was forced to withdraw, leaving Rome kingless.]

37 [Volterra, town and episcopal see, in Pisa provincia, Tuscany, central Italy, northwest of Siena. As the ancient Velathri, it was one of the 12 cities of the Etruscan confederation. It supported Rome during the Second Punic War in 205 B.C., acquired Roman citizenship after the civil wars between Gaius Marius and Sulla (81-80 B.C.), and took the name Volaterrae. It became a free commune in the twelfth century and fell under the domination of the Medici family of Florence in 1361.]

38 [Cloacae of Tarquin or Cloaca Maxima: The term cloaca (a common sewer) is generally used in reference only to those spacious subterraneous vaults, either of stone or brick, through which the foul waters of Rome, as well as all the streams brought to the city by the aqueducts, finally discharged into the Tiber. But it also includes within its meaning any smaller drain, either wooden pipes or clay tubes, with which almost every house in the city was furnished to carry offits impurities into the main conduit. The whole city was thus intersected by subterraneous passages. The most celebrated of these drains was the cloaca maxima, the construction of which is ascribed to Tarquinius Priscus, and which was formed to carry off the waters brought down from the adjacent hills into the Velabrum and valley of the Forum.] [Lucius Priscus Tarquinius, the fifth king of Rome, according to the legends, succeeded Ancus Martius, 616, and died 578 B.C. Tarquinius Lucius Superbus was a grandson of the preceding. Tarquinius had married one of the daughters of Servius Tullius, but her sister, whose ambition resembled his own, by a series of horrid crimes, secured him as her husband, and urged him to murder her father to secure the throne in 534 B.C. Tarquinius reigned as a tyrant, but in the end it was the rape of Lucretia by his son, Sextus, that overthrew at once both him and the kingly rule in Rome. The date of the Regifuge or expulsion of the Tarquins was said to be 510 B.C.]

39 [Augury, prophetic divining of the future by observation of natural phenomena, particularly the behavior of birds and animals and the examination of their entrails and other parts, but also by scrutiny of man-made objects and situations. The term derives from the official Roman augurs, whose constitutional function was not to foretell the future but to discover whether or not the gods approved of a proposed course of action, especially political or military. Two types of divinatory sign, or omen, were recognized: the most important was that deliberately watched for, such as lightning, thunder, flights and cries of birds, or the pecking behavior of sacred chickens; of less moment was that which occurred casually, such as the unexpected appearance of animals sacred to the gods –the bear (Artemis), wolf (Apollo), eagle (Zeus), serpent (Asclepius), and owl (Minerva), for instance– or such other mundane signs as the accidental spilling of salt, sneezing, stumbling, or the creaking of furniture.]

40 [Quintus Ennius, (born 239 B.C., Rudiae, southern Italy; died 169 B.C.), epic poet, dramatist, and satirist, the most influential of the early Latin poets, rightly called the founder of Roman literature. His epic Annales, a narrative poem telling the story of Rome from the wanderings of Aeneas to the poet’s own day (Ennius (Quintus), The Annals of Quintus Ennius [edited with introduction and commentary by Skutsch Otto], Oxford (Oxfordshire): Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1985, xviii + 848 p.), was the national epic until it was eclipsed by Virgil’s Aeneid (for a modern edition, see Virgil, The Aeneid [transl. by Lewis C. Day; with an introd. and notes by Griffin Jasper], Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, XXVII + 450 p.)]

41 [Calabria, regione, southern Italy, composed of the province of Catanzaro, Cosenza, Crotone, Reggio di Calabria, and Vibo Valentia. Sometimes referred to as the “toe” of the Italian “boot,” Calabria is a peninsula of irregular shape, jutting out in a northeast-southwest direction from the main body of Italy and separating the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas.]

42 [Quintus Fabius Pictor (fl. c. 200 B.C.), one of the first Roman prose historians. A member of the Senate, he fought against the Carthaginians in the Second Punic War (218-201) and was sent on a mission to the Oracle of Delphi after the disastrous Roman defeat at Cannae (216). His history, now lost, was an account of the development of Rome from the earliest times. Fabius wrote it in Greek, partly because he sought to justify Roman policy to the Greeks. The later historians Polybius, Dionysius, and Livy all used Fabius’s work as a source. Fragments of the history are published in Jacoby (Felix), Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, Leiden; New York: Brill, 1993, 3 vols.]

43 [Marcus Porcius Cato, byname Cato the Censor, or Cato the Elder (born 234 B.C., Tusculum, Latium; died 149), Roman statesman, orator, and the first Latin prose writer of importance (see note 48, below). He was noted for his conservative and anti-Hellenic policies, in opposition to the phil-Hellenic ideals of the Scipio family.]

44 [Marcus Tullius Cicero, English byname Tully (born 106 B.C., Arpinum, Latium, now Arpino, Italy; died 7 December 43 B.C., Formiae, Latium, now Formia), Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer who vainly tried to uphold republican principles in the final civil wars that destroyed the republic of Rome. His writings include books of rhetoric, orations, philosophical and political treatises, and letters (Cicero (Marcus Tullius), Cicero in Twenty-eight Volumes, London: W. Heinemann; Cambridge (Massachusetts): Harvard University Press, 1972). He is remembered in modern times as the greatest Roman orator and innovator of what became known as Ciceronian rhetoric.]

45 [Carneades (born 214? B.C.; died 129?), Greek philosopher who headed the New Academy at Athens when antidogmatic skepticism reached its greatest strength.]

46 [Diogenes of Babylon (born Seleucia, Mesopotamia; fl. second century B.C.), Greek Stoic philosopher remembered chiefly for his visit to Rome in 156-155 B.C., which served to arouse interest in the Stoic creed among the Romans. Diogenes studied in Athens under Chrysippus, the principal systematizer of Stoic philosophy, and succeeded Zeno of Tarsus as head of the Stoic school there. Panaetius, who founded Roman Stoicism, was one of his pupils.]

47 [Critolaus (fl. second century B.C.), Greek philosopher, a native of Phaselis in Lycia and a successor to Ariston of Ceos as head of the Peripatetic school of philosophy (followers of Aristotle). During his period of office he attempted to redirect the activities of the school back to its scientific and philosophical pursuits and away from the worldly preoccupations of his predecessors. Although his teachings were basically Peripatetic, he was in part influenced by the stoics. Thus, he defined the highest good in such a way as to declare pleasure to be an evil. Goods of the soul, he insisted, entirely outweighed those of the body. His writings exist only in fragments.]

48 [Cato’s only surviving work is actually titled De agri cultura (On Farming), a treatise on agriculture written about 160 B.C. De agri cultura is the oldest remaining complete prose work in Latin (Cato (Marcus Porcius), On Farming/De agricultura [a modern translation with commentary by Dalby Andrew], Blackawton: Prospect Books, 1998, 243 p.) It is a practical handbook dealing with the cultivation of grape vines and olives and the grazing of livestock, but it also contains many details of old customs and superstitions. More important, it affords a wealth of information on the transition from small landholdings to capitalistic farming in Latium and Campania.]

49 [Lucius Mummius (fl. mid-second century B.C.), Roman statesman and general who crushed the uprising of the Achaean League against Roman rule in Greece. As praetor in 153, Mummius defeated the rebellious Lusitanians in southwestern Spain; the following year he celebrated a triumph at Rome. As consul in 146, he was appointed commander of the war against the Achaean League. He defeated the Greek forces at Leucopetra on the Isthmus of Corinth and captured and destroyed Corinth. The Roman Senate then dissolved the Achaean League. Mummius’s indifference to works of art and ignorance of their value is shown by his well-known remark to those who contracted for the shipment of the treasures of Corinth to Rome, that “if they lost or damaged them, they would have to replace them.”]

50 [Marcus Terentius Varro (born 116 B.C., probably Reate, Italy; died 27 B.C.), Rome’s greatest scholar and a satirist of stature, best known for his Saturae Menippeae (“Menippean Satires”) (Varro (Marcus Terentius), M. Terentii Varronis Saturarum Menippearum Fragmenta/edidit Raymond Astbury, Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1985, XLII + 154 p.) He was a man of immense learning and a prolific author. Inspired by a deep patriotism, he intended his work, by its moral and educational quality, to further Roman greatness. Seeking to link Rome’s future with its glorious past, his works exerted great influence before and after the founding of the Roman Empire (27 B.C.)]

51 [Dedicated to Cicero, Varro’s De lingua Latina is of interest not only as a linguistic work but also as a source of valuable incidental information on a variety of subjects (Varro(Marcus Terentius), M. Terenti Varronis De lingua Latina libri / emendavit apparatu critico instruxit praefatus est Leonardus Spengel; Leonardo patre mortuo edidit et recognovit filius Andreas Spengel, New York: Arno Press, 1979, xc + 286 p.) Of the original 25 books there remain, apart from brief fragments, only books 5-10, and even these contain considerable gaps.]

52 [Varro wrote about 74 works in more than 600 books on a wide range of subjects: jurisprudence, astronomy, geography, education, and literary history, as well as satires, poems, orations, and letters. The only complete work to survive is De re rustica (“On Agriculture”), a three-section work of practical instruction in general agriculture and animal husbandry, written to foster a love of rural life (see Varro (Marcus Terentius), Varro on farming. M. Terenti Varronis rerum rusticarum libri tres [tr. with introduction, commentary, and excursus by Storr-Best Lloyd], London: G. Bell and Sons, 1912, xxxi + 375 p.)]

53 [De naturâ deorum (“On the nature of the gods”) 45 B.C. (Cicero (Marcus Tullius), De natura deorum [ed. by Van den Bruwaene Martin], Brussels: Latomus, 1970-1986, 4 vols; Cicero in Twenty-eight Volumes, London: W. Heinemann; Cambridge (Massachusetts): Harvard University Press, 1972).]

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