The Latin language is a branch of the Aryan or Indo-European family, and was spoken by the Latins, or inhabitants of Latium, in central Italy, probably as early as 10 or 15 centuries before our era. It became afterward the language of the Roman republic and empire, and was spoken over the entire Italian peninsula; and, with some inevitable corruption, it was so universally adopted in Africa, Spain, Gaul, Britain, and Pannonia that, as Gibbon remarks, "the faint traces of the Punic or Celtic idioms were preserved only in the mountains or among the peasants." It ceased to be a living tongue about the 8th century of our era, when it had given birth to the Romance idioms; but it continued in use as the language of the church, of law, and of learning generally, until within the last two centuries. Even at the present time many scientific works, especially on law and philology, are written in it. The Pelasgians exercised upon the earliest civilization of Latium an influence similar to that which they had on Greece. (See Greece, Language and Literature of.) The Tyrrhenian and Arcadian Pelasgians, and the Epi-rotic Graeci or Graii, the general term by which the Romans designated all the Greeks, may all be included under the name of La-tini, whose prehistoric age is designated by the terms aborigines or casci.
The best evidence for the early existence of Pelasgians in Italy is the Latin language itself, which evinces a closer relationship to Greek than to any other known tongue. The Latins themselves had no definite tradition of it, though some ancient authors attempt to establish a derivation of Latin from the AEolic dialect of Greek. Latin contains also a very considerable number of foreign words and forms which cannot be resolved into Greek elements. Niebuhr was probably the first who succeeded in separating the Greek from the non-Greek elements. Lange, Lassen, Muller, Doderlein, Mommsen, Aufrecht, Kirch-hoff, Corssen, and G. Curtius have made these differences clearer. Like the Hellenes, the Latins remodelled the linguistic material imported by the Pelasgians, according to their own needs and under the influence of the languages spoken in the surrounding districts of Italy. (See Italic Races and Languages.) During the first 500 years of the existence of Rome, Latin was thus developed into a peculiar idiom without experiencing the guidance of a native literature; there is therefore nothing whereby the internal history of the formation of the Latin language can be traced.
Dated inscriptions of high antiquity are also exceedingly rare; the oldest are those of Scipio Barbatus at Luceria, or of the second half of the 5th century of the city. During the long period of nearly eight centuries, from about 250 B. C. to A. D. 500, while Latin was a living tongue and had a literature, it experienced comparatively few grammatical changes. Some archaic endings of nouns and verbs in declension and conjugation were eliminated during the classic period, but otherwise the grammar maintained great stability. The vocabulary, however, was constantly enriched. Some writers took great pleasure in forming new words, many of which met with general adoption and came to be used in place of other words, which gradually disappeared. Latin was in its highest perfection in the 1st century B. C, and afterward deteriorated. Disputations were then made about the classicism or Latinity (latinitas) of words and phrases. Latinitas was probably the colloquial language of the higher classes, in distinction from the archaisms and mutilations of the uncultured. A people which owed its entire literary culture to foreign lands, and which constantly came in contact with foreign nations, necessarily adopted a multitude of foreign words into its vocabulary.
With the beginnings of a literature came also an influx of Greek expressions, not only for objects of art and science, as theatrum, tra-gcedia, philosophia, grammaticus, but also for common household utensils, as amphora, abacus, and aulceum. By taking up a dictionary and looking over the words beginning with chamce, chrys, cy, dia, ep, eu, h (especially hy), leuc, meso, mono, my, nyct, orth, oxy, pseudo, sym, syn, th, x, and z, one may easily gain an idea of the vast number of Greek words which the Latin language contains. Hebrew, Syriac, Punic, Persian, and Parthic words were also incorporated, but not as largely as Celtic expressions acquired with the conquest of Gallic lands. Germanic terms also make their appearance during the time of the empire; a few, as hallux, a grain of gold, gurdus, stupid, and laurex, a rabbit, are said to be of Spanish (probably of Iberian) origin; and mastruca, fur, according to Quintilian, is a Sardinian word. Nevertheless, excepting what Latin has borrowed from Greek, it contains remarkably little of foreign origin; and in spite of the constant intercourse with foreign lands and nations, it always retained its own original structure and composition. - The history of the Latin alphabet, so important on account of its remaining in use in several of the most cultured languages of Europe, has not been completely and accurately retraced.
The chief cause of this failure is the lack of written monuments of a date earlier than the '3d century B. C. Cicero and Quintilian say that the Latin alphabet was originally composed of 21 letters, and ended with the letter X; but the earliest monuments exhibit only 20 different characters. Mommsen, F. Lenormant, and other great palaeographical scholars are of opinion that the letter which disappeared was Z. The argument is, that the Latin alphabet was formed after the model of the Greek, and that the letter G, subsequently introduced, was put between F and H because the disappearance of the Z had left a gap there. Mommsen considers the character + on the inscription of Milonia to be a Z. It is supposed that the Greek alphabet reached Rome by way of Sicily or from Cumae. Kirchhoff, in Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissen-schaften zu Berlin (1863), was the first to perceive that the AEolo-Doric variety of the Greek alphabet, employed in the Chalcidian colonies, was the parent of the Latin characters. The first and second columns of the following illustration seem to establish the opinion. The first notable change in the composition of the alphabet was the reduction of the sibilants S and Z to the single letter S, and of the gutturals C and K to C only.
It is evident, however, that C and K did not at first represent the same sound. As in Greek, C was originally a G. It was customary to write K before a, instead of C, which stood before the other vowels; thus, Karthago, merkatus, for the definite orthography Carthago, mercatus. Ottfried Muller suggests that it is due to Etruscan influence that in course of time all gutturals were pronounced hard, which deprived the C of the G sound, and rendered it homophonous with K. Thereafter C rapidly supplanted K, and was generally written for every guttural sound except Q. The need of a G sound soon became apparent again, but as the form C had lately acquired the power of K, another letter was fashioned by a slight appendix to the character C, forming G. The letters Y and Z came late into use to supply articulations of Hellenic words which the Latin alphabet could not indicate. They were not generally employed before the time of Cicero, when they were made to follow the original series of Latin letters. - The pronunciation of Latin, as now taught, is not uniform. Scholars in different countries generally pronounce it substantially as they do their own languages.
In the United States, however, two distinct systems are recognized, generally known as the English and the continental methods, using respectively the English and the Italian sounds of the vowels. Neither of these methods renders Latin as the Romans spoke it, the consonants being chiefly mispronounced in either; and though it is now pretty well ascertained what the Roman pronunciation was, yet a change in the common pronunciation of Latin has been found too inconvenient. But it is expected that the difficulties will soon be overcome, and the correct pronunciation be generally adopted. Henry John Roby, in his "Grammar of the Latin Language from Plautus to Suetonius" (2d ed., London, 1872), has an admirable exposition of the subject. We give a summary statement of the probable pronunciation of educated Romans in the period from Cicero to Quintilian, about 70 B. 0. to A. D. 90. The long and short sounds of a vowel, always different in English, were probably identical in quality in Latin: a as in father, a as in French chatte, not as in hat; o nearly as in dot; o nearer to English aw than the ordinary o in dote; u like French ou in poule, nearly as in pull, not as in lull; u like oo in pool; e nearly as in pet; e the same sound lengthened; i as in machine; % the same sound shortened; y like German u, but inclining to i, somewhat as in Muller. The rule for diphthongs is to pronounce the constituent vowels as rapidly as possible in their proper order; thus, au as in German Haus, and broader than ow in cow; eu as in Italian Europa; ce as a in bat lengthened; 02 as a diphthong; ei nearly as in feint; ui like French oui.
The diphthongs ou and oi are found only in early Latin. Of consonants, c is always hard, like k; g always hard as in give; nc and ng like ngc and ngg, as in anchor and anger; j like y in year; v like w in wine; r always trilled; s always sharp as in hiss; bs like ps; x like ks; ti always like tea; ph, ch, th not like the English f, German ch, and English th, but like p' h, k'h, t'h, the sounds being separately enunciated, or the p, c, and t aspirated, as often heard from Irishmen; and m was sometimes not sounded, or perhaps gave only a nasal sound to the vowel. The Romans distinguished between an acute and a circumflex accent. The latter rested only on monosyllables which have long vowels, and in words of more than one syllable on the penultimate, if that contained a long vowel and the final syllable a sharp vowel. Monosyllables always have the accent; dissyllables have the accent on the penultimate, unless they are enclitic; words of more than two syllables have the accent on the antepenult if the penult is short, and on the penult if it is long. Besides accent, the quantity of syllables was distinguished. If the voice dwells upon a syllable, that syllable is called long; if the voice passes rapidly over it, it is called short.
Two short syllables are considered to occupy the same time as a long one. A syllable is long or short, either because it contains a vowel naturally long or short, or on account of the position of its vowel. (See W. Corssen, Ueber Aussprache, Vokalismus und Betonung der lateinischen Sprache, 2d improved ed., 2 vols., Leipsic, 1868-'70). - In Latin, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, and some numerals, are inflected; other words are not. The inflexions of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives are in the main the same; those of verbs are quite distinct. The difference between substantives and adjectives is now held to be almost entirely syntactical, and even as such not very great. Inflections of nouns are always additions to or alterations in the ending of the stem or root of the word. The inflections for tense, mood, person, number, and voice in verbs are attached to the stem. Sex is attributed to many things which do not really have it; but gender, which is masculine, feminine, or neuter, is never assigned arbitrarily in defiance of the true sex, if of importance. Only singular and plural numbers are distinguished.
Distinctions of case are in the singular five, the cases being named nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative; but in some nouns and adjectives of the masculine gender a sixth form, not properly a case in the opinion of many scholars, is found, called the vocative. In the plural there are only four: nominative, accusative, genitive, and a common form for the dative and ablative. Originally perhaps there was a different form for each case in each number. The suffixes for the different cases are usually combined with the final vowel of the stem, so as not always to be readily distinguishable. Declensions are not always regular, and many old and exceptional forms of cases occur. Greek nouns in the pre-Augustan period generally received slight changes, especially of vowels, to adjust them to the Latin usage. Adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions are indeclinable words; some of them are cases of existing, others of lost words; others again are words with case suffixes different from those in common use in Latin; and still others are mutilated remnants of fuller expressions. In verbs there are two voices, the active and the passive, the latter sometimes called reflexive or middle. Some verbs have both voices, and some have only the active, except in the third person.
Others, called deponents, have only the passive, but with the signification apparently of the active. In a few verbs no plural is found. There are three moods, indicative, subjunctive or conjunctive, and imperative; six tenses in the indicative, viz.: three denoting incomplete action, present, future, and imperfect (also called present imperfect, future imperfect, and past imperfect); and three denoting completed action, perfect, pluperfect, and completed future (sometimes called present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect). In the subjunctive there are only four distinct tense forms, present, imperfect, perfect, and pluperfect. Some verbs in the active and all in the passive have only three simple tense forms in the indicative, those of incomplete action, and in the subjunctive only the present and imperfect. The passive voice supplies tense deficiencies by participles in combination with certain tenses of the verb esse, to be. Two indeclinable substantives, called infinitives, are usually treated in connection with the verb; also three verbal adjectives, called participles, the present and future, belonging to the active, and the past, to the passive voice; a verbal substantive and adjective, called the gerund and the gerundive, the former usually with the active, the latter with the passive voice; and two supines, which are the accusative and ablative or dative of a verbal noun.
Every single word in the Latin verb is a complete sentence; the verbal stem being used, not by itself, but in combination with abbreviated forms of pronouns of the first, second, and third persons. The principles on which all verbs are inflected are the same. The differences in detail are due, some to the nature or ending of the stem of the particular verb, some to the unequal preservation of parts of an originally fuller system of inflections. The forms of the present indicative singular active are the simplest, and arise from the union of the stem with personal pronouns. All other parts of the verb contain modifications for tense, mood, number, and voice; those for tense and mood are made between the stem and the personal pronoun, and the inflections for number and voice appended after them. Thus reg-er-e-m-us is the first person plural active imperfect subjunctive of a verbal stem meaning "rule." Beg is the stem, er denotes past time, e the mood, m the speaker, us the action of others with the speaker; and if -us be changed into -ur, the speaker and others are passive instead of active. - The study of Latin and its monuments, after the beginning of the Gothic age, or about A. D. 500, when it had ceased to be spoken by a distinct people, was at first greatly neglected.
When the Germanic races settled in the Romance countries, Latin was spoken only by the clergy and retreated to the convents, where also the remains of the libraries were carried. The monks, however, had little taste for ancient Latin literature; the manuscripts were not copied by them, and they even allowed them to perish, or to be injured by neglect. In the 6th century only Boethius and Cassiodorus still made a literary use of Latin, and only a few amateurs busied themselves with corrections and revisions of manuscripts, especially of Horace and Virgil. Several elementary text books of Latin grammar were compiled, but the most valuable literary effort of this period is Priscian's summary of Latin philology, which remained the chief authority of the middle ages, and even down to modern times. But men were not wanting, like Fulgentius Planciades, who in their ambition to be considered erudite invented high-sounding phrases, and gave them out as citations from ancient authors. The poetry of this age, by Arator, Venantius, and Corippus, and also the prose of Ennodius, has no other value than as it testified that taste, learning, and skill were rapidly declining.
Happily the Benedictine order of monks, which began to flourish during this period, favored the copying of good books, and was thus a means of preserving the ancient authors. The dominion and wars of foreigners, and the settlement of Greeks and Lombards in Italy, and of Franks in Gaul, grew more and more disastrous to the Latin language and literature. Writing materials becoming scarce, ancient works were erased from parchments, which were then used for the purposes of the church. Ignorance of Latin literature gradually produced a prejudice against it. Monks in Ireland were then the means of preserving the monuments of the literature of Rome, and the converted Anglo-Saxons of England became diligent students of Latin, and translated and copied many manuscripts. During the 7th and 8th centuries lived the eminent scholars Aldhelm of Malmesbury and the Venerable Bede, and after them Winfrid and Alcuin, who labored for Latin culture in France. Charlemagne established schools in which Latin was studied, encouraged the copying of ancient manuscripts by paying largely for them, and founded a library. But though some of the wealthy laity studied Latin for a while, the knowledge of it was soon after that emperor's death again restricted to the clergy.
Walafrid Strabus, Servatus Lupus, Scotus Erigena, Hinemar, and Rabanus Maurus were the most eminent ecclesiastical writers of this time. The end of the 9th century also was propitious for Latin. King Alfred, the founder of Oxford university, contributed greatly to the preservation and translation of ancient manuscripts, and caused collections of them to be made. The Normans hindered the development of Latin studies in England, but Germany under the Othos and their successors continued the labors of the British isles. As under Charlemagne and Alfred, several ladies distinguished themselves as careful and accurate copyists of Latin texts; and the nun Roswitha produced several surprisingly excellent poems. Historiography was better represented by Wittekind and Ditmar, and the Lombard Luitprand, and in the middle of the 11th century by Adam of Bremen and Lambert of Aschaffenburg. The convents of Fulda, St. Gall, Reichenau, Hirschau, Pader-born, and Hildesheim were now the chief seats of Latin learning, and Bruder, Bruno, and Ger-bert distinguished themselves by their extensive studies and great erudition.
Text books and dictionaries, however, were the exclusive property of Italy. The Carthusian and Cistercian monks were very useful during the 12th century, and many highly esteemed codices are written in their hand. Several schools of learning were established in Germany during this period, which, combined with the labors of newly founded orders of monks, as the Dominicans and Franciscans, were also instrumental in preventing the total decay of Latin learning; but the latter were the means of misguiding the taste of German scholars with their so-called monks' Latin. Many a scholastic philosopher was well read in ancient authors. In France there was Abelard, in England John of Salisbury, and in Denmark Saxo Grammatieus, whose Latin is not to be despised. But with the middle of the 13th century came a period of gross ignorance, and Roger Bacon seems to have been the only one who had a really intimate acquaintance with the classics. Italy thus came about this time to occupy the highest place in Latin studies. Milan had already attained some distinction, and it was now the centre of true philology.
Petrarch's admiration for Cicero and Virgil inspired also the better classes of his countrymen, who were suddenly seized with an ardent desire to become acquainted with the literature of Rome. The Latin manuscripts had long remained unread in the monasteries; many of them had been destroyed, and others were mislaid and forgotten. Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Poggio Bracciolini undertook to collect them, and many manuscripts were carried by them from the German convents to Italy, where they were rapidly multiplied, and formed the basis of the Vatican library. Wealthy Italians imitated their example, a great bibliographical activity set in, flourishing factories produced multitudes of copies, and the learned were soon enabled to complete and correct defective texts by careful comparison of manuscripts. These labors of the 14th and the first half of the 15th century were carried on in a somewhat dilettante spirit; but after the year 1405, when the first printing houses were established in Italy and the lovers of learning had the means of communicating to each other the results of their researches, critical discipline soon laid the foundation for a special science.
The long line of critics to whom the editiones principe8 are mainly due number, among other eminent scholars, the bishop Andreas Alerien-sis, Antonius Campanus, and Leonicenus Om-nibonus, the able counsellor of Nicholas Jan-son, the great master of the typographic art. Criticism was finally carried so far as to lead to very bold interpolations; interpretation, being at this time a new science, gave birth to many exceedingly peculiar explanations; and emendations of texts introduced in some places a wonderfully motley-Latin. But in spite of all these drawbacks, men like Hermo-laus Barbarus, Calderinus, Britannicus, Marsus, Beroaldus I., Baptista Pius, and Budaeus, the first philologist of France, did much valuable work in the furtherance of Latin studies. The enthusiasm of the Italians for the culture of antiquity was completely chilled before the end of the 10th century. The Roman Catholic church put a check on classical studies. The culture of that age was worldly and unwholesome, and a reaction was needed equally for the clergy and the laity. About the beginning of the 10th century France and Germany had cultivated the Latin authors on their own soil. Doletus, Turnebus, Morel, and the Stephenses produced typographically and linguistically excellent editions of texts.
With Dorat and Lambin at their head, the French raised the methods of interpretation to a scientific standing, and men like Peirese largely increased the treasure of ancient manuscripts by searches in private and public libraries, and heightened their value by learned emendations and corrections. The most eminent philologist of this period was Scaliger, to whose critical insight and comprehensive knowledge of the whole field of Latin literature are due many restorations of corrupted texts. He found a worthy collaborator in Casaubon, whose translations and editions are executed with masterly scholarship and care. During the 17th century the number of truly learned philologists decreased in France. Petavius was one of the most eminent. Diplomacy abandoned the use of Latin and substituted French. The practical and fashionable interest being thus on the wane, even scholars acquired little more than a sort of amateur mastery of Latin classics. This is rendered evident especially by the unskilful maimer in which the Delphin edition of Latin classics was continued after the death of Huet, its originator. Germany was not as forward in Latin philology as France during the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.
The first endeavors were tainted too much with the spirit of scholasticism to be of lasting value. Dalberg, Pirkheimer, and Peutinger labored to diffuse the knowledge of Latin, and caused the publication of several texts. But a more permanent influence was exercised by Hegius, Wim-pheling, Bebel, and Locher, whose chief attention was directed to grammatical and rhetorical instruction. Reuchlin's labors were the most effective. He brought Latin plays of his own composition, represented by students of Heidelberg, before German audiences, besides translating several Greek authors into Latin. He was instrumental also in drawing popular interest to classical studies through the disputations which were carried on against him by the clergy on account of his leaning toward Roman antiquities. Hutten and Von dem Busche, who were also in the midst of these discussions, were instrumental in promoting classical tastes. The first grammars and other elementary works printed in Germany were not equal, either in learning or in typographical execution, to similar works issued from the Italian press, and it was difficult to find pupils who cared to learn the classic Latin instead of that of the scholastic institutions.
The works of the fathers of the church, and several books on history, received more care on the part of the editors and printers. Me-lanchthon was of great importance as a Latin grammarian and teacher. He was at the head of the Philippic!, which school numbered Neander, Fabricius, and Wolf as disciples. The thirty years' war uprooted the seed so carefully sown. The old Latin barbarisms sprang up again, and hardly before the middle of the 18th century were serious attempts made at arresting the progress of the decay of the Latin language as it appeared in print and was uttered in chairs and chancels. The Netherlands in the mean time afforded the safest asylum for Latin studies. While in other countries a certain dilettantism was observable in many productions of the loth, 16th, and 17th centuries, Holland introduced a method into Latin philology, and gave it a scientific basis on which it continued till modern times. Erasmus wrote excellent Latin, without falling into the mannerism of the Ciceronians. In the latter half of the 16th century the labors of Justus Lipsius, and the influence exercised by the newly founded university of Leyden, were aided by the excellent work of great typographers.
Scaliger also went to Holland, and he and Grotius, Vossius, the family Heinsius, and Gronovius succeeded in laying before the world the best editions which had appeared. Graevius, Burmann, Perizonius, Drakenborch, Oudendorp, and Ducker, whose researches reach to the latter half of the 18th century, were the master critics of their age, and gave their country the foremost position in Latin philology. England produced a man who extricated the Latin studies from the errors of treatment into which the scholars of other countries had fallen. Richard Bentley was the father of the science of verbal criticism. His Horace was a masterpiece of erudition and critical penetration; it laid down a method of philological treatment not thought of before. Markland's skeptical and plodding criticism followed the same vein. Germany soon recovered from the consequences of the reformation and the thirty years' war, and combining the best of the efforts of England and Holland, she stood in the middle of the 18th century on a level with them. Ernesti put a check to the tendency toward hiding the value of the authors commented upon behind accumulations of trifling learning and personal opinions. Heyne searched for the sources of texts and various readings, and was also the means of clearing away much rubbish.
His edition of Virgil was deservedly a model of philological work for the next decades. Then came F. A. Wolf, whose aesthetic spirit and delicate penetration laid the foundation for a more elevated treatment of the Latin authors. At the end of the last century there was almost a jealous competition among scholars in publishing so-called critical editions, and a large quantity of previously unused material was put into circulation. The critical apparatus of ancient manuscripts and early editions thus became more trustworthy and complete. The traditional errors began to disappear, and Madvig's Cicero and Lachmann's editions of several poets were excellent attempts at reaching authentic texts. The labors of the present century have resulted in an almost total reconstruction of the works of the most favorite Latin authors. The rise of historical and juristic studies, with Niebuhr in the van, furthered the elucidation of many obscure and neglected passages, greatly facilitating the understanding of ancient Latin works. The Germans now hold indisputably the foremost place in Latin studies, and their labors form the basis of most of the books on Latin published in other countries.
The most eminent German scholars, with the special fields in which their works are now the chief authorities, are: on the relation which Latin holds to Greek, Ross; on the history of the Latin language while a living tongue, Heffter; on grammar, Schneider, G. F. Grotefend, Zumpt, Ramshorn, Otto Schulz, Reuscher, F. A. Grotefend, G. T. A. Kruger, Reisig, Muhlmann, Anthon Schmidt, Kritz, Berger, Engelmann, and Fr. Bauer; on the older Latin, to the end of the republic, Ritsch, Corssen, Bucheler, and Lubbeck; on pronunciation, Kopp, Geppert, and Corssen; on vowels, Dietrich and Frohde; on accent, Langen, Weil, and Benlow; on the history of the alphabet, Ritschl; on orthography, Ritsch, Mommsen, Fleckeisen, and Brambach; on diminutives, Gustav Muller; on proper names, Mommsen; on composition, Uhdolph; on declension, Bucheler; on pronouns, Osann and Sa-gert; on conjugations, Nolting, Curtius, Pauli, Lubbert, Weissenborn, Lange, and Sander; on prepositions, Schwarz; on conjunctions, Wis-sowa; on syntax, G. T. A. Kruger, Hermann Schmidt, K. O. Muller, Holtze, and Scheuer-lein. General lexicons have been compiled by Freund, Georges, Muhlmann, and Klotz; etymological lexicons by Schwenck and Georges; special lexicons - for the poets by Bach, Stern, and Lorey, for the sources of jurisprudence by Merkel, for the historians by Drager, and for Tacitus by Drager, Zernial, and Botticher. The lingua rustica or vulgar Latin, specially or in its relation to the Romance tongues, has been treated by Schweitzer, Berblinger, and Boh-mer; its vocalism by Schuchard; the Latin of the middle ages by Diefenbach, Brinckmeier, and Hildebrand. Recent English writers on Latin grammar and lexicography, including elementary school books, are Ainsworth, Church, Donaldson, J. C. Evans, T.
Ancient Latin Alphabets.
II. Edwards, T. W. C. Edwards, Fowle, Frost, Gepp, Haigh, Hay-man, Hooper, Howard, Kemp, Key, Kirk, Kavanagh, Kennedy, Leary, Lowe, Macgowan, Mason, Millington, Melvin, Mayor, Newman, Oxenham, Perkins, Potts, Riddle, Robertson, Robson, Roby, Rust, Roberts, Stapylton, W. Smith, R. P. Smith, Sargent, Stretton, T. W. Thompson, J. T. White, and Wilkins. - Literature. The history of Latin literature may be divided into several well defined periods. The earliest period, until the appearance of the poems of Livius Andronicus, about 240 B. C, is void of monuments of literature proper, and may be designated as the period of the beginnings of Latin literature. The second period reaches to the death of the emperor Augustus (A. D. 14). This period may be subdivided into the age of archaisms, or of natural or artless productions; the Ciceronian age, or that of artistic prose; and the Augustan age, or that of artistic poetry. The last two divisions are generally comprised in one, and distinguished as the golden age. The third period extends to the death of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (180); but from the time of Hadrian (117-138) literature was characterized by so great a decline of taste as almost to require a separate treatment. The fourth period is one of literary anarchy.
Ciceronian Latin ceases to be the living model of the literary language, and the plebeian Latin gains the ascendant. The period closes with the beginning of the Gothic age, or the time of Boe-thius and Cassiodorus, about the year 500. Latin literature, if understood to embrace all works written in the Latin language, would reach to the present day, as men of science in Europe still occasionally write their books, especially when philological, in that ancient tongue. But the subject is here confined to the times of the growth and decay of Latin, when the language of its literature was represented by the speech of a people. Thereafter the task of the historian of Latin literature consists in following out the history of its study, and of the means whereby its knowledge has descended to our own day. This has been merged, in the present article, with the preceding account of the history of the Latin language. - The First Period, or the Beginnings of Latin Literature. Though it is to be supposed that Latin poetry, like that of other nations, began in the lyrical form, or, as Mommsen says, sprang out of those primitive festal rejoicings in which dance, music, and song were still inseparably blended, no remains have been preserved of the germs of the Roman epos and drama.
The oldest monuments of the literature with which we are acquainted are religious chants and political documents. Among these the Salian songs are probably of the highest antiquity. They were religious litanies sung and danced by the Salii (leapers) and other priesthoods at public processions, sacrifices, marriages, and funerals. One of them, still extant, is a dance chant of the Arval brethren in honor of Mars, revealing a very primitive form of the language. Possibly also a collection of ordinances, spoken of by ancient writers as the Leges regice or Jus Papirianum, was composed at this time. It is reported that in the age of Numa was written a sort of philosophy of religion, known as Libri Numce Pompilii; but the senate ordered the books to be burned, as heretical, before any one gained sight of them. Numerous conjectures in regard to their nature have been entertained in ancient and modern times; but it seems hardly possible that Latin culture was sufficiently advanced to produce a work of such size and spirit. The Annales Maximi, named by Quintilian as the beginning of Latin prose, the clan registers, the books of oracles, and the Alban and Roman calendars, are also of great antiquity.
But none of them equals in value, as an index to the state of civilization at that time, the law of the twelve tables, which is exclusively the production of Roman intelligence, and dates from about 450 B. C. Appius Claudius Caseus, who became censor in 312, was often praised by later writers for his style and learning as a writer on matters of jurisprudence; but not one of his works has been preserved. The four epitaphs of the Scipios, one found in 1616 and the others in 1780, belonging to this period, are written in verses of Saturnian metre, and serve at best as samples of the prevailing official style. - The Second Period. This comprises within two centuries and a half the entire literature of the republic, which, though very mediocre in the beginning, ends with a considerable development of poetry and prose. Greek works were then the raw material of learning and literature, and served as a foundation for the independent thoughts of the Roman people. In the archaic division of this period, the main efforts were concentrated on political labors, and the beginnings of literary grace were made.
Livius Androni-cus was the first who transplanted Greek literature to Rome, by causing the representation of a drama, and translating the Odyssey, which formed the first school book of the Latin youth. His productions exhibit neither ease nor beauty; but his successor Naevius, about 235, attained greater fluency and a more masculine rhythm, and deserves to be classed as a genuine poet. The events of the second Punic war created a desire for historical writings, which the contemporary Fabius Pictor and Cincius Alimentus attempted to satisfy, but without exercising any critical judgment on the Greek sources from which they borrowed their material, and writing chiefly in Greek. The decrees of the senate, as the Senatus Consilium de Bacchanalibus, dating from 186, afford a better opportunity for estimating the progress which so far had been made in Latin style. The sentences are loose, the orthography archaic, and the general form not very smooth. The best representative of the culture of this time undoubtedly was the elder Cato, a master of Latin prose in the beginning of the 2d century B. C. He was the first who wrote his mother tongue with fluency, remoulded the archaisms, and cast over them the freshness of his own spirit.
His Origines, a work of seven books, giving the ethnography and history of ancient Italy, and replete with all manner of researches, incidents of war, and memoirs, was a valuable legacy to his countrymen. His opposition to Greek culture, though he himself possessed most varied learning, exercised a salutary influence on the growth of an independent literature. Epicurean philosophers were expelled, Greek rhetoric condemned, and permanent theatres forbidden. Only the grammatical discourses of Crates, the Per-gamene ambassador, were listened to without prejudice. But the wealthy class soon turned again to Greek culture and to foreign literatures as an aristocratic adornment. With the extension of the Roman power came an influx of the treasures of Greece, Macedonia, Asia, and Libya, making the Romans depreciate the meagre products of their own civilization, but not without creating a desire for similar culture. In Cato's time appeared the father of Latin poetry, Quintus Ennius, who died in 169. He was a man of wonderful versatility, and his genius was exceedingly productive; but the chief value of his poetry was, that he abandoned the Saturnian metre, and introduced the rhythms developed by the Greeks. In his adaptation of the Latin language to the Greek style he was naturally guilty of stretching words to uses not always admissible, but even this error was of profit to the Romans, as it showed them the great flexibility of their tongue.
Caecilius Statius (died in 168) and Maccius Plautus profited by his lessons; but not being brought up like Ennius in the circles of Roman aristocracy, they introduced into their imitations of Grecian comedies the language, thoughts, and manners of the plebeians; their comedies, consequently, were more pleasant to look at when performed than to read. Pacuvius also was a successor of Ennius. His tragedies were more than mere translations from the Greek, and though he was no innovator in the poetic art, he was quite free and original in the treatment of foreign materials. In 166 was represented the first drama of Terence, whose imitations of Menander were rather exact and measured. His dialogues manifested good taste, and his language was perfectly exemplary and very spirited. Novius and Pom-ponius, writers of a later generation, were more popular poets, as they understood how imperceptibly to turn the gravity of the Romans to purposes of wit and humor. Laelius, Sulpicius Gallus, and AElius Tubero were probably the best educated among the cultivated classes of this time; and Lucilius, their friend (about 120), created with delicate literary invention a new form of popular poetry, which deservedly grew into general favor.
He was well versed in the secrets and failings of Roman society, and he used his poetic art to freely criticise them, and the ways of native law and science. While his satires had a beneficial effect upon the customs and learning of the age, it was At-tius (or Accius) whose elevated pathos endowed Roman tragedy with the true fervor of poetry. He brought upon the stage the brilliant figures of the history of his country, and inspired his spectators not only with patriotic feelings, but also with a better appreciation of the poetic art. It is noticeable that so far there was neither epic nor lyric poetry. The increased moral degradation, the unequally divided property, which constantly threw the senate and the people into violent discussions, and the legal processes of enormous magnitude, called the best talents to the practice of law and the efforts of eloquence. The principles of philosophy had to serve them as handmaids. But philosophy had come to a halt even among the Greeks, and consequently was but little cultivated by the Romans. There were Epicureans and Stoics, and the latter exercised great influence on Roman jurisprudence.
Empiricists of high standing were Mucius Seaevola (about 95), the creator of the jus pontificium, and Manilius and Junius Brutus (about 134), practitioners of law. Yet public eloquence was at this time the most potent lever of literary efforts. Sulpicius Galba (149) was eminently successful, even in bad cases, through insinuating artifices of pathos; and Papirius Carbo (about 105) rendered himself famous through the momentary sway of his rhetoric. But these natural-born orators were totally eclipsed by the culture, spirit, and passionate fire of Caius Gracchus. His elder brother Tiberius left no literary monument to bear witness to the greatness of his talents; but the two sons of Cornelia shared equally the admiration of their nation for legal learning and oratory. The wild partisan quarrels and the tempests of the civil war filled the political profession with men untrained by study. Scribonius Curio, Marcus Antonius the orator, and Licinius Cras-sus depended for their fame rather on their personal bearing and the boldness of their discourses, than on such elegance of style and artistic elaboration as would render them of value to literature. Historical works improved, though not enough to leave to posterity either a readable book or a model of historical criticism.
The Annates Maximi, a dry register of the most memorable events of the republic, had ceased to be kept. Zealous statesmen wrote instead the memoirs of their times, and each gave them a personal coloring, but none possessed the requisites for making a good narrative or for giving details in proportion to their interest and importance. When the remembrance of their authors had passed away, the biographical memoirs of AEmilius Scaurus (about 115), Rutilius Rufus (about 105), Luta-tius Catulus (about 105), Cornelius Sulla (about 89), and generally of the closing years of the 2d century B. C, were also forgotten. Some historians, as Albinus Scipio, Acilius, and later also Lucullus, composed their works in Greek, though they could hardly expect to find readers in Greece. The attempts at writing complete histories of Rome ended in the accumulation of bulky materials, but they were failures in methodical treatment. Fannius and Cassius Hemina (about 134) wrote, though with much naivete of conception and great meagreness, about some episodes in the history of their country; and only Sempronius Asellio shows that he had at least a perception of what is required in a history.
Caelius Antipater, Claudius Quadrigarius, and Cornelius Sisenna (about 89) mark in succession the slow progress toward the perfection of historiography; for even the last and best of the three overloads his narrative with useless details, and impedes the flow of language with rhetorical flections and archaic words, both tasteless and wearisome. But the appearance of professional grammarians and rhetoricians was not without some influence on the development of the Latin language. The rhetoricians still labored under the difficulty of having no national standard literature to which they could refer for models. The study of their linguistic material led to the adoption of certain rules in regard to what should be avoided in and what should be attained by literary compositions. .AElius Stilo (about 100), Servius Claudius, Aurelius Opilius, and Valerius Cato (about 89) were the first to distinguish themselves in grammatical and philological studies. The tragedian Attius, a fruitful poet, and the author of the Didascalia, a history of dramatic poetry, raised his art to a higher standing, and taught the Romans wherein it should really consist. Porcius Licinus wrote versified biographies of the poets, and furnishes thereby some evidence of an increased interest in the fortunes of literature.
The Romans then began to love literary studies, and they very soon passed a just and practical judgment upon its aims and tendency. They saw the necessity of following the examples of the Greeks and heeding their lessons, and the richness of the materials which they imported raised their desire for a literature of at least equal merit. Their endeavors were crowned with results which have not unjustly given the name of the golden age to the next period. This golden or Ciceronian age was not productive of equally excellent works of poetry and prose. Poetry had so far found root only in the drama, and the sober moods of the Romans during the last stages of the republic were naturally unproductive of attempts at high poetic flights. Even the drama was losing spirit, and that it even continued to exist is due principally to the art of the actors Clodius .AEsopus and Ros-cius. Epic poetry was composed by Hostius, Furius, and Varro Atacinus; but these versified incidents of Roman warfare met probably with less favor than the translations of the Greek epos. Varro Atacinus had some merit as a translator, Varro as a satirist, and Hor-tensius and Licinius Calvus as miscellaneous poets.
Laevius and Helvius China, burdening their poetry with learned conceits which rendered their meaning obscure, did not enjoy equal popularity. The only truly poetic mind was Lucretius Carus; his compositions are faithful reflections of the sentiment then nurtured in Roman hearts, skepticism without consolation. Rome was never more learned and erudite than at this time. Catullus, called doctus from his Greek learning, wrote an impassioned religious poem, the Atys, and one legendary heroic poem, but is best known for his exquisite lyrics, elegies, and epigrams. The universally informed Terentius Varro Reatinus, who was probably the greatest savant of antiquity, not unworthily received from his own nation the title of the "most learned of Romans." His writings are scattered over all departments of human knowledge, and he gathered the facts of early Roman history into a body of antiquities, which he never wearied of enlarging by essays on special subjects. The Romans owe to him the first foundation of a general scientific culture, and it is to be regretted that his discourses on the religions, morals, and institutions of their better days came too late to put a check to the decadence of their social life.
Nigidius Figulus (about 60) was a solitary laborer in the fields of speculation and grammar, and his works are hardly mentioned except for the unfruitful theories they contain. Pomponius Atticus (about 60), who kept a sort of factory for the multiplication of manuscripts, was probably well versed in the literature of his day, and capable of rendering a just verdict on its merits; but none of his various historical and critical writings have come down to us. Historiography and eloquence were totally remodelled in respect to plan, method, and form, and gained the highest excellence in the prose literature of this age. It is not known how great was the merit of the historical works and chronicles of Lucceius (about 60), Cornelius Nepos (about 54), Atticus, and Asinius Pollio (about 40). The fragments of Nepos show only that they were written in a simple style and a sober tone, indicative of good taste. This style was carried to perfection in Caesar's Commentaries, which are among the proudest monuments of Latin literature. But the most clear-sighted and artistic Roman historian was Sallust (about 45), whose works were largely read and closely imitated.
Eloquence was greatly needed in the days of the fall of the republic, and the antagonism between the party leaders of varied culture was productive of florid rhetorical displays. Quintus Horten-sius was early renowned for the Asiatic richness of his speeches, which were also models of logical arrangement. He had many imitators and rivals, and it is to be supposed that men like Caelius Rufus and Licinius Calvus exhibited equal powers of oratory, the one in ebullitions and the other in concealments of passion. Caesar's speeches were always simple; those of Asinius Pollio equally so, but replete with archaic expressions, which were probably to be found also in the discourses of Servius Sulpicius and Marcus Calidius. The master in this sphere of literary effort was undoubtedly Cicero, though he certainly did not occupy as high a rank in his own day as the grammarians and his disciples have since assigned to him. To many contemporaries he did not seem sufficiently brief and concrete; and though he found many imitators, there were others who considered his style too florid.
Cicero made use of a large amount of well grounded information, drawn from Greek literature and native philosophy and history, and he enriched the Latin vocabulary, which hardly went beyond the most immediate needs of business and law, not only with new words, but also with new means of employing old ones. Upon the simple and untutored language was gradually reared the so-called classical Latinity, which may in a measure be regarded as Cicero's own work. Latin literature after his time was of another caste. - The Augustan age, beginning with the year after the battle of Ac-tium (31 B. C), and 13 years after the death of Cicero, presents indeed a great contrast. The wild days of republican anarchy had confused the morals of the nation, and a wonderful realism set in, of which the poets came to be the most ardent exponents. Augustus, though himself hardly a literary person, did everything in his power to further literary pursuits. He rewarded prominent poets and learned men, and encouraged them by his presence at their readings and discourses.
Without Augustus, Virgil's .AEneid would probably not have been completed; Ovid's most brilliant poems were composed under the favor of his court; and even Horace, though shy of the emperor's luxurious train, could not withhold his praise of the endeavors of Augustus to raise the standard and to widen the fields of Roman literature. Libraries were organized, and public newspapers, or wall posters, were edited by the state. The wealthier classes became in their turn protectors of literary men, and constituted an audience which an author felt stimulated to address. Maecenas, without himself coveting literary fame, was surrounded by a multitude of poets whom his clear judgment and excellent taste had drawn out of obscurity, and to whom his purse was always open. Asinius Pollio also was a warm friend of the great minds of his time, and they enjoyed the advantage of having in him an excellent judge of literary worth. Jurisprudence, grammar, and rhetoric now received more careful cultivation. The lawyers Alfenus Varus, Antistius Labeo, Trebastius Testa, and Ateius Capito distinguished themselves by numerous genuinely scientific works.
The grammarians Ateius, Valgius Rufus, Julius Hyginus, and Verrius Flaccus came to be looked upon as authorities by the new generation of authors, especially the poets. The rhetoricians also began to exercise a healthy influence, principally on the style and logical sequence of compositions. The most celebrated among them were Porcius Latro, Albucius Silus, Arellius Fuscus, and even the arrogant Greek Cestius Pius. But the glory of the Augustan age was its poetry. The poets were not such great flatterers of Augustus as is often maintained. Virgil wove into his epos the interests of the gens Julia, but otherwise the school of poetry of this age was neither officious nor untrue. There was no need of courting solely imperial favor, as the poets had warm friends among the better classes of the Roman people. They were assiduous students of Greek art, and their poems naturally abound with Graecisms and imitations, though to a less extent than is usually asserted. Many forms of Alexandrine origin were introduced, and others of common speech were reshaped according to the requirements of art. The mastery of form, correct in grammar and rhythmic flexion, rich in language, and perfect in metre, deserves the highest admiration; and its severe elaboration did not break its easy grace.
This age produced every class of poetry, from the epos to the poetic epistle and the didactic poem, in equal perfection. The polished elegies of Ti-bullus celebrate his loves and his short martial experience in Gaul. Propertius abounded in rich imageries; Virgil's classic phraseology remained the standard for five centuries; Ovid excelled in happy narratives; and Horace was a model of purity in language. The lesser poets, as Rabirius, Cornelius Severus, Domi-tius Marsus, and AEmilius Macer, though not so great as those whom the Romans at once perceived to be unrivalled masters, yet produced many poems creditable to the high company of literary artists in whose time they lived. While poetry was at high tide the noblest and most valuable prose was at ebb. Historians either modelled their accounts after the wishes of princes, or sought refuge among the events of the past. They felt that the times were against them, and their labors show that they were aware they had lost their freedom. A few, removed from political life, made good use of the libraries which were then accumulating, and formed a sort of encyclopa3dic surveys of the historical materials.
Livy was the first to compose a general picture of the entire history of Rome, which, though written without political insight, was universally recognized as a classical production. Trogus Pompeius wrote the first Latin book on ethnography, and he also wrote excellent prose. But Labienus and Asinius Pollio, who undertook to treat the occurrences of their own day in an independent, critical spirit, were reduced to silence; and other writers of contemporary history were insignificant enough to be speedily assigned to oblivion without any special governmental decree. Nevertheless, Rome began the next period with such abundant culture that it was justifiable to expect a realization of the highest literary ideals. This, however, did not come to pass. - Third Period. The third period, from A. I). 14 to 180, which has long borne the title of the silver Latinity, and to which many of the high talents of imperial Rome belong, is a great disappointment. Brutal despotism, beginning with Tiberius, almost uninterruptedly and ever increasingly burdened the Roman mind until the death of Domitian. Culture was not driven out of existence, yet it was not allowed to stimulate the masses.
But though the literature of the 1st century no longer spoke to a free people, it had inherited from the preceding period sufficient strength to maintain for a while at least an attitude of ease. Poetry suffered the most. Ovid, Horace, and Virgil were read and studied with avidity, but no one produced anything worthy of comparison with the poems of any of these three. During the 23 years of the reign of Tiberius, besides Manilius, Phaedrus, the writer of fables, is the sole poet. Rhetoric also slowly sank from the height it had attained in the Augustan period. Voltienus Montanus, Scau-rus, and Romanius Hispo were the only rhetoricians who still evinced some degree of excellence. Tiberius himself had received a good rhetorical training, which he exhibited both orally and in writing. The unfortunate Ger-manicus composed several works in verse among them a version of Aratus's astronomy. The orator Asinius Gallus wrote a comparison of his father Pollio and Cicero. Velleius Pa-terculus (about A. D. 25) wrote an abridgment of Roman history in good style. Valerius Maximus made a collection of anecdotes for rhetorical purposes, most of which are dull, and all of which are put together in a very uncritical manner.
A prolific writer was Cornelius Celsus, the author of a sort of encyclopaedia on eloquence, jurisprudence, farming, medicine, military art, and philosophy. The principal grammarians were Julius Modestus, Pomponius Marcellus, and Remmius Palaemon; and probably also Nisus belongs to this reign. Botany was represented by Caepio, Antonius Castor, and Apicius. The latter wrote also on cookery, and Julius Atticus and Julius Graecinus on the culture of the vine. Pomponius Secundus seems to have written several tragedies, but his works were published after the time of Tiberius. During the reigns of Caligula, Claudius, and Nero, impartial historical compositions were in disfavor. The chief author of this age was Annaeus Seneca. He wrote a faithful picture of his period, but in some portions he was more brilliant than accurate. His popular philosophical writings charmed by their fulness and fineness of observation, abundance of knowledge, elevation of thought, and dazzling style. The reader feels, however, that Seneca is not always sincere, and that his main endeavor is to please.
Among his prose works is one on morals, in letters addressed to Lucilius. He left ten tragedies, all of which, though of a severe metrical treatment, are scarcely endurable for the exaggerated abundance of words and rhetorical figures. The poets Gaetulicus and Servilius Nonianus wrote on subjects of contemporary history, but their works, like those of Domitius Corbulo, who described his personal adventures in Asia, and of Cornelius Bocchus, who wrote a work on chronography, are merely known from quotations. Curtius Rufus wrote an extensive history of Alexander the Great, in part extant, in a style resembling that of Seneca. Columella of Gades is known to us by his 12 books De Re Rustica, written in an enthusiastic style, but without artistic arrangement of materials. Asconius was a devoted student of Cicero, Sallust, and Virgil, and some of his historical commentaries, especially those on Cicero, are esteemed as of high value. The three books on chronography by Pomponius Mela give the earliest account of the ancient world which we possess. "Works on philosophy were for the most part written in Greek; among them those by Sextius, Cor-nutus, Musonius, Rufus, and Epictetus. Of the philosophers who wrote in Latin may be mentioned Celsus, Papirius Fabianus, Plautus, and especially Seneca. The Stoic doctrine was the one generally embraced, but some of its adherents diluted it into a mere system of practical wisdom, while others exaggerated it by additions from Pythagoreanism and Cynicism. Valerins Probus is the most eminent grammarian of this time.
The epic panegyric on the consul Piso was probably written in the reign of Claudius by an unknown author of great talents, who had an elegant flow of language, and a vast acquaintance with the literature of the Augustan age. With the bombast characteristic of this period, Persius Flaccus wrote (besides other compositions not extant) six satires, mostly versified lectures on Stoicism. A fertile writer in prose and verse was Annaeus Lu-canus (Lucan). His Pharsalia, an unfinished epic on the civil war between Pompey and Ca3sar, though rather artificially pathetic, shows him to have been a man of talent, and possessed of a generous heart. Other writers of verse at this time were Ca3sius Bassus, Vagel-lius, Curtius Montanus, and Serranus. It is believed that during Nero's reign appeared the character novel ascribed to Petronius Arbiter; it is a work of art in its way, full of humor and knowledge of human nature, and is important, though now only a heap of fragments, as representing the manners and language especially of the plebeians in that age.
Here belong also a didactic poem entitled AEtna, probably by Lucilius Junior; a metrical version of the Iliad for school purposes; and the poems contained in the Codex Vossianus 86. Under Vespasian and Titus literature was benefited by the blessings of peace, but under Domitian it suffered greatly by his vanity and cruelty. Under the former flourished Pliny the Elder, who, in spite of his extensive official occupations, found time for great literary activity in the departments of history, grammar, rhetoric, tactics, and natural science. Of his works, only a kind of cyclopaedia of natural science, compiled frequently in haste and without adequate knowledge for the exercise of criticism, has come down to us; it is a monument of the serious, studious, and patriotic mind of the author. Cluvius Rufus produced a historical work embracing the time of Nero, and Vipstanus Messala also wrote on events which he had witnessed. Their histories, and that of Fabius Rusticus, which also seems to belong to the time of Vespasian, have at least the merit of aiming to present facts. Orators of this age were Curiatius Maternus, Julius Gabinianus, Aper, and Julius Secundus; and the most influential jurists were Caelius Sabi-nus, Pegasus, Urseius Ferox, and Juventius Celsus the elder.
Among the poets of this time is Valerius Flaccus, whose 10 books of Argonautica show a diction rhetorical and full, but not lucid and symmetrical. The tragedies of Curiatius Maternus and the epics of Saleius Bassus are lost. The reign of Domitian was productive of a vast number of dilettanti whose verses only proved their insignificance and harmlessness. Domitian's hand lay heavily on all intellectual life, and in order not to endanger their liberty and honor men like Juvenal, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger kept silent. Silius Italicus (25-101) wrote 17 books of P nica, taking the subject from Livy, and imitating Homer and Virgil. He constantly assigns mythological motives, and is monotonously strict in the technical treatment of his verse. The largest work of Papinius Statius was the Thebais in 12 books, which, as well as his uncompleted Achilleis, is exceedingly dull, though his Silvce, five books of poems, show that he possessed good talents. Valerius Martialis left 15 books of epigrams. Martial's preference is obscenity, but he equals Ovid in ease and elegance of poetical form. Among the numerous other poets may be mentioned Arruntius Stella, Turnus, Verginius Rufus, Vestricius Spurinna, and Calenus's wife Sulpicia, who all wrote erotic verses.
The most prominent prose writer of this age is Fabius Quintilianus. Quintilian composed first a work on the causes of the decay of eloquence, and then a large work (extant) on the complete training of an orator (Institutio Oratoria), of which the 10th book, containing a list of the literature useful for rhetorical studies, is of great value. He is never tired of praising Cicero, whose style he attempts to imitate. Besides Tutilius as a writer on rhetoric, and Princeps as a rhetorician, appear the names of Aquilius Regulus, Baebius Massa, Mettius Carus, and Palfurius Sura, who were mostly time-servers and informers. Julius Frontinus, an excellent engineer, was the author of a popular work on tactics, and of a work in two books De Aquis Urbis Romce, written in a concise and refined style. Among grammarians were AEmilius Asper (an erudite commentator on Terence, Sallust, and Virgil), Claranus, and Apollinaris. A harmless historical work, which appears to have been a universal history, was composed by Junius Maxi-mus; while Arulenus Rusticus and Herennius Senecio wrote in opposition to the government, and lost their lives. Between 96 and 117, under Nerva and Trajan, literature, though greatly on the decline, gained a large number of writers in all departments.
Nerva himself took some interest in poetry, but Trajan promoted the development of literature only indirectly. The most prominent poet of the age of Trajan was Junius Juvenalis, of whom we have 16 satires eloquently and vividly describing the vices of Roman society, but not without monotony, produced by his unvarying conciseness. Among the many who composed verse at this time were Octavius Rufus, Titini-us Capito, Passennus Paulus, and Caninus. The most prominent prose writer is Cornelius Tacitus, who as a historian followed the best sources, sifting them with strict criticism, and only indicating his own views, but always writing in a melancholy and bitter tone. His Dialogus de Oratoribus shows that he endeavored to imitate Cicero's style at least in his rhetorical works, and the biography of his father-in-law Agricola reminds us of the manner of Sal-lust. His Germania, an ethnographic monograph, is to some degree a mere comparison of the simple ways of the Germans with the corruption of Rome, and is frequently rather sentimental. His Historice, being the narrative of the events of the reigns of Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian, has not been entirely preserved. His Annales is also incomplete.
The literary activity of Pliny the Younger consisted chiefly in the writing of letters for publication, extending in a studied variety over a large number of subjects. His style is fluent and egotistic, but graceful and frank. Pompeius Planta and other historians show a great preference for relating recent events. Jurisprudence was represented by Proculianus Neratius, Juventius Celsus, Ja-volenus Priscus, Varius Lucullus, Arrianus, Vivianus, and others. The principal grammarians were Urbanus, Velins Longus, probably also Flavius Caper, and Hyginus. Balbus wrote on geometry. During the time of Hadrian (117-138) literature suffered somewhat from the preferences of the emperor, whose own productions hardly go beyond dilettantism. The most important literary character now is Suetonius Tranquillus. His Viri Illustres and " Lives of the Twelve Emperors " are inaccurate in chronology, though derived from good sources; the style is rhetorical, but monotonous. Annaeus Floras wrote an abridgment of Roman history down to Augustus, which is rhetorical and inaccurate.
Justinus, the historical writer, may have lived about this time; other compilers of history were Greeks and wrote in Greek. Among jurists, the most eminent was Salvius Julianus, who was intrusted by Hadrian with collecting the edicts of the praetors in the republican period; others of importance are Aburnus Valens, Pactumeius Clemens, and Pomponius. Among rhetoricians, the majority of whom wrote in Greek, the most noted were Castricius and the learned Spaniard Antonius Julianus. The principal grammarian of this age is Terentius Scaurus, who wrote on Latin grammar and poetry. Philosophical studies were chiefly represented by the Greeks, as by Plutarch and Calvisius Taurus. Caelius Aurelianus, an African author, left two badly written works on medical art. "Writers of verse, mostly in iambic dimeter, were Annianus, AElius Verus, Voco-nius, and others; but Hadrian's time produced no poet of great note. The time of the Antonines (138-180) closes this period. The excellent reign of Antoninus Pius did not prevent a further decline of Latin literature. The national taste was so low that a man like Fronto could be the highest authority; we have the greater part of his correspondence with Marcus Aurelius, from which he appears equally wanting in genius and taste.
Erudition and the affectation of it became the fashion. Greece and the Graecized East furnished the majority of the ablest authors, who all wrote in their native language. Among the professors of archaic scholarship appear the names of Apollinaris of Carthage, Gel-lius, Pertinax, and Arruntius Celsus. Historical pursuits were not in great favor; it is possible that Ampelius, the author of a meagre abridgment, and Granius Licinianus belong to this time. Volusius Ma3cianus wrote, besides juridical works, a treatise still extant on the divisions of money, weights, and measures. The most famous of the numerous works of Gaius, the Pes Cotidiance and the Institutiones, are exceedingly graceful, lively, and natural; the latter served as the foundation of Justinian's Institutiones. The poetical productions of this age are insignificant, unless the Pervigilium Veneris and the jocular epic called Vespa were composed in it. The literature of the reign of Marcus Aurelius (161-180) remained under the influence of Fronto and his pupils Aufidius Victorinus, Servilius Silanus, and Postumius Festus. The 20 books of Noctes Atticce by Aulus Gellius are very important for many departments of literature and for an accurate knowledge of this time.
His diction is rather sober, but he seems to have collected his material with much care and industry. The Platonic philosopher and rhetorician Apuleius of Madaura possessed great originality, facility, and vivacity. Cervidius Scaevola, the jurist, wrote 40 books of Digesta, which have been much used in the Pandects. In the same time Papirius Justus composed a collection of imperial constitutions, and Paturnus wrote a work on military affairs. - The Fourth Period, 180 to 500. This is the period of the dissolution of the national literature. The emperors had little favor to bestow upon it, and could not prevent its decline. They themselves had to struggle to keep the fragments of the former imperial power together; most of those in the 3d century had little culture, and those of the next centuries still less. During the time from the accession of Commodus to the death of Septimius. Severus (180-211) the Christian religion gained ground even among the educated, and was defended by the eloquent Minucius Felix and Tertullian. The former has left us the earliest extant works of Latin Christian literature, in the dialogue Octavius. The author had the usual philosophical and aesthetical training of his period, and he imitates ancient models in a fluent and elegant style.
Septimius Florus Tertul-lianus is an author of much independence and genius, endowed with a lively imagination, whose eloquence often oversteps all limits. His works are all somewhat unpolished, intricate, and obscure. The great jurist AEmil-ius Papinianus is distinguished for great lucidity, and the most important of his works, the Qucestiones and Responsa, were much used in Justinian's collections. Contemporaries of Papinian were the jurists Messius, Callistratus, and Claudius Tryphoninus. In the beginning of the 3d century we have a grammar by Do-sitheus, but of the writings of the learned Sammonicus Serenus the elder nothing has come down to us. Among jurists of the first half of the 3d century is Ulpianus, probably the most important, as his works were long held to be high authority, and they contain excellent materials, with pertinent criticisms in a clear style. His contemporary Julius Paulus surpassed him in fertility, hut was his inferior both in accuracy and style. Three grammarians of this time enjoy some celebrity, viz., Julius Romanus, Juba, and Censorinus; their treatment was rhetorical. Gargilius Martialis wrote an extensive work on husbandry, from Greek and Roman materials.
Marius Maxi-mus wrote at length the biographies of the emperors subsequent to Nerva, but without attention to truth. Herodianus wrote in Greek a history of his time, and Dion Cassius a Roman history from the foundation of the city to the year 229. The grammarian Julius Solinus wrote worthless Collectanea Rerum Memora-blium, revised in the 6th century and given out again under the title of Polyliistor. The contents of the works of Cyprian, Thascius, Caecilius, and Cyprianus are partly of an apologetic and partly of a practical and hortatory character; and their diction, though not admirable, at least excels Tertullian's in lucidity and correctness. Many attempted metrical composition. Such were Alfius Avitus, who wrote a history in iambic dimeters; Marianus, the author of Lupercalia; Septimius Serenus, who imitated Greek metres; and Sammonicus Serenus, who wrote 1,115 hexameters De Medicina Pracepta. Two poems of Commodianus which have come down to us are filled with an ardent Christian zeal, though executed in defiance of metre and prosody.
Several emperors of the second half of the 3d century were of Thracian and Illyrian origin, raised to the throne for military valor; and when the organizing genius Diocletian, the son of a peasant in Dalma-tia, attained the imperial power, the eastern influences which had penetrated all departments of life were succeeded by northern influences, and both the form and the substance of Latin literature suffered severely. In the time before Diocletian, Nemesianus wrote a didactic poem on the chase, of which the first 425 lines, which have come down to us, attest a great command of words. The history of these years was written by a number of authors, but we hear of them only through the Scriptores Augustce Historice, who availed themselves of them. The rhetorician Aquila Romanus left a meagre and hasty little book, De Figuris Sententiarum et Elocutionis. Toward the end of this time it seems that Nonius Marcellus composed his extant lexical work Compendiosa Doctrina per Litteras, which, in spite of its great want of solid information, criticism, and accuracy, is still invaluable, as it contains numerous quotations from earlier Roman literature. With Diocletian (284-305) came the panegyrical orator's, who devoted their eloquence to the superhuman virtues and performances of the emperors.
Gaul was now the chief home of this art, and Marseilles, Narbonne, Toulouse, Treves, and other cities had rhetoricians of their own, whose lectures were much favored by the vivacity and linguistic versatility of the nation. Of such speeches we possess some by Maximianus Herculius and by Eumenius of Autun. The Scriptores Augustce Historice, as AElius Spartia-nus, Valcatius Gallicanus, and Trebellius Pollio (in several cases it is doubtful to whom the authorship belongs), are all void of talent and ability, though apparently honest; these biographies form our sole historical source. A jurist named Gregorianus made a collection of the constitutions from Hadrian to Diocletian, known as the Codex Gregorianus; it survived, however, with the supplement by Hermogeni-anus, only as far as it was inserted in Justinian's codex. An Ars Grammatica was written by Marius Plotius Sacerdos; a metrical manual by Terentianus of Mauritania; and seven books in defence of his conversion to Christianity, but without much comprehension of the purport of the religion, by the rhetorician Arnobius, the teacher in eloquence of the famous Lactantius Firmianus, who surpasses all other Christian writers in the purity and elegance of his diction, and the more important of whose works have happily come down to us.
A work of value for historical studies is a fanatical account of the end of all persecutors of the Christian religion, from Nero down to Galerius and Maximinus. A number of metrical compositions which turn on subjects of heathen mythology, such as those by Reposianus, Caesius Taurinus, and Pentadius, belong also to the time preceding the official victory of Christianity, and the removal of the imperial residence to Constantinople, which imposed a new character on the literature of the 4th century. This is the epoch of the greatest brilliancy in the literature of the Christian religion. Constantine himself wrote memoirs, of which only scanty traces survive. He also was pleased with panegyrical speeches, and Eumenius, Nazarius, Marcomannus, and Titianus were the most prominent rhetoricians of his age. Optatianus wrote a nonsensical poem in praise of the emperor, and the Spanish presbyter Juvencus a version of the Old and New Testament history in epic metre. Jurisprudence was exclusively devoted to collecting and epitomizing.
Cha-risius was the author of juridical monographs, and Hermogenianus of the codex bearing his name and of Epitomce Juris. A collection of legal documents, generally entitled Fragmenta Vaticana, was also probably made in the time of Constantine. Grammatical studies were now prosecuted without pretence to historical investigation and scholarship; the work of Cominianus seems to have been of this kind. Firmicus Maternus of Sicily wrote Mathescos Libri VIII., a complete system of astrology; and a Christian writer of the same name produced a work entitled De Errore Profanarum Religionum, in which he demands the eradication of paganism. Philosophy was studied in Athens in the theosophic and theurgic manner of the Neoplatonists, and this tendency gained ground also in Rome. About the middle of the 4th century lived Donatus, the author of several valuable works on grammar, and of commentaries on Terence and Virgil. Palladius wrote 14 books on husbandry, but without making any claim to great erudition. The historical literature of this time consists in the short abridgments of Aurelius Victor, Eutropius, and Sextus Rufus. Eloquence was practised by many, among them by Gennadi us, Alcimus, and Delphidius; but the only extant Latin speech of this period is one by Claudius Mamertinus, which gives a faithful portrait of Julian's character as a prince.
Hilarius (Hilary), bishop of Poitiers, was a fertile writer on theology; less prolific were the Sardinian bishop Lucifer and the bishops Phoebadius and Potamius. Rutins Testus Avienus wrote poems, chiefly didactic, on historical subjects, and manifests always great purity of form and thought. The poetical compositions of the rhetorician Magnus Ausonius have little value as poems, but are interesting for their faithful representation of the persons and affairs of his age. The requirements of Christian worship occasioned the composition of hymns, and those of Dama-sus (died in 384) are among the earliest which have come down to us. To this time may be assigned also the earliest Latin translation of the Bible (Itala), and the translation of Pela-gonius is not much later. From the reign of Theodosius I. polytheism became gradually extinct, and only a few circles maintained their interest in the old literature. Symmachus and Ammianus were in fact the last representatives of polytheism in literature. The fluency and elegance of Symmachus in literary composition were acknowledged even by his adversaries. Other rhetoricians of his time were Pacatus, Palladius, Syagrius, and Eugenius, whom Ar-bogast raised to the imperial throne.
Ammianus Marcellinus of Antioch wrote a continuation of Tacitus in 31 books; he honestly endeavored to tell the truth in regard to his own time, but his diction is very difficult to understand and wearisome. Philosophy was chiefly studied by men like Vettius Praetextatus, who hoped to find in it a weapon against the Christian religion. The number and importance of the Christian writers were of course daily increasing. Above all stands Ambrosius, bishop of Milan, among whose writings the letters and the funeral sermons on Valentinian and Theodosius are important for history. His hymns, which kept more closely to classical form than those of Damasus, became very famous. St. Jerome (Hieronymus of Stridon) was the most learned Christian writer; he interpreted and translated the books of the Bible, and wrote an enlarged version of the chronicles of Eusebius and the Viri Illustres, a history of Christian literature. Prudentius wrote poems on Christian subjects, in various metres, and not long after him Sulpicius Severus and Orosius treated history from the Christian point of view.
Medical literature was reduced to translations of Greek works, or consisted in valueless enlargements of earlier Latin works. Claudian (Claudius Claudianus) was the most important heathen author at the close of the 4th and the beginning of the 5th century. Though a native of Alexandria, he wrote principally in Latin, and imitated the diction and metres of the poets of the classical age with perfect success; his mastery in description appears very brilliantly in his "Rape of Proserpine." St. Augustine the African (Aurelius Augustinus, 354-430) is the most conspicuous intellect of this time; his diction is somewhat too ornate and verbose, but not rarely also logical and precise. A short account of universal history was written by Sulpicius Severus, whose contemporary Julius Hilario wrote a treatise on the duration of the world. Early in the 5th century lived also the Briton Pelagius, the well known founder of Pelagianism, his young friend Caelestius, the translator Anianus, and, among other Christian writers, Antiochius, Severianus, Bachiarius, Sabbatius, Helvidius, and Innocentius. Macrobius wrote a commentary on Cicero's dream of Scipio, and seven books of Saturnalia; the rhetorician Endele-chius, a pleasant idyl on a cattle plague; Audax, some tyro-like verses on Augustine; and Lu-cillus, some satires which are lost.
At the same time, perhaps, Arianus composed 42 AEsopian fables in elegiac metre, which were used as a school book, and frequently copied, augmented, paraphrased, and imitated. Before the conquest of the north of Africa by the Vandals, Martianus Capella wrote an encyclopaedia of the seven liberal arts, a very pedantic production, which shows plainly how little the men of the 5th century were capable of liberal scientific conceptions, and more plainly an utter want of taste. The ruling nations were now barbarians, and the conquered nations submitted to them in dull despair. Rutilius Namatinus still composed lively poems, correct in formal details; Vicentius Lerinensis, under the name of Peregrinus, wrote exhortations to maintain genuine Catholic doctrine, in a comparatively educated style; and the works of the founder of papal power, the Roman bishop Leo I. (440-461), are still important for their subject matter, and interesting in their form. But by degrees literary productions became extinct, and most of those who still attempted to write proved only that the infection of barbarism was general.
In the first half of this century the Gallic presbyter Salvianus wrote four books against avarice, and a work in which the misfortunes of the time are proved to be well merited punishments; but they are exaggerated, and sound rather garrulous. The aspirations and polish, combined with poverty of thought and phrases, of the Gallo-Roman literature, are eminently conspicuous in the poems and letters of Apollinarius Sidonius. Culture and literature gradually passed into the exclusive possession of the clergy. There are some Christian poems in existence by Domnulus, and one by Mamertus Claudianus, all rather prosaic. The works of the theologians, as Arnobius (the younger), Cerealis, Gelasius, Honoratius, Salonius, Gennadius, and others, turn chiefly on the relation of the freedom of the will to mercy, and on the person of Christ; others wrote sermons and commentaries on Biblical works. The historical works of the second half of the 5th century are the history by Victor Vitensis of the persecution of the orthodox church by the Arian Vandals, and the chronicles of the Spaniard Idacius, which contain a special account of his native country.
The history of the destruction of Troy by the Phrygian Dares, which became the chief source of the Trojan romances of the middle ages, is a forgery of the 5th or 6th century. - See Klotz, Handbuch der lateinischen Literaturgeschichte (Leipsic, 1845); Thompson, "History of Roman Literature" (London, 1852); Browne, "A History of Roman Classical Literature " (London, 1853); Munk, Geschichte der romischen Literatur (Berlin, 1858-'61); Sellar, "The Roman Poets of the Republic"(Edinburgh, 1863); Bahr, Geschichte der romischen Literatur (4th ed., 3 vols., Carlsruhe, 1866); Patin, Etudes sur la poesie latine (2 vols., Paris, 1869); Hubner, Grund-riss zu Vorlesungen ill)er die romische Litera-turgeschichte (2d ed., Berlin, 1869); and especially Bernhardy, Grundriss der romischen Literatur (5th ed., Brunswick, 1872), and Teuffel, Geschichte der romischen Literatur (2d ed., Leipsic, 1871; English translation, 2 vols., London, 1873).