Obrazy na stronie

In this part of my work I had anticipated great assistance from the edition by Fea, (Rom. 1811,) as, although aware of Doëring's severe judgment, I had heard high encomiums pronounced on it by eminent scholars. But in this expectation I was disappointed. Fea possessed no other qualification for an editor than industry; and even this he has grossly misapplied, in attempting to depreciate the talents and research of Bentley. The reputation of that illustrious critic stands on a basis too firm to be overthrown. Naturally endowed with acute penetration, the most retentive memory, and delicate discrimination, he availed himself of all the advantages of a most extensive course of reading, and, whatever censures he may have incurred by rashness or confidence, displayed more scholarship, even where he was wrong, than others have done where they are confessedly right. But to return-the most material change in the text arises from the omission of the exceptionable passages. As the necessity for this is obvious to the majority, (particularly to teachers,) I think it useless to enter on any defence of the alterations which I have made.

It remains to notice the introductory matter, and the Appendix. In drawing up the life of Horace, I have cited only those passages which appeared. sufficient to establish the points that I have laid down.

It obviously might have been extended to greater length, and illustrated by many more quotations. The Fasti Horatiani are compiled from the outline prefixed to Ernesti's Clavis Horatiana, and Clinton's Fasti Hellenici. To this latter

accomplished scholar I have to express my obligations for assistance both on this and other occasions. His valuable work is so important an addition to classical literature, that the library of the student without it can scarcely be deemed complete.

As a sketch of Roman satire appeared a useful addition, I have given the outlines of its rise and progress, leaving it to the reader to fill them up in the course of his subsequent reading. I am indebted, for assistance on this subject, to Casaubon, Ruperti, Koenig, Dunlop's Roman Literature, and the admirable article on Latin Poetry in the Encyclopædia Metropolitana.

In the Appendix I had intended to discuss the difficulties at greater length than the limits of a note would permit: but the bulk of the volume compelled me, almost completely, to abandon my original intention. The Appendix, in consequence, will be found less interesting and useful than I trusted to have been able to make it.

I cannot conclude without expressing my regret at the length of time which has elapsed since the announcement that these sheets were in progress through the press. On the conclusion of the first book of the Satires, circumstances, over which I could exercise no control, compelled me to turn my attention to other subjects for a considerable time; and even when I was able to resume my work, I could devote to it only that portion of the day which remained after long and laborious mental occupation.

As the reader is now, I trust, sufficiently acquainted with the design and plan of the work, I

submit it to his notice without further introduction. Although sensible that there are deficiencies, and those, probably, neither few nor trifling, yet at the same time, I feel persuaded that the difficulty of the author whom I have attempted to explain, the arduous plan adopted in the selection of the notes, and the liability of all to fail, will be deemed sufficient pleas, if not to palliate errors at least to excuse blemishes.

7, Trinity College,

20th Nov. 1833.

J. McC.


1. DIFFERENT derivations have been given, by scholars, of the word satira. Some,* who regard it as taking its origin from Greece, write Satyra; others,† agreeing with Quintilian (X. 1. 93, satira tota nostra est), that it was a Roman invention, read satura, or (as u and i are interchanged) satira. The name is said to be derived either ab Satyris, because the character of the subject and language is such as becomes Satyrs: or from satur, as this composition adopts the freedom and severity which arise from indulgence in wine; from saturitas, on account of the abundance of matter; from lex satura, which contained many and different subjects, or from lanx satura, a charger or tray on which it was the ancient custom to offer to the gods the first fruits of the produce--παγκαρπὸν θυσίαν. Of these the last appears preferable. Thus the etymology of the word arises from the application of satura to whatever contained a variety of things (somewhat as we use the word medley, and as Juv. says nostri est farrago libelli), and in this species of composition this variety was either of subjects, designs, or metres, or prose and


2. The ancient satira was of two kinds, dramatic and didactic. The former was also the more ancient. It took its origin (as Livy

* Jul. Cæs. Scaliger, Dan. Heinsius, Vulpius, Flogels, Blankenburg and Conz.

Jos. Scaliger, Casaubon, Spanheim, Rambach, Rigalt, Dacier. Manso, Koenig. and Ruperti.

In Greek poetry the λo bear the closest resemblance to the Roman Satire. They were invective poems in which parody formed the principal part. Timon (who lived in the age of Ptolemy Philadelphus) and Xenophanes are usually noticed as the most remarkable authors of these.

VII. 2, informs us) from the verses called Saturnii or Fescennini, to which Horace alludes in the locus classicus Epist. II. 1. 139. These compositions were not devoid of rhythm, yet appear to have had no regular measure. Satura or satira, then, as applied to a species of composition, originally meant a rude kind of dramatic entertainment, embracing recitation, music, and acting. On the introduction of the regular drama it was known by the name exodium. From Festus, p. 411, it appears that Cn. Nævius* wrote satires of this species.

3. The most important passage respecting the Fabula Atellanæ,— that in which Livy is speaking (VII. 2) of the introduction of the Tuscan ludiones at Rome in the year A. U. c. 330,-has often been misunderstood; and the same has been the fate of a passage in Tacitus (IV. 14), in which the historian mentions the expulsion of the actors from Italy in the year A. U. c. 776. With regard to the latter, Tacitus has caused some confusion by his inaccurate use of the word histrio; but Suetonius has the phrase Atellanarum histrio (Nero c. 39); and the word had either lost its earlier and more limited signification, or the Atellana were then performed by regular histriones.

Livy says that, among other means of appeasing the anger of the gods in the pestilence of A. U. c. 390, scenic games were for the first time introduced at Rome. Hitherto the Romans had had no public sports except those of the circus-namely, races and wrestling; but now this trivial and foreign amusement was introduced. Etruscan ludiones danced gracefully to the sound of the flute without any accompaniment of words, and without any professed mimic action. Afterwards, the Roman youth began to imitate these dances, and accompanied them with unpremeditated jests, after the manner of the Fescennine verses; these effusions gave way to the sa

* Nævius was junior to Livius Andronicus, but preceded Ennius. He was the author of a poem on the first Punic war, and of several dramas. He died at Utica, about 201. B. C.. to which he retired to avoid the indignation of Scipio Africanus and Metellus, excited by the severity of remarks on their characters.

« PoprzedniaDalej »