Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters. Tr. O.M. Dalton (1915) vol. 2. pp. 215-253 ; Notes
The large reference figures are to the page numbers, the smaller to the numbers inserted in the text. [i.e. 5.1 means note 1 on page 5]
The abbreviation C. M. H. stands for the Cambridge Mediaeval History: see p. clviii.
1. 1. Both Petrarch (Letters: preface) and Politian (Letters, I. i.) imagined that in this passage Sidonius was depreciating Cicero; but modern commentators take the more natural view that the greatest of Roman letter-writers is placed among authors of supreme excellence, and regarded as beyond imitation. Cf. Sirmond, Notes, p. 7; Germain, i, p. 81; Baret, pp. 76, 105.
The Symmachus mentioned in the text is Q. Aurelius Symmachus, who flourished at the close of the fourth century and has left ten books of Letters. An orator as well as a writer and a prominent Senator, and one of the last distinguished defenders of paganism, he is remembered for his effort to secure the restoration of the altar of Victory to the Senate House.
Julius Titianus, an orator, lived in the time of Maximin I, who chose him as tutor in rhetoric for his son; during the latter part of his life he presided over the Schools of Lyons and Besancon. He was the author of geographical agricultural works, and of a book of fables. The 'Letters of Famous Women' were placed in the mouths of heroines, after the manner of the Heroides of Ovid. Cf. Histoire litteraire de la France, i, pp. 401-4.
2. M. Cornelius Fronto, orator, the distinguished master of Marcus Aurelius, who bestowed the consulship on him in 161. |216
2. 1. The poems of Sidonius were probably published in 468, several years before this first book of the Letters. This date is probable because the Panegyric of Anthemius begins the book, out of its chronological order, a fact which points to publication during the reign of that emperor.
3. 1. A corrupt passage. The text reads: Cervix non [sedet nodis] sed nervis.
2. Reading: genis ut adhuc vesticipibus. Another reading is: genas ad usque forcipibus, which would recall the use of the tweezers so frequently found in Teutonic cemeteries.
3. This allusion to Theodoric's Arian clergy, and his mechanical outward conformity, is probably intended to reconcile the orthodox Gallo-Romans to a possible extension of the Visigothic king's influence. See Introduction, p. xvi.
4. 1. The doorway of the hall was screened by curtains outside which was a barrier; the guards were posted between the two. Sirmond quotes Corippus (III. ch. vi) on the audience hall of Justin, where a similar arrangement prevailed. Cf. also Cassiodorus (Variae, XL vii).
2. Sidonius uses the word toreuma here, as in II. xiii and IX. xiii, for toral or forale, the covering of a couch. In this he follows Prudentius and Salvian (Sirmond, Notes, p. 9).
5. 1. Tabula. The use of this word implies that the game was played with a board, while the mention of calculi a few lines below shows that 'men' were probably used in addition to the dice. Various suggestions as to the game here intended have been made; the game of Duodecim scripta, in which both 'men' and dice were used, seems probable. Cf. Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 857.
2. The words are: Sine motu evaditur, sine colludio evadit. The verb may refer merely to the breaking up of the party; but the allusion may be, as Hodgkin thought, to the process of getting the men out of one's opponent's 'table'.
6. 1. Organa hydraulica. Cf. Vitruvius, ix. 9 and x. 1,13. Hydraulic organs are said to have been invented by Ctesibius of Alexandria in the time of Ptolemy Euergetes (247-222 B.C.). Hero of Alexandria (Pneumatica, ch. lxvi) describes |217 one; another description is given by Vitruvius. Athenaeus, Tertullian, and Claudian all allude to such organs, which were evidently very popular in the Roman empire from the third century. An example is represented in a terra-cotta found at Carthage (Daremberg and Saglio, Dictionnaire des antiquites grecques et romaines, iii, p. 312, and fig. 3919).
7. 1. The Calpurnian law permanently excluded from the Senate, and punished by a fine, those convicted of political intrigue. The Julian law excluded for five years only. The emperors, when they nominated to magistracies, attached penalties to this offence. Sidonius speaks retrospectively, without particular regard for the circumstances of his own day.
2. For the Palatine Service see Cassiodorus (Variae, vi. 6 ff.). It is sometimes described as militia Palatina, the former word bearing no necessary relation to military service. Cf. VI. i below.
3. Gaudentius, as tribune of the praetorium, had occupied a lower rank than the Vicarii, who represented the prefect in the several dioceses. Filimatius is urged to accept membership of the Prefect's Council, because it conferred important privileges, and a status above those who had only served Vicarii in the same manner. For the advisory bodies of high officials in the provinces, see Reid in C. M. H. i, p. 48.
4. The text is: Scamnis tamen amicalibus deputabuntur. The general sense appears to be that Gaudentius was of a generous nature and caused the officials of his court to assign good places to his detractors. P'or the position of the Vicarius, cf. Reid in C. M. H. i, p. 32.
8. 1. There is here a lacuna in the text, after which there appears to be a change of subject.
9. 1. A private person could only avail himself of the cursus publicus or imperial post service, by land or water, if he had received an imperial summons and was furnished with an imperial letter. (Cf. Theodoret, ii, 11; Symmachus, Ep. ii, 63.) Cassiodorus mentions the state galleys maintained on the Po in Theodoric's time (Variae, II. xxxi). Cf. also Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung, i, pp. 558 ff. |218
10. 1. For the story of Phaethon's sisters, who, upon his death, mourned so bitterly that they were changed into poplars, and their tears into amber-coloured gum, see Ovid, Metamorphoses, ii.
2. Many of the epithets applied by Sidonius to these rivers are those used by Virgil and Claudian.
3. Virgil, Eclogue ix, 28:
Mantua vae miserae nimium vicina Cremonae.
4. For the frogs, and the scarcity of drinking-water in Ravenna, cf. Martial, Epigrams, iii, 5 r, 56. Ravenna proper, Classis its port, and the suburb which grew up along the road connecting the two, really formed a single city.
11. 1. Ariminum was the first city to pass under Caesar's power when he had crossed the Rubicon, after his 'rebellion' against the Senate. Fanum received its name from the temple to Fortune erected there in memory of the victory of 207 B. c., when Hasdrubal was slain on the Metaurus.
2. Cf. Horace, Sat. i. 5. The Atabulus, or Sirocco, derived its name from the Greek words a!th and ba&llw; as we might say, 'death-dealing.'
12. 1. These epithets are again employed by earlier authors. Cf. note 10. 2 above.
2. Apostolorum liminibiis affusus. The basilica of St. Peter was not included in the pomoerium until the time of Leo IV, the builder of the 'Leonine City'; that of St. Paul has always been without the walls. To reach either, Sidonius would have to make a detour, as the Flaminian Way entered Rome at the north, where the Piazza del Popolo now stands at the top of the Corso.
3. For Ricimer, see pp. xix ff. The marriage with Anthemius' daughter, Alypia, was a purely political union; see Introduction, pp. xxv, xxxiii.
4. Shouts of 'Thalassio' were raised at Roman weddings when the bride was conducted to the bridegroom's house. The traditional explanation is that the word signifies the name of a Roman senator of the time of Romulus. During the rape of the Sabine women, a maid of exceptional beauty was carried off for him, the bearer shouting 'for Thalassius' in order to protect himself from interference. |219 (Cf. Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 54.) Fescennine verses, of an outspoken character, were sung at marriage feasts. The present passage seems to show that the Christian wedding still admitted many pagan features in the year 467, though Sidonius may be writing 'classically' with an eye rather to literary effect than to reality. The early Christians disapproved of the usage of the garland at weddings (cf. Tertullian, De Corona, xiii); but the custom was afterwards restored. For the corona in Christian times, see J. Schrijnen, La Couronne nuptiale dans l'antiquite chretienne, in Melanges d'archeologie et d'histoire, xxxi, p. 309.
13. 1. Militiae Palatinae. Cf. note 7. 2 above.
14. 1. In qua unica totius orbis emitate soli barbari et servi peregrinantur. The allusion is to the extension of Roman citizenship by Caracalla to the whole empire, after which all but aliens and slaves were 'at home' within the walls. With the preceding eulogy of the city, cf. Cassiodorus, Var. i. 49; II. i; x. 7.
15. 1. Conatuum tuorum socius adjutor praevius particeps ero. Cf. Pliny, Ep. vi. 9.
2. Casus Arvandi. See Introduction, p. xxx.
16. 1. Comite sacrarum largitionum. The functions of the 'Count of the Sacred (Imperial) Largesses' expanded with the lapse of time, and included multifarious duties. But he was essentially the great imperial Minister of Finance. Cf. Cassiodorus, Var. vi. 7, &c.; Symmachus, Ep. x. 33. See also Mommsen, Libri Theodosiani XVI, vol. i, p. 45; Hodgkin, Italy and her Invaders, i, pp. 216, 217, and Letters of Cassiodorus, p. 88; Reid in C.M.H. i, pp. 43, 47.
2. The gesta decretalia embodied the provincial decree and formed the credentials of the envoys, without which they could not be heard. (Codex Theod. De legatis.) Cf. Pagina decretalis, in VII. ix. 6.
3. For Tonantius Ferreolus, Petronius, and Thaumastus, see List of Correspondents. L. Afranius Syagrius was consul in the reign of Gratian.
18. 1. The manuscripts have the word decemviris. An accused senator was usually judged by the Prefect of the City, |220 assisted by a committee of five senators chosen by lot. If decemviris is not a mistake for quinqueviris, we must suppose that the usage admitted of exceptions. Cf. Cod. Theod. xiii: De accusationibus, and Cassiodorus, Var. iv. 22, 23.
19. 1. Respondere legati, quanquam valde nequiter, constaret, quod ipse dictasset. A difficult passage. Mohr (Praefafio, p. xiii) takes constaret as = iterum affirmaret, i.e. 'let him repeat the admission that he himself dictated the letter'.
20. 1. The island in the Tiber where a temple of Aesculapius stood. The great temple of Aesculapius was at Epidaurus, and the serpent was his attribute as Healer.
2. The law of Tiberius only granted ten days' reprieve; Theodosius extended the term to thirty.
21. 1. The Rhone mists are still proverbial in the Lyons of modern times.
2. The clergy were forbidden to trade or to lend money at unfair usury. 'Readers', however, traded (cf.VI. viii), and clergy occasionally had money out at interest, a practice which Sidonius himself seems to sanction, provided the rate was fair (cf. IV. xxiv). The Syrians, described by Jerome as avarissimi mortalium, were the ubiquitous traders of the early Christian centuries in the West.
23. 1. Sidonius had come to Rome as a member of a mission from Auvergne. Cf. Introduction, p. xxvii.
24. 1. The opusculum is the Panegyric of Anthemius, which is counted as Carmen ii in the poems of Sidonius.
25. 1. Thraso is the bombastic soldier in the Eunuchus of Terence; Pyrgopolinices, the Miles gloriosus of Plautus.
2. For the functions of the Praefectus annonae in these late centuries, cf. Cassiodorus, Var. IV. lxviii; Symmachus, Ep. X. xlviii. As in Tacitus' day, the theatre was always the principal scene of discontent if the corn supplies ran short. The Vandal command of the Mediterranean was the reason for Sidonius' anxiety.
26. 1. The quotation is from Horace, Sat. II. i. 82 ff., and the allusion to the law of the Twelve Tables against libel. 27.1. The events here described occurred during Majorian's |221 visit to Arles in 461, after his pacification of Auvergne. See Introduction, p. xxiii, and cf. Chaix, i, pp. 132 ff.
2. The especial reference is to the setting up of Nero's verses in gold letters on the Capitol, as related by Suetonius.
28. 1. Qui genus? unde domo? Virgil, Aeneid, viii. 114.
2. Chremes was the avaricious father of comedy.
3. Coniuratio Marcelliana. The word in its existing form can hardly be correct (Mohr, Praefatio, p. xv) if Marcellinus was the hero of the rebellion. See Introduction, p. xx.
29. 1. Pharsalia, v. 322.
30. 1 . The couch was the stibadium, often called sigma, from its resemblance to the C-shaped form of that Greek letter: we might call it a 'horse-shoe' couch. The places of honour were at the end of the right and left 'horns'; in the present case the emperor was at the right, the consul at the left extremity.
31. 1. Sidonius had probably been given the rank of count by Majorian. Constantine used this older title as an honorific designation for various officers, and four of the highest members of the imperial service bore it. In course of time it was divorced from the Court, and those whom it designated were divided into grades, the honour in some cases (as perhaps in that of Sidonius) being purely honorary. (Reid, in C. M. H. i, pp. 46, 47.)
34. 1. The name Seronatus is the opposite of Citonatus, 'quick born', and intended to signify an easy delivery. Sidonius gives it a meaning of his own, and then cites it as an example of antiphrasis (as Euxine for an inhospitable sea, Parcaefor the implacable Fates, &c.).
35. 1. Nec dat pretia contemnens, nec accipit instrumenta desperans. Gregory of Tours (Hist. Franc. IV. xii) quotes this phrase, applying it to the avaricious bishop Cautinus. The sense in that place seems to preclude the idea that the bishop neglected to furnish himself with deeds, because in the sequel he insists upon having them. The point here seems to be that Seronatus mistrusted deeds, as possible sources of evidence against him. Cf. Chaix, i, p. 377.
2. Leges Theudosianas calcans Theudoricianasque proponens. Paronomasia is used to give effect to the charge that |222 Seronatus was barbarophile for treasonable purposes of his own. His contemporary, Euric, the successor of Theodoric II, issued a new code about 476, improving upon those of his predecessors, Theodoric I and II. All incorporated much from the Roman (Theodosian) Code, for which see Mommsen, as tinder note 16. I. Seronatus, who, though nominally a Roman official, was openly acting in the Gothic interest, is depicted as giving barbaric law an unfair preference. See Introduction.
3. i. e. by the tonsure: they would enter the Church.
36. 1. Samia mihi mater fuit. Terence, Eunuchus, I. ii. 27 (107).
2. Avitaci sumus. The villa of Avitacum, named from Avitus, is the estate which Sidonius received with his wife Papianilla. Fauchet considered that it was situated by the lake of Sorlieu, then called Abitac, and now, perhaps, Obier (Antiquites francaises, i, p. 53). But the position is uncertain; another opinion favours the lake of Aydat, in Puy-de-Dome. In any case, Avitacum was not far from Clermont. The description is modelled on Pliny's pictures of his country-houses (Ep. II. xvii; V. vi). Cf. Chaix, i, pp. 148 ff.
37. 1. Balneum. For the arrangement of the Roman bath, see Daremberg and Saglio, Dict. des antiquites grecques et romaines, s. v. Balnea, and Marquardt, Privatleben, pp. 279 ff. Cf. also the two letters of Pliny mentioned in the preceding note. The principal rooms were the tepidarium, or hot-air chamber; caldarium, or warm bath, frigidarium, or cold bath. The destrictarium or unctorium, near the tepidarium, was for rubbing-down and anointing; the apodyterium for undressing. The piscina, cisterna, or baptisterium, was in the frigidarium. The exedra was a conversation-room. The verses on the walls of Sidonius' baths, 'which people might read once and would not wish to read again,' are probably those preserved to us in Carm. xviii and xix.
38. 1. Philistio was a mimeograph of the Augustan age.
41. 1. Cf. II. ix; III. iii; IV. iv; V. xvii.
42. 1. Agonem Drepitanum Troianae superstitionis. The Arvernians claimed a Trojan descent (cf. VII. vii and p. 243, |223 note 110. 2). The allusion is to the games instituted at Drepanum by Aeneas in honour of Anchises (Virgil, Aen. v). 43. 1. The title was probably that of Patrician. Magnus Felix was never consul.
2. Tua felicitate. Such punning plays upon personal names have a peculiar attraction for Sidonius. Cf. II. xiii, Tuus Maximus maxima . . . documento; IV. xxii, (Gaudentius) gaudeat; IX. ix, play on the name Faustus, &c. Cf. Introduction, p. cxxix.
3. The reference is to the rash action of Lucius Papirius Cursor in giving battle in the absence of Fabius from the army. Cf. Livy, viii. 29-35. Sidonius says the same thing to Claudianus Mamertus. See IV. iii.
48. 1. Infortunatam fecunditatem. An echo of the phrase of Tacitus: Infelici fecunditate fortunae totiens obnoxia (Ann. ii. 75).
49. 1. Injuste tibi justa persoluta. Cf. III. iv, xii; VII. xvii; and Ovid, Met. ii. 627.
2. The situation of the villa of Prusianum is thought to coincide with Bresis on the Garden, lying on the main road between Nimes and Clermont. Cf. below, note 51. 3.
3. Aracynthus, a mountain in Aetolia or Acarnania; it is uncertain what Mt. Nysa is here intended.
50. 1. Sphaeristarum contrastantiumparia. Cf. note 41. 1.
2. This passage is interesting as a description of the library in a Roman villa, but is tantalizing by its incompleteness, like the allusions of Cicero to the rooms where he kept his books (Ep. IV. v; VI. viii).
We gather that there were high cases (armaria) round the walls as in the small library discovered at Herculaneum, with shelves on which rolls were laid horizontally, with the umbilicus outwards; the armaria must also have had higher shelves for the books or codices, which were now in common use. Boethius in his Consolation of Philosophy indicates that in his time armaria were glazed and ornamented with ivory; in addition to the book cases there are desks (plutei), on which books in use were laid. For the library of Consentius in the villa Octaviana near Narbonne, cf. VIII. iv. See also Justus |224 Lipsius, De Bibliothecis, Synt. ix; Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 115. The Athenaeum, at Rome, where authors read or recited their compositions, was founded by Hadrian; but the provincial capital had also its Athenaeum, as, for instance, Lyons (IV. viii; IX. ix). In earlier times authors gave their readings in the houses of wealthy men, who kindly lent a large apartment for the purpose; the custom, which was a necessary part of 'publication', is frequently mentioned by Pliny and other authors.
51. 1. Turranius Rufinus, born in the mid-fourth century and baptized about 372. He remained in the East for twenty-six years, and shared the admiration which Jerome at one time felt for Origen. On his return to Italy, he translated into Latin Pamphilus' Apology for Origen, and the latter's books Peri\ a)rxw~n. He died in Sicily, c. 410. Adamantius was a person in the Dialogue Peri\ th~j ei0j Qeo_n o)rqh~j pi/stewj, held by Rufinus to be a work of Origen, but no longer so regarded. Cf. the edition by Van de Sande Bakhuyzen in the series: Die christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten dreijahrhwtderte, Leipzig, 1901.
2. Clepsydrae. The water-clocks mentioned by Sidonius appear to belong to the class strictly described as 'hydraulic horologia'. In the simpler forms of these instruments, the water rose from one level to another, and from mark to mark on the sides of the receptacle into which it poured. In more elaborate types lines were engraved on a cylinder or column, to which an indicator, actuated by rising water, pointed. Clepsydrae of this kind only became common in the early Christian centuries. See Daremberg and Saglio, Dict. des antiquites grecques et romaines, iii, p. 261 f. Cf. also Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 256.
3. Vorocingum ,.. Prusianum. The first is the villa of Apollinaris, cousin of Sidonius, the second that of Ferreolus. The Abbe Tessier has placed the latter near Bresis at the foot of the hill of St. Germain on the right bank of the Garden, and in the territory of Alais; the first he sets on the other side of the river at Beringueri, under the hill of Couillere. See also Hist. litt. de la France, iv, p. 46; Gregoire and Collombet, i, pp. 220 ff. |225
52. 1. This passage is curious as seeming to show that the country-houses of magnates like Tonantius Ferreolus and Apollinaris contained no spare accommodation, even for a siesta.
2. The extemporized vapour-bath here described recalls the customs of eastern Europe, Asia, and primitive America. Gregory of Tours relates the death of the daughter of the great Theodoric in a vapour-bath. (Hist. Franc. iii, p. 31.) The Cilician hangings were made of goats' hair. Cf. IV. xxiv, and Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 135.
54. 1. This description of the church of Patiens at Lyons presents several features of interest. It was built close to the junction of the Rhone and Saone, near the road from Lyons to Narbonne, and replaced the earlier church of the Maccabees (the first martyrs of Lyons were so called), built by Zachariah, successor of Irenaeus. After it received the relics of St. Justus, it was called by his name, and under this appellation was probably known to Sidonius (V. xvii); it was destroyed by the Huguenots in 1562 (Fertig, ii, p. 37). Its dedication was celebrated by a festival which lasted a whole week, and was signalized by an address from Faustus, Bishop of Riez (IX. ii), at which Sidonius was present. The church seems to have been a basilica, orientated, and with an atrium of the usual type. (Cf. H. Holtzinger, Die altchristliche Architektur in systematischer Darstellung, 1889, pp. 53, 70, 179; Chaix, i, p. 322.) Most commentators take lines 16-21 of the poem as referring to the wealth of columns in the interior of the building; but it would seem that Sir Thomas Jackson is right in making the words apply to the atrium. (Byzantine and Romanesque Architecture, ii, p. 31.) They run:
Huic est porticus applicata triplex
fulmentis Aquitanicis superba,
ad cujus specimen remotiora
claudunt atria porticus secundae,
et campum medium procul locatas
vestit saxea silva per columnas.
Mosaics covered the floor, as well as the walls, soffits of the |226 windows (?) and half-dome of the apse (camera, on which cf. Holtzinger, as above, p. 72). For mosaics in other churches in Gaul, cf. the church built by Namatius in the same century, where the walls were ornamented with marble and mosaic, and that erected by Bishop Agricola at Chalon (Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc. V. xlvi).
55. 1. This is a very difficult passage. It seems to refer throughout to glass wall mosaics, and not, as is generally supposed, to windows, in the form of pierced transennae with small inset panes. Cf. Sir T. G. Jackson, as above, ii, p. 31; Holtzinger, as above.
58. 1. Chironica magis institutum arte quam Machaonica. The joke depends on the double use of the word 'Chiron', as the name of a physician, and as the comparative of kako&j ( xei/rwn = worse). Cf. Sirmond, Notes, p. 35.
59. 1. For Sidonius' delight in this kind of pun, see Introduction, p. cxxix; note 43. 2, &c.
2. The clock is the clepsydra, on which see above, note 51. 2.
61. 1. Raptis incubans opibus. Cf. VIII. vii. A reminiscence of Virgil, Georg. ii. 507.
62. 1. In pago Vialoscensi. Savaron and Sirmond consider this place to have been south-west of Riom, near Volvic. 2. Tunicata quiete. In the country the Romans dispensed with the toga. Cf. Juvenal, iii. 179; Martial, Epigr. x. 51.
64. 1. The name 'Septimania' first occurs in this passage. It means the coast line from the Pyrenees to the Rhone. Cf. Mommsen, Index Locorum, s. v., and Bury, Appendix to Gibbon's Decline and Fall, iii, p. 532.
65. 1. Reminiscent of Pliny, Ep. vii. 25.
66. 1. Angustias mansionum. Mansiones were rest-houses for the night, on the high roads, in some degree corresponding to the 'public bungalows' of India and the East. Cf. Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung, p. 561.
67. 1. For the influence of the Celtic dialect even among the educated in Gaul, cf. Introduction, pp. cxxxiii-cxxxiv. 2. Gregory of Tours, who also mentions this feat of |227 Ecdicius, puts the number of his men at ten. (Hist. Franc. ii. 24.)
70. 1. Ecdicius was probably at the court of one of the Burgundian kings; not always a safe place of residence. Cf. V. vii.
2. Propugnantum, i.e. the Burgundians, who, partly from jealousy of the Visigoths, partly owing to the diplomacy of Ecdicius, assisted the provincials at the time of Euric's final advance. Cf. Introduction, pp. xxxix, xl.
71. 1. Eborolacensis. Ebreuil, now a small town on the Sioule, an affluent of the Allier, and close to Gannat. (Chaix, i, p. 27.)
72. 1. Tractatus, i.e., the letter, I. vi above.
73. 1. Annum bonum, &c. Cf. VI. xii. 9.
2. Sabini, Sabiniani. The exact point is obscure.
74. 1. Quaestor Licinianus. See Introduction, p. xli. His office was Quaestor Sacri Palati, which, after the time of Constantine, was the highest legal dignity in the empire. (Reid, in C. M.H. i, p. 37.)
78. 1. Avi. The prefect Apollinaris, on whom see p. clxi. 2. Tam bustualibus favillis quam cadaveribus. This passage, with others in the Letters, seems to imply that cremation was still practised in Gaul in Sidonius' time. See Introduction, p. cxiv. The cemetery here mentioned was just outside the church of St. Just at Lyons (see note 54. 1 above), which itself lay on the edge of the town.
79. 1. The words are: torsi latrones. Ampere (Hist. litt. de la France meridionale, ii, p. 233) considered that Sidonius had the men subjected to torture at the grave-side; in this he is followed by Germain. But the simpler meaning seems preferable, though the law certainly prescribed torture (Mommsen, Theodosiani Libri XVI, vol. I, pt. ii, pp. 463 ff.; II, p. 114).
2. The reference is probably to Patiens, Bishop of Lyons, for whom see p. clxxv.
Chaix suggests that as the grave-diggers were under the control of Church authorities, Sidonius felt bound, on second thoughts, to inform the bishop, (i. 173.) |228
82. 1. Gnatho is the parasite of the Eunuchus, whom Terence has made a classical example of the species. The present Letter is one of those on which Sidonius evidently expended great pains; but the realism of his description will probably seem to most readers excessive. Cf. Chaix, i, p. 337.
83. 1. Vesicarum ruptor fractorque ferularum. The close association of these two epithets seems to justify Savaron's view that vested should be taken literally, and not metaphorically, in the sense of 'bombast'. His reference to Seneca, Nat. Quaest. ii. 27, is to the point. Aliud genus est acre, quod crepitum magis dixerim quam sonum, qualem audire solemus, cum super caput alicuius dirupta vesica est.
2. Pollinctor. The pollinctores were assistants of the libitinarii, whose duty it was to anoint and perfume the bodies of the dead: they also took casts of the faces of the dead, for the imagines preserved by survivors. The words cadavere rogali, immediately preceding, suggest, though they cannot alone be taken to prove, the persistence of cremation in the fifth century. Cf. note 78. 2 above. For Roman funeral usage, see Marquardt, Privatleben, 352, 384; and Daremberg and Saglio, Dict. des antiq. grecques et romaines, i, pp. 386 ff.
84. 1. Morbo Syllano, i.e. phthiriasis.
2. Ampsancti. Ampsanctus, now Le Mofete, was a valley in the territory of the Hirpini between Campania and Apulia and in the middle of the peninsula. It is described by Virgil (Aen. vii. 563-71), who alludes to the pestiferous fumes of its cave.
85. 1. Grenoble: Gratianopolis.
3. 1. Soror is here used for 'cousin'. (Cf. VII. iii-v.) Probus had married Eulalia, cousin of Sidonius. (Carm. ix. 329-34; xxiv. 95-98.)
4. 1. Eusebianos lares. Eusebius was professor of philosophy at Lyons.
5. 1. Claudianus. See p. clxxiii. This Letter is the only one in the collection which is not written by Sidonius |229 himself. It is inserted in order to make our author's reply in the next letter more intelligible; though Sidonius probably had in mind Pliny's inclusion of a letter of Tacitus among his own. 2. The work by Claudianus Mamertus, De statu animae, controverting the opinions of Faustus as to the materiality of the soul. Cf. Introduction, p. lxxxi.
8. 1. Most of the names in this list are too familiar to require comment. Euphrates was a Stoic philosopher, a friend of the younger Pliny and Hadrian. Perdix, whose name is variously given, is the mythical nephew of Daedalus. The Eucherius mentioned a little lower down is St. Eucher.
9. 1. According to Gennadius, the hymn referred to is that which begins: Pange Zingud gloriosi, &c. Cf. Sirmond, Notes, p. 43.
10. 1. This is one of the passages attesting the half-compulsory nature of Sidonius' election as bishop.
2. After his entry into the Church, Sidonius was in great request as a writer of elegies and Church inscriptions. Nor did he altogether renounce the composition of secular verse. (Cf. IX. xiii. to Tonantius.)
3. Pauci quos aequus amavit. Virgil, Aen. vi. 129.
11. 1. Below, and in the sixth Letter of this book, Faustinus is described as antistes, which should mean 'bishop' (but cf. note 23. 2). The word 'frater', as applied to him, is not to be taken literally. Sidonius uses it of various persons with whom he was on a footing of intimacy, or of those whom he regarded as his sons in Christ.
12. 1. Gozolas, a Jew. Cf. III. iv. Under the Franks, Jews were expelled or baptized by force. (Gregory, Hist. Franc. V. xi, VI. xvii; cf. Gregory the Great, Ep. i. 45.) It is interesting to note that Chilperic had a Jewish furnisher of objects of art and luxury, who resisted conversion by Gregory of Tours (Hist. Franc, VI. v). For the relations of the Ostrogoths with Jews, cf. Cassiodorus, Variae, IV. xliii, V. xxxvii. The present Letter perhaps alludes to the mission of the quaestor Licinianus, sent from Rome to treat with the Goths on the subject of Auvergne. Cf. III. vii.
13. 1. This Letter probably refers to a pilgrimage to the |230 shrine of the Arvernian martyr St. Julian at Brioude (Brivas). Cf. Chaix, ii, p. 117.
14. 1. Currentem mones. Cf. Pliny, Ep. I. viii, III. vii; and Symmachus, Ep. I. lvi; IX. xxxvi.
15. i. Apicios epulones et Byzantinos chironomontas. There were three Apicii, all notorious as gourmets, and living respectively in the times of Sulla, Augustus, and Trajan. 'Byzantine' here is probably used to express the extreme of luxury. On the esquire-carvers of wealthy nobles, and their regulated gestures, cf. Petronius, Sat. xxxvi; Seneca, Ep. xlvii; Juvenal, Sat. v. 120 ff.: Chironomonta volanti cultetto, &c. The word chironomon is also used of a dancer by Juvenal, Sat. vi. 63.
16. 1. Ragnahild. Queen of Euric, whose name we learn from Sidonius alone.
17. 1. 'Such a school': literally, Athenaeum, on which cf. p. 223, note 50. 2, above.
18. 1. Monachum complet, non sub palliolo sed sub paludamento. Monks, like philosophers, wore the pallium, a Greek mantle. (Cassian, De habitu monachi, I. vii.) An extra cowl or hood might be used in cold weather. (VII. xvi.)
19. 1. The word 'son' is again used in the sense of 'son in Christ'. Cf. p. 229, note 11. 1.
20. 1. Patronus. Sirmond conjectures that this applies to Victorius, Count of Auvergne, under Euric. Cf. VII. xvii.
22. 1. St. Mamertus, Bishop of Vienne.
23. 1. Et verbi gladio secare sectas. Even in an elegy, Sidonius uses a play upon words.
2. Antistes fuit ordine in secundo. Antistes is usually employed for bishops only, though the rule does not seem to be invariable. Cf. Riochatus antistes (IX. ix. 6). If it stands for 'bishop' here, we should follow Sirmond and understand that though only a presbyter in rank, Claudianus performed so many duties for his brother, that he seemed a bishop himself.
24. 1. Until recently, only a few lines of the Epitrepontes were known, but within the last ten years a great part of the play has been discovered in Egypt (A. Korte, Menandrea ex papyris et membranis vetustissimis, Teubner, 1912, |231 pp. 9-43; G. Lefebvre, Fragments d'un ms. de Menandre, Cairo, 1907; Grenfell and Hunt, Oxyrhyncus Papyri, Pt. x, no. 1236).
25. 1. Cantiliae (Chantelle) is mentioned in the Peutinger Table.
For a similar portrait of a 'young old man' cf. St. Jerome, Ep.x.
26. 1. Gaius Tacitus, The passage here quoted is derived from the History, v. 26: Erga Vespasianum vetus mihi observantia; et cum privatus esset, amici vocabamur. The words are put into the mouth of Claudius Civilis, the Batavian prince.
2. Ulpius was one of the names of Trajan.
27. 1. Virgil, Aen. ii. 89.
As Ex-prefect of Rome, and Patrician, Sidonius could fairly regard himself as the equal in official rank of Polemius, the last Prefect of a dismembered Gaul.
2. The passage seems to indicate the practice of confession. Cf. Ruricius of Limoges, Ep. I. viii. It may be noted that something like a public confession is suggested in the case of Germanicus (IV. xiii).
28. 1. Auvergne was perhaps at this time already under the dominion of Euric, whose hostility to Catholicism had proved disastrous to the Catholic churches, because he kept sees and parishes vacant, so that the fabrics fell into disrepair and new buildings were not erected.
29. 1. It was a proverb that people only went to Thespiae to admire the Eros of Praxiteles. (Cicero, In Verrem, iv. 3; Pliny, Nat. Hist, xxxvi.)
30. 1. Sidonius was perhaps still detained in exile by Euric. See Introduction, p. xlv.
32. 1. The capital of the second Lugdunensis was Rouen (Rotomagus).
33. 1. Perpetuus, Bishop of Tours, rebuilt in 470 the old church erected by St. Brice over the remains of St. Martin. The new church was not as durable as Sidonius hoped, and had to be rebuilt by Gregory of Tours. (Hist. Franc. II. xiv; IV. xx; X. xxxi.) It had been set on fire by Wiliachair |232 and his wife, and the inscription of Sidonius perished in the flames. (Hist. Franc. IV. xx.) Gregory describes the church as 160 feet long by 60 feet broad, the height 'to the vault' being 45 feet. It had 32 windows in the nave, and 20 in the presbytery. The whole building had thus 52 windows. It had 120 columns, of which 41 were in the choir, and 8 doors, of which 5 were in the same part of the building. This description by Gregory long ago made it clear to archaeologists that the church of Perpetuus was a vaulted building, part of which was of the 'central' type, and allied to the memorial churches of the Christian East (H. Hübsch, Die altchristlichen Kirchen nach den Baudenkmalen, 1862, p. 108 and plate xlviii, figs. 6-9; J. Quicherat, Revue archeologique, 1869-70, and Melanges d'arch. et d'histoire, 1886; G. Dehio and G. von Bezold, Die kirchliche Baukunst des Abendlandes, i, p. 267): in these peculiarities the church built by Namatius, described by Gregory in the same chapter, must have shared. The excavations carried out on the site of the old church of St. Martin during a series of years ending in 1887, confirmed these anticipations in a striking manner, revealing a round-ended choir with five projecting chapels (hemicycles), concentric with an interior columned space which must have enclosed the shrine (plan in G. Dehio's article in Jahrbuch der Königlich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen, x; 1889, pp. 13ff.). The dimensions were found to agree closely with those given by Gregory; and it became certain that the plan was inspired by such memorial churches as those erected by Constantine in the Holy Land, the combination of a basilican nave with a choir on the 'central' system, especially recalling the arrangement of the Anastasis, or church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. The choir of St. Martin's was, in fact, as Dehio observed, half a ' Central-Bau'. This analogy with the Anastasis and other Eastern memorial types, together with the correspondence of the remains with Gregory's dimensions, makes the presumption very strong that whether the actual fabric of the choir discovered is of Perpetuus' time, or a reconstruction of some centuries later (as R. de Lasteyrie, Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscriptions, |233 xxxiv, pp. I ff., and L'architecture religieuse en France a l'epoque romane, 1912, p. 38), the lines of the original building were very closely followed. The salient points of interest are: (a) that Perpetuus in A.D. 470, having to build a church to contain a shrine visited by great numbers of pilgrims, adopted a style of architecture approved elsewhere as most suited for this particular purpose, but hitherto unknown in Gaul; and (b) that the type of choir thus introduced was the point of departure from which the 'chevet' of French Romanesque and Gothic architecture developed (Dehio, as above, pp. 21 ff.). The erection of Perpetuus' church was, therefore, no ordinary occurrence, but an epoch-making event in the history of Western architecture, and, as already remarked in the Introduction, p. ciii, it is curious that Sidonius seems to have seen nothing very remarkable in it beyond its splendour. It was vaulted throughout, probably with barrel-vaults (Dehio, p. 26, note 3); but Hubsch's conjecture that it had a central dome with numerous colonnettes, would appear to be somewhat problematical. In any case, with the church built by Namatius, it must have formed a complete contrast to the plain basilican type with wooden roof, such as the church of Patiens at Lyons. (Note 54. 1.) 2. Gregory of Tours (Hist. XI. xxxi) describes Perpetuus as sixth, not after St. Martin, but after St. Gatien; in Hist. II. xiv he mentions him as fifth after St. Martin.
34. I. Perpetuo . . . Perpetui. (Cf. p. 223, note 43. 2, above.) The pun is of the usual kind.
35. 1. The arms and equipments which follow, suggest that this young prince was a Frank rather than a Burgundian. The skin garments of his suite may be the rhenones, so called because worn by peoples of the Rhine: securis missilis may be the francisca, and lanceus uncatus the angon. Cf. Introduction, p. xciii. The description, which has attracted the notice of all historians of the fifth century, gives a vivid picture of the wealth of the barbaric princes and the splendour of their attire. Prince Sigismer was to wed a Burgundian princess, perhaps the daughter of Chilperic (Schmidt, Geschichte, p. 380). |234
36. 1. The Aeduans were the people of Autun, Chalon, Macon, and Nevers.
2. Aen. viii. 510. The point is that the Etruscans required a foreign leader against Mezentius; Pallas was not eligible, because on the mother's side he was of Italic stock, and therefore not foreign.
37. 1. Cf. the eulogy of Auvergne in the Panegyric on Avitus, 139ff.
39. 1. Cf. I. i; and Introduction, p. cxxxvi.
40. 1. Cf. Introduction, p. cxxiv.
41. 1. Abdication was the renunciation of patria potestas by a father who wished to 'cut off' an undutiful son. The cross, considered the most degrading of all punishments, was appointed for parricides, who might also be sewn in the culeus, or leather bag, in company with a cock, a serpent, and a monkey, and then thrown into the sea. The other punishments were burning, and exposure to wild beasts.
42. 1. Virgil, Aen. ix. 6f. The translation given in the text is Conington's.
43. 1. Cauta centesima est foeneratori. This Letter seems to prove that it was not regarded as improper for a cleric to have money out at the ordinary rate of 12 per cent., provided that the borrower was well-to-do, and capable of repaying the loan. Maximus lent the money when a layman, but as cleric he still considers himself entitled to both principal and interest, only remitting the latter when he hears that the borrower is mortally ill and in difficulties. The tenor of the Letter shows that Sidonius considers his friend perfectly justified in his claims, and that he regards any remission as an act of grace.
2. Cilicum vela. Cf. II. ix. 8, and p. 225, note 52. 2, above. These were made of goat's hair.
44. 1. Maximus appears to have been elected in much the same way as Sidonius himself. Cf. Introduction, p. xxxv.
46. 1. For the election of bishops at this period, cf. Introduction, p. lxxvii.
2. Literally, Apicianis plausibus. Cf. p. 230 above, note 15. 1. In the next two lines Sidonius makes two plays |235 upon words close upon each other, apice and Apicianis, praedae and praedia.
47. 1. We may compare the case of the election at Bourges. (VII. ix.)
2. On these, see F. Z. Collombet, Vies des Saints du diocese de Lyon, p. 180 f. Condat was founded in the fifth century. (Butler in C. M. H. i, p. 534.)
50. 1. Grammatica dividit. See Claudianus Mamertus' dedication of his book to Sidonius.
52. 1. Idem velle atque idem nolle ea demum firma amicitia est. Sallust, Bell. Cat. c. xx. 4. The sentiment is frequently repeated by later writers.
53. 1. Hodgkin supposes that Sidonius was acting as tutor to the sons of Simplicius.
54. 1. Varicosi Arpinatis. Sidonius refers to Cicero more than once as 'the Arpinate'; he is fond of describing an author as of the city of his birth or residence. Varicosus is presumably applied to Cicero, because as an orator he was continually standing and therefore subject to varicose veins.
2. Quasi de harilao vetere novus falco prorumpas. For harilao, some manuscripts read hilario; in either case the word must mean 'nest' or eyrie.
55. 1. Cf. Introduction, p. xlii, and the contents of Letter vii.
2. Magistro militum Chilperico. Schmidt considers that the Chilperic in question can only be Chilperici I, sole king of the Burgundians, for he alone would be qualified to bear this imperial title: the word tetrarcha in the next Letter he regards as a mere literary epithet, after Sidonius' manner. Chilperic II, nephew of Chilperic I, was more strictly a 'tetrarch', for he shared sovereignty with three brothers, of whom Gundobad, as the eldest, reigned at Lyons, Chilperic himself holding his court at Vienne. (Schmidt, Geschichte, pp. 376, 380.) For the office of magister militum, cf. Reid in C. M. H. i, p. 46.
3. The 'new prince' is the Emperor Julius Nepos, whom Chilperic, as representative of Glycerius, refused to recognize. |236
57. 1. Licinus was freedman of the Emperor Augustus; Narcissus and Pallas were freedmen of Claudius; Massa, Marcellus, and Carus, of Nero; Asiaticus stood in the same relation to Vitellius, and Parthenius to Domitian.
2. This passage makes mention of several minor offices; civil or municipal, which in Gaul as in Italy, the barbaric administration had to retain. The municipium elected to the office of flamen from the ranks of the decuriones, and this, priesthood was regarded as conferring dignity upon electors and elected (Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung, pp. 173, 326). The phrase munuscula legatis is perhaps explained by Cassiodorus, Variae, VII. xxxiii, where the present (humanitas) given to an ambassador is mentioned as a customary gift. On minor offices in the imperial and municipal service, see Marquardt, as above, i, pp. 92, 558 ff.; ii, 298 ff.; T. Hodgkin, The Letters of Cassiodorus, p. 108.
3. Pelliti ad ecclesias, castorinati ad litanias. Cf. Ambrose, De dign. sacerdot, chap. iv. Castorinas quaerimus et sericas vestes, et ille se inter episcopos credit altiorem qui vestem induerit clariorem. For pellitus see Introduction, p. xcii.
58. 1. Sidonius alludes to Chilperic and his queen as Tarquin the Elder and his consort Tanaquil, who is said to have commanded in his household. (Cf. Juvenal, Sat. iii. 566.) Tarquin was originally styled Lucumo; he was the son of Demaratus of Tarquinii in Etruria.
59. 1. The Cibyrates here mentioned are the two brothers Tlepolemus and Hiero, who assisted Verres to plunder Sicily.
2. Germanicus . .. Agrippina. The allusion is again to Chilperic and his consort.
3. Ablabius or Ablavius, whose authorship of the verses is only mentioned by Sidonius, was Praefectus praetorio A.D. 326-37. He was a favourite of Constantine, who at one time gave him charge of his son Constantius. The new emperor, however, stripped Ablavius of his dignities, exiled him to Bithynia, and countenanced his assassination. The blood-guiltiness here implied would seem at first sight to apply with less force to Chilperic I than to his nephew |237 Gundobad, who, exiled by his brothers Chilperic II and Godomar, finally repossessed himself of Lyons, killing Chilperic and murdering his queen and children. But if the preceding Letter refers to the first Chilperic, it seems probable that this does also. Cf. note 55. 2 above.
60. 1. Fausta, wife of Constantine, accused Crispus, son of that emperor by Minervina, of a guilty passion. The emperor sentenced Crispus to death; but on the discovery of his innocence, Fausta was herself put to death by suffocation in the vapour of a hot bath. Sidonius is the earliest authority for the statement that Crispus died by poison. It may be noted that he does not take the more favourable view of Constantine's character. Cf. Introduction, p. cxxv.
2. If the two preceding Letters are concerned with the times of Chilperic I, it seems probable that this too is of his period, and not that of his nephews. Cf. notes 55. 2, 59. 3.
3. Apollinaris (cf. III. xii), grandfather of Sidonius, was Prefect of the Gauls. (See Introduction, pp. xii and clxi.) (Decimus) Rusticus, grandfather of Aquilinus, held the same office in 410-11 trader the tyrant Constantine (III). Captured by the generals of Honorius, Rusticus was rudely handled. Cf. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc. II. ix.
4. Jovinus assumed the purple in Gaul while the tyrant Constantine was still alive, but was killed at Narbonne in 412. Dardanus was Prefect in Gaul under Honorius in 409-10; a more favourable view of his character than that of Sidonius is taken by Jerome and Augustine. For the inscription commemorating the opening by Dardanus of a mountain road near Sisteron, cf. C. I. L. xii. 1524,
Gerontius, general of the tyrant Constantine in Spain, raised Maximus to the purple and besieged Constantine in Arles; on the appearance of Constantius before that city, and the desertion of his own troops, he fled into Spain, where he died.
61. 1. The offices of tribune and notarius were in like manner both borne by the grandfather of Cassiodorus in the reign of Valentinian III. The first was military, corresponding to our 'colonel', the second was secretarial, involving |238 confidential duties near the person of the emperor. Cf. Cassiodorus, Variae, I. iv, VI. xvi; and Hodgkin, The Letters of Cassiodorus, p. 3.
63. 1. Eusebius (Chron. year 135) mentions Palaemon as living in Hadrian's time; Seneca (Preface to Nat. Quaest. iv) alludes to his brother Gallio. Ausonius (Carm. v and xv) refers to Delphidius, Tiro, and Agroecius. Jerome speaks of Magnus as an orator of repute.
64. 1. The enforced service of Calminius was probably exceptional; for though Gallo-Romans served in the Burgundian army, it was not the habit of the Visigoths to admit them to their ranks. (L. Schmidt, Geschichte, p. 294.)
65. 1. Seronatus is here described as returning from one of his treasonable visits to Toulouse. (Cf. Introduction, p. xxxviii.) Javols (Gabales) is in the modern department of Lozere.
2. Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. ix. 88; Aelian, Hist. Anim. ii. 13; Claudian, In Eutrop. ii. 425; Oppian, Halieut. v. 71, &c.
67. 1. Calentes Baiae. Sirmond and Savaron identify these baths with Chaudesaigues, on the borders of Auvergne and Rouergue; another conjecture places them at Mont d'Or. Cf. Gregoire and Collombet, ii, p. 87.
2. Virgil, Aen. v. 440.
3. Rogationum. Cf. p. 241, note 95. 1, and Introduction, p. xli.
4. This is an unusual joke for a bishop, as more than one commentator has remarked.
68. 1. Eruderatum. The use of this word seems to show that the text of the Prophets had been corrupted. (Tillemont, Memoires, xvi, p. 236.)
69. 1. Cf. III. vii. 2; Introduction, p. xli.
70. 1. Roscia, one of Sidonius' daughters. Cf. Introduction, p. xiv.
71. 1. The church erected by Patiens at Lyons. Cf. II. x. 2.
Guizot and others here consider that Sidonius was already a bishop when this letter was written; Tillemont held with |239 more probability (Mem. xvi, p. 199) that he was a comparatively young man. Cf. Chaix, ii, p. 29.
73. 1. Cf. Virgil, Aen. v. 499.
2. The description of the ball-play in this Letter would be more interesting if we could form an idea of the rules of the game. From the fact that a number of players are engaged, and that violent collisions occur, w,e may hazard a guess that it is the Harpastum (a(rpasto&n), in which one player throws the ball high in the air, and the others run forward to seize it before he can catch it again. Cf. Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 846.
74. 1. Dies bonos male ferentem. Perhaps a person spoiled by good fortune.
75. 1. Literally, 'the Aeduan city' (Haeduae civitati).
76. 1. This Letter is interesting in relation to the status of coloni. Sidonius demands that the ravisher shall be raised from the state of a colonus, or dependent cultivator, to that of a free plebeian (plebeiam potius habere personam quam colonariam) in order that he may legally marry a woman already free.
2. In Concilia. This probably refers to the Curia of Lyons; the curial system continued under Visigothic and Burgundian dominion. Cf. Schmidt, Geschichte, p. 292.
77. 1. Evectionem refundunt. Evectio was the right to the free use of the cursus publicus, or post system. Here it seems to correspond to our phrase ' travelling expenses'.
79. 1. Episcopus Episcoporum. St. Clement uses this phrase at the beginning of his first letter to St. James of Jerusalem. The present is an answer to the kindly letter of congratulation sent by Lupus to Sidonius on his assumption of his episcopal office, and still preserved. (See Fertig, ii, pp. 7-8).
2. Luke v. 8.
3. Luke v. 12.
80. 1. Militiae Lerinensis. Cf. VIII. xiv; Carm. xvi. 105-16. For the monastery of Lerins, founded by Hilary, see the publications of H. Moris on the cartulary, archives, monuments, &c., issued in 1883, 1893, and 1909. Cf. also Alliez, Histoire du monastere de Lerins, 1862; Hist. litteraire |240 de la France, ii, pp. 37, 159; Chaix, i, p. 419; and the recent work by Dr. Cooper Marsdin, The History of the Islands of the Lerins, 1913.
82. 1. The daughter of Agrippinus had married the son of Eutropia, on whose death she refused to return to her father's house, preferring to remain with her mother-in-law, whose generous treatment she preferred.
83. 1. Leontius, as bishop of the capital (Arles), took precedence of all the Gallican bishops.
84. 1. Lit. auctoritas coronae tuae. The clerical 'crown' is the tonsure, and the word corona is used to designate a priest, as purpura to signify an emperor. Cf. VII. viii. Also Ennodius, Ep, IV. xxii; Augustine, Ep. xxxiii; Gregory of Tours, Vitae Patrum, xvii; and Gregoire and Collombet's note on this passage.
2. Vargus, as we gather from the Ripuarian and Salic laws of the Franks (cf. Lex Salica, xiv, add. 5, and lv. 2), literally meant, in the Teutonic dialect, one 'outlawed', or exiled from his country. (Cf. Sirmond, Notes, p. 65.) The episode to which this letter relates is rather difficult to follow. Most commentators have assumed that the woman was carried off from Clermont to Troyes. But Sidonius commonly uses iste for 'this', and istic for 'here' (cf. VIII. ix. 15, line 17 of the poem: nos istic positos, i.e. here, at Bordeaux); it seems probable, therefore, that when he says isto deductam . . . isticque distractam, he is referring to Clermont. The victim may have been abducted from some other place in or near Auvergne, and taken to the market at Clermont to be sold, afterwards passing into the control of Sidonius' man of affairs (negotiator noster) or of some man of business with whom he was acquainted ('our friend the banker'----Hodgkin). The necessity for a visit by the parties to Troyes would, on this theory, arise simply from the fact that Prudens, whose evidence was essential, had returned to his home in that city. The Vargi in many respects resembled the Bagaudae of a rather earlier time.
86. 1. The Visigoths,
87. 1. Cf. Introduction, p. xxxvi. |241
88. 1. Epistulam formatam. The 'formal' or canonical letter was an attestation given by the bishop to priests and clerks of his diocese when they travelled abroad; without it they were not admitted to the sacrament or to ecclesiastical functions in the districts which they visited. The bishop himself had to obtain a similar letter from the metropolitan or primate when he travelled. Such letters were a safeguard against deception at a time when privilege of clergy made imposture profitable, and they were drawn up with great care. The letters authorizing temporary absence were called Commendatitiae (ei0rhnikai/, sustatikai/); those accorded when the applicant did not intend to return were styled dimissoriae (a)polutikai/). See Sirmond, Notes, p. 66; Gregoire and Collombet, ii. 146-7, with the references there given; and Fertig, ii, p. 36.
90. 1. Debitum glebae canonem ---- the Emphyteutic canon: Canonem proprie dixit pensionem quae debetur ex praedio emphyteutico (Sirmond, Notes, p. 68).
91. 1. Cf. III. iv. i; IV. v. i; VIII. xiii. 3. 2. Cf. Pliny, Ep. IX. iii.
92. 1. Chilperic the Burgundian, now ruling over Lyons.
2. Photinianorum. The Photinians were heretics of the fourth century, who maintained the tenets of Photius, Bishop of Sirmium in Hungary. They were in substantial agreement with the Arians.
94. 1. Joseph was a type of Christ.
2. Viviers = Albensis (urbs). Alba Helviorum was its ancient name.
3. Tricastina urbs.
95. 1. For the Rogations first instituted by Mamertus of Vienne, see Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc, II. xxxiv; Caesarius of Arles, Homilies, xxx, and First Council of Orleans, Canon, 27. For the Rogations instituted by St. Gall at a time of pestilence, cf. Greg. Hist. Franc. IV. v. Cf. also V. xiv, VII. i, and Fertig, ii, p. 15.
97. 1. St. Ambrose had discovered the bodies of two saints, Gervasius and Protasius. (Ambrose, Ep. xv; Sermon, xci; Augustine, Conf. ix. 7; De Civ. Det, xxii. 8; |242 Gregory of Tours, De gloria Martyrum, I. xlvii; Acta Sanctorum, June 19).
98. 1. The crafty traveller (callidus viator) is Amantius, who frequently carried letters for Sidonius. An analogous episode to that which forms the subject of this Letter is recorded by Gregory of Tours (Hist. Franc. III. xv). 2. Cf. note 88. 1.
102. 1. Contestatiunculas. Contestatio signified a preface to the Mass (Mabillon, De Liturgia Gallic. i. 3; Tillemont, Memoires, xvi, p. 277). Gregoire and Collombet suggest that the Contestatiunculae here mentioned may be the Masses composed by Sidonius, and published as a book, with an added preface by Gregory of Tours. Cf. Hist. Franc. II. xxii.
104. 1. Vaison was the capital of the Vocontii, whose alliance Hannibal sought against Rome. It was now in Burgundian territory.
105. 1. Aquitanicae primae. The provinces were subdivided by different emperors, sub-divisions receiving the name of prima, secunda, &c., but the epithet prima was given to that which contained the former metropolis of the undivided province; e. g. Lugdunensis Prima was the division containing Lyons. Bourges was the capital of Aquitanica Prima, Bordeaux of Aquitanica Secunda.
107. 1. Here in the form Evarix. For Euric's campaigns resulting in the cession of Auvergne in 475, see Introduction, p. xxxvi. Gregory of Tours makes special reference to this Letter (Hist. Franc. II. xxv.).
108. 1. It might be supposed from the account given by Gregory of Tours (Hist. Franc. II. xxv) that Euric only barricaded the doors of the churches with brambles to prevent the entrance of worshippers; but this is surely not what Sidonius means.
109. 1. Si benedictione succidua non accipiat dignitatis heredem. This seems to imply that the dying wish of a parish priest influenced the choice of his successor.
2. This refers to the commission of the four bishops appointed to negotiate terms of peace between the empire and Euric. Cf. Introduction, p. xlii. |243
110. 1. Cf. VI. viii. 1; VII. ii. 1, x. 1; IX. iv. 1.
2. Audebant se quondam fratres Latio dicere. Cf. p. 222, note 42. I, and Lucan, Phars. i. 427: Arvernique ausi Latio se fingere fratres Sanguine ab Iliaco populi.
3. The people of Auvergne had successfully sustained a siege of the Visigoths, who drew off into winter quarters.
4. See p. 221, note 34. 1.
111. 1. The phrase is bitterly ironical. Cf. Introduction, p. xliii.
2. It seems best to take this in a general sense. For other explanations with a more specific reference, cf. Gregoire and Collombet, ii, pp. 257 ff.; Sirmond, Notes, p. 75. One objection to these is that they assume the loss of Marseilles to Rome at this period, a fact of which there seems to be no sufficient evidence.
112. 1. Corona tua. Cf. note 84. I.
115. 1. i.e. Pythagoras.
116. 1. Paginae decretalis. Cf. I. vii: gestis decretalibus. Credentials, or authority from a public body.
2. Agroecius of Sens. Cf. Letter VII. v. above.
3. Cf. I. i. 4.
119. 1. Acts viii. 18. 2. Luke i. 5.
120. 1. Domi habuit unde disceret. Terence, Adelphi, III. iii. 59 (453).
2. Exodus xxxvi. i ff.
123. 1. See note 110. i above.
124. 1. The 'neighbours' are the Visigoths, the 'protectors 'the Burgundians. Cf. Introduction, p. xxxvi.
128. 1. Antistes. This word usually signifies a bishop; but the terms of the present letter hardly suggest that dignity for Himerius. Claudianus Mamertus, a simple priest, is elsewhere described as antistes ordine in secundo (IV. xi); it seems probable that the word should also be understood 'of the second order' in the present place, and that Himerins had not attained episcopal rank. (See Gregoire and Collombet, ii. 269-70.) In this case the words dignitatis auctorem would imply that he was ordained by Lupus. |244 Cf. IX. ix. 6, where the word antistes is used of Riochatus, and xvii of the present book, where it is applied to Abraham, an abbot.
129. 1. The point of the Letter is that Sidonius, who has never seen his correspondent, claims, on the ground of a common culture, a greater intimacy with Philagrius than any mere neighbours in whom such culture was lacking. He reinforces his opinion, which he seems to hold with unnecessary emphasis, with some parade of scientific argument. The philosophical ideas here developed are derived from Platonism (cf. Chaix, i, p. 355 f.), but the manner is reminiscent of Seneca.
130. 1. The allusion is to encaustic painting in which the colour is mixed with wax, applied in a molten state with a spatula. This method, very popular in late Roman times, is most familiar to us from the mummy-portraits of the Fayum, but was popular in Early Byzantine art. For references see Dalton, Byzantine Art and Archaeology, p. 316.
2. Filium Marci Ciceronis populus Romanus non agnoscebat loquentem: because he had not his father's eloquence, and this, not any physical quality, was the only thing to ensure his general recognition. The source of the quotation appears to be unknown.
131. 1. Sidonius is here very frank in his expression of dislike for the barbarian. Cf. Introduction, p. xcii.
132. 1. The word used is professio. Either the ecclesiastical profession must be meant, or the common pursuit of poetry. If at the time of writing Sidonius was already bishop, he would not have occasion to make frequent visits to Vienne. Nor is anything said to prove that Salonius was a cleric.
134. 1. The poem sufficiently relates the chief events in Abraham's life. He represents the type of the oriental ascetic settled in the West. Cf. Introduction, p. lxxix.
2. The Sassanian Yezdegerd, whose great persecution began in 420 and lasted thirty years. Gregory of Tours says that Abraham was liberated by an angel. (De vitis Patrum, iii.) |245
135. 1. i. e. Jerusalem captured by Titus.
3. Et quae lanigero de sue nomen habent, i. e. Milan. Vocatum Mediolanum ab eo quod ibi sus in media lanea perhibetur inventa. Isidore, Orig. XV. i.
Ad moenia Gallis
Condita, lanigeri suis ostentantia pellem.
Claudian, x. 183.
4. The Euphrates, by which Abraham was born, was also one of the rivers of Paradise.
5. Lirinensium sive Grinincensium. For Lerins, see note 80. 1. The Grinincenses were a community dwelling at Grigny, on the Rhone, not far from Vienne. (Tillemont, Memoires, xvi, p. 259.) The community founded by Abraham at Clermont became the monastery of St. Cirgues.
136. 1. A te principium, tibi desinet. Virgil, Ecl. viii. ii. Cf. I. i.
140. 1. Apollonius of Tyana, if not often openly attacked, was as a rule viewed with disfavour by the Church, and regarded as something of a charlatan. Cf. J. S. Phillimore, Philostratus in honour of Apollonius of Tyana, Oxford, 1912, Introduction, pp. xciv. ff.
2. Nicomachus and Tascius Victorianus were two scholars who corrected and revised current editions of ancient authors, just as Sidonius himself corrected the Heptateuch for Ruricius (V. xv).
3. Translatio. Sirmond, arguing from other occurrences of this word in Sidonius (e.g. IX. xi, xvi), considers that it here means transcription. It may, however, as Fertig thinks (Part ii, p. 22), bear its proper sense; if so, the translation has not survived.
4. The fortress or castle of Livia, where Sidonius was confined by Euric, was between Carcassonne and Narbonne. Cf. Introduction, p. xliv.
141. 1. The peoples beyond the sea and on the Waal are the Vandals of Africa, and the Franks respectively.
145. 1. Virg. Georg. iv. 176; Ecl. i. 23. |246
146. 1. Turcius Rufius Astyrius, or Asterius (as his name is usually written), consul with Protogenes in 449. Some of his 'consular diptychs' are preserved, and the words datique fasti may refer, as Sirmond suggests, to the distribution of such diptychs. The sportula might take the form of silver baskets. Cf. Symmachus, Ep. ii. 81; ix. 109.
147. 1. This was a law of Theodosius promulgated in Constantinople twenty-five years before the consulship of Asterius, but not in force in Gaul until the latter date. Cf. Sirmond, Notes, p. 85; Th. Mommsen, Theodosiani Libri XVI, vol. I, pt. ii, p. 194.
148. 1. Amyclae, situated on the coast of Italy between Gaeta and Terracina (?), was a colony of Sparta, and may be held to have inherited a reputation for Laconism. Virgil (Aen. x. 564) calls it tacitae, and Servius, in his Commentary, gives more than one conjectural reason for the epithet, in addition to that mentioned above. (Cf. Gregoire and Collombet, ii. 365.) But the Laconian Amyclae may be intended. 2. Vitruvius . . . Columella. Well-known writers, the first on architecture, the second on agriculture. Vitruvius lived in the time of Julius Caesar and Augustus, Columella in that of Claudius.
149. 1. The statement that the Saxons returned to their homes 'de continenti' rather suggests that they came from islands which might either be situated off the coast of Schleswig or even be themselves the British Isles. For the evidence as to Saxon settlement in England before the middle of the fifth century, see Beck in C. M. H. pp. 382 ff.
Namatius was 'admiral' for Euric on the Atlantic seaboard, with the duty of beating off piratical attacks.
150. 1. M. Terentius Varro (116-28 B.C.), a voluminous writer who produced nearly 500 books on historical, scientific, and antiquarian subjects. His Logistorics were probably dialogues like those of Cicero. Eusebius of Caesarea, the chronographer (A.D. 265-338), sought to confirm the data of the Bible. His work is divided into two parts, the Chronographia containing the material for the synthetic treatment of the second part or Canones, which gives the rulers of |247 the world in parallel columns, with notes, while a separate column gives the years of the world's age. The Canons were translated by Jerome. Cf. J. B. Bury, Gibbon's Decline and Fall, II, Appendix i; Stewart in C. M. H. i, p. 582.
151. 1. The Emperor Julius Nepos began his reign by an attempt to render the civil and military services more efficient.
152. 1. Serranus and Camillus are quoted as examples of illustrious Romans of the Republican period devoted to rural life. Serranus was an agnomen of Regulus, who was actually engaged in sowing when his elevation to the consulship was announced to him in 257 B.C.
153. 1. Racilia was the wife of Cincinnatus.
154. 1. Satur est cum dicit Horatius Evohe. Juvenal, Sat. vii. 62. The poet suggests that a well-nourished system is essential to the production of good poetry, and that when Horace wrote Od. ii. 19 he had dined well.
2. Necdum enim quidquam de hereditate socruali vel in usum tertiae sub pretio medietatis. One of the most difficult passages in the Letters. Mommsen (Praefatio, p. xlvii) supposes Sidonius to have the usufruct of a third of the property, on condition that he is to buy half of the estate from the heirs, of whom he is not one----a supposition which presents various difficulties. Equal difficulties attend the effort to represent the third part as the tertia exacted from Roman landowners by their Teutonic conquerors. In the translation, I have adopted a suggestion kindly made by Prof. J. S. Reid, who, however, thinks it rather daring for definite adoption, because there is no authority for medietas as anything but a half-share. I have taken the risk of another rendering, because Sidonius employs several Latin words in an irregular and unclassical way, and it seems quite possible that he may here use medietas in the general sense of 'portion', as 'moiety' is sometimes used in English.
3. Sidonius was now detained by Euric at Bordeaux. See Introduction, p. xlv.
155. 1. A town in Phocis, sacred to Apollo. For the Boeotian Muses (Hyantiae Camenae), cf. Carm. ix. 285.
2. Istic positos, i.e. at Bordeaux. The following lines, |248 with their ethnographical details, are perhaps the best known in Sidonius. (Cf. Introduction, p. xciii.) The 'glaucous' cheeks of the Herulians were perhaps painted rather than tattooed. The tribe was settled on the Lower Rhine (cf. Cassiodorus, Variae, III. iii), and their representatives were probably at Bordeaux, because Euric was regarded as their protector against Frankish aggression. (Schmidt, Geschichte, pp. 268-9, note 5). Italy's prayer for aid in expelling the barbarian may refer to the Roman desire for the expulsion of Odovakar (ibid.).
156. 1. Arsaces is here used for a monarch of the later Sassanian dynasty----Peroz, or Firoze, at this time engaged in hostilities with the White Huns, who were encouraged by the East Roman Empire. (Procopius, De Bella Persico, I. iv; Tabari, Geschichte der Perser and Araber, Noldeke's ed., p. 119.)
157. 1. Meliboeus esse coepi. The reference is to Virgil's Eclogue, where Meliboeus is the countryman dispossessed of his lands.
2. This maxim does not occur in the writings of Symmachus which have come down to us.
158. 1. Cf. Pliny, Ep. i, 20, and vi. 33. The most famous speech of each orator is quoted.
159. 1. Vesunnici and Nitiobroges.
2. Drepanius, author of a panegyric on Theodosius. Anthedius, a poet mentioned elsewhere by Sidonius. Paulinus, perhaps a rhetor of Perigueux, though there is more than one person of the name who might be intended here. Alcimus, orator and poet, whose real name was Alethius. On these personages see Hist. Litt. de la France, i, p. 419; ii, pp. 136-8, 469, 537.
160. 1. Orpheus.
2. A Thracian huntress-goddess, 'Or she', &c. The reference is to Atalanta.
3. The text is:
Si vestigia fasceata nudi
per summum digiti regant citatis
firmi ingressibus atque vinculorum |249
concurrentibus ansulis reflexa
ad crus per cameram catena surgat.
Possibly the compagus may be the kind of shoe described. Cf. Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 589.
162. 1. Echoicos. Sirmond quotes the following lines of Pentadius, to illustrate the meaning of versus echoici: Per cava saxa sonat pecudum mugitibus Echo Voxque repulsa iugis per cava saxa sonat. For the versus recurrens, or palindrome, see note 207. 1.
'By repetitions' (per anadiplosin). Repetition is a poetical artifice commonly employed by Virgil, e.g.:
Sequitur pulcherrimus Astur,
Astur equo fidens, &c.
164. 1. For a concise statement of the elements of astrological belief in Roman times, see Daremberg and Saglio, article Divinatio, p. 302. Also A. Maury, La magie et l'astrologie dans l'antiquite, 1862; F. Lenormant, La divination et la science des presages chez les Chaldeens, 1875; A. Habler, Astrologie im Alterthum, 1879. Of the persons mentioned in the next paragraph, Vertacus, Thrasybulus, and Saturninus, the first and third are named as mathematicians in the letter to Leontius preceding Carm. xxii.
166. 1. Langon (Alingo) is on the left bank of the Garonne, south-east of Bordeaux.
2. Catonis in Syrte. Cato with ten thousand men crossed the desert of Leptis in thirty days. The exploit, which became almost legendary, is recorded by Strabo and Lucan.
167. 1. Tabula calculis strata bicoloribus. This mention of a board, with men of two colours, seems to confirm the belief that the game played by Theodoric was something akin to backgammon. Cf. p. 216, note 5. 1.
2. Medulicae supellectilis epulones. The oysters of Medoc were famous even in Rome. Cf. Ausonius, Ep. vii and ix.
170. 1. Cf. p. 239, note 80. 1.
2. Archimandritas. An archimandrite, in the Orthodox Eastern Church, approximately corresponds to an abbot in the West. |250
172. 1. The prophecy of St. Annianus (Aignan) is recorded by Gregory of Tours (Hist. Franc. ii. 7). Orleans was hard pressed by Attila, and the bishop promised succour from Aetius. That general arrived at the very moment when the walls of the town were breached, and prevented the Huns from entering the city. The story is not accepted by modern historical criticism.
173. 1. Juvenal, Sat. i. 5-6.
174. 1. Cf. Symmachus, Ep. iii. to Siburius, quoted by Sirmond: Si tibi vetustatis tantus est amor, pari studio in verba prisca redeamus, quibus Salii canunt, &c.
176. 1. The tenth book of the younger Pliny's letters contains only the correspondence between himself and Trajan, and Sidonius does not count it as one of the collection.
177. 1. For Levites or Levita, signifying 'deacon', cf. C. H. Turner in C. M. H. i, p. 157.
180. 1. Cf. p. 239, note 80. i.
2. An allusion to the loss of Sidonius' estate. Sirmond considers this letter to have been written when Sidonius was in exile at Bordeaux. Cf. VIII. ix.
181. 1. Paginam rusticantem. Cf. Introduction, p. cxxvi. 183. 1. The treaty of peace between Julius Nepos and Euric.
187. 1. Joshua ix. The Gibeonites were made hewers of wood and drawers of water for endeavouring to avoid servitude by pretending that their city was far off, when it was really near.
188. 1. Aptae fuistis, aptissime defuistis. One of the worst examples of Sidonius' delight in puns and verbal jugglery. 2. Satis eloquentiae, sapientiae parum. Cf. Sallust, Cat. v. 4.
189. 1. Riochatus antistes ac monachus, atque istius mundi bis peregrinus. It seems uncertain whether Riochatas had been made a bishop in Brittany, or whether he was a priest 'of the second order'. Cf. note 126. 1.
190. 1. On Sassanian textiles and embossed silver dishes the hunter is sometimes depicted holding a cub in each hand. Cf. note 203. 1.
2. The book was probably one of those in which Faustus established the divinity of the Son and the Holy Ghost against the Arians, and not, as Ampère suggested |251 (Hist. litt. de la France, ii, p. 250), his work on Grace. (Chaix, ii, p. 143.)
192. 1. Deut. xxi. 11-13.
193. 1. The list of philosophers is interesting in connexion with artistic (sculptural?) types, upon which the several descriptions appear to be based.
194. 1. Units were counted on the left hand, hundreds on the right. (Pliny, xxxiv. 7; Juvenal, Sat. x. 249.) Probably, as Sirmond suggests, Sidonius exaggerates the age of Faustus.
2. This letter is of interest for the status of a defaulting clerk. Injuriosus ought to have brought Aprunculus a dimissorial letter from Sidonius. Without this his position was irregular, and he exposed himself to possible retributive action on Sidonius' part. Cf. note 88. 1, and Chaix, ii, p. 102.
195. 1. This difficult Letter perhaps refers to an episode in connexion with the issue of the second instalment of the Letters. Sidonius seems to have sent his manuscript to Lupus, but with the request that the bishop, after looking it through, should pass it on to some other person unnamed. This request appears to have offended Lupus, who wrote to Sidonius to air his grievance. Cf. Chaix, ii, p. 283.
197. 1. If Lupus was elected bishop in 427, the date of the present Letter is 477. Cf. Duchesne, Fastes episcopaux, ii, p. 449.
199. 1. This passage again suggests a date. Assuming Sidonius to have been elected bishop in 472, the year when he presumably abandoned secular poetry, the present Letter, as Baronius pointed out, would have been written in 484.
201. 1. The passage testifies to the lively interest of Sidonius in metrical questions. Form, with him, was of no less importance than matter.
2. i.e. Apuleius, of Madaura in Africa.
202. 1. Magistri Epistularum. Petrus was secretary of Majorian. See p. clxxvi.
2. i.e. Arles. Sidonius was there with Majorian in 461. See Introduction, p. xxiii.
203. 1. Sirmond quotes Ammianus Marcellinus (Bk. xxiv) for the Babylonian hangings used at the time of Julian's sojourn in Ctesiphon, all representing royal hunting scenes. |252 The present passage also recalls the well-known Sassanian silk textiles. (Cf. note 190. 1 above.) Niphates, a mountain in Armenia, here represents that country.
204. 1. Tepidas ad officinas. The translation given is based on the suggestion of Fertig (i, p. 31), who compares Carm. xxiii. 131: Smyrnaeae incude doctas officinae. The allusion would be to the heat of a busy forge, metaphorically representing a thorough and efficient school of music, dance, and song. Thymele is the platform on which the choregus stood in the middle of the orchestra; pale (lit. 'a place for wrestling') might then be the stage on which mimes appeared. (Cf. Carm. xxiii. 301, 302.) Lepidas has been suggested as an alternative to tepidas.
207. 1. Versus recurrentes. Cf. note 162. 1. The second of the two palindrome verses in the text is of unknown origin, and yields no obvious sense (Forcellini, Lexicon, s. v. peredo). Of the first, as given here in isolation, the same might almost be said; but at some time it was attached to a hexameter, so as to form a recurrent couplet, and placed in the mouth of Satan, to enliven the description of a pilgrimage to Rome by a personage variously given as St. Martin, a canon of Combremer, &c. The holy man changes the Devil into a beast of burden, and rides him towards his destination, his impatience arousing the following protest:
'Signa te, signa; temere me tangis et angis;
Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor.'
'Cross, aye, cross thyself; 'tis all for nought that thou strikest and plaguest me, since my paces will soon bring before thee Rome, the goal of thy desire.' Whatever may be the date of the first line, the second is shown by the terms of Sidonius' allusion (illud antiquum) to have been well known in the second half of the fifth century. The invention of recurrent verses was commonly attributed to Sotades, a poet of the third century B.C. The best example in Greek is the NIΨON ANOMHMA MH MONAN OΨIN, inscribed on many mediaeval fonts (in England, those of Sandbach, Harlow, Melton Mowbray, Hadley, and others), and traced to the time of the |253 Byzantine Emperor Leo VI (Leo Allatius, Excerpta varia Graecorum Sophistarum, &c., p, 398, 1641; Anthol. Graec. Epigrammatum VI, xiii, p. 563. Ed. H. Steph. Frankfort, 1600).
208. 1. i.e. Livy. The part of his history dealing with the career of Julius Caesar is no longer extant, but it still survived in the time of Sidonius, and Symmachus was acquainted with it (Ep. IV. xvii).
2. Some read: Viventius Martialis. Sirmond conjectures that the person intended may be Gargilius Martialis, author of a life of Caesar, cited by Vopiscus and Lampridius. L. Cornelius Balbus, with Oppius, represented Caesar's interests at Rome during the Civil War. No diary of his is now known.
3. The custom of bringing a claque to applaud the public reading of a friend was very common during the Roman empire. It is mentioned by Pliny, Juvenal, and other writers.
211. 1. Peragratis dioecesibus. Dioecesis is used here in the sense of 'parish'. Cf. Sirmond, Notes, p. 101.
212. 1. Mme de Sevigne, writing from Grignan in 1695, complained that the inkstands were frozen in the bitter cold of early February.
2. Mytilenaei oppidi vernulas = Sapphics, Sappho being a native of Mytilene.
213. 1. Cum meis poni statuam . . . Nerva Trajanus titulis videret. The allusion is to the statue erected in the reign of Avitus, after Sidonius had delivered the panegyric of that emperor. See Introduction, p. xviii. The two libraries are those dedicated respectively to Greek and Latin literature. 2. 1. e. the office of Prefect of Rome, carrying with it the presidency of the Senate, conferred on Sidonius by Anthemius in 468. Cf. Introduction, p. xxix.
214. 1. St. Saturninus, first bishop of Toulouse, martyred in the second half of the third century. (Cf. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc. I. xxviii, and see Acta Sanctorum, Nov. 29.) The 'Capitol' from which he was flung is that of Toulouse.
2. The regula Flacci is contained in the third and fourth verses of Epistle ii:
Institui, currente rota cur urceus exit?
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