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Roman life in the days of Cicero   By: (1829-1912)

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Roman Life in the Days of Cicero By the REV. ALFRED J. CHURCH, M.A.

Author of "Stories from Homer"

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

New York

TO OCTAVIUS OGLE, IN REMEMBRANCE OF A LONG FRIENDSHIP THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED.

CONTENTS.

CHAP.

I. A ROMAN BOY

II. A ROMAN UNDERGRADUATE

III. IN THE DAYS OF THE DICTATOR

IV. A ROMAN MAGISTRATE

V. A GREAT ROMAN CAUSE

VI. COUNTRY LIFE

VII. A GREAT CONSPIRACY

VIII. CAESAR

IX. POMPEY

X. EXILE

XI. A BRAWL AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

XII. CATO, BRUTUS, AND PORCIA

XIII. A GOVERNOR IN HIS PROVINCE

XIV. ATTICUS

XV. ANTONY AND AUGUSTUS

PREFACE.

This book does not claim to be a life of Cicero or a history of the last days of the Roman Republic. Still less does it pretend to come into comparison with such a work as Bekker's Gallus , in which on a slender thread of narrative is hung a vast amount of facts relating to the social life of the Romans. I have tried to group round the central figure of Cicero various sketches of men and manners, and so to give my readers some idea of what life actually was in Rome, and the provinces of Rome, during the first six decades to speak roughly of the first century B.C. I speak of Cicero as the "central figure," not as judging him to be the most important man of the time, but because it is from him, from his speeches and letters, that we chiefly derive the information of which I have here made use. Hence it follows that I give, not indeed a life of the great orator, but a sketch of his personality and career. I have been obliged also to trespass on the domain of history: speaking of Cicero, I was obliged to speak also of Caesar and of Pompey, of Cato and of Antony, and to give a narrative, which I have striven to make as brief as possible, of their military achievements and political action. I must apologize for seeming to speak dogmatically on some questions which have been much disputed. It would have been obviously inconsistent with the character of the book to give the opposing arguments; and my only course was to state simply conclusions which I had done my best to make correct.

I have to acknowledge my obligations to Marquardt's Privat Leben der Romer , Mr. Capes' University Life in Ancient Athens , and Mr. Watson's Select Letters of Cicero , I have also made frequent use of Mr. Anthony Trollope's Life of Cicero , a work full of sound sense, though curiously deficient in scholarship.

The publishers and myself hope that the illustrations, giving as there is good reason to believe they do the veritable likenesses of some of the chief actors in the scenes described, will have a special interest. It is not till we come down to comparatively recent times that we find art again lending the same aid to the understanding of history.

Some apology should perhaps be made for retaining the popular title of one of the illustrations. The learned are, we believe, agreed that the statue known as the "Dying Gladiator" does not represent a gladiator at all. Yet it seemed pedantic, in view of Byron's famous description, to let it appear under any other name.

ALFRED CHURCH.

HADLEY GREEN October 8, 1883.

ROMAN LIFE IN THE DAYS OF CICERO.

CHAPTER I.

A ROMAN BOY.

A Roman father's first duty to his boy, after lifting him up in his arms in token that he was a true son of the house, was to furnish him with a first name out of the scanty list (just seventeen) to which his choice was limited. This naming was done on the eighth day after birth, and was accompanied with some religious ceremonies, and with a feast to which kinsfolk were invited. Thus named he was enrolled in some family or state register. The next care was to protect him from the malignant influence of the evil eye by hanging round his neck a gilded bulla , a round plate of metal. (The bulla was of leather if he was not of gentle birth.) This he wore till he assumed the dress of manhood... Continue reading book >>




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