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debating what was to be further done in the case, he quietly escaped by death from his persecutors. The servile senate ordered his books to be burned, but many copies were concealed; and his daughter afterwards honoured herself by her pious cares to make them as public as possible. From Seneca's character of them, their loss to modern times is greatly to be regretted. "You have well deserved," he says to Marcia, "of Roman literature and of posterity, to whom will descend a faithful record of events, which cost its author so dear; you have well deserved of himself, whose memory will live and flourish as long as it is thought worth while to know the history of Rome; as long as there shall remain any one who shall wish to recur to the acts of his ancestors; any one who shall be desirous of knowing what a Roman once was; what, when all necks were bowed beneath the Sejanian yoke, was the character of an unconquerable spirit, free in his head, his heart, his hand." The only remaining composition of Cordus is an eulogy of Cicero, preserved in the Suasoria of M. Seneca. He is referred to by Suetonius, and Pliny the Elder.
QUINTUS CURTIUS, a Latin historian, who wrote the life of Alexander the Great, in ten books, of which the two first are not extant, but are so well supplied by Freinshemius, that the loss is scarcely regretted. When this writer lived, is not certain, but by his style he is supposed to have lived near the Augustan age; though some imagine the work to have been composed in Italy, about 300 years ago, and the name of Quintus Curtius fictitiously prefixed. Cardinal du Perron was so great an admirer of this work, as to declare one page of it to be worth thirty of Tacitus; yet M. le Clerc, at the end of his Art of Criticism, has charged the writer with great ignorance, and many contradictions. He has nevertheless many qualities as a writer, which will make him admired and applauded.
The best editions of his works are the Elzevir, 1653; Freinshemius, 1643, 2 vols. 8vo. and Cellarius, 1696, 12mo. There is a good English translation, by Digby in 2 vols. 12mo.
CAIUS CORNELIUS TACITUS, a celebrated Roman historian, and one of the greatest men of his time, born about the year 60. He applied himself early to the bar, in which he gained high reputation. Having married the daughter of Agricola, the road to public honours was open to him, under Vespasian and Titus; but during the sanguinary tyranny of Domitian, he and his friend Pliny retired from public affairs. The reign of Nerva restored these luminaries of literature to Rome, and Tacitus was engaged in 101, to pronounce the funeral oration of the venerable Virginius Rufus, the colleague of the emperor in the consulship, and afterwards succeeded him as consul, A. D. 97. It is supposed that he died in the end of the reign of Trajan.
His works which remain are five books of his History. His Annals. A Treatise on the different Nations who then inhabited Germany. The Life of Agricola. A Treatise on Eloquence. No ancient author has obtained a more splendid reputation than Tacitus. Kings, princes, and authors of all ranks have read and admired him; though a spirit of liberty runs through his whole works. Never were description and sentiment so beautifully blended, nor the actions and the characters of men delineated with such precision. In short, he has all the merits of other authors without their defects.
The best edition of his works is that of Brotier, 1771, 4 vols. 4to.; and of the English translations, that by Murphy.
APPIAN, an eminent writer of the Roman history in Greek, under the reign of Trajan and Adrian. He was a native of Alexandria in Egypt; whence he went to Rome, and distinguished himself so well as an advocate, that he was chosen one of the procurators of the empire, and the government of a province was committed to him. He did not complete the Roman history in a continued series; but wrote distinct histories of all nations, that had been conquered by the Romans, in which he placed every thing relating to those nations, in the proper order of time. His style is plain and simple. He has shown the greatest knowledge of military affairs, and the happiest talent at describing them of any of the historians; for while we read his work, we in a manner see the battles he describes. Of all this voluminous work there remains only what treats of the Punic, Syrian, Parthian, Mithridatic, and Spanish wars, with those against Hannibal, the civil wars, and the wars in Illyricum, and some fragments of the Celtic or Gallic wars. They were published at Geneva in 1592, folio, at Amsterdam in 1670, 2 vols. 8vo. and at Leipsic, in 3 vols. 8vo. 1784.
LUCIUS ANNÆUS FLORUS, a Latin historian of the same family, with Seneca and Lucan. He flourished in the reigns of Trajan and Adrian; and wrote an abridgement of the Roman history, of which there have been many editions. It is composed in a florid and poetical style; and is rather a panegyric on many of the great actions of the Romans, than a faithful and correct recital of their history. He also wrote poetry, and entered the lists against the emperor Adrian, who satirically reproached him with frequenting places of dissipation. best edition of his works is that of Duker, 2 vols. 8vo. 1722.
CAIUS SUETONIUS TRANQUILLUS, a famous Latin historian, was born at Rome, and became secretary to the emperor Adrian, about A. D. 118, but that post was taken from him three years after, for not showing the empress Sabina all the respect she deserved. During his disgrace he composed many works, which are lost. Those extant, are his History of the XII Cæsars, and a part of his Treatise of the Illustrious
Grammarians and Rhetoricians. Pliny the Younger was his intimate friend, and persuaded him to publish his books. His History of the XII Cæsars, has been much commended by many of the literati. He represents, in a series of curious particulars, without digressions or reflections, the actions of the emperors, exposing their deformity, yet mentions their good qualities, but the horrid dissoluteness and obscene actions he relates of Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, &c. have made made some say, that he wrote the lives of the emperors, with the same licentiousness with which they lived. The edition of this history by Grævius at Utrecht, in 1672, with the excellent commentaries of Torrentius and Casaubon, and the notes of some other learned critics, is much esteemed. Other good editions are those of Patin, Basil, 1675, 4to.; of Grævius, 1691, 4to.; and of Pitiscus, 1714. There is an English translation, by Thomson, 8vo.
PAMPHILA, an ancient Grecian authoress, who flourished in Nero's reign, and wrote a general history in thirty-three books, much commended by the ancients, but not extant,
FABIUS RUSTICUS, an historian in the age of Claudius and Nero. He was intimate with Seneca; and the encomiums which Tacitus passes upon his style, make us regret the loss of his compositions.
SERVILIUS NONIANUS, a Latin historian, who flourished under Nero, and wrote a history of Rome, which is lost.
POMPEIUS SATURNINUS, a Roman historian, poet, and orator, who flourished in the reign of Trajan. Pliny mentions him with great approbation, and always consulted him before he published his own works.
ABDIAS OF BABYLON, one of the boldest legend writers, who boasted he had seen our Saviour, that he was one of the seventy-two disciples, had been witness of the actions and prayers at the deaths of several of the apostles, and had followed into Persia St. Simon and St. Jude, who, he said, made him the first bishop of Babylon. His book entitled Historia certaminis Apostolici, was published by Wolfgang Lazius, at Basil, 1551; and it has since borne several impressions in different places.
HALICARNASSENSIS DIONYSIUS junior, flourished, according to Suidas, under the emperor Adrian, and wrote twenty-six books of the "History of Musicians," in which he celebrated not only the great performers on the flute and cithara, but those who had risen to eminence by every species of poetry.
THEODORUS, an Athenian flute-maker, the father of Isocrates, the orator. How great the demand was at this time for
flutes at Athens, may be conceived from a circumstance mentioned by Plutarch, in his life of the orator. His father, says, he, acquired wealth sufficient by his business, not only to educate his children in a liberal manner, but also to bear one of the heaviest burdens to which an Athenian citizen was liable, of furnishing a choir or chorus for his tribe, or ward, at festivals and religious ceremonies.
MATHEMATICS, ASTRONOMY, &c.
MENELAUS, a celebrated mathematician, who flourished under the reign of the emperor Trajan, was of Grecian extraction, but a native of Alexandria. He is called by Ptolemy a geometrician, as having made astronomical observations at Rome, in the year 98, of the Christian era. He is supposed to have been the Menelaus referred to by Plutarch, in his dialogue, "De Facie quæ in orbe Lunæ apparet." He was author of " three books on Spherics," which have come down to the present times, through the medium of the Arabian language. A Latin version of this work was published at Paris, by father Mersenue, in 1664, with corrections, restorations, and additional illustrative propositions.
AQUILA, a mathematician of Pontus, who was employed by Adrian to rebuild Jerusalem, where he embraced the Christian religion, and was baptised; but being excommunicated for practising astrology, he turned Jew. He translated the Old Testament into Greek, of which only a few fragments remain. HELIODORUS, an eminent mathematician of Larissa in
AGRIPPA, an astronomer, was a native of Bithynia. He was a very accurate observer.
THEON, a mathematician of the Platonic school, was a native of Smyrna, and flourished under the emperor Trajan and Adrian. His mathematical treatises are said to have been written for the purpose of elucidating the philosophy of Plato, and his discourses, treating of geometry, arithmetic, music, astronomy, and the harmony of the universe, may serve to throw some light upon the Pythagorean system.
BABILIUS, an astrologer in the time of Nero, who advised the emperor to put all the leading men of Rome to death, that he might avert the danger which seemed to hang over his head, from the appearance of a hairy comet. Nero strictly followed this advice.
CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY, a very celebrated geographer, astronomer and mathematician, among the ancients, was born at Pelusium, in Egypt, about the seventieth year of the Christian era, and died, it has been said, in the seventy-eighth year
of his age, and in the year of Christ, 147. He taught astronomy at Alexandria, in Egypt, where he made many astronomical observations, and composed his other works. It is certain that he flourished in the reigns of Marcus Antoninus and Adrian, for it is noted in his Canon, that Antoninus Pius reigned twenty-three years, which shows that he himself survived him; he also tells us in one place, that he made a great many observations upon the fixed stars, at Alexandria, in the second year of Antoninus Pius; and in another, that he observed an eclipse of the moon in the ninth year of Adrian; from which it is reasonable to conclude, that this astronomer's observations upon the heavens, were many of them made between the year 125 and 140. Ptolemy has always been reckoned the prince of astronomers, among the ancients, and in his works has left us an entire body of that science. He has preserved and transmitted to us the observations, and principal discoveries of the ancients, and at the same time augmented and enriched them with his own. He corrected Hipparchus's catalogue of the fixed stars; and formed tables, by which the motions of the sun, moon, and planets might be calculated and regulated. He was, indeed, the first who collected the scattered and detached observations of the ancients, and digested them into a system, which he set forth in his "sive Magna Constructio," divided into thirteen books. He adopts and exhibits here, the ancient system of the world, which placed the earth in the centre of the universe; and this has been called, from him, the Ptolemaic system, to distinguish it from those of Copernicus and Tycho Brahe.
About the year 78, this work was translated by the Arabians into their language, in which it was called "Almagestum," by order of one of their kings; and from Arabic into Latin, about 1230, by the encouragement of the emperor Frederic II. There were also other versions from the Arabic into Latin; and a manuscript of one, done by Girardus Cremonensis, who flourished about the middle of the fourteenth century; Fabricius says, it is still extant, in the library of All Souls' College, in Oxford. The Greek text of this work, began to be read in Europe in the fifteenth century, and was first published by Simon Grynæus, at Basil, 1538, in folio, with the eleven books of Commentaries by Theon, who flourished at Alexandria, in the reign of the Elder Theodosius. In 1541, it was reprinted at Basil, with a Latin version, by George Trapizond; and again at the same place in 1551, with the addition of other works of Ptolemy, and Latin versions by Camerarius. We learn from Kepler, that this last edition was used by Tycho Brahe.
Of this principal work of the ancient astronomers, it may not be improper to give here a more particular account. In general it may be observed, that the work is founded upon the hy