« ForrigeFortsett »
case a return to the reading of the Bembine and other good codd. in preference to that of inferior authorities. Our obligations are more especially due to the critical ed. of Umpfenbach and that of the Phormio by Dziatzko. No satisfactory edition of the Phormio has ever appeared in England. The Bembine being at once so important and so inaccurately collated we have placed in the margin a short critical commentary, in which its evidence for and against the main points of the text is briefly, but we hope sufficiently, stated. Our best thanks are due to Mr Edward Bond, Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, for his revision and emendation of the Introduction : and to Professor Jebb for his kind permission to make use of his spirited translation of Act 3 Scene 1.
LIST OF CHIEF EDITIONS AND WORKS
A. D. 1565 Faernus; 1623 Lindenbrog; 1657 Guyetus; 1701 Leng; 1726, 1727, 1846 Bentley; 1824 Delphin (reprint); 1830 Stallbaum ; 1857 Fleckeisen; 1857 Parry; 1869 Wagner; 1870 Umpfenbach ; 1874 Dziatzko, Phormio.
Ritschl's Works (esp. his edd. of Plaut.).
Grammars of Roby, Dr W. Smith, Madvig, Kennedy [P. School] Ribbeck, Comic Fragments, ed. 2.
Beiträge zur Lehre von den Lat. Partikeln, 1869.
Meineke, Comic Fragments.
Guhl and Koner. Leben d. G. und R. [tr. by Hueffer, 1877].
RIGHTLY to appreciate the literary position of Terence, Rome's debt to we must remember that he wrote at á
period when Rome was beginning to feel the inspiring influence which Greece could exercise even in her decay. The second Punic war, the most momentous struggle in which Rome was ever engaged, had ended before Terence was born'. In the comparative lull which succeeded, the voice of culture, speaking to a people of curiously unimaginative minds, found opportunity of making itself heard. Greece began to lead her captivity captive and to teach her unlettered conqueror a wisdom to which his own unaided genius would have left him a stranger* : for the Romans, with but rare exceptions, did not possess, did not indeed claim, any originality or creative power in the field of literature. Until 240 B.C., when Livius Andronicus issued his first play, the page of Italian composition is almost a blank; and when the breath of literary inspiration at last stirred the massive practical soul of the Roman, it blew upon him from that quarter of Italy where Greek thought and Greek life had found a home. And throughout the history of
1 End of 2nd Pun. War, B.C. 201.
Punico bello secundo Musa pinnato gradu
intulit se bellicosam in Romuli gentem feram. 3 Exception in Naevius (mentioned below), and in the case of satire.
4 I. e. in Magna Graecia.
Roman literature it is successful imitation rather than any new glory of creation which forms the boast of those authors whom we account the greatest. Tragedy is not the expression of the deep and solemn vein which runs through all the history of Rome: comedyat least, comedy of the highest sort—is not a reflex of the national life. Catullus is dubbed 'doctus,' the technical epithet for one skilled in Greek lore. Vergilo boasts that he has sung Hesiod in Roman cities, and Horace tunes to native strings the songs of another land. There is no reason to be astonished at this; it is only to say that a nation whose genius prompted deeds of war, conquest, legislation and administrative power, whose constructive and artistic faculty found its truest expression in substantial colossal works of utility, was not fitted to achieve success in fields where subtlety of thought or spiritual imagination was required. Roman laws, Roman aqueducts, Roman roads : these are Roman indeed; but Roman literature draws from abroad the sources of its life and strength.
Of the celestial thieves' who stole fire from Hellas for the uses of Rome, Terence was among Terence helps the earliest and most successful. His short
Greek influence life of 35 or, as is now thought, of only 25 years witnessed a most direct and determined attempt to bring in a higher culture and more definitely Greek influence. This was not to be done in a moment: Naevius the recognised champion of the rugged Saturnian metre, eminently national in his epic on the First Punic War, the poet who wrote his own epitaph to
5 Georg. 2, 176, Ascraeumque cano Romana per oppida carmen.
6 Ritschl, Teuffel, Wagner and other modern writers incline to the later date (184 B.C.) for his birth: basing their opinion on the authority of the best MSS. of Suetonius, where, in his life of Terence, he says: nondum quintum atque uicesimum egressus annum.
vindicate the glories of the Latin tongue", was only just dead: Cato whose hatred of all that was Greek was not eradicated for nearly eighty years, was still alive: his words recorded by Plutarch still ringing in his countrymen's ears ως αποβαλούσι Ρωμαίοι τα πράγματα γραμμάτων Ελληνικών αναπλησθέντες 8.
Against him and his supporter Fabius were ranged that large body of cultivated, able and influential men, who are known to us as the Scipionic circle, which comprised, among others, C. Sulpicius Gallus, Fabius Labeo, M. Popilius Laenas, Spurius Mummius, L. Furius Philo, Minucius, Metellus, and, most celebrated of all, the great Laelius ‘of mellowed wisdom' and the future hero of Carthage, Scipio the younger. These were formidable antagonists, and they set to work to mould the national taste to conformity with Greek models. They had with them Polybius the Greek historian (B.C. 208—127), a valuable ally, inasmuch as his work quitted the old lines on which Roman history was constructed, and took a wider and more philosophical basis: and in their earlier efforts they made use of the extraordinary talents of PVBLIVS TERENTIVS His life. AFER. As his name implies, he was a foreigner. The exact time or manner of his transmission from Africa to the house of his master, P. Terentius Lucanus, a senator, is a matter which must remain obscure, nor is it of any great importance'. 7 His date is 274–202 B.C.
Mortalis inmortalis flere si foret fas
obliti sunt Romae loquier latina lingua.
9 Quintil. Declam. 9: Terentium quem inter ceteros captiuos secundo Punico bello Scipio Africanus uinculis exsoluerat memoriae tradidere maiores insigne receptae libertatis pileo testantem in triumpho ducis esse conspectum. The date forbids any reference to the poet: Lindenbrog refers it to Ter. Culleo, a Roman senator.