Ancient Greek Method Acting

Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 6.5

A story about the actor Polus, which is worth relating:

There was once a very famous actor in Greece, who was preeminent among his peers due to the distinctness and delight of his manner and voice. They say that his name was Polus, and he acted many of the tragedies of the great poets very seriously and with great skill. This Polus lost his most preciously cherished son to death. Once he seemed to have sufficiently worked through his grief, he returned to the pursuit of his art.

At that time in Athens, he was about to perform Sophocles’ Electra, in which he was required to carry an urn as though the bones of Orestes were inside. The argument of the play was so composed that Electra, as though she were bearing the remains of her brother, should bewail and lament his supposed death. Therefore Polus put on a mourning habit and took the urn from the tomb of his son, and as though he were grasping the bones of Orestes, he choked up not with representations and imitation, but with real grief and truly breathing lamentation. And so, though it seemed that everyone was watching a play, it was a performance of real grief.”

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Historia de Polo histrione memoratu digna. Histrio in terra Graecia fuit fama celebri, qui gestus et vocis claritudine et venustate ceteris antistabat: nomen fuisse aiunt Polum, tragoedias poetarum nobilium scite atque asseverate actitavit. Is Polus unice amatum filium morte amisit. Eum luctum quoniam satis visus est eluxisse, rediit ad quaestum artis. In eo tempore Athenis Electram Sophoclis acturus gestare urnam quasi cum Oresti ossibus debebat. Ita compositum fabulae argumentum est, ut veluti fratris reliquias ferens Electra comploret commisereaturque interitum eius existimatum. Igitur Polus lugubri habitu Electrae indutus ossa atque urnam e sepulcro tulit filii et quasi Oresti amplexus opplevit omnia non simulacris neque imitamentis, sed luctu atque lamentis veris et spirantibus. Itaque cum agi fabula videretur, dolor actus est.

The Ideal Friend According to Ennius

Gellius, Attic Nights 12.4

“Some verses are quoted from the seventh book of Quintus Ennius’ Annals in which the character and behavior of a lower ranked man towards a socially superior friend is depicted and defined”

In the seventh book of the Annals we find Quintus Ennius  clearly and learnedly describing and defining in the story of Geminius Servilius, a nobleman, with what character, attitude, humility, trust, control over speech, context for speaking, with which knowledge of ancient things and old and new manners, with how much effort for guarding secret belief, and what kinds of treatments there are against the annoyances of life which are necessary aids for a friend of a man who is superior by birth and fortune to have.

I judge these verses to be no less worthy of frequent and constant remembrance than the philosophers’ sayings about responsibilities. In addition to this, the savor of antiquity in these verses must be so revered, its sweetness is so simple and removed from every kind of contamination, that my belief is that they must be remembered, and considered, and cultivated in the place just as ancient and sacred laws of friendship

Versus accepti ex Q. Enni septimo Annalium, quibus depingitur finiturque ingenium comitasque hominis minoris erga amicum superiorem.

Descriptum definitumque est a Quinto Ennio in Annaliseptimo graphice admodum sciteque sub historia Gemini Servili, viri nobilis, quo ingenio, qua comitate, qua modestia, qua fide, qua linguae parsimonia, qua loquendi opportunitate, quanta rerum antiquarum morumque veterum ac novorum scientia quantaque servandi tuendique secreti religione, qualibus denique ad muniendas vitae molestias fomentis,
levamentis, solacis amicum esse conveniat hominis genere et fortuna superioris.

Eos ego versus non minus frequenti adsiduoque memoratu dignos puto quam philosophorum de officiis decreta. Ad hoc color quidam vestustatis in his versibus tam reverendus est, suavitas tam inpromisca tamque a fuco omni remota est, ut mea quidem sententia pro antiquis sacratisque amicitiae legibus observandi, tenendi colendique sint. Quapropter adscribendos eos existimavi, si quis iam statim desideraret:

Ennius, Annals 7 fr.12

Once he said these things, he calls for a man with whom he often, happily, and freely
Shared a table and conversations about his own private affairs
When he found himself worn thin after the greater part of the day
From ruling the most important affairs of the state:
Advice grated in the form and in the sacred Senate.
To this man he would speak boldly on matters small and great
And tell jokes and empty himself of evil and good concerns
Through speech if he wanted to and know they are safe.
This man with whom he shares much pleasure
Communicating both secret and public joys
Whose nature no mere saying of evil sways
So that he might commit a lightly considered or evil deed.
A learned, trusty, kind, pleasurable, happy man content with his life,
Understanding, offering the right word at the right time,
Friendly but of few words, possessing much knowledge of antiquity
Buried by time, mastering customs new and old
The laws of many gods and men of antiquity,
A wise man, who can speak or be silent on what has been spoken.
In the middle of the fight Servilius addresses this man.

They claim that Lucius Aelius Stilo used to say that Ennius composed these words about him and that this was actually the detail of Ennius’ own character and customs.”

Haece locutus vocat quocum bene saepe libenter
Mensam sermonesque suos rerumque suarum
Comiter inpertit, magnam cum lassus diei
Partem fuisset, de summis rebus regundis
Consilio indu foro lato sanctoque senatu;
Cui res audacter magnas parvasque iocumque
Eloqueretur sed cura malaque et bona dictu
Evomeret, si qui vellet, tutoque locaret,
Quocum multa volup ac gaudia clamque
Ingenium cui nulla malum sententia suadet
Ut faceret facinus levis aut malus; doctus, fidelis,
Suavis homo, facundus, suo contentus, beatus,
Scitus, secunda loquens in tempore, commodus,
Paucum, multa tenens antiqua sepulta, vetustas
Quem facit et mores veteresque novosque tenentem,
Multorum veterum leges divumque hominumque;
Prudenter qui dicta loquive tacereve posset;
Hunc inter pugnas conpellat Servilius sic.

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Ennius from Wikipedia

Correcting Sallust

Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae: 4.15

A Sentence from Sallust’s History, Which His Unfair Detractors Have Censured with Malignant Zeal

“The elegance of Sallust’s speeches and arrangement of words, as well as his pursuit of innovation was straightaway met with much ill-will, and many men of not inconsiderable talent tried to censure and detract from much of what he wrote. In that pursuit, they insulted him ignorantly and with malice. Nevertheless, there are some parts of Sallust which admit of some criticism, such as that which we find in his Bellum Catilina, which has the look of being written with too little attention.

The words of Sallust run: ‘And to me it seems that even though the same glory does not attend upon the writer and the doer of deeds, it nevertheless seems in the first place arduous to write history. The first difficulty is that the words must be matched to the deeds; the second is that many will think that the censure which you pass upon vices can be attributed to your own spiteful malice. When you make mention of someone’s great virtue and glory, which each reader considers easily within his own power of achieving, it will be accepted with equanimity; but if you exceed that, the reader will consider these things as contrived in the telling, and think them false.’

They say that Sallust proposed to write the reasons for which it is difficult to write history, but that – once he had listed the first cause – he simply degenerated into an enumeration of complaints. For it is not to be reckoned as a difficulty in writing history that those who read it either interpret it unfairly or think it false. They say that the composition of history should be considered “subject to false opinion” rather than “arduous.” That is because what is “arduous” is difficult in its own completion, rather than difficult because of the erroneous opinions of others.

This is what his malevolent detractors say. But Sallust does not mean by “arduous” only “difficult;” he means by “arduous” what the Greeks meant by “chalepon,” which is not just “difficult,” but also bothersome, inconvenient, and intractable. The signification of these words is not far off from the sentiment of Sallust recorded above.”

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Defensa a culpa sententia ex historia Sallustii, quam iniqui eius cum insectatione maligni reprehenderint. 

1 Elegantia orationis Sallustii verborumque fingendi et novandi studium cum multa prorsus invidia fuit, multique non mediocri ingenio viri conati sunt reprehendere pleraque et obtrectare. In quibus plura inscite aut maligne vellicant. Nonnulla tamen videri possunt non indigna reprehensione; quale illud in Catilinae historia repertum est, quod habeat eam speciem quasi parum adtente dictum. Verba Sallustii haec sunt:

2 “Ac mihi quidem, tametsi haudquaquam par gloria sequitur scriptorem et auctorem rerum, tamen inprimis arduum videtur res gestas scribere: primum, quod facta dictis exaequanda sunt; dein, quia plerique, quae delicta reprehenderis, malivolentia et invidia dicta putant. Vbi de magna virtute atque gloria bonorum memores, quae sibi quisque facilia factu putat, aequo animo accipit; supra, veluti ficta, pro falsis ducit.”

3 “Proposuit” inquiunt “dicturum causas, quamobrem videatur esse arduum res gestas scribere; atque ibi cum primam causam dixerit, dein non alteram causam, sed querellas dicit. 4 Non enim causa videri debet, cur historiae opus arduum sit, quod hi, qui legunt, aut inique interpretantur quae scripta sunt, aut vera esse non credunt.” 5 Obnoxiam quippe et obiectam falsis existimationibus eam rem dicendam aiunt quam “arduam”; quia, quod est arduum, sui operis difficultate est arduum, non opinionis alienae erroribus.

6 Haec illi malivoli reprehensores dicunt. Sed “arduum” Sallustius non pro difficili tantum, sed pro eo quoque ponit, quod Graeci chalepon appellant, quod est cum difficile, tum molestum quoque et incommodum et intractabile. Quorum verborum significatio a sententia Sallustii supra scripta non abhorret.

Dinner for a Dog, and Ancient Wine Criticism

Gellius, Attic Nights 13.31

“The words of the passage, in which we find the proverb caninum prandium (a dog’s dinner) are these: ‘Do you not see that Menestheus lists three types of wine, including the black, white, medium (which they call kirron) as well as new, old, and medium? And further, that the dark one produces virility, the white one is a diuretic, and the medium is a digestive aid? Still more, that the new one cools you down, the old one heats you up, and the middle is a dinner for a dog (caninum prandium)?’

We investigated for a long time just what was meant by ‘dinner for a dog.’ An abstemious dinner – that is, one without wine – is called a ‘dinner for a dog’ because dogs do not drink wine. Therefore Menestheus named it ‘medium wine,’ because it is neither new nor old – and many men speak thus, as though every wine were either new or old – and he indicated that the medium wine had none of the power either of the old or the new wine, and was on that account not to be considered wine at all, because it could neither cool one down nor heat one up.”

Eius autem loci, in quo id proverbium est, verba haec sunt: “Non vides apud Mnesitheum scribi tria genera esse vini, nigrum, album, medium, quod vocant kirron, et novum, vetus, medium? et efficere nigrum viris, album urinam, medium pepsin? novum refrigerare, vetus calefacere, medium esse prandium caninum?” XV. Quid significet “prandium caninum”, rem leviculam diu et anxie quaesivimus. XVI. Prandium autem abstemium, in quo nihil vini potatur, caninum dicitur, quoniam canis vino caret. XVII. Cum igitur “medium vinum” appellasset, quod neque novum esset neque vetus, et plerumque homines ita loquantur, ut omne vinum aut novum esse dicant aut vetus, nullam vim habere significavit neque novi neque veteris, quod medium esset, et idcirco pro vino non habendum, quia neque refrigeraret neque calefaceret.


For any readers engaging (engorging) in non-canine dinners tomorrow, I hope that you avoid the fate of the earliest wine drinkers (depicted in this 3rd century mosaic from Cyprus), particularly the guy in the bottom right!


Lending, Buying, Loving Books: Passages for #WorldBookDay


μέγα βιβλίον μέγα κακόν

“Big book, big problem.”


Cicero on Lending Books, Letters to Atticus, 8

“Beware of lending your books to anyone; save them for me, as you write that you will. The greatest excitement for them has gripped me, along with a contempt for everything else.”

libros vero tuos cave cuiquam tradas; nobis eos, quem ad modum scribis, conserva. summum me eorum studium tenet, sicut odium iam ceterarum rerum.


Vergerio, a Lament on the Books We’ve Lost: de ingenuis moribus et liberalibus adulescentiae studiis, XXXVIII:

“Letters and books are a record of things and the common treasury of all knowable things. Therefore, if we ourselves are unable to produce anything of our own, we ought to take care that we transmit those which we have received from earlier generations to posterity intact and uncorrupted. By this we can lend counsel to those who will come after us, and we will in this one way repay the labors of those who have come before us. In this matter, we may justly censure a certain age and the ages which immediately succeeded it. Indeed, we may feel indignant (though we accomplish nothing in so doing) that these earlier ages have allowed so many notable works of famous authors to perish. Of certain of these, indeed, only the names, though decorated with the highest praise, have come down to us. Of others, parts and fragments have come to us. Then, from the splendor of the praises and the noted name, we desire their works as well. We may be indignant that the rest of their labors have perished when we consider the excellence and dignity of those which survive; though it must be conceded that they are in many places so corrupt, cut up, and mangled, that it would almost be better if nothing of them had survived to our day.”

Nam sunt litterae quidem ac libri certa rerum memoria et scibilium omnium communis apotheca. Idque curare debemus ut quos a prioribus accepimus, si nihil ipsi ex nobis gignere forte possumus, integros atque incorruptos posteritati transmittamus, eoque pacto et his qui post nos futuri sunt utiliter consulemus et his qui praeterierunt vel unam hanc suorum laborum mercedem repensabimus. In quo iuste forsitan possumus quoddam saeculum proximasque superiores aetates accusare. Indignari quidem licet, proficere autem nihil, quod tam multa illustrium auctorum praeclara opera deperire passi sunt. Et quorundam quidem nomina sola, summis tamen laudibus ornata, aliorum etiam pars vigiliarum et fragmenta quaedam ad nos pervenerunt. Unde fit ut ex splendore laudum ac nominis opera desideremus illorum. Horum vero reliquos labores deperisse indignemur ex earum rerum quae superant adhuc excellentia ac dignitate, tametsi ea ipsa in plerisque partium suarum tam vitiose corrupta, quaedam etiam intercisa ac mutilata suscepimus, ut paene melius fuerit ex his nihil ad nos pervenisse.

Plato’s Book Purchases: Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 3.16

  • This too has been entrusted to history by the most trustworthy men: Plato bought three books of Philolaus the Pythagorean and Aristotle acquired a few volumes of the philosopher Speusippus at inconceivable prices.

It has been said that the philosopher Plato was a man without great financial resources; yet he nevertheless purchased three books of the Pythagorean Philolaus for ten thousand denarii. That amount, some write, Dio of Syracuse, his friend, gave to him.  Aristotle too is said to have bought a few books of the philosopher Speusippus after his death for three Attic talents. That is as much as seventy-two thousand sesterces!

The acerbic Timon wrote a very libelous book which is called the Sillos [i.e. “Lampoon”]. In that book, he takes on Plato insultingly for the fact that he bought the book of Pythagorean philosophy for so high a price and that he cobbled together that noble dialogue the Timaeus from it. Here are Timon’s lines on the matter:

And You, Plato: the desire of education seized you
And you bought a small book for a vast sum,
This book is where you learned to write a Timaios.”

 P.Oxy. XI 1362

XVII. Id quoque esse a gravissimis viris memoriae mandatum, quod tris libros Plato Philolai Pythagorici et Aristoteles pauculos Speusippi philosophi mercati sunt pretiis fidem non capientibus. 

1Memoriae mandatum est Platonem philosophum tenui admodum pecunia familiari fuisse atque eum tamen tris Philolai Pythagorici libros decem milibus denarium mercatum. 2 Id ei pretium donasse quidam scripserunt amicum eius Dionem Syracosium. 3 Aristotelem quoque traditum libros pauculos Speusippi philosophi post mortem eius emisse talentis Atticis tribus; ea summa fit nummi nostri sestertia duo et septuaginta milia. 4 Timon amarulentus librum maledicentissimum conscripsit, qui sillos inscribitur. 5 In eo libro Platonem philosophum contumeliose appellat, quod inpenso pretio librum Pythagoricae disciplinae emisset exque eo Timaeum, nobilem illum dialogum, concinnasset. Versus super ea re Timonos hi sunt (fr. 828):

καὶ σύ, Πλάτων· καὶ γάρ σε μαθητείης πόθος ἔσχεν,
πολλῶν δ’ ἀργυρίων ὀλίγην ἠλλάξαο βίβλον,
ἔνθεν ἀπαρχόμενος τιμαιογραφεῖν ἐδιδάχθης.

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On Not Confusing the Author with His Book: Martial, Epigrams Book 11.15

“I do have drafts that Cato’s wife
And those dreadful Sabine women might read:
But I want this whole little book to laugh
and to be dirtier than other little books.
Let it soak up wine and not shudder
To be died dark with Cosmian ink,
Let it play with the boys and love the girls
And let it just name directly that ‘thing’
From which we are born, the parent of all
Which holy Numa called a little dick.
Remember still, Apollinoris, that
These verses are Saturnalian.
This little book’s morals aren’t mine!”

Sunt chartae mihi quas Catonis uxor
et quas horribiles legant Sabinae:
hic totus volo rideat libellus
et sit nequior omnibus libellis.
Qui vino madeat nec erubescat
pingui sordidus esse Cosmiano,
ludat cum pueris, amet puellas,
nec per circuitus loquatur illam,
ex qua nascimur, omnium parentem,
quam sanctus Numa mentulam vocabat.
Versus hos tamen esse tu memento
Saturnalicios, Apollinaris:
mores non habet hic meos libellus.



Happiness Might Kill You (Really, I Promise)

Aulus Gellius 3.15

Literature and popular memory holds that sudden, unhoped for joy has killed many, when the breath is stalled and incapable of enduring the force of a new, and large emotion.

The philosopher Aristotle reports that when Polycrita heard happy but unexpected news without warning, the noblewoman from the island of Naxos expired. Philippides as well, a comic poet of no mean talent, died of joy itself when he learned he was victorious in a poet’s competition at an advanced age.

The story of Diagoras of Rhodes is also well known. That Diagoras had three children, one was a boxer, the second was a mixed-martial artist, and the third a wrestler. He watched all three win victories and be crowned on one day at the Olympics. When the three embraced him there and kissed him as they placed their garlands on his head, even as the people were throwing flowers on him in congratulations, he wheezed out his soul in that same stadium amid the kisses and the embraces as the people watched.

I have read written in our annals  that when the Roman army was destroyed in the storm at Cannae, a messenger afflicted an elderly mother with grief and sorrow over the death of her son. But the messenger was wrong! The youth returned to the city from the battle not much later. When the old woman saw her son, she was so overcome by a confused, ruinous torrent of unhoped for joy that she immediately died.”

15 Exstare in litteris perque hominum memorias traditum, quod repente multis mortem attulit gaudium ingens insperatum interclusa anima et vim magni novique motus non sustinente.

1 Cognito repente insperato gaudio exspirasse animam refert Aristoteles philosophus Polycritam, nobilem feminam Naxo insula. 2 Philippides quoque, comoediarum poeta haut ignobilis, aetate iam edita, cum in certamine poetarum praeter spem vicisset et laetissime gauderet, inter illud gaudium repente mortuus est. 3 De Rhodio etiam Diagora celebrata historia est. Is Diagoras tris filios adulescentis habuit, unum pugilem, alterum pancratiasten, tertium luctatorem. Eos omnis vidit vincere coronarique Olympiae eodem die et, cum ibi cum tres adulescentes amplexi coronis suis in caput patris positis saviarentur, cum populus gratulabundus flores undique in eum iaceret, ibidem in stadio inspectante populo in osculis atque in manibus filiorum animam efflavit. 4 Praeterea in nostris annalibus scriptum legimus, qua tempestate apud Cannas exercitus populi Romani caesus est, anum matrem nuntio de morte filii adlato luctu atque maerore affectam esse; sed is nuntius non verus fuit, atque is adulescens non diu post ex ea pugna in urbem redit: anus repente filio viso copia atque turba et quasi ruina incidentis inopinati gaudii oppressa exanimataque est.

This almost killed me:

Sick of Seneca: Gellius, Attic Nights 12.2

  1. That Annaeus Seneca, when judging Ennius and Cicero, was possessed of light and silly judgment.

“Some think of Seneca as a worthless writer, whose books it is not even worth the effort to touch, because his speech seems vulgar and played-out, while his matter and thoughts are characterized either by a bungling and empty force or a light and rather juridical affectation. His learning, however, is common and plebeian, and has neither the grace nor the dignity of the ancient writers. Though others may not deny that he has too little of elegance in his words, they affirm that he is not lacking a knowledge and understanding of the things which he discusses, in addition to a not unpleasing severity in censuring moral lapses. It is not necessary for me to make a judgment or criticism of his talent or writing as a whole; but I would like to consider the nature of the judgment which he made on Cicero, Ennius, and Vergil. In the twenty-second book of his moral epistles, which he wrote to Lucullus, he says that Ennius wrote these ridiculous verses about that ancient man Cethegus:

He was called by the people once,

who lived about that time,

the special flower of the people, and the marrow of Persuasion.

Then he writes about these same verses, ‘I wonder at the fact that the most eloquent and devoted fans of Ennius have praised this claptrap as fine poetry. Cicero, to be sure, mentions these among Ennius’ best lines.’ He then adds about Cicero himself, ‘I am not surprised that there was a man who could write verses like this since there was also a man who would praise them; but perhaps Cicero, that famous orator, was pleading his own case by praising these, in order to make his own awful verses appear good.’ After this, Seneca adds most foolishly, ‘Even in Cicero’s prose you can find some things, from which it is clear that he did not waste his time when he read Ennius.’ Then he includes an example of the sort of thing which he reprehends in Cicero as being  ‘Ennian,’ which he wrote in his book de re publica: ‘Menelaus the Laconian was graced with a sweet-talking charm,’ and in another passage, ‘he cultivates brevity of speech in his oratory.’ Then that clown Seneca has the audacity to make apology for Cicero’s errors by writing, ‘It was not the fault of Cicero himself, but of his times; it was inevitable that one would speak thus, when that sort of thing was commonly read.’ Then he suggests that Cicero included these bits to avoid the charge that his speech was too ornate and polished.

In the same place, he says this of Vergil: ‘Even our own Vergil has, for the same reason, placed certain ugly and unwonted verses which go somewhat beyond the limit, so that his Ennian audience could recognize a little bit of antiquity in his new poem.’

But now I’m sick of Seneca’s words. Nevertheless, I won’t omit to mention these little jokes of that stupid and witless man: ‘There are some verses of Ennius of such great sense that they could, though written among those that smell like goats, could nevertheless please a perfumed audience.’ When he is criticizing the verses about Cethegus which I quoted above, he says, ‘Whoever loves this kind of verse would probably also like the couches of Sotericus.’

Seneca certainly seems worthy for the perusal of adulescents when he compares the dignity and taste of the best ancient poetry to the couches of Sotericus as though they had no grace and were long ago forgotten and condemned. But listen as I remember a few things which Seneca actually said well, such as that which he said about a miser who wanted more money: ‘What does it matter how much money you have? There is always much more which you do not have!’ Was this well-said? Certainly. But good sayings don’t benefit the young as much as bad sayings harm them, and this is especially true when the inferior ones are so much greater in number, and if they are not about some small and simple affair, but a doubtful one which requires serious judgment.”

II Quod Annaeus Seneca iudicans de Q. Ennio deque M. Tullio leui futtilique iudicio fuit.

[1] De Annaeo Seneca partim existimant ut de scriptore minime utili, cuius libros adtingere nullum pretium operae sit, quod oratio eius uulgaria uideatur et protrita, res atque sententiae aut inepto inanique impetu sint aut leui et causidicali argutia, eruditio autem uernacula et plebeia nihilque ex ueterum scriptis habens neque gratiae neque dignitatis. Alii uero elegantiae quidem in uerbis parum esse non infitias eunt, sed et rerum, quas dicat, scientiam doctrinamque ei non deesse dicunt et in uitiis morum obiurgandis seueritatem grauitatemque non inuenustam. [2] Mihi de omni eius ingenio deque omni scripto iudicium censuramque facere non necessum est; sed quod de M. Cicerone et Q. Ennio et P. Vergilio iudicauit, ea res cuimodi sit, ad considerandum ponemus. [3] In libro enim uicesimo secundo epistularum moralium, quas ad Lucilium conposuit, deridiculos uersus Q. Ennium de Cetego antiquo uiro fecisse hos dicit:

is dictust ollis popularibus olim, qui tum uiuebant homines atque aeuum agitabant, flos delibatus populi Suada medulla.

[4] Ac deinde scribit de isdem uersibus uerba haec: ‘Admiror eloquentissimos uiros et deditos Ennio pro optimis ridicula laudasse. Cicero certe inter bonos eius uersus et hos refert.’ [5] Atque id etiam de Cicerone dicit: ‘Non miror’ inquit ‘fuisse, qui hos uersus scriberet, cum fuerit, qui laudaret; nisi forte Cicero summus orator agebat causam suam et uolebat suos uersus uideri bonos.’ [6] Postea hoc etiam addidit insulsissime: ‘Aput ipsum quoque’ inquit ‘Ciceronem inuenies etiam in prosa oratione quaedam, ex quibus intellegas illum non perdidisse operam, quod Ennium legit.’ [7] Ponit deinde, quae apud Ciceronem reprehendat quasi Enniana, quod ita scripserit in libris de republica: ‘ut Menelao Laconi quaedam fuit suauiloquens iucunditas’, et quod alio in loco dixerit: ‘breuiloquentiam in dicendo colat.’ [8] Atque ibi homo nugator Ciceronis errores deprecatur et ‘non fuit’ inquit ‘Ciceronis hoc uitium, sed temporis; necesse erat haec dici, cum illa legerentur.’ [9] Deinde adscribit Ciceronem haec ipsa interposuisse ad effugiendam infamiam nimis lasciuae orationis et nitidae. [10] De Vergilio quoque eodem in loco uerba haec ponit: ‘Vergilius quoque noster non ex alia causa duros quosdam uersus et enormes et aliquid supra mensuram trahentis interposuit, quam ut Ennianus populus adgnosceret in nouo carmine aliquid antiquitatis.’ [11] Sed iam uerborum Senecae piget; haec tamen inepti et insubidi hominis ioca non praeteribo: ‘Quidam sunt’ inquit ‘tam magni sensus Q. Ennii, ut, licet scripti sint inter hircosos, possint tamen inter unguentatos placere’; et, cum reprehendisset uersus, quos supra de Cetego posuimus: ‘qui huiuscemodi’ inquit ‘uersus amant, liqueat tibi eosdem admirari et Soterici lectos.’ [12] Dignus sane Seneca uideatur lectione ac studio adulescentium, qui honorem coloremque ueteris orationis Soterici lectis compararit quasi minimae scilicet gratiae et relictis iam contemptisque. [13] Audias tamen commemorari ac referri pauca quaedam, quae idem ipse Seneca bene dixerit, quale est illud, quod in hominem auarum et auidum et pecuniae sitientem dixit: ‘Quid enim refert, quantum habeas? multo illud plus est, quod non habes.’ [14] Benene hoc? sane bene; sed adulescentium indolem non tam iuuant, quae bene dicta sunt, quam inficiunt, quae pessime, multoque tanto magis, si et plura sunt, quae deteriora sunt, et quaedam in his non pro ἐνθυμήματι aliquo rei paruae ac simplicis, sed in re ancipiti pro consilio dicuntur.