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The Merchant of Venice. 


Julius Cxsar. 

A Midsummer-Night's Dream. 



Much Ado about Nothing. 

Romeo and Juliet. 

As You Like It. 

The Tempest. 

Twelfth Night 

The Winter's Tale. 

King John. 

Richard II. 

Hnry IV. Part I. 

Henry IV. Part II. 

Henry V. 

Richard III. 

Henry VIII. 

King Lear. 

The Taming of the Shrew. 

All 's Well that Ends WelL 


The Comedy of Errors. 


Antony and Cleopatra. 

Measure for Measure. 

Merry Wives of Windsor. 

Love s Labour 's Lost. 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. 

Timon of Athens. 

Troilus and Cressida. 

Henry VI. Part I. 

Henry VI. Part II. 

Henry VI. Part III. 

Pericles, Prince of Tyre. 

The Two Noble Kinsmen. 

Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, etc 


Titus Andronicus. 






Any of the above works wiO be sent by mail, postage prepaid^ to any 
part of the United States, on receipt of the price. 

Copyright, 1888, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 



AT the request of the publishers, the first name on the title-page of 
this book is that of the editor of the " English Classics" series in which 
it is included ; but the better part of the work has been done by his son, 
John C. Rolfe, teacher of Latin in the Hughes High School, Cincinnati, 
Ohio. The senior editor has arranged the introduction, compared the 
text with the English editions and revised its punctuation, and helped in 
seeing the book through the press. The Notes are almost entirely the 
junior editor's, having received only occasional revision in minor points 
at the hands of his senior. 

The editors are fully agreed in the opinion that parallel reading in 
English should accompany the study of Latin in our high schools and 
academies, where, especially in the preparatory course for college, so 
little time can be given to purely literary training. For such reading 
Macaulay's Lays are particularly well-adapted, both on account of their 
subjects and their many allusions to Roman customs and habits, and 
also, to our thinking, for iheir poetical merit. Certain critics, of whom 
the late Matthew Arnold is perhaps the most noteworthy, tell us that 
the Lays are not poetry; but in this instance we are content to be wrong 
with John Stuart Mill and Henry Morley and "Christopher North" (see 
pages 140, 143 below) and Edmund Clarence Stedman, if they are wrong, 
rather than to be right with Matthew Arnold, if he is right. Every teacher 
who has used the Lays with his classes can testify that boys enjoy them 
heartily. They have long been a part of the curriculum in the Boston 
Latin School and other of our best preparatory schools, and are included 
in the English reading required for admission to Harvard and other col- 
leges. No doubt they would have been more generally introduced into 
schools but for the lack of an annotated edition. As Macaulay says 
(page 29 below), the learned reader does not need notes on the Lays, and 
for the unlearned they would have little interest ; but the schoolboy needs 
them, and the average teacher is not "learned" enough to dispense with 
them in all cases. In preparing the present volume the editors have 


repeatedly been compelled to hunt up for themselves allusions on which 
classical instructors and professors were unable to give them help. 

The Notes being mainly intended for the schoolboy, the quotations 
from classical authors have been drawn as far as possible from those read 
in preparatory schools. Explanations are also given of many points in 
ancient geography, history, institutions, manners, etc., which, even if the 
young folk have already learned them or could look them up in other 
books, it may be well to make readily accessible if only as a review 
in connection with the text of the poems. The occasional notes on Eng- 
lish etymology are intended only as hints to teachers who are not already 
in the habit of letting their pupils dig a little among vernacular " roots " 
as well as Greek and Latin ones. 

W.J. R. 

CAMBRIDGE, May 15, 1888. 











NOTES 117 







THAT what is called the history of the kings and early 
consuls of Rome is to a great extent fabulous, few scholars 
have, since the time of Beaufort, ventured to deny. It is cer- 
tain that, more than three hundred and sixty years after the 
date ordinarily assigned for the foundation of the city, the 
public records were, with scarcely an exception, destroyed by 
the Gauls. It is certain that the oldest annals of the com- 
monwealth were compiled more than a century and a half 
after this destruction of the records. It is certain, therefore, 
that the great Latin writers of the Augustan age did not pos- 
sess those materials without which a trustworthy account of 
the infancy of the Republic could not possibly be framed. 


Those writers own, indeed, that the chronicles to which they 
had access were filled with battles that were never fought 
and consuls that were never inaugurated ; and we have abun- 
dant proof that, in these chronicles, events of the greatest im- 
portance such as the issue of the war with Porsena, and the 
issue of the war with Brennus were grossly misrepresented. 
Under these circumstances, a wise man will look with great 
suspicion on the legend which has come down to us. He will, 
perhaps, be inclined to regard the princes who are said to 
have founded the civil and religious institutions of Rome, the 
son of Mars and the husband of Egeria, as mere mythological 
personages, of the same class with Perseus and Ixion. As 
he draws nearer and nearer to the confines of authentic his- 
tory, he will become less and less hard of belief. He will ad- 
mit that the most important parts of the narrative have some 
foundation in truth. But he will distrust almost all the de- 
tails, not only because they seldom rest on any solid evidence, 
but also because he will constantly detect in them, even when 
they are within the limits of physical possibility, that peculiar 
character, more easily understood than defined, which distin- 
guishes the creations of the imagination from the realities of 
the world in which we live. 

The early history of Rome is indeed far more poetical than 
anything else in. Latin literature. The loves of the Vestal 
and the God of War; the cradle laid among the reeds of Ti- 
ber ; the fig-tree ; the she-wolf; the shepherd's cabin ; the 
recognition ; the fratricide ; the rape of the Sabines ; the death 
of Tarpeia ; the fall of Hostus Hostilius ; the struggle of 
Mettus Curtius through the marsh ; the women rushing with 
torn raiment and dishevelled hair between their fathers and 
their husbands; the nightly meetings of Numa and the Nymph 
by the well in the sacred grove ; the fight of the three Ro- 
mans and the three Albans; the purchase of the Sibylline 
books ; the crime of Tullia ; the simulated madness of Bru- 
tus ; the ambiguous reply of the Delphian oracle to the Tar- 


quins ; the wrongs of Lucretia ; the heroic actions of Horatius 
Codes, of Scaevola, and of Clcelia ; the battle of Regillus, won 
by the aid of Castor and Pollux ; the defence of Cremera ; 
the touching story of Coriolanus ; the still more touching 
story of Virginia : the wild legend about the draining of the 
Alban lake ; the combat between Valerius Corvus and the 
gigantic Gaul are among the many instances which will at 
once suggest themselves to every reader. 

In the narrative of Livy, who was a man of fine imagina- 
tion, these stories retain much of their genuine character. 
Nor could even the tasteless Dionysius distort and mutilate 
them into mere prose. The poetry shines, in spite of him, 
through the dreary pedantry of his eleven books. It is dis- 
cernible in the most tedious and in the most superficial mod- 
ern works on the early times of Rome. It enlivens the dul- 
ness of the Universal History, and gives a charm to the most 
meagre abridgments of Goldsmith. 

Even in the age of Plutarch there were discerning men 
who rejected the popular account of the foundation of Rome, 
because that account appeared to them to have the air, not 
of a history, but of a romance or a drama. Plutarch, who 
was displeased at their incredulity, had nothing better to say 
in reply to their arguments than that chance sometimes turns 
poet, and produces trains of events not to be distinguished 
from the most elaborate plots which are constructed by art.* 
But though the existence of a poetical element in the early 
history of the Great City was detected so many ages ago, 

* "YVoTrrov p.iv iviois, iari TO fpa^iartKuv Kai vXaafiarwli^ ov ti fit 

(ITTlffTllv, Tt}v TV\t]V Vp{ut>TCt, OIWV It It} /JOLT 111 V ^IJfllOVpfOf 40TI. Kom. 

viii. This remarkable passage has been more grossly misinterpreted 
than any other in the Greek language, where the sense was so obvious. 
The Latin version of Cruserius, the French version of Amyot, the old 
English version by several hands and the later English version by Lang- 
home are all equally destitute of every trace of the meaning of the original. 
None of the translators saw even that iroirjfia is a poem. They all ren- 
der it an event. 


the first critic who distinctly saw from what source that poet- 
ical element had been derived was James Perizonius, one of 
the most acute and learned antiquaries of the seventeenth 
century. His theory, which in his own days attracted little 
or no notice, was revived in the present generation by Nie- 
buhr, a man who would have been the first writer of his time 
if his talent for communicating truths had borne any propor- 
tion to his talent for investigating them. That theory has 
been adopted by several eminent scholars of our own coun- 
try, particularly by the Bishop of St. David's, by Professor 
Maiden, and by the lamented Arnold. It appears to be now 
generally received by men conversant with classical antiquity ; 
and, indeed, it rests on such strong proofs, both internal and 
external, that it will not be easily subverted. A popular ex- 
position of this theory, and of the evidence by which it is sup- 
ported, may not be without interest even for readers who are 
unacquainted with the ancient languages. 

The Latin literature which has come down to. us is of later 
date than the commencement of the second Punic war, and 
consists almost exclusively of works fashioned on Greek mod- 
els. The Latin metres, heroic, elegiac, lyric, and dramatic, 
are of Greek origin. The best Latin epic poetry is the feeble 
echo of the Iliad and Odyssey. The best Latin eclogues are 
imitations of Theocritus. The plan of the most finished di- 
dactic poem in the Latin tongue was taken from Hesiod. 
The Latin tragedies are bad copies of the masterpieces of 
Sophocles and Euripides. The Latin comedies are free trans- 
lations from Demophilus, Menander, and Apollodorus. The 
Latin philosophy was borrowed, without alteration, from the 
Portico and the Academy; and the great Latin orators con- 
stantly proposed to themselves as patterns the speeches of 
Demosthenes and Lysias. 

But there was an earlier Latin literature a literature truly 
Latin which has wholly perished, which had, indeed, almost 
wholly perished long before those whom we are in the habit 


of regarding as the greatest Latin writers were born. That 
literature abounded with metrical romances, such as are found 
in every country where' there is much curiosity and intelli- 
gence, but little reading and writing. All human beings not 
utterly savage long for some information about past times, 
and are delighted by narratives which present pictures to the 
eye of the mind. But it is only in very enlightened commu- 
nities that books are readily accessible. Metrical composi- 
tion, therefore, which in a highly civilized nation is a mere 
luxury, is in nations imperfectly civilized almost a necessary 
of life, and is valued less on accoupt of the pleasure which it 
gives to the ear than on account of the help which it gives to 
the memory. A man who can invent or embellish an inter- 
esting story, and put it into a form which others may easily 
retain in their recollection, will always be highly esteemed by 
a people eager for amusement and information, but destitute 
of'libraries. Such is the origin of ballad-poetry, a species of 
composition which scarcely ever fails to spring up and flourish 
in every society at a certain point in the progress towards re- 
finement. Tacitus informs us that songs were the only me- 
morials of the past which the ancient Germans possessed. 
We learn from Lucan and from Ammianus Marcellinus that 
the brave actions of the ancient Gauls were commemorated 
in the verses of bards. During many ages, and through many 
revolutions, minstrelsy retained its influence over both the 
Teutonic and the Celtic race. The vengeance exacted by the 
spouse of Attila for the murder of Siegfried was celebrated 
in rhymes, of which Germany is still justly proud. The 
exploits of Athelstane were commemorated by the Anglo- 
Saxons, and those of Canute by the Danes, in rude poems, 
of which a few fragments have come down to us. The chants 
of the Welsh harpers preserved, through ages of darkness, a 
faint and doubtful memory of Arthur. In the Highlands of 
Scotland may still be gleaned some relics of the old songs 
about Cuthullin and Fingal. The long struggle of the Ser- 


vians against the Ottoman power was recorded in lays full of 
martial spirit. We learn from Herrera that, when a Peruvian 
Inca died, men of skill were appointed to celebrate him in 
verses, which all the people learned by heart and sang in pub- 
lic on days of festival. The feats of Kurroglou, the great 
freebooter of Turkistan, recounted in ballads composed by 
himself, are known in every village of Northern Persia. 
Captain Beechey heard the bards of the Sandwich Islands 
recite the heroic achievements of Tamehameha, the most il- 
lustrious of their kings. Mungo Park found in the heart of 
Africa a class of singing-men, the only annalists of their rude 
tribes, and heard them tell the story of the victory which 
Darnel, the negro prince of the Jaloffs, won over Abdulkader, 
the Mussulman tyrant of Foota Torra. This species of poe- 
try attained a high degree of excellence among the Castilians 
before they began to copy Tuscan patterns. It attained a 
still higher degree of excellence among the English and the 
Lowland Scotch during the fourteenth, fifteenth, and six- 
teenth centuries. But it reached its full perfection in ancient 
Greece ; for there can be no doubt that the great Homeric 
poems are generically ballads, though widely distinguished 
from all other ballads, and, indeed, from almost all other hu- 
man compositions, by transcendent sublimity and beauty. 

As it is agreeable to general experience that, at a certain 
stage in the progress of society, ballad-poetry should flourish, 
so is it also agreeable to general experience that, at a subse- 
quent stage in the progress of society, ballad-poetry should 
be undervalued and neglected. Knowledge advances ; man- 
ners change ; great foreign models of composition are studied 
and imitated. The phraseology of the old minstrels becomes 
obsolete. Their versification, which, having received its laws 
only from the ear, abounds in irregularities, seems licentious 
and uncouth. Their simplicity appears beggarly when com- 
pared with the quaint forms and gaudy coloring of such 
artists as Cowley and Gongora. The ancient lays, unjustly 


despised by the learned and polite, linger for a time in the 
memory of the vulgar, and are at length too often irretriev- 
ably lost. We cannot wonder that the ballads of Rome 
should have altogether disappeared, when we remember how 
very narrowly, in spite of the invention of printing, those of 
our own country and those of Spain escaped the same fate. 
There is, indeed, little doubt that oblivion covers many Eng- 
lish songs equal to any that were published by Bishop Percy, 
and many Spanish songs as good as the best of those which 
have been so happily translated by Mr. Lockhart. Eighty 
years ago, England possessed only one tattered copy of Childe 
Waters and Sir Cauline, and Spain only one tattered copy of 
the noble poem of The Cid. The snuff of a candle, or a mis- 
chievous dog, might, in a moment, have deprived the world 
forever of any of those fine compositions. Sir Walter Scott, 
who united to the fire of a great poet the minute curiosity 
and patient diligence of a great antiquary, was but just in 
time to save the precious relics of the Minstrelsy of the Bor- 
der. In Germany, the Lay of the Nibelungs had been long 
utterly forgotten, when, in the eighteenth century, it was for 
the first time printed from a manuscript in the old library 
of a noble family. In truth, the only people who, through 
their whole passage from simplicity to the highest civiliza- 
tion, never for a moment ceased to love and admire their old 
ballads were the Greeks. 

That the early Romans should have had ballad-poetry, and 
that this poetry should have perished, is therefore not strange. 
It would, on the contrary, have been strange if these things 
had not come to pass; and we should be justified in pro- 
nouncing them highly probable even if we had no direct evi- 
dence on the subject. But we have direct evidence of un- 
questionable authority. 

Ennius, who flourished in the time of the second Punic 
war, was regarded in the Augustan age as the father of Latin 
poetry. He was, in truth, the father of the second school of 


Latin poetry, the only school of which the works have de- 
scended to us. But from Ennius himself we learn that there 
were poets who stood to him in the same relation in which 
the author of the romance of Count Alarcos stood to Garci- 
laso, or the author of the Lytell Geste of Robyn Hode to 
Lord Surrey. Ennius speaks of verses which the Fauns and 
the bards were wont to chant in the old time, when none 
had yet studied the graces of speech, when none had yet 
climbed the peaks sacred to the goddesses of Grecian song. 
" Where," Cicero mournfully asks, " are those old verses 

Contemporary with Ennius was Quintus Fabius Pictor, the 
earliest of the Roman annalists. His account of the infancy 
and youth of Romulus and Remus has been preserved by 
Dionysius, and contains a very remarkable reference to the 
ancient Latin poetry. Fabius says that, in his time, his coun- 
trymen were still in the habit of singing ballads about the 
Twins. " Even in the hut of Faustulus " so these old lays 
appear to have run " the children of Rhea and Mars were, 
in port and in spirit, not like unto swineherds or cowherds, 

* "Quid? Nostri versus ubi sunt? 

. . . ' Quos olim Fauni vatesque canebant, 

Cum neque Musarum scopulos quisquam superarat, 

Nee dicti studiosus erat ' " (Brutus, xxii.). 

The Muses, it should be observed, are Greek divinities. The Italian 
goddesses of verse were the Camcenae. At a later period, the appella- 
tions were used indiscriminately ; but in the age of Ennius there was 
probably a distinction. In the epitaph of Naevius, who was the repre- 
sentative of the old Italian school of poetry, the Camoenae, not the Muses, 
are represented as grieving for the loss of their votary. The " Musarum 
scopuli " are evidently the peaks of Parnassus. 

Scaliger, in a note on Varro (De Lingua Latina, lib. vi.), suggests, with 
great ingenuity, that the Fauns, who were represented by the supersti- 
tion of later ages as a race of monsters, half gods and half brutes, may 
really have been a class of men who exercised in Latium, at a very re- 
mote period, the same functions which belonged to the Magians in Per- 
sia and to the bards in Gaul. 


but such that men might well guess them to be of the blood 
of kins and ods." 4 

* Oi Of di>dpa>9ii>Ttg yiVovrai, Kara re aiwoiv fiopQris Kai <ppoviip.aToe 
UJKOV ov avotyopfioiQ Kai fiovKoXoig ioiKortt;, aXX' o'iovg av rif duioui 
roi'c; tK fiaotXfiov rt tyvvTag ytvov<;, Kai ('nro SeuftOVW <nropai; jtytaQai 
vofuZopivavft <*> iv ~<"C irarpioic l'/'oic VTTO 'Pttftautv tri Kai vvv ifdtrai 
(Dion. Hal. i. 79). This passage has sometimes been cited as if Dio- 
nysius had been speaking in his own person, and had, Greek as he was, 
been so industrious or so fortunate as to discover some valuable remains 
of that early Latin poetry which the greatest Latin writers of his age re- 
gretted as hopelessly lost. Such a supposition is highly improbable ; 
and, indeed, it seems clear from the context that Dionysius, as Reiske 
and other editors evidently thought, was merely quoting from Fabius 
Pictor. The whole passage has the air of an extract from an ancient 
chronicle, and is introduced by the words KoYvroc ftiv 4>aj3ioc, d HiKTwp 

Another argument may be urged which seems to deserve considera- 
tion. The author of the passage in question mentions a thatched hut 
which in his time stood between the summit of Mount Palatine and the 
Circus. This hut, he says, was built by Romulus, and was constantly 
kept in repair at the public charge, but never in any respect embellished. 
Now, in the age of Dionysius there certainly was at Rome a thatched 
hut, said to have been that of Romulus. But this hut, as we learn from 
Vitruvius, stood, not near the Circus, but in the Capitol (Vit. ii. i). If, 
therefore, we understand Dionysius to speak in his own person, we can 
reconcile his statement with that of Vitruvius only by supposing that 
there were at Rome, in the Augustan age, two thatched huts, both be- 
lieved to have been built by Romulus, and both carefully repaired and 
held in high honor. The objections to such a supposition seem to be 
strong. Neither Dionysius nor Vitruvius speaks of more than one such 
hut. Dio Cassius informs us that twice, during the long administration 
of Augustus, the hut of Romulus caught fire (xlviii. 43, liv. 29). Had 
there been two such huts, would he not have told us of which he spoke? 
An English historian would hardly give an account of a fire at Queen's 
College without saying whether it was at Queen's College, Oxford, or at 
Queen's College, Cambridge. Marcus Seneca, Macrobius, and Conon, a 
Greek writer from whom Photius has made large extracts, mention only 
one hut of Romulus, that in the Capitol (M. Seneca, Contr. i. 6 ; Macro- 
bius, Sat. i. 15 ; Photius, Bil'l. 186). Ovid, Livy, Petronius, Valerius Max- 
imus, Lucius Seneca, and St. Jerome mention only one hut of Romulus, 
without specifying the site (Ovid, Fasti, iii. 183 ; Liv. v. 53 ; Petronius, 


Cato the Censor, who also lived in the days of the second 
Punic war, mentioned this lost literature in his lost work on 
the antiquities of his country. Many ages, he said, before his 
time, there were ballads in praise of illustrious men ; and 
these ballads it was the fashion for the guests at banquets 
to sing in turn while the piper played. " Would," exclaims 
Cicero, " that we still had the old ballads of which Cato 
speaks !"* 

Valerius Maximus gives us exactly similar information, 
without mentioning his authority, and observes that the an- 
cient Roman ballads were probably of more benefit to the 

Fragm. ; Val. Max. iv. 4 ; L. Seneca, Coiisolatio ad Helviam ; D. Hieron. 
Ad Piiuliniiiiium de Didymo). 

The whole difficulty is removed if we suppose that Dionysius was 
merely quoting Fabius Pictor. Nothing is more probable than that the 
cabin which, in the time of Fabius, stood near the Circus, might, long 
before the age of Augustus, have been transported to the Capitol, as the 
place fittest, by reason both of its safety and of its sanctity, to contain so 
precious a relic. 

The language of Plutarch confirms this hypothesis. He describes 
with great precision the spot where Romulus dwelt, on the slope of 
Mount Palatine, leading to the Circus ; but he says not a word implying 
that the dwelling was still to be seen there. Indeed, his expressions im- 
ply that it was no longer there. The evidence of Solinus is still more to 
the point. He, like Plutarch, describes the spot where Romulus had re- 
sided, and says expressly that the hut had been there, but that in his 
time it was there no longer. The site, it is certain, was well remem- 
bered ; and probably retained its old name, as Charing Cross and the 
Haymarket have done. This is probably the explanation of the words 
" casa Romuli " in Victor's description of the Tenth Region of Rome un- 
der Valentinian. 

* Cicero refers twice to this important passage in Cato's Antiquities : 
" Gravissimus auctor in Originibus dixit Cato, morem apud majores hunc 
epularum fuisse, ut deinceps, qui accubarent, canerent ad tibiam clarorum 
virorum laudes atque virtutes. Ex quo perspicuum est, et cantus turn 
fuisse rescriptos vocum sonis, et carmina " (Tnsc. Quaest. iv. 2). Again : 
" Utinam exstarent ilia carmina, quae, multis saeculis ante suam aetatem, 
in epulis esse cantitata a singulis convivis de clarorum virorum laudibuS; 
in Originibus scriptum reliquit Cato" (Brutus, xi.x.)- 


young than all the lectures of the Athenian schools, and that 
to the influence of the national poetry were to be ascribed the 
virtues of such men as Camillus and Fabricius.* 

Varro, whose authority on all questions connected with the 
antiquities of his country is entitled to the greatest respect, 
tells us that at banquets it was once the fashion for boys to 
sing, sometimes with and sometimes without instrumental 
music, ancient ballads in praise of men of former times. 
These young performers, he observes, were of unblemished 
character, a circumstance which he probably mentioned be- 
cause, among the Greeks, and indeed in his time among the 
Romans also, the morals of singing-boys were in no high re- 
pute. t 

The testimony of Horace, though given incidentally, con- 
firms the statements of Cato, Valerius Maximus, and Varro. 
The poet predicts that, under the peaceful administration of 
Augustus, the Romans will, over their full goblets, sing to the 
pipe, after the fashion of their fathers, the deeds of brave 
captains and the ancient legends touching the origin of the 

The proposition, then, that Rome had ballad-poetry is not 

* " Mnjores natu in conviviis ad tibias egregia superiorum opera car- 
mine comprehensa pangebant, quo ad ea imitanda juventutem alacriotem 
redderent. . . . Quas Athenas, quam scholam, quae alienigena studia huic 
domesticae disciplinae praetulerim ? Inde oriebantur Camilli, Scipiones, 
Fahricii, Marcelli, Fabii "(Val. Max. ii. i). 

t " In conviviis pueri modesti ut cantarent carmina antiqua, in quibus 
laudes erant majorum, et assa voce, et cum tibicine " (Nonius, Assa 
voce pro sola). 

\ " Nosque et profestis lucibus et sacris 

Inter jocosi munere Liberi, 

Cum prole matronisque nostris, 

Rite deos prius apprecati, 
Virtute functos, more patrum, duces, 
Lydis remixto carmine tibiis, 
Trojamque et Anchisen et almae 

I'rogeniem Veneris canemua " (Carm. iv. 15). 


merely in itself highly probable, but is fully proved by direct 
evidence of the greatest weight. 

This proposition being established, it becomes easy to un- 
derstand why the early history of the city is unlike almost 
everything else in Latin literature, native where almost every- 
thing else is borrowed, imaginative where almost everything 
else is prosaic. We can scarcely hesitate to pronounce that 
the magnificent, pathetic, and truly national legends which 
present so striking a contrast to all that surrounds them are 
broken and defaced fragments of that early poetry which, 
even in the age of Cato the Censor, had become antiquated, 
and of which Tully had never heard a line. 

That this poetry should 4iave been suffered to perish will 
not appear strange when we consider how complete was the 
triumph of the Greek genius over the public mind of Italy. 
It is probable that at an early period Homer and Herodotus 
furnished some hints to the Latin minstrels;* but it was not 
till after the war with Pyrrhus that the poetry of Rome be- 
gan to put off its old Ausonian character. The transforma- 
tion was soon consummated. The conquered, says Horace, 
led captive the conquerors. It was precisely at the time at 
which the Roman people rose to unrivalled political ascend- 
ency that they stooped to pass under the intellectual yoke. 
It was precisely at the time at which the sceptre departed 
from Greece that the empire of her language and of her arts 
became universal and despotic. The revolution, indeed, was 
not effected without a struggle. Neevius seems to have been 
the last of the ancient line of poets. Ennius was the founder 
of a new dynasty. Naevius celebrated the first Punic war 
in Saturnian verse, the old national verse of Italy, f Ennius 
sang the second Punic war in numbers borrowed from the 
Iliad. The elder poet, in the epitaph which he wrote for him- 

* See the Preface to the Lay of the Battle of Rcgillus. ' 
t Cicero speaks highly, in more than one place, of this poem of Naevius; 
Ennius sneered at it, and stole from it. 


self, and which is a fine specimen of the early Roman diction 
and versification, plaintively boasted that the Latin language 

As to the Saturnian measure, see Hermann's Elementa Doctrinal Me- 
tricae, iii. 9. 

The Saturnian line, according to the grammarians, consisted of two 
parts. The first was a catalectic dimeter iambic ; the second was com- 
posed of three trochees. But the license taken by the early Latin poets 
seems to have been almost boundless. The most perfect Saturnian line 
which has been preserved was the work, not of a professional artist, but 

of an amateur: 

"Dabunt malum Metelli Naevio poetae." 

There has been much difference of opinion among learned men respect- 
ing the history of this measure. That it is the same with a Greek meas- 
ure used by Archilochus is indisputable (Bentley, Phalaris, xi.). But in 
spite of the authority of Terentianus Maurus, and of the still higher au- 
thority of Bentley, we may venture to doubt whether the coincidence was 
not fortuitous. We constantly find the same rude and simple numbers 
in different countries, under circumstances which make it impossible to 
suspect that there has been imitation on either side. Bishop Heber heard 
the children of a village in Bengal singing " Radha, Radha," to the tune 
of " My boy Billy." Neither the Castilian nor the German minstrels of 
the Middle Ages owed anything to Paros or to ancient Rome. Yet both 
the poem of the Cid and the poem of the Nibelungs contain many Satur- 
nian verses ; as, 

" Kstas nuevas a mio Cid eran venidas. " 

"A m lo dicen ; a tf dan las orejadas-" 
" Man mohte michel wunder von Sifride sagen." 
"Wa icli den Kiinic vinde daz sol man mir sagen." 

Indeed, there cannot be a more perfect Saturnian line than one which is 
sung in every English nursery : 

"The queen was in her parlor eating bread and honey;" 

yet the author of this line, we may be assured, borrowed nothing from 
either Naevius or Archilochus. 

On the other hand, it is by no means improbable that, two or three 
hundred years before the time of Ennius, some Latin minstrel may have 
visited Sybaris or Crotona, may have heard some verses of Archilochus 
sung, may have been pleased with the metre, and may have introduced 
it at Rome. Thus much is certain, that the Saturnian measure, if not a 
native of Italy, was at least so early and so completely naturalized there 
that its foreign origin was forgotten. 


had died with him.* Thus what to Horace appeared to be 
the first faint dawn of Roman literature appeared to Naevius 
to be its hopeless setting. In truth, one literature was set- 
ting and another dawning. 

Bentley says, indeed, that the Saturnian measure was first brought from 
Greece into Italy by Naevius. But this is merely obiter dictum, to use a 
phrase common in our courts of law, and would not have been deliber- 
ately maintained by that incomparable critic, whose memory is held in 
reverence by all lovers of learning. The arguments which might be 
brought against Bentley's assertion for it is mere assertion, supported 
by no evidence are innumerable. A few will suffice. 

1. Bentley's assertion is opposed to the testimony of Ennius. Ennius 
sneered at Naevius for writing on the first Punic war in verses such as the 
old Italian bards used before Greek literature had been studied. Now 
the poem of Naevius was in Saturnian verse. Is it possible that Ennius 
could have used such expressions if the Saturnian verse had been just 
imported from Greece for the first time ? 

2. Bentley's assertion is opposed to the testimony of Horace. " When 
Greece," says Horace, " introduced her arts into our uncivilized country, 
those rugged Saturnian numbers passed away." Would Horace have 
said this if the Saturnian numbers had been imported from Greece just 
before the hexameter ? 

3. Bentley's assertion is opposed to the testimony of Festus and of 
Aurelius Victor, both of whom positively say that the most ancient 
prophecies attributed to the Fauns were in Saturnian verse. 

4. Bentley's assertion is opposed to the testimony of Terentianus Mau- 
rus, to whom he has himself appealed. Terentianus Maurus does indeed 
say that the Saturnian measure, though believed by the Romans from a 
very early period (" credidit vetustas ") to be of Italian invention, was 
really borrowed from the Greeks. But Terentianus Maurus does not say 
that it was first borrowed by Naevius. Nay, the expressions used by Te- 
rentianus Maurus clearly imply the contrary ; for how could the Romans 
have believed, from a very early period, that this measure was the indig- 
enous production of Latium if it was really brought over from Greece in 
an age of intelligence and liberal curiosity, in the age which gave birth 
to Ennius, Plautus, Cato the Censor, and other distinguished writers ? If 
Bentley's assertion were correct, there could have been no more doubt at 
Rome about the Greek origin of the Saturnian measure than about the 
Greek origin of hexameters or Sapphics. 

* Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, i. 24. 


The victory of the foreign taste was decisive ; and, indeed, 
we can hardly blame the Romans for turning away with con- 
tempt from the rude lays which had delighted their fathers, 
and giving their whole admiration to the immortal produc- 
tions of Greece. The national romances, neglected by the 
great and the refined whose education had been finished at 
Rhodes or Athens, continued, it may be supposed, during 
some generations to delight the vulgar. While Virgil, in 
hexameters of exquisite modulation, described the sports of 
rustics, those rustics were still singing their wild Saturnian 
ballads.* It is not improbable that, at the time when Cicero 
lamented the irreparable loss of the poems mentioned by 
Cato, a search among the nooks of the Apennines as active 
as the search which Sir Walter Scott made among the de- 
scendants of the moss-troopers of Liddesdale might have 
brought to light many fine remains of ancient minstrelsy. 
No such search was made. The Latin ballads perished for- 
ever. Yet discerning critics have thought that they could 
still perceive in the early history of Rome numerous frag- 
ments of this lost poetry, as the traveller on classic ground 
sometimes finds, built into the heavy wall of a fort or con- 
vent, a pillar rich with acanthus leaves or a frieze where 
the Amazons and Bacchanals seem to live. The theatres 
and temples of the Greek and the Roman were degraded 
into the quarries of the Turk and the Goth. Even so did 
the ancient Saturnian poetry become the quarry in which a 
crowd of orators and annalists found the materials for their 

It is not difficult to trace the process by which the old 
songs were transmuted into the form which they now wear. 
Funeral panegyric and chronicle appear to have been the 
intermediate links which connected the lost ballads with the 
histories now extant. From a very early period it was the 
usage that an oration should be pronounced over the remains 
* See Servius, /'// Georg. ii. 385. 


of a noble Roman. The orator, as we learn from Polybius, 
was expected, on such an occasion, to recapitulate all the 
services which the ancestors of the deceased had, from the 
earliest time, rendered to the commonwealth. There can 
be little doubt that the speaker on whom this duty was im- 
posed would make use of all the stories suited to his pur- 
pose which were to be found in the popular lays. There 
can be as little doubt that the family of an eminent man 
would preserve a copy of the speech which had been pro- 
nounced over his corpse. The compilers of the early chron- 
icles would have recourse to these speeches ; and the great 
historians of a later period would have recourse to the chron- 

It may be worth while to select a particular story, and to 
trace its probable progress through these stages. The de- 
scription of the migration of the Fabian house to Cremera is 
one of the finest of the many fine passages which lie thick in 
the earlier books of Livy. The Consul, clad in his military 
garb, stands in the vestibule of his house, marshalling his 
clan, three hundred and six fighting-men, all of the same 
proud patrician blood, all worthy to be attended by the fasces 
and to command the legions. A sad and anxious retinue of 
friends accompanies the adventurers through the streets ; 
but the voice of lamentation is drowned by the shouts of ad- 
miring thousands. As the procession passes the Capitol, 
prayers and vows are poured forth, but in vain. The de- 
voted band, leaving Janus on the right, marches to its doom, 
through the Gate of Evil Luck. After achieving high deeds 
of valor against overwhelming numbers, all perish save one 
child, the stock from which the great Fabian race was des- 
tined again to spring, for the safety and glory of the com- 
monwealth. That this fine romance, the details of which are 
so full of poetical truth, and so utterly destitute of all show 
of historical truth, came originally from some lay which had 
often been sung with great applause at banquets is in the 


highest degree probable. Nor is it difficult to imagine a 
mode in which the transmission might have taken place. The 
celebrated Quintus Fabius Maximus, who died about twenty 
years before the first Punic war, and more than forty years 
before Ennius was born, is said to have been interred with 
extraordinary pomp. In the eulogy pronounced over his 
body, all the great exploits of his ancestors were doubtless 
recounted and exaggerated. If there were then extant songs 
which gave a vivid and touching description of an event, the 
saddest and the most glorious in the long history of the Fa- 
bian house, nothing could be more natural than that the pan- 
egyrist should borrow from such songs their finest touches, 
in order to adorn his speech. A few generations later the 
songs would perhaps be forgotten, or remembered only by 
shepherds and vine-dressers. But the speech would cer- 
tainly be preserved in the archives of the Fabian nobles. 
Fabius Pictor would be well acquainted with a document so 
interesting to his personal feelings, and would insert large 
extracts from it in his rude chronicle. That chronicle, as we 
know, was the oldest to which Livy had access. Livy would, 
at a glance, distinguish the bold strokes of the forgotten poet 
from the dull and feeble narrative by which they were sur- 
rounded, would retouch them with a delicate and powerful 
pencil, and would make them immortal. 

That this might happen at Rome can scarcely be doubted ; 
for something very like this has happened in several coun- 
tries, and, among others, in our own. Perhaps the theory of 
Perizonius cannot be better illustrated than by showing that 
what he supposes to have taken place in ancient times has, 
beyond all doubt, taken place in modern times. 

" History," says Hume, with the utmost gravity, " has pre- 
served some instances of Edgar's amours, from which, as from 
a specimen, we may form a conjecture of the rest." He 
then tells very agreeably the stories of Elfleda and Elfrida, 
two stories which have a most suspicious air of romance, 


and which, indeed, greatly resemble, in their general charac- 
ter, some of the legends of early Rome. He cites, as his 
authority for these two tales, the chronicle of William of 
Malmesbury, who lived in the time of King Stephen. The 
great majority of readers suppose that the device by which 
Elfleda was substituted for her young mistress, the artifice 
by which Athelwold obtained the hand of Elfrida, the detec- 
tion of that artifice, the hunting-party, and the vengeance of 
the amorous king, are things about which there is no more 
doubt than about the execution of Anne Boleyn or the slit- 
ting of Sir John Coventry's nose. But when we turn to 
William of Malmesbury, we find that Hume, in his eager- 
ness to relate these pleasant fables, has overlooked one very 
important circumstance. William does, indeed, tell both the 
stories ; but he gives us distinct notice that he does not war- 
rant their truth, and that they rest on no better authority 
than that of ballads.* 

Such is the way in which these two well-known tales have 
been handed down. They originally appeared in a poetical 
form. They found their way from ballads into an old chron- 
icle. The ballads perished ; the chronicle remained. A great 
historian, some centuries after the ballads had been alto- 
gether forgotten, consulted the chronicle. He was struck by 
the lively coloring of these ancient fictions ; he transferred 
them to his pages ; and thus we find inserted, as unquestion- 
able facts, in a narrative which is likely to last as long as 
the English tongue, the inventions of some minstrel whose 
works were probably never committed to writing, whose 
name is buried in oblivion, and whose dialect has become 
obsolete. It must, then, be admitted to be possible, or, rath- 
er, highly probable, that the stories of Romulus and Remus, 

" Infamias quas post dicam magis resperserunt cantilenae." Edgar 
appears to have been most mercilessly treated in the Anglo-Saxon bal- 
lads. He was the favorite of the monks ; and the monks and minstrels 
were at deadly feud. 



and of the Horatii and Curiatii, may have had a similar 

Castilian literature will furnish us with another parallel 
case. Mariana, the classical historian of Spain, tejls the 
story of the ill-starred marriage which the King Don Alonso 
brought about between the heirs of Carrion and the two 
daughters of the Cid. The Cid bestowed a princely dower 
on his sons-in-law. But the young men were base and proud, 
cowardly and cruel. They were tried in danger, and found 
wanting. They fled before the Moors, and once, when a lion 
broke out of his den, they ran and crouched in an unseemly 
hiding-place. They knew that they were despised, and took 
counsel how they might be avenged. They parted from their 
father-in-law with many signs of love, and set forth on a jour- 
ney with Dona Elvira and Dona Sol. In a solitary place 
the bridegrooms seized their brides, stripped them, scourged 
them, and departed, leaving them for dead. But one of the 
House of Bivar, suspecting foul play, had followed the trav- 
ellers in disguise. The ladies were brought back safe to the 
house of their father. Complaint was made to the king. It 
was adjudged by the Cortes that the dower given by the Cid 
should be returned, and that the heirs of Carrion, together 
with one of their kindred, should do battle against three 
knights of the party of the Cid. The guilty youths would 
have declined the combat ; but all their shifts were vain. 
They were vanquished in the lists and forever disgraced, 
while their injured wives were sought in marriage by great 

Some Spanish writers have labored to show, by an exam- 
ination of dates and circumstances, that this story is untrue. 
Such confutation was surely not needed ; for the narrative is 
on the face of it a romance. How it found its way into Ma- 
riana's history is quite clear. He acknowledges his obliga- 
tions to the ancient chronicles, and had doubtless before 
* Mariana, lib. x. cap. 4. 


him the Crbnica del Famoso Cavallero Cid Ruy Diez Cam- 
peador, which had been printed as early as the year 1552. 
He little suspected that all the most striking passages in 
this chronicle were copied from a poem of the twelfth cen- 
tury, a poem of which the language and versification had long 
been obsolete, but which glowed with no common portion 
of the fire of the Iliad. Yet such was the fact. More than 
a century and a half after the death of Mariana, this vener- 
able ballad, of which one imperfect copy on parchment, four 
hundred years old, had been preserved at Bivar, was for the 
first time printed. Then it was found that every interesting 
circumstance of the story of the heirs of Carrion was derived 
by the eloquent Jesuit from a song of which he had never 
heard, and which was composed by a minstrel whose very 
name had long been forgotten.* 

Such, or nearly such, appears to have been the process by 
which the lost ballad-poetry of Rome was transformed into 
history. To reverse that process, to transform some portions 
of early Roman history back into the poetry out of which they 
were made, is the object of this work. 

In the following poems the author speaks, not in his own 
person, but in the persons of ancient minstrels who know 
only what a Roman citizen, born three or four hundred years 
before the Christian era, may be supposed to have known, 
and who are in no wise above the passions and prejudices of 
their age and nation. To these imaginary poets must be as- 
cribed some blunders which are so obvious that it is unneces- 
sary to point them out. The real blunder would have been 
to represent these old poets as deeply versed in general his- 
tory and studious of chronological accuracy. To them must 
also be attributed the illiberal sneers at the Greeks, the furi- 

* See the account which Sanchez gives of the Bivar manuscript in the 
first volume of the Coleccion de Poestas Castellanas anteriores al Siglo XV. 
Part of the story of the Lords of Carrion, in the poem of the Cid, has 
been translated by Mr. Frere in a manner above all praise. 



ous party-spirit, the contempt for the arts of peace, the love 
of war for its own sake, the ungenerous exultation over the 
vanquished, which the reader will sometimes observe. To 
portray a Roman of the age of Camillus or Curius as supe- 
rior to national antipathies, as mourning over the devastation 
and slaughter by which empire and triumphs were to be won, 
as looking on human suffering with the sympathy of How- 
ard, or as treating conquered enemies with the delicacy of 
the Black Prince, would be to violate all dramatic propriety. 
The old Romans had some great virtues fortitude, temper- 
ance, veracity, spirit to resist oppression, respect for legiti- 
mate authority, fidelity in the observing of contracts, disin- 
terestedness, ardent patriotism ; but Christian charity and 
chivalrous generosity were alike unknown to them. 

It would have been obviously improper to mimic the man- 
ner of any particular age or country. Something has been 
borrowed, however, from our own ballads, and more from 
Sir Walter Scott, the great restorer of our ballad-poetry. 
To the Iliad still greater obligations are due ; and those 
obligations have been contracted with the less hesitation 
because there is reason to believe that some of the old 
Latin minstrels really had recourse to that inexhaustible 
store of poetical images. 

It would have been easy to swell this little volume to a 
very considerable bulk by appending notes filled with quota- 
tions : but to a learned reader such notes are not necessary ; 
for an unlearned reader they would have little interest; and 
the judgment passed both by the learned and by the un- 
learned on a work of the imagination will always depend 
much more on the general character and spirit of such a 
work than on minute details. 


[From a Review by John Stuart Aft'//.*] 

It is with those two great masters of modern ballad-poetry 
[Scott and Campbell] that Mr. Macaulay's performances are 
really to be compared, and not with the real ballads or epics 
of an early age. The Lays, in point of form, are not in the 
least like the genuine productions of a primitive age or peo- 
ple, and it is no blame to Mr. Macaulay that they are not. 
He professes imitation of Homer, but we really see no re- 
semblance, except in the nature of some of the incidents and 
the animation and vigor of the narrative ; and the ///a//, after 
all, is not the original ballad of the Trojan war, but those 
ballads moulded together and wrought into the forms of a 
more civilized and cultivated age. It is difficult to conject- 
ure what the forms of the old Roman ballads may have been, 
and certain that, whatever they were, they could no more 
satisfy the aesthetic requirements of modern culture than 
an ear accustomed to the great organ of Freyburg or Haar- 
lem could relish Orpheus's hurdy-gurdy ; although the airs 
which Orpheus played, if they could be recovered, might 
perhaps be executed with great effect on the more perfect 

The forms of Mr. Macaulay's ballad-poetry are essentially 
modern ; they are those of the romantic and chivalrous, not 
the classical ages, and even in those they are a reproduction, 
not of the originals, but of the imitations of Scott. In this 
we think he has done well, for Scott's style is as near to that 
of the ancient ballad as we conceive to be at all compatible 
with real popular effect on the modern mind. The difference 
between the two may be seen by the most cursory compari- 
son of any real old ballad, Chevy Chase for instance, with the 
last canto of Marmion or with any of these Lays. Concise- 
* Westminster Revinv, Feb. 1843 ( v l- xxxix. p. 105 fol.). 


ness is the characteristic of the real ballad, diffuseness of the 
modern adaptation. The old bard did everything by single 
touches ; Scott and Mr. Macaulay by repetition and accumula- 
tion of particulars. They produce all effect by what they say ; 
he by what he suggested by what he stimulated the imagina- 
tion to paint for itself. But then the old ballads were not 
written for the light reading of tired readers. To do the 
work in their way, they required to be brooded over, or had 
at least the aid of time and of impassioned recitation. 
Stories which are to be told to children in the age of eager- 
ness and excitability, or sung in banquet halls to assembled 
warriors, whose daily ideas and feelings supply a flood of 
comment ready to gush forth on the slightest hint of the 
poet, cannot fly too swift and straight to the mark. But Mr. 
Macaulay wrote only to be read, and by readers for whom 
it was necessary to do all. 

These poems, therefore, are not the worse for being un- 
Roman in their form ; and in their substance the^ are Ro- 
man to a degree which deserves great admiration. . . . We 
have not been able to detect, in the four poems, one idea 
or feeling which was not, or might not have been, Roman ; 
while the externals of Roman life, and the feelings char- 
acteristic of Rome and of that particular age, are reproduced 
with great felicity, and without being made unduly predomi- 
nant over the universal features of human nature and human 

Independently, therefore, of their value as poems, these 
compositions are a real service rendered to historical litera- 
ture ; and the author has made this service greater by his 
prefaces, which will do more than the work of a hundred 
dissertations in rendering that true conception of early Ro- 
man history, the irrefragable establishment of which has 
made Niebuhr illustrious, familiar to the minds of general 
readers. This is no trifling matter even in relation to pres- 
ent interests, for there is no estimating the injury which the 


cause of popular institutions has suffered, and still suffers, 
from misrepresentation of the early condition of the Roman 
plebs and" its noble struggles against its taskmasters. And 
the study of the manner in which the heroic legends of early 
Rome grew up as poetry and gradually became history, has 
important bearings on the general laws of historical evidence 
and on the many things which, as philosophy advances, are 
more and more seen to be therewith connected. 

[From Professor Henry Motley's Introduction to the Lays*} 

Macaulay was, perhaps, at his best in his four Lays of 
Ancient Rome. Whatever else he wrote required some quali- 
ties of mind other than those which have made all that he 
wrote popular. The Lays of Ancient Rome called into play 
just those powers which he had in perfection, and required 
no more. Powers that will ripen only in a meditative mind 
must remain unripe in the mind of one whose frank and 
social nature keeps his tongue continually busy. " If any 
one has anything to say," said Rogers, at one of his break- 
fasts, "let him say it now. Macaulay's coming." He had 
only what were called flashes of silence, and a great part 
of his thinking must have been what came to him in asso- 
ciation with the utterance of words. When he was not 
talking, he was chiefly reading, for he read very much, and 
his marvellous memory caused what he read to stay by 
him, good or bad. Most men are able to forget what is not 
worth keeping in mind, and may thank Heaven that they 
can. Macaulay, as a young child, went with his mother to 
pay a call, picked up from the drawing-room table one 
of Scott's long poems, then just published, read it through 
while the call lasted, and was able to repeat any quantity 
of it to his mother after they got home. He enjoyed Scott, 
and if he had never read Scott's metrical romances the 

* From the edition of the Lays in " Cassell's National Library" (No. 
58), London and New York, 1887. 



style of these Lays would have shown imitation of some 
other poet. 

But Macaulay caught the swing of Scott's romance meas- 
ure, made it a little more rhetorical, without loss some 
might say rather with increase of energy, and brought into 
play his own power of realizing in his mind all that he told. 
In its expression of that power lies the great and abiding 
charm of Macaulay's History. If it be not whole truth it 
is as much truth as he saw, and he would see nothing that 
blurred the outlines of the picture formed in his own mind. 
Some few truths are so simple and single that they can be 
stated without any guard or reservation ; the historian who 
thinks much has to convey to his reader many suggestions 
of doubt or hesitation. Macaulay took only one view, re- 
jected all that clouded it, accepted all that helped to make 
it more distinct. He was one of the kindest and truest of 
men, intensely human ; his one view, whatever it might be, 
had' his own life and feeling in it ; and when set forth in his 
own clear English, with short sentences that never needed 
to be lengthened by a qualifying clause all as fact in broad 
sunshine about which there did not hang a cloud of doubt 
it was, and is, and always will be, delightful reading. It will 
be thoroughly helpful reading too, for any one who knows 
the worth of a clear view boldly and honestly expressed, and 
is able cautiously to use it as aid to the formation of his own 
opinion. To the untrained reader Macaulay, as historian, 
is a comfort. That reader, when he inquires, wants always 
upon every question a plain Yes or No. He dislikes the 
confusion of doubt. This was disliked also by Macaulay as 
artist ; and the reader who is only bothered by nice balanc- 
ings of thought gets from Macaulay always the "plain answer 
to a plain question," the clear, unhesitating Yes or No which 
others might consider to be no answer to any question that 
touches the complexities of human life. 

But in a ballad there are no complexities. It is a tale to 


be chanted to the people, bound only to be bright and live- 
ly, with ease in its rhythm, action in every line, and through 
its whole plan a stirring incident shown clearly from one 
point of view. It is a tale well told, without any pauses 
for a nice adjustment of opinion, but appealing simply and 
directly to a feeling common to us all. It is not concerned 
with the hard facts of history. Its immediate business 
may sometimes be to contradict them for the comfort of its 

Thus, in the first of these Lays, the old Roman story of 
three Romans who saved Rome by keeping the bridge over 
the Tiber against all the force of Porsena, was the ingenious 
softening of a cruel fact. It turned a day of deep humilia- 
tion into the bright semblance of a day of glory. For we 
learn from Tacitus and others that Porsena became abso- 
lute master of Rome. The Senate of Rome paid homage 
to him with offering of an ivory throne, a crown, a scep- 
tre, a triumphal robe ; and he forbade the use of iron by 
the Romans in forging weapons or armor. The happy time 
of release from thraldom was long celebrated by a custom 
of opening auctions with a first bid for " the goods of Por- 
sena." What did this matter ? The songs of the people 
were free to suppress a great defeat, and put in its place 
the myth of a heroic deed ; some small fact usually serv- 
ing as seed that shall grow and blossom out into a noble 
tale. A ballad-maker who should stop the course of a pop- 
ular legend to investigate its origin, and who should be dull 
enough to include that investigation in his song, would de- 
serve to be howled to death by the united voices of his 

Upon this ground, then, Macaulay was a master. His 
incidents are fully realized. He sees what he sings. When 
Horatius strikes Astur in the face, the sword's course is fol- 
lowed " through teeth, and skull, and helmet," till its point 
stands out a hand-breadth beyond. For its recovery 


"On Astur's throat Horatius 

Right firmly pressed his heel, 
And thrice and four times tugged amain, 
Ere he wrenched out the steel." 

The simplicity and vigor of images drawn, like Homer's, 
from Nature is again in the truest and best spirit of the 
songs that house themselves among the people. . . . 

In the Lays, as in the earlier pieces of his ballad-writing, 
Macaulay liked to paint the stir of battle ; but in Virginia 
there are passages of another strain, and there is tenderness 
in the description of the main incident. But for Virginia, 
some ungracious reader might say that the Lays, being few, 
are excellent, but that if they were many they might weary 
by a too close likeness of each to the rest. As it is, the 
ungracious reader could make no such suggestion. We all 
read the book with full and natural enjoyment, and we call 
it perfect in its kind. 

[From Slcdmari's " Victorian Poets," *] 

Lord Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome was a literary sur- 
prise, but its poetry is the rhythmical outflow of a vigorous 
and affluent writer, given to splendor of diction and imagery 
in his flowing prose. He spoke once in verse, and unexpect- 
edly. His themes were legendary, and suited to the author's 
heroic cast, nor was Latinism ever more poetical than under 
his thoroughly sympathetic handling. I am aware that the 
Lays are criticised as being stilted and false to the antique, 
but to me they have a charm, and to almost every healthy 
young mind are an immediate delight. Where in modern 
ballad-verse will you find more ringing stanzas, or more im- 
petuous movement and action ? Occasionally we have a 
noble epithet or image. Within his range little as one who 
met him might have surmised it Macaulay was a poet and 

* Victorian Poets, by Edmund Clarence Stedman (revised ed. Boston, 
1887), p. 250. 


of the kind which Scott would have been first to honor. 
Horatius and Virginia among the Roman lays, and that reso- 
nant battle-cry of Ivry, have become, it would seem, a last- 
ing portion of English verse. 







LARS PORSENA of Clusium 

By the Nine Gods he swore 
That the great house of Tarquin 

Should suffer wrong no more. 
By the Nine Gods he swore it, 

And named a trysting-day, 
And bade his messengers ride forth, 
East and west, and south and north, 

To summon his array. 

East and west, and south and north, 

The messengers ride fast, 
And tower and town and cottage 

Have heard the trumpet's blast. 


Shame on the false Etruscan 

Who lingers in his home, 
When Porsena of Clusium 

Is on the march for Rome ! 


The horsemen and the footmen 

Are pouring in amain 
From many a stately market-place, *> 

From many a fruitful plain ; 
From many a lonely hamlet, 

Which, hid by beech and pine, 
Like an eagle's nest, hangs on the crest 

Of purple Apennine ; 


From lordly Volaterrae, 

Where scowls the far-famed hold 
Piled by the hands of giants 

For godlike kings of old ; 
From sea-girt Populonia, 3 

Whose sentinels descry 
Sardinia's snowy mountain-tops 

Fringing the southern sky ; 


From the proud mart of Pisse, 

Queen of the western waves, 
Where ride Massilia's triremes 

Heavy with fair-haired slaves ; 
From where sweet Clanis wanders 

Through corn and vines and flowers ; 
From where Cortona lifts to heaven 4 

Her diadem of towers. 



Tall are the oaks whose acorns 

Drop in dark Auser's rill ; 
Fat are the stags that champ the boughs 

Of the Ciminian hill; 
Beyond all streams Clitumnus 

Is to the herdsman dear ; 
Best of all pools the fowler loves 

The great Volsinian mere. 


But now no stroke of woodman 50 

Is heard by Auser's rill ; 
No hunter tracks the stag's green path 

Up the Ciminian hill ; 
Unwatched along Clitumnus 

Grazes the milk-white steer ; 
Unharmed the water-fowl may dip 

In the Volsinian mere. 


The harvests of Arretium 

This year old men shall reap ; 
This year young boys in Umbro <5o 

Shall plunge the struggling sheep ; 
And in the vats of Luna 

This year the must shall foam 
Round the white feet of laughing girls 

Whose sires have marched to Rome. 


There be thirty chosen prophets, 

The wisest of the land, 
Who alway by Lars Porsena 

Both morn and evening stand ; 


Evening and morn the Thirty 70 

Have turned the verses o'er, 
Traced from the right on linen white 

By mighty seers of yore. 


And with one voice the Thirty 

Have their glad answer given : 
'Go forth, go forth, Lars Porsena; 

Go forth, beloved of Heaven ; 
Go, and return in glory 

To Clusium's royal dome, 
And hang round Nurscia's altars 80 

The golden shields of Rome.' 


And now hath every city 

Sent up her tale of men ; 
The foot are fourscore thousand, 

The horse are thousands ten. 
. Before the gates of Sutrium 

Is met the great array. 
A proud man was Lars Porsena 

Upon the trysting-day. 


For all the Etruscan armies 90 

Were ranged beneath his eye, 
And many a banished Roman, 

And many a stout ally ; 
And with a mighty following 

To join the muster came 
The Tusculan Mamilius, 

Prince of the Latian name. 


But by the yellow Tiber 

Was tumult and affright : 
From all the spacious champaign 

To Rome men took their flight. 
A mile around the city 

The throng stopped up the ways ; 
A fearful sight it was to see 

Through two long nights and days. 


For aged folk on crutches, 

And women great with child, 
And mothers sobbing over babes 

That clung to them and smiled, 
And sick men borne in litters 

High on the necks of slaves, 
And troops of sunburnt husbandmen 

With reaping-hooks and staves, 


And droves of mules and asses 

Laden with skins of wine, 
And endless flocks of goats and sheep, 

And endless herds of kine, 
And endless trains of wagons 

That creaked beneath the weight 
Of corn-sacks and of household goods, 

Choked every roaring gate. 


Now from the rock Tarpeian 
Could the wan burghers spy 

The line of blazing villages 
Red in the midnight sky. 



The Fathers of the City, 
They sat all night and day, 

For every hour some horseman came 
With tidings of dismay. 


To eastward and to westward J 3 

Have spread the Tuscan bands ; 
Nor house nor fence nor dovecot 

In Crustumerium stands. 
Verbenna down to Ostia 

Hath wasted all the plain ; 
Astur hath stormed Janiculum, 

And the stout guards are slain. 


I wis, in all the Senate, 

There was no heart so bold 
But sore it ached and fast it beat, M 

When that ill news was told. 
Forthwith up rose the Consul, 

Up rose the Fathers all ; 
In haste they girded up their gowns, 

And hied them to the wall. 


They held a council standing 

Before the River Gate ; 
Short time was there, ye well may guess, 

For musing or debate. 
Out spake the Consul roundly, '5 

'The bridge must straight go down; 
For, since Janiculum is lost, 

Naught else can save the town.' 



Just then a scout came flying, 

All wild with haste and fear : 
' To arms ! to arms ! Sir Consul ; 

Lars Porsena is here !' 
On the low hills to westward 

The Consul fixed his eye. 
And saw the swarthy storm of dust 6o 

Rise fast along the sky. 


And nearer fast, and nearer, 

Doth the red whirlwind come ; 
And louder still, and still more loud, 
From underneath that rolling cloud, 
Is heard the trumpet's war-note proud, 

The trampling and the hum. 
And plainly and more plainly 

Now through the gloom appears, 
Far to left and far to right, 17 

In broken gleams of dark-blue light, 
The long array of helmets bright, 

The long array of spears. 


And plainly and more plainly, 

Above that glimmering line, 
Now might ye see the banners 

Of twelve fair cities shine ; 
But the banner of proud Clusium 

Was highest of them all, 
The terror of the Umbrian, 180 

The terror of the Gaul. 



And plainly and more plainly 

Now might the burghers know, 
By port and vest, by horse and crest, 

Each warlike Lucumo. 
There Cilnius of Arretium 

On his fleet roan was seen ; 
And Astur of the fourfold shield, 
Girt with the brand none else may wield, 
Tolumnius with the belt of gold, 190 

And dark Verbenna from the hold 

By reedy Thrasymene. 


Fast by the royal standard, 

O'erlooking all the war, 
Lars Porsena of Clusium 

Sat in his ivory car. 
By the right wheel rode Mamilius, 

Prince of the Latian name ; 
And by the left false Sextus, 

That wrought the deed of shame. 200 


But when the face of Sextus 

Was seen among the foes, 
A yell that rent the firmament 

From all the town arose. 
On the house-tops was no woman 

But spat towards him and hissed, 
No child but screamed out curses 

And shook its little fist. 



But the Consul's brow was sad, 

And the Consul's speech was low, aio 

And darkly looked he at the wall, 

And darkly at the foe. 
'Their van will be upon us 

Before the bridge goes down ; 
And if they once may win the bridge, 

What hope to save the town ?' 


Then out spake brave Horatius, 

The Captain of the Gate : 
'To every man upon this earth 

Death cometh soon or late. 220 

And how can man die better 

Than facing fearful odds, 
For the ashes of his fathers 

And the temples of his gods, 


'And for the tender mother 

Who dandled him to rest, 
And for the wife who nurses 

His baby at her breast. 
And for the holy maidens 

Who feed the eternal flame, 230 

To save them from false Sextus 

That wrought the deed of shame ? 


' Hew clown the bridge, Sir Consul, 

With all the speed ye may ; 
I, with two more to help me, 

Will hold the foe in play. 


In yon strait path a thousand 

May well be stopped by three. 
Now who will stand on either hand, 

And keep the bridge with me?' 240 


Then out spake Spurius Lartius; 

A Ramnian proud was he : 
'Lo, I will stand at thy right hand, 

And keep the bridge with thee.' 
And out spake strong Herminius ; 

Of Titian blood was he : 

* I will abide on thy left side, 

And keep the bridge with thee.' 


* Horatius,' quoth the Consul, 

' As thou sayest, so let it be.' 250 

And straight against that great array 

Forth went the dauntless Three. 
For Romans in Rome's quarrel 

Spared neither land nor gold, 
Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life, 

In the brave days of old. 


Then none was for a party ; 

Then all were for the State ; 
Then the great man helped the poor, 

And the poor man loved the great : 360 

Then lands were fairly portioned ; 

Then spoils were fairly sold ; 
The Romans were like brothers 

In the brave days of old. 



Now Roman is to Roman 

More hateful than a foe ; 
And the Tribunes beard the high, 

And the Fathers grind the low. 
As we wax hot in faction, 

In battle we wax cold ; 370 

Wherefore men fight not as they fought 

In the brave days of old. 


Now while the Three were tightening 

Their harness on their backs, 
The" Consul was the foremost man 

To take in hand an axe ; 
And Fathers mixed with Commons 

Seized hatchet, bar, and crow, 
And smote upon the planks above, 

And loosed the props below. 280 


Meanwhile the Tuscan army, 

Right glorious to behold, 
Come flashing back the noonday light, 
Rank behind rank, like surges bright 

Of a broad sea of gold. 
Four hundred trumpets sounded 

A peal of warlike glee, 
As that great host, with measured tread, 
And spears advanced, and ensigns spread, 
Rolled slowly towards the bridge's head, 390 

Where stood the dauntless Three. 


The Three stood calm and silent 

And looked upon the foes, 
And a great shout of laughter 

From all the vanguard rose ; 
And forth three chiefs came spurring 

Before that deep array : 

To earth they sprang, their swords. they drew, 
And lifted high their shields, and flew 

To win the narrow way ; 3 


Aunus from green Tifernum, 

Lord of the Hill of Vines ; 
And Seius, whose eight hundred slaves 9 

Sicken in Ilva's mines ; 
And Picus, long to Clusium 

Vassal in peace and war, 
Who led to fight his Umbrian powers 
From that gray crag where, girt with towers, 
The fortress of Nequinum lowers 

O'er the pale waves of Nar. 3' 


Stout Lartius hurled down Aunus 

Into the stream beneath ; 
Herminius struck at Seius, 

And clove him to the teeth ; 
At Picus brave Horatius 

Darted one fiery thrust, 
And the proud Umbrian's gilded arms 

Clashed in the bloody dust. 



Then Ocnus of Falerii 

Rushed on the Roman Three ; 320 

And Lausulus of Urgo, 

The rover of the sea ; 
And Aruns of Volsinium, 

Who slew the great wild boar, 
The great wild boar that had his den 
Amidst the reeds of Cosa's fen, 
And wasted fields and slaughtered men 

Along Albinia's shore. 


Herminius smote down Aruns; 

Lartius laid Ocnus low ; 330 

Right to the heart of Lausulus 

Horatius sent a blow. 
' Lie there,' he cried, ' fell pirate ! 

No more, aghast and pale, 
From Ostia's walls the crowd shall mark 
The track of thy destroying bark. 
No more Campania's hinds shall fly 
To woods and caverns when they spy 

Thy thrice accursed sail.' 

But now no sound of laughter 340 

Was heard among the foes ; 
A wild and wrathful clamor 

From all the vanguard rosfi. 
Six spears' length from the entrance 

Halted that deep array, 
And for a space no man came forth 

To win the narrow way. 


But hark ! the cry is Astur ; 

And lo ! the ranks divide, 
And the great Lord of Luna 35 

Comes with his stately stride. 
Upon his ample shoulders 

Clangs loud the fourfold shield, 
And in his hand he shakes the brand 

Which none but he can wield. 


He smiled on those bold Romans 

A smile serene and high ; 
He eyed the flinching Tuscans, 

And scorn was in his eye. 
Quoth he, ' The she-wolf's litter y 

Stand savagely at bay; 
But will ye dare to follow, 

If Astur clears the way ?' 


Then, whirling up his broadsword 

With both hands to the height, 
He rushed against Horatius, 

And smote with all his might. 
With shield and blade Horatius 

Right deftly turned the blow. 
The blow, though turned, came yet too nigh; 370 
It missed his helm, but gashed his thigh : 
The Tuscans raised a joyful cry 

To see the red blood flow. 



He reeled and on Herminius 

He leaned one breathing-space, 
Then, like a wild cat mad with wounds, 

Sprang right at Astur's face. 
Through teeth and skull and helmet 

So fierce a thrust he sped, 
The good sword stood a hand-breadth out 38 

Behind the Tuscan's head. 


And the great Lord of Luna 

Fell at that deadly stroke, 
As falls on Mount Alvernus 

A thunder-smitten oak. 
Far o'er the crashing forest 

The giant arms lie spread; 
And the pale augurs, muttering low, 

Gaze on the blasted head. 


On Astur's throat Horatius 39 

Right firmly pressed his heel, 
And thrice and four times tugged amain 

Ere he wrenched out the steel. 
' And see,' he cried, ' the welcome, 

Fair guests, that waits you here ! 
What noble Lucumo comes next 

To taste our Roman cheer ?' 


But at his haughty challenge 

A sullen murmur ran, 
Mingled of wrath and shame and dread, 4 

Along that glittering van. 



There lacked not men of prowess, 

Nor men of lordly race ; 
For all Etruria's noblest 

Were round the fatal place. 

But all Etruria's noblest 

Felt their hearts sink to see 
On the earth the bloody corpses, 

In the path the dauntless Three ; 
And, from the ghastly entrance 4> 

Where those bold Romans stood, 
All shrank, like boys who, unaware, 
Ranging the woods to start a hare, 
Come to the mouth of the dark lair 
Where, growling low, a fierce old bear 

Lies amidst bones and blood. 


Was none who would be foremost 

To lead such dire attack ; 
But those behind cried ' Forward !' 

And those before cried ' Back !' 420 

And backward now and forward 

Wavers the deep array; 
And on the tossing sea of steel 
To and fro the standards reel, 
And the victorious trumpet-peal 

Dies fitfully away. 

Yet one man for one moment 

Strode out before the crowd ; 
Well known was he to all the Three, 

And they gave him greeting loud. 430 

HORA 77 US. 55 

' Now welcome, welcome, Sextus ! 

Now welcome to thy home ! 
Why dost thou stay and turn away ? 

Here lies the road to Rome.' 


Thrice looked he at the city, 

Thrice looked he at the dead ; 
And thrice came on in fury, 

And thrice turned back in dread ; 
And, white with fear and hatred, 

Scowled at the narrow way 440 

Where, wallowing in a pool of blood, 

The bravest Tuscans lay. 

LI 1 1. 

But meanwhile axe and lever 

Have manfully betn plied, 
And now the bridge hangs tottering 

Above the boiling tide. 
' Come back, come back, Horatius P 

Loud cried the Fathers all. 
* Back, Lartius ! back, Herminius ! 

Back, ere the ruin fall !' 45 


Back darted Spurius Lartius, 

Herminius darted back ; 
And, as they passed, beneath their feet 

They felt the timbers crack. 
But when they turned their faces, 

And on the farther shore 
Saw brave Horatius stand alone, 

They would have crossed once more. 



But with a crash like thunder 

Fell every loosened beam, 460 

And, like a dam, the mighty wreck 

Lay right athwart the stream; 
And a long shout of triumph 

Rose from the walls of Rome, 
As to the highest turret- tops 

Was splashed the yellow foam. 

And, like a horse unbroken 

When first he feels the rein, 
The furious river struggled hard, 

And tossed his tawny mane, 47 

And burst the curb and bounded, 

Rejoicing to be free, 
And, whirling down in fierce career 
Battlement and plank and pier, 

Rushed headlong to the sea. 


Alone stood brave Horatius 

But constant still in mind, 
Thrice thirty thousand foes before 

And the broad flood behind. 
' Down with him !' cried false Sextus, 480 

With a smile on his pale face. 
* Now yield thee,' cried Lars Porsena, 

' Now yield thee to our grace.' 

Round turned he, as not deigning 

Those craven ranks to see ; 
Naught spake he to Lars Porsena, 

To Sextus naught spake he ; 



But he saw on Palatinus 

The white porch of his home, 
And he spake to the noble river 49 

That rolls by the towers of Rome : 

' O Tiber ! father Tiber ! 

To whom the Romans pray, 
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms, 

Take thou in charge this day !' 
So he spake, and speaking sheathed 

The good sword by his side, 
And with his harness on his back 

Plunged headlong in the tide. 

No sound of joy or sorrow s 

Was" heard from either bank, 
But friends and foes in dumb surprise, 
With parted lips and straining eyes, 

Stood gazing where he sank; 
And when above the surges 

They saw his crest appear, 
All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry, 
And even the ranks of Tuscany 

Could scarce forbear to cheer. 

But fiercely ran the current, 510 

Swollen high by months of rain ; 
And fast his blood was flowing, 

And he was sore in pain, 
And heavy with his armor, 

And spent with changing blows ; 
And oft they thought him sinking, 

But still again he rose. 


Never, I ween, did swimmer, 

In such an evil case, 
Struggle through such a raging flood 52 

Safe to the landing-place ; 
But his limbs were borne up bravely 

By the brave heart within, 
And our good father Tiber 

Bare bravely up his chin. 


' Curse on him !' quoth false Sextus ; 

' Will not the villain drown ? 
But for this stay, ere close of day 

We should have sacked the town !' 
' Heaven help him !' quoth Lars Porsena, 53 

'And bring him safe to shote; 
For such a gallant feat of arms 

Was never seen before.' 


And now he feels the bottom ; 

Now on dry earth he stands ; 
Now round him throng the Fathers 

To press his gory hands ; 
And now, with shouts and clapping 

And noise of weeping loud, 
He enters through the River Gate, 54 

Borne by the joyous crowd. 


They gave him of the corn-land, 

That was of public right, 
As much as two strong oxen 

Could plough from morn till night ; 


And they made a molten image 

And set it up on high, 
And there it stands unto this day 

To witness if I lie. 


It stands in the Comitium, 55 

Plain for all folk to see, 
Horatius in his harness 

Halting upon one knee ; 
And underneath is written, 

In letters all of gold, 
How valiantly he kept the bridge 

In the brave days of old. 


And still his name sounds stirring 

Unto the men of Rome, 
As the trumpet-blast that cries to them 5<*> 

To charge the Volscian home ; 
And wives still pray to Juno 

For boys with hearts as bold 
As his who kept the bridge so well 

In the brave days of old. 


And in the nights of winter, 

When the cold north winds blow, 
And the long howling of the wolves 

Is heard amidst the snow ; 
When round the lonely cottage 57 

Roars loud the tempest's din, 
And the good logs of Algidus 

Roar louder vet within ; 




When the oldest cask is opened, 

And the largest lamp is lit ; 
When the chestnuts glow in the embers, 

And the kid turns on the spit ; 
When young and old in circle 

Around the firebrands close ; 
When the girls are weaving baskets, 

And the lads are shaping bows ; 


When the goodman mends his armor, 

And trims his helmet's plume ; 
When the goodwife's shuttle merrily 

Goes flashing through the loom ; 
With weeping and with laughter 

Still is the story told, 
How well Horatius kept the bridge 

In the brave days of old. 






Ho, trumpets, sound a war-note ! 

Ho, lictors, clear the way ! 
The knights will ride, in all their pride, 

Along the streets to-day. 
To-day the doors and windows 

Are hung with garlands all, 
From Castor in the Forum 

To Mars without the wall. 


Each knight is robed in purple, 

With olive each is crowned ; 

A gallant war-horse under each 

Paws haughtily the ground. 
While flows the Yellow River, 

While stands the Sacred Hill, 
The proud ides of Quintilis 

Shall have such honor still. 
Gay are the Martian calends, 

December's nones are gay ; 
But the proud ides, when the squadron rides, 

Shall be Rome's whitest day. 20 


Unto the Great Twin Brethren 

We keep this solemn feast. 
Swift, swift, the Great Twin Brethren 

Came spurring from the east. 
They came o'er wild Parthenius 

Tossing in waves of pine, 
O'er Cirrha's dome, o'er Adria's foam, 

O'er purple Apennine, 
From where with flutes and dances 

Their ancient mansion rings 30 

In lordly Lacedaemon, 

The city of two kings, 
To. where, by Lake Regillus, 

Under the Porcian height, 
All in the lands of Tusculum, 

Was fought the glorious fight. 


Now on the place of slaughter 
Are cots and sheepfolds seen, 


And rows of vines, and fields of wheat, 

And apple-orchards green ; 4 

The swine crush the big acorns 

That fall from Corne's oaks ; 
Upon the turf by the Fair Fount 

The reaper's pottage smokes. 
The fisher baits his angle, 

The hunter twangs his bow ; 
Little they think on those strong limbs 

That moulder deep below. 
. Little they think how sternly 

That day the trumpets pealed ; 5 

How in the slippery swamp of blood 

Warrior and war-horse reeled ; 
How wolves came with fierce gallop, 

And crows on eager wings, 
To tear the flesh of captains, 

And peck the eyes of kings ; 
How thick the dead lay scattered 

Under the Porcian height ; 
How through the gates of Tusculum 

Raved the wild stream of flight ; 60 

And how the Lake Regillus 

Bubbled with crimson foam, 
What time the Thirty Cities 

Came forth to war with Rome. 


But, Roman, when thou standest 

Upon that holy ground, 
Look thou with heed on the dark rock 

That girds the dark lake round. 
So shalt thou see a hoof-mark 

Stamped deep into the flint; 7 o 


It was no hoof of mortal steed 

That made so strange a dint. 
There to the Great Twin Brethren 

Vow thou thy vows, and pray 
Thatjhey, in tempest and in fight, 

Will keep thy head alway. 


Since last the Great Twin Brethren 

Of mortal eyes were seen, 
Hax r e years gone by an hundred 

And fourscore and thirteen. 80 

That summer a Virginius 

Was Consul first in place ; 
The second was stout Aulus, 

Of the Posthumian race. 
The herald of the Latines 

From Gabii came in state ; 
The herald of the Latines 

Passed through Rome's Eastern Gate ; 
The herald of the Latines 

Did in our Forum stand ; 9 

And there he did his office, 

A sceptre in his hand : 


' Hear, Senators and people 

Of the good town of Rome ! 
The Thirty Cities charge you 

To bring the Tarquins home ; 
And if ye still be stubborn 

To work the Tarquins wrong, 
The Thirty Cities warn you, 

Look that your walls be strong.' 


Then spake the Consul Aulus 

He spake a bitter jest 
'Once the jays sent a message 

Unto the eagle's nest : 
Now yield thou up thine eyry 

Unto the carrion-kite, 
Or come forth valiantly and face 

The jays in deadly fight. 
Forth looked in wrath the eagle ; 

And carrion-kite and jay, " 

Soon as they saw his beak and claw, 

Fled screaming far away.' 


The herald of the Latines 

Hath hied him back in state ; 
The Fathers of the city 

Are met in high debate. 
Then spake the elder Consul, 

An ancient man and wise : 
' Now hearken, Conscript Fathers, 

To that which I advise. 

In seasons of great peril 

'T is good that one bear sway ; 
Then choose we a Dictator, 

Whom all men shall obey. 
Camerium knows how deeply 

The sword of Aulus bites, 
And all our city calls him 

The man of seventy fights. 
Then let him be Dictator 

For six months, and no more, '3 

And have a Master of the Knights 

And axes twenty-four.' 



So Aulus was Dictator, 

The man of seventy fights ; 
He made ^butius Elva 

His Master of the Knights. 
On the third morn thereafter, 

At dawning of the day, 
Did Aulus and ^Ebutius 

Set forth with their array. M 

Sempronius Atratinus 

Was left in charge at home, 
With boys and with gray-headed men 

To keep the walls of Rome. 
Hard by the Lake Regillus 

Our camp was pitched at night ; 
Eastward a mile the Latines lay, 

Under the Porcian height. 
Far over hill and valley 

Their mighty host was spread, 15 

And with their thousand watch-fires 

The midnight sky was red. 


Up rose the golden morning 

Over the Porcian height, 
The proud ides of Quintilis 

Marked evermore with white. 
Not without secret trouble 

Our bravest saw the foes ; 
For girt by threescore thousand spears 

The thirty standards rose. 160 

From every warlike city 

That boasts the Latian name, 
Foredoomed to dogs and vultures, 

That gallant army came : 


From Setia's purple vineyards, 

From Norba's ancient wall, 
From the white streets of Tusculum, 

The proudest town of all ; 
From where the Witch's Fortress 

O'erhangs the dark-blue seas ; 17 

From the still glassy lake that sleeps 

Beneath Aricia's trees 
Those trees in whose dim shadow 

The ghastly priest doth reign, 
The priest who slew the slayer, 

And shall himself be slain ; 
From the drear banks of Ufens, 

Where flights of marsh-fowl play, 
And buffaloes lie wallowing 

Through the hot summer's day ; 180 

From the gigantic watch-towers, 

No work of earthly men, 
Whence Cora's sentinels o'erlook 

The never-ending fen ; 
From the Laurentian jungle, 

The wild hog's reedy home ; 
From the green steeps whence Anio leaps 

In floods of snow-white foam. 


Aricia, Cora, Norba, 

Velitrae, with the might 19 

Of Setia and of Tusculum, 

Were marshalled on the right. 
Their leader was Mamilius, 

Prince of the Latian name : 
Uport his head a helmet 

Of red gold shone like flame ; 


High on a gallant charger 

Of dark-gray hue he rode ; 
Over his gilded armor 

A vest of purple flowed, 
Woven in the land of sunrise 

By Syria's dark-browed daughters, 
And by the sails of Carthage brought 

Far o'er the southern waters. 


Lavinium and Laurentujn 

Had on the left their post, 
With all the banners of the marsh, 

And banners of the coast. 
Their leader was false Sextus, 

That wrought the deed of shame ; 
With restless pace and haggard face 

To his last field he came. 
Men said he saw strange visions 

Which none beside might see, 
And that strange sounds were in his ears 

Which none might hear but he. 
A woman fair and stately, 

But pale as are the dead, 
Oft through the watches of the night 

Sat spinning by his bed ; 
And as she plied the distaff, 

In a sweet voice and low, 
She sang of great old houses 

And fights fought long ago. 
So spun she and so sang she 

Until the east was gray, 
Then pointed to her bleeding breast, 

And shrieked, and fled away. 



But in the centre thickest 

Were ranged the shields of foes, 230 

And from the centre loudest 

The cry of battle rose. 
There Tibur marched, and Pedum, 

Beneath proud Tarquin's rule, 
And Ferentinum of the rock, 

And Gabii of the pool. 
There rode the Volscian succors ; 

There, in a dark stern ring, 
The Roman exiles gathered close 

Around the ancient king. 240 

Though white as Mount Soracte 

When winter nights are long 
His beard flowed down o'er mail and belt, 

His heart and hand were strong ; 
Under his hoary eyebrows 

Still flashed forth quenchless rage ; 
And if the lance shook in his gripe, 

'T was more with hate than age. 
Close at his side was Titus 

On an Apulian steed 250 

Titus, the youngest Tarquin, 

Too good for such a breed. 


Now on each side the leaders 

Gave signal for the charge ; 
And on each side the footmen 

Strode on with lance and targe ; 
And on each side the horsemen 

Struck their spurs deep in gore, 


And front to front the armies 

Met with a mighty roar ; 260 

And under that great battle 

The earth with blood was red ; 
And, like the Pomptine fog at morn, 

The dust hung overhead ; 
And louder still and louder 

Rose from the darkened field 
The braying of the war-horns, 

The clang of sword and shield, 
The rush of squadrons sweeping 

Like whirlwinds o'er the plain, 270 

The shouting of the slayers, 

And screeching of the slain. 


False Sextus rode out foremost, 

His look was high and bold ; 
His corselet was of bison's hide, 

Plated with steel and gold. 
As glares the famished eagle 

From the Digentian rock 
, On a choice lamb that bounds alone 

Before Bandusia's flock, 280 

Herminius glared on Sextus 

And came with eagle speed, 
Herminius on black Auster, 

Brave champion on brave steed ; 
In his right hand the broadsword 

That kept the bridge so well, 
And on his helm the crown he won 

When proud Fidenae fell. 
Woe to the maid whose lover 

Shall cross his path to-day ! 290 


False Sextus saw and trembled, 

And turned and fled away. 
As turns, as flies, the woodman 

In the Calabrian brake, 
When through the reeds gleams the round eye 

Of that fell speckled snake, 
So turned, so fled, false Sextus, 

And hid him in the rear, 
Behind the dark Lavinian ranks 

Bristling with crest and spear. 3 


But far to north ^butius, 

The Master of the Knights, 
Gave Tubero of Norba 

To feed the Porcian kites. 
Next under those red horse-hoofs 

Flaccus of Setia lay ; 
Better had he been pruning 

Among his elms that day. 
Mamilius saw the slaughter, 

And tossed his golden crest, 3' 

And towards the Master of the Knights 

Through the thick battle pressed. 
^Ebutius smote Mamilius 

So fiercely on the shield 
That the great lord of Tusculum 

Well-nigh rolled on the field. 
Mamilius smote ^Ebutius, 

With a good aim and true, 
Just where the neck and shoulder join, 

And pierced him through and through; 320 
And brave yEbutius Elva 

Fell swooning to the ground, 


But a thick wall of bucklers 

Encompassed him around. 
His clients from the battle 

Bare him some little space, 
And filled a helm from the dark lake 

And bathed his brow and face ; 
And when at last he opened 

His swimming eyes to light, 330 

Men say the earliest word he spake 

Was, 'Friends, how goes the fight?' 


But meanwhile in the centre 

Great deeds of arms were wrought ; 
There Aulus the Dictator 

And there Valerius fought. 
Aulus with his good broadsword 

A bloody passage cleared 
To where, amidst the thickest foes, 

He saw the long white beard. 34 

Flat lighted that good broadsword 

Upon proud Tarquin's head. 
He dropped the lance, he dropped the reins ; 

He fell as fall the dead. 
Down Aulus springs to slay him, 

With eyes like coals of fire ; 
But faster Titus hath sprung down, 

And hath bestrode his sire. 
Latian captains, Roman knights, 

Fast down to earth they spring, 350 

And hand to hand they fight on foot 

Around the ancient king. 
First Titus gave tall Caeso 

A death-wound in the face 



Tall Caeso was the bravest man 

Of the brave Fabian race ; 
Aulus slew Rex of Gabii, 

The priest of Juno's shrine ; 
Valerius smote down Julius, 

Of Rome's great Julian line 360 

Julius, who left his mansion 

High on the Velian hill, 
And through all turns of weal and woe 

Followed proud Tarquin still. 
Now right across proud Tarquin 

A corpse was Julius laid ; 
And Titus groaned with rage and grief, 

And at Valerius made. 
Valerius struck at Titus, 

And lopped off half his crest ; 37 

But Titus stabbed Valerius 

A span deep in the breast. 
Like a mast snapped by the tempest, 

Valerius reeled and fell. 
Ah ! woe is me for the good house 

That loves the people well ! 
Then shouted loud the Latines, 

And with one rush they bore 
The struggling Romans backward 

Three lances' length and more ; 380 

And up they took proud Tarquin, 

And laid him on a shield, 
And four strong yeomen bare him, 

Still senseless, from the field. 


But fiercer grew the fighting 
Around Valerius dead ; 



For Titus dragged him by the foot, 

And Aulus by the head. 
' On, Latines, on !' quoth Titus, 

' See how the rebels fly !' 390 

' Romans, stand firm !' quoth Aulus, 

' And win this fight or die ! 
They must not give Valerius 

To raven and to kite ; 
For aye Valerius loathed the wrong, 

And aye upheld the right ; 
And for your wives and babies 

In the front rank he fell. 
Now play the men for the good house 

That loves the people well !' 400 


Then tenfold round the body 

The roar of battle rose, 
Like the roar of a burning forest 

When a strong north wind blows. 
Now backward and now forward 

Rocked furiously the fray, 
Till none could see Valerius, 

And none wist where he lay. 
For shivered arms and ensigns 

Were heaped there in a mound, 410 

And corpses stiff and dying men 

That writhed and gnawed the ground, 
And wounded horses kicking 

And snorting purple foam ; 
Right well did such a couch befit 

A Consular of Rome. 


But north looked the Dictator ; 
North looked he long and hard, 



And spake to Caius Cossus, 

The Captain of his Guard : 420 

' Caius, of all the Romans, 

Thou hast the keenest sight ; 
Say, what through yonder storm of dust 

Comes from the Latian right?' 


Then answered Caius Cossus : 

' I see an evil sight; 
The banner of proud Tusculum 

Comes from the Latian right. 
I see the plumed horsemen ; 

And far before the rest 430 

I see the dark-gray charger. 

I see the purple vest; 
I see the golden helmet 

That shines far off like flame ; 
So ever rides Mamilius, 

Prince of the Latian name.' 


' Now hearken, Caius Cossus : 

Spring on thy horse's back ; 
Ride as the wolves of Apennine 

Were all upon thy track ; 440 

Haste to our southward battle, 

And never draw thy rein 
Until thou find Herminius, 

And bid him come amain.' 


So Aulus spake, and turned him 

Again to that fierce strife ; 
And Caius Cossus mounted, 

And rode for death and life. 


Loud clanged beneath his horse-hoofs 

The helmets of the dead, 450 

And many a curdling pool of blood 

Splashed him from heel to head. 
So came he far to southward, 

Where fought the Roman host 
Against the banners of the marsh 

And banners of the coast. 
Like corn before the sickle 

The stout Lavinians fell, 
Beneath the edge of the true sword 

That kept the bridge so well. 460 


' Herminius, Aulus greets thee ; 

He bids thee come with speed 
To help our central battle, 

For sore is there our need. 
There wars the youngest Tarquin, 

And there the Crest of Flame, 
The Tusculan Mamilius, 

Prince of the Latian name. 
Valerius hath fallen fighting 

In front of our array, 470 

And Aulus of the seventy fields 

Alone upholds the day.' 


Herminius beat his bosom, 

But never a word he spake. 
He clapped his hand on Auster's mane, 

He gave the reins a shake ; 
Away, away, went Auster, 

Like an arrow from the bow 


Black Auster was the fleetest steed 

From Aufidus to Po. 480 


Right glad were all the Romans 

Who, in that hour of dread, 
Against great odds bare up the war 

Around Valerius dead, 
When from the south the cheering 

Rose with a mighty swell : 
' Herminius comes, Herminius, 

Who kept the bridge so well !' 


Mamilius spied Herminius, 

And dashed across the way : 49 

' Herminius, I have sought thee 

Through many a bloody day. 
One of us two, Herminius, 

Shall never more go home. 
I will lay on for Tusculum, 

And lay thou on for Rome !' 


All round them paused the battle, 

While met in mortal fray 
The Roman and the Tusculan, 

The horses black and gray. y 

Herminius smote Mamilius 

Through breastplate and through breast, 
And fast flowed out the purple blood 

Over the purple vest. 
Mamilius smote Herminius 

Through head-piece and through head ; 
And side by side those chiefs of pride 

Together fell down dead. 


Down fell they dead together 

In a great lake of gore ; 51 

And still stood all who saw them fall 

While men might count a score. 


Fast, fast, with heels wild spurning, 

The dark-gray charger fled ; 
He burst through ranks of fighting-men, 

He sprang o'er heaps of dead. 
His bridle far outstreaming, 

His flanks all blood and foam, 
He sought the southern mountains, 

The mountains of his home. 520 

The pass was steep and rugged, 

The wolves they howled and whined ; 
But he ran like a whirlwind up the pass, 

And he left the wolves behind. 
Through many a startled hamlet 

Thundered his flying feet ; 
He rushed through the gate of Tusculum, 

He rushed up the long white street ; 
He rushed by tower and temple, 

And paused not from his race 530 

Till he stood before his master's door 

In the stately market-place. 
And straightway round him gathered 

A pale and trembling crowd ; 
And, when they knew him, cries of rage 

Brake forth, and wailing loud ; 
And women rent their tresses 

For their great prince's fall ; 
And old men girt on their old swords, 

And went to man the wall. 540 



But, like a graven image, 

Black Auster kept his place, 
And ever wistfully he looked 

Into his master's face. 
The raven mane that daily, 

With pats and fond caresses, 
The young Herminia washed and combed, 

And twined in even tresses, 
And decked with colored ribbons 

From her own gay attire, 55 

Hung sadly o'er her father's corpse 

In carnage and in mire. 
Forth with a shout sprang Titus, 

And seized black Auster's rein. 
Then Aulus sware a fearful oath, 

And ran at him amain : 
' The furies of thy brother 

With me and mine abide, 
If one of your accursed house 

Upon black Auster ride !' $&> 

As on an Alpine watch-tower 

From heaven comes down the flame, 
Full on the neck of Titus 

The blade of Aulus came ; 
And out the red blood spouted 

In a wide arch and tall, 
As spouts a fountain in the court 

Of some rich Capuan's hall. 
The knees of all the Latines 

Were loosened with dismay 570 

When dead, on dead Herminius, 

The bravest Tarquin lay. 



And Aulus the Dictator 

Stroked Auster's raven mane, 
With heed he looked unto the girths, 

With heed unto the rein : 
' Now bear me well, black Auster, 

Into yon thick array, 
And thou and I will have revenge 

For thy good lord this day.' 580 


So spake he, and was buckling 

Tighter black Auster's band, 
When he was aware of a princely pair 

That rode at his right hand. 
So like they were, no mortal 

Might one from other know ; 
White as snow their armor was, 

Their steeds were white as snow. 
Never on earthly anvil 

Did such rare armor gleam, 59 

And never did such gallant steeds 

Drink of an earthly stream. 


And all who saw them trembled, 

And pale grew every cheek ; 
And Aulus the Dictator 

Scarce gathered voice to speak : 
' Say by what name men call you ? 

What city is your home ? 
And wherefore ride ye in such guise 

Before the ranks of Rome ?' & 


'By many names men call us, 

In many lands we dwell : 
Well Samothracia knows us, 

Cyrene knows us well ; 
Our house in gay Tarentum 

Is hung each morn with flowers ; 
High o'er the masts of Syracuse 

Our marble portal towers ; 
But by the proud Eurotas 

Is our dear native home ; 61 

And for the right we come to fight 

Before the ranks of Rome.' 


So answered those strange horsemen, 

And each couched low his spear ; 
And forthwith all the ranks of Rome 

Were bold and of good chepr ; 
And on the thirty armies 

Came wonder and affright, 
And Ardea wavered on the left, 

And Cora on the right. 620 

' Rome to the charge !' cried Aulus ; 

' The foe begins to yield ! 
Charge for the hearth of Vesta ! 

Charge for the Golden Shield ! 
Let no man stop to plunder, 

But slay, and slay, and slay ; 
The gods, who live forever, 

Are on our side to-day.' 



Then the fierce trumpet-flourish 

From earth to heaven arose ; 630 

The kites know well the long stern swell 

That bids the Romans close. 
Then the good sword of Aulus 

Was lifted up to slay ; 
Then, like a crag down Apennine, 

Rushed Auster through the fray. 
But under those strange horsemen 

Still thicker lay the slain, 
And after those strange horses 

Black Auster toiled in vain. 6 4 o 

Behind them Rome's long battle 

Came rolling on the foe, 
Ensigns dancing wild above, 

Blades all in line below. 
So comes the Po in flood-time 

Upon the Celtic plain ; 
So comes the squall, blacker than night, 

Upon the Adrian main. 
Now, by our sire Quirinus, 

It was a goodly sight 650 

To see the thirty standards 

Swept down the tide of flight ! 
So flies the spray of Adria 

When the black squall doth blow j 
So corn-sheaves in the flood-time 

Spin down the whirling Po. 
False Sextus to the mountains 

Turned first his horse's head; 
And fast fled Ferentinum, 

And fast Lanuvium fled. 660 


The horsemen of Nomentum 

Spurred hard out of the fray; 
The footmen of Velitras 

Threw shield and spear away. 
And underfoot was trampled, 

Amidst the mud and gore, 
The banner of proud Tusculum, 

That never stooped before ; 
And down went Flavius Faustus, 

Who led his stately ranks 670 

From where the apple-blossoms wave 

On Anio's echoing banks ; 
And Tullus of Arpinum, 

Chief of the Volscian aids, 
And Metius with the long fair curls, 

The love of Anxur's maids ; 
And the white head of Vulso, 

The great Arician seer ; 
And Nepos of Laurentum, 

The hunter of the deer ; 680 

And in the back false Sextus 

Felt the good Roman steel, 
And wriggling in the dust he died, 

Like a worm beneath the wheel ; 
And fliers and pursuers 

Were mingled in a mass ; 
And far away the battle 

Went roaring through the pass. 


Sempronius Atratinus 

Sat in the Eastern Gate, 690 

Beside him were three Fathers, 

Each in his chair of state 


Fabius, whose nine stout grandsons 

That day were in the field, 
And Manlius, eldest of the Twelve 

Who keep the Golden Shield ; 
And Sergius, the High Pontiff, 

For wisdom far renowned 
In all Etruria's colleges 

Was no such pontiff found. 700 

And all around the portal, 

And high above the wall, 
Stood a great throng of people, 

But sad and silent all ; 
Young lads and stooping elders 

That might not bear the mail, 
Matrons with lips that quivered, 

And maids with faces pale. 
Since the first gleam of daylight, 

Sempronius had not ceased 710 

To listen for the rushing 

Of horse-hoofs from the east. 
The mist of eve was rising, 

The sun was hastening down, 
When he was aware of a princely pair 

Fast pricking towards the town. 
So like they were, man never 

Saw twins so like before ; 
Red with gore their armor was, 

Their steeds were red with gore. 720 


' Hail to the great Asylum ! 

Hail to the hill-tops seven ! 
Hail to the fire that burns for aye, 

And the shield that fell from heaven ! 


This day, by Lake Regillus, 

Under the Porcian height, 
All in the lands of Tusculum 

Was fought a glorious fight. 
To-morrow your Dictator 

Shall bring in triumph home 73 

The spoils of thirty cities 

To deck the shrines of Rome !' 


Then burst from that great concourse 

A shout that shook the towers, 
And some ran north, and some ran south, 

Crying, ' The day is ours !' 
But on rode these strange horsemen 

With slow and lordly pace, 
And none who saw their bearing 

Durst ask their name or race. 74 

On rode they to the Forum, 

While laurel boughs and flowers, 
From house-tops and from windows, 

Fell on their crests in showers. 
When they drew nigh to Vesta, 

They vaulted down amain, 
And washed their horses in the well 

That springs by Vesta's fane. 
And straight again they mounted, 

And rode to Vesta's door ; 75 

Then, like a blast, away they passed, 

And no man saw them more. 


And all the people trembled, 
And pale grew every cheek ; 


And Sergius the High Pontiff 

Alone found voice to speak : 
* The gods who live forever 

Have fought for Rome to-day ! 
These be the Great Twin Brethren 

To whom the Dorians pray. 760 

Back comes the chief in triumph 

Who in the hour of fight 
Hath seen the Great Twin Brethren 

In harness on his right. 
Safe comes the ship to haven, 

Through billows and through gales, 
If once the Great Twin Brethren 

Sit shining on the sails. 
Wherefore they washed their horses 

In Vesta's holy well, 77 

Wherefore they rode to Vesta's door, 

I know, but may not tell. 
Here, hard by Vesta's temple, 

Build we a stately dome 
Unto the Great Twin Brethren 

Who fought so well for Rome. 
And when the months returning 

Bring back this day of fight, 
The proud ides of Quintilis, 

Marked evermore with white, 780 

Unto the Great Twin Brethren 

Let all the people throng, 
With chaplets and with offerings, 

With music and with song ; 
And let the doors and windows ' 

Be hung with garlands all, 
And let the knights be summoned 

To Mars without the wall ; 


Thence let them ride in purple 

With joyous trumpet-sound, 
Each mounted on his war-horse 

And each with olive crowned, 
And pass in solemn order 

Before the sacred dome 
Where dwell the Great Twin Brethren 

Who fought so well for Rome.' 





YE good men of the Commons, 

With loving hearts and true, 
Who stand by the bold tribunes 

That still have stood by you, 


Come, make a circle round me, 

And mark my tale with care 
A tale of what Rome once hath borne, 

Of what Rome yet may bear. 
This is no Grecian fable, 

Of fountains running wine, 10 

Of maids with snaky tresses, 

Or sailors turned to swine. 
Here in this very Forum, 

Under the noonday sun, 
In sight of all the people, 

The bloody deed was done. 
Old men still creep among us 

Who saw that fearful day, 
Just seventy years and seven ago, 

When the wicked Ten bare sway. 20 

Of all the wicked Ten 

Still the names are held accursed, 
And of all the wicked Ten 

Appius Claudius was the worst. 
He stalked along the Forum 

Like King Tarquin in his pride ; 
Twelve axes waited on him, 

Six marching on a side. 
The townsmen shrank to right and left, 

And eyed askance with fear 30 

His lowering brow, his curling mouth 

Which alway seemed to sneer. 
That brow of hate, that mouth of scorn, 

Marks all the kindred still ; 
For never was there Claudius yet 

But wished the Commons ill. 
Nor lacks he fit attendance ; 

For close behind his heels, 


With outstretched chin and crouching pace, 

The client Marcus steals, 4 

His loins girt up to run with speed, 

Be the errand what it may, 
And the smile flickering on his cheek 

For aught his lord may say. 
Such varlets pimp and jest for hire 

Among the lying Greeks ; 
Such varlets still are paid to hoot 

When brave Licinius speaks. 
Where'er ye shed the honey, 

The buzzing flies will crowd ; 50 

Where'er ye fling the carrion, 

The raven's croak is loud ; 
Where'er down Tiber garbage floats, 

The greedy pike ye see ; 
And wheresoe'er such lord is found, 

Such client still will be. 

Just then, as through one cloudless chink 

In a black stormy sky 
Shines out the dewy morning-star, 

A fair young girl came by. 60 

With her small tablets in her hand, 

And her satchel on her arm, 
Home she went bounding from the school, 

Nor dreamed of shame or harm ; 
And past those dreaded axes 

She innocently ran, 
With bright, frank brow that had not learned 

To blush at gaze of man ; 
And up the Sacred Street she turned, 

And as she danced along 70 

She warbled gayly to herself 

Lines of the good old song, 


How for a sport the princes 

Came spurring from the camp, 
And found Lucrece combing the fleece 

Under the midnight lamp. 
The maiden sang as sings the lark 

When up he darts his flight 
From his nest in the green April corn 

To meet the morning light ; &> 

And Appius heard her sweet young voice, 

And saw her sweet young face, 
And loved her with the accursed love 

Of his accursed race : 
And all along the Forum, 

And up the Sacred Street, 
His vulture eye pursued the trip 

Of those small glancing feet. 

* * * * * 

Over the Alban mountains 

The light of morning broke ; 90 

From all the roofs of the Seven Hills 

Curled the thin wreaths of smoke : 
The city gates were opened ; 

The Forum, all alive 
With buyers and with sellers, 

Was humming like a hive; 
Blithely on brass and timber 

The craftsman's stroke was ringing, 
And blithely o'er her panniers 

The market-girl was singing, 100 

And blithely young Virginia 

Came smiling from her home 
Ah ! woe for young Virginia, 

The sweetest maid in Rome! 
With her small tablets in her hand, 

And her satchel on her arm, 


Forth she went bounding to the school, 

Nor dreamed of shame or harm. 
She crossed the Forum shining 

With stalls in alleys gay, no 

And just had reached the very spot 

Whereon I stand this day, 
When up the varlet Marcus came ; 

Not such as when erewhile 
He crouched behind his patron's heels 

With the true client smile ; 
He came with lowering forehead, 

Swollen features, and clenched fist, 
And strode across Virginia's path, 

And caught her by the wrist. MO 

Hard strove the frighted maiden 

And screamed with look aghast, 
And at her scream from right and left 

The folk came running fast 
The money-changer Crispus, 

With his thin silver hairs ; 
And Hanno from the stately booth 

Glittering with Punic wares ; 
And the strong smith Murcena, 

Grasping a half-forged brand ; 130 

And Volero the flesher, 

His cleaver in his hand. 
All came in wrath and wonder, 

For all knew that fair child, 
And as she passed them twice a day 

All kissed their hands and smiled ; 
And the strong smith Muraena 

Gave Marcus such a blow, 
The caitiff reeled three paces back, 

And let the maiden <ro. 140 


Yet glared he fiercely round him, 

And growled in harsh, fell tone, 
' She 's mine, and I will have her; 

I seek but for mine own. 
She is my slave, born in my house, 

And stolen away and sold, 
The year of the sore sickness, 

Ere she was twelve hours old. 
'T was in the sad September, 

The month of wail and fright ; s 

Two augurs were borne forth that morn, 

The Consul died ere night. 
I wait on Appius Claudius, 

I waited on his sire ; 
Let him who works the client wrong 

Beware the patron's ire !' 

So spake the varlet Marcus ; 

And dread and silence came 
On all the people at the sound 

Of the great Claudian name. '60 

For then there was no tribune 

To speak the word of might, 
Which makes the rich man tremble, 

And guards the poor man's right. 
There was no brave Licinius, 

No honest Sextius then ; 
But all the city in great fear 

Obeyed the wicked Ten. 
Yet ere the varlet Marcus 

Again might seize the maid, 17 

Who clung tight to Muraena's skirt 

And sobbed and shrieked for aid, 
Forth through the throng of gazers 

The young Icilius pressed, 


And stamped his foot, and rent his gown, 

And smote upon his breast, 
And sprang upon that column, 

By many a minstrel sung, 
Whereon three mouldering helmets, 

Three rusting swords, are hung, 180 

And beckoned to the people, 

And in bold voice and clear 
Poured thick and fast the burning words 

Which tyrants quake to hear : 

' Now, by your children's cradles, 

Now by your fathers' graves, 
Be men to-day, Quirites, 

Or be forever slaves ! 
For this did Servius give us laws ! 

For this did Lucrece bleed ? 19 

For this was the great vengeance wrought 

On Tarquin's evil seed ? 
For this did those false sons make red 

The axes of their sire ? 
For this did Scaevola's right hand 

Hiss in the Tuscan fire? 
Shall the vile fox-earth awe the race 

That stormed the lion's den ? 
Shall we, who could not brook one lord, 

Crouch to the wicked Ten ? 200 

O for that ancient spirit 

Which curbed the Senate's will ! 
O for the tents which in old time 

Whitened the Sacred Hill ! 
In those brave days our fathers 

Stood firmly side by side ; 
They faced the Marcian fury, 

They tamed the Fabian pride ; 



They drove the fiercest Quinctius 

An outcast forth from Rome ; 210 

They sent the haughtiest Claudius 

With shivered fasces home. 
But what their care bequeathed us 

Our madness flung away; 
All the ripe fruit of threescore years 

Was blighted in a day. 
Exult, ye proud patricians ! 

The hard-fought fight is o'er. 
We strove for honors 't was in vain ; 

For freedom 't is no more. wo 

No crier to the polling 

Summons the eager throng ; 
No tribune breathes the word of might 

That guards the weak from wrong. 
Our very hearts, that were so high, 

Sink down beneath your will. 
Riches and lands, and power and state 

Ye have them ; keep them still. 
Still keep the holy fillets; 

Still keep the purple gown, 230 

The axes and the curule chair, 

The car and laurel crown ; 
Still press us for your cohorts, 

And, when the fight is done, 
Still fill your garners from the soil 

Which our good swords have won. 
Still, like a spreading ulcer 

Which leech-craft may not cure, 
Let your foul usance eat away 

The substance of the poor. 240 

Still let your haggard debtors 

Bear all their fathers bore ; 


Still let your dens of torment 

Be noisome as of yore 
No fire when Tiber freezes, 

No air in dog-star heat ; 
And store of rods for free-born backs, 

And holes for free-born feet. 
Heap heavier still the fetters, 

Bar closer still the grate ; 950 

Patient as sheep we yield us up 

Unto your cruel hate. 
But, by the shades beneath us, 

And by the gods above, 
Add not unto your cruel hate 

Your yet more cruel love ! 
Have ye not graceful ladies, 

Whose spotless lineage springs 
From consuls and high pontiffs 

And ancient Alban kings 260 

Ladies who deign not on our paths 

To set their tender feet, 
Who from their cars look down with scorn 

Upon the wondering street, 
Who in Corinthian mirrors 

Their own proud smiles behold, 
And breathe of Capuan odors, 

And shine with Spanish gold? 
Then leave the poor plebeian 

His single tie to life 270 

The sweet, sweet love of daughter, 

Of sister, and of wife ; 
The gentle speech, the balm for all 

That his vexed soul endures ; 
The kiss, in which he half forgets 

Even such a yoke as yours. 



Still let the maiden's beauty swell 

The father's breast with pride ; 
Still let the bridegroom's arms infold 

An unpolluted bride. 280 

Spare us the inexpiable wrong, 

The unutterable shame, 
That turns the coward's heart to steel, 

The sluggard's blood to flame, 
Lest, when our latest hope is fled, 

Ye taste of our despair, 
And learn by proof in some wild hour 

How much the wretched dare." 

Straightway Virginius led the maid 

A little space aside, 290 

To where the reeking shambles stood, 

Piled up with horn and hide, 
Close to yon low dark archway, 

Where in a crimson flood 
Leaps down to the great sewer 

The gurgling stream of blood. 
Hard by, a flesher on a block 

Had laid his whittle down ; 
Virginius caught the whittle up, 

And hid it in his gown. 300 

And then his eyes grew very dim, 

And his throat began to swell, 
And in a hoarse, changed voice he spake, 

' Farewell, sweet child ! Farewell ! 
O, how I loved my darling ! 

Though stern I sometimes be, 
To thee, thou know'st, I was not so. 

Who could be so to thee ? 
And how my darling loved me ! 

How glad she was to hear 310 


My footstep on the threshold 

When I came back last year ! 
And how she danced with pleasure 

To see my civic crown, 
And took my sword and hung it up, 

And brought me forth my gown ! 
Now, all those things are over 

Yes, all thy pretty ways, 
Thy needlework, thy prattle, 

Thy snatches of old lays ; 320 

And none will grieve when I go forth, 

Or smile when I return, 
Or watch beside the old man's bed, 

Or weep upon his urn. 
The house that was the happiest 

Within the Roman walls, 
The house that envied not the wealth 

Of Capua's marble halls, 
Now, for the brightness of thy smile, 

Must have eternal gloom, 330 

And for the music of thy voice, 

The silence of the tomb. 
The time is come. See how he points 

His eager hand this way ! 
See how his eyes gloat on thy grief, 

Like a kite's upon the prey ! 
With all his wit, he little deems 

That, spurned, betrayed, bereft, 
Thy father hath in his despair 

One fearful refuge left. 340 

He little deems that in this hand 

I clutch what still can save 
Thy gentle youth from taunts and blows, 

The portion of the slave; 


Yea, and from nameless evil, 

That passeth taunt and blow 
Foul outrage which thou knowest not, 

Which thou shall never know. 
Then clasp me round the neck once more, 

And give me one more kiss ; 350 

And now, mine own dear little girl, 

There is no way but this.' 
With that he lifted high the steel 

And smote her in the side, 
And in her blood she sank to earth, 

And with one sob she died. 

Then, for a little moment, 

All people held their breath, 
And through the crowded Forum 

Was stillness as of death ; 3 6o 

And in another moment 

Brake forth from one and all 
A cry as if the Volscians 

Were coming o'er the wall. 
Some with averted faces 

Shrieking fled home amain ; 
Some ran to call a leech, 

And some ran to lift the slain ; 
Some felt her lips and little wrist, 

If life might there be found ; 370 

And some tore up their garments fast, 

And strove to stanch the wound. 
In vain they ran and felt and stanched ; 

For never truer blow 
That good right arm had dealt in fight 

Against a Volscian foe. 

When Appius Claudius saw that deed, 
He shuddered and sank down, 


And hid his face some little space 

With the corner of his gown, s 80 

Till, with white lips and bloodshot eyes, 

Virginius tottered nigh, 
And stood before the judgment-seat, 

And held the knife on high : 
' O dwellers in the nether gloom, 

Avengers of the slain, 
By this dear blood I cry to you, 

Do right between us twain ; 
And even as Appius Claudius 

Hath dealt by me and mine, 39 

Deal you by Appius Claudius 

And all the Claudian line !' 
So spake the slayer of his child, 

And turned and went his way ; 
But first he cast one haggard glance 

To where the body lay, 
And writhed, and groaned a fearful groan, 

And then, with steadfast feet, 
Strode right across the market-place 

Unto the Sacred Street. 400 

Then up sprang Appius Claudius : 

' Stop him, alive or dead ! 
Ten thousand pounds of copper 

To the man who brings his head.' 
He looked upon his clients, 

But none would work his will ; 
He looked upon his lictors, 

But they trembled and stood still. 
And, as Virginius through the press 

His way in silence cleft, 410 

Ever the mighty multitude 

Fell back to right and left. 


And he hath passed in safety 

Unto his woful home, 
And there ta'en horse to tell the camp 

What deeds are done in Rome. 

By this the flood of people 

Was swollen from every side, 
And streets and porches round were filled 

With that o'erflowing tide; 420 

And close around the body 

Gathered a little train 
Of them that were the nearest 

Arid clearest to the slain. 
They brought a bier, and hung it 

With many a cypress crown, 
And gently they uplifted her, 

And gently laid her down. 
The face of Appius Claudius wore 

The Claudian scowl and sneer, 430 

And in the Claudian note he cried, 

' What doth this rabble here ? 
Have they no crafts to mind at home, 

That hitherward they stray? 
Ho! lictors, clear the market-place, 

And fetch the corpse away !' 
The voice of grief and fury 

Till then had not been loud ; 
But a deep sullen murmur 

Wandered among the crowd, 440 

Like the moaning noise that goes before 

The whirlwind on the deep, 
Or the growl of a fierce watch-dog 

But half-aroused from sleep. 
But when the lictors at that word, 

Tall yoemen all and strong, 


Each with his axe and sheaf of twigs, 

Went down into the throng, 
Those old men say who saw that day 

Of sorrow and of sin 45 

That in the Roman Forum 

Was never such a din. 
The wailing, hooting, cursing, 

The howls of grief and hate, ' 
Were heard beyond the Pincian Hill, 

Beyond the Latin Gate. 
But close around the body, 

Where stood the little train 
Of them that were the nearest ' 

And dearest to the slain, 460 

No cries were there, but teeth set fast, 

Low whispers and black frowns, 
And breaking-up of benches 

And girding-up of gowns. 
'T was well the lictors might not pierce 

To where the maiden lay, 
Else surely had they been all twelve 

Torn limb from limb that day. 
Right glad they were to struggle back, 

Blood streaming from their heads, 470 

With axes all in splinters, 

And raiment all in shreds. 
Then Appius Claudius gnawed his lip, 

And the blood left his cheek, 
And thrice he beckoned with his hand, 

And thrice he strove to speak ; 
And thrice the tossing Forum 

Set up a frightful yell : 
' See, see, thou dog ! what thou hast clone, 

And hide thy shame in hell ! 4 8o 


Thou that wouldst make our maidens slaves 

Must first make slaves of men. 
Tribunes! Hurrah for tribunes! 

Down with the wicked Ten !' 
And straightway, thick as hailstones, 

Came whizzing through the air 
Pebbles and bricks and potsherds 

All round the curule chair ; 
And upon Appius Claudius 

Great fear and trembling came, 490 

For never was a Claudius yet 

Brave against aught but shame. 
Though the great houses love us not, 

We own, to do them right, 
That the great houses, all save one, 

Have borne them well in fight. 
Still Caius of Corioli, 

His triumphs and his wrongs, 
His vengeance and his mercy, 

Live in our camp-fire songs. s 

Beneath the yoke of Furius oft 

Have Gaul and Tuscan bowed ; 
And Rome may bear the pride of him 

Of whom herself is proud. 
But evermore a Claudius 

Shrinks from a stricken field, 
And changes color like a maid 

At sight of sword and shield. 
The Claudian triumphs all were won 

Within the city towers ; s>o 

The Claudian yoke was never pressed 

On any necks but ours. 
A Cossus, like a wild-cat, 

Springs ever at the face ; 


A Fabius rushes like a boar 

Against the shouting chase ; 
But the vile Claudian litter, 

Raging with currish spite, 
Still yelps and snaps at those who run. 

Still runs from those who smite. 52 o 

So now 'twas seen of Appius; 

When stones began to fly, 
He shook and crouched, and wrung his hands, 

And smote upon his thigh: 
' Kind clients, honest lictors, 

Stand by me in this fray ! 
Must I be torn in pieces ? 

Home, home, the nearest way !' 
While yet he spake, and looked around 

With a bewildered stare, S3 o 

Four sturdy lictors put their necks 

Beneath the curule chair ; 
And fourscore clients on the left, 

And fourscore on the right, 
Arrayed themselves with swords and staves, 

And loins girt up for fight. 
But, though without or staff or sword, 

So furious was the throng 
That scarce the train with might and main 

Could bring their lord along. 540 

Twelve times the crowd made at him, 

Five times they seized his gown ; 
Small chance was his to rise again 

If once they got him down ; 
And sharper came the pelting, 

And evermore the yell 
' Tribunes ! we will have tribunes !' 

Rose with a louder swell. 


And the chair tossed as tosses 

A bark with tattered sail 
When raves the Adriatic 

Beneath an eastern gale, 
When the Calabrian sea-marks 

Are lost in clouds of spume, 
And the great Thunder-cape has donned 

His veil of inky gloom. 
One stone hit Appius in the mouth, 

And one beneath the ear, 
And ere he reached Mount Palatine 

He swooned with pain and fear. 
His cursed head, that he was wont 

To hold so high with pride, 
Now, like a drunken man's, hung down 

And swayed from side to side ; 
And when his stout retainers 

Had brought him to his door, 
His face and neck were all one cake 

Of filth and clotted gore. 
As Appius Claudius was that day, 

So may his grandson be ! 
God send Rome one such other sight, 

And send me there to see ! 







Now slain is King Amulius 

Of the great Sylvian line, 
Who reigned in Alba Longa 

On the throne of Aventine. 
Slain is the Pontiff Gamers, 

Who spake the words of doom : 
' The children to the Tiber, 

The mother to the tomb.' 



In Alba's lake no fisher 

His net to-day is flinging ; 10 

On the dark rind of Alba's oaks 

To-day no axe is ringing ; 
The yoke hangs o'er the manger, 

The scythe lies in the hay ; 
Through all the Alban villages 

No work is done to-day. 

And every Alban burgher 

Hath donned his whitest gown ; 
And every head in Alba 

Weareth a poplar crown ; 20 

And every Alban door-post 

With boughs and flowers is gay ; 
For to-day the dead are living, 

The lost are found to-day. 


They were doomed by a bloody king, 

They were doomed by a lying priest ; 
They were cast on the raging flood, 

They were tracked by the raging beast : 
Raging beast and raging flood 

Alike have spared the prey ; 30 

And to-day the dead are living, 

The lost are found to-day. 


The troubled river knew them, 

And smoothed his yellow foam, 
And gently rocked the cradle 

That bore the fate of Rome. 


The ravening she-wolf knew them, 

And licked them o'er and o'er, 
And gave them of her own fierce milk, 

Rich with raw flesh and gore. <> 

Twenty winters, twenty springs, 

Since then have rolled away ; 
And to-day the dead are living, 

The lost are found to-day. 


Blithe it was to see the twins, 

Right goodly youths and tall, 
Marching from Alba Longa 

To their old grandsire's hall. 
Along their path fresh garlands 

Are hung from tree to tree ; so 

Before them stride the pipers, 

Piping a note of glee. 


On the right goes Romulus, 

With arms to the elbows red, 
And in his hands a broadsword, 

And on the blade a head 
A head in an iron helmet, 

With horse-hair hanging down, 
A shaggy head, a swarthy head, 

Fixed in a ghastly frown 60 

The head of King Amulius 

Of the great Sylvian line, 
Who reigned in Alba Longa 

On the throne of Aventine. 


On the left side goes Remus, 
With wrists and fingers red, 


And in his hand a boar-spear, 

And on the point a head 
A wrinkled head and aged, 

With silver beard and hair, 70 

And holy fillets round it 

Such as the pontiffs wear 
The head of ancient Gamers, 

Who spake the words of doom : 
' The children to the Tiber ; 

The mother to the tomb.' 


Two and two behind the twins 

Their trusty comrades go, 
Four-and-forty valiant men, 

With club and axe and bow. 80 

On each side every hamlet 

Pours forth its joyous crowd, 
Shouting lads and baying dogs, 

And children laughing loud, 
And old men weeping fondly 

As Rhea's boys go by, 
And maids who shriek to see the heads, 

Yet, shrieking, press more nigh. 


So they marched along the lake ; 

They marched by fold and stall, 90 

By cornfield and by vineyard, 

Unto the old man's hall. 


In the hall-gate sat Capys, 

Capys the sightless seer ; 
From head to foot he trembled 

As Romulus drew near. 


And up stood stiff his thin white hair, 
And his blind eyes flashed fire : 

' Hail ! foster-child of the wondrous nurse ! 
Hail! son of the wondrous sire! i<x 


' But thou what dost thou here 

In the old man's peaceful hall? 
What doth the eagle in the coop, 

The bison in the stall ? 
Our corn fills many a garner ; 

Our vines clasp many a tree ; 
Our flocks are white on many a hill ; 

But these are not for thee. 


' For thee no treasure ripens 

. In the Tartessian mine; n< 

For thee no ship brings precious bales 

Across the Libyan brine ; 
Thou shalt not drink from amber, 

Thou shalt not rest on down ; 
Arabia shall not steep thy locks, 

Nor Sidon tinge thy gown. 


' Leave gold and myrrh and jewels, 

Rich table and soft bed, 
To them who of man's seed are born, 

Whom woman's milk hath fed. iac 

Thou wast not made for lucre, 

For pleasure, nor for rest ; 
Thou, that art sprung from the War-god's loins, 

And hast tugged at the she-wolfs breast. 



' From sunrise unto sunset 

All earth shall hear thy fame ; 
A glorious city thou shalt build, 

And name it by thy name : 
And there, unquenched through ages, 

Like Vesta's sacred fire, 130 

Shall live the spirit of thy nurse, 

The spirit of thy sire. 


' The ox toils through the furrow, 

Obedient to the goad ; 
The patient ass up flinty paths 

Plods with his weary load ; 
With whine and bound the spaniel 

His master's whistle hears; 
And the sheep yields her patiently 

To the loud clashing shears. 14 


'But thy nurse will hear no master, 

Thy nurse will bear no load ; 
And woe to them that shear her, 

And woe to them that goad ! 
When all the pack, loud baying, 

Her bloody lair surrounds, 
She dies in silence, biting hard, 

Amidst the dying hounds. 


' Pomona loves the orchard, 

And Liber loves the vine ; 150 

And Pales loves the straw-built shed 

Warm with the breath of kine ; 


And Venus loves the whispers 

Of plighted youth and maid, 
In April's ivory moonlight 

Beneath the chestnut shade. 


' But thy father loves the clashing 

Of broadsword and of shield ; 
He loves to drink the steam that reeks 

From the fresh battle-field ; 160 

He smiles a smile more dreadful 

Than his own dreadful frown, 
When he sees the thick black cloud of smoke 

Go up from the conquered town. 


'And such as is the War-god, 

The author of thy line, 
And such as she who suckled thee, 

Even such be thou and thine ! 
Leave to the soft Campanian 

His baths and his perfumes ; 170 

Leave to the sordid race of Tyre 

Their dyeing-vats and looms ; 
Leave to the sons of Carthage 

The rudder and the oar; 
Leave to the Greek his marble nymphs 

And scrolls of wordy lore. 


'Thine, Roman, is the pilum ; 

Roman, the sword is thine, 
The even trench, the bristling mound, 

The legion's ordered line ; i&> 


And thine the wheels of triumph 

Which with their laurelled train 
Move slowly up the shouting streets 

To Jove's eternal fane. 


' Beneath thy yoke the Volscian 

Shall vail his lofty brow; 
Soft Capua's curled revellers 

Before thy chairs shall bow ; 
The Lucumoes of Arnus 

Shall quake thy rods to see ; 19 

And the proud Samnite's heart of steel 

Shall yield to only thee. 


' The Gaul shall come against thee 

From the land of snow and night ; 
Thou shalt give his fair-haired armies 

To the raven and the kite. 


' The Greek shall come against thee, 

The conqueror of the East. 
Beside him stalks to battle 

The huge earth-shaking beast * 

The beast on whom the castle 

With all its guards doth stand, 
The beast who hath between his eyes 

The serpent for a hand. 
First march the bold Epirotes, 

Wedged close with shield and spear, 
And the ranks of false Tarentum 

Are glittering in the rear. 


' The ranks of false Tarentum 

Like hunted sheep shall fly; 2' 

In vain the bold Epirotes 

Shall round their standards die ; 
And Apennine's gray vultures 

Shall have a noble feast 
On the fat and the eyes 

Of the huge earth-shaking beast. 


' Hurrah for the good weapons 
That keep the War-god's land ! 
Hurrah for Rome's stout pilum 

In a stout Roman hand ! " 

Hurrah for Rome's short broadsword 

That through the thick array 
Of levelled spears and serried shields 

Hews deep its gory way ! 


' Hurrah for the great triumph 

That stretches many a mile ! 
Hurrah for the wan captives 

That pass in endless file ! 
Ho ! bold Epirotes, whither 

Hath the Red King ta'en flight ? =30 

Ho ! dogs of false Tarentum, 

Is not the gown washed white ? 


' Hurrah for the great triumph 

That stretches many a mile ! 
Hurrah for the rich dye of Tyre, 

And the fine web of Nile, 


The helmets gay with plumage 

Torn from the pheasant's wings, 
The belts set thick with starry gems 

That shone on Indian kings, 24 

The urns of massy silver, 

The goblets rough with gold, 
The many-colored tablets bright 

With loves and wars of old, 
The stone that breathes and struggles, 

The brass that seems to speak ! 
Such cunning they who dwell on high 

Have given unto the Greek. 


' Hurrah for Man i us Curius, 

The bravest son of Rome, 250 

Thrice in utmost need sent forth, 

Thrice drawn in triumph home ! 
Weave, weave, for Manius Curius 

The third embroidered gown ; 
Make ready the third lofty car, 

And twine the third green crown ; 
And yoke the steeds of Rosea 

With necks like a bended bow; 
And deck the bull, Mevania's bull, 

The bull as white as snow. 360 


'Blest and thrice blest the Roman 

Who sees Rome's brightest day, 
Who sees that long victorious pomp 

Wind down the Sacred Way, 
And through the bellowing Forum, 

And round the Suppliants' Grove, 
Up to the everlasting gates 

Of Capitolian Jove. 


'Then where o'er two bright havens 

The towers of Corinth frown ; 
Where the gigantic King of Day 

On his own Rhodes looks down ; 
Where soft Orontes murmurs 

Beneath the laurel shades ; 
Where Nile reflects the endless length 

Of dark-red colonnades ; 
Where in the still deep water, 

Sheltered from waves and blasts, 
Bristles the dusky forest 

Of Byrsa's thousand masts; 
Where fur-clad hunters wander 

Amidst the Northern ice ; 
Where through the sand of Morning-land 

The camel bears the spice ; 
Where Atlas flings his shadow 

Far o'er the western foam, 
Shall be great fear on all who hear 

The mighty name of Rome.' 





A. S., Anglo-Saxon. 
Cf. (confer), compare. 
Fol. , following. 
Id. (idem), the same. 

Skeat, W. W. Skeat's Concise Etymological Dictionary (Harper's ed., 1882) ; or the 
larger work (Oxford, 1882). 

Other abbreviations will be readily understood. The line-numbers in the references 
to Shakespeare are those of the "Globe" edition, which vary from those of Rolfe's 
edition only in scenes that are wholly or partly in frost. 

i' "^ "^"-Tll -5 



THE Lays were published in 1842, and were popular from the first. 
Trevelyan (Life of Afacatilay, Harper's ed. vol. ii. p. 1 1 1) says : " Eighteen 
thousand of the Lays of Ancient Rome were sold in ten years ; forty thou- 
sand in twenty years ; and by June, 1875, upward of a hundred thousand 
copies had passed into the hands of readers. But it is a work of super- 
fluity to measure by statistics the success of poems every line of which 
is, and long has been, too hackneyed for quotation." 

Macaulay's introduction to Horatius is as follows: 

" There can be little doubt that among those parts of early Roman his- 
tory which had a poetical origin was the legend of Horatius Codes. We 
have several versions of the story, and these versions differ from each 
other in points of no small importance. Polybius, there is reason to be- 
lieve, heard the tale recited over the remains of some consul or praetor 
descended from the old Horatian patricians ; for he introduces it as a 
specimen of the narratives with which the Romans were in the habit of 
embellishing their funeral oratory. It is remarkable that, according to 

120 NOTES. 

him, Horatius defended the bridge alone, and perished in the waters. 
According to the chronicles which Livy and Uionysius followed, Hora- 
tius had two companions, swam safe to shore, and was loaded with 
honors and rewards. 

" These discrepancies are easily explained. Our own literature, indeed, 
will furnish an exact parallel to what may have taken place at Rome. It 
is highly probable that the memory of the war of Porsena was preserved 
by compositions much resembling the two ballads which stand first in 
the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. In both those ballads the Eng- 
lish, commanded by the Percy, fight with the Scots, commanded by the 
Douglas. In one of the ballads the Douglas is killed by a nameless 
English archer, and the Percy by a Scottish spearman ; in the other, the 
Percy slays the Douglas in single combat, and is himself made prisoner. 
In the former, Sir Hugh Montgomery is shot through the heart by a 
Northumbrian bowman ; in the latter he is taken and exchanged for the 
Percy. Yet both the ballads relate to the same event, and that an event 
which probably took place within the memory of persons who were alive 
when both the ballads were made. One of the minstrels says, 

' Old men that knowen the grounde well yenoughe 
Call it the battell of Otlerburn : 
At Otterburn began this spurne 
Upon a monnyn day. 
Ther was the dougghte Doglas slean : 
The Perse never went away.' 

The other poet sums up the event in the following lines : 

1 Thys fraye bygan at Otterborne 
Bytwene the nyghte and the day: 
Ther the Dowglas lost hys lyfe, 
And the Percy was lede away." 

"It is by no means unlikely that there were two old Roman lays about 
the defence of the bridge ; and that, while the story which Livy has trans- 
mitted to us was preferred by the multitude, the other, which ascribed 
the whole glory to Horatius alone, may have been the favorite with the 
Horatian house. 

" The following ballad is supposed to have been made about a hundred 
and twenty years after the war which it celebrates, and just before the tak- 
ing of Rome by the Gauls. The author seems to have been an honest 
citizen, proud of the military glory of his country, sick of the disputes of 
factions, and much given to pining after good old times which had never 
really existed. The allusion, however, to the partial manner in which 
the public lands were allotted could proceed only from a plebeian ; and 
the allusion to the fraudulent sale of spoils marks the date of the poem, 
and shows that the poet shared in the general discontent with which the 
proceedings of Camillus, after the taking of Veii, were regarded. 

"The penultimate syllable of the name Porsena has been shortened in 
spite of the authority of Niebuhr, who pronounces, without assigning any 
ground for his opinion, that Martial was guilty of a decided blunder in 
the line, 

4 Hanc spectare rnanum Porsena non potuit.' 


It is not easy to understand how any modern scholar, whatever his at- 
tainments may be and those of Niebuhr were undoubtedly immense 
can venture to pronounce that Martial did not know the quantity of a 
word which he must have uttered and heard uttered a hundred times be- 
fore he left school. Niebuhr seems also to have forgotten that Martial 
has fellow-culprits to keep him in countenance. Horace has committed 
the same decided blunder ; for he gives us, as a pure iambic line, 

' Minacis aut Etrusca Porsenae manus.' 
Silius Italicus has repeatedly offended in the same way, as when he says, 

1 Cemitur effugiens ardentem Porsena dextram ;' 
and, again, 

' Clusinutn vulgus, cum, Porsena magne, jubebas.' 

A modern writer may be content to err in such company. 

"Niebuhr's supposition that each of the three defenders of the bridge 
was the representative of one of the three patrician tribes is both ingen- 
ious and probable, and has been adopted in the following poem." 

I. Lars Porsena. Lars, Lar, or Larth was a title of honor given to near- 
ly all the Etruscan kings. Another example of it isLar Toltimnius, King 
of Veil, whom Cossus slew in single combat (see on 190 below). It is 
the same word as the English Lord. Cf. Tennyson, Princess, ii. 113: 
" That lay at wine with Lar and Lucumo." 

Porstna is also written Par senna and Porsina. As Macaulay remarks, 
the form with the short e occurs in Martial (i. 22. 6), Horace (Efodes, 
16. 4), and Silius (viii. 391, 480 ; x. 484, 502). Porsenna occurs in Virgil 
(sEneiJ, viii. 646), etc. The Greek writers always make the penult long. 

Porsena was king of the Etruscan town of Clusium, where, according 
to the legend, Tarquinius Superbus applied for help, after seeking it in 
vain from Veii and Tarquinii. Porsena, as Tacitus tells us (Hist. iii. 72), 
completely conquered Rome. The tale of his repulse by Horatius and 
his two companions was an invention of Roman vanity, to conceal the 
great disaster of their city. This expedition of Porsena was kept in the 
minds of the Romans of later times by the custom at auctions of offering 
for sale first " the goods of King Porsena." As Niebuhr thinks, this may 
have arisen from the circumstance that, when the Romans threw off the 
Tuscan yoke, they obtained possession of property within the city be- 
longing to Porsena, which they sold at auction. 

Clusium became prominent in the time of Porsena from the personal 
abilities of that monarch, who is represented by Livy simply as ruler of 
Clusium, and is called King of the Etruscans only by later rhetorical 
writers. It was an inland city of Etruria, in the valley of the Clanis (cf. 
38 below), and was one of the twelve cities of the Etruscan confederation. 
In the time of Tarquinius Priscus, when she gave Rome a dynasty, Etruria 
possessed the land of the Volscians and the whole of Campania. This 
great extent of territory was divided into Etruria proper, Etruria Circum- 
padana, and Etruria Campaniana. Each of these districts was divided 
into twelve states, each represented by a city. No list of the twelve 
cities of Etruria proper has been given by ancient writers. They were 

122 NOTES. 

probably Tarquinii, Veii, Falerii, Caere, Volsinii, Vetulonia, Rasellae, Clu- 
sium, Arretium, Cortona, Perusia, and Volaterrae. Chiusi, the modern 
Clusium, shows few traces of her ancient greatness, but is rich in Etrus- 
can relics. The celebrated tomb of Porsena, a description of which from 
Varro is given by Pliny, is by some believed to have been discovered near 
Chiusi, but there is little or no ground for the belief, and the account it- 
self is probably fabulous. 

2. The Nine Gods. Pliny (Nat. Hist. ii. 53) tells us that the Etruscans 
believed in Nine Great Gods, who alone had the power of hurling thun- 
derbolts. They were called by the Romans Dei Novensiles or Dei Supe- 

6. A trystiitg-day. A day of meeting. A tryst is properly a pledge. 
It is the same word as trust. 

14. Etruscan. The name Etruria is almost universally used by clas- 
sical Latin writers. The term Tuscia, preserved in the modern Tuscany, 
occurs often in later times, and was the official designation of the prov- 
ince in the time of the Empire. The people, on the other hand, were at 
all times called indifferently Etrttsci or Tusci, the latter being apparently 
the more ancient form. The Greeks called them Tyrrhenians, while the 
native name of the people was Rasena or Rasenna. The Etruscans were 
of a different race from the Romans, and spoke a radically different lan- 
guage. The origin of the race is very uncertain. Mommsen, in his His- 
tory of Rome, says : " ' The Etruscans,' Dionysius said long ago, ' are like 
no other nation in language and manners ;' and we have nothing to add 
to this statement." 

19. Amain. With full power. The prefix, which occurs in such 
words as abed, afoot, asleep, and the like, is the A. S. on, an, or a, signify- 
ing in or with. 

22. Hamlet. The word is a diminutive from A. S. ham, English home. 

24. Like an eagle's nest. Cf. Horace, Odes, iii. 4. 14 : " celsae nidum 
Acherontiae" (of a town nestling on the edge of a hill). The commanding 
situation of the village is well described by hangs. For a similar expres- 
sion cf. Virgil, Eclogues, i. 75 : 

" Non ego vos posthac, viridi proiectus in antro, 
Dumosa pendere procul de rupe videbo." 

26. Volaterra. The Etruscan Velathri, one of the most ancient and 
powerful cities of Etruria, five miles north of the Cecina river and fif- 
teen from the sea. It had an extremely commanding situation 1700 feet 
above the sea, on the summit of a hill bounded on all sides by precipices. 
It was the last stronghold of the Marian party in Italy, and yielded only 
after a two years' siege conducted by Sulla in person. The modern town 
(Volterrn) retains large portions of the ancient walls, 40 feet high and 13 
feet thick, and one of the gateways (Porta delV Arco), 20 feet high. 

27. Hold. Stronghold, fortress; as in Shakespeare, 2 Hen. IV. ind. 35 : 
" this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone " (the castle of the Earl of Nor- 
thumberland), etc. Cf. keep as applied to the central tower of a castle. 

30. Populonia. The principal maritime city of Etruria, originally called 
Pupluna. Strabo says it was the only one of the ancient Etruscan cities 




which was situated cm the sea-coast. It became prosperous from its con- 
nection with the neighboring island of Ilva (see on 303 below), the iron 
from whose mines was carried to Populonia to be smelted and thence 
exported. In 205 B.C., when Scipio was fitting out his fleet to go to 
Africa, Populonia undertook to supply him with iron. Servius (on 
sEneid, x. 172) states that the town was founded by Corsicans, and that 
it was of later date than the Etruscan league. Like many of the Etrus- 
can cities, it was built upon a lofty hill. At the highest point of the hill 
stood a lonely watch-tower, from which Strabo says that both Corsica and 
Sardinia were visible. The latter part of the statement, though repeated 
by many writers, is erroneous, for even if the distance were not too great, 
the nearer mountains of Elba would shut out those of Sardinia from the 
view. Populonia was the only city of Etruria which had a silver coinage 
of its own. It was of a peculiar character ; the reverse was generally 
plain, not incuse, or indented, like most of the ancient Greek coins, while 
the obverse bore a Gorgon's head. Populonia sustained a siege by Sulla 
at the same time as Volaterrae, and never recovered from the blow which 
it received. In the Middle Ages a feudal castle was erected on the site, 
which, with a few adjacent houses, still bears the name of Populonia, and 
is a conspicuous object from a distance. 

34. Mart. A contracted form of market ; from the Latin mercattts 
Cf. Hamlet, i. I. 74 : " And foreign mart for implements of war." 



Pisa. An important city of Etruria on the northern bank of the Ar- 
nus, a few miles from its mouth. Very little is known of its early history. 
The identity of its name with that of the city in Elis naturally led to the 
supposition that one was derived from the other (Virgil, sEneid, x. 179), 
but Cato considered it of genuine Etruscan origin. In Pliny's time it 
had become a thriving town, and during the Middle Ages it was one of 
the most flourishing commercial cities in Italy. It was on the site of the 
modern Pisa, though great natural changes have taken place in the lo- 

36. Massilia. The modern Marseilles. It was founded by the Pho- 
caeans (from the Ionian town of Phocaea in Asia). It was a rich and 
prosperous city, with an extensive commerce. Like all the Greeks, the 
Massilians had slaves, readily obtained from the fair-haired Gauls, who 
sold their own children for this purpose. Cf. Capys, 195. 

Triremes. Ships with three banks of oars, as the name implies. Up 
to the time of the first Punic war these were the largest vessels in the 
Roman navy, but later quadriremes, quinquer ernes, etc., were built. 

38. Clanis. A river in the territory of Clusium, flowing into the Tiber. 
It drains a remarkable valley, thirty miles long, and so level that the 
waters from the surrounding hills would flow almost indifferently in either 
direction. We learn from Tacitus that as early as A.D. 15 a project was 
formed of turning aside the waters of the Clanis into the Arnus. The 
valley of the Chiana*, as it is now called, has become marshy and ma- 
larious from frequent inundations, and its waters are carried off by artifi- 
cial channels into the Lake of Chiusi or into the Arno. 

40. Cortona. A very ancient city of Etruria, between Arretium and 
Clusium, on a lofty hill about nine miles from Lake Trasimenus. It was 
one of the most powerful cities of the Confederation. We hear very little 
about it in later times, for its almost impregnable situation rendered it 
free from attack. The modern city of Cortona is the see of a bishop, and 
has a population of about 5000. Its walls are for the most part based 
on the ancient walls, and it is rich in Etruscan remains. 

43. Auser. A river of Etruria, rising on the borders of Liguria, and 
flowing into the Arnus. The modern river, the Serchio (supposed to be 
a corruption of Auserctilits), flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea seven miles 
north of the mouth of the Arno. The whole space between the two riv- 
ers in the lower part of their course is so flat and low that their waters 
still communicate during great floods. 

Rill is cognate with the Latin rima (see Virgil, sEneid, i. 123 : "rimis- 
que fatiscunt "), and strictly means a shallow trench or channel. 

44. Champ. To eat noisily ; cognate with chew, jaw, and the Greek 
yetfupai (jaws). 

45. The Ciminian hill. Mt. Ciminus (Monte Ciniino), the culminating 
point of a range of volcanic heights, extending from near the Tiber in a 
southwesterly direction towards the sea. It is a conspicuous object from 
Rome, and separates the Camfagna from the plains of Central Etruria. 

In the Italian the lost Latin / is replaced by i ; as in Chiusi (Clusium), Firemt 
(florentia), fiombo {plumbum), etc 



It was covered in ancient times (as part of it still is) with a dense forest, 
called Silva Ciminia, which was regarded by the early Romans with no 
less awe than the Hercynian Forest was in later times. It abounded in 

46. Clitumnns. A small river in Umbria, celebrated for the clearness 
of its waters, and for the beauty of the cattle which pastured on its banks. 
These cattle, of a pure white color (cf. 55 below) and large size, were set 
apart as victims to be slaughtered at triumphs or other special ceremo- 
nies (see on Capys, 259 below). Their color was thought to be due to 
their drinking and bathing in the extremely pure waters of the Clitumnus ; 
but, though the same tradition is preserved to-day, the cattle are no longer 
remarkable for their whiteness. Pliny describes the source of the river 
in such a way as to show that it was considered a sight worth visiting. 
Caligula undertook a journey for that express purpose, and Honorius 
turned aside from his progress along the Flaminian Way for the same 
object. Cf. Byron, Childe Harold, iv. 67 : 

" But thou, Clitumnus, in thy sweetest wave 
Of the most living crystal that was e'er 
The haunt of river nymph, to gaze and lave 
Her limbs where nothing hid them, thou dost rear 
Thy grassy banks whereon the milk-white steer 
Grazes ; the purest god of gentle waters, 
And most serene of aspect and most clear ! 
Surely that stream was unprofaned by slaughters 
A mirror and a bath for Beauty's youngest daughters !" 

49. Volsinian mere. A lake of southern Etruria nearly as large as 
Lake Trasimenus. It took its name from the town of Volsinii, on its 
northeastern shore. It is sometimes called the Tarqninian Lake, be- 
cause its western shore adjoined the territory of Tarquinii. The word 
mere (Latin mare) is cognate with mortal, and strictly means a dead or 
desert waste of water. 

58. Arretiitm. One of the most ancient and powerful cities of Etruria, 
situated in the upper valley of the Arnus, about four miles south of the 
river. It was undoubtedly one of the twelve cities of the League, and 
also one of the five which aided the Latins against Tarquinius Priscus. 
After the Romaus had conquered Italy, it became an important military 
post, commanding as it did the western entrance into Etruria and the 
valley of the Tiber from Cisalpine Gaul. Maecenas, the friend and coun- 
sellor of Augustus, is said to have been a native of Arretium, and, while 
there is no proof that he himself was born there, the family of the Cilnii, 
to which he belonged, was at an early period the most powerful and con- 
spicuous of the nobility of that city. See Horace, Odes, iii. 29. I : "Tyr- 
rhena regum progenies ;" Satires, i. 6. I (where there is an allusion to the 
supposed Lydian origin of the Etruscans) : 

" Non quia, Maecenas, Lydorum quicquid Etrusccs 
Incolunt fines, nemo generosior est te." 

In more recent times the city (the modern Arezzo) was noted as the 
birthplace of Petrarch. Many of the most interesting specimens of Etrus- 
can art havij been discovered here, including much pottery, of a peculiar 

126 A T OTES. 

style of bright red ware with ornaments in relief, wholly different from 
the painted vases so common in southern Etruria. Roman inscriptions 
on the articles confirm the statement of Pliny, who speaks of Arretium 
as still celebrated in his time for its pottery ; which was, however, re- 
garded with contempt by the wealthy Romans, and used only for humble 

59. Old men. Too old for military service, as tin&youngboyt were too 
young. In Rome every citizen more than seventeen and less than forty- 
six years old was obliged to serve in the army when required. 

60. Uinbro. A river of Etruria, next in size to the Arnus, flowing into 
the sea about sixteen miles north of the promontory of Mons Argentarius. 
The name is supposed to be connected with the Umbrians, who held that 
part of Italy before its conquest by the Etruscans ; and Pliny tells us 
that the coast district as far south as Telamon was called "Tractus Um- 

62. Luna. A city of Etruria on the left bank of the Macra near its 
mouth, and hence on the very borders of Liguria. Indeed, it had fallen 
into the hands of the Ligurians before that people came in contact with 
the Romans. There is no ground for considering it a city of the League. 
Luna was noted for its wine, which was considered the best in Etruria ; 
for its cheeses, some of which weighed a thousand pounds ; and for its 
marble (similar to that of the modern Carrara, only a few miles from the 
ruins of Luna), which was equal to the best Parian. The buildings of 
Luna and even its walls are said to have been built of this stone, whence 
Rutilius calls them "candentia moenia." The city fell to decay under 
the Roman emperors, and was finally destroyed by the Arabs in 1016. 

63. Must. New wine, or mttstum ; whence moist, musty, and mustard 
(this last because it was mixed with must or vinegar). 

68. Alivay. Originally two words, //and way (= all the way, proba- 
bly at first in reference to space traversed, but at a very early period 
transferred to time) ; afterwards confused with the genitive always, which 
has superseded it in prose, alway being now archaic and poetic. Cf. 
Matt, xxviii. 20, etc. 

71. Verses. Predictions, prophecies. Compare the use (mostly poeti- 
cal) of carmina ; as in ALneid, vi. 74, etc. 

72. Traced from the right. The Etruscans retained down to the latest 
period the mode of writing from right to left. Lucretius says (vi. 381) : 
"Tyrrhena retro volventem carmina frustra." 

73. Yore. Originally the genitive plural of the A. S. word for year, so 
that the sense was of years, that is, in years past. 

80. Nttrscia, or Nortia, was the Etruscan goddess of fortune, appar- 
ently identical with Fortuna of Antium and Prasneste. She was wor- 
shipped at Volsinii, where a nail was driven every year into the wall of 
her temple for the purpose of marking the number of years. 

8 1. The golden shields of Rome. The twelve sacred shields (attciliii) 
preserved in the temple of Mars Gradivus on the Palatine Hill. Accord- 
ing to one legend, a shield was found in the palace of Numa which was 
supposed to have fallen from heaven, as it could not be learned that any 
human hand had brought it there. The haruspices declared that the 




Roman state would endure so 
long as tliis shield was kept in 
Rome. To secure its preserva- 
tion, Numa had eleven other 
shields made exactly like it ; 
and twelve priests, known as the 
Salii, were appointed to take 
care of the twelve shields. At 
the yearly feast of the god, on the 
calends of March, the Salii car- 
ried the ancilia about the city, 
at the same time singing sacred 
songs and performing a Kind of 
dance, in which- they kept lime 
by striking the shields with rods. 
The cut shows one of these rods, 
and also the Salii on their march. 
The material of the shields is 
not mentioned by ancient writers, but, according to the later grammari- 
ans, it was bronze, not gold. 

83. Tale. A number, reckoning ; like tally from tell (=count). 

86. Sntrinm. A small town in the southern part of Etruria, about 
thirty-two miles from Rome. It never became a place of any impor- 
tance, but its position on the Cassian Way preserved it from falling into 
decay, like so many of the Etruscan cities, under the Roman Empire. 
The modern town, Sutri, has only 2000 inhabitants, but retains the epis- 
copal see which it held throughout the Middle Ages. It contains a re- 
markable amphitheatre, excavated in the tufa rock. 

95. Muster. A fair show, an assembly (from Latin monstrd). 

96. Titscttlan Mamilius. The Mamilia gens was one of the most dis- 
tinguished families of Tusculum, and indeed in the whole of Latium. 
They traced their origin to the mythical Mamilia, daughter of Telegonus, 
the son of Odysseus and Circe. Their coins bear on one side a head of 
Mercury, and on the other Odysseus in his travelling dress with his dog. 
Mamilius was the foremost man of the Latin race in the time of Tarquin- 
ius Superbus, who secured his alliance by giving him his daughter in 

Tusculum was a strong city of Latium fifteen miles from Rome. It was 
said to have been founded by Telegonus. After the final defeat of Tar- 
quin at Lake Regillus, Tusculum remained for a long time a faithful ally 
of Rome. In the great Latin war it opposed Rome, but after the defeat 
of the Latins the Tusculans were treated with great indulgence. In later 
times Tusculum was one of the favorite resorts of the wealthy Romans. 
Here Lucullus, Cato, Cicero, and others had villas, and Cicero composed 
many of his philosophical works. The ancient city remained entire until 
nearly the end of the twelfth century, and its ruins arc still to be seen near 
the modern Frascati. 

98. 77te vclUno Tiber. Fliirns (yellow) is a constant epithet applied to the 
Tiber by Roman poets. Cl. 466 and 470 below, and Horace, Odes, i. 2. 13 : 



" Vidimus flavum Tiberim retortis 
Litore Etrusco violenter undis 
Ire deiectum raonumenta regis 
Templaque Vestae," etc.x 

ico. Champaign. Open country, plains. See Shakespeare, Lear, \. 
i. 57: "With shadowy forests and with champaigns rich'd ;" also 
Twelfth Night, ii. 5. 174 : " Daylight and champaign discovers not more." 
In Lucrece (1247) the word is used as an adjective : "A goodly cham- 
paign plain." 

106. Folk. Properly a collective noun (=a crowd of people), though 
it has come to be used in the plural. It is allied to flock. 

1 10. Litters (lectictz) for sick persons and invalids seem to have been 
in use at Rome (as in Greece) from 
the earliest times. They were cov- 
ered, and enclosed with curtains or 
with sides in which there were win- 
dows. In later times they were 
used by people in health, especially 
in travelling. They were carried by 
means of poles attached but not fixed 
to the litter. The poles rested on 
the shoulders of the bearers, and 
not on thongs passed around their 
necks, as some modern writers have 
thought. In the time of the Empire 
their use in the city became general. 
They were carried by tall, hand- 
some slaves in gorgeous liveries. 

115. Skins of wine. When wine 
was transported from one place to 
another, it was put into bags of 
goat-skin, well pitched over, so as 
to make the seams perfectly tight. 
When the quantity was large, a 
number of hides were sewed to- 
gether, and the leather tun thus 
made was carried in a cart. 

117. Kine. The old plural of 
cow. It is really a double plural 
(like brethren), the A. S. cti having 

the plural cy, whence the Middle English ky, which was pluralized by 
adding en (as in oxen), forming ky-en, or kine. 

122. The rock Tarpeian. A steep rock on the Saturnian Hill (at a very 
early period called the Capitoline), from which traitors were hurled. 
Tarpeia, according to the legend, was a Roman maiden, who treacher- 
ously opened the citadel to the Sabines. She stipulated that her reward 
should be "what they wore on their left frms," meaning their golden 
bracelets, but they cast upon her their shields, which they bore on their 
left arms, and crushed her. Cf. Byron, Childe Harold, iv. 112 : 




" Where is the rock of Triumph, the high place 
Where Home embraced her heroes? where the steep 
Tarpeian fittest goal of Treason's race, 
The promontory whence the Traitor's Leap 
Cured all ambition?" , 

In the present passage the rock Tarpeian is probably used for the hill in 
general. The precise location of the part from which traitors were 
thrown is now matter of dispute, but the weight of authority seems to be 
in favor of the south side, or the Monte Caprino, as it is called. 

* '.. tw" 


123. Wan. The original sense of the word seems to have been tired 
out, from which the transition is easy to pale from fatigue. 

Burghers. Citizens. The word is cognate with Iwrgess, which in 
Mommsen's History of Koine (Knglish translation) is the designation of 
the Roman citizens. It is derived from borOHfk+tr. 

126. The Fathers of the City. The Patres Conscripti, or senators. See 
on Lake Re^illits, 119 below. 

133. Crnstiimerium. An ancient city of Latium, on the borders of the 
Sabine territory, between Fidenae and Eretum. It was reckoned by Plu- 
tarch as a Sabine city, but Virgil (jVLncid, vii. 631) mentions it among the 
five great cities which were the first to take up arms against tineas, all 
which he undoubtedly regarded as Latin towns. The country about 
Crnstumerium was noted for its fertility. It produced great quantities 
of corn, and Virgil (Georgics, ii. 88) says that pears were produced there 
in great abundance which were red only on one side, a peculiarity which 
they still retain. 

I 3 


134. Verbenna. This name is one of Macaulay's own invention ; it is 
not mentioned by any Roman writer. 

Ostia. The seaport of Rome, at the mouth of the Tiber, sixteen miles 
from the city. All ancient writers agree that it was founded by Ancus 
Martius, who at the same time established salt-works there, which for 
a long time supplied Rome and the neighboring country. Ostia was 
always a colony of Rome and never became independent. Although it 
must have grown in importance with the increasing power of Rome, no 
historical mention is made of the town until the second Punic War, when 
it was a naval and commercial port of the highest importance. From its 
close connection with Rome it enjoyed special privileges, and Ostia and 
Antium alone were granted exemption from levies for military service in 
207 B.C. It suffered during the wars of Marius and Sulla, and was taken 
and sacked by the former in 87 B.C. In 67 B.C. a fleet which had been 
assembled there to suppress the pirates was attacked by the pirates them- 
selves and destroyed (Cicero, Pro Leg. Main'/. 12. 33). 

The modern village of Ostia is an insignificant place, the climate of 
which in summer is extremely unhealthy. It has scarcely a hundred in- 
habitants, most of whom are employed in the salt-works. The site of 
the ancient town is now three miles from the mouth of the river. In the 
time of Strabo the port had been seriously injured by alluvial deposits, 
and among the projects of Julius Caesar was one for its improvement. 
Claudius carried out the plan by constructing an entirely new harbor two 
miles to the north ; but this being also filled up, Trajan in A.D. 103 began 
a new one at the modern Porto, which was choked in its turn. The cas- 
tle, which is now the most conspicuous object at Ostia, was built in the 
early part of the l6th century. 

136. Astur. Another name of Macaulay's invention. There is a Latin 
word astnr meaning a hawk. 

Janiculum. A hill across the Tiber opposite the Campus Martius, 


where the river bends farthest to the west. In the time of Tarquin it did 
not form part of the city, but it had been fortified by Ancus Martius as 
an outpost and connecfed with the city by the Pons Snblicins. It is said 
to have been called Juniculum from Janus, a deified king of Latium, who 
had a citadel there. 

138. Iwis. Not a verb and pronoun, although often so considered, 
and apparently so regarded by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. It 
is an adverb meaning certainly, and was at first written ywis. Cf. the 
German gewiss. 

The Senate. The Latin word senatus means a collection of old men. 
See Cicero, De Senectute, vi. 19 : " Quae [consilium, ratio, sententia] nisi 
essent in senibus, non summum consilium nostri maiores appellassent 
senatum ;" and compare the Greek (Lacedaemonian) ytpovala. The Ro- 
man senate at this time consisted of 300 members, 100 from each of the 
three tribes, and this remained the regular number for many centuries. 
The senators held their office for life, unless expelled by the censors for 
unbecoming conduct. They were chosen, at first by the consul but after- 
wards by the censors, from those who had held high offices in the state. 
After the time of Sulla, every man who had held the quaestorship, or any 
higher office, might sit in the senate, so that the number sometimes 
reached five or six hundred. 

The original purpose of the senate was to give advice to the kings, and 
its decrees were at all times called cons/ilta, that is, matters which seemed 
advisable. At an early period, however, the senate, though it did not 
have authority to pass laws and was itself subject to the laws, became the 
ruling power in the state, and by its consulta controlled the whole Roman 
world. The senate met regularly three times a month, and could be 
specially summoned by the consul, or (in later times) by a tribune of the 
people, and the magistrate who summoned it presided at its meetings. 
In the later days of the Republic, the members of the senate formed an 
order (see on Lake Regillns, 3 below), called the ordo senatorius, an he- 
reditary nobility. The members of the order wore a tunic with a broad 
purple stripe and a shoe of a peculiar pattern ; they also sat in the or- 
chestra at the theatres and amphitheatres. 

142. The Consul. After the expulsion of the kings, the chief magistracy 
of the state was represented by two officers, elected annually, called at 
first prators, or leaders, but very soon afterwards consuls, a word of uncer- 
tain origin, but probably derived from w+the root of salio (ci.exsnl, 
praesul), meaning perhaps those who go together. In the early days of 
the Republic the power of the consuls was nearly equal to that of the 
kings who had preceded them, but with the establishment of the praetor- 
ship, censorship, etc., their power was diminished. Until 366 B.C. the 
consulship was open only to patricians, but it finally became a principle 
of the Roman constitution that both consuls should not be patricians. 
The consuls presided in the senate, and in the comitia of the centuries, 
and were preceded by twelve lictors (see on Lake Kegillus, z below), en- 
joying these honors for a month at a time in turn. In time of war they 
commanded the army, and a consul might be given dictatorial power by 
the senate (see on Lake Regillus, 123). After the Roman rule had ex- 




tended beyond the boundaries of Italy, the consuls governed a province 
as proconsuls at the close of their term of office. 

144. They girded up their gmvns. The cumbrous form of the toga, 
which was always worn in the senate, made it necessary to gird it up 
whenever active work was to be done. Cf. Virgil, ^Eneid, i. 210 : " Illi 
se praedae accingunt ;" and Id. ii. 235 : " Accingunt omnes operi." 

147. The Kiver- Gate. The Porta Flumentana must have been in the 
short piece of wall between the Capitoline Hill and the Tiber. Its situa- 
tion near the river may be inferred from its name, from the fact that Livy 
mentions it in connection with inundations, and from a passage in Varro 
(R. R. iii. 2). 

150. Roundly. Plainly, " without circumlocution " (as the dictionaries 
define it, though at first it seems very like a bull). Cf. Shakespeare, As 
You Like It, v. 3. ii : " Shall we clap into 't roundly, without hawking or 
spitting or saying we are hoarse?" So the adjective round = blunt, un- 
ceremonious ; as in Twelfth Night, ii. 3. 102 : " I must be round with you," 



!5r. The bridge. The Ports Sublicins, the oldest and most frequently 
mentioned of the Roman bridges, was a wooden bridge said to have been 
built by Ancus Martius. It connected the Janiculum with the city, but 
its exact site is a vexed question. It was of great religious importance, 
and was under the special protection of one of the pontifices. Even after 
a new bridge of stone was built beside it for purposes of traffic, the wooden 
bridge was kept in repair as a venerable and sacred relic, and as indis- 
pensable in certain religious ceremonies (see on Luke Regillns, 697 below). 
It is known to have been in existence in the time of Constantine. Pliny 
(Nut. Hist, xxxvi. 23) tells us that, on account of the difficulty and delay 
in breaking it down on this occasion, it was reconstructed without nails, 
in such a manner that each beam could be removed and replaced at 

156. Sir Consul. When the poem was first published certain critics 
made fun of this, and suggested " O Consul" in place of it; but the ex- 
pression is in keeping with the old ballad style which Macaulay imitates, 
and it is mere pedantry to object to it. Shakespeare has Sir repeatedly 
in the Roman plays ; as in Julius Ccesar, iv. 3. 246, 250, Coriolanus, i. 5- 
15, iv. 5. 142. Cf. Acts, vii. 26, xiv. 15, xvi. 30, etc. Sir is of Latin ori- 
gin (from senior, through the French). 

160-173. Ami siiw the swarthy storm of dust. etc. For a prose de- 
scription of a similar scene, vivid from its very simplicity, cf. Xenophon, 
Anabasis, i. 8. 8. 

177. Twelve fair cities. The twelve cities of the Etruscan Confedera- 
tion. See on i above. 

1 80. 7'//<? Uinbrian. Umbria is the northeastern division of Italy prop- 
er, east of Etruria. The Etruscans engaged in many wars with the Urn- 
brians and with their neighbors the Gauls. The former at one time pos- 
sessed a great part of Etruria, from which they were driven at a very 
early period after a long struggle, with the loss of three hundred towns. 
The Umbrians are regarded by all writers of antiquity as the most an- 
cient people of Italy. 

184. By port anil vest. By bearing and dress. Port is from the Latin 
portare, vest from vestis. For a similar use of the latter word see Fuller, 
Worthies : " He much affected to appear in foreign vests," etc. 

Crest. The plume or tuft on the top of the helmet, by which the wearer 
was most readily distinguished in a throng of warriors. Cf. Tennyson, 
Oriana : " She watched my crest among them all," etc. 

185. Lncumc. Literally, one possessed or inspired; a title given to 
Etruscan priests and princes, like the Roman patricius. It was mistaken 
by the Romans for a proper name. The title was given to the son of 
Demaratus, King of Corinth, afterwards Tarquinius Priscus. See on I 

1 86. Cilnins. The Cilnii were a powerful Etruscan family, who seem 
to have been unusually firm supporters of the Roman interests. They 
were luatinones in their city, Arretitim. The name has been rendered 
famous by C. Cilnius Maecenas, the intimate friend of Augustus. See on 
58 above. 

188. Fourfold shield. Made of four thicknesses of hide. Such shields 



were made of wood or wicker, which was covered with ox-hides of sev- 
eral folds, and finally bound around the edge with metal. See Homer, 
Iliad, xii. 294 fol. : 

avTiKa &' ainriSa /uev icpoaff faxfro ir<ivTO<r' ei<rr\v, 
KaAf/c %a\neit\v e^ii\arav, iiv apa xaAicevf 
r)Aa<T6K, fvroatiev if ftoitiai p<i</>e tia/JLtiat 
Xpvafii/? pafldoHTi iinvfKfffiv nfpi KVK\OV* 

The arms of the Etruscans closely resembled those of the Greeks. 

189. Brand. A. sword, from its brightness. The succession of mean- 
ings is (i) a burning ; (2) a firebrand ; (3) a sword-blade. 

190. Tolumnius. Probably king of Veii. In 438 B.C. a king of Veii 
of the same name was slain in single combat by Cornelius Cossus, who, 
following the example of Romulus, consecrated the spoils to Jupiter Fere- 
trius ; the second case in which the spolia opitna were won. 

192. Thrasymene. The most approved spellings in the Latin are 
Tiasiimenns and Trasymenns. There is no authority for the Th. It is 
the largest lake in Etruria, situated in the eastern part between Cortona 
and Perusia (Perugia), from the latter of which it is now sometimes 
called Lav di Perugia. It is about thirty miles in circumference, but of 


small depth, nowhere exceeding thirty feet, and its banks are low, flat, and 
covered with reeds. It is famous for the crushing defeat of the Roman 
consul C. Flamininus by Hannibal (217 B.C.) in "the defiles fatal to Ro- 
man rashness." Livy relates a story that the fury of the combatants was 
such that they were unconscious of an earthquake shock which occurred 
during the battle. See Byron, Childe Harold, iv. 73 : 


"And such the shock of battle on this day ' 
And such the frenzy, whose convulsion blinds 
To all save carnage, that, beneath the fray, 
An earthquake rolled unheeding! y away. 

193. Fast by. Fixed, or made fast, by ; like Aura' (firm) by and close by. 
Cf. Wintn* Tale, iv. 4. 512 : "A vessel rides fast by," etc. 

196. His ivory car. The ancients used ivory on a more extensive scale 
than is known in modern times. The statue of the Olympian Zeus by 
Phidias was made of it or covered with it. The Romans, who obtained 
large quantities from Africa, also used it in works of art and ornament of 
considerable size. 

199. False Sexdts. Sextus Tarquinius, the second son of Tarquinius 

200. The deed of shame. The rape of Lucrece, the immediate cause of 
the expulsion of Tarquin. See Shakespeare, Lucrece, and Ovid, Fasti, 
book ii. 

The first reading of this line was " That brought Lucrece to shame." 
Macaulay altered it here and elsewhere at the suggestion of his friend, 
Mr. Thomas Flower Ellis. See Trevelyan's Life (Harper's ed. vol. ii. p. 

217. Horatins. The Horatian gens was a patrician family belonging 
tonhe tribe of Luceres. The burghers or patricians consisted originally 
of three distinct tribes : the Katrines, a Latin colony on the Palatine hill, 
said to have been founded by Romulus ; the Titles, or Sabine settlers on 
the Quirinal and Viminal hills, under King Tatius ; and the Luceres, 
mostly Etruscans, who had settled on the Caelian. As mentioned in the 
introduction, the three defenders of the bridge were representatives of 
these three tribes. Horatius bore the surname Codes, or " the one- 

218. The Captain of the Gate. Apparently not a permanent office, but 
an appointment for this special occasion. Livy (ii. 10) says : " qui posi- 
tus forte in statione pontis," etc. 

229. The holy maidens. The virgin priestesses of Vesta, six in num- 
ber, two from each of the original three tribes. It was their chief duty 
to watch by turns, night and day, the " eternal flame " on the altar of 
Vesta, the extinction of which was considered to portend the destruction 
of the state. They were held in high honor and were granted certain 
immunities and privileges. 

237. Strait. Narrow (Latin strictus); misprinted "straight" in some 

241. S/>urius Larthis. The Lartia gens was a patrician family of Etrus- 
can origin. The name is probably derived from Lar. The family disap- 
pears early from history, the only other famous member being T. Lartius, 
the first dictator, in 501 B.C. See on Lake Regilliis, 123 below. 

242. A Ramiiian. See on 217 above. 

245. f/ermiiiiiis. The I/erinitiia gens was a very ancient patrician 
family at Rome, which also vanishes early from history. The syllable 
Her is common in Sabellian names, but one of the family bore the pr*- 
nomen Lar, Lai ins, or Larciits, which is undoubtedly of Etruscan origin, 

136 NOTES. 

and the Roman antiquaries regarded the family as Etruscan. It is re- 
markable that Herminius and Lartius are coupled in their first consul- 
ship, at the bridge, and in the battle of Lake Regillus. 
246. A Titian. See on 217 above. 

261. Then lands were fairly portioned. A standing grievance of the 
plebeians was that the ager piMicus (see on 542 below), or land which was 
the property of the state, acquired by conquest, was occupied almost en- 
tirely by the patricians, until the passing of the Licinian laws. 

262. Then spoils were fairly sold. As stated in the introduction, this 
line places the date of the composition of this poem after the capture of 
Veii in 396 B.C. An immense amount of booty was taken at Veii, which 
was distributed among the citizens. In 391 B.C. Camillus, who had com- 
manded the Romans at Veii, was accused by L. Appuleius, tribune of the 
people, of having made an unfair division of the spoils and of having ap- 
propriated the great bronze gates of Veii. Seeing that he would certainly 
be condemned, he went into exile, whence he was recalled the next year 
and made dictator against the Gauls. 

267. The Tribunes. The tribunes of the people (trilnmi plebis] were 
first appointed in 494 B.C. after the first Secession to the Sacred Mount. 
At first there were two tribunes ; afterwards the number was increased to 
five, and finally to ten. They were originally appointed to afford protec- 
tion to the common people against any abuse on the part of the patrician 
magistrates ; and that they might be able to afford such protection, their 
persons were declared sacred and inviolable. They gradually acquired the 
right of vetoing any act which a magistrate might undertake during his 
term of office, and that, too, without giving any reason. Moreover, they 
might seize and imprison a senator or consul, or even hurl him from the 
Tarpeian rock (see on 122 above). They convoked the assembly of the 
tribes (comitia trikula), and usually presided over it. They finally became 
the most powerful magistrates in the state, and in the latter days of the 
republic were veritable tyrants. But in spite of the many abuses of 
power by individual tribunes, the best historians and statesmen agree 
that the greatness of Rome and its long duration were largely attributa- 
ble to the institution of this office. 

274. Harness. An old use of the word (which is cognate with iroii) 
in the sense of armor for the body. See Shakespeare, T. ami C. v. 3. 
31 : "Doff thy harness." 

277. Commons. The plebeians or common people of Rome. The time 
when they began to form part of the Roman population is uncertain, but 
their number was greatly increased by the transfer to Rome of the popu- 
lation of Alba Longa, after that city was destroyed by Tullus Hostilius. 
At first the plebeians were grievously oppressed by the patricians ; they 
were denied all political rights, could not intermarry with the patricians, 
and were subject to severe and unjust laws concerning debt. For about 
two centuries the internal history of Rome is a record of the struggle be- 
tween the two orders. Finally, after several secessions to the Sacred 
Mount (see on Lake Regillus. 14 below) the Hortensian law in 286 B.C. 
gave the plebeians equal rights with the patricians. 

278. Crow. A bar with a strong beak like a crow's, a crow-bar. 




290. Rolled. The verb (which somebody has criticised) is suggested 
by the sea above. 

301. Aunus. This name does not occur anywhere in Roman literature. 

Tifernum. There were two towns in Umbria by this name. The most 
important, and the one probably referred to here, was Tifernum Tiberi- 
mim, situated on the Tiber near the Tuscan frontier. The Tuscan villa 
of the younger Pliny was situated near Tifernum, whose citizens chose 
him at a very early age to be their patron ; in return for which honor he 
built a temple there. 

303. Seins. There were several Romans of this name. Of one Gellius 
relates (iii. 9) that he had the finest horse of his age, which was fated to 
bring destruction to whosoever possessed it. Seius was put to death by 
M. Antonius, afterwards triumvir, during the civil war between Caesar 
and Pompey. The horse then passed into the hands of Dolabella, and 
afterwards into those of Crassus, both of whom died a violent death. 
I Fence the proverb concerning an unlucky man : " llle homo habet equum 

138 NOTES. 

304. Ilva. An island (now Elba} in the Tyrrhenian sea, situated off 
the coast of Etruria opposite Populonia (see on 30 above). It is about 
eighteen miles in length and twelve in breadth. It is still celebrated, as 
it was in ancient times, for its iron mines, the ore from which was very 
abundant and easily extracted. 

305. Picas. The first king of Italy is said to have had this name. 

309. Nequinnm. The name applied before the Roman conquest to 
Ntirnid, one of the most important cities of Etruria, situated on the Nar, 
eight miles above its junction with the Tiber. It was on the Via Fla- 
minia, fifty-six miles from Rome. Narnia was occupied by the generals 
of Vitellus in his civil war with Vespasian, and was an important fort- 
ress in the Gothic wars of Belisarius and Narses. The position of the 
town on a lofty hill, precipitous on several sides, and half surrounded by 
the Nar, is alluded to by many Latin writers ; and the bridge by which 
the Flaminian Way was carried across the Nar and a neighboring ravine 
at this point has been much admired in ancient and in modern times. 

310. Nar. A river of central Italy, one of the principal tributaries of 
the Tiber, rising on the boundaries of Umbria and I'icenum. It is re- 
markable for its white and sulphurous waters, which several ancient 
writers allude to. See Virgil, &neid, vii. 517 : 

"Audiit amnis 
Sulfurea Nar albus aqua. " 

314. Clove. The form cleft is now more common for the past tense than 
clove. Shakespeare uses the former twice, the latter only once. He also 
has the participle cleft oftener than cloven, the latter being always joined 
to a noun ; as in Tempest, \. 2. 277 : " A cloven pine," etc. 

319. Ocnus. The reputed founder of Mantua bore this name. 

Falerii. A powerful city in the southern part of Etruria, a few miles 
north of Mt. Soracte. It was probably one of the twelve cities of the 
Etruscan League. It supported Veii in many of its wars with Rome ; 
and it is in connection with Falerii that the well-known story is told of 
the treacherous schoolmaster and the generous conduct of the Roman 

321. Lausulus. There was a Lattsus who was the son of Numitor, and 
another who was the son of Mezentius, slain by ./Eneas. 

Urgo. A small island in the Tyrrhenian Sea, also called Gorgon (in 
modern times, Gorgona). It was between Etruria and Corsica, about 
twenty miles from the mainland. It is only eight miles in circumference, 
but elevated and rocky, so that it is conspicuous from a distance. 

323. Artins. An Etruscan designation of the younger son (in pure 
Etruscan, Arnth), while the elder was called Lar. 

Volsininm (more properly Volsinit) was a city of Etruria on a steep 
height above the Volsinian lake (see on 49 above), and belonged to the 
Confederation. It was destroyed by the Romans, who compelled the 
inhabitants to migrate to the plain. This Roman Volsinii (the modern 
Bolsena) was the birthplace of Sejanus, the minister and favorite of Tibe- 

324. Who slew the great -wild boar. Pliny (ii. 54) says that during the 


reign of Porsena the country about Volsinii was ravaged by a monster 
called Volta, and that lightning was drawn down from heaven by Porsena 
to destroy it 

326. Cosa. A seaport of Etruria, on the remarkable promontory of 
Mons Argentarius {Monte Argentaro), whence Tacitus speaks of it as 
"Cosa, a promontory of Etruria." The remains of Cosa (about four 
miles from the modern Orbetello} are of much interest, and present an 
excellent specimen of ancient fortifications. The walls, nearly a mile in 
circuit, with their towers, are admirably preserved. 

328. Albinia. A river of Etruria, the modern Albegna, flowing into 
the sea near Mons Argentarius. It is the same as the Alminia or Al- 

337. Campania. A province of Central Italy, bounded on the north 
by Latium, on the east by the mountains of Samnium, on the south by 
Lucania, and on the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was noted for its 
fertility, the beauty of its sea-coast, and its soft and genial climate. Its 
shores also abounded in hot-springs, especially at Puteoli (the modern 
Fczznoli), Baiae, and Neapolis (Naples), and were much frequented by 
the Romans. 

Hinds. Peasants, so called as belonging to the household or hive (a 
related word). The d is no part of the original word, and the form /line 
occurs in Chaucer. 

350. Luna. See on 62 above. 

360. The she-wolfs litter. Alluding to the familiar legend that Rom- 
ulus and Remus, after being exposed for death by Amulius, were suckled 
by a she-wolf. Cf. Tennyson, Princess, vii. 113 : 

" By axe and eagle sat, 

With all their foreheads drawn in Roman scowls, 
And half the wolf's milk curdled in their veins, 
The fierce triumvirs." 

Also Byron, Childe Harold, iv. 88 (referring to the bronze "Wolf of the 
Capitol ") : 

" And thou, the thunder-stricken * nurse of Rome, 

She-wolf! whose brazen-imaged dugs impart 

The milk of conquest yet within the dome 

Where, as a monument of antique art, 

Thou standest,'' etc. 

The first reading of lines 360, 361 (see Trevelyan's Life, vol. ii. p. 108) 

"By heaven," he said, "yon rebels 
Stand manfully at bay." 

Mr. Ellis criticised " rebels," and Macaulay agreed with him that the 
word was "objectionable." See on 200 above. 

369. Deftly. Neatly, dexterously. Cf. Macbeth, iv. I. 68: "Thyself 
and office deftly show." 

* This statue (see cut on p- 106 above) is believed by some antiquarians to be the one 
referred to by Cicero ( in Catilinam, iii 8) as having been s:ruck by lif;himng. 

140 NOTES. 

379. Sped. Sent, drove. On the passage, see p. 34 above. 

384. Mount Alvernus. The modern Aivernia, or La Vernia, the height 
between the sources of the Tiber and the Arno, referred to by Dante, 
Paradise, xi. 106 : " Nel crudo sasso intra Tevere ed Arno." On its south- 
west slope, 3900 feet above the sea, is the famous monastery founded by 
St. Francis of Assisi in 1218. 

388. Augurs. Strictly diviners by birds (from avis and a Sanscrit root 
g-ir), but in course of time the word was used in a more extended sense. 
At Rome the augurs were a college of priests, who made known the future 
by observing the lightning, the flight of birds, the feeding of the sacred 
fowls, certain appearances of quadrupeds, and any unusual occurrences. 
All important acts were preceded by consultation of the augurs. See 
Virgil, sEiieid, \. 345: "primisque iugarat Ominibus ;" and Cicero, In 
Catilinam, iv. 2 : " non campus, consularibus auspiciis consecratus." 
Cf. also Virginia, 151 below. 

477. Constant. Firm, steadfast Cf. Shakespeare, Tempest, i. 2. 207 : 

" Who was so firm, so constant, that this coil 
Would not infect his reason?" 

482. Now yield thee, etc. Professor John Wilson, of Edinburgh ("Ma- 
caulay's ancient adversary," as Trevelyag calls him), in a review of the 
Liiys in Blackwood (vol. 52, p. 812) remarks: " Porsena was a noble 
personage, and he ' shines well where he stands ' throughout the ballad. 
Much is made of his power and state on the march, for he knew what 
kind of city he sought to storm. But his magnanimity is grandly dis- 
played by his behavior at the bridge in contrast with the false Sextus, 
cruel and pusillanimous ever." 

483. Our grace. Our mercy, or the grace (favor) we may show thee. 
Cf. 3 Hen. VI. ii. 2. 81 : " Now perjur'd Henry, wilt thou kneel for 
grace ? " 

488. Palatiniis. One of the seven hills of Rome. It was the hill first 
settled, and so was the cradle of Rome, as well as the seat of her ma- 
tured power. In the time of Horatius the dwellings of the principal 
patricians stood there, while in later times it was the residence of the 
Roman emperors, " ipsa knperii arx," as Tacitus (Hist. iii. 70) calls it. 
From Palatiniis for this reason is derived the English word palace. 

492. Father Tiber. The Romans generally believed that the Tiber was 
originally called Albttla (as it was often designated by the poets), but that 
it changed its name because Tiberinus, one of the fabulous kings of Alba, 
was drowned in its waters. Virgil, however, who calls the king Thybris, 
assigns him to a period before the landing of tineas (s>tt'</, viii. 330). 
As Cicero tells us, it had its tutelaiy divinity, Tiberinus, who was invoked 
by the augurs in their prayers, and whom the poets call " Pater Tiberi- 
nus." See cut on p. 39 above. 

511. Swollen high by months of rain. Floods of the Tiber, which did 
much damage, were a common occurrence, as in more recent times. The 
earliest recorded, in 241 B.C., is said to have swept away all the houses 
and buildings in the lower part of the city. Great attention was given 
to the subject by Augustus, and he first instituted magistrates, called Cu' 



ratores Tibet is, whose duty it was to endeavor to restrain the river within 
its proper bounds. Their names occur frequently in inscriptions, and they 
were held in high honor. 

518. I ween. I suppose, imagine, think. It is derived from a Teu- 
tonic root wan, to strive after, and is cognate with the English win. From 
striving after is derived the idea of expecting to obtain. In Shakespeare 
the meaning is to fancy or hope (erroneously). Cf. Hen. VIII. v. i. 

" Ween you of better luck, 
I mean in perjur'd witness, than your Master?" 

519. In such an evil case. Under such evil circumstances. Cf. 2 Hen. 
IV. ii. I. 115 : "She hath been in good case" (that is, in good circum- 

525. Bare bravely up his chin. Macaulay quotes here the ballad of 
Cltilde Waters: "Our ladye bare upp her chinne ;" and Scott's Lay of 
the Last Minstrel : 

" Never heavier man and horse 
Stemmed a midnight torrent's force, 
Yet, through good heart and our Lady's grace, 
At length he gained the landing-place." 

530. Quoth. Properly a past tense, though sometimes used as a pres- 
ent. The infinitive is queath, which occurs only in bequeath. Shakespeare 
uses it as a present, but only to repeat in jest or irony what some one has 
said before. 

535. Now on dry earth he stands. According to the version of Polybius, 
Horatius defended the bridge alone and perished in the river. As Ma- 
caulay observes in his introduction, it is probable that there were two old 
Roman lays on the subject. 

542. The corn-land* etc. The state possessed a large quantity of land 
called the ager fublicus. This land originally belonged to the kings, 
being set apart for their support ; and it was constantly increased by con- 
quest, as it was customary on the subjugation of a people to deprive them 
of a certain portion of their land. This public land was let by the state, 
but as the patricians possessed the political power, they divided it among 
themselves, paying only a nominal rent. See on 261 alwve. 

546. A molten image. This statue was afterwards struck by lightning, 
and the Etruscan soothsayers, through jealousy of the glory of Rome, 
ordered it to be placed in a spot where the sun never shone upon it. 
\Vhen the treachery of the soothsayers was discovered, they were put to 
death, and the statue was placed on the Vulcanal above the comitium, a 
change which brought good-fortune to the state. It may be noted that 
the earliest bronze statues of distinguished men which can be considered 
historical date from 314 B.C. 

550. Comitium. The place of assembly of the curia, part of the forum 
in its widest sense, being separated from the forum proper by the rostra. 
Originally the orators when addressing the people faced the comitium, 
but C. Gracchus or according to Varro and Cicero, C. Licinius intro- 

I 4 2 NOTES. 

duced the custom of facing the forum, thus acknowledging the sovereignty 
of the people. 

561. The Volscian. The Vohci were an ancient people of central Italy, 
whose territory was included within the limits of Latium in its widest 
sense. They were, however, a distinct people from the Latins, with 
whom they were usually on terms of hostility. The legend of Coriola- 
nus, while not historically true, shows that many Latin cities fell into 
the power of the Volscians and their allies, the Aquians. At the time 
when this lay is supposed to have been written, the Romans and Vol- 
scians were engaged in continual hostilities, and the tide had turned in 
favor of the Romans. 

562. Juno. The goddess of marriage and childbirth. Cf. Virgil, 
^/teiti, iv. 59 : " lunoni ante omnis, cui vincla iugalia curae ;" and Id. 
iv. 166: "pronuba luno," etc. See also Shakespeare, A. Y. L. v. 4. 107 : 
" Wedding is great Juno's crown " ; and Per. ii. 3. 30 : " By Juno, that 
is queen of marriage," etc. 

. 566-589. And in the nights of winter, etc. The last three stanzas give 
a pleasing picture of old Roman life. For a somewhat similar description 
of a winter scene, cf. Horace, Odes, i. 9. i : 

"Vides ut aha stet nive cnndidum 
S oracte, nee iam sust meant cm us 
Silvae laborantes geluque 
Flumina constiterint acuto. 

" Dissolve frigus ligna super foco 
Large reponens, atque benignius 
Deprome quadrimum Sabina, 
O Thaliarche, merum diota." 

See also Virgil, Eel. i. Si : 

" Siint nobis mitia pqma, 
Castaneae molles, et press) cupia lactis " 

572. Algidns. A mountain of Latium, part of the group of the Albnn 
Hills. It is celebrated by Horace for its black woods of holm-oaks, and 
for its cold and snowy climate. He calls it " gelido" and "nivali." See 
also "nigrae feraci frondis in Algido" (Odes, iv. 4. 58). Martial calls it 
" amoena Algida," because in his day its lower slopes were much fre- 
quented as a summer resort. 

582. Goodman. The master of the house. Used often as here, as an 
equivalent of the Latin pater familia s. Cf. Tennyson, Princess, \. 443: 
"And her small goodman shrinks in his chair." 

Professor Wilson (in the Blackwood review quoted above) remarks : 
" There are critics who think they have paid a ballad of some six hun- 
dred lines, like this, the highest of all possible compliments when they 
have said that they read it once and again right through, from beginning 
to end, without fatigue or ennui, and without skipping a single stanza 
a week only having intervened between perusals. And nothing more 
common than to hear people in general speak of one perusal as the ut- 
most demand any human composition can be privileged to make on any 
human patience. The instant they happen to take up a book they have 


' read before,' that very instant they drop it, as if their hand were stung. 
'Why, Sir Walter kept reciting his favorite old ballads almost every day 
in his life for forty years, and with the same fire about his eyes, till even 
they grew dim at last. He would have rejoiced in Horatius, as if he had 
been a doughty Douglas. We have read it till we find we have got it 
by heart, and, as our memory is nothing remarkable, all the syllables 
must have gone six times through our sensorium." 


Macaulay's introduction to the poem is as follows : 

"The following poem is supposed to have been produced about ninety 
years after the lay of Horatius. Some persons mentioned in the lay of 
Horatiits make their appearance again, and some appellations and epi- 
thets used in the lay of Horatius have been purposely repeated ; for, 
in an age of ballad-poetry, it scarcely ever fails to happen that certain 
phrases come to be appropriated to certain men and things, and are reg- 
ularly applied to those men and things by every minstrel. Thus we find, 
both in the Homeric poems and in Hesiod, p/ij 'HpeXji'^, irtpucXi'iroc 
'-A^tyu/je. liaKTOpot; ' 'Apyei^orr/jc, tTrrajrvXot; Bjj/3i;, 'EAevj/s; IVIK TI'VKO- 
fioto. Thus, too, in our own national songs, Douglas is almost always 
the doughty Douglas ; England is merry England ; all the gold is red ; 
and all the ladies are gay. 

" The principal distinction between the lay of Horatius and the lay 
of the iMke Kegillus is that the former is meant to be purely Roman, 
while the latter, though national in its general spirit, has a slight tincture 
of Greek learning and of Greek superstition. The story of the Tarquins, 
as it has come down to us, appears to have been compiled from the works 
of several popular poets ; and one, at least, of those poets appears to 
have visited the Greek colonies in Italy, if not Greece itself, and to have 
had some acquaintance with the works of Homer and Herodotus. Many 
of the most striking adventures of the House of Tarquin, before Lucretia 
makes her appearance, have a Greek character. The Tarquins them- 
selves are represented as Corinthian nobles of the great House of the 
Bacchiadae, driven from their country by the tyranny of that Cypselus the 
tale of whose strange escape Herodotus has related with incomparable 
simplicity and liveliness.* Livy and Dionysius tell us that, when Tar- 
quin the Proud was asked what was the best mode of governing a con- 
quered city, he replied only by beating down with his staff all the tallest 
poppies in' his garden.t This is exactly what Herodotus, in the passage 
to which reference has already been made, relates of the counsel given to 
Perinnder, the son of Cypselus. The stratagem by which the town of 
Gabii is brought under the power of the Tarquins is, again, obviously 
copied from Herodotus.} The embassy of the young Tarquins to the 

* Herodotus, v. 02 : Livy, v. i. 34 ; Dionysius, iii. 46. 
t Livy. i 51 : Dionysius. iv. 56. 
% Herodotus, iii. 134 ; Livy, i. 53. 



oracle at Delphi is just such a story as would be told by a poet whose 
head was full of the Greek mythology ; and the ambiguous answer re- 
turned by Apollo is in the exact style of the prophecies which, according 
to Herodotus, lured Croesus to destruction. Then the character of the 
narrative changes. From the first mention of Lucretia to the retreat of 
Porsena nothing seems to be borrowed from foreign sources. The vil- 
lany of Sextus, the suicide of his victim, the revolution, the death of the 
sons of Brutus, the defence of the bridge, Mucius burning his hand,* 
Clcelia swimming through Tiber, seem to be all strictly Roman. But 
when we have done with the Tuscan war, and enter upon the war with 
the Latines, we are again struck by the Greek air of the story. The Bat- 
tle of the Lake Regillus is, in all respects, a Homeric battle, except that 
the combatants ride astride on their horses, instead of driving chariots. 
The mass of fighting-men is hardly mentioned. The leaders single each 
other out, and engage hand to hand. The great object of the warriors 
on both sides is, as in the Iliad, to obtain possession of the spoils and 
bodies of the slain ; and several circumstances are related which forcibly 
remind us of the great slaughter round the corpses of Sarpedon and 

" But there is one circumstance which deserves especial notice. Both 
the war of Troy and the war of Regillus were caused by the licentious 
passions of young princes, who were therefore peculiarly bound not to be 
sparing of their own persons in the day of battle. Now the conduct of 
Sextus at Regillus, as described by Livy, so exactly resembles that of 
Paris, as described at the beginning of the thind book of the Iliad, that 
it is difficult to believe the resemblance accidental. Paris appears be- 
fore the Trojan ranks, defying the bravest Greek to encounter him. 

.. f 

uvrifttov jitaxf<racr0ui tv an-;; dqcoriJTi. 

Livy introduces Sextus in a similar manner : ' Ferocem juvenem Tar- 
quinium, ostentantetn se in prima exsulum acie.' Menelaus rushes to 
meet Paris. A Roman noble, eager for vengeance, spurs his horse tow- 
ards Sextus. Both the guilty princes are instantly terror-stricken : 

Toy A' f uvv tvoqcrev 'A\t(av&pot ^eoei&i/r 

iv jrpon^x.""" Qoivi-vra, KuTeTrAtVyi <f>i\ov riTop' 

a*l> A' . T<ipw fir eOvot t X''t TO "'ip' uXefivav. 

' Tarquinius,' says Livy, ' retro in agmen suorum infenso cessit hosti.' 
If this be a fortuitous coincidence, it is one of the most extraordinary in 

" In the following poem, therefore, images and incidents have been 
borrowed, not merely without scruple, but on principle, from the incom- 
parable battle-pieces of Homer. 

" The popular belief at Rome, from an early period, seems to have 

* M. de Pouilly attempted, a hundred and twenty years ago, to prove that the story 
of Mucius was of Greek origin ; but he was signally confuted by the Abbe Sallier. See 
the Mimoires afe I'Acadiiitie ties Inscriptions, vi. 27, 66. 


been that the event of the great day of Regillus was decided by super- 
natural agency. Castor and Pollux, it was said, had fought, armed and 
mounted, at the head of the legions of the Commonwealth, and had after- 
wards carried the news of the victory with incredible speed to the city. 
The well in the Forum at which they had alighted was pointed out. Near 
the well rose their ancient temple. A great festival was kept to their 
honor on the ides of Quintilis, supposed to be the anniversary of the bat- 
tle ; and on that day sumptuous sacrifices were offered to them at the 
public charge. One spot on the margin of Lake Regillus was regarded 
during many ages with superstitious awe. A mark, resembling in shape 
a horse's hoof, was discernible in the volcanic rock ; and this mark was 
believed to have been made by one of the celestial chargers. 

" How the legend originated cannot now be ascertained ; but we may 
easily imagine several ways in which it might have originated ; nor is it 
at all necessary to suppose, with Julius Frontinus, that two young men 
were dressed up by the Dictator to personate the sons of Leda. It is 
probable that Livy is correct when he says that the Roman general, in 
the hour of peril, vowed a temple to Castor. If so, nothing could be 
more natural than that the multitude should ascribe the victory to the 
favor of the Twin Gods. When such was the prevailing sentiment, any 
man who chose to declare that, in the midst of the confusion and slaugh- 
ter, he had seen two godlike forms on white horses scattering the Latines 
would find ready credence. We know, indeed, that, in modern times, a 
very similar story actually found credence among a people much more 
civilized than the Romans of the fifth century before Christ. A chaplain 
of Cortes, writing about thirty years after the conquest of Mexico, in an 
age of printing-presses, libraries, universities, scholars, logicians, jurists, 
and statesmen, had the face to assert that, in one engagement against the 
Indians, Saint James had appeared on a gray horse at the head of the 
Castilian adventurers. Many of those adventurers were living when this 
lie was printed. One of them, honest Bernal Diaz, wrote an account 
of the expedition. He had the evidence of his own senses against the 
legend ; but he seems to have distrusted even the evidence of his own 
senses. He says that he was in the battle, and that he saw a gray horse 
with a man on his back, but the man was, to his thinking, Francisco cle 
Morla, and not the ever-blessed apostle Saint James. 'Nevertheless,' 
Bernal adds, 'it may be that the person on the gray horse was the glori- 
ous apostle Saint James, and that I, sinner that I am, was unworthy to 
see him.' The Romans of the age of Cincinnattis were probably quite as 
credulous as the Spanish subjects of Charles the Fifth. It is therefore 
conceivable that the appearance of Castor and Pollux may have become 
an article of faith before the generation which had fought at Regillus had 
passed away. Nor could anything be more natural than that the poets 
of the next age should embellish this story, and make the celestial horse- 
men bear the tidings of victory to Rome. 

" Many years after the temple of the Twin Gods had been built in the 
Forum, an important addition was made to the ceremonial by which the 
state annually testified its gratitude for their protection. Quintus Fabius 
and Publius Decius were elected censors at a momentous crisis. It had 

1 4 6 NOTES. 

become absolutely necessary that the classification of the citizens should 
be revised. On that classification depended the distribution of political 
power. Party-spirit ran high ; and the Republic seemed to be in danger 
of falling under the dominion either of a narrow oligarchy or of an igno- 
rant and headstrong rabble. Under such circumstances, the most illus- 
trious patrician and the most illustrious plebeian of the age were intrusted 
with the office of arbitrating between the angry factions ; and they per- 
formed their arduous task to the satisfaction of all honest and reasonable 

" One of their reforms was a remodelling of the equestrian order ; and, 
having effected this reform, they determined to give to their work a sanc- 
tion derived from religion. In the chivalrous societies of modern times 
societies which have much more than may at first sight appear in com- 
mon with the equestrian order of Rome it has been usual to invoke the 
special protection of some saint, and to observe his day with peculiar 
solemnity. Thus the Companions of the Garter wear the image of Saint 
George depending from their collars, and meet, on great occasions, in 
Saint George's Chapel. Thus, when Louis the Fourteenth instituted a 
new order of chivalry for the rewarding of military merit, he commended 
it to the favor of his own glorified ancestor and patron, and decreed that 
all the members of the fraternity should meet at the royal palace on the 
feast of Saint Louis, should attend the king to chapel, should hear mass, 
and should subsequently hold their great annual assembly. There is a 
considerable resemblance between this rule of the Order of Saint Louis 
and the rule which Fabius and Decius made respecting the Roman 
knights. It was ordained that a grand muster and inspection of the 
equestrian body should be part of the ceremonial performed, on the an- 
niversary of the battle of Regillus, in honor of Castor and Pollux, the 
two equestrian gods. All the knights, clad in purple and crowned with 
olive, were to meet at a temple of Mars in the suburbs. Thence they 
were to ride in state to the Forum, where the temple of the Twins stood. 
This pageant was, during several centuries, considered as one of the most 
splendid sights of Rome. In the time of Dionysius the cavalcade some- 
times consisted of five thousand horsemen, all persons of fair repute and 
easy fortune.* 

" There can be no doubt that the censors who instituted this august 
ceremony acted in concert with the pontiffs, to whom, by the constitution 
of Rome, the superintendence of the public worship belonged ; and it is 
probable that those high religious functionaries were, as usual, fortunate 
enough to find in their books or traditions some warrant for the inno- 

" The following poem is supposed to have been made for this great 
occasion. Songs, we know, were chanted at the religious festivals of 
Rome from an early period, indeed from so early a period that some of 
the sacred verses were popularly ascribed to Numa, and were utterly un- 

* See Livy, ix. 46 ; Val. Max. ii. 2 ; Aurel. Viet De Viris lUustrifrus, 32 ; Dionysius, 
vi. 13; Plin. Hist. Nat. xv. 5. See also the singularly ingenious chapter in Niebuhr's 
posthumous volume, Dit Censur des Q. Fabius und P. Decius. 



intelligible in the age of Augustus. In the Second Punic war, a great 
feast was held in honor of Juno, and a song was sung in her praise. This 
song was extant when Livy wrote, and, though exceedingly rugged and 
uncouth, seemed to him not wholly destitute of merit.* A song, as we 
learn from Horace.t was part of the established ritual at the great Secular 
Jubilee. It is therefore likely that the censors and pontiffs, when they 
had resolved to add a grand procession of knights to the other solemni- 
ties annually performed on the ides of Quintilis, would call in the aid of 
a poet. Such a poet would naturally take for his subject the battle of 
Regillus, the appearance of the Twin Gods, and the institution of their 
festival. He would find abundant materials in the ballads of his prede- 
cessors; and he would make free use of the scanty stock of Greek learn- 
ing which he had himself acquired. He would probably introduce some 
wise and holy pontiff enjoining the magnificent ceremonial which, after a 
long interval, had at length been adopted. It the poem succeeded, many 
persons would commit it to memory. Parts of it would be sung to the 
pipe at banquets. It would be peculiarly interesting to the great Posthu- 
mian House, which numbered among its many images that of the Dic- 
tator Aulus, the hero of Regillus. The orator who, in the following 
generation, pronounced the funeral panegyric over the remains of Lucius 
Posthumius Magellus, thrice Consul, would borrow largely from the lay; 
and thus some passages, much disfigured, would probably find their way 
into the chronicles which were afterwards in the hands of Dionysius and 

" Antiquaries differ widely as to the situation of the field of battle. The 
opinion of those who suppose that the armies met near Cornufelle, be- 
tween Frascati and the Monte Porzio, is at least plausible, and has been 
followed in the poem. 

" As to the details of the battle, it has not been thought desirable to 
adhere minutely to the accounts which have come down to us. Those 
accounts, indeed, differ widely from each other, and, in all probability, 
differ as widely from the ancient poem from which they were originally 

" It is unnecessary to point out the obvious imitations of the Iliad, 
which have been purposely introduced." 

2. Lictors. Public officers who attended the chief Roman magistrates, 
as a sign of official dignity. They bore a bundle of rods cal led fasces, from 
which an axe projected. Their duty was to walk before the magistrates 
in line, to call out to the people to make way, and to serve as a body- 
guard. They also executed judicial sentences. In the earliest times the 
kings had twelve lictors. After the expulsion of the kings, each consul 
had twelve, but it was soon decreed that they should be preceded for a 
month by twelve in turn. By a law of Valerius Publicola (see on 376 
below) the axes were removed when the consuls were in the city. The 
praetors were preceded by six lictors. Hence Cicero, when speaking of 
the capture of two praetors by the pirates, says (De Lege Manilla, 12.32) : 

* Livy, xxvii. 97. t Horace Carmen Saculare. 


A r OTES. 

" Cum duodecim secures in praedonum 
potestatem pervenerint." 

3. The knights will ride in all their 
pride, etc. The knights (equites) were 
originally the cavalry of the state, who 
received a horse and a sum of money 
for its annual support. To serve equo 
publico one must have a fortune ot 
not less than 400,000 asses, and the 
horses were usually assigned to young 
men of senatorial families. There were 
but six centuries of equites up to the 
time of Servius Tullius, who added 
twelve more ; and these eighteen eques- 
trian centuries afterwards remained a 
distinct class. They ceased to serve 
in the field at an early period, their 
place being taken by foreign cavalry, 
Gauls, Numidians, etc. 

At the time of the siege of Veii 
(403 B.C.) a second class of equites 
arose, who, although having a proper- LICTORS. 

ty of 400,000 asses, had to furnish their 

own horses. They were mostly wealthy young men of non-senatorial 
families, and were not included in the eighteen equestrian centuries. 
From this last class of equites (equites private equo) grew up in later times 
the Equestrian Order, a moneyed aristocracy occupying a position in the 
state between the nobility (see on fforatius, 138 above) and the common 
people. The members of the equestrian order wore a narrow purple 
stripe on the tunic and a gold ring (which was originally the badge of the 
equites equo publico), and the first fourteen rows of seats in the theatre be- 
hind the orchestra were given to them. 

Every year on the ides of Quintilis (July) the Eqtiituin Transvectio 
took place, the solemn procession to the institution of which Macaulay 
refers on p. 146 above. On this occasion the equites were not only 
crowned with olive, but they also wore their insignia of rank and deeds. 
According to Dionysius this procession was instituted after the battle 
of Lake Regillus. 

7. Castor in the Forum. The temple of Castor. Cf. Horace, Satires, 
\. 9. 35 : " Ventum erat ad Vestae," that is to the temple (or, as some au- 
thorities say, to the Atrium) of Vesta ; and see 745 below. This temple 
was one of the earliest buildings erected in the forum. It was dedicated 
in 484 B.C. to commemorate the event which is the subject of this poem. 
It served for assemblies of the senate and for judicial business. Its im- 
portance is spoken of by Cicero, In Verrem, i. 49. Although dedicated 
to the Twin Gods, it was commonly called only ^Edes Ca stons ; on which 
account Bibulus, the colleague of Caesar in his aedileship, compared him- 
self with Pollux, who, though he shared the temple in common with his 
brother, was never once named. The temple was rebuilt by Quintus Me- 



tellus, 119 B.C., and again by Tiberius, who dedicated it in his own name 
and that of his brother Drusus. Caligula broke through the rear wall 
and connected the temple with his palace on the Palatine; and he is said 
to have sometimes exhibited himself for adoration between the statues of 
the twin deities. Three elegant Corinthian columns remain to mark the 
site of this temple. 

The word/arum signifies an open place, and seems to be connected with 
the adverb foras. The Forum Rcmianum, the principal and at first the 
only forum at Rome, was situated between the Palatine and Capitoline 
hills. It was used originally as a place for the administration of justice, 
for holding the assemblies of the people, and for transacting other kinds 
of public business. In its widest sense it included the comitittm (see on 
Horatius, 550 above). It was surrounded by temples and public build- 
ings, whose porticoes were favorite lounging-places (see on Virginia, 419 

8. Mars without the wall. The temple of Mars, just outside the Porta 
Capena. Cf. Ovid, Fasti, vi. 191 : 

" Lux eadem Marti festa est ; quam prospicit ex 
Appositum Tectae Porta Capena viae." 

No trace now remains of the edifice, nor of the temples of Hercules, of 
Honor, and of Virtue, which were near it. The route of the military pro- 
cession on the anniversary of the Battle of Lake Regillus was as here de- 
scribed by Macaulay. Cf. 788 below. 

13. The Yellow River. See on Horatius, 98 above. 

14. The Sacred Hill. The Sacred Mount, just outside the city, to which 
the plebeians made several secessions during their struggles with the pa- 
tricians. The first secession, in 494 B.C., resulted in the creation of the 
office of tribune. 

15. The ides of Quintilis. The fifteenth day of July. The ides were 
the fifteenth of March, May, July, and October, and the thirteenth of the 
other months. July and August were originally called Quintilis and Sex- 
tilis, the fifth and sixth months (counting from March), but afterwards 
received their present names in honor of Julius and Augustus Caesar. 

17. The Martian calends. On the calends, or first, of March was cel- 
ebrated the Matronaiia, or the feast of married persons in honor of Juno 
Lucina (see on Horatins, 562 above). See Horace, Odes, iii. 8. i: 

" Martiis caelebs quid again Kalendis, 
Quid velint flores et acerra thuris 
Plena, miraris. positusque carbo in 

Caespite vivo, 
Docte sermones utriusque linguae?" 

Juvenal (ix. 53) calls it "femineas Kalendas." It seems to have been in- 
stituted in memory of the peace between the Romans and the Sabines, 
which was brought about by the Sabine women. Presents were given by 
husbands to their wives, and female slaves were feasted by their mis- 
tresses ; hence it is called by Martial the Saturnalia of women. Tlie 
great feast of Mars (see on Horatius, 81 above) occurred on the same day. 

I 5 o NOTES. 

18. December's nones. The nones were the seventh of March, May, 
July, and October, and the fifth of the other months. The word is de- 
rived from nonns (ninth), because, by the peculiar Roman method of 
inclusive reckoning, the nones were the ninth day before the ides. The 
reference is to the Faunalia, or festival in honor of Faunus. See Hor- 
ace, Odes, iii. 1 8. 10. 

zo. Rome's whitest day. That is, its most propitious day. Cf. 156 and 
780 below, where there is an allusion to the Roman custom of marking 
luckv days with a white stone, as unlucky ones were marked with black. 
Cf. Tibullus, iii. 630: "O me felicem, O nox mihi Candida !" Horace, 
Satires, ii. 3. 246 : " Sanin creta an carbone notandi ?" Id. Odes, i. 12.27 : 
" simul alba nautis Stella refulsit ;" Persius, Satires, i. 1 10 : " Sed current 
albusque dies horaeque serenae," etc. 

25. Parthenius. A mountain, about 4000 feet high, on the frontiers of 
Arcadia and Argolis, across which there was an important pass leading 
from Argos to Tegea. The mountain was sacred to Pan. The pass still 
bears the name of Partheni, but the mountain is called R6ino. 

27. Cirrha. A very ancient town of Phocis, near Delphi, devoted to 
Apollo. Near the city lay a fertile plain. After the Sacred War, 595 
B.C., waged against the Cirrhaeans by the Amphictyons, Cirrha was de- 
stroyed, the plain was dedicated to the god, and a curse was imprecated 
on any one who should till or dwell upon it In the time of Philip I. of 
Macedon, the Amphissians dared to cultivate the sacred plain and to re- 
build the city. This led to the Second Sacred War, 338 B.C. Cirrha was 
near the Homeric Crissa, with which it has been sometimes confounded, 
as by Pausanias (x. 37. 5). It is Crissa which was situated on a height, 
a spur of Mount Parnassus. Cirrha grew up afterwards at the base of 
the hill. Our author seems to look on the two towns as one and the 

Adria. Poetical name for the Adriatic. Cf. 653 below ; and see on 
Virginia, 551. The Latin name was Adria, or more properly Hadria. 
Cf. Byron, Don Jnan: " The song and oar of Adria's gondolier." 

28. Apennine. The singular is according to the Latin usage. The Ro- 
mans called the chain Afons Apenninus. Cf. Byron, Childe Harold, iv. 73 : 

" Once more upon the woody Apennine, 
The infant Alps.'' 

31. Lacedatiion. Or Sparta, the famous capital of Laconia, on the Eu- 
rotas. The Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) were the sons of Leda and Tyn- 
dareus, king of Lacedaemon, and brothers of Helen and Clytemnestra. 

32. The city of two kings. From the earliest times the Lacedaemo- 
nians were governed by two kings. This custom is said to have arisen 
from the fact that Aristodemus, one of the Heraclidae, who, according to 
the myth, overran the Peloponnesus, had twin sons. 

33. Lake Regillns. A small lake in Latium, at the foot of the Tus- 
culan hills. See Macaulay's introduction to the poem above. On the 
whole, the lake (now dried up) is more likely to have been in the broad 
plain to the north of the " Porcian height," between the ancient Gabii 
and the modern town of Colonna. 


34. The Porcian height. M. Porcius Cato, among other distinguished 
Romans, had a villa northeast of Tusculum, on a hill which seems thence 
to have got the name of Mons Porcius (now Monte Porzio). 

35. Tusculum. See on Horatins, 96 above. 

37-40. Now on the place of slaughter, etc. With this description of 
the present peaceful aspect of a battle-field, cf. Byron, Childe Harold, 
iv. 65 : 

" Far other scene is Trasimene now: 
Her lake a sheet of silver, and her plain 
Rent by no ravage save the gentle plow ; 
Her aged trees rise thick as once the slain 
Lay where their roots are." 

42. Gome's oaks. Pliny (Nat. Hist. xvi. 92) describes a hill called 
Come in this part of Italy, whereon there was a grove of beeches, one of 
which, remarkable for its size, was so much admired by Passienus, the 
orator and consul, that he used to embrace it, sleep under it, and pour 
wine upon it. Near this grove was a holm-oak (ilex) so large that, as 
Pliny says, it was a forest of itself (silvamque sola facit). 

43. The Fair Fount. Evidently a fountain in the same vicinity, but we 
have not met with any reference to it in the authorities. 

45. Angle. A fishing-hook (A. S. angel). Cf. the Latin uncus, and 
the Greek oyicoc, dyicwv. 

63. What time. At the time when ; used only in poetry. Cf. Milton, 
Lycidas, 28: " What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn," etc. 

The Thirty Cities. Pliny tells us that there were thirty towns or com- 
munities which were accustomed to share in sacrifices on the Alban 
Mount ; and this number seems to have been a recognized and established 
one, for the Latin League which entered into an alliance with Rome in 
493 B.C. also consisted of thirty cities, of which a list is given by Diony- 

69. A hoof-mark. See Macaulay's introduction, p. 145 above. 

81. Virginins. The first of the Virginia gens to be consul was T. Vir- 
ginius Tricostus Caeliomontanus, in 496 B.C. 

82. Was Consul first in pLtce. The two consuls had equal rights in all 
respects. Virginias was merely the first td obtain a majority in the 
comitia. Cf. Cicero, Pro Lege Manilla, 1.2: " Cum propter dilationem 
comitiorum ter praetor primus centuriis cunctis renuntiatus sum." 

84. Posthumian race. The proper spelling is Postnmian. The first of 
the gens to be consul was P. Postumius Tubertus in 503 B.C. Albus was 
the name of the principal family of the gens. A. Postumius Albus Regil- 
lensis was consul 496 B.C. and dictator in 498 B.C. when the battle of Lake 
Regillus is said to have been fought. His surname was probably not 
derived from the battle, as Livy (xxx. 45) expressly states that Scipio 
Africanus was the first Roman who obtained a surname from his con- 

86. Gabii. An ancient city of I^atium situated about twelve miles from 
Rome on the road to Praeneste. It was one of the largest and most popu- 
lous of the cities of the Latin league. It was captured when Tarquin the 
Proud was king of Rome by a stratagem of his son Sextus. Afterwards, 



however, it combined with the other cities of Latium in his behalf against 
Rome. Gabii had fallen into decline in Cicero's time, but revived during 
the Empire. It lay close to a small volcanic lake, now drained, which, 
strangely enough, is not mentioned by any writer before the 5th century. 

92. A sceptre. This word originally meant a staff to lean upon, not a 
symbol of station or authority. Sceptres were carried by kings, princes, 
and leaders ; also by judges, heralds (as here), priests, and seers. 

105. Eyry. The more proper spelling of this word is aery, which occurs 
in Shakespeare, K. John, v. 2. 149, and Hamlet, ii. 2. 354. It is cognate 
with the Greek opvit; and opviivai and the Latin oriri. " When fairly im- 
ported into English, the word was ingeniously connected with ey, an egg, 
as if the word meant an eggery ; hence it began to be spelled eyrie or eyry t 
and to be misinterpreted accordingly " (Skeat). 

1 19. Conscript Fathers. Patres Cotiscripli (see on Horatius, 126 above) ; 
originally Patres et Conscripti, the latter being certain noble plebeians of 
equestrian rank added to the senate when its numbers had fallen off, in 
the early days of the Republic. Some authorities, however, make Patres 
Coruerifti enrolled fathers. 

123. Choose we a Dictator. Let us choose (ist person imperative) a 
dictator. The dictator was an extraordinary magistrate appointed in time 
of peril. As indicated below, he held his office for six months only, was 
preceded by twenty-four lictors (see on 2 above) with the/asfes and axes, 
and had associated with him a lieutenant, called the master of horse 
(magister eqnitum), usually appointed by himself, but sometimes by the 
senate. The dictator was appointed by a decree of the senate on the 
nomination of the consul. He had greater power than the consul in that 
he had no colleague, was more independent of the senate, had greater 
freedom of punishment without appeal, and was irresponsible. The first 
dictator was appointed in 501 B.C., and the office disappeared in 202 B.C.; 
for the dictatorships of Sulla and Caesar were of a different character. 
After that date, however, the consuls were given dictatorial power by the 
senate in times of danger, by the common formula, "Consul videat ne 
quid res publica detriment) capiat." Cf. Cicero, In Catilinam, i. 2. 4 : 
" Decrevit quondam senatus ut L. Opimius Consul videret ne quid res 
publica detrimenti caperet." 

125. Camerium. An ancient city of Latium. It was taken by Tarquin 
during his reign, but after his expulsion from Rome it was among the 
first to embrace his cause, and was destroyed by Virginius, 502 B.C. 

135. sEbutitts Elva. Consul 497 B.C. He had charge of the city when 
the battle of Lake Regillus was fought. 

143. With boys, etc. Cf. Horatius, 58 fol. 

148. The Porcian height. See on 34 above. 

156. Marked evermore -with white. See on 20 above, and cf. 780 below. 

165. Setia. An ancient city of Latium, on the southern slope of the 
Volscian mountains, looking over the Pomptine Marshes (see on 263 
below). It was one of the thirty cities of the Latin League. It was a 
strong fortress during the wars of Marius and Sulla. It was noted for 
its wine, which in the days of Martial and Juvenal seems to have been 
considered one of the choicest kinds. According to Pliny (xiv. 6-8.), Au- 



gustus first brought it into vogue. There can be no doubt that the mod- 
ern town of Sezza occupies the site of ancient Setia, as remnants of its 
walls, built of large polygonal blocks of limestone, like those of Norba, 
are still visible. 

166. Norba. On the border of the Volscian mountains near Setia, and 
one of the thirty cities of the Latin league. It was the last fortress of 
Italy that held out against Sulla. His general, Lepidus, utterly destroyed 
it, and it was never rebuilt. The existing ruins of Norba are among the 
most perfect specimens remaining in Italy of the style of construction 
known as Cyclopean. 

167. Tuscnlum. See on Horatins, 96 above. 

169. The Wrick's Fortress. The Circaean promontory (Monte Cii'cello), 
on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, which was supposed to have been 
the abode of the enchantress Circe. It is a bold and abrupt mountain, 
rising precipitously from the sea to the height of 1800 feet, and insulated 
on the land side by a strip of the Pomptine Marshes. 

172. Aricin. An ancient and famous city of Latium, on the Appian 
Way, sixteen miles from Rome. It took a prominent part in this Latin 
war. The modern town (Ariccia) occupies the site of the ancient citadel, 
on a steep hill rising above a basin-shaped valley, evidently at one time 
filled by a lake. 

Aricia was celebrated throughout Italy for its temple of Diana, situ- 
ated about three miles from the town on the edge of a small lake. It 
was remarkable for the barbarous custom, retained even in the days of 
Strabo and Pausanias, of having as high priest a fugitive slave, who had 
obtained the office by killing his predecessor, for which reason the priests 
always went armed. The lake (the modern L,igo <fi Nemi) was often 
called Speculum Diana, and is still noted for its beauty. Cf. Byron, 
ChiUU Harold, iv. 172 : 

" Lo ! Nemi, navelled in the woody hills 
So far that the uprooting wind which tears 
The oak from its foundation, and which spills 
The ocean o'er its boundary and bears 
Its foam against the skies, reluctant spares 
The oval mirror of thy glassy lake ; 
And, calm as cherished hate, its surface wears 
A deep, cold, settled aspect nought can shake, 
All coiled into itself and round, as sleeps the snake." 

177. Ufens. A river of Latium, rising at the foot of the Volscian 
mountains and flowing through the Pontine Marshes, whence it is de- 
scribed by Virgil (sEneid, vii. 801) as a sluggish, muddy stream. 

183. Cora. A city of Latium (now Cori), on the left of the Appian Way 
about thirty-seven miles from Rome. It stands on a bold hill on the out- 
skirts of the Volscian mountains, and overlooks the Pontine Marshes, 
the " never-ending fen." Its fortifications, apparently built at different 
periods, formed three successive tiers, the uppermost of which enclosed 
the highest summit of the hill and was the citadel of the ancient town. 
Considerable portions of these walls, with other ruins of much interest, 
are still to be seen. 




185. The Laurentian jungle. Laurentum, on the sea-coast between 
Ostia and Lavinium, was the ancient capital of Latium and the abode 
of King Latinus when .Eneas landed. In its immediate neighborhood 
were considerable marshes, while a little farther inland stood the exten- 
sive Laurentian Forest. Under the Roman Empire this forest abounded 
in wild boars, which were of large size, but reckoned of inferior flavor on 
account of the marshy ground on which they fed. The orator Horten- 
sius had a villa and a park stocked with game near Laurentum, and many 
villas lined the coast. 

187. Anio. A celebrated river of Latium, in ancient times called the 
Anieti, one of the largest tributaries of the Tiber. It is now called the 
Teverone. Near Tibur it forms a celebrated cascade, falling at once 
through a height of more than eighty feet. The present cascade is arti- 
ficial, the waters of the river having been carried through a tunnel con- 
structed for the purpose in 1834, but the Anio always formed a striking 
fall at this point. See Horace, Odes, i. 7. 13 : " Et praeceps Anio." The 
waters of the upper Anio were very clear, for which reason they were 
carried by aqueducts to Rome. 

190. Velitrce. A city (now Velletri) on the southern slope of the Alban 
Hills, on the Via Appia, looking over the Pontine Marshes. Both Livy 
and Dionysius represent it as a Volscian city when it first came into col- 
lision with Rome, but Dionysius includes it among the thirty cities of 



Latium. After the Latin war in 338 B.C., the walls of Velitrae were 
destroyed, and the town became an ordinary municipality. It was the 
native place of the Octavian family, from which Augustus was descended. 
Pliny mentions it as producing a wine inferior only to the Falernian. 
193. Mainilins. See on Horatins, 96 above. 

202. By Syria's dark-browed daughters. The finest purple robes came 
from Tyre in Phoenicia, on the coast of Syria. 

203. Carthage. Situated on the northern coast of Africa near the mod- 
ern Tunis. It was a Phoenician colony, founded, according to the pop- 
ular chronology, 814 B.C., and destroyed after three wars with Rome 
in 146 B.C. It was rebuilt by Augustus and became one of the most 
flourishing cities of the ancient world. In the fifth century it was taken 
by the Vandals under Genseric, and became the capital of their kingdom 
in Africa. It was retaken by Belisarius, but was captured and destroyed 
by the Arabs in 647. 

At the period of the poem Carthage was already a flourishing and 
wealthy commercial city, and the depot of supplies for the western Medi- 
terranean of the products of the East. See on The Prophecy of Capys, 
280 below. 

205. Lavininm. A city about three miles from the sea-coast, between 
Laurentum and Arclea, and seventeen miles from Rome. It was founded, 
according to the legend, by /Eneas, shortly after his landing in Italy, and 
named by him after his wife Lavinia, daughter of King Latinus. When 
Ascanius removed the seat of the government to Alba, the attempt to 
remove the Penates was unsuccessful ; hence Lavinium was always re- 
garded as a sacred metropolis. Macrobius tells us that in his time it was 
customary for the consuls and praetors, at the beginning of their term of 
office, to offer sacrifice there to Vesta and the Penates. While the legend 
of /Eneas has no historical basis, it seems certain for many reasons, among 
them the name, that Lavinium was originally the capital of Latium. The 
insignificant village of Practica now occupies the site. 

209. False Sextits, etc. See on Horatins, 199 above. 

233. Tibur. The modern Trvoli, a town twenty miles northeast of Rome 
on the Anio. It was celebrated for its orchards and for its grapes and figs. 
Its air was healthy and bracing, and this, together with its beautiful sce- 
nery, made it a favorite resort of the wealthy Romans. It was much older 
than Rome, and probably of Greek origin. Here Syphax, king of Nu- 
midia, died 201 B.C., and here Zenobia lived as a captive. Tibur was 
famed for its worship of Hercules, whose temple was the most remarkable 
in the neighborhood of Rome, except that of Fortune at Praeneste. Both 
Horace and Sallust had residences at Tibur. 

Pedinn. A city of the Latin League, at one time of considerable im- 
portance. It disappears from history after the close of the Latin War in 
338 B.C. 

235. Ferentinnm. A city of Etruria about five miles from the Tiber 
on the north of the Ciminian range. 

236. Gabii. See on 86 above. 

237. Volscian succors. The Volscians (see on Iforafiits, 561 above) 
were usually opposed to the Latins, and in alliance with the vEquians. 

156 NOTES. 

Tarquinius Superbus is said to have built the Capitol at Rome from 
spoils taken from the Volscians, a tradition which proves the belief in 
their great wealth and power at this early period. 

241. Mount Soracte. A mountain of Etruria (now called Monte di San 
Oreste), situated between Falerii and the Tiber, about twenty-six miles 
north of Rome. Although only 2260 feet in height, it rises in an abrupt 
mass above the plain, and is a conspicuous object in all views of the Cam- 
pagna. See Horace, Odes, i. 9. i : " Vides ut alta stet nive candidum So- 
racte ;" and Virgil, ,/Eneid, xi. 785 : " Summe deum, sancti custos Sorac- 
tis Apollo." 

250. Apulian. Apulia was a district in the southeastern part of Italy, 
between the Apennines and the sea. A great part of northern Apulia 
consisted of a fertile plain, especially adapted to the rearing of horses 
and cattle. 

251. Titus, the youngest Tarquin. Titus was the eldest son of Tarquin. 
The youngest son was Aruns. See on fforatius, 323 above. 

256. Targe. A poetical word for a small round shield. Target is a 
diminutive of it. 

263. Pomptine fog. The Pomptine (Pontine) Marshes (Pomptinae PA- 
Ittdes) were an extensive tract of marshy ground in the south of Latium 
at the foot of the Volscian mountains. They occupy a space of thirty 
miles in length by seven or eight in breadth, and are separated from the 
sea on the west by a broad tract of sandy plain covered with forest, which 
is perfectly level and intermixed with marshy spots and pools of stagnant 





water, so that it is almost as unhealthy as the Marshes proper, and is 
often included under the same name. The entire tract is of very recent 
origin as compared with the rest of the mainland. The Romans believed 
that the whole of this accumulation had taken place within the historical 
period, and that Mons Circeius (see on 169 above) was in the Homeric 
times the Island of Circe in the midst of the open sea. 

The Pomptine Marshes are formed principally by the stagnation of 
the waters of two streams, the Amasenus and the Ufens (see on 177 
above), and appear to have derived their name from the city of Snessa 
Pomeliii, the capital of the Volscians, situated on their border. Various 
attempts were made to drain these marshes, and a project of this kind 
was among the great public works planned by Julius Caesar. The Ap- 
pian Way was carried through them as early as 312 B.C. 

267-272. The braying of the -war -horns, etc. Note the alliteration 
and onomatopoeia in these lines. 

275. Corselet. A piece of body armor. The word (also spelled corslet) 
is derived from the old French cars, a body, -\-el-\-et, diminutive termi- 

278. Digentian rock. The Digentia (now the Licenza) was a small 
river in the country of the Sabines, flowing into the Anio nine miles above 
Tibur. Cf. Horace, Epistles, i. 18. 104: "gelidus Digentia rivus." Just 
above its junction with the Anio stands a rocky, projecting hill, which is 
probably the rock here referred to. 

280. Bandnsia's flock. As indicated here, the Fount of Bandusia, cele- 
brated by Horace in a beautiful ode (iii. 13), has been supposed to be 
situated near his Sabine villa, and to be the fount alluded to in Epistles, 
I. 16. 12 fol. ; but it seems to have been conclusively proved that the 
real fans Bandnsiae was in Apulia, a few miles from Venusia, the birth- 
place of Horace. 

281. Herminins. See on Horatins, 245 above. 

283. Auster (the South Wind, or the hot, burning wind, as the deriva- 
tion implies) is an appropriate name for a swift and fiery steed. 

288. Fidentz. A city on the left bank of the Tiber, on the Via Salaria, 
five miles from Rome. It was originally and properly a Latin city, 
although Livy alludes to it as Etruscan, and even says that its inhab- 
itants learned Latin only from their intercourse with the Roman colo- 
nists. It early engaged in wars with Rome, and was captured by Tar- 
quinius Priscus. It was finally subdued by the Romans, and vanishes 
from history as an independent city in 426 B.C. 

294. Calabrian brake. Calabria was the name given by the Romans 
to the peninsula forming the heel of Italy, which was called by the Greeks 
Messapia and Lipygia. During the time of the Byzantine emperors, the 
name of Calabria was transferred to the Bruttian peninsula (of which it 
is to-day the designation), probably because the term at first denoted 
all the Byzantine possessions in southern Italy, which gradually con- 
tracted to the Bruttian peninsula and a very small tract in the lapygian 

Brake = bush, thicket. " The idea is of rough broktti ground with the 
growth which springs from it." 

158 NOTES. 

295. When through the reeds, etc. Cf. Virgil, JEneid, ii. 379 fol. (imi- 
tated from Homer, Iliad, iii. 33) : 

" Improvisum aspris veluti qui sentibus anguem 
Pressit huml nitens, trepidusque repente refugit 
Attollentem iras et caerula colla tumentem ; 
Haud secus Androgeos visu treraefactus abibat." 

303. Tiibero. A common Latin name. 

308. Among his elms. On which trees the grape-vine was trained. 
See Virgil, Eel. ii. 70 : " Semiputata tibi frondosa vitis in ulmo est ;" 
Catullus, 62. 54: "(Vitis) coniuncta ulmo marito ;" and Juvenal, 6. 150: 
" ulmi Falernae" (Falernian elms for Falernian wine). 

325. Clients. Supposed to be from the same root as cli/ere, to hear or 
obey. Any foreigner or Roman citizen who wanted a protector might 
attach himself to a patronus and so become a clieiis. The patron guarded 
the client's interest, both public and private ; the client assisted his patron 
with money and with military service. The connection was hereditary, 
and the client bore his patron's gentile (family) name. 

326. Bare. An old form of bore. 

327. Helm. Poetical for helmet. Cf. Scott, Munition, vi. 30 : 

" When with the baron's casque the maid 

To the nigh streamlet ran: 
** * * . 

She filled the helm, and back she hied," etc. 

348. And hath bestrode his sire. That is, stood over him to defend him. 
Cf. Coriolanus, ii. 2. 96 : 

" He bestrid 

An o'er-press'd Roman, and i' the consul's view 
Slew three opposers." 

353. Caso. Or K<zso, a praenomen of the Fabia gens. 

356. The brave Fabian race. The Fabian race was one of the most 
ancient patrician families at Rome, tracing its origin to Hercules and 
Evander. There were many distinguished members of this family ; 
whence Anchises in his enumeration of the heroes of Rome (Virgil, 
xEneid, vi. 845) says: "Quo fessum rapitis, Fabii ?" "alluding to the 
numbers and exploits of the Fabii, which tire the narrator who tries to 
count them" (Conington, ad loc.). The family was celebrated in early 
Roman history. Being looked on with disfavor by their own order, they 
offered to carry on the war against Veii at their own cost and alone. 
When the offer was joyfully accepted, 306 Fabii marched forth under 
the lead of Kaeso Fabius to the banks of the Cremera, where they erected 
a fortress. After carrying on the war successfully for a time, they were 
enticed into an ambuscade, and the whole race perished except one boy, 
who had been left at Rome on account of his youth. The story is full of 
improbabilities and doubtless mythical. 

Another distinguished member of the family was Quintus Fabius Max- 
imus Cunctator, the opponent of Hannibal, of whom Ennius wrote: 
" Unus homo nobis cunctando restituit rem;" a line which Virgil gives 
almost verbally in AZneid, vi. 846. 



357. Rtx. The name ot several distinguished Romans, the earliest of 
whom was tribune 196 B.C. 

358. J^he priest of Juno's shrine. Juno was the tutelary divinity of 
Gabii. See Virgil, SEneid, vii. 682 : " quique arva Gabinae lunonis . . . 

360. Rome's great Julian line. The Julian gens was one of the most 
ancient patrician families at Rome, some of its members having attained 
the highest dignities of the state in the earliest times of the republic. It 
was doubtless of Alban origin, and is mentioned as one of the Alban fami- 
lies transferred to Rome by Tullus Hostilius and enrolled among the 
fatrcs. Virgil (sEneiJ, i. 267) asserts that lulus, the mythical ancestor 
of the race, was the same as Ascanius, and Caesar claimed the same origin 
for his family by giving " Venus genetrix" as the word to his soldiers at 
Pharsalia and Munda. 

362. The Velian hill. One of the seven hills of Rome, between the 
Palatine, the Esquiline, and the eastern side of the Forum. 

375, 376. The good house That loves the people well. The surname of 
Valerius was Pnblicola, or the people's friend, from the following cir- 
cumstance : Becoming sole consul by the death of his colleague Brutus, 
he began to build a house on the Velian hill on the site of the palace of 
Tarquinius Superbus. Being accused of aiming at regal power, he tore 
the house down. The Valerian gens enjoyed extraordinary honors and 
privileges at Rome. Their house on the Velia was the only one in Rome 
of which the doors were allowed to open outward into the street. In 
the circus a conspicuous place was set apart for them, where a small 
throne was erected, an unexampled honor. They were also allowed to 
bury their dead within the city walls. 

383. Yeomen. Here apparently = common soldiers (as in Shakespeare, 
Rich. ///. v. 3. 338 : " Fight, gentlemen of England ! Fight good yeo- 
men "); or perhaps men of his body-guard, like the "yeomen of the 
guard" in the service of the English sovereign. 

399. Play the men. Show yourselves men. Cf. Shakespeare, Tem- 
pest, i. I. ii : " Play the men." 

403. Like the roar of a burning forest, etc. Cf. Virgil, ALneid, ii. 304 
fol. : 

" In segetem veluti cum flamma furentibus austris 
Incidit, aut rapidus montano flumine torrens 
Sternit agros, stern it sata laeta boumque labnres, 
Praecipitisque trahit silvas, stupet inscius alti 
Accipiens sonitum saxi de vertice pastor." 

408. Wist. Knew ; past tense of the old verb, wit (A. S. wilati). Cf. 
Exihi. ii. 4 and Mark ix. 6. 

416. A Consular of Rome. That is, a vir consularis, one who has been 
consul, a man of consular rank. 

419. Costns. The name of a patrician family of the Cornelian race, 
which produced many illustrious men in the fifth century B.C., but after- 
wards sank into oblivion. 

439. Ride as the waives, etc. As // the wolves, etc. This use of as is 
common in Elizabethan English. Cf. Macbeth, i. 4. ii : 

!6o NOTES. 

" To throw away the dearest thing he owed, 
As 'twere a careless trifle," etc. 

441. Our southward battle. That is, the portion of our army in that 
direction. Cf. Macbeth, v. 6. 4 : 

" You, worthy uncle, 

Shall, with my cousin, your right-noble son, 
Lead our first battle ;" 

that is, the van of our forces. Cf. 463 and 641 below. 

480. Anfidus. The principal river of Apulia, and one of the largest 
in Italy, flowing into the Adriatic. Horace, whose birthplace, Venusia, 
was only ten miles from the Aufidus whence he calls himself "louge 
sonantem natus ad Aufidum" (Odes, iv. 9. 2) alludes repeatedly to the 
violent and impetuous character of the river, when swollen by winter 
floods or by heavy rains. In the summer, however, it is an insignificant 

Po. The principal river of northern Italy, and by far the largest in the 
peninsula. Hence from Attfidus to Po from one end of Italy to the 
other. The Padus, or Po, was identified by the Greeks with the mythical 
Eridanus, and it was commonly called by that name both by them and 
by the Roman poets. 

495. Lay on. Deal blows, strike. Cf. Macbeth, v. 8. 33 : " Lay on, 
Macduff;" and Henry F. v. 2. 147 : "I could lay on like a butcher," etc. 

547. Herminia. While the Roman man usually had three names, the 
prcenomen, the nomen proper or nomen gentilicinm, and a cognomen, the 
Roman women were designated only by the feminine form of the nomen 
gentilicium, having no pr&notnen other than Prima, Secunda, Tertia, etc. 

549. Ribbons. The spelling ribands or ribbands (in the English eds.) 
arose from a fancied connection with band ; but the d is "excrescent," 
as in hind (see on Horatins, 337 above), and is not always found in Mid- 
dle English. The word is of Celtic origin, from ribe, a flake, hair. The 
an is the common Celtic diminutive termination. 

557- The furies of thy brother. The Enmenides or Erinnyes, who, as the 
Greeks believed, pursued and tormented criminals, especially murderers. 
Cf. Virgil, sEneid, iii. 331: " scelerum Furiis agitatus;" referring to 
Orestes, who had slain his mother Clytemnestra. 

568. Caf nan's hall. Capua was the capital of Campania (see on Horn- 
tins, 337 above) and one of the most celebrated and important cities of 
Italy. The name, like Campania, is probably derived from campus, from 
its situation in a fertile plain. Capua was proverbial for luxury and mag- 
nificence ; the effect on Hannibal's troops of their winter there is much 
dwelt on by Roman writers. Cf. Virginia, 267, 328. 

569, 570. The knees of all the Latines Were loosened with dismay. An 
Homeric expression. See Iliad, v. 176 : iirti iro\\<av TI KOI iaQ\iav yov- 
var' tXvfiv. 

603. Samothracia. An island in the north of the /Egaean Sea, opposite 
the mouth of the Hebrus. Homer calls it sometimes 2a/iog Spi\iKii] and 
sometimes simply Zd^tof. Hence the line in Virgil, sEtieU, vii. 208 : 
" Threiciamque Samum, qua? nunc Samothracia fertur." It measures 


eight miles by six, and is of great elevation, being the most conspicuous 
object in the north of the ^Egasan except Mt. Athos, and surpassing all 
the islands but Crete in height. The common name of the Thracian 
and Ionian Samos was a cause of speculation to Pausanias and Strabo. 
The truth seems to be that aafioq denoted any elevated land near the sea, 
and that the name was therefore given to several islands. The chief in- 
terest of the island is connected with the mysterious rites of the Cabeiri 
celebrated there, into which Philip of Macedon was initiated with Olym- 
pias, his wife. Very little is known about the Cabeiri, but by some writ- 
ers they are identified with the Dioscuri, which is the occasion of the 
reference here to Samothracia. 

604. Cyrene. The chief city of the district of Cyrenaica on the north 
coast of Africa between Carthage and Egypt, and the most important 
Hellenic colony in Africa. At the height of its power Cyrene had an 
extensive commerce with Greece and Egypt, especially in silphium, a 
plant with a very strong flavor, the juice of which was used in food and 
medicine. Cyrene holds a distinguished place in the history of Greek 
intellect. It was the birthplace of the poet Callimachus, and as early as 
the time of Herodotus was celebrated for its physicians. As it was an 
Hellenic colony the worship of the Dioscuri would be observed there, as 
well as at Tarentum and Syracuse. 

605. Our house in g>iy Tarentum. House is here used in the sense of 

Tarentum was one of the most powerful and celebrated cities of south- 
ern Italy, situated in Calabria on the north shore of the extensive Gulf 
of Tarentum (Golfo di Taranto). It was a Greek city, a colony of Lace- 
daemon, and retained, Polybius tells us, many traces of its Spartan origin 
in local names and customs. Hence the worship of the Dioscuri proba- 
bly flourished there. Although its territory was not especially fertile, it 
was admirably suited for the growth of olives, and its pastures produced 
wool of the finest quality, while its harbor abounded in all sorts of shell- 
fish, among them the murex, which furnished the celebrated purple dye. 
Tarentum, however, owed its rapid rise to the excellence of its port, 
through which it became the chief emporium of the commerce of south- 
ern Italy. No traces of the ancient city remain. 

The advantages of Tarentum are extolled by Horace in a well-known 
ode (ii. 6) : 

" Unde si Parcae prohibent iniquae, 
Dulce pellitis ovibus Galaesi 
Flumen et regnata petam Laconi 

Rura Phalantho. 

Ille terrarum mihi praeter omnes 
Angulus ridet, ubi non Hymetto 
Mella decedunt viridique certat 

Baca Venafro : 

Ver nbi longum tepidasque praebet 
Tuppiter briimas, et amicns Aulon 
Fertili Baccho minimum Falernis 
Invidet uvis." 

607. Masts of Syracuse. Syracuse was the most important and power- 
ful of all the Greek cities in Sicily. It had an excellent port called the 



Great Harbor, a bay five miles in circumference ; and also the Lesser 
Port between the island of Ortygia and the mainland. It was a Corinthian 
colony and became very powerful. It is known in history especially on 
account of the great siege by the Athenians in 414 B.C. during the Pelo- 
ponnesian war, and its capture by Marcellus in 212 B.C. For a descrip- 
tion of its topography see Cicero in Verrem, iv. 52, 53. 

609. The proud Eurotas. The principal river of Laconia, flowing 
through the whole length of the valley between the ranges of Taygetus 
and Parnon. Its more ancient names were Bomycas and Himerus. The 
scenery in the upper part of its course is beautiful ; in the lower part, 
after passing through a gorge twelve miles in length, it flows amid 
marshes and sandbanks into the Laconian Gulf. 

The Dioscuri, who were believed to have reigned as kings of Sparta, 
received divine honors in that city ; thence their worship spread over 
Greece, Sicily, and Italy. 

614. And each couched low his spear. That is, levelled the spear, or 
held it in the proper position. Cf. Shakespeare, I Hen. VI. iii. I. 179: 
" A braver soldier never couched lance." 

619. Ardea. A city still bearing the same name, about four miles from 
the sea-coast and twenty-four south of Rome. Its foundation was as- 


signed by some to the son of Odysseus and Circe, by others to Danae, 
the mother of Perseus. It was the capital of the Rutuli, with whom 
yEneas fought. In the historical period Ardea had become a purely 
Latin city, and was one of the thirty which formed the Latin League. It 
was besieged by Tarquin the Proud, and it was during this long siege 
that the events which led to the expulsion of the kings took place. In 
the legendary history of Camillus Ardea plays an important part, but 
soon after vanishes from history as an independent city. See Virgil, 
sEneiJ, vii. 411 : 

" Locus Ardea quondam 
Dictus avis ; et nunc magnum tenet Ardea nomen." 1 

The city was desolate in the time of Virgil. 
620. Cora. See on 183 above. 

623. The hearth of Vesta. See on Horatitis, 229 above. 

624. The Golden Shield. See on Horn fins, 8 1 above. The reference 
here is to the original ancile. 

641. Battle. See on 441 above. 

646. The Celtic plain. The Gallic plain. 

648. The Adrian main. See on 27 above. 

649. Our sire Quirinns. Qitirinus is said by Dionysius of Halicar- 
nassus to be a Sabine word derived from quirts, a spear or lance. It was 
the name given to Romulus after he had been deified, and the festival 
celebrated in his honor was called the Qiiirinalia. See Virgil, sEneiit, 
i. 292 : " Remo cum fratre Quirinus." 

656. The whirling Po. Professor Wilson, in BInchvood (see on Hora- 
tius, 482 above), after quoting lines 577-656, remarks : "That is the way 
of doing business. A cut-and-thrust style, without any flourish Scott's 
style, when his soul was up, and the first words came like a vanguard 
impatient for battle." 

660. Lamtvium. An important city of Latium, on a lofty height, form- 
ing a projecting spur or promontory of the Alban Hills towards the south. 
It was twenty miles from Rome on the right of the Appian Way, a little 
more than a mile from the road. The name is often written in inscrip- 
tions Laniviinii, and hence was confounded in MSS. with Laviniunt. It 
was one of the cities of the Latin League. There was a celebrated tem- 
ple of Juno Sospitaat Lanuvium. Her peculiar garb and attributes are de- 
scribed by Cicero (De Nat. Dear. i. 29) and appear on many Roman coins. 
She was represented with a goat's skin drawn over her head like a hel- 
met, a small shield in her left hand, and peculiar shoes with points turned 
up (calceoli repandi). She was associated on coins with a serpent, and 
Propertius (iv. 8) tells us that she had a kind of oracie in a sacred grove 
where a serpent was fed with fruits and cakes by virgins. Pliny (xxxv. 
3-6) says that the place was adorned with very ancient but excellent 
paintings of Helen and Atalanta, which the emperor Caligula in vain 
attempted to remove. 

661. Nomenttim. A city on the Sabine frontier about four miles from 
the Tiber and fourteen from Rome. It was really a Latin town, though 
often considered Sabine. Virgil mentions it among the colonies of Alba 
(^Eiifitf, vi. 773), and its name occurs among the cities of the Prisci La- 




tint reduced by Tarquinius Priscus. It was undoubtedly a city of the 
League. It became a country resort for people of quiet tastes. Seneca 
had a villa there, as well as Nepos and Martial. The latter contrasts its 
quiet with the splendor and luxury of Baiae. 

673. Arpinum. A celebrated city of the Volscians, situated on a hill 
rising above the valley of the 
Liris. It was the birthplace 
of Marius and Cicero ; the 
former was of ignoble birth, 
but the family of Cicero was 
one of the most ancient and 
important at Arpinum, and 
his father was of the eques- 
trian order. Cicero applies 
to Arpinum the well-known 
lines of the Odyssey (ix. 27) on 
Ithaca : rpt]\il\ d\\' a-yaOrj 
KovporpoQot;, etc. The an- 
cient walls of Arpinum, built 
in the Cyclopean style, are 
very striking. There is also a gate of singular construction, which is 
compared with those of Tiryns and Mycena;. 

675. Metius. Or Mettius ; an old Italian name, in use among the Lat- 
ins and Sabines. 

676. Anxur. The Volscian name of the city known to the Romans 
and Latins as Tarracina (now Terracina). It was on the Tyrrhenian 
Sea, about ten miles from Circeii and at the extremity of the Pomptine 
Marshes. The name Anxur is often used for metrical reasons by the 
Roman poets. See Horace, Satires, i. 5. 26: "Impositum saxis late can- 
dentibus Anxur ;" but all prose writers call it Tarracina. It was one of 
the customary halting-places on the Appian Way, and hence is men- 
tioned by Horace on his journey to Brundisium, in the passage quoted 
above. The emperor Domitian had a villa there, and Galba was born 
near by. There were mineral springs in the neighborhood, which seem 
to have been much frequented. There was a celebrated temple here to 
Jupiter Anxurus, who was represented as a beautiful youth. 

677. Vulso. The name of a distinguished patrician family of the Man- 
ila fens. 

678. Arician. See on 172 above. 

695. The Twelve. The Salii. See on Horatius. 81 above. 

697. The High Pontiff . The Pontifex Maximus. Various explanations 
of the derivation of the word pontifex are given. It is probably derived 
from pans and facere, but the original meaning is obscure. Some believe 
that it means the priests who offer sacrifice on the bridge, referring to that 
of the Argei on the sacred Sublician Bridge (see on Horatius, 151 above). 
The Argei were certain figures thrown into the Tiber annually from this 
bridge on the ides of May. The images were twenty-three in number, 
made of bulrushes, and in the form of men. They took the place of the 
earlier human sacrifices. The pontifex maximus was the chief of the 




Roman college of pontiffs, the most illustrious of the great colleges of 
priests. The institution of the pontiffs was ascribed to Numa, and they 
were originally five in number, including thepontifex maximus. In 300 B.C. 
the number was raised to nine, and later to fifteen by Sulla and to sixteen 
by Julius Caesar. The college of pontiffs had the superintendence of all 
matters of religion, private as well as public. They determined in what 
manner the gods should be worshipped, the proper form of burial, how 
the manes, or spirits of the dead, were to be propitiated, and what signs 
were to be attended to. The chief pontiff was obliged to live in a downs 
fublica. He was chosen from among the most distinguished men in the 
state, such as had held a curule office or were already members of the 
college. He appointed the Vestal virgins and the flamens. Originally 
he was not allowed to leave the city, but in later times this rule was not 
observed; Caesar while conquering Gaul was pontifex maximus. In 
later times the luxurious living of the pontiffs became proverbial. See 
Horace, Odes, ii. 14. 26: 

" mero 

Tinget pavimentum superbo 
Pontincum potiore cenis. " 

699. /// all Elmi-iii 1 * colleges. The Etruscans were the instructors of 
the Romans in many of their religious rites, and the Romans adopted 
from them a great part of what was in later ages considered the cstab- 

!66 NOTES. 

lished national religion. The Etruscan religion was especially noted for 
its attention to divination. 

705. Young lads, etc. Cf. Horatius, 58 fol. 

716. Pricking. Spurring, riding. Cf. Spenser, F. Q. i. I. I : "A gen- 
tle knight was pricking o'er the plain." 

721. The great Asylum. In order to increase the population of Rome, 
Romulus is said to have opened an asylum on the Capitoline hill. It 
was a place of refuge for the inhabitants of other states, rather than for 
those who had violated the laws of the city. See also on Caf>ys, 266. 

745. To Vesta. See on 7 above. 

747. The well, etc. The Pool or Lake of Jtiturna between the tem- 
ples of Vesta and of Castor. The remains of a low round construction 
still to be seen at this point have been supposed to belong to the stone 
rim encircling the pool in later times, but this is very doubtful. 

760. The Dorians. Here the inhabitants of Lacedaemon. The Dori- 
ans originally dwelt in Doris, a small mountainous district in Central 
Greece, between ^Etolia and Phocis. But in the historical period the 
whole of the eastern and southern parts of the Peloponnesus was in their 
possession. Their conquest of this region was called the Rettirn of the 
Heraclidtz, and occurred in prehistoric times. 

767, 768. If once the Great Twin Brethren Sit shining on the sails. The 
allusion is to the electrical phenomenon called St. Elmo's fire, which often 
appears on the yards or mastheads of vessels before or during thunder- 
storms. St. Elmo is St. Erasmus of Formia, who is believed by the 
mariners of the Mediterranean to have power over tempests, like the 
Dioscuri of old. Some commentators see an allusion to this St. Elmo's 
fire in the "lucida sidera" of Horace, Odes, i. 3. 2; but the reference 
there is probably to the stars Castor and Pollux in the constellation 
Gemini. Cf. Longfellow, Golden Legend, v. : 

" Last night I saw Saint Elmo's stars 
With their glimmering lanterns, all at play 
On the tops of the masts and the tips of the spars, 
And I knew we should have foul weather to-day." 

774. A stately dome. The temple of Castor and Pollux. See on 7 above. 
780. Marked evermore with white. See on 20 above. 
788. Mars without the wall. See on 8 above. 


Macaulay's introduction to the poem is as follows : 

" A collection consisting exclusively of war-songs would give an imper- 
fect, or rather an erroneous, notion of the spirit of the old Latin ballads. 
The patricians, during more than a century after the expulsion of the 
kings, held all the high military commands. A plebeian, even though, 
like Lucius Siccius, he were distinguished by his valor and knowledge of 
war, could serve only in subordinate posts. A minstrel, therefore, who 


wished to celebrate the early triumphs of his country could hardly take 
any but patricians for his heroes. The warriors who are mentioned in 
the two preceding lays Horatius, Lartius, Herminius, Aulus Posthu- 
mius, /Ebutius Elva, Sempronius Atratinus, Valerius Poplicola were all 
members of the dominant order ; and a poet who was singing their 
praises, whatever his own political opinions might be, would naturally 
abstain from insulting the class to which they belonged, and from reflect- 
ing on the system which had placed such men at the head of the legions 
of the commonwealth. 

" But there was a class of compositions in which the great families were 
by no means so courteously treated. No parts of early Roman history 
are richer with poetical coloring than those which relate to the long con- 
test between the privileged houses and the commonalty. The popula- 
tion of Rome was, from a very early period, divided into hereditary castes, 
which, indeed, readily united to repel foreign enemies, but which regard- 
ed eacli other, during many years, with bitter animosity. Between those 
castes there was a barrier hardly less strong than that which, at Venice, 
parted the members of the Great Council from their countrymen. In 
some respects, indeed, the line which separated an Icilius or a Duilius 
from a Posthumius or a Fabius was even more deeply marked than that 
which separated the rower of a gondola from a Contarini or a Morosini. 
At Venice the distinction was merely civil. At Rome it was both civil 
and religious. Among the grievances under which the plebeians suffered, 
three were felt as peculiarly severe. They were excluded from the high- 
est magistracies ; they were excluded from all share in the public lands; 
and they were ground down to the dust by partial and barbarous legisla- 
tion touching pecuniary contracts. The ruling class in Rome was a mon- 
eyed class ; and it made and administered the laws with a view solely to 
its own interest. Thus the relation between lender and borrower was 
mixed up with the relation between sovereign and subject. The great 
men held a large portion of the community in dependence by means of 
"advances at enormous usury. The law of debt, framed by creditors and 
for the protection of creditors, was the most horrible that has ever been 
known among men. The liberty and even the life of the insolvent were 
at the mercy of the patrician money-lenders. Children often became 
slaves in consequence of the misfortunes of their parents. The debtor 
was imprisoned, not in a public jail under the care of impartial public 
functionaries, but in a private workhouse belonging to the creditor. 
Frightful stories were told respecting these dungeons. It was said that 
torture and brutal violation were common ; that tight stocks, heavy 
chains, scanty measures of food, were used to punish wretches guilty of 
nothing but poverty ; and that brave soldiers whose breasts were covered 
with honorable scars were often marked still more deeply on the back by 
the scourges of high-born usurers. 

" The plebeians were, however, not wholly without constitutional rights. 
From an early period they had been admitted to some share of political 
power. They were enrolled each in his century, and were allowed a 
share, considerable, though not proportioned to their numerical strength, 
in the disposal of those high dignities from which they were themselves 

1 68 NOTES. 

excluded. Thus their position bore some resemblance to that of the 
Irish Catholics during the interval between the year 1792 and the year 
1829. The plebeians had also the privilege of annually appointing offi- 
cers named tribunes, who had no active share in the government of the 
commonwealth, but who, by degrees, acquired a power formidable even to 
the ablest and most resolute consuls and dictators. The person of the 
tribune was inviolable ; and, though he could directly effect little, he could 
obstruct everything. 

"During more than a century after the institution of the tribuneship, 
the Commons struggled manfully for the removal of the grievances under 
which they labored ; and, in spite of many checks and reverses, succeeded 
in wringing concession after concession from the stubborn aristocracy. 
At length, in the year of the city 378, both parties mustered their whole 
strength for their last and most desperate conflict. The popular and act- 
ive tribune Caius Licinius proposed the three memorable laws which are 
called by his name, and which were intended to redress the three great 
evils of which the plebeians complained. He was supported, with eminent 
ability and firmness, by his colleague, Lucius Sextius. The struggle appears 
to have been the fiercest that ever in any community terminated without 
an appeal to arms. If such a contest had raged in any Greek city, the 
streets would have run with blood. But, even in the paroxysms of fac- 
tion, the Roman retained his gravity, his respect for law, and his tender- 
ness for the lives of his fellow-citizens. Year after year Licinius and Sex- 
tius were re-elected tribunes. Year after year, if the narrative which has 
come down to us is to be trusted, they continued to exert, to the full ex- 
tent, their power of stopping the whole machine of government. No cu- 
rule magistrate could be chosen ; no military muster could be held. We 
know too little of the state of Rome in those days to be able to conjecture 
how, during that long anarchy, the peace was kept, and ordinary justice 
administered between man and man. The animosity of botli parties rose 
to the greatest height. The excitement, we may well suppose, would 
have been peculiarly intense at the annual election of tribunes. On such 
occasions there can be little doubt that the great families did all that 
could be done, by threats and caresses, to break the union of the plebe- 
ians. That union, however, proved indissoluble. At length the good 
cause triumphed. The Licinian laws were carried. Lucius Sextius was 
the first plebeian consul, Caius Licinius the third. 

" The results of this great change were singularly happy and glorious. 
Two centuries of prosperity, harmony, and victory followed the reconcil- 
iation of the orders. Men who remembered Rome engaged in waging 
petty wars almost within sight of the Capitol lived to see her the mistress 
of Italy. While the disabilities of the plebeians continued, she was 
scarcely able to maintain her ground against the Volscians and Herni- 
cians. When those disabilities were removed, she rapidly became more 
than a match for Carthage and Macedon. 

"During the great Licinian contest the plebeian poets were, doubtless, 
not silent Even in modern times songs have been by no means without 
influence on public affairs ; and we may therefore infer that, in a society 
where printing was unknown and where books were rare, a pathetic or 


humorous party-ballad must have produced effects such as we can but 
faintly conceive. It is certain that satirical poems were common at Rome 
from a very early period. The rustics, who lived at a distance from the 
seat of government, and took little part in the strife of factions, gave vent 
to their petty local animosities in coarse Fescennine verse. The lam- 
poons of the city were doubtless of a higher order ; and their sting was 
early felt by the nobility. For in the Twelve Tables, long before the 
time of the Licinian laws, a severe punishment was denounced against 
the citizen who should compose or recite verses reflecting on another.* 
Satire is, indeed, the only sort of composition in which the Latin poets 
whose works have come down to us were not mere imitators of foreign 
models ; and it is therefore the only sort of composition in which they 
have never been rivalled. It was not, like their tragedy, their comedy, 
their epic and lyric poetry, a hot-house plant which, in return for assidu- 
ous and skilful culture, gave only scanty and sickly fruits. It was hardy 
and full of sap ; and in all the various juices which it yielded might be 
distinguished the flavor of the Ausonian soil. 'Satire,' said Quintilian, 
with just pride, 'is all our own.' Satire sprang, in truth, naturally from 
the constitution of the Roman government and from the spirit of the Ro- 
man people, and, though at length subjected to metrical rules derived 
from Greece, retained to the last an essentially Roman character. Lu- 
cilius was the earliest satirist whose works were held in esteem under 
the Caesars. But, many years before Lucilius was born, Naevkis had been 
flung into a dungeon and guarded there with circumstances of unusual 
rigor, on account of the bitter lines in which he had attacked the great 
Caecilian family.t The genius and spirit of the Roman satirists survived 
the liberty of their country, and were not extinguished by the cruel des- 
potism of the Julian and Flavian emperors. The great poet who told the 
story of Domitian's turbot was the legitimate successor of those forgot- 
ten minstrels whose songs animated the factions of the infant republic. 

" Those minstrels, as Niebuhr has remarked, appear to have generally 
taken the popular side. We can hardly be mistaken in supposing that, 
at the great crisis of the civil conflict, they employed themselves in versi- 
fying all the most powerful and virulent speeches of the tribunes, and in 
heaping abuse on the leaders of the aristocracy. Every personal defect, 
every domestic scandal, every tradition dishonorable to a noble house, 
would be sought out, brought into notice, and exaggerated. The illus- 
trious head of the aristocratical party, Marcus Furius Camillus, might 
perhaps be, in some measure, protected by his venerable age and by the 
memory of his great services to the state. But Appius Claudius Cras- 
sus enjoyed no such immunity. He was descended from a long line of 
ancestors distinguished by their haughty demeanor and by the inflexi- 
bility with which they had withstood all the demands of the plebeian or- 

* Cicero justly infers from tliis law that there had been early Latin poets whose 
works had been lost before his time. " Quamquam id quidem etiam xii tabulae dec!a- 
rant, condi jam turn solitum esse carmen, quod ne liceret fieri ad alterius injuriam lege 
sanxerunt ( Tusc. iv. 2). 

t Plautus, Miles G.ortosus Aulus Gellius, iii. 3. 



der. While the political conduct and the deportment of the Clau'dian 
nobles drew upon them the fiercest public hatred, they were accused of 
wanting, if any credit is due to the early history of Rome, a class of qual- 
ities which, in a military commonwealth, is sufficient to cover a multitude 
of offences. The chiefs of the family appear to have been eloquent, 
versed in civil business, and learned after the fashion of their age ; but 
in war they were not distinguished by skill or valor. Some of them, as 
if conscious where their weakness lay, had, when filling the highest mag- 
istracies, taken internal administration as their department of public busi- 
ness, and left the military command to their colleagues.* One of them 
had been intrusted with an army, and had failed ignominiously.t None 
of them had been honored with a triumph. None of them had achieved 
any martial exploit, such as those by which Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, 
Titus Quinctius Capitolinus, Aulus Cornelius Cossus, and, above all, the 
great Camillus, had extorted the reluctant esteem of the multitude. Dur- 
ing the Licinian conflict, Appi us Claudius Crassus signalized himself by 
the ability and severity with which he harangued against the two great 
agitators. He would naturally, therefore, be the favorite mark of the 
plebeian satirists ; nor would they have been at a loss to find a point on 
which he was open to attack. 

" His grandfather, called, like himself, Appius Claudius, had left a name 
as much detested as that of Sexttis Tarquinius. This elder Appius had 
been consul more than seventy years before the introduction of the Li- 
cinian laws. By availing himself of a singular crisis in public feeling, he 
had obtained the consent of the Commons to the abolition of the tribune- 
ship, and had been the chief of that Council of Ten to which the whole 
direction of the state had been committed. In a few months his admin- 
istration had become universally odious. It had been swept away by an 
irresistible outbreak of popular fury ; and its memory was still held in 
abhorrence by the whole city. The immediate cause of the downfall of 
this execrable government was said to have been an attempt made by 
Appius Claudius upon the chastity of a beautiful young girl of humble 
birth. The story ran that the Decemvir, unable to succeed by bribes and 
solicitations, resorted to an outrageous act of tyranny. A vile dependant 
of the Claudian house laid claim to the damsel as his slave. The cause 
was brought before the tribunal of Appius. The wicked magistrate, in 
defiance of the clearest proofs, gave judgment for the claimant. But the 
girl's father, a brave soldier, saved her from servitude and dishonor by 
stabbing her to the heart in the sight of the whole Forum. That blow 
was the signal for a general explosion. Camp and city rose at once ; the 
Ten were pulled down ; the tribuneship was re-established ; and Appius 
escaped the hands of the executioner only by a voluntary death. 

"It can hardly be doubted that a story so admirably adapted to the 
purposes both of the poet and of the demagogue would be eagerly seized 
upon by minstrels burning with hatred against the patrician order, against 
the Claudian House, and especially against the grandson and namesake 
of the infamous Decemvir. 

* In the years of the city 260, 304, 330. t In the year of the city 282. 


" In order that the reader may judge fairly of these fragments of the Lay 
of Virginia, he must imagine himself a plebeian who has just voted for 
the re-election of Sextius and Licinius. All the power of the patricians 
has been exerted to throw out the two great champions of the Commons. 
Every Posthumius, vEmilius, and Cornelius has used his influence to the 
utmost. Debtors have been let out of the workhouses on condition of 
voting against the men of the people ; clients have been posted to hiss 
and interrupt the favorite candidates ; Appius Claudius Crassus has 
spoken with more than his usual eloquence and asperity ; all has been in 
vain ; Licinius and Sextius have a fifth time carried all the tribes ; work 
is suspended ; the booths are closed ; the plebeians bear on their shoul- 
ders the two champions of liberty through the Forum. Just at this mo- 
ment it is announced that a popular poet, a zealous adherent of the trib- 
unes, has made a new song which will cut the Claudian nobles to the 
heart. The crowd gathers round him, and calls on him to recite it. He 
takes his stand on the spot where, according to tradition, Virginia, more 
than seventy years ago, was seized by the pander of Appius, and he be- 
gins his story." 

3. Tribunes. See on Horatius, 267 above. 

10. Of fountains running -wine. A familiar touch of fancy in ancient 
legends, as in those of later times. 

11. Of maids with snaky tresses. Like the Gorgon Medusa, slain by 
Perseus. Athena afterwards placed her head, which was so terrible that 
whosoever looked at it was turned to stone, in the centre of her aegis. 

12. Sailors turned to swine. The allusion is to the transformation of 
the companions of Odysseus by the enchantress Circe. 

20. The wicked Ten. The Decemvirs. In 462 B.C. a law was proposed 
by the tribune C. Terentillus Arsa that a commission should be appoint- 
ed for drawing up a code of laws. At that time none but the patricians 
knew the laws, so that they were able to take advantage of the plebeians. 
The proposition was bitterly opposed by the patricians, and it was only 
after a struggle of nine years that they consented to send a commission 
of three men to Greece to collect information about the laws and customs 
of the Greeks. In 45 1 B.C. the Decemvirs, all patricians, were appointed. 
The whole government of the state was put into their hands, all other 
magistrates, including the tribunes, being obliged to abdicate. Each of 
the Decemvirs governed one day in turn, and the fasces were carried only 
before the one in power. During the first year their rule was just and 
impartial, and, as their work was unfinished at the end of the year, De- 
cemvirs were again chosen, of whom Appius Claudius alone belonged to 
the former body. These second Decemvirs acted in a most tyrannical 
fashion. Twelve lictors with the axes and fasces attended each. They 
made common cause with the patricians, and inflicted all manner of out- 
rages on plebeians. Finally, the act of Appius Claudius here described 
led to their deposition and the re-establishment of the usual magistrates. 
The story, like most of the early Roman legends, is full of improbabili- 
ties, of which the most glaring is the statement that a commission was 
sent from Rome to Greece to get material for a code of laws. 



27. Twelve axes. That is, lictors. See on Lake Kegilliis, 2 above. 

30. Askance. Obliquely. Cowper (Homer's Jliad, xi.) writes "with 
his eyes askant." The literal sense is "on the slope." It is little else 
than another form of aslant. 

32. Alway. See on Horatius, 68 above. 

40. Client. See on Lake Regillns, 325 above. 

45. Such varlets pimp and jest for hire, etc. The reference is to the 
parasites, or professional diners-out, who are so admirably delineated in 
the comedies of Plautus and Terence. They tried to amuse people with 
their jests, and cheerfully bore all sorts of humiliation and ridicule for 
the sake of getting a good dinner without paying for it. A specimen 
of the wit of some of these buffoons, who in later times existed at Rome 
as well, is given by Horace in his Journey to Brundisium (Satires, i. 5. 
52 fol.). 

Varlet. The older spelling was vaslet, which is for vassalet, a diminu- 
tive of vassal. It meant originally a young vassal, a youth ; hence a ser- 
vant (valet) ; and finally it came to be a term of reproach. 

46. The lying Greeks. The Romans had a profound contempt for the 
Greeks, whom they looked on as false and cunning. See Juvenal, iii. 74 : 

" Ede. quid ilium 

Esse putes ? quern vis hominem secum attulit ad DOS : 
Grammaticus. rhetor, geometres, pictor, aliptes, 
Augur, schoenobates. medicus, magus, omnia novit 
Graeculus esuriens : in caelum, iusseris, ibit. 

6l. Her small tablets. These tablets consisted of two, or sometimes 
three, thin pieces of wood, of which the outer surfaces were plain, while 
the inner were covered with wax, 
surrounded by a narrow rim of wood. 
They were written on by means of 
the stylus, which was an iron instru- 
ment resembling a pencil in size and 
shape. At one end it was sharpened 
to a point for writing on the wax, 
while the other was flat and circular 
for erasing what had been written. 

63. From the school. The schools 
were then kept in booths or stalls 
around the forum. 

69. The Sacred Street. The Sac ra 
Via, one of the most ancient and 
important streets of Rome, ascend- 
ing from the forum to the citadel on the Capitoline hill. Along it every 
month the white sheep that was sacrificed on the ides to Jupiter was borne 
to the citadel. Thence the augurs too descended by this road. 

73. How for a sport the princes, etc. When Tarquin was besieging 
Ardea (see on Lake Regillns, 619 above) the king's sons and their cousin 
Tarquinius Collatinus got into a dispute about the merits of their wive?. 
As nothing was going on at Ardea, they mounted their horses, intend- 
ing to return to their homes unexpectedly. They first went to Rome, 




where they surprised the king's daughters at a splendid banquet. From 
there they hastened to Collatia where, although it was already late at 
night, they found Lucretia among her handmaids spinning. 

92. Curled the thin -wreaths of smoke. Wilkins, in his Primer of Roman 
Antiquities, comparing the appearance of a Roman and an English town, 
says: "The faint blue smoke that curled gently up from the atrium fur- 
nished a magic veil very different from the dingy pall that broods over 
English towns." 

94. The Forum. See on Lake Regilltts, 7 above. 

99. Panniers. Strictly bread-baskets (from the Latin panis, bread). 

i?8. Punic. Carthaginian. Cf. Capys, in, 173. 

130. Brand. A sword. See on Horatius, 189 above. 

131. Flesher. Butcher; properly a Scottish word. 

139. Caitiff. A mean fellow, a wretch ; originally merely a captive, 
from the Latin captivus, through the old French chaitif (now chetif). 

147. The year of the sore sickness. In the year 463 B.C. a great plague 
raged at Rome. The consul P. Servilius Priscus, and the augurs M. Va- 
lerius and T. Virginius Rutilus died of it. See Livy, iii. 7. According 
to this, Virginia would be but fourteen years old in 449 when these events 
took place, but the Roman girls matured young. 

1 50. The month of -wail and fright. September was always an unhealthy 
month at Rome, and in later times those who could do so left the city then 
for country or seaside resorts. See Horace, 

Epistles, i. 16. 16 : " Incolumem tibi me prae- 
stant Septembribus horis ;" and Odes, ii. 14. 

" Frustra per autumnos nocentem 
Corporibus metuemus austrum.' 

151. Augurs. For the derivation and 
meaning of the word, see on Horatius, 388 
above. The college of augurs originally con- 
sisted of three members, but the number was 
afterwards increased to nine. The only dis- 
tinction in the college was one of age; an 
elder augur always voted before a younger, 
even if the latter held one of the higher of- 
fices in the state. See Cicero, De Senectute, 
18.64: " Multa in nostro collegio praeclara, 
sed hoc ... in primis, quod, ut quisque aetate 
antecedit, ita sententiae principatum tenet, 
neque solum honore antecedentibus, sed eis 
etiam, qui cum imperio sunt, maiores natu 
augures anteponuntur." As insignia of their 
office they wore the trabea, a saffron robe or- 
namented with horizontal stripes of purple, 
and carried the lituns, a curved wand, which 
is often represented in various forms on works 
of art. 

177. That column, etc. The monument in 

I 7 4 NOTES. 

the forum known as the pila Horatio, (or Iforatiaiia). It was erected in 
the reign of Tullus Hostilius, to commemorate the victory of the three 
Horatii over the Curatii, and bore the spoils taken from the latter. See 
Livy, i. 26. 

187. Quirites. Originally the inhabitants of the Sabine town of Cures. 
After the Sabines and the Romans had united in one community, under 
Romulus, the name of Quirites was taken in addition to Romani, the Ro- 
mans calling themselves in a civil capacity Quirites, while in a political 
and military capacity they retained the name of Romani. It was a re- 
proach for soldiers to be called Quirites, and Suetonius (Casar, 70) says 
that Caesar once quelled a mutiny by addressing the rebellious soldiers 
as " Quirites." 

189. Servius. Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome, who, according 
to the tradition, reformed the Roman constitution, and established the 
Comitia Centnriata. He divided the entire population, plebeians and 
patricians alike, into five great classes on the basis of wealth. Each of 
the classes was divided into a certain number of centuries or companies, 
half of which consisted of seniores from the age of 46 to 60, and half of 
juniores from 17 to 45. At the head of the classes were the equites 
(see on Lake Regillus, 3 above). The five classes formed 192 centuries, 
including four centuries of smiths, carpenters, and horn-blowers, each 
century having one vote. Citizens whose property was less than 12,500 
asses of copper were not included in the classes, and formed a single 
century. This arrangement, which gave the balance of power to wealth 
and age, seems to have continued unchanged until after the First Punic 
War. At some time between the First and Second Punic Wars, a new 
arrangement was made on the basis of the 35 tribes. The old division 
into five classes was retained, but for each tribe there were two centuries 
of each class, which with the 18 centuries of knights, the guilds of horn- 
blowers, smiths, and carpenters, and a century of those who had no prop- 
erty, made 373 in all. 

193. JDid those false sons, etc. Lucius Junius Brutus, the liberator and 
first consul of Rome, put to death his two sons, when they were detected 
with some other young Roman nobles in a conspiracy to restore Tar- 
quin. Cf. Virgil, ^Eneid,^. 820 foil. : 

"natosque pater nova bella moventes 
Ad poenam pulchra pro libertate vocabit, 
Infelix ! Utcumque ferent ea facta minores, 
Vincet amor patnae laudumque immensa cupido." 

195. Sccwola. When King Porsena was besieging Rome, C. Mucius, 
a young patrician, went out of the city, telling the senate he was going 
not for plunder, but for some noble deed. He attempted to assassinate 
the king, but by mistake killed his secretary, who was dressed very much 
like the king himself. When seized and brought before Porsena, he 
boldly declared his design of killing the king himself, and told him that 
there were many more Roman youths who had sworn to take his life. 
Porsena ordered him to be burnt alive, unless he would more fully ex- 
plain his threat, when Mucius thrust his right hand into a fire which was 


lighted for a sacrifice, and held it there until it was entirely consumed. 
The king was so amazed at his firmness that he bade him go away free. 
Mucius then told him that three hundred of the noblest young men at 
Rome had sworn to kill the king, and that the lot had first fallen on him. 
Porsena became alarmed, and made proposals of peace to the Romans. 
Mucius, on account of the loss of his right hand, received the name of 
Sccevola, or left-handed. He was given a tract of land across the Tiber 
called the Alucia, Praia. 

197. Fox-earth. The fox's hole ; used here for the animal itself. 

204. The Sncred Hill. See on Lake Regillus, 14 above. 

207. The Martian fnry. The reference is to Caius Marcus, surnamed 
Coriolanus, from his capture of Corioli, who was exiled by the plebeians 
because he attempted to force them to give up their tribunes, advising 
the senate, if they refused, not to distribute to them a present of corn 
which had come from Sicily in a time of famine. He went to Antium and 
led the Volscians against Rome. He took town after town, and advanced 
within five miles of the city, ravaging the lands of the plebeians, but spar- 
ing those of the patricians. After distinguished embassies had been sent 
in vain, he yielded to the prayers of a delegation of the noblest matrons 
headed by his aged mother Veturia and his wife Volumnia.* He led 
the Volscians home again and was put to death by them. See Shake- 
speare's Coriolanus. In addition to the many improbabilities in the story, 
Livy tells us that Scipio Africanus (201 B.C.) was the first Roman to re- 
ceive a surname from his conquests. See on Lake Regillus, 84 above. 

208. The Fabian Pride. See on Luke Regillus, 356 above. 

209. The fiercest Qtiinctius. Caeso, son of L. Quinctius Cincinnatus, 
the dictator, distinguished himself as a violent opponent of the plebeians. 
He was a high spirited young man, distinguished for his strength and 
size. He and his companions, as Livy tells us (iii. n), often drove the 
tribunes from the forum and put the plebeians to flight. He was brought 
to trial by one of the tribunes, and in spite of his father's efforts was in 
danger of condemnation through the evidence of one Volscius. He fled 
from the city, forfeiting his bail, which was mercilessly exacted from his 
father. Volscius was afterwards arraigned and went into voluntary ban- 
ishment. Caeso died in exile. 

211. The haughtiest Claudius. Probably the decemvir's grandfather, 
who was a bitter enemy of the plebeians. 

221. No crier to the foiling, etc. The people were called together 
for voting by three distinct acts. The first was a general invitation 
(inlicium) to come to the assembly. While the invitation was being 
proclaimed, a horn was blown. When upon this signal the people as- 
sembled in irregular masses, there followed a second call, when the 
crowd separated, grouping themselves according to their ages and class- 
es. Hereupon the consul appeared, and led the exercitus, as it was called 
(the arrangement was originally for military purposes), out of the city to 
the Campus Martius, where the election took place. 

Plutarch calls his mother Volumnia and his wife Virgilia ; and Shakespeare follows 
Plutarch in this. 

i 7 6 


229. The holy fillets. The insignia of the priesthoods, to which the 
patricians alone were eligible. See on Capys, 71 below. 

230. The purple gown. Not entirely of purple, but with a broad purple 
border ; the toga praetexla, the badge of senatorial rank. Togas wholly 
of purple were worn by the Roman emperors ; they seem to have been 
first assumed by Julius Caesar. 

231. The curule chair. The sella curulis, or chair of state, originally a 
symbol of kingly power. Cf. 488 and 532 below. Under the republic 
the right of sitting on this chair belonged to the consuls, praetors, curule 
aediles, and censors ; also to 

the dictator and the magis- 
ter equitum (all of which 
offices were open only to 
patricians at this time). It 
was very plain, resembling 
a common folding camp- 
stool, but with curved legs. 
The cut shows a curule j 
chair, and also two pair of I 
bronze legs for such chairs. 
It has been supposed that 
the word curulis was derived 
from turvus, from the shape 
of the chair, but it seems to < 
be an adjective from currus, 
a chariot or car. 

232. The far. The quadriga, or four-horse chariot, in which the Ro- 
man generals and emperors rode when they triumphed. The laurel crown 
was also one of the tri- 
umphal insignia. 

233. Cohorts. The cohort 
was a tenth part of the le- 
gion. See on Capys, 180 

238. Leech -craft. Medi- 
cal skill. See on 367 and 
433 below. 

239. Usance. Interest paid 
for the use of money, here 
used as synonymous with 
usury. Cf. Shakespeare, 
M. of V. \. 3. 46 : " Brings 
down the rate of usance 
here in Venice." 

244. Noisome. Annoying, QUADRIGA. 

offensive. Formed from the 

MiddleEnglish noy, annoyance, with the suffix some, as in winsome. Noy 
is a contraction of anoy. It is not connected (as noise and nuisance are) 
with the Latin verb nocere, but is derived from in odio as employed in 
certain common idiomatic phrases (in odio habere, etc.). 




246. In dog-slar heat. The period of most intense heat, which at one 
time corresponded with the heliacal rising of Sirius, the dog-star, was 
called in the language of the people Canis Exortus long after the two 
periods of time no longer corresponded ; just as among ourselves the 
term dog-days is used without regard to the actual position of the constel- 
lation at the time. The allusions to the dog-star in Latin poetry are 
numerous. Horace calls \\. flagrant, burning, and rubra, red. See also 
Virgil, sEneid, iii. 141 : "turn sterilis exurere Sirius agros." 

248. Holes for free-born feet. That is, stocks in which the feet were 

260. And ancient Alban kings. The town of Alba Longa (see on 
Capys, 3 below) was older than Rome. According to the tradition, Asca- 
nius, sou of Aeneas, founded Alba three hundred years before the found- 
ing of Rome by Romulus. See Virgil, ALneid, \. 267-277. 

265. In Corinthian mirrors. The mirrors of the ancients were com- 
monly made of metal, at first of a composition of tin and copper, after- 
wards usually of silver, but sometimes of gold and precious stones. Sil- 
ver mirrors are mentioned by Plautus, but the mirrors here referred to are 
likely to have been of bronze. Corinth was celebrated for its bronze 
work. The finest bronze known to the Romans was called aes Co- 
rinthiacnm, which was said to have been an alloy made accidentally, 
in the first instance, by the melting and running together of various met- 
als, especially gold and bronze, at the burning of Corinth by Mummius, 
146 B.C. 

267. Caption odors. An allusion to the luxury of Capua. Cf. 328 be- 
low, and see on Lake Regillus, 568 above. 

268. Spanish gold. The Spanish peninsula abounded in mines of pre- 
cious metals, which made it attractive to civilized nations from the earliest 

289-356. Straightway Virginius led the maid, etc. Professor Wilson 
(Blachvood, vol. 52, p. 819) remarks : " This is the only passage in the vol- 
ume that can be called in the usual sense of the word pathetic. It is, 
indeed, the only passage in which Mr. Macaulay has sought to stir up 
that profound emotion. Has he succeeded ? We hesitate not to say he 
has, to our heart's desire. Pity and terror are both there but pity is the 
stronger ; and, though we almost fear to say it, horror there is none or, 
if there be, it subsides wholly towards the close, which is followed by a 
feeling of peace. This effect has been wrought simply by letting the 
course of the-great natural affections flow on, obedient to the promptings 
of a sound, manly heart, unimpeded and undiverted by any alien influ- 
ences, such as are but too apt to steal in upon inferior minds when deal- 
ing imaginatively with severe trouble, and to make them forget, in the in- 
dulgence of their own self-esteem, what a sacred thing is misery." 

291. Shambles. Stalls on which butchers expose meat for sale ; hence 
a slaughter-house. Here the word has its original meaning. It is de- 
rived, with an excrescent b (as in number from nutrients, etc.), from the 
Latin scamellum, a little bench or stool. 

295. The great snuer. The famous Cloaca Jlfajrirria, said to have been 
made by Tarquinius Priscus to carry off the waters from the valley of 

i 7 8 



the forum to the Tiber. It still 
serves to some extent its orig- 
inal purpose. It was of great 
size, the archway where it emp- 
ties into the Tiber being about 
twelve feet high. Strabo says 
that a cart loaded with hay could 
pass through the cloaca in some 
places. Pliny wondered that it 
had endured for seven hundred 
years, but it has now remained 
for eighteen additional centuries, 
and seems likely to last as many 
298. Whittle. Knife. Cf. Shakespeare, T. of A. v. I. 173 : 

" There 's not a whittle in the unruly camp 
But I do prize it at my love before 
The reverend's! throat in Athens." 

314. Civic crown. The corona civilis (or civica), a wreath of oak leaves, 
which was given for preserving the life of a citizen in battle and slaying 
an enemy. The possession of this 
crown was so high an honor that its 
attainment was subject to very severe 
regulations. Before the claim was 
allowed, it must be proved that the 
claimant had saved the life of a Ro- 
man citizen in battle, slain his oppo- 
nent, and maintained the ground on 
which the action took place. The 
testimony of a third person was not 
accepted ; the person rescued must 
himself proclaim the fact, which 
through envy he was often unwilling 
to do. The soldier who had once 
won the crown might always wear it ; 
he had a place reserved for him next 
the senate at all public spectacles ; 
and they, as well as the rest of the 
company, arose at his entrance. He 
was freed from all public burdens, as 

were his father and paternal grand- CORONA CIVICA. 

father. Julius Csesar won this dis- 
tinction in his early life, at the siege of Mytilene, 80 B.C. 
honors, this was voted to Augustus by the senate as the perpetual pre- 
server of the citizens. See Virgil, ^neid, vi. 772 : " Atque umbrata ge- 
runt civili tempora quercu." 

328. Capua's marble halls. See on 267 above. 

367. A leech. A physician ; from the A. S. laece, which means the same, 
and is connected with A. S. Idcnian, to heal. See Shakespeare, T. of A. 
v. 4.84: 

Like other 


" make each 
Prescribe to other as each other's leech ;" 

I 79 

and Spenser, F. Q. Hi. 4. 43 : " For Tryphon of sea gods the soveraine 
leach is hight." 

383. The judgment-seat. The tribunal where Appius was sitting. 

385. O dwellers in the nether gloom. The gods of the lower world and 
the manes, or spirits of the dead. N^et/ier lower ; ther being a compara- 
tive suffix added to ni, downward. Cf. Shakespeare, Lear, iv. 2. 79 : " Our 
nether crimes" (committed on earth). 

409. The press. The crowd, throng. Cf. Shakespeare, J. C. i. 2. 15 : 
" Who is it in the press that calls on me ?" 

419. Porches. Porticoes, or walks covered with roofs which were sup- 
ported by columns. They were either attached to temples and other 
public buildings, or built independent of any other edifice. They were 
very numerous and extensive about the forum, and were used for the 
transaction of business and as lounging-places. 

426. With many a cypress crown. The cypress was the emblem of 
mourning. A branch of it was placed before the door of a house in which 
a dead body lay, that no one might enter and be polluted unawares by the 
presence of death. See also Virgil, sEiieid, vi. 216: "et feralis ante cu- 
pressos Constituunt." 

433. Crafts. Occupations, business. Originally craft meant skill, abil- 
ity ; it is from the A. S. craeft, power. Cf. leech-craft, 238 above. 

437, 438. The voice of grief and fury, etc. The reading of the early eds. 

" Till then the voice of pity 
And fury was not loud." 

447. Sheaf of twigs. That is, the fasces. 

455. The Pincian Hill. Originally called Collis Hortsrnm, on account 
of the gardens which covered it. Here was the famous villa of Lucullus. 
The hill got its name of Pincian at a late period of the Empire, when the 
Pincian family built a magnificent palace upon it. This palace was the 
residence of Belisarius during his defence of Rome. 

456. The Latin Gate. This gate originally stood over the Latin road 
(Via Latino], which led to Tusculum (Frascati). It is was walled up in 1808. 

463. And breakitig-iip of benches. When Tiberius Gracchus was slain 
by the "mob of gentlemen," his assailants armed themselves in this way. 
The benches in the present case stood around the tribunal of the decemvir. 

487. Potsherds. Bits of pottery. A sherd is a shred, or fragment. It 
is also spelled shard. It means literally " a broken thing," from the A. S. 
adj. sceard, broken. For the uncompounded word, see Hamlet, v. I. 254 : 
" Shards, flints, and pebbles should be thrown on her." 

497. Cui'nf of Corioli. See on 207 above. 

501. Furitis. M. Furius Camillus, who was said to have forced the 
Gauls to leave Rome, after their capture of the city in 390 B.C. ; and also 
to have taken Veii from the Etruscans. 

513. A Cossus. See on Lake Regillus, 419 above. 

515. A Fahius. See on 208 above. 

551. When raves the Adriatic. The navigation of the Adriatic was 

l8o NOTES. 

much dreaded, on account of the frequent and sudden storms to which it 
was subject. Its bad character in this respect is often alluded to by 
Horace. Cf. Odes, iii. 3. 5 : " Dux inquieti turbidus Hadriae." See also 
Lake Regillus, 27 and 647 fol. above. 

553. The Calabrian sea-marks. For Calabria, see on Lake Regillus, 294 
above. The sea-marks are light-houses or beacons. Pliny mentions the 
light-houses at Ostia and Ravenna, and says there were similar towers at 
many other places. The name pharos was given to them all from the 
celebrated light-house at the entrance of the port of Alexandria, which 
was the model for their construction. The pharos at Bi undisium was 
like that at Alexandria, an island with a light-house upon it 

555. The great Thunder-cape. Acroceraunia, a very rocky promontory 
in Epirus, extending into the Ionian sea, nearly opposite Brundisium, 
which rendered navigation very dangerous. Cf. Horace, Odes, i. 3. 20 : 
" Infames scopulos Acroceraunia." It is said to have received its name 
on account of the many thunder-storms which visited it. See Byron, 
Childe Harold, iv. 73 : 

"And in Chimari heard the thunder hills of fear, 
Th' Acroceraunian mountains of old name." 

564. And swayed from side to side. Cf. Virgil, jEneid, v. 469 : " lac- 
tantemque utroque caput." 


MACAULAY'S introduction to the poem is as follows : 

" It can hardly be necessary to remind any reader that, according to 
the popular tradition, Romulus, after he had slain his grand-uncle Aniu- 
lius, and restored his grandfather Numitor, determined to quit Alba, the 
hereditary domain of the Sylvian princes, and to found a new city. The 
gods, it was added, vouchsafed the clearest signs of the favor with which 
they regarded the enterprise, and of the high destinies reserved for the 
young colony. 

" This event was likely to be a favorite theme of the old Latin minstrels. 
They would naturally attribute the project of Romulus to some divine in- 
timation of the power and prosperity which it was decreed that his city 
should attain. They would probably introduce seers foretelling the vic- 
tories of unborn consuls and dictators, and the last great victory would 
generally occupy the most conspicuous place in the prediction. There is 
nothing strange in the supposition that the poet who was employed to 
celebrate the first great triumph of the Romans over the Greeks might, 
throw his song of exultation into this form. 

"The occasion was one likely to excite the strongest feelings of national 
pride. A great outrage had been followed by a great retribution. Seven 
years before this time, Lucius Posthumius Megellus, who sprang from one 
of the noblest houses -of Rome, and had been thrice consul, was sent am- 
bassador to Tarentum, with charge to demand reparation for grievous in- 
juries. The Tarentines gave him audience in their theatre, where he ad- 


dressed them in such Greek as he could command, which, we may well 
believe, was not exactly such as Cineas would have spoken. An exquisite 
sense of the ridiculous belonged to the Greek character ; and closely con- 
nected with this faculty was a strong propensity to flippancy and imperti- 
nence. When Posthumius placed an accent wrong, his hearers burst into 
a laugh. When he remonstrated, they hooted him, and called him bar- 
barian, and at length hissed him off the stage as if he had been a bad 
actor. As the grave Roman retired, a buffoon who, from his constant 
drunkenness, was nicknamed the Pint-pot, came up with gestures of the 
grossest indecency, and bespattered the senatorial gown with filth. Post- 
humius turned round to the multitude, and held up the gown, as if ap- 
pealing to the universal law of nations. The sight only increased the 
insolence of the Tarentines. They clapped their hands, and set up a 
shout of laughter which shook the theatre. 'Men of Tarentum, 1 said 
Posthumius, 'it will take not a little blood to wash this gown.'* 

" Rome, in consequence of this insult, declared war against the Taren- 
tines. The Tarentines sought for allies beyond the Ionian Sea. Pyrrhus, 
King of Epirus, came to their help with a large army ; and, for the first time, 
the two great nations of antiquity were fairly matched against each other. 

"The fame of Greece in arms as well as in arts was then at the height 
Half a century earlier, the career of Alexander had excited the admirar 
tion and terror of all nations from the Ganges to the Pillars of Hercules. 
Royal houses, founded by Macedonian captains, still reigned at Antioch 
and Alexandria. That barbarian warriors, led by barbarian chiefs, should 
win a pitched battle against Greek valor, guided by Greek science, seemed 
as incredible as it would now seem that the Burmese or the Siamese 
should, in the open plain, put to flight an equal number of the best Eng- 
glish troops. The Tarentines were convinced that their countrymen 
were irresistible in war ; and this conviction had emboldened them to 
treat with the grossest indignity one whom they regarded as the repre- 
sentative of an inferior race. Of the Greek generals then living, Pyrrhus 
was indisputably the first. Among the troops who were trained in the 
Greek discipline his Epirotes ranked high. His expedition to Italy was 
a turning-point in the history of the world. He found there a people 
who, far inferior to the Athenians and Corinthians in the fine arts, in the 
speculative sciences, and in all the refinements of life, were the best sol- 
diers on the face of the earth. Their arms, their gradations of rank, their 
order of battle, their method of intrenchment, were all of Latin origin, and 
had all been gradually brought near to perfection, not by the study of 
foreign models, but by the genius and experience of many generations of 
great native commanders. The first words which broke from the king, 
when his practised eye had surveyed the Roman encampment, were full 
of meaning: 'These barbarians.' he said, 'have nothing barbarous in 
their military arrangements.' He svas at first victorious ; for his own 
talents were superior to those of the captains who were opposed to him ; 
and the Romans were not prepared for the onset of the elephants of the 
East, which were then for the first time seen in Italy moving moun- 

* Dion. Hal., De Legationibus. 

182 NOTES. 

tains, with long snakes for hands.* But the victories of the Epirotes 
were fiercely disputed, dearly purchased, and altogether unprofitable. 
At length, Manius Curius Dentatus, who had in his first consulship 
won two triumphs, was again placed at the head of the Roman com- 
monwealth, and sent to encounter the invaders. A great battle was 
fought near Beneventum. Pyrrhus was completely defeated. He re- 
passed the sea ; and the world learned with amazement that a people had 
been discovered who, in fair fighting, were superior to the best troops 
that had been drilled on the system of Parmenio and Antigonus. 

"The conquerors had a good right to exult in their success ; for their 
glory was all their own. They had not learned from their enemy how to 
conquer him. It was with their own national arms, and in their own na- 
tional battle-array, that they had overcome weapons and tactics long be- 
lieved to be invincible. The pilum and the broadsword had vanquished 
the Macedonian spear. The legion had broken the Macedonian phalanx. 
Even the elephants, when the surprise produced by their first appearance 
was over, could cause no disorder in the steady yet flexible battalions of 

" It is said by Florus, and may easily be believed, that the triumph far 
surpassed in magnificence any that Rome had previously seen. The only 
spoils which Papirius Cursor and Fabius Maximus could exhibit were 
flocks and herds, wagons of rude structure, and heaps of spears and 
helmets. But now, for the first time, the riches of Asia and the arts of 
Greece adorned a Roman pageant. Plate, fine stuffs, costly furniture, 
rare animals, exquisite paintings and sculptures, formed part of the pro- 
cession. At the banquet would be assembled a crowd of warriors and 
statesmen, among whom Manius Curius Dentatus would take the highest 
room. Caius Fabricius Luscinus, then, after two consulships and two 
triumphs, Censor of the Commonwealth, would doubtless occupy a place 
of honor at the board. In situations less conspicuous probably lay some 
of those who were, a few years later, the terror of Carthage Caius Du- 
ilius, the founder of the maritime greatness of his country ; Marcus Atilius 
Regulus, who owed to defeat a renown far higher than that which he had 
derived from his victories ; and Caius Lutatius Catulus, who, while suf- 
fering from a grievous wound, fought the great battle of the Agates, and 
brought the first Punic war to a triumphant close. It is impossible to re- 
count the names of these eminent citizens without reflecting that they 
were all, without exception, plebeians, and would, but for the ever-mem- 
orable struggle maintained by Caius Licinius and Lucius Sextius, have 
been doomed to hide in obscurity, or to waste in civil broils the capacity 
and energy which prevailed against Pyrrhus and Hamilcar. 

" On such a day we may suppose that the patriotic enthusiasm of a Latin 
poet would vent itself in reiterated shouts of lo triiimphe, such as were 
uttered by Horace on a far less exciting occasion, and in lx>asts resem- 
bling those which Virgil put into the mouth of Anchises. The superior- 
ity of some foreign nations, and especially of the Greeks, in the lazy arts 
of peace, would be admitted with disdainful candor; but pre-eminence in 

* Anguimanus is the old Latin epithet for an elephant (Lucretius, ii. 538, v. 1302). 


all the qualities which fit a people to subdue and govern mankind would 
be claimed for the Romans. 

"The following lay belongs to the latest age of Latin ballad-poetry. 
Naevius and Livius Andronicus were probably among the children whose 
mothers held them up to see the chariot of Curius go by. The minstrel 
who sang on that day might possibly have lived to read the first hexame- 
ters of Ennius, and to see the first comedies of Plautus. His poem, as 
might be expected, shows a much wider acquaintance with the geography, 
manners, and productions of remote nations than would have been found 
in compositions of the age of Camillus. But he troubles himself little 
about dates, and, having heard travellers talk with admiration of the Co- 
lossus of Rhodes, and of the structures and gardens with which the Mace- 
donian kings of Syria had embellished their residence on the banks of 
the Orontes, he has never thought of inquiring whether these things 
existed in the age of Romulus." 

Professor Wilson, in Blackwooii(%zz on Horatins, 482 above), remarks : 
" Perhaps the Prophecy ofCapys is the loftiest lay of the four. The child 
of Mars, and foster-son of the she-wolf, is wonderfully well exhibited 
throughout in his hereditary qualities ; and grandly in the Triumph, 
where the exultation breaks through that all this gold and silver is sub- 
servient to the Roman steel all the skill and craft of refinement and 
ingenuity must obey the voice of Roman valor. There are many such 
things scattered up and down Horace's Odes ; but we can scarcely re- 
member any that are more spirited, more racy, or more characteristic 
than these Lays ; and perhaps the nobility of the early Roman character 
is as fondly admired and as fitly appreciated by an English freeman as by 
a courtier of the reign of Augustus." 

1. King Amulhts. According to the legend, he was the younger son 
of Procas, King of Alba Longa, and deposed his brother Numitor. He 
allowed Numitor to live in retirement, but killed his only son and made 
his daughter Rhea Silvia a vestal virgin. By Mars she became the 
mother of twins, Romulus and Remus. Amulius ordered the mother and 
her babes to be drowned. Silvia became a goddess, and Romulus and 
Remus, who had been set adrift in a cradle, floated into the Tiber. A 
she-wolf took the children to her den and suckled them until they were 
discovered by Faustulus, a shepherd, who took the boys home, and gave 
them to his wife, Acca Laurentia, to bring up. When they grew up they 
restored Numitor to the throne and killed Amulius. 

2. Of the great Sylvian line. The line of kings descended from Asca- 
nius. Silvius, the son of Ascanius, is said to have been so called because 
he was born in the woods. All the succeeding kings of Alba bore the 
cognomen of Silvius. According to Virgil, Silvius was the son of ./Eneas. 
See ^Endil, vi. 763 : 

" Silvius, Albanum nomen, tua postuma proles, 
Quern tibi longaevo serum Lavinia coniunx 
Kdncet silvis regem regumque parentem. 
Unde genus Longa nostrum dominabitur Alba." 

3. Alba Longa. A city of Latium, on the eastern side of Lake Alba- 



nus and the northern slope of the Alban Mount. It was destroyed at a 
very early period, and most of its history is fabulous or poetical. Ac- 
cording to the legends, Alba was founded by Ascanius, the son of ^Eneas, 
thirty years after the founding of Lavinium. The names of a series of 
mythical kings are given, and it may possibly be admitted that a Silvian 
family was the reigning house at Alba. The city is said to have been de- 
stroyed by Tullus Hostilius as a punishment for the treachery of its gen- 
eral, Metius Fufetius. 

4, On the throne of Aventine. Aventinus was one of the mythical kings 
of Alba, and grandfather of Amulius. He is said to have reigned thirty- 
seven years. 

5. Gamers. Two mythical personages in the ^EneiJ bear this name. 
9. Alba's lake. Now called Lago di Albano ; a remarkable lake at the 

foot of the Alban Mount, twenty miles from Rome. It is of oval form, 


about six miles in circumference, and has no natural outlet, being sur- 
rounded on all sides by steep precipitous banks of volcanic tufa, some 
of which rise to a height of two or three hundred feet above the level of 
the lake. It is undoubtedly the crater of an extinct volcano. It is 918 
feet above the sea-level, and its waters are of great depth. In 379 B..C., 
according to Livy and Dionysius, the Romans built a tunnel to carry off 


the superfluous waters of the lake at the time of a great flood. The 
legend connects the tunnel with the siege of Veii. This remarkable work 
still continues to serve the purpose for which it was constructed. It is 
4^ feet wide and 6 feet high at its entrance. Its height, however, dimin- 
ishes rapidly to not over two feet, and it is impossible to penetrate more 
than 130 feet from the entrance. The entrance from the lake is through 
a flat archway, constructed of large blocks of peperino, with a kind of 
court or triangular space enclosed by massive masonry, and with a second 
archway over the actual opening of the tunnel. The opposite end of the 
tunnel is at a place called le Mole near Castel Savelli, about a mile from 
Albano, where the waters that issue from it form a considerable stream, 
now known as the Rivo Albano, 'which after fifteen miles joins the Tiber. 
The whole work is cut with the chisel, and is computed to have required 
a period of not less than ten years for its completion. 

n. Alto's oaks. The oaks on the Alban Mount, an isolated group of 
hills, now called Monti Albani, nearly forty miles in circumference. The 
Mons Albanus of the ancients (now Monte Cavo) is the highest peak, ris- 
ing about 3100 feet above the sea-level. On the top of this mountain 
stood the temple of Jupiter Latiaris (cf. Lucan, Pharsalia, i. 198 : " Et 
residens celsa Latiaris luppiter Alba"), the religious centre and place of 
worship of Latium before the Roman domination. Here too triumphs 
were celebrated by Roman generals who had failed to secure from the 
senate the honors of a regular triumph at Rome. Five instances of this 
kind of triumph are recorded, of which the most illustrious was that of 
Marcellus, after his capture of Syracuse in 212 B.C. The remains of the 
temple on the summit were destroyed in 1788, when the present convent 
was built ; but the great lava blocks of the Via Triumphalis leading up 
to it, with the marks of chariot-wheels on them, remain entire in some 
places. Virgil (/Eneid, xii. 134 fol!) represents Juno as standing on this 
height to survey the country, just as tourists do nowadays. 

20. A poplar crown. The poplar was sacred to Hercules. Cf. JEneid, 
v. 134 : " Cetera populea velatur fronde juventus.'' 

71. Holy fillets. The fillet (vittd) was made of red and white wool, which 
was slightly twisted, drawn into the form of a wreath, and used by the 
Romans for ornament on solemn and sacred occasions. It was tied to 
the heads of priests by a white ribbon. 

93. Capys. One of the kings of Alba bore this name. 

94. The sightless seer. Another instance of a blind prophet is Teiresias, 
who plays so prominent a part in the mythical history of Greece, particu- 
larly in the story of O2dipus. 

95. He trembled, etc. The effect of divine inspiration. Cf. Virgil, 
sEtiet'J, vi. 46 : 

"Cui talia fanti 

Ante fores subito non voltus, non color unus, 
Non comptae mansere comae ; sed pectus anhelum, 
Et rabie fera corda tument : maiorque videri 
Nee mortale sonans, adflata est numine quando 
lam propiore dei." 

See also Shakespeare, Tempest, ii. 2. 72: "Thou dost me yet but little 
hurt ; thou wilt anon, I know it by thy trembling : now Prosper works 

186 NOTES. 

upon thee ;" where Caliban mistakes the boozy shakiness of the sailor 
for the magic influence of Prospero working on him. 

105. Garner. A granary, of which word it is a doublet. Both are 
derived from the Latin granarium. See Shakespeare, Coriolanus, i. i. 
244 : " Take these rats thither To gnaw their garners." 

106. Our vines clasp many a tree. See on Lake Kegillus, 308 above, 
no. 7Vie 7'artessian mine. Tartessus was a district in the south of 

Spain, to the west of the Pillars of Hercules. It is identified with the 
Tarshish of Scripture, where it is represented as a celebrated emporium, 
rich in iron, tin, lead, silver, and other commodities. It was destroyed 
at an early date, probably by Hamilcar, the Carthaginian general. See 
on Virginia, 268 above. 

III. For thee no ship, etc. This apparently refers to the importation 
of rich fabrics as luxuries (as the context implies), not to commerce in 
general. The Romans made a commercial treaty with Carthage in the 
first year of the Republic. 

115. Arabia shall not steep thy locks. Arabia, as the name itself im- 
plies, was rich in aromatic plants. Frankincense and other perfumes 
were imported thence. The ancients used many fragrant and costly oils 
for perfuming the hair and skin, though these luxuries did not become 
common at Rome until towards the end of the republic. Their use was 
common with Eastern nations. See Virgil, ^neid, iv. 215 : 

" Et nunc ille Paris cum semiviro comitatu, 
Maeonia mentum mitra crinemque madentem 
Subnixus, rapio poiitur." 

1 16. Nor Sidon tinge thy gown. A reference to the celebrated Tyrian 
purple. Tyre and Sidon were often confounded, as in the sEncid, where 
Dido is called Sidonian, but is said to have come from Tyre. 

117. Myrrh. A bitter, aromatic gum. The Latin word myrrha and 
the Greek pvppa, from which we derive the English myrrh, come from 
the Arabian murr, bitter. 

121. Lucre. Gain, profit (Latin liicrum\ 

149. Pomona. The Roman divinity of the fruit of trees, hence called 
Pomortim Patrona. Her name is evidently connected with pontttm. Her 
worship must originally have been of considerable importance, as a spe- 
cial priest, flamen Pomonalis, was appointed to attend to her service. 

150. Liber. A name frequently applied by the Roman poets to the 
Greek Bacchus or Dionysus, who was accordingly regarded as identical 
with the Roman Liber. Cicero, however, correctly distinguishes between 
Dionysus and Liber, who was worshipped by the early Italians in con- 
junction with Ceres and Libera. Liber and Libera were ancient Italian 
divinities, presiding over the cultivation of the vine and the fertility of the 
fields. The festival of the Liberalia was celebrated annually by the Ro- 
mans on the 1 7th of March. 

151. Pales. A Roman divinity of flocks and shepherds, described by 
some as a male, by others as a female deity. In spite of some indications 
to the contrary, Pales was probably masculine. The name seems to be con- 
nected with Palatinus, the centre of all the earliest legends of Rome, and 
Pales himself was with the Romans the embodiment of the same ideas as 


Pan among the Greeks. The Falilia were celebrated on the anniversary 
of the foundation of the city, April 21. 

153. Venus. The goddess of love among the Romans. Previous to 
her identification with the Greek Aphrodite, she was one of the least im- 
portant divinities in the religion of the Romans, and it is observed by the 
Romans themselves that her name was not mentioned in any of the docu- 
ments relating to the kingly period of Roman history. 

155. Ivory. Less trite than silvery as an epithet, and expressive, 
though some have found fault with it. 

169. The soft Camfanian. The Campanians were notorious for their 
luxurious habits. See on Luke A'egil/ns, 568 above. 

173. Leave to the sons of Cartilage, etc. Here the reference must be to 
navigation for merely commercial purposes. See on in above. 

176. And scrolls of wordy lore. The books of the ancients were com- 
monly written on leaves of papyrus, which were joined together so as to 
form one sheet. When the work was finished, it was rolled on a staff, 
whence it was called vo.'nmen (our volume), from volvo, to roll. Lore=- 
learning ; and from the same root as that word. 

On this whole passage, cf. sneii/, vi. 847 . 

" Excudent alii spirantia mollius aera, 
Credo equidem, vivos ducent de marmore voltus, 
Orabunt canssas melius, caelique meatus 
Describent radio et surgentia sidera dicent : 
Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento; 
Hae tibi erant artes, pacisque imponere morem, 
Parcere subiectis et debellare superbos." 

177. The filnm. A thick strong javelin carried by the Roman legion- 
ary soldiers. Its shaft, often of cornel wood, was four and a half feet long, 
and the barbed iron head, which was fastened to it with great care, was 
of the same length, but extended half-way down the shaft, so that the 
whole length of the weapon was about six feet nine inches. Each soldier 
carried two pila. 

178. The sword. The Roman sword was short and heavy. It had a 
blade about two feet long and several inches wide. It was pointed and two- 
edged, and was thus adapted either for cutting or thrusting. Cf. 221 below. 

179. The mound. The mound, or agger, was used in attacking fortified 
plnces. It consisted of earth and turf supported by a wooden framework. 
It was begun at a distance and built with an easy slope to the height of 
I he wall. After it had been pushed as near the wall as practicable, the 
intervening space was hastily filled, and the besiegers rushed over it 
into the town. 

180. The legion's ordered line. The legion was the unit of the Roman 
army. It contained infantry, cavalry, and, where military engines were 
extensively used, artillery also. Originally, as formed by Romulus, the 
legion contained 3000 infantry (1000 from each of the three tribes) and 300 
cavalry. The number of foot-soldiers was gradually increased to about 
6000. The legion was divided into ten cohorts, and each cohort into 
three maniples. The officers were six military tribunes and two centu- 
rions to each maniple. It consisted at first only of Roman citizens. Marius 



was the first to admit all classes of citi- 
zens. The number of the cavalry re- 
mained unchanged. At first it consisted 
of eqnites equo publico (see on Lake Re- 
gillns, 3 above), but in Caesar's time it 
was composed entirely of auxiliaries. It 
was divided into ten decuriae, each com- 
manded by a decurion. The entire force 
was commanded by ^praefectnsequitum. 

1 8 1. And thine the wheels of triumph. 
The triumph was a solemn procession 
in which a victorious general entered 
the city in a chariot drawn by four 
horses. He was preceded by the cap- 
tives and spoils taken in war, and was 
followed by his troops. After passing 
in state along the Via Sacra (see on 
Virginia, 69 above) he ascended to the 
Capitol to offer sacrifice in the temple 
of Jupiter. 

When a decisive battle had been won 
or a province subdued.the imperator for- 
warded to the senate a laurel- wreathed 
dispatch. If the news was satisfactory, 
the senate decreed a public thanksgiv- 
ing. After the war was over, the gen- 
eral returned to Rome, but did not en- 
ter the city. A meeting of the senate 
was held outside the walls, usually in 
the temple of Bellona, that he might 
urge his claim in person. Only a dictator, consul, or praetor could tri- 
umph ; at least 5000 of the enemy must have been slain in battle ; the 
advantage must have been a positive one, and the loss of the Romans 
small compared with that of the enemy. Moreover it must have been a 
legitimate contest against public foes, and not a civil war. There were 
also other minor conditions which were carefully insisted on. 

As the procession ascended the Capitoline hill, some of the hostile 
chiefs were led aside into the adjoining prison and put to death. The 
victorious general wore a purple toga richly embroidered (toga picta) and 
a tunic adorned with figures worked in gold (tunica paimata), carried in 
his hand an ivory sceptre with an eagle, the sacred bird of Jupiter, at the 
top, and wore a chaplet of bay leaves. 

186. Vail. Lower, abase ; contracted from the obsolete avail or avale, 
the French avaler (from Latin ad vallem). Cf. Hamlet, i. 2. 70 : 

" Do not forever with thy vailed lids 
Seek for thy noble father in the dust ;" 

Measure for Measure, v. i. 20 : 

"Justice, O royal duke! Vail your regard 
Upon a wronged, I would fain have said, a maid!" 



Marmion, iii. 234 : 

" And proudest princes vail their eyes 
Before their meanest slave," etc. 

Editors and printers often confound this obsolete vail with veil, especially 
when it is used with reference to the eyes. 

187. Capua's curled revellers. See on Lake Regillus, 568 above. 

189. The Lucumoes of Arnus. That is, the Etruscan nobles. See 
on Horatins, 185 above. 

igi. The proud Samnites. The Samnites were a hardy and brave race 
of mountaineers, dwelling in central Italy. They came into conflict with 
the Romans in 343 B.C. and waged three wars with them (343-341, 326- 
304, 298-290), which ended in their complete defeat, although in the sec- 
ond or great Samnite war they inflicted on the Romans the memorable 
defeat and humiliation of the Caudine Forks in 321. The struggle of 
Rome with the Samnites as a nation ended with the third Samnite war, 
but the Samnites fought with Pyrrhus and the Tarentines against Rome, 
and with their allies were reduced to complete submission in 272 B.C. 
During the Second Punic War most of the Samnites declared in favor of 
Hannibal, and in the Social War (90 B.C.) they took a prominent part. 
They espoused the cause of the Marian party against Sulla, and the bat- 
tle at the Colline Gate (82 B.C.), in which they were defeated by Sulla 
after a desperate struggle, was long remembered as one of the greatest 
dangers to which Rome had ever been exposed. Sulla put to death 8000 
prisoners taken in this battle, and carried fire and sword through Sam- 
nium, with the express purpose of extirpating the whole race. We learn 
from Strabo that more than a century later the province was in a state 
of the utmost desolation. 

195. His fair-haired armies. See on Horatins, 36 above. The " fair- 
haired Gauls" were persistent and dangerous enemies of Rome. After 
their capture of the city in 390 B.C., the tide slowly turned in favor of the 
Romans. In 296 B.C. the Gauls, Etruscans, Umbrians, and Samnites 
were defeated by the Romans at Sentinum : and three years before the 
invasion of Pyrrhus the Etruscans and the Boii were defeated with terri- 
ble slaughter at Lake Vadimon in Etruria, and again the year after. For 
forty-five years after these battles the Romans were unmolested by the 
Gauls, and were enabled to give their undivided attention to their strug- 
gle with Pyrrhus and to the first war with Carthage. 

197. The Greek shall come against thee, etc. Pyrrhus, King of Epirus. 
For the causes of the war with Pyrrhus and its result see the Introduc- . 
tion. In The conqueror of the East, the reference is to the conquests of 
Alexander the Great, to whose family Pyrrhus was related. 

200. The huge earth-shaking beast. The reference is of course to the 
elephant (see p. 182 above), which the Romans first encountered in their 
struggle with Pyrrhus. The early victories of Pyrrhus (at Heraclea and 
Asculum) were largely due to the terror which they inspired in the Ro- 

205. The Epirotes. The followers of Pyrrhus from Epirus, the region 
west of Thessaly in Northern Greece. Pyrrhus brought over a well -dis- 
ciplined force of nearly 30,000 Epirotes. The brunt of the battles of 




Heraclea and Asculum, where Pyrrhus lost many men, fell upon them, 
and their numbers were still further reduced by his expedition to Sicily. 
Hardly a third of the original force fought in the final battle of Bene- 

207. Taretttum. See on Lake Regillns, 605 above. 

222. The thick array, etc. The reference is to the Macedonian pha- 
lanx, invented by Philip, father of Alexander the Great, to which the 
Roman legion showed itself decidedly superior at Cynoscephalae (197 B.C.), 
on account of its greater activity. 

230. The Red King. The Greek word wppog, from which the name 
Pyrrhus is derived, means red, or flame-colored. 

232. Is not the gown washed white? The reference is to the insult of- 
fered to the Roman envoy by a drunken Tarentine, for an account of which 
see p. 181 above. 

242. And goblets rough with gold. Cf. Virgil, ALneiJ, v. 267 : " Cymbia- 
que argento perfecta atque aspera signis." 

245. The stone that breathes and struggles^ etc. See quotation from 
sEneid in note on 176 above. 

247. Cunning. In the old sense of art or skill. Cf. Psalms, cxxxvii. 5. 

249. Manius Curius. M. Curius Dentatus is said to have derived his 
surname from the circumstance that he was born with teeth. He was a 
plebeian of Sabine origin, and first distinguished himself when tribune 
by opposing Appius Claudius Caecus, who, while presiding at the consu- 
lar elections, refused to accept any votes for a plebeian candidate. Cu- 
rius compelled the senate to pass a decree by which any legal election 
was sanctioned beforehand. In 290 B.C. he and his fellow-consul P. Cor- 
nelius Rufinus brought the Samnite war to a close and celebrated a tri- 
umph. His second triumph was over the Sabines, who had revolted 
from Rome. In 275 B.C., when consul for the second time, he defeated 
Pyrrhus at Beneventum in Samnium, and celebrated his third triumph, 
the most magnificent that Rome had yet witnessed. It was adorned by 
four elephants, the first that had been seen at Rome. The next year he 
was again appointed consul, and defeated the Lucanians, Samnites, and 
Bruttians. He then retired to private life, and lived with great simplicity 
on his Sabine farm. In 272 B.C. he was made censor, when he built an 




aqueduct which brought water into the city from the river Anio. He was 
celebrated down to the latest times as one of the noblest specimens of an- 
cient Roman simplicity and frugality, as well as for the useful works he 
constructed. At the town of Reate, in the country of the Sabines, he cut 
a canal from Lake Velinus through the rocks, and thus carried its waters 
to a place where they fall from a height of 140 feet into the Nar (Nero). 
This fall is still celebrated as that of Terni, or the Cascade delle Marmore. 
See Byron, Childe Harold, iv. 69 : 

" The roar of waters ! from the headlong height 
Velino cleaves the wave-worn precipice ; 
The fall of waters ! rapid as the light 
The flashing mass foams shaking the abyss," etc. 

By this work the inhabitants of Reate obtained a considerable tract of 
arable land called Rosen (cf. 257 below). 

254. The third embroidered gown. The toga picta (see on 181 above) 
worn in triumphs by the general. 

259. Mevaniti. A considerable city of Umbria, on the Flaminian Way. 
It was situated on the river Tinia in a broad and fertile valley eight or 
ten miles in width, watered by the Clitumnus and Tinia. It was cele- 
brated for a breed of white oxen, the only ones thought worthy to be 
sacrificed at triumphs (see on Horadus, 46 above). Pliny mentions Me- 
vania as one of the few cities in Italy that had walls of brick. The mod- 
ern city, Bevagna, is a very poor and decayed place with little more than 
2000 inhabitants, though retaining its episcopal see and the title of a city. 
It contains some remains of an amphitheatre and mosaic pavements be- 
longing to the ancient baths. 

266. The Suppliants' Grove. The Asylum of Romulus. See on Lake 
Regilhis, 721 above. The exact position of the Asylum is disputed, but 

I 9 2 NOTES. 

from Livy's words, " Locum, qui nunc septus descendentibus inter duos 
lucos est, asylum aperuit," it would seem to have been situated under 
the northeast summit of the Capitoline hill, between the career and the 
temple of Concord and behind the arch of Severus. It was near the Asy- 
lum that the fire broke out which destroyed the Capitol. See Virgil, ^Eneid, 
viii. 342 : 

"Hinc lucum ingentem, quern Romulus acer Asylum 

268. Capitolian Jffve. The temple of Jupiter, Mars, and Minerva on 
the Capitoline hill. It was planned by the elder Tarquin, and finished 
by Tarquinius Superbus. It was 200 feet broad and but fifteen feet 
longer. Its front had three rows of columns, with two rows on the sides ; 
the back apparently had a plain wall. The interior contained three cells 
(cfllae) parallel to one another and with common walls, the one in the cen- 
tre being Jupiter's. Its name Cafiitolhtm, according to a well-known 
legend, was due to the finding of a human head when digging the foun- 

The image of the god was originally of clay. The face was painted 
vermilion, and the statue was probably clad in the toga pictn and the 
tunica palmata (see on 181 above). On the acroterium, or apex, of the 
pediment stood a quadriga of earthenware, whose portentous swelling in 
the furnace was regarded as an omen of Rome's future greatness. 

After the Capitol was burned in 83 B.C. its restoration was undertaken 
by Sulla and afterwards confided to Q. Lutatius Catulus. In 69 B.C. it 
was destroyed by the Vitellians and restored by Vespasian on the original 
plan, except for a slight increase in height. It was again destroyed, soon 
after Vespasian's death, in a great fire, and was rebuilt by Domitian with 
a splendor before unequalled. This building lasted until a late period of 
the Empire, although nothing further is accurately known of its history. 

269. Where over two bright havens, etc. Corinth was situated on the 
isthmus connecting Central Greece with the Peloponnesus. Its citadel 
was a lofty rock called the Acrocorinthns. Standing on a narrow isthmus 
between two important seas at a time when all navigation was performed 
by coasting vessels, Corinth naturally became a great maritime power 
and a rich and prosperous city. Horace (Odes, i. 7. 2) speaks of " bimaris 
Corinthi moenia." Cicero (de Lege Manil. 5. 1 1) calls it " totius Graeciae 

When the Achaean League entered into war with Rome, Corinth was 
its capital, and it was here that the Roman envoys were insulted. The 
city was taken by L. Mummius in 146 B.C. and was completely destroyed. 
All the male inhabitants were slain, and the women and children sold into 
slavery. The most valuable works of art were carried to Rome. Mum- 
mius had so little appreciation of their worth as to stipulate with those 
who transported them that if any were lost they should be replaced by 
others equally good. Corinth was rebuilt by a colony sent by Julius 
Caesar in 46 B.C., and again became a flourishing city. 

271. Where the gigantic King of Day, etc. Rhodes was one of the chief 
islands of the ^Egaean, situated in the Carpathian Sea about ten miles 
from the coast of Caria. Pliny says that it is 125 Roman miles in cir- 




cumferencc. All its towns were on the coast. Its name is supposed to 
be derived from poSov, a rose ; and the rose appears as a symbol on the 
coins of the island. Its situation favored extensive commerce, and dur- 
ing the best period of their history the Rhodians enjoyed great prosperity. 
According to Strabo, Rhodes surpassed all other cities in the beauty and 
convenience of its ports, streets, walls, and public edifices, all of which 
were adorned with many works of art. The bronze statue of Helios 
here referred to, the famous Colossus of Rhodes, was one of the Seven 
Wonders of the ancient world. It was the work of Chares of Lindos, 
who spent twelve years in its execution. It cost 300 talents, and was 70 
cubits in height ; few men were able to compass one of its thumbs with 
their arms. It was erected at the entrance of one of the ports, but the 
statement that it stood astride over the entrance, and that the largest ships 
could sail between its legs, is probably a fable. It was overthrown by an 
earthquake in 224 B.C., fifty-six years after its erection. The present town 
of Rhodes contains very few remains of the Greek city. 

273. Orontes. The most renowned river of Syria. The name is used 
by Juvenal (iii. 62) for the whole country : ' in Tiberim defluxit Orontes." 
A modern traveller says : " The river is called by the people El-^Asi, the 
rebel, from its refusal to water the fields without the compulsion of water- 
wheels, according to Abulfeda ; but more probably from its occasional 
violence and wanderings during its course of about 200 miles." 

276. Dark-red colonnades. Built of the red Egyptian granite. 

280. Byrsa. An ancient name for Carthage. According to the story, 
Dido, the mythical founder of Carthage, purchased from the natives, for 
an annual tribute, as much land as could be covered with a bull's hide, 




but cunningly cut the hide into very thin 
strips and so enclosed a space of 22 sta- 
dia. On this she built her city, which af- 
terwards, as the place grew, became the 
citadel and retained in its name Byrsa 
(fivpaa, a bull's hide) the memory of the 
bargain. The legend seems to have been 
suggested by the name Byrsa, which was 
really a corruption of Bosra, the Phoe- 
nician name for the citadel of the city. 
See also on lake Kegillus, 203 above. 
Cf. jEneid, i. 367. 

283. Morning - land. The Orient, or 

285. Atlas. The giant who bore the 
heavens on his shoulders. According to 
Homer, he knew the depths of all the 
sea and bore the long columns that kept 
asunder heaven and earth. The idea of 
his being a divine being with a personal 
existence is blended with the idea of a 
mountain in the Homeric conception. 
Later myths represent him as a man 
changed into a mountain. He stood in 
northwestern Africa near the Pillars of 
Hercules, where the Atlas mountains are 
situated. Cf. Virgil, sEneid, iv. 246 : 


" lamque volans apicem et latera ardua cemit 
Atlantis duri, caelum qui vertice fulcit, 
Atlantis, cinctum adsidue cui nubibus atris 
Piniferum caput et vento pulsatur et imbri ; 
Nix umeros ratusa tegit ; turn flumina mento 
Praecipitant senis, et glacie riget borrida barba." 

Professor Wilson (see on Horatius, 482 above), in closing his review 
of the Lays, remarks : " It is a great merit of these poems that they are 
free from ambition or exaggeration. Nothing seems overdone no taw- 
dry piece of finery disfigures the simplicity of the plan that has been 
chosen. They seem to have been framed with great artistic skill with 
much self-denial and abstinence from anything incongruous and with 
a very successful imitation of the effects intended to be represented. 
Yet every here and there images of beauty and expressions of feeling 
are thrown out, that are wholly independent of Rome or the Romans, 
and that appeal to the widest sensibilities of the human heart. In point 
of homeliness of thought and language, there is often a boldness which 
none but a man conscious of great powers of writing would have ven- 
tured to show." 




THE TEXT OF THE LAYS. Macaulay appears to have made very few 
changes in the text after the Lays were published. The only one we feel 
sure of, besides that noted on Virginia, 437, 438, is in Lake Regillus, 396, 
where the early eds. have "painted snake." There are several little vari- 
ations in the successive eds. which are probably due tq the printer. In 
fforatius, 344, nearly all the eds. have " spears' lengths ;" but in Late Re- 
gillus, 380, all that we have examined read " lances' length." In Lake 
Reeilltis, 192, 193, the early eds. have "their right" and "Their leader" 
(cf. 209), while some of the later ones have " the right " and " The leader." 
In Ca^ys, 215, one ed. has " On the fat and on the eyes ;" but all the oth- 
ers read as in our text, which is probably what Macaulay wrote. In Capys, 
266, all the eds. read " Suppliant's Grove ;" but, if the reference is to the 
Asylum of Romulus, this is probably a misprint. We have not met with 
the Latin equivalent of Suppliants'' Grave in our reading, and suspect that 
the name was coined by Macaulay for the sake of the rhyme. In most of 
the American eds. there are many little misprints. 

The Latian name (fforatius, 97). Nomen Latinum was the name ap- 
plied by the Romans to the colonies founded by Rome which did not en- 
joy the rights of Roman citizenship, and which stood in the same position 
with regard to the Roman state that had been formerly occupied by the 
cities of the Latin League. The name originated at a time when colonies 
were actually sent out in common by the Romans and the Latins ; but 
similar colonies continued to be sent out by the Romans alone long after 
the extinction of the Latin League. 

The Fair Fount (Lake Regillus, 43). If Macaulay, who is generally so 
accurate in his topography (according to the authorities of his time), did 
not imply that the Fair Fount was somewhere on the battle-field of Lake 
Regillus, we should suspect that he had in mind the fountain on Horace's 
Sabine farm, formerly supposed to be the Fons Bandnsine (see on 280), 
and now known as Fonte Bella. Some of the American eds. print this 
line " Upon the Turf by the Fair Fount ;" 
but all the English eds. have " turf." 

Nomen gentiliciiim ( note on Lake Re- 
gilhis, 547). In the dictionaries of an- 
tiquities this term is given as a synonym 
of " the nomen proper ;" but the word gen- 
tiliciutn is found only in late Latin, and 
rarely even there. 

Their cars ( Virginia, 263). A two- 
wheeled covered carriage (carfentnm) was 
used to convey the Roman matrons in fes- 
tal processions. The privilege of riding in 
a car on such occasions was a high distinc- 
tion conferred on certain ladies by special 
grant of the senate. The vehicle was com- 
monly drawn by a pair of mules, but some- CARFBNTUM (FROM A MEDAL OF 
times by oxen or horses. AGKIPPINA). 

196 XOTES. 

The serpent for a hand (Capys, 204). The passages from Lucretius re- 
ferred to by Macaulay (p. 182, footnote), read as follows (ji. S3 6 ) : 

"Sicut quadripedum cum primis esse videmus 
In genere anguimanus elephamos, India quorum 
Mihbus e multis vallo munitur eburno, 
Ut penitus nequeat penetrari : tanta feranim 
Vis est, quarum nos perpauca exampla videmus." 

and (v. 1302) : 

' Inde boves lucas turrito corpore, taetras, 
Anguimanus, belli docuerunt volnera Poem 
Sufferre et magnas Martis turbare catervas. 

Manias Curias (Cafys, 249). Cf. Cicero, De Senecttite, 16. 55 : " Ergo 
in hac [rustica] vita M.' Curius, cum de Samnitibus, de Sabims, de Pyrrho 
triumphavisset, consumpsit extremum tempus aetatis; cuius quidem ego 
villam contemplans, abest enim non longe a me, admiran satis non pos- 
sum vel hominis ipsius continentiam vel temporum disciphnam. 
ad focum sedenti magnum auri pondus Samnitescum attulissent repucliati 
sunt ; non enim aurum habere praeclarum sibi videri dixit, sed eis qui ha- 
berent aurum imperare." 



jEbutius Elva, 152. 

Adria, 150, 163, 179. 

ag e r jiuMi'cus, 136, 141. 

Alba Longa, 177, 183. 

Alban kings, 177, 183. 

Alba's lake, 184. 

Alban Mount, 185. 

Albinia, 139. 

Algidus, 142. 

Alvernus, 140. 

alway, 126, 172. 

amain, 122. 

Amulius, 183. 

ancilia, 126, 163. 

angle (=fishing-hook), 151. 

Anio, 154. 

Anxur, 164. 

Apennine, 150. 

Apulia, 156. 

Arabia (perfumes of), 186. 

Ardea, 162. 

Aricia, 153, 164. 

Arpinum, 164. 

Arretium, 125- 

Aruns, 138. 

as (=as if), 159. 

askance, 172. 

Astur, 130. 

Asylum (of Romulus), 166, 


Atlas. 191. 
Aufidtis, 160. 
augurs, 140, 173. 
Aunus, 137. 
Auser, 124. 
Auster, 157. 
Aventinus, 184. 
axes (=lictors), 172. 

Bandusia's flock, 157. 

bare (=bore), 158. 

bare bravely up his chin. 141. 

battle (=army), 160, 163. 

bestrode his sire, 158. 

brake, 157. 

brand (--swordl, 134, 173- 

burghers, 129. 

Byrsa, 193. 

Casso, 158. 

caitiff, 173. 

Caius of Corioli, 179. 

Calabria, 157, 180. 

calends, 149. 

Camerium, 152. 

Gamers, 184. 

Campania, 139, 160, 187. 

Capitolian Jove, 192. 

captain of the gate, 135. 

Capua (luxury of), 160, 177. 

Capys, 185. 

car (=guaJr-ifa), 176. 

Carthage, 155, 187, 193. 

case, evil, 141. 

Castor in the Forum, 148. 

Celtic plain, 163. 

champ, 124. 

champaign, 128. 

Cilnius, 133. 

Ciminian hill, 124. 

Circzan promontory, 153. 

Cirrha, 150. 

city of two kings, 150. 

civic crown, 1 78. 

Clanis, 124. 

Claudius, haughtiest, 175. 

clients, 158, 172. 

Clitumnus, 125. 

Cloaca Maxima, 177. 

clove (=cleft), 138. 

Clusium, 121. 

cohorts, 176. 

Colossus of Rhodes, 193. 

column by minstrel sung, 173. 

comitium, 141, 149. 

Commons, 136. 

Conscript Fathers, 152. 

constant (=firm), 140. 

consul, 131, 151. 

consular of Rome, 159. 

Cora, 153, 163. 

Corinth, 192. 

Corinthian mirrors, 177. 

Corne's oaks, 151. 

corn-land (public), 141. 
j corselet, 157. 
, Cortona, 124. 

Cosa, 139. 
Cossus, 159, 179. 
couched (a spear), 162. 
cunning (=skill), 190. 
curule chair, 176. 
crafts, 179. 
crest, 133. 

crow (= crow-bar), 136. 
Crustumerium, 129. 
cypress crown, 179. 
Cyrene, 161. 

dark-red colonnades, 193. 

December's nones, 150. 

Decemvirs, 171. 

deed of shame, the, 135. 

deftly, 139. 

Dei Novensiles, 122. 

Dictator, 152. 

Digentian rock, 157. 

Dioscuri, the, 150. 

dog-star heat, 177. 

Dorians, 166. 

earth-shaking beast, 189. 
elms(for training vines), 158. 
Epirotes, 189. 
equites, 148. 
Ktruria, 122. 
Etruria's colleges, 165. 
Etruscan, 122. 
Eurotas, the, 162. 
eyry, 152. 

Fabian pride, 175. 
Fabian race, 158, 179. 
Fair Fount, the, 151. 
fair-haired (Gauls), 124, 189. 
Falerii, 138. 
false Sextus, 135, 155. 
false sons (of Brutus), 174. 
fast by, 135. 
Father Tiber, 140. 
Fathers of the city, 129. 
Ferentinum, 155. 
Fidena;, 157. 
fillets. 175, 185. 
tlesher, 173. 



folk, 128. 

Lausulus, 138. 

plebeians, 136. 

forum, 149. i Lavinium, 155. 

Po, the, 160, 163. 

fountains running wine, 171. lay on, 160. 

polling, summons to, 175. 

fourfold shield, 133. 

leech, 178. 

Pomona, 186. 

fox-earth, 175. 

leech-craft, 176. 

Pomptine Marshes, 156. 

Furies, 160. 

legion, 187. 

Pans sublicius, 133, 164. 

Furius, 179. 

Liber, 186. 

pontifex maxitmis, 164. 

lictors, 147. 

Populonia, 122. 

Gabii, 151, 155, 159. 

litters, 128. 

porches, 179. 

garner, 186. 

Luceres, 135. 

Porcian height, 151, 152. 

girded up their gowns. 132. 

lucre, 1 86. 

Porsena, 121. 

goblets rough with gold, 190. 
golden shields, 126, 163. 

Lucumo, 133, 189. 
Luna, 126, 139. 

port (= bearing), 133. 
Posthumian race, 151. 

goodman, 142. 

potsherds, 179. 

gown washed white, 181, 

mag-isier eqvitum, 152 
maids with snaky tresses, 

press (=crowd), 179. 
pricking (=spurring), 166. 

grace (=mercy), 140. 


Punic, 173. 

Great Twin Brethren, 166. 

Mamilius, 127, 155. 

purple gown, 176. 

Greeks, lying, 172. 

Marcian fury, 175. 

Pyrrhus, 189. 

mart, 123. 

Hadria, 130. 

Mars without the wall, 149, 

Quinctius, fiercest, 175. 

hamlet, 122. 

1 66. 

Quintilis, 149. 

harness ( = armor), 136. 

Martian calends, 149. 

Quirinus, 163. 

hearth of Vesta, 163. 

Massilia, 124. 

Quirites, 174. 

helm (=helmet), 158. 

mere (=lake), 125. 

quoth, 141. 

Herminia, 160. 

Metius, 164. 

Herminius. 135, 157. 

molten image (of Horatius), 

Ramnes, 135. 

high pontiff, 164. 


Ramnian, 135. 

hinds (=peasants), 139. 
hold (=fortress), 122. 

month of wail, 173. 
Morning-land, 194. 

Red King, the, 190. 
Regillus, Lake, 150. 

holes for free-born feet, 177. 

mound (agptr), 187. 

Rex, 159. 

holy maidens, 135. 

must (=new wine), 126. 

Rhodes, 192. 

Horatius, 135. 

muster, 127. 

ribands, 160. 

house (=temple), 161. 

myrrh, 186. 

rill, 124. 

house that loves the people, 

River-Gate, the, 132. 


Nar, 138. 

Rome's whitest day, 150, 

Nemi, Lake Of, 153. 

152, 166. 

ides, 149. 

Nequmum, 138. 

roundly, 132. 

Ilva, 138. 

nether, 179. 

lulus, 159. 

Nine Gods, the, 122. 

Sacred Hill, the, 149, 175. 

ivory car, 135. 

noisome, 176. 

Sacred Street, the, 172. 

ivory moonlight, 187. 

Nomentum, 163. 

sailors turned to swine, 171. 

I wis, 131. 

nones, 150. 

Saint Elmo's fire, 166. 

Norba, 153. 

Salii, 127, 164. 

Janiculum, 130. 

Nurscia, 126. 

Samnites, 189. 

judgment-seat, 179. 

Samothracia, 160. 

Julian line, 159. 
Juno, 142, 159, 163. 

Ocnus, 138. 
Orontes, 193. 

Scaevola, 175. 
sceptre, 152. 

Juturna, lake of, 166. 

Ostia, 130. 

school (in forum), 172. 

scrolls (=booki), 187. 

Kzso, 158. 

Palatinus, 140. 

sea-marks, 180. 

kine, 128. 

Pales, 186. 

Seius, 137. 

knees loosened by fear, 160. 

panniers, 173. 

Senate, 131. 

knights (requites), 148. 

Parthenius, ijo. 
I'atref Conscript:, 129, 152. 

sewer, the great, 1 77. 
Sextus Tarquinius, 135, 155. 

Lacedaemon, 150. 

Pedum, 155. 

shambles, 177. 

Lanuvium, 163. 

Picus, 138. 

sheaf of twigs, 179. 

Lars, 121. 

pila Horatia, 174. 

sherd, 179. 

Lartia gens, 135. 

pilum, 187. 

she-wolf's litter, 139. 

Latin Gate, 179. 

Pincian Hill, 179. 

Sidon, 186- 

Laurentian jungle, 154. 

Pisae, 124. 

sightless seer, 185. 

Laurentum, 154. 

play the men, 1 59. 

Sir Consul, 133. 



skins of wine, 128. 

Soracte, 156. 

Spanish gold, 177. 

sped, 140. 

spoils fairly sold, 136- 

Spurius Lartius, 135. 

stone that breathes, 190. 

strait, 135. 

Sublician Bridge, 133, 164. 

Suppliants' Grove, 191. 

Sutrium, 127. 

sword (Roman), 187. 

Sylvian line, 183. 

Syracuse, 161. 

Syria's daughters, 155. 

tablets, 172. 
tale (=number), 127. 
Tarentum, 161, 190. 
targe, 156. 
Tarpeian rock, 128. 
Tartessian mine, 186. 
Terracina, 164. 
Thirty Cities, the, 151. 
Thrasymene, 134. 
Thunder-cape, the, 180. 
Tiber, Father, 140. 
Tiber, the yellow, 127, 149. 

Tibur, 155. 

Tifernum, 137. 

Titian, 136. 

Titles, 135. 

Titus, the youngest Tar- 

quin, 156. 
toga picta, 191. 
Tolumnius, 134. 
traced from the right, 126. 
trembled (from inspiration), 


tribunes, 136, 168, 171. 
triremes, 124. 
triumph, 188. 
trysting-day, 122. 
Tubero, 158. 
Tusculum, 127, 151, 153. 

Ufens, 153. 
Umbrp, 126. 
Umbria, 133. 
Urgo, 138. 
usance, 176. 

vail 0=lower), 188. 
Valerian gens, 159. 
varlet, 172. 
Venus, 187. 

Velian hill, 159. 
Velitras, 154. 
Verbenna, 130. 
verses (=predictions), 126. 
vest (= dress), 133. 
Vesta, 163, 1 66. 
Vestal Virgins, 135. 
vines (on trees), 158, 186. 
Virginius, 15:. 
Volscians, 142, 155. 
Volsinian mere, 125. 
Volsinium, 138. 
Vulso, 164. 

wan, 129. 

ween, 141. 

what time, 151. 

whitest day, 150, 152, 166. 

whittle (=knife), 178. 

wist, 159. 

Witch's Fortress, the, 153. 

Wolf of the Capitol, 139. 

year of sore sickness, 173. 
yellow Tiber, the, 127, 149. 
yeomen, 159. 
yore, 126. 
ywis, 131. 


[From r lhe Popular Educator, June, 1887.] 


BY W. J. ROLFE, A.M., Litt.D. 

What plays of Shakespeare are to be recommended for school 
use, and in what order should they be taken up ? These are ques- 
tions often addressed to me by teachers, and I will attempt to answer 
them briefly here. 

Of the thirty-seven (or thirty-eight, if we include the Two Noblt 
Kinsmen) plays in the standard editions of Shakespeare, twenty at 
least are suitable for use in " mixed " schools. Among the " come- 
dies " are The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Ax 
You Like It, Twelfth NigJit, Much Ado About Nothing, Tfie Tempest, 
The Winter's Tale, and The Taming of the Shrew; among the "trage- 
dies," Macbeth, Hamlet, Lear, and Romeo and Juliet ; and among th<! 
historical plays, Julius Ccesar, Coriolamis, King John, Richard II., 
Henry IV., Part 1, Henry V., Richard III., Henry VIII. 

Certain plays, like Cymbeliue, Othello, and Antony and Cleopatra, 
are not, in my opinion, to be commended for " mixed " schools or 
classes, but may be used in others at the discretion of the teacher. 

If but one play is read, my own choice would be Merchant of 
Venice; except for classical schools, where Julius Ccesar is to be 
preferred. Most of the leading colleges now require one or more 
plays of Shakespeare as part of the preparation in English, and 
Julius Ccesar is almost invariably included for every year. Harvard-, 
for instance, requires Julius Ccesar and Twelfth Night for 1888, and 
Julius Ccesar and As You Like It for 1889 ; and the requirements 
for these years are the same at Amherst, Dartmouth, Trinity, Tuft?, 
Brown, and Wcslcyan University. Probably Williams and the Bos- 


ton University (whose last catalogues I have not seen) also follow 
Harvard in this respect, as they have done in former years. 

If two plays can be read, the Merchant and Julius Ccesar may he 
commended ; or either of these with As You Like It, or with Macbeth, 
if a tragedy is desired. Macbeth is the shortest of the great trage- 
dies (only a trifle more than half the length of Hamlet, for instance), 
and seems to me unquestionably the best for an ordinary school 

For a selection of three plays, we may take the Merchant (or Julius 
Ccesar), As You Like It (or Twelfth Night, or Much Ado, the other 
two of the trio of " Sunny or Sweet-Time Comedies," as Fumivall 
calls them), and Macbeth. An English historical play (King John, 
Richard II., Henry IV., Part 1, or Henry V.) may be substituted for 
the comedy, if preferred ; and Hamlet for Macbeth, if time permits 
and the teacher chooses. As I have said, Hamlet is about twice as 
long as Macbeth, and should have at least treble the time devoted to 
it. For myself, I have rarely ventured to read Hamlet with a class of 
average quality. 

If a fourth play is wanted, add The Tempest to the list. Macbeth 
and The Tempest together (4061 lines, as given in the "Globe" edi- 
tion) are but little longer than Hamlet (3929 lines), and can be read 
in less time than the latter. 

For & fifth play Hamlet, Lear, or Coriolanus may be taken ; or, if 
a shorter and lighter play is preferred, the Midsummer-Night's Dream. 
In a course of five plays, I should myself put this first, as a specimen 
of the dramatist's early work. For a course of five plays arranged 
with special reference to the illustration of Shakespeare's career as 
a writer, the following may be commended : A Midsummer-Night' 1 s 
Dream (early comedy) ; Richard II., Henry IV., Part 1, or Henry V. 
(English historical period) ; As You Like It, Twelfth Night, or Much 
Ado (later comedy) ; Macbeth, Hamlet, or Lear (period of the great 
tragedies); and The Tempest or The Winter's Tale (the latest plays, 
or " romances," as Dowden aptly terms them). 

For a series of sit plays, following this chronological order, instead 
of one English historical play take two : Richard HI., Richard II., 
or King John (earlier history, 1593-1595), and Henry IV., Part 1, 
or Henry V. (later history, or " history and comedy united," 1597- 


I may remark here incidentally that Richard III. is a favorite with 
many teachers in a course of three or four plays ; but, for myself, I 
should never take it up unless in a course of six or more, and only 
as an example of Shakespeare's earliest work not later than 1693. 
... As Oechelhauser puts it, " Richard III. is the significant bound- 
ary-stone which separates the works of Shakespeare's youth from the 
immortal works of the period of his fuller splendor." As such, it 
has a certain historical interest to the student of his literary career ; 
but this seems to me its only claim to attention. I am not disposed, 
however, to quarrel with those who think otherwise. 

To return to our courses of reading. For a series of seven plays, I 
would insert in the above chronological list either Romeo and Juliet 
(early tragedy) before " early history," or the Merchant (middle come- 
dy) after " early history ;" and for a series of eight plays I would in- 
clude both these. 

Henry VIII. can be added to any of the longer series as a very late 
play, of which Shakespeare wrote only a part, and which was com- 
pleted by Fletcher. The Taming of the Shrew may be mentioned 
incidentally as an earlier play that is interesting as being Shake- 
speare's only in part. 

In closing, let me commend the Sonnets as well adapted to give 
variety to any extended course in Shakespeare. They are not known 
to teachers, or to cultivated people generally, as they should be. In 
my own experience as a teacher I have found that young people 
always get interested in these poems, if their attention is once called 
to them. This past year I gave one of my classes an informal talk 
on the Sonnets, merely to fill an hour for which there was no regular 
work, owing to an unexpected delay in getting copies of the play we 
were about to begin. Some months afterwards, when I asked the 
class what play they would select for our next reading if the choice 
were left to them, several of the girls asked if we could not take up 
the Sonnets, and the request was endorsed by a large majority. We 
gave about the same time to them as to a play, and I have never had 
a more enjoyable or, so far as I could judge, a more profitable series 
of lessons with a class. 



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