Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: Titus Vinius and Cornelius Laco, one the
Do not display Latin text
Twelve Emperors by Suetonius

Tiberius Chapter 70: Interest in literature.
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
He [Note 1] was greatly devoted to liberal studies in both languages. In his Latin oratory he followed Messala Corvinus, to whom he had given attention in his youth, when Messala was an old man. But he so obscured his style by excessive mannerisms and pedantry, that he was thought to speak much better offhand than in a prepared address. He also composed a lyric poem entitled A Lament for the Death of Lucius Caesar, and made Greek verses in imitation of Euphorion, Rhianus, and Parthenius, poets of whom he was very fond, placing their busts in the public libraries among those of the eminent writers of old; and on that account many learned men vied with one another in issuing commentaries on their works and dedicating them to the emperor. Yet his special aim was a knowledge of mythology, which he carried to a silly and laughable extreme; for he used to test even the grammarians, a class of men in whom, as I have said, he was especially interested, by questions something like this: Who was Hecuba's mother? What was the name of Achilles among the maidens? What were the Sirens in the habit of singing? Moreover, on the first day that he entered the Senate after the death of Augustus, to satisfy at once the demands of filial piety and of religion, he offered sacrifice after the example of Minos with incense and wine, but without a flute-player, as Minos had done in ancient times on the death of his son.

Note 1: Tiberius

Artes liberales utriusque generis studiosissime coluit. In oratione Latina secutus est Coruinum Messalam, quem senem adulescens obseruarat. Sed adfectatione et morositate nimia obscurabat stilum, ut aliquanto ex tempore quam a cura praestantior haberetur. Composuit et carmen lyricum, cuius est titulus "conquestio de morte L. Caesaris." Fecit et Graeca poemata imitatus Euphorionem et Rhianum et Parthenium, quibus poetis admodum delectatus scripta omnium et imagines publicis bibliothecis inter ueteres et praecipuos auctores dedicauit; et ob hoc plerique eruditorum certatim ad eum multa de his ediderunt. Maxime tamen curauit notitiam historiae fabularis usque ad ineptias atque derisum; nam et grammaticos, quod genus hominum praecipue, ut diximus, appetebat, eius modi fere quaestionibus experiebatur: "Quae mater Hecubae, quod Achilli nomen inter uirgines fuisset, quid Sirenes cantare sint solitae." Et quo primum die post excessum Augusti curiam intrauit, quasi pietati simul ac religioni satis facturus Minonis exemplo ture quidem ac uino uerum sine tibicine supplicauit, ut ille olim in morte filii.