previous next


I must not omit too, one portentous fact connected with the hearth, and famous in Roman history. In the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, it is said, there appeared upon his hearth a resemblance of the male generative organ in the midst of the ashes. The captive Ocrisia, a servant of Queen Tanaquil, who happened to be sitting there, arose from her seat in a state of pregnancy, and became the mother of Servius Tullius, who eventually succeeded to the throne.1 It is stated, too, that while the child was sleeping in the palace, a flame was seen playing round his head; the consequence of which was, that it was believed that the Lar of the household was his progenitor. It was owing to this circumstance, we are informed, that the Compitalia,2 games in honour of the Lares, were instituted.

SUMMARY.—Remedies mentioned, eighty-nine. Facts and narratives, four hundred and thirty-four.

ROMAN AUTHORS QUOTED.—M. Varro,3 Cælius,4 Galba,5 Cincius,6 Mucianus,7 Nepos Cornelius,8 L. Piso,9 Q. Tubero,10 Fabius Vestalis,11 Annius Fetialis,12 Fabianus,13 Seneca,14 Cato the Censor,15 Vitruvius.16

FOREIGN AUTHORS QUOTED.—Theophrastus,17 Pasiteles,18 King Juba,19 Nicander,20 Sotacus,21 Sudines,22 Alexander23 Polyhistor, Apion,24 Plistonicus,25 Duris,26 Herodotus,27 Euhemerus,28 Aristagoras,29 Dionysius,30 Artemidorus,31 Butoridas,32 Antisthenes,33 Demetrius,34 Demoteles,35 Lyceas.36

1 It is much more likely that he was the son of Tarquin himself, who not improbably, if indeed there ever was such a person, invented the story, to escape the wrath of Queen Tanaquil. This absurd story is mentioned also by Ovid, Arnobius, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus.

2 See B. iii. c. 9, and B. xix. c. 4.

3 See end of B. ii. L. Cælius Antipater.

4 See end of B. ii.

5 Probably Sulpicius Galba, who devoted his time to literary pursuits, and rose to no higher office than the prætorship. He was grand-father of the Emperor Galba, and wrote a historical work.

6 Another reading is "Ictius," but nothing is known of either.

7 See end of B. ii.

8 See end of B. ii.

9 See end of B. ii.

10 See end of B. ii. and end of B. xviii.

11 See end of B. vii.

12 See end of B. xvi.

13 See end of B. ii. and end of B. xviii.

14 See end of B. vi.

15 See end of B. iii.

16 See end of B. xvi.

17 See end of B. iii.

18 See end of B xxxiii.

19 See end of B. v.

20 See end of B. viii.

21 All that we know of him is, that he wrote on Precious Stones. Apollonius Dyscolus mentions an author who wrote on the same subject, whose name was "Tacus;" and possibly the same person is meant.

22 Mentioned in this and the next Book, as a writer on Precious Stones.

23 Cornelius Alexander. See end of B. iii.

24 See end of B. xxx.

25 See end of B. xx.

26 See end of B. vii.

27 See end of B. ii.

28 A Sicilian author of the time of Alexander. In his "Sacred History," he interpreted the legends of the popular religion as based upon historical facts, and taught that the gods of Mythology were only deified men. His system has been compared with the rationalism of some German theologians, and Euhemerists were still to be found at the close of last century. Diodorus Siculus, Polybius, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus have followed in his track; and the poet Ennius translated his work, which is now lost.

29 A Greek writer on Egypt. He is often quoted by Stephanus Byzantinus, who says that he was not much younger than Plato. He is mentioned as a writer on the Pyramids of Egypt, in Chapter 17 of this Book.

30 See end of B. xii.

31 See end of B. ii.

32 From the mention made of him in Chapter 17 of this Book, he must have lived in the first century before, or the first century after Christ.

33 Possibly Antisthenes of Rhodes, a historian who lived about 200 B.C.

34 Possibly the author mentioned by Athenæus, B. xv., as having written on Egypt. He is mentioned in Chapter 17 of this Book.

35 Hardouin thinks that he is the same person as Hermateles, mentioned by Tertullian, De Spectaculis, c. 8, as having written on Obelisks.

36 A native of Naucratis, in Egypt, who wrote a work on that country, mentioned by Athenæus, and some Poems.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
200 BC (1)
hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: