Hemina, L. Ca'ssius
an historian of Rome, who wrote at the beginning of the second century of the city.
According to Censorinus (De Die Nat.
17), Hemina was alive in B. C. 146. a year memorable for the destruction of Carthage and Corinth, and for the fourth celebration of the secular or centenary games of Rome. His praenomen, Lucius, rests on the sole authority of Priscian (ix. p. 868, ed. Putsch.; comp. Intpp. ad Virg. Aen.
2.717, ed. Mai). If Nepos (ap. Suet. de Clar. Rhet.
3) be correct in stating L. Otacilius Pilitus to have been the first person not of noble birth who wrote the history of Rome, Hemina, who lived much earlier than Pilitus, must have belonged to a wellborn family. Hemina was the author of a work, styled indifferently by those who mention it, annals or history, which comprised the records of Rome from the earliest to his own times. We know the title and contents of the fourth book alone--"Bellum Punicum posterius" (Priscian. vii. p. 767, ed. Putsch); those of the preceding books are merely matter of conjecture. Priscian, however, cites from a fifth book (super xii. ver. Aen.
vi. p. 1254), and there were probably even more. (Niebuhr, Lectures on Rom. Hist.
vol. i. p. 37.) Pliny (Plin. Nat. 13.13
) calls Hemina "vetustissimus auctor," and "auctor ex antiquis."
He derived his information from genuine sources, and synchronised with the Greeks, placing the age of Homer more than 160 years after the Trojan war. (Gellius, 17.21
.) Hemina had read, and probably borrowed, from Cato's Origines
(comp. Priscian, x. p. 903, with Serv. ad Aen. 1.421
); and, on the other hand, Sallust, whose propensity for archaisms is obvious, seems to have studied Hemina, since the words "omnia orta occidunt, et aucta senescunt," in the prooemium of the Jugurthine war, singularly resemble a fragment, "quae nata sunt, ea omnia denasci aiunt," of the second book of Hemina's annals, quoted by Nonius (denasci, decrescere
It is, however, remarkable, that neither Livy, Dionysius, nor Plutarch, mention Hemina by name among their several authorities; nor does Cicero include him in his catalogue of the early annalists and historians of Rome. (De Or.
2.12, De Leg.
1, 2.) From the frequent citations of Hemina by the grammarians Nonius, Priscian, and Servius, his diction would seem to have been at least idiomatic, and he furnished the antiquarians and encyclopaedists, Macrobius (Macr. 1.13
), Gellius (17.21. 3
), Pliny (Plin. Nat. 13.13
), and Solinus (8
), with some curious traditions of the past.
The fragments of Hemina's history are collected and arranged by Krause (Vit. et Fragm Vet. Hist. Rom.