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advance of his times; and though he does not make mention of the Christian religion, it is difficult to believe that he was not acquainted with its doctrines and traditions. Plutarch is said to have been a priest of the Pythian Apollo at Charonea, where he spent the later years of his life.
A native of Nicomedia, who became a disciple of Epictetus, and first attracted notice as a philosopher by publishing at Athens the lectures of his master. Arrian was honoured with the citizenship of Rome, and having distinguished himself in the war against the Massagete, was rewarded with senatorial and even consular dignities. His two principal works, which are still extant, are the History of Alexander's Expedition and the History of India.
MARCUS AURELIUS ANTONINUS.
Flourished A.D. 160.
This distinguished Emperor cherished throughout his whole life a love of literature, philosophy, and virtue. His Meditations, in twelve books, furnish a code of ethics which demonstrate how much the general tone of morality was improved by the influence of Christianity, even where the principles of the Gospel were not professedly adopted; and yet M. Aurelius is stated to have permitted, if not expressly countenanced, a severe persecution of the Christians.
Flourished A.D. 160.
A native of Samosata, a city on the Euphrates, but by descent a Greek. As many as eighty-two works still extant are attributed to this author. The writings of Lucian are characterised throughout by scepticism and the severest satire. According to Suidas he was surnamed the Blasphemer, and was torn to pieces by dogs for his impiety; it was said of him that he "spared neither gods nor men;" but while attacking religion, philosophy, and even history, he does not pretend to advance anything in their stead, or to bring in any better code of morality or doctrine.
Lucian appears to have been well acquainted with many of the facts of the Old Testament history, to which he makes frequent allusion; he refers to passages both in the Old and New Testament, and in his Philopatris (which is, however, ascribed by some to a later writer) he notices the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and the doxology still used in the Greek Church, "beginning with the Father and ending with the Son." He refers also to St. Paul, whom he describes as a long-nosed Galilean, who had ascended to the third heaven and received divine instruction; and mentions the prayer beginning with "Our Father."
It has been supposed that Lucian was at one time a convert to Christianity; but in mentioning the Christians he does so with contempt and ridicule, while he bears testimony, nevertheless, to the integrity and simplicity of their lives, to their mutual love and charity, to the zeal which they displayed for their religion, and to their readiness to endure martyrdom for its sake.
A Platonic philosopher, supposed by some to have been one of the tutors of M. Aurelius. He appears to have spent the greater part of his life in Greece, but he visited Rome once or oftener. Maximus Tyrius wrote forty-one Dissertations on theological, moral, and philosophical subjects, which are still extant.
Flourished A.D. 220.
Ælian was the author of two extant works; the one a collection of Various Histories, the other a treatise on the Peculiarities of Animals. He lived at Rome. Both his works appear to have been compiled, at least in part, from earlier authors, whose names are not given.
T. MACCIUS PLAUTUS.
Born B.C. 254. Died B.C. 184.
The author of a great number of comedies, of which twenty only are extant. Varro commends the purity of the language in which they are written, but the incidents and parts of the dialogue are disfigured by obscenity, and are calculated to vitiate the taste and weaken the impressions of virtue.
Plautus in some instances distinguishes between Jupiter and the other deities, and speaks of One God superior to all the rest: he also gives utterance to some moral sentiments, and holds up to ridicule and contempt those who are influenced by base and unworthy motives.
P. TERENTIUS AFER.
Born B.C. 195. Died B.C. 159.
A celebrated comic poet, born at Carthage in a state of servitude. On his manumission he assumed the name of his patron, having been previously called Publius. Terence wrote six comedies, all of which we possess; five of them are borrowed, as to their subject, from the Greek stage. There are some passages in Terence which indicate right apprehensions of the Divine nature. His plays contain sentiments of great beauty, and display a benevolent and generous disposition in the writer; but they are not free from impurity of subject, and treat the vices of the age with too much levity and indulgence.
T. LUCRETIUS CARUS.
Born B.C. 95. Died B.C. 52.
A Roman poet, author of a didactic poem in hexameters, entitled De rerum naturæ. He is said to have been educated at Athens in the Epicurean philosophy; but his writings display the spirit of infidelity, even to the denying the providence of God, and a future state of existence for man. In combating the prevalent opinions as to the origin of the world, and the earliest mythologies, Lucretius recites (in order that he may contradict) many of the heathen traditions which appear to have been founded upon events recorded in the holy scriptures. He speaks of the first chaos, and details the order in which all things were produced from the earth. He refers to the original state of man before the fall, to the deluge, and to the future destruction of the world by fire. These testimonies are the more remarkable as being found in a work so strongly characterised by its hostility to all religion.
M. TULLIUS CICERO.
Born B.C. 106-Died B.C. 43.
The son of a Roman knight of Arpinum, who brought him at an early age to Rome to be educated, with his brother Quintus. Cicero studied philosophy under Philo, and jurisprudence under Marcius Scævola the augur; he also received instruction in rhetoric from Molo the Rhodian. Being of a delicate constitution he visited Athens on account of his health, and was initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries, which, according to Warburton, were calculated to impress the mind with a conviction of the unity of the Deity and of the immortality of the soul. In B.c. 75 Cicero was quæstor in Sicily; he was afterwards prætor at Rome, and was at length elected consul. During his consulship he was the means of overthrowing the conspiracy of Catiline, for which service he received the title of "Father of his Country." When the civil war between Cæsar and Pompey broke out, Cicero attached himself to the latter, but after the battle of Pharsalia, he returned to Brundisium, and became reconciled to Cæsar, who not only pardoned him for the part he had taken but treated him with the greatest kindness and respect. Cicero now retired into the country and seldom visited Rome, being chiefly occupied at this time with his philosophical and rhetorical works. After the murder of Cæsar he joined the republican party and attacked M. Antony in his Philippic Orations; this was the cause of his destruction. When the triumvirate of Augustus, Antony, and Lepidus was formed, He endeavoured to escape by Cicero, with about 200 others, was condemned to death. sea; but being overtaken near Caieta, he was assassinated. His head and hands were carried to Rome and nailed to the rostra.
As an orator, a statesman, and a philosopher, Cicero must be regarded as the most accomplished character in the annals of Rome. His writings are very voluminous, and the greater part of them have happily been preserved. They may be classified generally, as follows:-1. Rhetorical works. II. Philosophical works, including political, moral, and speculative philosophy, and some theological treatises. III. Orations. IV. Epistles. These works, says Gray, afford not only invaluable treasures of eloquence and wisdom, but furnish also indirect homage to the cause of sacred truth: while they expose the vanity of heathen superstition and the errors of heathen philosophy, they offer also the tribute of reason and experience to many of the principles which religion has consecrated, and in some particulars illustrate the sacred accounts. There can be little doubt that Cicero entertained a firm conviction of the truth of the great principles of natural religion, particularly of the existence of the Supreme Being, and of the immortality of the soul.
C. JULIUS CÆSAR.
Born B.C. 100-Died B.C. 44.
This great military leader, who carried the Roman arms into Britain, and changed the republican government into a perpetual dictatorship, has left a record of his principal actions in his Commentaries. Cæsar was gifted by nature with the most various talents, and distinguished by the most extraordinary attainments. His expeditions into Gaul, Germany, and Britain gave him opportunities of observing the manners and customs of those nations, and the accounts which he has left are full of interest. The descriptions of the Druids and their sacrifices of human victims in groves remind us of similar practices in sacred history, and there are other circumstances recorded which argue an acquaintance with those nations of the East by whom the principles of the Patriarchal faith were perverted in the earliest ages.
C. VALERIUS CATULLUS.
Born B.C. 87-Died B.C. 47.
A celebrated poet, born at Verona. Having lived extravagantly in early youth and wasted his patrimony with immoral companions, he went to Bithynia in the train of the Prætor Memmius. His extant works consist of a great number of poems on various topics. Many of them are disfigured by extreme grossness and impurity, while others are full of grace and delicacy. The intimate acquaintance which Catullus possessed with Greek literature and mythology gained for him the surname of Doctus.
C. SALLUSTIUS CRISPUS.
Born B.C. 86-Died B.C. 34.
The author of the history of Catiline's conspiracy, Catilina, and of the Jugurthine war, Jugurtha. He lived in habits of intimacy with Cicero, whose divorced wife Terentia, he married. The writings of Sallust are remarkable for the principles of rectitude and virtue recommended; but which the author was far from putting into practice in his own life.
P. VIRGILIUS MARO.
Born B.C. 70--Died B.C. 19.
The "Prince of the Latin poets," born in the neighbourhood of Mantua, whence he repaired to Rome and attracted the notice of Mecenas and of the Emperor Augustus. His chief works are the ten Bucolics; the Georgics, a treatise on husbandry, and the most finished and perfect of all Latin compositions; and the Eneid, describing the adventures of Eneas, subsequent to the fall of Troy. The patronage of Augustus afforded great opportunities to the poet Virgil to obtain information upon subjects of sacred interest, and from the earliest ages his writings, especially the 4th Eclogue, have attracted attention on account of the similarity that appears to exist between them and parts of the inspired volume. Constantine argued the truth of the Christian religion from the correspondence which the above named Eclogue exhibited with the descriptions of Revelation. Gray remarks that the sense, the images, and the diction of this poem, conspire so remarkably with those of the prophets, and particularly with passages in Isaiah, that they clearly indicate some affinity. Bishop Lowth intimates a persuasion that some mysterious elevation had been produced on the mind of Virgil by a divine influence. The neid exhibits some of
the leading principles of truth originally revealed from heaven, as those of the unity, the omnipotence, and the omnipresence of the Deity, who is represented as nourishing and giving motion to all things, and as the Mind to the vast body of the universe. Virgil inculcates also a belief in a state of future rewards and punishments.
P. OVIDIUS NASO.
Born B.C. 43. Died A.D. 18.
Ovid, the Roman poet, was educated as a pleader, and at the age of sixteen went to Athens, where he made himself master of the Greek language. But nothing could deter him from indulging his natural poetical talent, and his works which have come down to us are very numerous. Ovid enjoyed for some time the favour of Augustus, till for some offence given to the Emperor he was banished into Scythia, where he died in exile, at the age of sixty.
His works afford a picture of heathen mythology, and in his fictions many traces of revealed truth may be discovered. His Fasti contains an account of the chief festivals of the Romans, with their origin; and shows that the writer entertained but little reverence for the gods of his countrymen. His Metamorphoses begins with the creation of the world, and ends with the death of Cæsar.. Remains of a primitive creed in one supreme God, the Father of Gods and men, together with vestiges of traditional knowledge, if not of sacred history, appear in every part of this book. The writings of Ovid are for the most part of a very vicious and immoral character, and it was probably on this account that he incurred the virtuous indignation of Augustus, who banished him from Rome that the youth of that country might not be exposed to corruption.
TITUS LIVIUS PATAVINUS.
Born B.C. 59-Died A.D. 17.
This historian is celebrated by Tacitus for his distinguished eloquence and fidelity; and by Seneca as a most candid estimator of all good men. He was appointed by Augustus tutor to his son Claudius; but gave offence, by the freedom of his writings, to Caligula and Domitian, by the former of whom the statues which had been erected to his honour were removed.
The History of Livy consisted originally of 142 books, of which 35 only are extant. It contains many particulars with respect to the opinions and customs of the Romans on subjects of religious interest, which not only tend to prove the preservation of some of the main principles of natural religion, amidst the delusions which overshadowed the Pagan world, but also exhibit the observance of rites and ceremonies that were originally of divine institution. The detail which Livy supplies on these subjects is so full that he has been styled the ecclesiastical historian with regard to Roman antiquities.
Q. HORATIUS FLACCUS.
Horace received his education at Rome, and subsequently at Athens. of Brutus at Athens, after the death of Cæsar, Horace joined his army. at the battle of Philippi, and shared in the flight of the republican army. to Rome some of his poems attracted the attention of Virgil, who introduced him to Mæcenas, with whom he formed a close friendship.
On the arrival He was present On his return
Quintilian says of Horace that he is the only lyric poet among the ancient Romans who deserves to be read. The exquisite beauty of his Odes illustrates the effect of style in giving weight and ornament to sentiments which have but little real importance, and in conferring grace upon the merest trifles. In his Satires and Epistles he displays much wit and humour; but there is none of that burning indignation against vice which characterises the writings of Juvenal. His arrows are turned rather at the follies than at the vices of mankind, and these he satirises with a .liberal censure, and a playful urbanity of manner.
There are many passages in Horace which indicate an acquaintance with traditions founded on truth. He alludes also to several points of Christian doctrine, as future rewards and punishments, the unity and supremacy of the Deity, and the care exercised by Divine Providence over the concerns of men.
AULUS PERSIUS FLACCUS.
A Roman poet, born at Volterra, of good family. Persius was naturally of a mild and pleasing disposition, and his modesty and benevolence were remarkable. He distinguished himself by his satirical humour; and made the faults of the orators and poets the subject of his poems. He takes but little notice of the gross vices and immoralities of his age, a circumstance which may be attributed to the retirement and privacy in which his life was passed. He has left only six Satires: these abound with pointed and striking moral passages. He speaks of the prayers and sabbaths of the Jews; and there can be no doubt that at the period when he wrote, the practices and traditions of that people were well known at Rome. Some of his verses bear a marked resemblance to the language of holy writ, and his reflections appear in many instances to be derived from the lessons of Scripture.
L. ANNÆUS SENECA.
Born B.C. 6 (?)—Died A.D. 65.
This great moralist devoted himself, from an early age, to rhetoric and philosophy. In the first year of the reign of Claudius he was banished to Corsica, but after his recall obtained a prætorship, and was made tutor to the young Domitius, afterwards the emperor Nero. On the accession of his pupil to the imperial throne, Seneca became one of the chief advisers to the young emperor, whose vicious propensities he endeavoured in vain to check; till, becoming obnoxious to the tyrant, he fell a sacrifice to his resentment, and was condemned to die by his own hand.
The writings of Seneca contain some of the best instructions of heathen morality after it had become, in some measure, conformed to the new principles introduced by contact with a pure and true religion. There can be little doubt that Seneca was acquainted with some of the communications of the Gospel; and it is natural to suppose that he may have met and conversed with Paul when that apostle came to Rome and converted some of the household of Nero. Some writers have maintained that he was himself persuaded to become a Christian, but there does not appear to be any ground for such a conclusion. Seneca's most remarkable work is a series of Epistles addressed to Lucilius, forming a collection of moral precepts and observations: these contain numerous passages which indicate an acquaintance with the instructions of Scripture. Several other treatises on various moral subjects are extant, and also ten Tragedies founded upon traditions from the Greek mythology.
M. ANNÆUS LUCANUS.
Born A.D. 39.-Died A.D. 65.
Lucan was the son of L. Annæus Mella, who was a brother of Seneca, the philosopher. He wrote various poems, of which one only is preserved, viz., the Pharsalia, the subject of which is the struggle between Cæsar and Pompey. It contains a few casual expressions which seem to argue a legendary acquaintance with some portion of the word of truth.
QUINTUS CURTIUS RUFUS.
Flourished A.D. 50 (?)
The author of a history of the life and wars of Alexander the Great. It consisted of ten books, two of which are lost, and the others somewhat imperfect. It is taken from good sources; and contains much that is confirmative of the fulfilment of prophecy, and illustrative of customs and practices referred to in sacred history.
C. PLINIUS SECUNDUS.
Born A.D. 23.-Died A.D. 79.
Pliny, the elder, was descended from a wealthy family and enjoyed all the advantages of a liberal education. At the age of twenty-three he went to Germany, and after his return practised for a time as a pleader at Rome. Being of very industrious and studious habits, he improved every moment of his time, and accumulated an immense mass of information, from which he composed his celebrated Historia Naturalis. It consisted of thirty-seven books, embracing astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, botany, and other subjects. From these may be