The Ancient Library

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On this page: Asia – Asiaticus – Asina – Asinia – Asinia Gens – Asinius – Asinius Quadratus – Asius


1. C. or P. annius asellus, a senator, who had not been included in the census, died, leaving his only daughter his heres. The property, how­ever, was seized by Verres, the praetor urbaiius, on the ground that such a bequest was in violation of the lex Voconia. (Cic. in Verr. i. 41, &c., comp. i. 58, ii. 7; Diet, of Ant. s.v. Voconia Lex.}

2. Ti. claudius asellus, tribune of the sol­diers in the army of the consul, C. Claudius Nero, B. c. 207, praetor in b. c. 206, when he obtained Sardinia as his province, and plebeian aedile in B. c. 204. (Liv. xxvii. 41, xxviii. 10, xxix. 11.) Appian (de Bell. Annib. 37) relates an extraor­dinary adventure of this Claudius Asellus in b. c. 212.

3. Ti. claudius asellus, of the equestrian order, was deprived of his horse, and reduced to the condition of an aerarian, by Scipio Africanus, the 3rounger, in his censorship, b. c. 142. When Asellus boasted of his military services, and com­plained tbat he had been degraded unjustly, Scipio replied with the proverb, " Agas asellum," i. e. " Agas asellum, si bovem non agere queas" (Cic. de Orat. ii. 64), which it is impossible to translate so as to preserve the point of the joke ; it was a proverbial expression for saying, that if a person cannot hold as good a station as he wishes, he must be content with a lower. When Asellus was tribune of the plebs in b. c. 139, he accused Scipio Africanus before the people (Gell. iii. 4); and Gellius (ii. 20) makes a quotation from the fifth oration of Scipio against Asellus, which may have been delivered in this year. Among other charges which Asellus brought against Scipio, was, that the lustrum had been inauspicious (because it had been followed by a pestilence); and Gellius (iv. 17) has preserved two verses of Lucilius referring to this charge:

" Scipiadae magno improbus objiciebat Asellus Lustrum, illo censore, malum infelixque fuisse."

Scipio replied, that it was not surprising that it should have been so, as his colleague, L. Mummius, who had performed the lustrum, had removed Asellus from the aerarians and restored him to his former rank. (Cic. de Orat. ii. 66 ; comp. Val. Max. vi. 4. § 2; Aurel. Vict. de Vir. ILL 58, where the opposition of Mummius to Scipio is alluded to.) This Claudius Asellus seems to be the same who was poisoned by his wife, Licinia. (Val. Max. vi. 3. § 8.)

ASIA ('Acrfa). 1. A surname of Athena in Colchis. Her worship was believed to have been brought from thence by Castor and Polydeuces to Laconia, where a temple was built to her at Las. (Pans. iii. 24. § 5.)

2. A daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, who be­ came by Japetus the mother of Atlas, Prometheus, and Epimetheus. (Hesiod. Theog. 359 ; Apollod. i. 2. § 2, &c.) According to some traditions the continent of Asia derived its name from her. (Herod, iv. 45.) There are two other mythical personages of this name. (Hygin. Fab. Praef. p. 2 ; Tzetzes, ad Lycopli. 1277.) [L. S.J

ASIATICUS, a surname of the Scipios and Valerii. [Scino; valerius.]

ASINA, a surname of the Scipios. [SciPio.]

ASINIA, the daughter of C. Asinius Pollio, consul b. c. 40, was the wife of Marcellus Aeser-ninus, and the mother of Marcellus Aeseminus the younger, who was instructed in rhetoric by his



grandfather Asinius. (Senec. Epit, Controv. lib. iv. praef.; Tac. Ann. iii. 11, xiv. 40; Suet. Oct. 43.)

ASINIA GENS, plebeian. The Asinii came from Teate, the chief town of the Marrucini (Sil. Ital. xvii. 453; Liv. Epit. 73 ; Catull. 12); and their name is derived from asina^ which was a cognomen of the Scipios, as asellus was of the Annii and Claudii. The Herius, spoken of by Silius Italicus (I. c.} in the time of the second Punic war, about b. c. 218, was an ancestor of the Asinii; but the first person of the name of Asinius, who occurs in history, is Herius Asinius, in the Marsic war, b. c. 90. [AsiNius.] The cognomens of the Asinii are agrjppa, celer, dento, gallus, pollio, saloninus. The only cognomens which occur on coins, are gallus and pollio. (Eckhel, v. p. 144.)

ASINIUS. 1. herius asinius, of Teate, the commander of the Marrucini in the Marsic war, fell in battle against Marius, b. c. 90. (Liv. Epit. 73; Veil. Pat. ii. 16 ; Appian, B. C. i. 40; Eutrop. v. 3.)

2. cn. asinius, only known as the father of C. Asinius Pollio. [pollio.]

3. asinius, a friend of Antony, who surrepti­tiously crept into the senate after the death of Caesar, b. c. 44. (Cic. Phil. xiii. 13.)


ASIUS ("Ao-tos). 1. A son of Hyrtacus of Arisbe,and father of Acamas and Phaenops. He was one of the allies of the Trojans, and brought them auxiliaries from the several towns over which he ruled. He was slain by Idomeneus. (Horn. //. ii. 835, xii. 140, xiii. 389, &c., xvii. 582.)

2. A son of Dymas and brother of Hecabe. Apollo assumed the appearance of this Asius, when he wanted to stimulate Hector to fight against Patroclus. (Horn. II. xvi. 715, &c.; Eustath. p. 1083.) According to Dictys Cretensis (iv. 12), Asius was slain by Ajax. There are two more mythical personages of this name, which is also used as a surname of Zeus, from the town of Asos or Oasos in Crete. (Virg. A en. x. 123; Tzetz. ad LycopU. 355 ; Steph. Byz. s. v. "Acros.) [L. S.]

ASIUS (^Acrios), one of the earliest Greek poets, who lived, in all probability, about b. c. 700, though some critics would place him at an earlier and others at a later period. He was a native of Samos, and Athenaeus (iii. p. 125) calls him the old Samian poet. According to Pausanias (vii. 4. § 2), his father's name was Amphiptolemus. • Asius wrote epic and elegiac poems. The subject or subjects of his epic poetry are not known ; and the few fragments which we now possess, consist of genealogical statements or remarks about the Samians, whose luxurious habits he describes with great naivete and humour. The fragments are preserved in Athenaeus, Pausanias, Strabo, Apol-lodorus, and a few others. His elegies were writ­ten in the regular elegiac metre, but all have perished with the exception of a very brief one which is preserved in Athenaeus. (I. c.) The fragments of Asius are collected in N. Bach, Cal­ling Tyrtaei et Asii Samii quae supersunt, <f~c., Leipzig, 1831, 8vo.; in Duhner's edition of Hesiod, &c., Paris, 1840, and in Diintzer, Die Fragm. der Episck. Poes. p. 66, &c., Nachtrag, p. 31. [L. S.] ASO'PIS ('AcrwTrts), two mythological per­sonages, one a daughter of Thespius, who became by Heracles the mother of Mentor (Apollod. ii. 7.


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