The Ancient Library

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On this page: Cassius Scaeva – Cassius Severus – Cassotis – Castalia – Castalides – Castalius – Casticus


in the army of Brutus and Cassius, that he return­ed to Athens after their defeat, that L. Varus was despatched by Augustus to put him to death, and, after executing the order, carried off his port­folio ; whence a report became current, that the Thye'stes published by Varus was really the work of Cassius stolen and appropriated by his execu­tioner. To this narrative Aero and the Scholiast of Cruquius add, that he composed in various styles, and that his elegies and epigrams were especially admired.

These two passages and the annotations upon them have been the foundation of a lengthened controversy, in which almost all writers upon Ro­man literature have taken part. A variety of opi­nions have been expressed and hypotheses pro­pounded, many of them supported with great learn­ing and skill. A full account of these will be found in the essay of Weichert " De Lucii Varii et Cassii Parmensis Vita et Carminibus," (Grimae, 1836',) who, after patient examination, has shewn by many arguments, that the following conclusions are the most probable which the amount and na­ture of the evidence at our disposal will enable us to form :

1. Cassius Etruscus and Cassius Parmensis were two separate personages. It is the intention of Horace to hold up the first to ridicule, while his words imply a compliment to the second.

2. Cassius Parmensis was one of the conspirators who plotted the death of Caesar. He took an ac­tive part in the war against the triumvirs, and, after the defeat and death of Brutus and Cassius, carried over the fleet which he commanded to Sicily, and joined Sextus Pompeius, with whom he seems to have remained up to the period of the great and decisive sea-fight between Mylae and Naulochus. He then surrendered himself to An-tonius, whose fortunes he followed until after the battle of Actium, when he returned to Athens, and was there put to death by the command of Octavianus. These facts are fully established by the testimony of Appian (B. C. v. 2) and of Vale­rius Maximus (i. vii. § 7), who tells the tale of the vision by which Cassius was forewarned of his ap­proaching fate, and of Velleius (ii. 88), who dis­tinctly states, that as Trebonius was the first, so Cassius Parmensis was the last, of the murderers of Caesar who perished by a violent end. The death of Cassius probably took place about b. c. 30; and this fact alone is sufficient to prove that Cas­sius Parmensis and Cassius Etruscus were different persons; the former had held a high command in the straggle in which Horace had been himself engaged, and had perished but a few years before the publication of the epistles; the former is spoken of as one who had been long dead, and almost if not altogether forgotten.

3. We have seen that two of the Scholiasts on Horace represent that Cassius composed in different styles. We have reason to believe that he wrote tragedies, that the names of two of his pieces were Thyestes and Brutus, and that a line of the latter has been preserved by Varro (L. L. vi. 7,ed. Mtiller). In like manner, a single line of one of his epigrams is quoted by Quintilian (v. 2. § 24), and a single sentence from an abusive letter addressed to Octa­vianus is to be found in Suetonius {Aug. 4); in addition to which we hear from Pliny of an epistle to Antonius. (Plin. H. N. xxxi. 8.) Many per­sons, and among these Drumann, believe that the



letter to be found in Cicero (ad Fam. xii. 13) is from the pen of Cassius Parmensis, and strong argu­ments may be adduced in support of this opinion; but, on the whole, we are led to conclude from its tone, that it proceeded from some person younger and holding a less distinguished position than Cassius Parmensis at that time occupied.

We have a little poem in hexameters, entitled Orpheus, in which it is set forth, that the Thra- cian bard, although at first an object of ridicule to his contemporaries, by assiduous study and un- deviating perseverance, at length acquired that heavenly skill by which he was enabled to charm the ears of listening rocks and woods, and draw them in his train. These verses were first pub­ lished by Achilles Statius in his edition of Suetonius, " de Clar. Rhetor." and we are there told by the editor that they were found among the Bruttii and communicated to him by a very learned youth, Suetonius Quadrimanus; they were pub­ lished again by Fabricius in his notes to Senec. Here. Oet. 1034, as having been discovered anew at Florence by Petrus Victorius, and are to be found in Burmann's Antfioloyia (i. 112, or n. 112, ed. Meyer), in Wernsdorf's Poetae Latini Minores (vol. ii. p. 310), and many other collec­ tions. Various conflicting opinions were long en­ tertained with regard to the author of this piece, which commonly bears prefixed the name of Cassius Parmensis or Cassius Severus, but is now proved to have been written by Antonius Thylesius, a native of Cosenza in Calabria, a distinguished poet of the sixteenth century. See the edition of his works by F. Daniele, Naples, 1762, and the autho­ rities quoted by Meyer in his edition of the Antho- logia. An edition in a separate form was printed at Frankfort, 1585, Svo., and two years afterwards " Cassius of Parma his Orpheus with Nathan Chitraeus his commentarie abridged into short notes translated by Roger Rawlins of Lincoln's Inn, 8vo. Lond. 1587." [W. R.]



CASSOTIS (Kao-o-w-m), a Parnassian nymph, from whom was derived the name of the well Cas- sotis at Delphi, the water of which gave the priestess the power of prophecy. (Paus. x. 24. § 5.) [L. S.]

CASTALIA (Kacrra/U'a), the nymph of the Castalian spring at the foot of mount Parnassus. She was regarded as a daughter of Achelous (Paus. x. 8.§ 5)? and was believed to have thrown herself into the well when pursued by Apollo. (Lutat. ad Stat. Theb. i. 697.) Others derived the name of the well from one Castalius, who was either a simple mortal, or a son of Apollo and father of Delphis, who came from Crete to Crissa, and there founded the worship of the Delphinian Apollo. (Ilgen, ad Horn. hymn, in Apoll. p. 341.) A third account makes Castalius a son of Delphus and father of Thyia. (Paus. vii. 18. § 6, x. 6. § 2.) [L. S.]

CASTALIDES (Kao-raAt'Ses-), the Castalian nymphs, by which the Muses are sometimes desig­nated, as the Castalian spring was sacred to them. (Theocrit. vii. 148; Martial, vii. 11.) [L. S.]

CASTALIUS. [castalia.]

CASTICUS, the son of Catamantaledes, a Se-quanan, seized the government in his own state, which his father had held before him, at the in­stigation of Orgetorix, about b. c. 50. (Caes./?. Gf, i. 3.)


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