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On this page: Crisp Us – Crispus – Crispus Passienus – Crisus – Critias



Valerius Asiaticus. For this service he was re­ warded by a large sum of money and the insignia of the quaestorship. In a, d. 52 he was-removed from his office at the instigation of Agrippina, who believed him to be attached to the children of Mes- salina. Crispinus was married to the notorious Poppaea Sabina, who had a son by him, bearing the same name as his father. She afterwards be­ came the mistress of Nero, and the circumstance, that she had once been the wife of Crispinus, was a sufficient reason for the tyrant to send Crispinus into exile to Sardinia, a. d. 66, under the pretext of his being an accomplice in a conspiracy. Shortly after when Crispinus received the sentence of death, he put an end to his own life. (Tacit. Ann. xi. 1, 4, xii. 42, xiii. 45, xv. 71, xvi. 17; Senec. Octavia, 728 &c.; Plut. Galba^ 19.) His son, Itufius Crispinus, w*as likewise put to death by Nero. (Suet. Nero, 35.) [L. S.]

CRISP US, a person mentioned three times by Cicero as coheir of Mustela. {Ad Ait. xii. 5, xiii. 3, 5.) [L. S.]

CRISPUS, brother of Claudius Gothicus and father of Claudia, who by her husband Eutropius was the mother of Constantius Chlorus. Thus Crispus was the great-grandfather of Constantinus

Magnus. [W. R.]

CRISPUS, FLA'VIUS JU'LIUS, eldest of the sons of Constantinus Magnus and Minervina, derived his name without doubt from his great-great-grandfather [ crisp us], the brother of Clau­dius Gothicus. Having been educated, as we are told by St. Jerome, under Lactantius, he was nominated Caesar on the 1st of March, A. d. 3179 along with his brother Constantinus and the younger Licinius, and was invested with the con­sulship the year following. Entering forthwith upon his military career, he distinguished himself in a campaign against the Franks, and soon after, in the war with Licinius, gained a great naval vic­tory in the Hellespont, a. d. 323. But unhappily the glory of these exploits excited the bitter jealousy of his step-mother Fausta, at whose in­stigation he was put to death by his father in the year a. d. 326. [constantinus, p. 835.] (Euseb. Chron. ad ann. 317 ; Sozomen. Hist. EccL i. 5 ; Eckhel, vol. viii. p. 100.)

A great number of coins, especially in small brass, are extant bearing the name and effigy of this youth, commonly with the titles Caesar and Princeps Juventutis annexed ; on the reverse of one we read the words A lainannia Deviate^ which may refer to his success in the West, but the legends for the most part commemorate the exploits of his father rather than his own achievements, [W. R.]


CRISPUS, JU'LIUS, a distinguished tribune of the praetorians, put to death by Septimius Severus during the Parthian war (a. d. 199), be­cause, being wearied of the hardships of the cam­paign, he had quoted as a sort of pasquinade on the ambitious projects of the emperor the lines in Virgil from the speech of Drances (Aen, xi. 372),


" Scilicet, ut Turno contingat regia conjux,

Nos, animae viles, inhumata iirfletaque turba,

Sternamur campis . . . . "

a fact of no great importance in itself, except in so far as it corroborates the accounts of Spartianus, regarding the vindictive cruelty of Severus in all matters affecting his personal dignity. (Dion Cass. Ixxv. 10; comp. Spartian. Sever. 14.) [W. R.]

CRISPUS, MA'RCIUS, served as tribune in Caesar^s army during the African war. (Hirtius> Bell. Afr. 77.) He is probably the same as the Q. Marcius Crispus, who is frequently mentioned by Cicero as a brave and experienced soldier. In b. c. 43, he was in Bithynia as proconsul, and when L. Murcus solicited his assistance against Bassus, Crispus came with his three legions to Syria. When C. Cassius came to the East, both Crispus and L. Murcus surrendered their legions to him. (Cic. in Pison. 23, fhil. xi. 12, ad Fain. xii. 11, 12, ad Brut. ii. 5 ; Dion. Cass. xlvii. 27 5 Appian. B. C. iii. 77, iv. 58 &c.) [L. S".]

CRISPUS PASSIENUS, the husband of Agrippina, and consequently the step-father of the Emperor Nero. He was a man of great wealth and distinction, and in A. d. 42 he was raised to the consulship. He is praised both by Seneca the philosopher (Quaest. Wat. iv. Praef., de Benef. i. 15), and by Seneca the rhetorician (Controv. ii. 13) as one of the first orators of the time, especially for his acuteness and sub- tilty. Quintilian too (vi, 1. $ 50, 3. § 74, x. 1. § 24) speaks of him with high esteem and quotes passages from his orations. [L. S.]

CRISPUS, VI'BIUS, a Roman orator of great wealth and influence. He was a native of Vcr- celli and a contemporary of Quintilian. His speeches were most remarkable for their pleasant and elegant style; they were of the judicial kind, and Quintilian places those which he had de­ livered in civil cases above those spoken on state or public affairs. Vibius Crispus is also men­ tioned among the delatores of his time. Some fragments of his orations are preserved in Quin­ tilian. (Tacit. Hist. ii. 10, iv. 23, 41, AnnaL xiv. 28, de Oral. 8 ; Quintil. v. 13. § 48, viii. 5. §§ 15, 177 x. 1. § 119, xii. 10. § 11 ; Dion Cass. Ixv. 2.) [L. S.]

CRISUS or CRISSUS (Kp/ow), a son of Phocus and husband of Antiphateia, by whom he became the father of Strophius. He is called the founder of Crissa or Cirrha. (Pans. i. 29. § 4 ; Schcl. ad Eurip. Orest. 33.) [L. S.]

CRITIAS (Kpirlas). 1. Son of Dropides, a contemporary and relation of Solon's. He lived to the age of more than 90 years. His descend­ant Critias, the son of Callaeschrus, is introduced in the " Timaeus" of Plato (pp. 20—-25), as re­peating from the old man's account the fable of the once mighty Atlantis, professing to have been de­rived by Solon from the priests of Egypt. (Comp. Plat. Charm, pp. 155, 157, ad fin.)

2. Son of Callaeschrus, and grandson of the above. He was one of the pupils of Socrates, by whose instructions he profited but little in a moral point of view, and, together with Alcibiades, gave a colour by his life to the charge against the philo­sopher of corrupting the youth.. Xenophon says, that he sought the company of Socrates, not from any desire of real improvement, but because he wished, for political purposes, to gain skill in con­founding an adversary. We learn, however, from

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