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On this page: Gessius Florus – Geta



by Stephairas Byzantiims (s. v. Pea) of tos larpocrotyia-Tiis, was a native of Gea, a place new Petra, in Arabia, and lived in the reign of the em­peror Zenon, a. d. 474—491. He was a pupil of Domnus, whose reputation he eclipsed, and whose scholars he enticed from him by his superior skill. He was an ambitious man, and acquired both riches and honours ; but his reputation as a philosopher, though he wished to be considered such, was not very great. (Damascius ap, Suid s. v. Teffios, and Phot. Cod. 242. p. 352, b. 3, ed. Bekker.) He may perhaps be the physician mentioned by one of the scholiasts on Hippocrates. (Dietz, Schol. in Hippocr. et Gal. vol. ii. p. 343, note.) The little medical work that bears the name of Cassius latro-sophista has been by some persons attributed to Gesius, but without sufficient reason. (Fabric. BibL Graec. vol. xiii. p. 170, ed. Vet.) [W. A. G.]

A. GE'SSIUS, known only from coins, from which we learn that he was the chief magistrate at Smyrna during the latter end of the reign of Clau­dius and the beginning of that of Nero. The fol­lowing coin has on the obverse the heads of Clau­dius and Agrippina, the mother of Nero, and on the reverse Nemesis, with A. FE22IO2 *IAflIIA-TPI2. The coin wag struck by the Smyrnaeans to congratulate Claudius on his marriage with Agrippina.


GESSIUS FLORUS. [florus.] GESSIUS MARCIA'NUS. [marcianus.] GETA, HOSrDIUS, the fabricator of a tra­gedy entitled Medea, extending to 462 verses, of which the dialogue is in dactylic hexameters, the choral portions in anapaestic dimeters cat., the whole, from beginning to end, being a cento Vir-gilianus, and affording perhaps the earliest speci­men in Roman literature of such laborious folly. Our knowledge of the compiler is derived exclu-^ively from the following passage in Tertullian (de Praescript. Haeret. c. 39) : " Vides hodie ex Vir-r gilio fabulam in totum aliam componi, materia se-cundum versus, versibus seeundum materiam concirinatis. Denique Hosidius Geta Medeam tragoediam ex Virgilio plenissime exsuxit." Al­though these words do not justify us in asserting positively that Geta was contemporary with Ter­tullian, it is evident that they in no way support the position assumed by some critics, that he must be considered as the same person with the Cn. Hosidius Geta whose exploits during the reign of Claudius in Mauritania and Britain are comme­morated by Dion Cassius (Ix. 9, 20), and who appears from inscriptions to have been one of the consules suffecti for A. d. 49.

The drama, as it now exists, was derived from two MSS-, one the property of Salmasius (see his notes on Capitolin. Macrin. c. 11, and on Trebell. Poll. Gallien. c. 8), the other preserved at Leyden, merely a transcript of the former. The first 134 lines were published by Scriverius, in his Collecta­nea Veterum Tragicorum, $c.9 8vo. Lug. Bat.


1620, but the piece will be found complete in the Anihologia Latina of Burmann, i. 178, or n. 235, ed. Meyer, and in the edition of the Poetae Latini Minores of Wernsdorf, as reprinted, with additions, at Paris, 1826, by Lemaire, vol. vii. p. 441. It was at one time absurdly enough supposed to be the Medea of Ovid, a mistake which probably arose from some ignorant confusion of the name Hosidius or Osidius Geta with the banishment of Ovidius to the country of the Getae. [W. R.]

GETA, C. LICI'NIUS, consul b.c. 116, was expelled from the senate by the censors of the fol­ lowing year, who at the same time degraded thirty- one of the other senators. Geta was restored to his rank at a subsequent census, and was himself censor in b. c. 108. (Cic. pro Cluent. 42 ; Val. Max. ii. 9. § 9.) [W. B. D.]

GETA, LU'SIUS, praetorian prefect under Claudius I. a. d. 48. He was superseded during the arrest of the empress Messalina by the freed-man Narcissus, and deprived of his prefecture in A. d. 52, by Agrippina, who regarded him as a creature of Messalina's, and attached to her son Bri-tannicus. (Tac.^«w.xi.31,33,xii.42.) [W.B.D.]

GETA, L. or P. SEPTI'MIUS, the second son of Septimius Severus and Julia Dpmna, was born at Milan on the 27th of May, a. d. 189, three years before the elevation of his parents to the purple, and is said to have been named after his paternal grandfather or paternal uncle. Geta ac­companied his father to the Parthian war, and, when Caracalla was declared Augustus in 198, received from the soldiers the appellation of Caesar, which was soon after confirmed by the emperor and the senate. We find him styled Caesar, Pontifex, and Princeps Juventutis, on the medals struck before the beginning of 205, at which time he entered upon his first consulship. His second consulship belongs to 208, when he proceeded along with the army to Britain, and in the follow­ing year he received the tribunician power and the title of Augustus, honours equivalent to a formal announcement that he was to be regarded as joint-heir to the throne. Upon the death of Severus, at York, in 211, the brothers returned to Rome, and the rivalry, gradually ripening into hatred, which was well known to have existed between them from their earliest years, was now developed with most unequivocal violence. Even during the journey the elder is said to have made several in­effectual attempts to assassinate his detested col­league ; but Geta was so completely aware of his danger, and took such effectual precautions, that he escaped their machinations, while the affection entertained for his person by the soldiers rendered open force impracticable. But, having been at length thrown off his guard by the protestations of Caracalla, who feigned an earnest desire for a re­conciliation, and persuaded their mother to invite them both to meet in her chamber without attend­ants, in order that they might exchange forgive­ness, he was murdered by some centurions who had been placed in ambush for the purpose, in the very arms of Julia, who, although covered with the blood of her son, was obliged to smile appro­bation of the deed, that she might escape a like fate. Geta perished towards the end of February, A. D. 212, in the twenty-third year of his age.

Although Geta was rough in his mariners and profligate in his morals, he never gave any indi­cation of those savage passions which have branded

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