The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Macrobius – Macula – Madarus – Madates


Cicero de Republica [cicero, p. 729], is taken as a text, which suggests a succession, of discourses on the physical constitution of the universe, accord­ing to the views of the New Platonists, together with notices of some of their peculiar tenets on mind as well as matter. Barthius has conjectured that this commentary ought to be held as forming part of the Saturnalia, and that it constituted the proceedings of the third day. He founded his opinion upon a MS. which actually opened with the words Macrobii 17i. V. G. et inl. commentariorum 4ertiae diet Saturnaliorum liber primus incipit, and upon the consideration that an exposition of the occult meaning of Gicero might with propriety follow a somewhat similar development of the sense of Virgil. On the other hand, it must be remarked that the commentary consists of a number of con­tinuous essays, while the form of- a dialogue is maintained throughout the Saturnalia, the remarks of the auditors being freely interspersed in the latter, while in the former there is no indication given of the presence of listeners.

III. De Di/erentiis et Societatibus Gh'aeci La-Unique Verbi, a treatise purely grammatical. We do not possess the original work as it proceeded from the hand of Macrobius, but merely an abridge­ment by a certain Joannes, whom Pithou has thought fit to identify with Joannes Scotus, who lived in the time of Charles the Bald.

A controversy has been maintained with consider­able animation upon the religious opinions of Macro­bius. The assailants of Christianity having asserted that no pagan writer had recorded the massacre of the Innocents by Herod, found it necessary to get rid of the direct testimony to the fact contained in the Saturnalia (ii. 4), by endeavouring to prove that the author was a Christian. The position seems wholly untenable. Not only is an absolute silence preserved throughout the dialogues with regard to the new faith, but the persons present express their warm admiration of the sanctity and theo­logical opinions of Praetextatus, who was a heathen priest; and terms of reverence towards various divinities are employed, with a degree of freedom and frankness which would not have been tolerated in that age by a believer, and would indeed have been looked upon as amounting to apostacj7". On the other hand, the phrases which are supposed to wear a scriptural air, " Deus omnium fabricator," " Deus opifex oinnes sensus in capite locavit" (Sat. vii. 5, 14), involve no doctrine which was not fully recognised by the Neo-Platonists.

The Editio Princeps of the Commentarius and of the Saturnalia was printed at Venice by Jenson, fol. 1472. The text was gradually improved by Ca-merarius, fol. Basil. 1535 ; by Carrio, 8vo. Paris, H. Stephan. 1585 ; by J. J. Pontanus, 8vo. Lug. Bat. 1597, reprinted with corrections 1628 ; by Gronovius, 8vo. Lug. Bat. 1670, reprinted, with some improvements, but omitting a portion of the notes, 8vo. Patav. 1736 ; and by Zeunius, 8vo. Lips. 1774. No really good edition of Macrobius has ever appeared, but that of Gronovius is the best.

The tract De Differentiis was first published at Paris, 8vo. 1583, by H. Stephens, and again at the same place by Obsopaeus, 8vo. 1588. It will be found in the collection of Putschius, 4to. Han-nov. 1605, p. 2727, and in the editions of Pontanus, Gronovius, and Zeunius ; see also Endlicher, Analect. Gramm. p. ix. 187.

Two French translations of Macrobius appeared



at Paris in the same year (1826), one by Ch. de Rosoy, the other by^an individual who prefixes his initials only, C. G. D. R. Y. There is no English version. (Barth. Advers. xxxix. 12 ; Pontanus, Comment, in Macrob.; Cod. Theod. 9. tit. 1*2. s. 2, 16. tit. 10. s. 15, 8. tit. 5. s. 61, 11. tit. 28. s. 6, 6. tit. 8. See especially Mahul, Dissertation His- torique, Litteraire et Bibliographique sur la Vie et ies Ouvragesde Macrobe, Paris, 1817, reprinted in the Classical Journal, vols. xx. p. 105, xxi. p. 81, xxii. p. 51, where the materials are all collected and well arranged. Some good remarks on the plan and arrangement of the different parts of the Saturnalia are contained in the essays of L. von Jan, Ueber die ursprungliche Form der Saturnalien des Macrobius, inserted in the Munch, gelelirt. An- zeig. 1844. On the Christianity of Macrobius consult Masson, the Slaughter of the Children in Bethlehem, &c., 8vo. Lond. 1728, appended to Bishop Chandler's Vindication of his Defence of Christianity.} [W. R.]

MACROBIUS, mentioned in the writings of Optatus and Gennadius, was a presbyter of the Catholic church in Africa, during the early part of the fourth century, became attached to the Donatists, and was by them despatched to Rome, where he secretly officiated as bishop of their communion. Before his separation he wrote an address, Ad Con­ fessor es et Virgines, insisting chiefly on the beauty and holiness of chastity; and, when a heretic, a letter to the laity of Carthage, entitled Epistola de Passione Maucimiani et Isaaci Donatistarum. The former is no longer extant, the latter was first pub­ lished in an imperfect state, by Mabillon, in his Analecta (8vo. Paris, 1675, vol. iv. p. 119, or 1723, p. 185),'and will be found in its most correct form appended to the editions of Optatus, by Du Pin, printed at Paris in 1700, at Amsterdam in 1701, and at Antwerp in 1702. Lardner is inclined to think that Gennadius has made a confusion be­ tween two persons of the same name, and that Macrobius, the fourth Donatist bishop of Rome, never was a Catholic. (Gennad. de Viris III. 5 ; Optatus, ii. 4 ;. Honor, 'ii. 5; Trithem. 107 ; Tillemont, Les Donatistes, not. 21 ; Lardner, Cre­ dibility of Gospel History, c. Ixvii. § iii. 4 ; Schb'ne- mann, Bibliotheca Patrum Lot. vol. i. § 4 ; Bahr, Geschichte der Rom. Litterat. suppl. Band. 2te Ab- theil, § 61.) [W.R.]

MACULA, Q. POMPEIUS, a friend of Ci­ cero (ad Fam. vi. 19), and probably the same person with Pompeius Macula mentioned by Ma­ crobius in connection with a pun founded on his cognomen. Fausta, daughter of Sulla, the dictator [fausta cornelia], had at the same time twa lovers — Fulvius, a fuller's son, and Pompeius Macula. Faustus, the lady's brother, remarked that, " he wondered his sister should have a stain, (macula), since she had a fuller (fullo)." (Sat. ii. 2.) The cognomen Macula is probably derived from some physical blemish. [W. B. D.]

MADARUS, spoken of by Cicero (adAtt. xivfc 2), is C. Matins, to whom he gives the surname Madams (jimSapta), on account of his baldness. He is usually called Calvena. [calvena.]

MADATES, called by Diodorus MA'DETAS, as), a general of Dareius, who defended a strong mountain-fortress of the Uxii against Alex­ander the Great, when the latter wished to pene­trate from.Susiana into Persis towards the end of b. c. 331. He was pardoned by Alexander at the

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of