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MARSUS.

as the father of the Roman people, having begotten the founders of Rome by Rhea Silvia, 3 priestess of Vesta. The rites of the worship of Mars all point to victory, in proof of which we need only direct attention to the dances in armour of the Salii, the dedication of the place of warlike exercises and games to Mars (campus Martius), and that war itself is frequently designated by the name of Mars. But being the father of the Romans, Mars was also the protector of the most honourable pursuit, i. e. agriculture, and hence he was invoked to be pro­pitious to the household of the rustic Roman (Cato, De Re Rust. 141); and under the name of Silvanus, he was worshipped to take care of the cattle (ibid. 83). The warlike Mars was called Gradivus, as the rustic god was called Silvanus ; while, in his rela­tion to the state, he bore the name of Quirinus. These are the three principal aspects under which the god appears; and in reference to the second, it may be remarked that females were excluded from his worship, and that accordingly he presided more particularly over those occupations of country life which belonged to the male sex. (Cato, De Re Rust. 83 ; Schol. ad Juvenal, vi. 446.) But not­withstanding this, Mars was conceived not. only accompanied by female divinities, but one of them, Nerio, or Neriene, is even described as his wife. (Gellius, xiii. 22 ; Plaut, True. ii,.6. 34 ; L. Lydus, De Mens. iv. 42.)

Mars was further looked upon as a god with prophetic powers; and in the neighbourhood of Reate there had been a very ancient oracle of the god (Dionys. i. 41), in which the future was re­vealed through a woodpecker (picus), which was sacred to him, and was for this reason surnamed Martius. The wolf also was sacred to Mars, and these animals, together with the horse, were his favourite sacrifices. Numerous temples were dedi­cated to him at Rome, the most important of which was that outside the Porta Capena, on the Appian road (Liv. x. 23, vi. 5, xli. 13 ; Serv. ad Aen. i. 2,96), and that of Mars Ultor, which was built by Augustus, in the forum. (Dion Cass. xlvi. 24; Sueton. Aug. 29; Vitruv. i. 7; comp. Hartung, Die Relig. der Rom. vol. ii. p. 155, &c.) [L. S.]

MARSUS, DOMI'TIUS, a Roman poet of the Augustan age, of whose life no particulars have come down to us. We may, however, conclude from his surname, Marsus, that he or his ancestors .belonged to the Marsian nation, and were adopted by the noble house of the Domitii. He survived Tibullus, who died b. c. 18, and on whom he wrote a beautiful epitaph, which is still extant: his works were therefore probably written about the same time that Horace was in his greatest glory, al­though he is not mentioned by the latter poet. The year in which Marsus died is uncertain: whether he was alive at the time of Ovid's banish­ment (a. d. 9) we do not know, but he appears to have been dead when Ovid wrote his elegies in exile. (ExPont.iy.\6.)

Marsus wrote poems of various kinds, but his epigrams were the most celebrated of his produc­tions. Hence he is frequently mentioned by Mar­tial, who speaks of him in terms of the highest admiration, and from whose incidental notices we learn that the epigrams of Marsus were distin­guished for their licentiousness and wit, and also for the severity of their satire. (Mart. ii. 71, 77, v. 5, vii. 99.) It was in consequence of their last characteristic that one of the books was entitled

MARSYA&

Oicuta, a few lines of which have been preserved by the scholiast Philargyrius (ad Virg. Ed. iii. 90). Besides these epigrams and the epitaph on Tibullus, which has been already mentioned, and which will be found in most of the editions of Tibullus, Marsus also wrote epic poetry, as appears from the fact that Ovid {Ex Pont. iv. 16. 5) classes him with the epic poet Rabirius, and that Martial (iv. 28) mentions a poem of Marsus called Ama-zonis. Marsus likewise wrote some erotic elegies, which probably bore the title of Melaenis (comp. Mart. vii. 29), and a collection of fables, the ninth book of which is cited by the grammarian Chari-sius.

All that is known of Domitius Marsus is col­lected and elucidated at great length by Weichert in his treatise De Domitio Marso Poeta, Grimmae, 1828, republished in his Poetarum Latin. Reliquiae, pp. 241—269, Lips. 1830.

MARSUS, OCTA'VIUS, whom Cicero calls " sceleratus homo atque egens," was legate of Dola-bella in b.c. 43, by whom he was sent into Syria with one legion. He was soon after followed by Dolabella, and was present with the latter at Lao-diceia, when the town was betrayed into the hands of C, Cassius Longinus. He followed the example of his general and put an end to his own life. Ap­pian calls him simply Marsus, but Dion Cassius Marcus Octavius, for which, however, we ought undoubtedly to read Marsus Octavius. (Cic. Phil. xi. 2, with the note of Garatoni; Appian, B. Cviv. 62 ; Dion Cass. xlvii. 30.)

MARSUS, VI'BIUS, whom Tacitus calls (Ann. vi. 47) "vetustis honoribus studiisque illustris," is first mentioned in A. d. 19 as one of the most likely persons to obtain the government of Syria, but he gave way to Cn. Sentius. In the same year he was sent to summon Piso to Rome to stand his trial. His name occurs again in a. d. 26, in the debates of the senate ; and just before the death of Tiberius (a. d. 37) he narrowly escaped death, being accused as one of the accomplices of Albu-cilla. In a. d. 47 we find him governor of Syria. (Tac. Ann. ii. 74, 79, iv. 56, vi. 47, 48, xi. 10.) The name of C. Vibius Marsus, proconsul, appears on several coins of Utica in Africa, struck in the reign of Tiberius: they probably relate to the same person as the one mentioned above; and as he was disappointed in obtaining the province of Syria in the reign of Tiberius, he may have been appointed to that of Africa. (Eckhel, vol. iv. pp. 147, 148.)

MARSYAS (Mapotfas), a mythological per­sonage, connected with the earliest period of Greek music. He is variously called the son of Hyagnis, or of Oeagrus, or of Olympus. Some make him a satyr, others a peasant. All agree in placing him in Phrygia. The following is the outline of his story, according to the mythographers. Athena having, while playing the flute, seen the reflection of herself in water, and observed the distortion of her features, threw away the instrument in disgust. It was picked up by Marsyas, who no sooner began to blow through it than the flute, having once been inspired by the breath of a goddess, emitted of its own accord the most beautiful strains. Elated by his success, Marsyas was rash enough to challenge Apollo to a musical contest, the conditions of which were that the victor should do what he pleased with the vanquished. The Muses, or, according to others, the Nysaeans, were the umpires. Apollo played upon the cithara, and

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