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On this page: Nabonassar – Nacca – Naenia – Naevia Ennia – Naevia Gens – Naevius

NABONASSAR.

days. The war was now intermitted for a time, probably through the weakness of Nabis (Thiii- wall, Hist, of Greece, vol. viii. p. 335), who ap­ pealed for help to the Aetolians. A small force was sent by them under Alexamenus, by whom Nabis was soon after assassinated, b. c. 192. (Liv. xxxv. 12,13, 22, 25—35 ; Paus. viii. 50. §7,10; Plut. Philop. p. 364.) [C. P. M.]

NABONASSAR (Na§ovdffapos). Among the most perplexing questions of Eastern history, is the comparative state of the Assyrian and the Babj'lonian or Chaldean empire, and the succession of their kings. There seems to be little doubt, however, that the Babylonian kingdom did not extend its conquests till the reign of Nebuchad­nezzar b. c. 604. Till this time the kings of Babylon were toften dependent on the kings of Assyria, and acted as their viceroys, in the same manner as Cyrus the younger was dependent on his brother. From this general fact, as Well as from an inference to be stated immediately, Rosen­muller is of opinion that Nabonassar, the king of Babylon b. c. 747, was, without doubt, a vassal of Assyria. We find in sacred history (2 Kings, xvii. 24) that the king of Assyria, while colonising Sama­ria, " brought men from Babylon." Rosenmuller assumes that this king was Shalmaneser, or Salma-nasar, and argues that we must hence conclude that Babylon was at that time — a period subsequent to Nabonassar's reign — and consequently before, tributary to Assyria. Paulus, hi his Key to Isaiah (quoted by Rosenmuller), is of a different opinion, and is corroborated by Clinton. This latter writer infers from Ezra (iv. 2), that the colonisation of Samaria took place under Esarhaddon, the Assyrian monarch, who undoubtedly effected a change in the Babylonian monarchy, and placed his son there as viceroy. In the absence of all positive authority, therefore, we can draw no inference from the event referred to by Rosenmuller. Clinton concludes, on the authority of Polyhistor and the astronomical can on,-that Babylon had always kings of her own from the earliest times, and conjectures that Nabo­nassar and his successors were independent till the reign of Esarhaddon. This conclusion is strength­ened by the existence of the celebrated Era of Nabonassar. We may fairly infer, from this monarch's reign having been fixed upon by the Babylonian astronomers as the era from which they began their calculations, that there was some distinguished event—probably the temporary esta­blishment of Babylon as an independent kingdom — which led to their choice. In the absence of any thing like certainty to guide us, we may, not­withstanding, pronounce the opinion which Scaliger once held, but afterwards retracted, that Nabonas­sar and Baladon are identical, to be untenable.

Tlie Era of Nabonassar. This era serves, in astronomical, the same purpose as the Olympiads in civil history. It was the starting point of the Babylonian chronology, and was adopted by the Greeks of Alexandria, by Hipparchus, Berosus, and Ptolemy. Its date is ascertained from the eclipses recorded by Ptolemy, and the celestial phenomena with which he marks the day of Nabonassar5 s ac­cession to the throne. It is fixed as the 26th of February, b. c. 747. Scaliger De Emend. Temp. (p. 392) notices the coincidence between the years of this era and the sabbatical year of the Samaritans. Thus, to take the year of Christ, 1584: 1584 + 747 = 2331 of the era of Nabonassar, which is both

NAEVItJS. 1125

divisible by 7 and a sabbatical year. (Rosemiiiller, BiUic. Geogr. of Central Asia, vol. ii. p. 41, &c., Edinburgh ; Clinton, F. H. vol. i. p. 278 ; Scaliger, De Emend. Temp. p. 352, &c.) [W. M. G.J

NACCA. [natta.]

NAENIA, i.e. a dirge or lamentation, equi­valent to the Greek ^rpijvos, such as was uttered at funerals, either by relatives of the deceased or by hired persons. At Rome Naenia was personified and worshipped as a goddess, who even had a chapel, which, however, as in the case of all other gods in connection with the dead, was outside the walls of the city, near the porta Viminalis. The object of this worship was probably to procure rest and peace for the departed in the lower world ; this may be inferred from the fact of Naeniae being compared with lullabyes, and they seem to have been sung with a soft voice, as if a person was to be lulled to sleep. (August, de Civ. Dei, vi. 9 ; Arnob. adv. Gent. iv. 7, vii. 32 ; Horat. Carm. iii. 28. 16 ; Fest. pp. 161, 163, ed. Mtiller.) [L.S.]

NAEVIA ENNIA. [ennia.]

NAEVIA GENS, plebeian, is not mentioned in history till the time of the second Punic war, towards the close of which one of its members, Q. Naevius Matho, was praetor. None of the Naevii, however, obtained the consulship under the repub­lic, and it was not till a. d. 30, when L. Naevius Surdinus was consul, that any of the gens was raised to this honour. The principal surnames under the republic are balbus and matho : be­sides these we also find the cognomens Crista, Pol-Ho, Turpio, which are given under naevius. On coins we find the cognomens Balbus, Capella, Surdinus. (Eckhel, vol. v. p. 259.)

NAEVIUS. 1. Q. naevius, or navius, as the name is written in the MSS. of Livy, was a centurion in the army of Q. Fulvius Flaccus, who was engaged in the siege of Capua in b. c. 211, when Hannibal attempted to relieve the town. Naevius greatly distinguished himself by his per­sonal bravery on this occasion, and by his advice the velites were united with the equites and did good service in repulsing, the Campanian cavalry. (Liv. xxvi. 4, 5 ; Frontin. Strateg. iv. 7. § 29 ; Val. Max. ii. 3. § 3.)

2. Q. naevius crista, a praefect of the allies, served under the praetor M. Valerius in the war against Philip in B. c. 214, during the course of the second Punic war, and distinguished himself by his bravery and military skill. (Liv. xxiv. 40.)

3.' Q. naevius, was one of the triumvirs ap­pointed in b.c. 194, for founding a Latin colony among the Bruttii. He and his colleagues had the imperium granted to them for three years. (Liv. xxxiv. 53, xxxv. 40.)

4. M. naevius, tribune of the plebs, b. c. 184, entered upon his office in b. c. 185, in which year, at the instigation of Cato the censor, he accused Scipio Africanus the elder of having been bribed by Antiochus to allow that monarch to come off too leniently. Scipio's speech in his defence was ex­tant in the time of A. Gellius, who quotes a strik­ing passage from it ; but there was some dispute whether Naevius was the accuser of Scipio ; some authorities spoke of the Petilii as the parties who brought the charge. (Liv. xxxviii. 56, xxxix. 52 ; Gell.iv. 18; Aur. Vict. de Vir. 111. 49.) The short quotation which Cicero (de Orai. ii. 61) makes from a speech of Scipio against Naevius must have been delivered upon another occasion,

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