The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Nonius – Nonius Marcellus – Nonnosus – Nonnus



and Tacitus, who mentions his death in A. d. 60, praises his character as well as his talents. (Quinctil. x. 1. § 102; Plin. Epist. I. 13; Plin. PI. N. xxviii. 2. s. 5 ; Tac. Ann. xiv. 19, Dial, de Oral. 23.)

NONIUS. 1. A. nonius, a candidate for the tribuneship of the plebs/for b. c. 100, was mur­dered by Glaucia and Appuleius Saturninus, because he was opposed to their party. (Appian, B. C. i. 28 ; Plut. Mar. 29 ; Liv. Epit. 69.)

2. nonius, a friend of Fimbria, in whose army he was in b. c. 84, when Sulla was preparing to attack him ; but when Fimbria wished his soldiers to renew their military oath to him, and .called upon Nonius to do so first, he refused. (Appian, Mithr. 59.)

3. nonius strum a was raised to one of the curule magistracies by Julius Caesar, but appears to have been unworthy of the honour. Hence Catullus exclaims (Carm. 52) :—

" Quid est, Catulle, quid moraris emori ? Sella in curuli Struma Nonius sedet."

4. nonius, the son of Nonius Struma [No. 3], was proscribed by M. Antonius in consequence of his possessing an opal stone of immense Value. He was the grandfather of Servilius Nonianus [NoNi-anus]. (Plin. H. N. xxxvii. 6. s. 21.)

5. nonius, a centurion of the soldiers, was murdered by his comrades in the Campus Martius, b. c. 41, because he endeavoured to put down some attempts at disorder and mutiny. (Appian, B. C. v. 16.)

6. nonius had the charge of one of the gates of Rome in what is called the Perusinian war, b. c. 41, and admitted L. Antonius into the city. (Appian, B. C. v. 30.)

7. nonius asprenas had the title of proconsul in b. c. 46, and served under Caesar in the African war, in that year, and also in the Spanish war, b. c. 45. (Auct. B. Afr. 80, Hisp. 10.)

8. C. nonius asprenas, probably a son of the preceding, was accused, in b. c. 9, of poisoning 130 guests at a banquet, but the number in Pliny is probably corrupt, and ought to be thirty. The accusation was conducted by Cassius Severus, and the defence by Asinius Pollio. The speeches of these orators at this trial were very celebrated in antiquity, and the perusal of them is strongly recommended by Quinctilian. Asprenas was an intimate friend of Augustus, and was acquitted througn the influence of the emperor. (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 12. s. 46 ; Suet. Aug. 56 ; Dion Cass. Iv. 4 ; Quinct. x. .1. § 23.) In his youth, Asprenas was injured by a fall while performing in the Ludus Trojae before Augustus, and received in consequence from the emperor a golden chain, and the permission to assume the surname of Torquatus, both for himself and his posterity. (Suet. Aug. 43.) The Torquatus, to whom Horace addresses two of his poems (Carm. iv. 7» Sat. i. 5), is sup­posed by Weichert and others, to be the same as this Nonius Asprenas, since all the Manlii Torquati appear to have perished, which was the reason probably why Augustus gave him the xancient and honourable surname of Torquatus. Some modern writers have supposed that the Ct Asprenas, who was accused of poisoning, was the same as the proconsul of this name in the African war [No. 7] ; but Weichert has brought forward sufficient reasons to render it much more

probable that he was his son. (Weichert, De Lucii Varii et Cassii Parmensis Vita, &c., Grimae, 1836, pp. 197—199, and Excursus L," De C. Nonio Asprenate," p. 301, &c. ; comp. Meyer, Orator. Roman. Fragm. p. 492, &c., 2nd ed.) For the other persons of the name of Nonius Asprenas, see asprenas.

9. nonius receptus, a centurion, remaining firm to .Galba, when his comrades espoused the side of Vitellius, A. d. 69, was thrown into chains by them and shortly after put to death. (Tac. Hist. i. 56, 59.)

10. nonius actianus, an infamous delator under Nero, was punished at the beginning of Vespasian's reign, A. d. 70. (Tac. Hist. iv. 41.)

NONIUS MARCELLUS, the grammarian. [marcellus.]

NONNOSUS (NoWco-os), was sent by the emperor Justinian I. on an embassy to the Aethio-pians, Ameritae, Saracens, and other Eastern nations. On his return he wrote a History of his embassy, which has perished, but an abridgment of it has been preserved by Photius (BibL Cod. 3). From the account of Photius we learn that the father of Nonnosus, whose name was Abraham, had been also sent on an embassy to the Saracens, and that his grandfather Nonnosus had likewise been sent on a similar embassy by the emperor Anasta-sius. The abridgment of Photius has been re­printed, in the Bonn collection of the Byzantine writers, in the volume containing the fragments of Dexippus, Eunapius, &c., edited by Niebuhr and Bekker, 1829. (Fabric. BibL Grace, vol. vii. p. 543 ; Voss. de Hist. Grace, p. 326, ed. Wester-mann.)

NONNUS (noj/i/os), a Greek poet, was a native of Panopolis in Egypt, and seems to have lived shortly before the time of Agathias (iv. p. 128), who montions him among the recent (vsoi) poets. Whether he is the same person as the Npnnus whose son Sosena is recommended by Synesius to his friends Anastasius and Pylaemenes, is uncer­tain. (Synes. Ep. ad Anast. 43, ad Pylaem. 102.) Respecting his life nothing is known, except that he was a Christian, whence he cannot be confounded with the Nonnus mentioned by Suidas (s.v. 2a-\ovffrios). He is the author of an enormous epic poem, which has come down to us under the name of AiovvffiaKa or Batrcrapt/ca, and consists of forty-eight books. As the subject of the poem is a pagan divinity and a number of mythological stories, some writers have supposed that it was written previous to his conversion to Christianity or that it was composed in ridicule of the theology of the pagans ; but neither opinion appears to be founded on any sound argument, for it does not appear why a Christian should not have amused himself with writing a poem on pagan subjects. The poem it­self shows that Nonnus had no idea whatever of what a poetical composition should be, and it is, as Heinsius characterises 4t, more like a chaos than a literary production. Although the professed sub­ject of the poem is Dionysus, Nonnus begins with the story of £eus carrying off Europa ; he proceeds to relate the fight of Typhonus with Zeus ; the story of Cadmus and the foundation of Thebes, the stories of Actaeon, Persephone, the birth of Zagreus and the deluge, and at length, in the seventh book, he relates the birth of Dionysus. The first six or seven books are so completely de­void of any connecting link, that any one of them

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