The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Prisca – Priscianus

52-1

PRIMUS.

mediately set out against Antonius upon hearing of the defeat of their comrades. The skill and valour of Antonius again secured the victory for his troops after another hard-fought battle. In the morning he marched against Cremona, which was at length obliged to submit to him after a vigorous defence. The unhappy city was given up to plun­der and flames ; and at the end of four days of in­cessant pillage, during which the most horrible atrocities were perpetrated, the entire city was le­velled to the ground.

Hitherto Antonius had acted with moderation and caution ; but, as frequently happens, success revealed his cruel character, and brought forth to public view the avarice, pride, and other vices which were inherent in his nature. Henceforth he treated Italy like a conquered country ; and in order to maintain his popularity with the soldiers, allowed them every kind of licence. Mucianus, who was jealous of his success, and who wished to reserve to himself the glory of putting an end to the war, wrote to Antonius, recommending caution and delay, though he worded his letters in such a manner that the responsibility of all movements was thrown upon Antonius. But to the officers of Antonius he expressed himself with more openness, and thus endeavoured to keep Antonius in the north of Italy. Antonius, however, was not of a temper to brook such interference,and he therefore wrote to Vespasian, extolling his own exploits, and covertly attacking Mucianus. Without troubling himself about the wishes of the latter, he crossed the Apennines in the middle of winter, and marched straight upon Rome. Upon reaching Ocriculum, however, he halted for some days. His soldiers, whose appetites had been whetted by the plunder of Cremona, and who were impatient to glut them­selves with the spoils of Rome, were indignant at this delay, and accused their general of treachery. It'is probable that Antonius, who saw that it would be difficult to restrain his soldiers, feared the general odium, as well as the displeasure of Vespasian, if his troops were to sack the imperial city. But whatever were his motives or intentions, circum­stances occurred which put an end to his inactivity. News arrived that Flavius Sabinns had taken re­fuge in the Capitol, and that he was there besieged Jby the Vitellian troops. Thereupon Antonius im­mediately marched upon Rome, but before he could reach the city the Capitol was burnt, and Sabinus killed. Upon arriving at the suburbs, he endea­voured to prevent his troops from entering the city till the following day ; but the soldiers, who saw the prey before their eyes, demanded to be led forthwith to the attack. Antonius was obliged to yield ; he divided his army into three bodies, and gave orders for the assault. The troops of Vitellius fought vvith the courage of despair ; driven out of the suburbs, they continued the combat in the streets of the city, and the struggle continued for many days. At length the work of butchery came to an end ; the soldiers of Vitellius were everywhere destroyed, and the emperor himself put to death. Thereupon Domitian, who was in Rome, received the name of Caesar ; Arrius Varus was entrusted with the command of the Praetorian troops ; but the government and all real power was in the hands of Antonius. His rapacity knew no bounds, arid he kept plundering the emperor's palace, as if he had been at the sack of Cremona. The sub­servient senate voted him the consular ornaments ;

PRISCIANUS.

but his rule lasted only for a short time. Mucia­nus reached Rome soon after the death of Vitellius, and was immediately received by the senate and the whole city, as their master. But though An­tonius was thus reduced to a subordinate position in the state, Mucianus was still jealous of him. He, therefore, would not allow him to accompany Domitian in his expedition into Germany ; at which Antonius was so indignant that he repaired to Ves­pasian, who was at Alexandria. He was not re­ceived by Vespasian in the distinguished manner which he had expected, and to which he thought that he was entitled ; for though the emperor treated him with kindness and consideration on account of the great services he had rendered him, he secretly regarded him with dislike and sus­picion, in consequence of the accusations of Mu­cianus, and the haughty conduct of Antonius him­self. (Tac. Hist. ii. 86, libb. iii.—iv. ; Dion Cass. Ixv. 9 —18 ; Joseph. B. J. iv. 11.) This is the last time that Antonius is mentioned by Ta­citus ; but we learn from Martial, who was a friend of Antonius, that he was alive at the accession of Trajan. In an epigram of the tenth book, which was probably published in a. d. 100, the second year of Trajan's reign [see Vol. II. p. 965, b.], Antonius is said to be in his sixtieth year. (Mart. x. 23, comp. x. 32, ix. 100.)

PRISCA, MUTI'LIA, a friend of Livia, the mother of the emperor Tiberius, and the mistress of Julius Postumus. (Tac. Ann. iv. 12.)

PRISCA, PU'BLIA, the wife of C. Geminius Rufus, who was put to death in A. d. 31, in the reign of Tiberius. Prisca was also accused and summoned before the senate, but stabbed herself in. the senate-house. (Dion Cass. Iviii. 4.)

PRISCIANUS, one of the most celebrated grammarians of the later period of Roman litera­ture. From the surname Caesariensis which is given to him, we gather that he was either born at Caesareia, or at least was educated there. The time at which he lived cannot be fixed with any great precision. He is spoken of as a contempo­rary of Cassiodorus, who lived from a. d. 468 to at least a. d. 562. (Paulus Diaconus, de GesL Longob. i. 25.) According to a statement of Aid-helm (ap. Mai, Auct. Class, vol. v. p. 501, &c.), the emperor Theodosius the younger, who died in A. d. 450, copied out Priscian's grammatical work with his own hand. Some authorities, therefoi'e, place him in the first half of the fifth century, others a little later in the same century, others in the beginning of the sixth century. The second is the only view at all consonant with both the above statements Priscianus was a pupil of Theoctis-tus. (Prise, xviii. 5.) He himself taught grammar at Constantinople, and was in the receipt of a salary from the government, from which (as well as from parts of his writings, especially his transla­tion of the Periegesis of Dionysius) it appears pro­bable that he was a Christian. Of other particulars of his life we are ignorant. He was celebrated for the extent and depth of his grammatical knowledge, of which he has left the evidence in his work on the subject, entitled Commentariorum gramma-ticorum Libri XVIII.^ addressed to his friend and patron, the consul Julianus. Other titles are, how­ever, frequently given to it. The first sixteen books treat upon the eight parts of speech recognised by the ancient grammarians, letters, syllables, &c. The last two books are on syntax, and in one MS.

Pages
About | First

522

523

524
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.