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On this page: Serenus – Sergia – Sergia Gens – Sergius


Alexander Severus (c. 30) that this prince was wont to read " et oratores et poetas, in queis Sere-imm Sammonicura, quern ipse noverat et dilexerat, et Horatium." His son, who bore the same name, was the preceptor of the younger Gordian, and bequeathed to his pupil the magnificent library which he had inherited from his sire. (Capitolin. Gordian. 18.)

A medical poem, extending to 115 hexameter lines, divided into 65 chapters or sections, and ending abruptly, has descended to us under the title Q. Sereni Sammonici de Medicina praecepta saluberrima, or, Praecepta de Medicina parvo pretio parabili, which is usually ascribed to the elder Sammonicus. It contains a considerable amount of information, extracted from the best authorities, on natural history and the healing art, mixed up with a number of puerile superstitions, such as the efficacy of the Abracadabra as an amulet in ague, the whole expressed in plain, un­ambitious, and almost prosaic language. The text is very corrupt, probably in consequence of the estimation in which the treatise was held during the middle ages. The most useful edition is that of Bur-mann, included in his Poetae Latini Minores (4to. Leid. 1731, vol. ii. pp. 187—388), containing the best notes and the Prolegomena of Keuchen. For an account of some recent contributions towards the improvement of the text, see Reuss, Lectiones Sammonicae, p. i. 4to. Wirceb. 1837. [W. R.]

SERENUS, A. SEPTI'MIUS, a Roman lyric poet (Terent. Maur. p. 2427, ed. Putsch. ; Serv. ad Virg. Aen. ii. 15 ; Hieron. Epist. ad Paulin. 7), who exercised his muse chiefly, it would appear, in depicting the charms of the country, and the de­light of rural pursuits. With the exception of one or two incidental notices in Sidonius Apollinaris (Epist. ad Polem. Carm. ix. ad Fel.\ and the pas­sage in St. Jerome referred to above, he is known to us from the grammarians alone, unless, indeed, we adopt the conjecture of Gronovius that in the Ode of Statius (Silv. iv. 5) addressed to Septimius Severus, we ought to substitute Serenus for Se-verus. The age in which he flourished is uncer­tain, since it depends upon the epoch which we assign to Terentianus Maurus, with whom he seems to have been nearly contemporary. (Terent. Maur. pp. 2424, 2427, ed. Putsch.)

His chief work, at least that which is most frequently mentioned, is quoted by Nonius (c. v. n. 35) under the title of Opuscula Ruralia^ by Terentianus Maurus (p. 2427, ed. Putsch.), as Opuscula Rims, by others simply as Opuscula, and must have been divided into two or more books (Non. c. xiv. 5). Another piece, unless indeed it was included in the Opuscula, was named Falisca, from containing a description of a farm which he possessed in the country of the Falisci, and from this the author is designated as Potta Faliscus (Terent. Maur. p. 2423, ed. Putsch.). It was composed in a peculiar measure invented by himself, consisting of three dactyls and a pyrrhi-chius, which is hence termed Metrum Faliscum by Servius (Centimetr. p. 1824, ed. Putsch.) and Vic-torinus (p. 2578 ed. Putsch.). Of this we have a specimen in the lines: —

Quando flagella jugas, ita juga, Vitis et ulmus uti simul eant, Nam nisi sint paribus fruticibus, Umbra necat teneras Amirieas.



Wernsdorf has endeavoured to prove that the Moretum, found among the Catalecta Virgiliana, belongs in reality to Serenus, but the hypothesis rests upon no sure nor even plausible evidence.

The scanty remains of Serenus, of which the longest fragment, the commencement of a sort of hymn to Janus, extends to five lines only, afford examples of several uncommon metres, and will be found collected in Wernsdorf, Poet. Lot. Min. vol. ii. p. 279. The dissertation commencing in p. 247 of the same volume contains every thing that has been ascertained or conjectured with regard to his name, his history, and his writings. See also Burmann, Antkol. Lot. i. 27, iii. 57, or No. 191, 192, ed. Meyer. [W. R.]

SERENUS, VFBIUS, proconsul of Further Spain, was condemned of Vis publica in a. d. 23, and exiled (deportatus) to the little island of Amor-gus, near Naxos. The real reason of his punish­ment was his being an enemy of the all-powerful Sejanus, as we learn from Dion Cassius (Iviii. 8), who relates the circumstance, but without men­tioning the name of Serenus. In the following year he was brought back to Rome, because he was accused by his own son, in the senate, of a plot against the emperor. The younger Serenus be­came one of the most infamous accusers in the reign of Tiberius, and was therefore held in all the higher honour by the emperor. (Tac. Ann. iv. 13, 28, 36.)

SERGIA. 1. One of the noble women at Rome who were accused of poisoning the leading men of the state in b. c. 331. The details and authorities are given under cornelia, No. 1.

2. The sister of Catiline, was married to Q. Caecilius, a Roman eques, who was slain by his brother-in-law during the proscription of Sulla. Sergia, like her brother, bore a bad character (Q. Cic. de Pet. Cons. 2 ; Ascon. in Tog. Cand. p. 84, ed. Orelli).

SERGIA GENS, patrician. The Sergii, like many other ancient Roman gentes, traced their descent from the Trojans. They regarded Ser-gestus as their ancestor (Virg. Aen. v. 121) : —

" Sergestusque, domus tenet a quo Sergia nomen."

The Sergii were distinguished in the early history of the republic, but obtained an unenviable noto­riety at a later age by Catiline belonging to them. The first member of the gens who obtained the consulship was L. Sergius Fidenas, in b. c. 437. The Sergii bore the cognomens of catilina, Es-quilinus, fidenas, orata, paulus, plancus (accidentally omitted under Plancus, and given below), and silus. Silus is the only cognomen which occurs on coins. A few persons of the gens are mentioned without any surname : these are given below.

SERGIUS. 1. M. sergius, tribune of the soldiers, was sent by P. Scipio to Rhegium, and was there slain shortly afterwards by the soldiers of Pleminius, b, c. 205. (Liv. xxix. 6, 9.)

2. L. sergius, one of the three ambassadors sent by P. Scipio to Carthage, in b. c. 203. (Liv. xxx. 25.)

3. C. sergius plancus, praetor urbanus b. c. 200. His imperium was prolonged for the fol­lowing year, that he might assign lands to the soldiers who had served for many years in Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia. (Liv. xxxi. 4, 6, xxxii. 1.)

4. Q. sergius, a senator, condemned inter si

3 e 2

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