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On this page: Silanus – Silentiarius – Silenus



the abnepos of Augustus, the latter was his

and not his atavus. (Tac. Ann. xii. 58, xv. 35 ;

Dion Cass. Ixii. 27.)

15. L. junius torquatus silanus, the son of No. 12, and consequently the atnepos, or great-great-great grandson of Augustus. In consequence of the early death of his father, he was brought up in the house of the jurist Cassius, who had married his aunt Lepida ; but his descent from Augustus, as well as his virtues, rendered him an object of suspicion to Nero. He was accordingly accused in a. d. 65, along with Cassius and his aunt Lepida. The crimes laid to the charge of Silanus were that he was aspiring to the empire, and that he had committed incest with his aunt Lepida. Silanus was sentenced to banishment, and was removed to Ostia, as if for the purpose of being carried over to Naxus ; but from Ostia he was conveyed to Barium, a municipium of Apulia, and was there shortly afterwards put to death. The name of the month of Junius was now changed into that of Germanicus, because the two Torquati had by their crimes rendered this name inaus­picious (Tac. Ann. xv. 52, xvi. 7—9, 12). This L. Silanus is probably the same as the L. Silanus whose statue was erected in the forum in the time of the younger Pliny (Ep. i. 17). This Silanus appears to have been the last descendant of Julia, the granddaughter of Augustus.

16. C. junius silanus, consul suffectus under Domitian in a. d. 92 (Fasti).

17. junius silanus, consul under Commodus in a. d. 189 with Q. Servilius Silanus (Fasti).

18. junius silanus, consul suffectus under Maximinus in a. d. 237 (Fasti).


There are several coins of the Junia Gens with the name of Silanus upon them. We annex two specimens. On the obverse of the first is the head of Salus, and on the obverse of the second the head of a barbarian with a torquis round the coin. The torquis was inserted in order to mark the connection of the Silani with the Manlii Torquati. We have already seen that the son of the jurist T. Manlius Torquatus was adopted by a D. Junius Silanus. [See above, No. 3.] In consequence of this connection between the Silani and Torquati, we find the name of Torquatus assumed by several of the Silani. [See above, Nos. 14, 15.] Who the D. Silanus is, referred to on these coins, cannot be determined ; the two coins probably refer to two different persons of the name.


SILANUS, LICI'NIUS, consul b.c. 20, is a false reading in Dion Cassius (Iv. 30) for Silianus. The full name of this consul was A. Licinius Nerva Silianus [nerva, licinius, No. 7].

SILANUS, SERVFLIUS, the name of two consuls under Commodus, namely, M. Servilius Silanus in a. d. 188, and Q. Servilius Silanus in a. d. 189 (Fasti).

SILANUS, T. TURPFLIUS, was appointed by Metellus in b. c. 108 commander of the town of Vaga or Vacca, in Numidia ; but the inhabitants, urged on by Jugurtha, treacherously massacred all the Roman garrison, with the exception of Tur-pilius Silanus, who escaped to the main body of the Roman army. The conduct and escape of Turpilius were suspicious ; he was brought to trial before Metellus, and condemned ; and, as he was a Latin and not a Roman citizen, was scourged and put to death. Plutarch relates that the inno­cence of Turpilius was afterwards established ; and that Marius, who was present at the trial as an assessor, had strongly urged Metellus to put him to death, in order thus to bring upon his com­mander the odium of having condemned an inno­cent man (Sail. Jug. 66—69 ; Pint. Mar. 8).

SILENTIARIUS, PAULUS [paulus, lite­rary, No. 18].

SILENUS or SEILE'NUS (Servo's). It is remarked in the article Satyrus, that the older Satyrs were generally termed Sileni (comp. Schol. ad Nicand. Alex. 31), but one of these Sileni is commonly the Silenus, who always acts a prominent part in the retinue of Dionysus, from whom he is inseparable, and whom he is said to have brought up and instructed. (Diod. iv. 14; Orph. Hymn. 53. 1.) Like the other Satyrs he is called a son of Hermes (Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. vi. 13), but others call him a son of Pan by a nymph, or of Gaea (Nonn. Dionys. xiv. 97, xxix. 262 ; Aelian, V. H. iii. 18; comp. Porphyr. Fit. Pytliag. 16; Clemens, Cohort, ad Gent. p. 24.) Being the constant com­panion of Dion}Tsus, he is, like the god, said to have been born at Nysa (Catull. 64, 253), and Diodo-rus (iii. 72) even represents him as king of Nysa; he moreover took part in the contest with the Gi-gantes, and slew Enceladus, putting the others to flight by the braying of his ass. (Eurip. Cyd.) He is described as a jovial old man, with a bald head, a puck nose, fat and round like his wine bag, which he always carried with him, and generally as intoxicated. As therefore he cannot trust to his own legs, he is generally riding on an ass (Ov. Fast. i. 399, iii. 749), or he is supported by other Satyrs and Satyrisci. (Virg. Echg. vi. 13 ; Lucian, Deor. Cone. 4.) In every other respect he is described as resembling his brethren in the fondness for sleep, wine and music. He is men­tioned along with Marsyas and Olympus as the inventor of the flute which he is often seen play­ing (Strab. x. p. 470), and a special kind of dance was called aft^r him Silenus, while he himself is designated as the dancer. (Anacr. 38. 11; Pans, iii. 25. § 2 ; Lucian, Icarom. 27.) But it is a peculiar feature in his character that he was con­ceived also as an inspired prophet, who knew all the past and the most distant future (Aelian, F. H. iii. 18 ; Virg. Edog. vi, 31, &c.), and as a sage who despised all the gifts of fortune (Cic. Tuscul. i. 48) ; so that he becomes the represent­ative of that wisdom which conceals itself behind a rough and uncouth external appearance, whence

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