Main Text

pg 834.

362 bc

1–5. 9. The prosecution of L. Manlius Imperiosus and the response of the young T. Manlius

The story is told also at Cic. off. iii. 112, Val. Max. v. 4. 3, vi. 9. 1, Sen. ben. iii. 37. 4, and Zon. vii. 24. 11; but only the passage of Cicero helps illuminate L.'s technique:

L. Manlio A. f., cum dictator fuisset, M. Pomponius tr. pl. diem dixit, quod is paucos sibi dies ad dictaturam gerendam addidisset; criminabatur etiam quod T. filium, qui postea est Torquatus appellatus, ab hominibus relegasset et ruri habitare iussisset. quod cum audiuisset adulescens filius negotium exhiberi patri, accurrisse Romam et cum primo luci Pomponi domum uenisse dicitur. cui cum esset nuntiatum, qui illum iratum allaturum ad se aliquid contra patrem arbitraretur, surrexit e lectulo remotisque arbitris ad se adulescentem iussit uenire. at ille, ut ingressus est, confestim gladium destrinxit iurauitque se illum statim interfecturum, nisi ius iurandum sibi dedisset se patrem missum esse facturum. iurauit hoc terrore coactus Pomponius; rem ad populum detulit, docuit cur sibi causa desistere necesse esset, Manlium missum fecit. tantum temporibus illis ius iurandum ualebat.

Since Cicero was not writing history and told the story for the purpose of illustrating how in earlier times oaths were kept, we are not strictly comparing like with like. Yet there are some verbal and thematic similarities; note primo luce~mane (Liv. 5. 3) domum~domum, nuntiatum~nuntiaret, arbitris remotis~arbitris remotis (5. 4), destrinxit~stringit (5. 5) lectulo~lectum. Though Cicero may well have told the story from memory, these similarities suggest that he had at some point looked at a source similar to L.'s.1

The key to L.'s treatment may be found at 5. 2 'capit consilium rudis quidem atque agrestis animi et quamquam non ciuilis exempli, tamen pietate laudabile'. Interested in the exemplary aspects of the behaviour of the young Torquatus, he focuses attention on the father's treatment of the young man; and by giving the tribune a speech in which the cruelty of the elder Manlius is stressed (see 4. 4–7 n.) he is able to throw into sharper relief the pious behaviour of the son (contrast Cicero). Furthermore, the tribune's stress on how the future Torquatus was kept among beasts allows L. to suggest that this led him to adopt a mode of behaviour that was rudispg 84atque agrestis animi, and that he was stolide ferocem uiribus suis. As is well known, the display of piety towards one's father, however he might behave, was one of the classic virtues which the Romans enshrined in their national myth (see e.g. Val. Max. v. 4); but L. also gives the son's behaviour thematic importance: this is the same Manlius who will show such disciplina in fighting the Gaul (see 9. 6–10. 14 n.), and who will kill his own son for disobedience (see viii. 7. 1–22 n.). Here L. much approves of his piety (cf. 10. 4); but in book viii he is critical of his severity. Characteristically the episode has a swift opening (4. 1–2) and a formal conclusion, which rounds off the whole (5. 8–9). In between we may admire L.'s imaginitive reconstruction, and in particular the details of the salutatio (which, as the evidence of Cicero suggests, must have been in his source, but which he may well have expanded). For further discussion of this episode, see Richter (1983) 72–8; for moralizing in L., see vol. i, pp. 114–17.

The historicity of the whole tale is very doubtful, since it is hard to see how so much detail could have survived from 362 to L.'s time, and since the father of Torquatus corresponds so well to the stock character of the Manlii (see below, pp. 86–7). Yet it does provide a good illustration of one aspect of patria potestas—the power to punish one's son by relegation to the countryside (see 4. 4 n.).

4. 1. Q. Seruilio Ahala L. Genucio consulibus: L. does not elsewhere subordinate the consuls in an ablative absolute after principio insequentis anni (with which the ablative absolute must go rather than with dies … dicitur); but it is noteworthy that they play no role in the narrative until 6. 8. For the consuls themselves, see 1. 7 n.

M. Pomponio: (8). Known only from this tale. Gundel (RE xxi. 2237) states that Pomponius was the great-grandson of the tribune mentioned at iii. 54. 13 (449); this is conceivable, but cannot be proved.

2. During the course of a levy, before the soldiers were assigned to their legions, there was a roll call in which individuals had to answer to their name or, if they were not prepared to serve, give good reasons why not; and it was not unknown for harsh magistrates, such as Manlius, to accept no excuse. The accounts of early Roman history contain several plausible reconstructions of this part of the levy; see ii. 28. 5–6 'decernunt ut dilectum quam acerrimum habeant … dimisso senatu consules in tribunal escendunt; citant nominatim iuniores. cum ad nomen nemo responderet …', 29. 2, pg 8555. 1–5, iii. 11. 1, 69. 6–7, D.H. viii. 81. 3, 87. 5, all of which refer to attempts at punishment or coercion by the magistrates. In his description of the levy Polybius omitted this stage (see vi. 20. 1–3), but its existence is guaranteed both by these passages and by e.g. xliii. 14. 2 and Phaedr. iv. 18. 8. The most famous story of punishment concerns M'. Curius Dentatus, who sold a man into slavery (see per. xiv, Varr. ap. Non. 28, Val. Max. vi. 3. 4; also Cic. Caec. 99, and Arr. Men. dig. xlix. 16. 4. 10); but we hear also of flogging (with our passage, cf. ii. 55. 5 and D.H. x. 33. 3), fining (with our passage, cf. D.H. x. 33. 3 and Gell. xi. 1.4 'M. Terentio, quando citatus neque respondit neque excusatus est, ego ei unum ouem multam dico'), and confiscation of goods (see the passages of D.H. cited above).1 See further Liebenam, RE v. 600–1, Brunt (1971) 628–9 and Rawson (1971b) 15–16 = (1991) 37–9.

acerbitas in dilectu, non damno modo ciuium sed etiam laceratione corporum †lata†: the interpretation of this passage has often been discussed, but never in such a way as to settle all doubts. Luterbacher, W–M, and Walters defended the reading of the manuscripts on the ground that lata stands for perlata (i.e. tolerata or 'endured'). They cited xxii. 54. 11 '(clades) … nulla ex parte comparandae sunt nisi quod minore animo latae sunt', Sen. dial. iv. 14. 4 'contumelia non aequo animo lata' and v. 11. 3 'quem-admodum … sit iniuria … lata'; but it is worrying that the instrumental laceratione is not properly paralleled by animo in the first two of these passages. If one is determined to retain the paradosis, then another approach may seem preferable: lata may indeed stand for perlata, but in the sense of 'carried through to a conclusion/to the end', and by a mild instance of enallage go with acerbitas and not dilectu. (For the use of ferre for perferre compare the passages cited by Riemann [1885] 195.) One may then translate 'his ferocity in ‹conducting› the levy (which was completed not only with the fining but also with the flogging of citizens) … was disliked'. But this approach is very speculative, and any attempt to retain the paradosis involves the difficulty that lata closes down the phrase, whereas what one wants is a word which leads into the partim … partim … expansion.

Many scholars have tried to emend the passage: Madvig (1877: 167–8) tentatively suggested laeta, which is absurd; M. Müller, ap. H. J. Müller (1898) 16, ‹cumulata, but the metaphor seems inappropriate (some word meaning 'consisting in' would have been pg 86preferable); H. J. Müller, ibid., aucta, but this is both diplomatically improbable and vulnerable to the same objections raised against cumulata; and Watt (1991–3: 191)testata, which is preferable to these suggestions but hardly inevitable. Van der Vliet (1887: 334) tried a different method of attack with 'acerbitas … non damno modo ciuibus sed etiam laceratione corporum 〈illata'; this gives good sense, but is uneconomical. Novák (1894: 104) deleted lata, arguing that it arose from perseveration after laceratione; this also gives good sense and may be correct, though the diplomatic argument is highly speculative. Amid so many uncertainties it seems best to obelize.

laceratio is regular in the context of scourging, cf. e.g. iii. 58. 8, viii. 28. 5, 28. 7, 32. 11, and 33. 21.

uirgis caesis: as L. knew well, the dictator was not bound by prouocatio.

Link 3. ipsum ingenium atrox cognomenque Imperiosi: the annalists liked to portray families as having fixed characteristics (see vol. i, pp. 98–9), and excessive severity or officiousness became the hall-mark of the Manlii in the historical tradition. Thus the first Torquatus is supposed to have killed his own son for disobeying orders (viii. 7. 1–22 n.). His descendant T. Torquatus, cos. I 235, is made to urge a harsh approach to the ransoming of prisoners, and is labelled by L. (xxii. 60. 5) as priscae ac nimis durae, ut plerisque uidebatur, seueritatis and by Silius (xi. 73–4) as Torquatus, auum fronte aequauisse seuera | nobilis; and, when on the point of being elected consul, he declares (xxvi. 22. 9; cf. Val. Max. vi. 4. 1, Zon. ix. 5. 6) 'neque ego uestros … mores consul ferre potero neque uos imperium meum'. This last statement is in fact ascribed to the first Torquatus at Dio fr. 35. 9 and uir. ill. 28. 5—a nice illustration of the way in which the tradition concerning the Manlii developed. Another T. Torquatus, his grandson (cos. 165), found his son guilty of provincial misgovernment, tried him, and convicted him. In shame the young man committed suicide, but rather than attend his funeral the father carried on his duties as an expert in civil law (per. 54, Val. Max. v. 8. 3). As the son had been adopted into the Junii Silani the whole story seems most improbable, but it again illustrates the way the historical tradition wished to view the Manlian character. A further allusion to the Manlian character may be found at Hor. epist. i. 5. 6, where Horace writes uel imperium fer in a poem addressed to a contemporary Torquatus (see e.g. Nisbet [1959] 73 = [1995] 1–2, with a slightly different emphasis). Thus also in our pg 87passage the severity of the dictator will have been invented to illustrate the Manlian type. See also Wiseman (1979) 25.

Link ab ostentatione: for this use of ab see vi. 1. 11 n.; ostentatio is found elsewhere in L. only at v. 21. 9 and xxvi. 19. 3.

4–7. The accusations of the tribune are in part vouched for by L. (see 5. 9), but the exaggerated language is typical of Roman invective; see Nisbet (1961) 192–7. A Roman's patria potestas embraced the right to order to the country or elsewhere his son (e.g. Plaut. Bacch. 899, Cas. 62, Cist. 225–8, Merc. 64–8 [although these Plautine examples may reflect Greek comic practice], Cic. Sex. Rosc. 42, 46, D.H. ii. 26. 4, Sen. contr. iv. 6, vii. 1 (16). 13, Oros. v. 16. 8; perhaps also Suet. Cal. 9) and his slaves (Courtney on Juv. 8. 180); see further Sachers, RE xxii. 1082–3. Recent scholarship has rightly reacted against the earlier exaggerations of the importance of patria potestas in Roman society (see e.g. Harris [1986] and Saller [1986]); and our story well brings out the disrepute which might arise from abuse of it (this point is made by Evans [1991: 178–9]).

4. filium: (57). This is the first appearance of the great T. Manlius L. f. A. n. Torquatus, the most celebrated scion of the Manlian gens. The origins of his career are anecdotal: in addition to our passage, see 9. 6–10. 14 (nn.), where L. recounts how he acquired his cognomen by slaying a Gaul in single combat. Thereafter he held office throughout almost thirty-five years, being consul in 347 (27. 3), 344 (28. 6) and 340 (viii. 3. 5), and dictator in 353 (19. 9), 349 (26. 11, F.C.), and 320 (F.C.). His fame rested primarily upon his achievements in his last consulate of 340. This was the first year of the Latin War, and Manlius was victorious in the decisive battles at the Veseris (an engagement in which his colleague P. Decius Mus died) and Trifanum. A famous legend recorded that before the engagement he ordered the execution of his own son, a junior officer in the army, for fighting in single combat in contravention of orders (viii. 7. 1–22 nn.); and this was said to be the origin of the expression Manliana imperia which Romans applied to especially severe orders (viii. 7. 22 n.). The dictatorships of Manlius are all in different ways problematic: the first two are discussed above at p. 22 in the context of the emergence of the office dictator comitiorum habendorum causa, the third at ix. 15. 9–10 n. (where it is suggested that, despite the twenty-year break in Manlius' career, the F.C. are probably correct and are to be interpreted in the light of the disaster at the Caudine Forks). For two other anecdotes about him, pg 88see viii. 12. 1 n. For a possible grandson, or a son born to Torquatus in old age, see x. 9. 9 n. See further Münzer, RE xiv. 1179–90.

nullius probri compertum: for the genitive cf. xxii. 57. 2 'uestales … stupri compertae', xxxii. 1. 8 'sacrilegii compertos', Varr. ap. Prisc. gramm. Lat. ii. 384. 6 'uestales incesti compertae', Tac. ann. i. 3. 4, iv. 11. 1, Apul. met. x. 8, and Just. xi. 11. 5 (all cited at TLL iii. 2055. 16–20).

extorrem urbe, domo, penatibus, foro, luce, congressu aequalium prohibitum: a splendid chiasmus, in which three dependent nouns follow extorrem, and three precede prohibitum. For chiasmus in L., see vol. i, pp. 727–9; for foro, luce, see vi. 14. 7 n.; and for these aequales, see 10. 5 n.

opus seruile … ergastulum: the lowest class of rustic slaves, deemed too uncouth to enjoy normal habitation, were kept chained in an ergastulum, normally a subterranean dungeon; cf. Col. i. 6. 3 'uinctis quam saluberrimum subterraneum ergastulum plurimis sitque id angustis inlustratum fenestris atque a terra sic editis, ne manu contingi possint'; also e.g. ii. 23. 6 'ductum se ab creditore non in seruitium sed in ergastulum et carnificinam esse', xxiv. 15.7, Cic. Cluent. 21 'M. Aurius adulescentulus bello Italico captus apud Asculum in Q. Sergi senatoris … manus incidit et apud eum fuit in ergastulo', and the many passages cited at TLL v. 2. 756. 64–758. 65. For chained slaves see further e.g. Cato agr. 56 and White (1970) 361–2, and, for the coupling here, cf. Juv. 14. 24 'quem mire adficiunt inscripta, ergastula, carcer?'.

dederit: the perfect subjunctive in historic sequence is not uncommon and serves to throw emphasis on the subordinate clause; see K–S ii. 187–92, Riemann (1885) 257–8, and W–M on xxxix. 28. 6.

5. dictatorius iuuenis: see vi. 16. 3 n.

Link 6. impromptus: a very rare word [*], used with reference to speech also at Auson. v. 9 'sermone impromptus Latio', Cael. Aur. acut. iii. 67 'imprompta locutio'; otherwise only at Tac. ann. ii. 21. 1 'imprompto iam ⟨Arminio⟩ ob continua pericula'. promptus, by contrast, is found often, and commonly in the context of speech (OLD s.u. 4c).

Link nutriendum: nutrio is found commonly in medical contexts (see Richardson [1982] 104), either in the specific sense of feeding a patient (e.g. Cels. iii. 4. 12 'igitur sic aegros nutriebant, ut dierum imparium accessiones expectarent', 7. 1 B, 23. 5) or, as here, in the more general sense of 'caring for' (e.g. Cels. proem. 65 'qui ampla ualetudinaria nutriunt', iv. 18. 5). Compare also Liv. iv. 52. 3 pg 89'pestilentia … a foro … ad domum curamque corporum nutriendorum auertit'.

Link ne mutas quidem bestias minus alere ac fouere: W–M well cite Cic. Lael. 27 'quod quidem quale sit, etiam in bestiis quibusdam animaduerti potest, quae ex se natos ita amant ad quoddam tempus et ab eis ita amantur, ut facile earum sensus appareat. quod in homine multo est euidentius …'. Thought, however, on this topic went back to classical Greek literature; see e.g. Soph. El. 1058–62 τί τοὺς ἄνωθεν φρονιμωτάτους οἰω‎ | νοὺς ἐσορώμενοι τροφᾶς‎ | κηδομένους ἀφ‎ʼ ὧν τε βλά‎ | στωσιν ἀφ‎ʼ ὧν τ‎ʼ ὄνασιν εὕ‎ | ρωσι, τάδ‎ʼ οὐκ ἐπ‎ʼ ἴσας τελοῦμεν‎;, Aristot. eth. Nic. viii. 1155a φύσει τ‎ʼ ἐνυπάρχειν ἔοικε πρὸς τὸ γεγεννημένον τῷ γεννήσαντι καὶ πρὸς τὸ γεννῆσαν τ‎ῷ γεννηθέντι, οὐ μόνον ἐν ἀνθρώποις ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν ὄρνισι καὶ τοῖς πλείστοις τῶν ζῴων‎, gen. an. iii. 753a, Long. Daph. i. 3. 1–2 (including ἔπειτα αἰδεσθεὶς εἰ μηδὲ αἰγὸς φιλανθρωπίαν μιμήσεται‎), and Philostr. Apoll. ii. 14 (discussing how well animals look after their young). For other passages contrasting human behaviour with the superior behaviour of the beasts, cf. e.g. vi. 18. 5, Hor. epod. 7. 11–12, Sen. contr. ii. 1. 10 'quae causa hominem aduersus hominem in facinus coegit?—nam neque feris inter se bella sunt nec, si forent, eadem hominem deceant, placidum proximumque diuino genus' and Ov. am. i. 10. 25–8 (with McKeown's note).

mutus is regularly coupled with words like bestia or animal (cf. e.g. Cic. Q. fr. i. 1. 24, Sen. clem. i. 16. 4, and Juv. 8. 56) and tends to denote not so much an inability to speak as lack of reason (Greek ἄλογος‎); see Heraeus (1889–92) 14–15. Here, however, mutas is a key word: the younger Manlius, slow to speak and slow to understand, is consigned appropriately or inappropriately (depending upon whether one adopts the perspective of his father or that of the tribunes) to live amid the mutae bestiae; but the beasts have higher standards than the elder Manlius, and perhaps from them Manlius learns to look after his father.

7. at hercule: see vi. 40. 15 n.

malum malo augere: proverbial, like the Greek κακὸν ἐπὶ κακῷ‎; note e.g. Caec. com. 125 'quaeso ne ad malum hoc addas malum', Phaedr. app. 18 (subtitle) 'non esse malo addendum malum' and Arn. nat. vii. 39 'dies adderet malum malo'. See further Otto (1890) 207, Weyman (1893) 31 = Häussler (1968) 59, and Sutphen (1901) 243 = Häussler 182. Substantival parataxis with verbs such as addere is illustrated by Landgraf (1888) 180–2; see in general 10. 10 n.

tarditatem ingenii: a regular way of denoting dull-wittedness; to pg 90the instances cited at OLD s.u. tarditas 3, add Cic. Pis. 1 'pauci ista tua lutulenta uitia noramus, pauci tarditatem ingeni'. L. uses tarditas elsewhere only at iv. 58. 4.

si quid … exstinguere: for uigorem exstinguere cf. xxxviii. 17. 18 and Ov. trist. i. 6. 31–2. For L.'s phrasing with si quid, cf. Quint. inst. vi. proem. 15 '(fortuna) … si quid mediocrium alioqui in nostro ingenio uirium fuit, ut non exstinxerit, debilitauit tamen'. (All these passages cited at TLL v. 2. 1920. 49–53.)


1 Richter (1983: 72) held that both authors used Quadrigarius—an assertion which can neither be supported nor refuted. It is more than probable that L. knew the De Officiis, but perhaps unlikely that he would have turned to it as an historical source.

1 Note also Suet. Aug. 24. 1.

1 This, like the first Homeric passage, refers to people on the same side; all the other passages refer to conflict between two sides.

2 The amatory poets also played with the figure: Arch. fr. 119, Anacr. 439, Tib. i. 8. 26, Ov. am. i. 4. 43–4 (an obvious epic reminiscence), iii. 14. 22, epist. 2. 58, ars i. 140, and 606.

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