On the Sallustian Sv Asoriae—II

Classical Quarterly 17 (3-4):151- (1923)
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The Sallustian Suasoriae are far from being works whose origin and authenticity can be claimed as matters of earth-shaking importance. As forms of composition their interest is mild; linguistically they are less valuable than bizarre; and as historical records theysuffer from the defect of most Suasoriae—that the author cannot advise about the past and is compelled to deal chiefly with the potentialities of the future. But in spite of this it is not without reason that in Germany much attention has been paid to these few pages of Latin during the last twenty years. If they are what they seem to be, their evidence, such as it is, must at least be taken seriously. And this evidence is not without promise; for not only do these pieces contain several scraps of otherwise missing information largely about the prosopography of the last century B.C., but in general they purport to express the views of Sallust—a man who was no fool, even if his ability was not so great as has some-times been alleged—on the political and economic difficulties of Rome during the closing phase of the career of Julius Caesar. Material of this kind cannot lightly be neglected; but at the same time the significance, both of the author's suggestions and of his casual references to events inthe past, will depend to a great extent on the author having been Sallust himself, and not a member of some rhetor's establishment writing perhaps a hundred years or more after the events with which he pretends to be contemporary. So though there may be no welcome for yet another addition to the literature of a subject whose bibliography is already long, it may still be worth while to make some observations which will perhaps help to show that, wherever the true conclusion about the authenticity of these pamphlets may lie, at least it does not lie in the direction which has been taken in recent years by several scholars—in particular by Pöhlmann and Eduard Meyer



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