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perhaps adopted by some copyist from the ode of Horacel addressed to Sallust's nephew, and inconsiderately continued by his successors.
He was removed early in life to Rome, that he might be educated under Atteius Prætextatus, a celebrated grammarian of that age, who styled himself Philologus, and who was afterwards tutor to Asinius Pollio?. Atteius treated Sallust with very great distinction'.
He may be supposed to have soon grown conscious of his powerst; and appears at an early period of his life to have devoted himself to study, with an intention to distinguish himself in history,
His devotion to literature, however, was not so great as to detain him from indulgence in pleasure ; for he became, if we allow any credit to the old declaimer, infamous, ætatis tirocinio, for debauchery and extravagance. He took possession of his father's house in his father's lifetime, and sold it; an act by which he brought his father to the grave; and he was twice, for some misconduct, arraigned before the magistrates, and escaped on both occasions only through the perjury of his judges.
When we cite this rhetorician, we must not forget that we cite an anonymous reviler, yet we must suppose with Gerlach, and with Meisner, the German translator of Sallust, that we quote a writer who grounded his invectives on reports and opinions current at the time in which he lived.
Sallust next thought of aspiring to political distinction”; but “the usual method of attaining notice,” says De Brosses”, “which was to secure friends and clients by pleading the causes of individuals at the bar, he seems not to have adopted;" since, as is known, no orations spoken by him are in existence, and, as is thought, no mention is made of such orations in any other author.
Mention, however, is made of orations of Sallust, at whatever time delivered, in the well-known passage of Seneca the rhetorician'. When Seneca inquired of Cassius Severus, why he, who was so eminent in pleading important causes, displayed so little talent in pronouncing fictitious declamations, the orator replied, Quod in me miraris, pene omnibus evenit, fc. Orationes Sallustii in honorem historiarum leguntur. “What you think extraordinary in me, is common to all men of ability. The greatest geniuses, to whom I am conscious of my great inferiority, have generally excelled only in one species of composition. The felicity of Virgil in poetry deserted him in prose ; the eloquence of Cicero's orations is not to be found in his verses ; and the speeches of Sallust are read only as a foil to his histories.” The speeches which are here
1 Od., ii., 2, 3.
2 Suet. de Ill. Gramm., c. 10. 3 Ibid. 4 Pseudo-Sall. Ep. to Cæs., i., 10. 5 Cat., c. 4. 6 Pseudo-Cic. in Sall., c. 5. 7 Cat., c. 3. 8 Vie de Sall., c. 3.
9 Præf. in Controv., l. iii., p. 231, ed. Par. 1607.
meant, are not, as has been generally imagined, those inserted in the histories, but others, which Sallust had spoken. This view of the pas sage was first taken by Antonius Augustinus, and communicated by him to Schottus, who mentioned it in his annotations on Seneca'.
But by whatever means he secured support, he had at length sufficient interest to obtain a quæstorship?; the tenure of which gave him admission into the senate. It would appear that he was about thirtyone years of age when he attained this honour3.
It must have been about this period that his adventure with Fausta, the daughter of Sylla and wife of Milo, occurred, of which a short account is given by Aulus Gellius4 in an extract from Varro. The English reader may take it in the version of Beloe: “Marcus Varro, a man of great authority and weight in his writings and life, in his publication entitled Pius,' or • De Pace,' records that Caius Sallust, the author of that grave and serious composition, (seriæ illius et severæ orationis,) in which he has exercised the severity of the censorial office, in taking cognisance of crimes, being taken by Annæus Milo in adultery, was well scourged, and, after paying a sum of money, dismişsed.” The same story is told, on the authority of Asconius Pedianus the biographer of Sallust, by Acro and Porphyrio, the scholiasts on Horace, who, they think, had it in his mind when he wrote the words, Ille flagellis ad mortem cæsuss. Servius, also, in his note on Quique ob adulterium cæsi, in the sixth book of the Æneide, tells a like tale, adding that Sallust entered the house in the habit of a slave, and was caught in that disguise by Milo.
Such being the case, it is not wonderful that when Sallust entered on his tribuneship of the people, to which he was elected in the year of the city seven hundred, he seized an opportunity which occurred of being revenged on Milo, who had shortly before killed Clodius. He joined with his colleagues, Pompeius Rufus and Plancus, in inflaming the populace, and charging Milo with premeditated hostility”. They intimidated Cicero, Milo's advocate, insinuating that he had planned the assassination®; and the matter ended in Milo's banishment. During the progress of the trial, however, it is said that Sallust abated his hostility to Milo and Cicero, and even became friendly with them 10. How this reconciliation was effected, does not appear; but it seems certain that Cicero, when he attacked Plancus, Sallust's colleague, for exciting the populace to turbulence, left Sallust himself unmolested". 1 P. 234, ed. Par. 1607.
2 Pseudo-Cic., in Sall., c. 5. 3 Adam's Rom. Antiquities, p. 4.
4 xvii., 18. 5 Sat., i., 2, 41.
6 Ver. 612. 7 Ascon. Pedian. in Cic. Orat. pro Milo., C. 17; Cic. Mil., c. 5. * Ascon. Pedian. in Cic. Mil., c. 18.
9 Dion. Cap., lib. xl. 10 Ascon. Ped., ubi supra.
11 Ascon. Ped. in Cic. Mil., c. 35.
Unmolested, however, he did not long remain; for in the year of the city seven hundred and four, in the censorship of Appius Claudius Pulcher and Lucius Calpurnius Piso, Appius, actuated by two motives, one of which was to serve Pompey, by excluding from the senate such as were hostile to him', and the other to throw into the shade his own private irregularities by an ostentatious discharge of his public duties?, expelled Sallust from the senate on pretence that he was a flagrantly immoral character3.
But Appius, by this proceeding, instead of serving Pompey, served Cæsar; for many who had previously been favourable to Pompey, or had continued neutral, betook themselves immediately to Cæsar's camp; in the number of whom was Sallust'.
His attendance on Cæsar did not go unrewarded; for when Cæsar returned from Spain, after his victory over Afranius and Petreius, he restored Sallust, with others under similar circumstances, to his seat in the senate; and as it was not usual for a senator, who had been degraded from his rank, to be reinstated in it without being at the same time elected to an office, he was again made quæstore, or, as Dion thinks, prætor.
He was then intrusted with some military command, and sent into Illyria, where, as Orosiusi states, he was one of those that were defeated by the Pompeian leaders Octavius and Libo.
Afterwards, when the war in Egypt and Asia was finished, but while the remains of Pompey's army, headed by Scipio and Cato, were still menacing hostilities in Africa, Sallust, with the title of prætor, was dircted to conduct against them a body of troops from Campanias. But Sallust was intrusted with more than he was able to perform. The soldiers mutinied on the coast, compelled him to flee, and hurried away to Rome, putting to death two senators in their way. It was on this occasion that Cæsar humbled them by addressing them as Quirites instead of commilitones'.
Sallust was then reinstated in command, and was sent, during the African war, to the island of Cercina, to bring off a quantity of corn that had been deposited there by the enemy; a commission which he successfully executedo.
Whether he performed any other service for Cæsar in this war, we have no account; but Cæsar, when it was ended, thought him a person of such consequence, that he gave him the government of Nu
1 Dion. Cap., xl., 63.
2 Cic. Ep. ad Fam., viii., 14. 3 Dion., ib.
Pseudo-Cic. in Sall., c. 6. Gerlach, Vit. Sall., p. 7. 5 Suet. J. Cæs., c. 41.
6 Pseudo-Cic., c. 6, 8. ? Lib. vi. 15. Gerlach, Vit. Sall., p. 7.
8 Dion. Cass., xlii., 52. 9 Dion., ib. Appian. B.C., ii., 92. Plut. in Cæs. Suet. J. Cæs., c. 10. 10 Hirt. B. A., c. 8, 24.
midia, with the title of pro-consul. “He received the province from Cæsar,” says Dion, "nominally to govern it, but in reality to ravage and plunder it.” Whether such was Cæsar's intention or not, it is generally believed that he enriched himself by the spoil of it to the greatest possible extenti.
When his term of office, which seems to have been only a year, was expired, he “ appeared at Rome,” says the declaimer, “ like a man enriched in a dream." But the Numidians followed him, and accused him of extortion ; a charge from which he was only acquitted through the interposition of Cæsar?, to whom he is said to have presented a bribe3.
The trial had not been long concluded when Cæsar was assassinated, and Sallust, being thus deprived of his patron, seems to have withdrawn entirely from public life. He purchased a large tract of ground on the Quirinal hill, where he erected a splendid mansion, and laid out those magnificent gardens of which so much has been related. Their extent must have been vast, if De Brosses, who visited the spot in 1739, obtained any just notion of it*. But some have thought them much smaller. He had also a country-house at Tibur, which had belonged to Julius Cæsars.
It was during this period of retirement, as is supposed, that he married Terentia, the divorced wife of Cicero, if, indeed, he married her at all; for their union rests on no very strong testimonyo.
It was at this time, too, it would appear, that he commenced the composition of history, with a view to the perpetuation of his name; for he entered on it, he says, when his mind was free from “hope, fear, or political partisanship?;" and to no other time of his life are such expressions applicable. Dion seems to have supposed that he appeared as a historian before he went to Numidia, but is in all probability mistaken.
Sallust died on the thirteenth of May, in the year of the city seven hundred and eighteen, in the fifty-second year of his ages, leaving his grand-nephew, Caius Sallustius Crispus, whom want of children had induced him to adopt, heir to all his possessions. His gardens, some years after his death, became imperial property'.
Such were the events, as far as we learn, of the life of Sallust; and such is the notion which the voice of antiquity teaches us to form of
1 Dion., xliii., 9. Pseudo-Cic., c. 7.
2 Dion., xliii., 9. 3 Pseudo-Cic., c. 7.
4 De Brosses, Euv. de Sall., vol. iii., p. 363. 5 Pseudo-Cic., c. 7.
6 Hieronym. adv. Jovin., i., 48. Gerlach, vol. ii., p. 8. De Brosses, tom. iii., p. 355. Le Clerc, Vit. Sall.
7 Cat., c. 4.
his moral character. In modern times, some attempts have been made to prove that he was less vicious than he was anciently represented.
Among those who have attempted to clear him of the charges usually brought against him, are Müller!, Wieland, and Roos3; who are strenuously opposed by Gerlach- and Loebells. The points on which his champions chiefly endeavour to defend him, are the adventure with Fausta, and the spoliation of Numidia. Of the three, Müller is the most enterprising. With regard to the affair of Fausta, he sets himself boldly to impugn the authority of Varro or Gellius, on which it chiefly rests; and his reasoning is as follows: That such writers as Gelliùs are not always to be trusted; that Gellius often quoted from memory; that he cites older authors on the testimony of later authors; that he speaks of Varro, fide homo multâ et gravis, as if he were a contemporary that needed commendation, not the well-known Varro whose character was established; that the Varro of Gellius may therefore be a later Varro, whose book, " Pius,” or “De Pace,” may have been about Antoninus Pius, under whom Gellius lived, and who may have been utterly mistaken in what he said of Sallust; and that, consequently, the passage in Gellius is to be suspected. Respecting the plunder of Numidia, his arguments are, that the province was given to Sallust to spoil, not for himself, but for Cæsar; that of the money obtained from it, the chief part was given to Cæsar; and that, consequently, Cæsar, not Sallust, is to bear the blame for what was done.
But such conjectures produce no more impression on the mind of a reader than Walpole's “ Historic Doubts” concerning Richard the Third. They suggest something that may have been, but bring no proof of what actually was; they may be allowed to be ingenious, but the general voice of history is still believed. To all Müller's suggestions Gerlach exclaims, Credat Judæus! Were there, in the pages of antiquity, a single record or remark favourable to the moral character of Sallust, there would then be a point d'appui from which to commence an attack on what is said against him; but the case, alas! is exactly the reverse; wherever Sallust is characterised as a man, he is characterised unfavourably.
His writings consisted of his narratives of the Conspiracy of Catiline and the War with Jugurtha, and of a History of Rome in five books, extending from the death of Sylla to the beginning of the Mithridatic
The Catiline and Jugurtha have reached us entire; but of the History there now remain only four speeches, two letters, and a number of smaller fragments preserved among the grammarians. 1 C. Sallustius Crispus, Leipzig, 1817.
2 Ad. Hor. Sat., i., 2, 48. 3 Einige Bemerk. ub. den Moral Char. des Sallust. Prog. Giessen., 1788, 4to. See Frotscher's note on Le Clerc's Life of Sall., init. Vit. Sall., p. 9, seq.
5 Zur Beurtheilung des Sall., Breslau, 1818.