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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10588
Tacitus, Annals, 11.14


Primi per figuras animalium Aegyptii sensus mentis effingebant (ea antiquissima monimenta memoriae humanae impressa saxis cernuntur), et litterarum semet inventores perhibent; inde Phoenicas, quia mari praepollebant, intulisse Graeciae gloriamque adeptos, tamquam reppererint quae acceperant. quippe fama est Cadmum classe Phoenicum vectum rudibus adhuc Graecorum populis artis eius auctorem fuisse. quidam Cecropem Atheniensem vel Linum Thebanum et temporibus Troianis Palamedem Argivum memorant sedecim litterarum formas, mox alios ac praecipuum Simoniden ceteras repperisse. at in Italia Etrusci ab Corinthio Demarato, Aborigines Arcade ab Evandro didicerunt; et forma litteris Latinis quae veterrimis Graecorum. sed nobis quoque paucae primum fuere, deinde additae sunt. quo exemplo Claudius tres litteras adiecit, quae usui imperi- tante eo, post oblitteratae, aspiciuntur etiam nunc in aere publico †dis plebiscitis per fora ac templa fixo. The Egyptians, in their animal-pictures, were the first people to represent thought by symbols: these, the earliest documents of human history, are visible to‑day, impressed upon stone. They describe themselves also as the inventors of the alphabet: from Egypt, they consider, the Phoenicians, who were predominant at sea, imported the knowledge into Greece, and gained the credit of discovering what they had borrowed. For the tradition runs that it was Cadmus, arriving with a Phoenician fleet, who taught the art to the still uncivilized Greek peoples. Others relate that Cecrops of Athens (or Linus of Thebes) and, in the Trojan era, Palamedes of Argos, invented sixteen letters, the rest being added later by different authors, particularly Simonides. In Italy the Etruscans learned the lesson from the Corinthian Demaratus, the Aborigines from Evander the Arcadian; and in form the Latin characters are identical with those of the earliest Greeks. But, in our case too, the original number was small, and additions were made subsequently: a precedent for Claudius, who appended three more letters, which had their vogue during his reign, then fell into desuetude, but still meet the eye on the official bronzes fixed in the forums and temples.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

2 results
1. Tacitus, Annals, 1.2.1, 4.1.1, 6.28, 11.4.2, 11.5.1, 11.13, 15.44.3-15.44.6 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.2.1.  When the killing of Brutus and Cassius had disarmed the Republic; when Pompey had been crushed in Sicily, and, with Lepidus thrown aside and Antony slain, even the Julian party was leaderless but for the Caesar; after laying down his triumviral title and proclaiming himself a simple consul content with tribunician authority to safeguard the commons, he first conciliated the army by gratuities, the populace by cheapened corn, the world by the amenities of peace, then step by step began to make his ascent and to unite in his own person the functions of the senate, the magistracy, and the legislature. Opposition there was none: the boldest spirits had succumbed on stricken fields or by proscription-lists; while the rest of the nobility found a cheerful acceptance of slavery the smoothest road to wealth and office, and, as they had thriven on revolution, stood now for the new order and safety in preference to the old order and adventure. Nor was the state of affairs unpopular in the provinces, where administration by the Senate and People had been discredited by the feuds of the magnates and the greed of the officials, against which there was but frail protection in a legal system for ever deranged by force, by favouritism, or (in the last resort) by gold. 4.1.1.  The consulate of Gaius Asinius and Gaius Antistius was to Tiberius the ninth year of public order and of domestic felicity (for he counted the death of Germanicus among his blessings), when suddenly fortune disturbed the peace and he became either a tyrant himself or the source of power to the tyrannous. The starting-point and the cause were to be found in Aelius Sejanus, prefect of the praetorian cohorts. of his influence I spoke above: now I shall unfold his origin, his character, and the crime by which he strove to seize on empire. Born at Vulsinii to the Roman knight Seius Strabo, he became in early youth a follower of Gaius Caesar, grandson of the deified Augustus; not without a rumour that he had disposed of his virtue at a price to Apicius, a rich man and a prodigal. Before long, by his multifarious arts, he bound Tiberius fast: so much so that a man inscrutable to others became to Sejanus alone unguarded and unreserved; and the less by subtlety (in fact, he was beaten in the end by the selfsame arts) than by the anger of Heaven against that Roman realm for whose equal damnation he flourished and fell. He was a man hardy by constitution, fearless by temperament; skilled to conceal himself and to incriminate his neighbour; cringing at once and insolent; orderly and modest to outward view, at heart possessed by a towering ambition, which impelled him at whiles to lavishness and luxury, but oftener to industry and vigilance — qualities not less noxious when assumed for the winning of a throne. 6.28.  In the consulate of Paulus Fabius and Lucius Vitellius, after a long period of ages, the bird known as the phoenix visited Egypt, and supplied the learned of that country and of Greece with the material for long disquisitions on the miracle. I propose to state the points on which they coincide, together with the larger number that are dubious, yet not too absurd for notice. That the creature is sacred to the sun and distinguished from other birds by its head and the variegation of its plumage, is agreed by those who have depicted its form: as to its term of years, the tradition varies. The generally received number is five hundred; but there are some who assert that its visits fall at intervals of 1461 years, and that it was in the reigns, first of Sesosis, then of Amasis, and finally of Ptolemy (third of the Macedonian dynasty), that the three earlier phoenixes flew to the city called Heliopolis with a great escort of common birds amazed at the novelty of their appearance. But while antiquity is obscure, between Ptolemy and Tiberius there were less than two hundred and fifty years: whence the belief has been held that this was a spurious phoenix, not originating on the soil of Arabia, and following none of the practices affirmed by ancient tradition. For — so the tale is told — when its sum of years is complete and death is drawing on, it builds a nest in its own country and sheds on it a procreative influence, from which springs a young one, whose first care on reaching maturity is to bury his sire. Nor is that task performed at random, but, after raising a weight of myrrh and proving it by a far flight, so soon as he is a match for his burden and the course before him, he lifts up his father's corpse, conveys him to the Altar of the Sun, and consigns him to the flames. — The details are uncertain and heightened by fable; but that the bird occasionally appears in Egypt is unquestioned. 11.5.1.  And now Suillius, steady and pitiless, continued his prosecutions, his boldness finding a multitude of imitators: for the concentration of all legal and magisterial functions in the person of the sovereign had opened a wide field to the plunderer. Nor was any public ware so frankly on sale as the treachery of advocates: so much so that Samius, a Roman knight of distinction, after paying Suillius four hundred thousand sesterces and finding him in collusion with the opponents, fell on his sword in the house of his counsel. Hence, following the lead of the consul designate, Gaius Silius, whose power and whose ruin I shall describe in their place, the Fathers rose in a body, demanding the Cincian law, with its ancient stipulation that no person shall accept either money or gift for pleading a cause.
2. Tacitus, Histories, 1.86.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
actium Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
augustus Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
brothers Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
censors and census Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
claudius, antiquarianism of Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
claudius, censorship of Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
claudius, wives of Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
domitian Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
dream, credibility Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
dreams Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
foreign, rites Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
foreigners, and religion Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
fors, and the gods Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
fors, as detail Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
fors, fors as category Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
fors, forte Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
fors, in tacitus Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
gods, benevolence Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
gods, intervention Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
haruspices Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
lustrum Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
magistrates Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
memory, cultic, revival and Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
nature, and chance Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
nature, and prodigies Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170
petra brothers Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
republic Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
secular games Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
senate Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
suovetaurilia' Shannon-Henderson, Power Play in Latin Love Elegy and its Multiple Forms of Continuity in Ovid’s (2019) 243
superstitio Davies, Rome's Religious History: Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus on their Gods (2004) 170