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The Letters of Cassiodorus - Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of - Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Letters of Cassiodorus, by Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)
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Title: The Letters of Cassiodorus  Being A Condensed Translation Of The Variae Epistolae Of  Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator
Author: Cassiodorus (AKA Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator)
Translator: Thomas Hodgkin
Release Date: June 15, 2006 [EBook #18590]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE LETTERS OF CASSIODORUS ***
Produced by Robert Connal, Linda Cantoni, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net (This file was produced from images generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at http://gallica.bnf.fr)
THE
LETTERS OF CASSIODORUS
BEING
A CONDENSED TRANSLATION OF THE VARIAE EPISTOLAE OF MAGNUS AURELIUS CASSIODORUS SENATOR
With an Introduction
BY
THOMAS HODGKIN
FELLOW OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON; HON. D.C.L. OF DURHAM UNIVERSITY AUTHOR OF 'ITALY AND HER INVADERS'
LONDON: HENRY FROWDE AMEN CORNER, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
1886.
[All rights reserved]
Oxford
PRINTED BY HORACE HART, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY
Table of Contents
[Transcriber's Note:This e-text contains a number of words and phrases in ancient Greek. In the original text, some of the Greek characters have diacritical marks which do not display properly in some browsers, such as Internet Explorer. In order to make this e-text as accessible as possible, the diacritical marks have been omitted, except that the rough-breathing mark is here represented by an apostrophe at the beginning of the word. All text in Greek has a mouse-hover transliteration, e.g.,καλος.]
PREFACE.
THEabstract of the 'Variae' of Cassiodorus which I now offer to the notice of historical students, belongs to that class of work which Professor Max Müller happily characterised when he entitled two of his volumes 'Chips from a German Workshop.' In the course of my preparatory reading, before beginning the composition of the third and fourth volumes of my book on 'Italy and Her Invaders,' I found it necessary to study very attentively the 'Various Letters' of Cassiodorus, our best and often our only source of information, for the character and the policy of the great Theodoric. The notes which in this process were accumulated upon my hands might, I hoped, be woven into one long chapter on the Ostrogothic government of Italy. When the materials were collected, however, they were so manifold, so perplexing, so full of curious and unexpected detail, that I quite despaired of ever succeeding in the attempt to group them into one harmonious and artistic picture. Frankly, therefore, renouncing a task which is beyond my powers, I offer my notes for the perusal of the few readers who may care to study the mutual reactions of the Roman and the Teutonic mind upon one another in the Sixth Century, and I ask these to accept the artist's assurance, 'The curtain is the picture.'
It will be seen that I only profess to give an abstract, not a full translation of the letters. There is so much repetition and such a lavish expenditure of words in the writings of Cassiodorus, that they lend themselves very readily to the work of the abbreviator. Of course the longer letters generally admit of greater relative reduction in quantity than the shorter ones, but I think it may be said that on an average the letters have lost at least half their bulk in my hands. On any important point the real student will of course refuse to accept my condensed rendering, and will go straight to the fountain-head. I hope, however, that even students may occasionally derive the same kind of assistance from my labours which an astronomer derives from the humble instrument called the 'finder' in a great observatory.
A few important letters have been translated, to the best of my ability, verbatim. In the not infrequent instances where I have been unable to extract any intelligible meaning, on grammatical principles, from the words of my author, I have put in the text the nearest approximation that I could discover to his meaning, and placed the unintelligible words in a note, hoping that my readers may be more fortunate in their interpretation than I
[Pg v]
[Pg vi]
have been.
With the usual ill-fortune of authors, just as my last sheet was passing through the press I received from Italy a number of the 'Atti e Memorie della R. Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Provincie di Romagna' (to which I am a subscriber), containing an elaborate and scholarlike article by S. Augusto Gaudenzi, entitled 'L'Opera di Cassiodorio a Ravenna.' It is a satisfaction to me to see that in several instances S. Gaudenzi and I have reached practically the same conclusions; but I cannot but regret that his paper reached me too late to prevent my benefiting from it more fully. A few of the more important points in which I think S. Gaudenzi throws useful light on our common subject are noticed in the 'Additions and Corrections,' to which I beg to draw my readers' attention.
I may perhaps be allowed to add that theIndex, the preparation of which has cost me no small amount of labour, ought (if I have not altogether failed in my endeavour) to be of considerable assistance to the historical enquirer. For instance, if he will refer to the headingSajo, and consult the passages there referred to, he will find, I believe, all that Cassiodorus has to tell us concerning these interesting personages, the Sajones, who were almost the only representatives of the intrusive Gothic element in the fabric of Roman administration.
From textual criticism and the discussion of the authority of different MSS. I have felt myself entirely relieved by the announcement of the forthcoming critical edition of the 'Variae,' under the superintendence of Professor Meyer. The task to which an eminent German scholar has devoted the labour of several years, it would be quite useless for me, without appliances and without special training, to approach as an amateur; and I therefore simply help myself to the best reading that I can get from the printed texts, leaving to Professor Meyer to say which reading possesses the highest diplomatic authority. Simply as a a matter of curiosity I have spent some days in examining the MSS. of Cassiodorus in the British Museum. If they are at all fair representatives (which probably they are not) of the MSS. which Professor Meyer has consulted, I should say that though the titles of the letters have often got into great confusion through careless and unintelligent copying, the main text is not likely to show any very important variations from the editions of Nivellius and Garet.
I now commend this volume with all its imperfections to the indulgent criticism of the small class of historical students who alone will care to peruse it. The man of affairs and the practical politician will of course not condescend to turn over its pages; yet the anxious and for a time successful efforts of Theodoric and his Minister to preserve to Italy the blessings ofCivilitasperhaps teach useful lessons even to a might modern statesman.
NOTE.
THOS. HODGKIN.
The following Note as to the MSS. at the British Museum may save a future enquirer a little trouble.
(1) 10 B. XV. is a MS. about 11 inches by 8, written in a fine bold hand, and fills 157 folios, of which 134 belong to the 'Variae' and 23 to the 'Institutiones Divinarum Litterarum.' There are also two folios at the end which I have not deciphered. The MS. is assigned to the Thirteenth Century. The title of theFirstBook is interesting, because it contains the description of Cassiodorus' official rank, 'Ex Magistri Officii,' which Mommsen seems to have looked for in the MSS. in vain. The MS. contains the first Three Books complete, but only 39 letters of theFourth. Letters40-51 of theFourth Book, and the whole of theFifth,Sixth, andSeventh Books, are missing. It then goes on to theEighthBook (which it calls the
[Pg vii]
[Pg viii]
[Pg ix]
Fifth), but omits the first five letters. The remaining 28 appear to be copied satisfactorily. TheNinth,Tenth,Eleventh, andTwelfth Books, which the transcriber calls the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth, seem to be on the whole correctly copied.
There seems to be a certain degree of correspondence between the readings of this MS. and those of the Leyden MS. of the Twelfth Century (formerly at Fulda) which are described by Ludwig Tross in his 'Symbolae Criticae' (Hammone, 1853).
(2) 8 B. XIX. is a MS. also of the Thirteenth Century, in a smaller hand than the foregoing. The margins are very large, but the Codex measures only 6-3/4 inches by 4-1/4. The rubricated titles are of somewhat later date than the body of the text. The initial letters are elaborately illuminated. This MS. contains, in a mutilated state and in a peculiar order, the books from the Eighth to theTwelfth. The following is the order in which the books are placed:
IX. 8-25, folios X. " XI. " XII. " VIII. " IX. 1-7, "
1-14. 14-33. 33-63. 63-83. 83-126. 126-134.
The amanuensis, who has evidently been a thoroughly dishonest worker, constantly omits whole letters, from which however he sometimes extracts a sentence or two, which he tacks on to the end of some preceding letter without regard to the sense. This process makes it exceedingly difficult to collate the MS. with the printed text. Owing to theEighthbeing Book inserted after theTwelfth, it is erroneously labelled on the back, 'Cassiodori Senatoris Epistolae, Lib. X-XIII.'
(3) 10 B. IV. (also of the Thirteenth Century, and measuring 11 inches by 8) contains, in a tolerably complete state, the first Three Books of the 'Variae,'Book IV.5-3 9 ,Book VIII.1-12, and BooksX-XII. The order, however, is transposed, BooksIV. andVIII.after Book coming XII. These excerpts from Cassiodorus, which occupy folios 66 to 134 of the MS., are preceded by some collections relative to the Civil and Canon Law. The letters which are copied seem to be carefully and conscientiously done.
These three MSS. are all in the King's Library.
Besides these MSS. I have also glanced at No. 1,919 in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Like those previously described it is, I believe, of the Thirteenth Century, and professes to contain the whole of the 'Variae;' but the letters are in an exceedingly mutilated form. On an average it seems to me that not more than one-third of each letter is copied. In this manner the 'Variae' are compressed into the otherwise impossible number of 33 folios (149-182).
All these MSS., even the best of them, give me the impression of being copied by very unintelligent scribes, who had but little idea of the meaning of the words which they were transcribing. In all, the superscription V.S. is expanded (wrongly, as I believe) into 'Viro Senatori;' for 'Praefecto Praetorio' we have the meaningless 'Praeposito;' and the Agapitus who is addressed in the6th,32nd, and33rdletters of theFirst Bookis turned, in defiance of chronology, into a Pope.
CONTENTS.
PREFACE.
[Pg x]
[Pg xi]
NOTE.
ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS.
INTRODUCTION.
CHAPTER I.
LIFE OF CASSIODORUS.
Historical position of Cassiodorus
His ancestry His name His birthplace
Date of his birth
His education
Consiliarius to his father Quaestor Composition of the 'Variae' Their style Policy of Theodoric
Date of composition of the 'Variae' Consulship Patriciate
Composition of the 'Chronicon'
Composition of the Gothic History
Relation of the work of Jordanes to this History
Master of the Offices
Praetorian Praefect
Sketch of history during his Praefecture
End of official career
Edits the 'Variae'
His treatise 'De Animâ'
He retires to the cloister
His theological works
His literary works His death NOTEONTHETOPOGRAPHYOF SQUILLACE
CHAPTER II.
PAGE
1
3-4 5-6 6-9 9-12 12 12 14-16 16 17-19 20
23
25 27
27
29-35
34
36 39
42-50
50 51 53 54 60-63 64-66 67
68-72
[Pg xii]
THE 'ANECDOTON HOLDERI.'
Content of the MS.
To whom addressed
Information as to life of Symmachus
Information as to life of Boethius
Religious position of Boethius
Information as to life of Cassiodorus
CHAPTER III.
74-75 76
77
79
81
84
THE GRADATIONS OF OFFICIAL RANK IN THE LOWER EMPIRE.
Nobilissimi Illustres Spectabiles Clarissimi
Perfectissimi Egregii
CHAPTER IV.
85 86-90 90-91 91 92 92
ON THE OFFICIUM OF THE PRAEFECTUS PRAETORIO.
Military character of the Roman Civil Service
Sources of information Princeps
Cornicularius
Adjutor Commentariensis Ab Actis Numerarii
Inferior Officers
CHAPTER V.
BIBLIOGRAPHY.
Editions of the 'Variae'
Literature concerning the 'Variae'
93
95 96 97-102 103 104 106 108 109-114
115-118 118-121
PREFACE
CHAPTER VI.
CHRONOLOGY.
Consular Fasti Indictions Chronological Tables
122 123 126-130
ABSTRACT OF THE 'VARIAE.'
BOOK I.
PAGE 133-140
CONTAINING FORTY-SIX LETTERS WRITTEN BY CASSIODORUS IN THE NAME OF THEODORIC.
1. TOEMPERORANASTASIUS. Persuasives to peace 2. " THEON. Manufacture of purple dye
3. " CASSIODORUS, father of the author. His praises 4. " SENATE. Great deeds of ancestors of Cassiodorus 5. " FLORIANUS. End of litigation
6. " AGAPITUS. Mosaics for Ravenna 7. " FELIX. Inheritance of Plutianus 8. " AMABILIS. Prodigality of Neotherius 9. " BISHOPEUSTORGIUS. Offences of Ecclesiastics 10. " BOETIUS. Frauds of moneyers 11. " SERVATUS. Violence of Breones 12. " EUGENIUS. Appointment as Magister Officium 13. " SENATE. On the same 14. " FAUSTUS. Collection of 'Tertiae' 15. " FESTUS. Interests of the absent 16. " JULIANUS. Remission of taxes
17. " GOTHICANDROMANINHABITANTSOFDERTONA. Fortification of Camp 18. " DOMITIANUSANDWILIAS. Statute of Limitations, &c. 19. " SATURNINUSANDVERBUSIUS. Rights of the Fiscus
20. " ALBINUSANDALBIENUS. Circus quarrels 21. " MAXIMIANANDANDREAS. Embellishment of Rome 22. " MARCELLUS. His promotion to rank of Advocatus Fisci 23. " COELIANUSANDAGAPITUS. Litigation between Senators 24. "ALLTHEGOTHS. Call to arms
25. " SABINIANUS. Repair of the walls of Rome 26. " FAUSTUS. Immunity of certain Church property
141 143 144 145 147 147 148 149 149 150 151 151 152 152
153 153 153 154 155 155 156 156 157 157 158 159
[Pg xiii]
27. " SPECIOSUS. Circus quarrels 28. " GOTHSANDROMANS. Building of walls of Rome 29. "THELUCRISTANIONRIVERSONTIUS. Postal Service 30. " SENATE. Injury to public peace from Circus rivalries 31. "THEROMANPEOPLE. Same subject
32. " AGAPITUS. Same subject 33. " AGAPITUS. Arrangements for Pantomime 34. " FAUSTUS. Exportation of corn 35. " FAUSTUSUnreasonable delays in transmission of corn 36. " THERIOLUS. Guardianship of sons of Benedictus 37. " CRISPIANUS. Justifiable homicide 38. " BAION. Hilarius to have possession of his property 39. " FESTUS. Nephews of Filagrius to be detained in Rome 40. " ASSUIN(or ASSIUS). Inhabitants of Salona to be drilled 41. " AGAPITUS. Enquiries into character of younger Faustus 42. " ARTEMIDORUS. Appointment as Praefect of the City 43. " SENATE. Promotion of Artemidorus 44. "THEPEOPLEOFROME. Same subject 45. " BOETIUS. Water-clock and sundial for Burgundian King 46. " GUNDIBAD. Same subject
BOOK II.
159 160 160 161 161 162 162 163 163 164 164 165 165 166 166 167 167 168 168 170
CONTAINING FORTY-ONE LETTERS WRITTEN BY CASSIODORUS IN THE NAME OF THEODORIC.
1. TOEMPERORANASTASIUS. Consulship of Felix 2. " FELIX. Same subject 3. " SENATE. Same subject 4. " ECDICIUS(or BENEDICTUS). Collection ofSiliquaticum 5. " FAUSTUS. Soldiers' arrears 6. " AGAPITUS. Embassy to Constantinople
7. " SURA(or SUNA). Embellishment of City 8. " BISHOPSEVERUS. Compensation for damage by troops 9. " FAUSTUS. Allowance to retired charioteer 10. " SPECIOSUS. Abduction of Agapita 11. " PROVINUS(PROBINUS?). Gift unduly obtained from Agapita "THECOUNTOFTHESILIQUATARII,ANDTHEHARBOURMASTER(OF 12. PORTUS?). Prohibition of export of lard 13. " FRUINARITH. Dishonest conduct of Venantius 14. " SYMMACHUS. Romulus the parricide 15. " VENANTIUS. Appointment as Comes Domesticorum " SENATE. Same subject. Panegyric on Liberius, father of 16. Venantius 17. " POSSESSORS, DEFENSORS,ANDCURIALSOFTRIDENTUM(TRIENT).  Immunity from Tertiae enjoyed by lands granted by the King 18. " BISHOPGUDILA. Ecclesiastics as Curiales
171 172 173 173 173 174 174 175 175 175 176
177
177 178 178
179
180 181
[Pg xiv]
" GOTHSANDROMANS,ANDKEEPERSOFHARBOURSANDMOUNTAIN 19. FORTRESSES. Domestic treachery and murder 20. " UNILIGIS(or WILIGIS). Order for provision ships
21. " JOANNES. Drainage-concession too timidly acted upon 22. " FESTUS. Ecdicius to be buried by his sons " AMPELIUS, DESPOTIUS,ANDTHEODULUS. Protection for owners of 23. potteries
24. " SENATE. Arrears of taxation due from Senators 25. " SENATE. ANEDICT. Evasion of taxes by the rich 26. " FAUSTUS. Regulations for corn-traffic 27. " JEWSLIVINGINGENOA. Rebuilding of Synagogue 28. " STEPHANUS. Honours bestowed on retirement 29. " ADILA. Protection to dependents of the Church 30. " FAUSTUS. Privileges granted to Church of Milan "THEDROMONARII[ROWERSINEXPRESS-BOATS]. State Galleys on the 31. Po 32. " SENATE. Drainage of marshes of Decennonium 33. " DECIUS. Same subject 34. " ARTEMIDORUS. Embezzlement of City building funds 35. " TANCILA. Theft of statue at Como 36. EDICT. Same subject 37. TOFAUSTUS. Largesse to citizens of Spoleto 38. " TOFAUSTUS. Immunity from taxation 39. " ALOISIUS. Hot springs of Aponum 40. " BOETIUS. Harper for King of the Franks 41. " LUDUIN[CLOVIS]. Victories over the Alamanni
BOOK III.
181
182 182 183
183
183 184 185 185 186 186 187
187
188 189 189 190 190 190 191 191 193 194
CONTAINING FIFTY-THREE LETTERS WRITTEN BY CASSIODORUS IN THE NAME OF THEODORIC.
1. TOALARIC. Dissuades from war with the Franks 2. " GUNDIBAD. Dissuades from war "THEKINGSOFTHEHERULI, WARNI(GUARNI),ANDTHURINGIANS.Attempt 3. to form a Teutonic coalition 4. " LUDUIN(LUDWIG, or CLOVIS). To desist from war on Alaric. 5. " IMPORTUNUS. Promotion to the Patriciate 6. " SENATE. Same subject 7. " JANUARIUS. Reproof for alleged extortion 8. " VENANTIUS. Remissness in collection of public revenue " POSSESSORES, DEFENSORES,ANDCURIALESOFAESTUNAE.Marbles for 9. Ravenna 10. " FESTUS. Same subject 11. " ARGOLICUS. Appointment to Praefecture of the City 12. " SENATE. Same subject 13. " SUNHIVAD. Appointment as Governor of Samnium
196 197
198
198 199 200 201 201
202
202 203 203 204
[Pg xv]
14. " BISHOPAURIGENES. Accusations against servants of a Bishop 15. " THEODAHAD. Disposal of contumacious person 16. " GEMELLUS. Appointment as Governor of Gaulish Provinces 17. " GAULISHPROVINCIALS. Proclamation 18. " GEMELLUS. Re-patriation of Magnus 19. " DANIEL. Supply of marble sarcophagi 20. " GRIMODAANDFERROCINCTUS. Oppression of Castorius by Faustus 21. " FAUSTUS. Disgrace and temporary exile 22. " ARTEMIDORUS. Invitation to King's presence 23. " COLOSSAEUS. Appointment as Governor of Pannonia 24. " BARBARIANSANDROMANSSETTLEDINPANNONIA. Same subject
25. " SIMEON. Tax-collecting and iron-mining in Dalmatia 26. " OSUN. Simeon's journey to Dalmatia 27. " JOANNES. Protection against Praetorian Praefect 28. " CASSIODORUS(SENIOR). Invitation to Court 29. " ARGOLICUS. Repair of granaries in Rome
30. " ARGOLICUS. Repair of Cloacae in Rome 31. " SENATE. Conservation of aqueducts and temples in Rome 32. " GEMELLUS. Remission of taxes to citizens of Arles 33. " ARGOLICUS. Promotion of Armentarius and Superbus 34. " INHABITANTSOFMASSILIA. Appointment of Governor
35. " ROMULUS. Gifts not to be revoked 36. " ARIGERN. Complaints against Venantius 37. " BISHOPPETER. Alleged injustice 38. " WANDIL[VUANDIL]. Gothic troops not to molest citizens 39. " FELIX. Largesse to charioteers of Milan 40. " PROVINCIALSSETTLEDINGAUL. Exemption from taxation 41. " GEMELLUS. Corn for garrisons on the Durance
42. " PROVINCIALSINGAUL. Exemption from military contributions 43. " UNIGIS. Fugitive slaves to be restored to owners 44. " LANDOWNERS(POSSESSORES)OFARLES. Repair of walls, &c. 45. " ARIGERN. Dispute between Roman Church and Samaritans 46. " ADEODATUS. Further charges against Venantius 47. " FAUSTUS. Banishment of Jovinus to Vulcanian Islands 48. " GOTHSANDROMANSLIVINGNEARFORTVERRUCA. Fortification
" POSSESSORES, DEFENSORES,ANDCURIALESOFCATANA.Repair of 49. walls " PROVINCIALSOFNORICUM.Alamanni and Noricans to exchange 50. cattle 51. " FAUSTUS. Stipend of charioteer. Description of Circus 52. " CONSULARIS. Roman land surveying 53. " APRONIANUS. Water-finders
BOOK IV.
204 205 205 206 206 207 207 208 209 209 210 210 211 211 211 212 212 213 214 214 215 215 216 216 217 217 218 218 219 219 220 220 220 222 222
224
225
226 231 233
CONTAINING FIFTY-ONE LETTERS WRITTEN BY CASSIODORUS IN THE NAME OF THEODORIC.
[Pg xvi]
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