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NOTES. 

Cicero's Judgment of Lucretius. 

Lucreti poemata ut scribis ita sunt muUis luminibus ingeni 
multae tamen artis. Sed cum veneris (ad Quint, frat. II 9, 3). 

It had seemed as if pretty general agreement had at length 
been reached concerning this passage in an interpretation some- 
what as follows : " The criticism of Quintus with which Cicero 
expresses his accord was that Lucretius had not only much of 
the genius which characterized the older Latin poets (as Ennius 
or Accius), but also much of the art of the new school (so essen- 
tially Tyrrell ad loc. following a suggestion of Munro)." The 
word which has caused difficulty is tamen. For while it is true 
that in ancient as well as modern usage there is a frequent anti- 
thesis between ingenium and ars, yet it did not seem clear why 
this antithesis should be emphasized if both are accorded to Lucre- 
tius. For this reason it was felt that one or the other quality was 
denied to him, and therefore nan was inserted either before tnultis 
or multae, or the antithesis was eliminated by changing tamen to 
etiam. But agreement was never reached in any of these sug- 
gestions and opinion had apparently begun to crystallize in the 
interpretation of the text as given above. 

Professor F. Marx, however, in a valuable article on Lucretius 
in the Neue Jahrbucher for 1899 (Vol. Ill, p. 536) goes back to 
< non > multis and Mr. Saintsbury, in his recent volume on the 
History of Literary Criticism (p. 215), does likewise, selecting 
with rather palpable partizanship the form which will yield the 
most effective condemnation of Cicero for failing to recognize the 
genius whose fate had been entrusted to his keeping. This 
wavering in a conclusion which had begun to seem fixed has 
made me bold to advance a view of this passage which has al- 
ways seemed to me the natural one, but which has not, to my 
knowledge, been advocated publicly. 

The text I accept as sound, but I would look upon tamen, not 
as marking the antithesis between ingenium and ars, but as indi- 
cating the point at which Cicero dissents from the judgment of 



NOTES. 439 

Quintus — that is, in contrast to ita. The form of expression is a 
familiar one, but an example may not be superfluous: fac ita esse; 
tamen hoc ferundum nullo modo est (Cic. Verr. II 141). And so 
in our passage the relation is ita sunt . . . tamen, and not ingeni 
. . . tamen artis, as is assumed by Tyrrell (supra) and others, 
and recently by Norden (Antike Kunstprosa, Vol. I, p. 182), who 
cites a parallel usage from Seneca Rhet. 1 Apparently Quintus 
had written that the verses of Lucretius were characterized by 
multis luminibus ingeni, and had either expressed the opinion or 
implied that they lacked in ars. Cicero writes in reply : Lucreti 
poemata ut scribis ita sunt multis luminibus ingeni, so far agree- 
ing with his brother and quoting his words ; but he adds in dis- 
sent multae tamen artis. That there was disagreement between 
the two in some respect is suggested by the words which follow : 
Sed cum veneris — ' but we'll discuss the matter more fully when 
you come." Apart from the objection to tamen which others have 
felt, it would seem to me unnatural that Cicero should repeat 
verbatim or essentially the judgment of Quintus unless it were to 
express a partial dissent from it, to which, as has been said, the 
succeeding words point. Finally, the formula of partial agree- 
ment and exception, ita . . . sed or tamen, is so common that it 
seems to me a Roman reader must have grouped the words to- 
gether in this manner most naturally. 

G. L. Hendrickson. 



Cicero ad Atticum. 

The postal facilities of ancient Rome were precarious at best, 
and it seems quite clear that Roman ideas concerning the inviola- 
bility of private letters were very much less strict than ours. We 
should therefore expect to find Roman letter-writers resorting to 
all manner of devices to render their private correspondence un- 
intelligible to prying eyes, and there is plenty of testimony to the 
fact that they did so. In Cicero's case, we have his own explicit 
statements. So (Ep. ad Att. II 20. 3) de re publica breviter ad te 

•Controv. Praef. I 17; memoria ei natura quidem felix, plurimum tamen 
arte adiuta. 

* For this interpretation and punctuation of the text, which is obviously 
correct, cf. F. Marx, Berl. Ph. Woch., 1891, col. 835. A passage of similar im- 
port and brevity of expression I owe to my colleague, Professor W. G. Hale, 
Ad fam. XII 1, 2 ; Verum haec propediem et multa alia coram.