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Sallust's Political Career
Studies in Philology 51.1 (Jan. 1954): p1-14. Rpt. in
Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism. Ed. Janet Witalec. Vol. 68. Detroit: Gale, 2004. From Literature Resource Center.
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale, COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning
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[(essay date January 1954) In the following essay, Allen discusses Sallust's remarks (in the prologues to his historical monographs) concerning his lack of political ambition after retirement from public life.]

Although some reaction has justifiably been voiced against the notion, principally German, of perceiving in Sallust a profound philosophical historian,1 our limited knowledge of his political career, in addition to the unfavorable reports of his private life, renders difficult the usual biographical method of studying an author's attitude and possible bias. The only aspect which concerns me here is his retirement from public life with the intention of occupying himself with literary pursuits, the item which he emphasizes in the prefaces to both his monographs.2

We can justly be curious about Sallust's autobiographical remarks, since they are less sensational and more striking than most of the other facts we can glean about him. In Cat. [Bellum Catilinae] 3.3 Sallust wrote that his early experience with public life had been unlucky: Sed ego adulescentulus initio sicuti plerique studio ad rem publicam latus sum, ibique mihi multa advorsa fuere. In Cat. 4.1 f. he explained that, after he had decided to spend the remainder of his life as a private citizen, he resolved to devote himself to the composition of historical monographs in an impartial and accurate manner:

Igitur ubi animus ex multis miseriis atque periculis requievit et mihi reliquam aetatem a re publica procul habendam decrevi ... sed a quo incepto studioque me ambitio mala detinuerat, eodem regressus statui res gestas populi Romani carptim, ut quaeque memoria digna videbantur, perscribere, eo magis quod mihi a spe metu partibus rei publicae animus liber erat.

The same apologetic theme is reiterated in Iug. [Bellum Iugurthum] 4.3 f., where he also proceeds to insist that historical writing can be as valuable as political activity:

Atque ego credo fore qui, quia decrevi procul a re publica aetatem agere, tanto tamque utili labori meo nomen inertiae inponant, certe quibus maxuma industria videtur salutare plebem et conviviis gratiam quaerere. Qui si reputaverint, et quibus ego temporibus magistratus adeptus sim et quales viri idem adsequi nequiverint et postea quae genera hominum in senatum pervenerint, profecto existumabunt me magis merito quam ignavia iudicium animi mei mutavisse maiusque commodum ex otio meo quam ex aliorum negotiis rei publicae venturum.

The two prefaces also contain other pertinent but shorter passages which have the same tenor as the ones already quoted; and the only one which contributes to our present requirements is the one in which Sallust writes specifically of his disinterest in public office (Iug. 3.1): Verum ex eis magistratus et imperia, postremo omnis cura rerum publicarum minume mihi hac tempestate cupiunda videntur, quoniam neque virtuti honos datur neque illi, quibus per fraudem is fuit, tuti aut eo magis honesti sunt.

The natural reaction of the reader of Sallust is to dismiss such autobiographical statements as hypocritical moralizing, since the reader's first thought would be that Sallust retired in luxury on ill-gotten gains acquired as an adherent of Caesar. The reader's next thought would be that Sallust would compose his monographs with a Caesarian, or at least with a "popular" or "democratic," bias. Both thoughts have a solid basis in fact.

Yet the reader of Sallust might well have further thoughts, questions which this paper will endeavor to answer. What was the purpose for anyone's being Caesarian indefinitely after Caesar's death? What course of action did the other Caesarians follow? Why was Sallust doubly anxious to state that he had permanently retired from active participation in public life? In short, what were Sallust's views and status at precisely the time he was engaged in the composition of these two treatises?

One possible approach to the problem is to try to see Sallust's life in the light of what we know of the history and politics of his period, and this has been done by Ronald Syme and Miss Taylor; the gist of their views is briefly outlined in the rest of this paragraph. Since Sallust was a homo novus, it is not surprising that, in the normal pattern of political life of his day, he appeared no more on the stage of history after he had been praetor, for the praetorship was the pinnacle of the new man's ambitions.3 Sallust was not important enough for Caesar to consider giving him the consulship and, in fact, Caesar's consuls were not men of Sallust's stamp.4 He did not reënter politics in the time of the Second Triumvirate because its methods disgusted him.5 He was satisfied with his wealth and his locus praetorius, but as a praetorian senator his opinions would not be important enough to be recorded in the history of the period. Miss Taylor writes of "Sallust, another new man, who gave up a political career before he reached the highest office ... ," and she pictures him as withdrawn from the heat of political activity but continuing to reflect political principles in his writings.6

Although Classicists are seldom confronted with evidence which is so universally poor as what little we know about the life of Sallust, I think that we have some bases for modifying the eminently reasonable views which have been discussed in the preceding paragraph. There is no need to restate the citations which are readily accessible in such literary handbooks as that of Schanz-Hosius, in the article by Funaioli in RE [Real Encylopaedie], in the Préface to the Budé edition of Sallust by Ernout (1947), and in the Selecta Veterum Testimonia of the Teubner edition of 1900. The passages come from scattered and often obscure sources, and they are best read in some convenient collection. The quality of the passages is such that each one calls for individual interpretation and appraisal before it can be accepted, and the final result of such labor is but modestly rewarding.

My purpose in this paper is to give what is, so far as I know, a new interpretation to five passages: Suet. Iul. 43.1; Dio Cass. 43.47.4; Fronto Ad Verum Imp. 2.1 (p. 123 N.); Hor. Sat. 1.2.41-49; Sen. Clem. 1.10.1. Apparently no one has thought of applying the Suetonius passage to Sallust individually, and the other four, as will become clear later, allow of further exploitation than has yet been attempted. Some prefatory material is necessary before we come to the first passage.

While Sallust was fortunate enough to escape punishment for his share as tribune in the disturbances which followed Clodius' death in 52, he was expelled from the senate by the censor Appius Claudius Pulcher in 50, ostensibly for other reasons but actually because he was a Caesarian. This action was in line with the preparations which Pompey had in 52 begun to make with the expectation of an open break with Caesar.7 The censors of 50 were a pretty pair.8 Claudius was related to Pompey because one of his daughters had married one of Pompey's sons, and Piso was, of course, Caesar's father-in-law. Hence each of the surviving members of the "First Triumvirate" was represented by one censor, and it has often been noted that the censorship on this occasion was used for purely political purposes.9 Claudius even tried to expel the younger Curio from the senate, but there he was forestalled by Piso, for Caesar had no intention of losing the services of such a valuable man.10

Although we hear that Claudius succeeded in expelling a number of men from the senate, we can name only two, Sallust and Ateius Capito,11 both active anti-Pompeians but both rather insignificant in themselves at this time. It would seem that it was not worth Caesar's while, or perhaps it was not possible for him, to make such an effort in their behalf as in Curio's.

It may also have been that Sallust was not too reliable politically. If we accept the thesis that Sallust had published in 51 the work which is generally known as the second of his "Letters" or Suasoriae,12 we have there a brochure which might have pleased Caesar no more than Pompey. It is a matter of doubt as to who the Sallustius was who in 50 was serving as Bibulus' proquaestor in Syria.13 It hardly seems likely that it was our Sallust but, if it was, then Caesar would not have been anxious to protect him from the censor.

Perhaps Asconius gives us the answer as to why Caesar failed to save Sallust. It will be recalled that he mentions that Sallust and two of his colleagues held invidious public meetings about Cicero because he was zealously defending Milo in 52.14 He goes on to say that Q. Pompeius and Sallust were suspected of having returned to good terms with Milo and Cicero, while Plancus persevered in his enmity. I fear that the true source of the story in Asconius is merely the fact that Plancus was the only one of the three to be accused and convicted by Cicero for his part in these riots.15 It seems to me that Caesar simply was not able to rescue all his adherents from the Pompeian onslaught, and that he therefore concentrated his efforts on Curio's case.

Caesar made use of Sallust in the civil war, although ill luck seems all too often to have dogged Sallust's steps. His dignity finally was fully reëstablished by a praetorship and a provincial command. Professor Broughton16 has convincingly shown that Sallust's praetorship was for 46 and that "At the end of the African campaign in the middle of the year Caesar left Sallust as governor of Africa Nova with the title of proconsul, which thus supervenes upon his praetorship." It would seem unlikely, then, that Sallust was back in Rome earlier than the latter part of 45,17 at which time he had to face an accusation for his extortions in the province. The evidence indicates that, through the exertions of Caesar, the case against Sallust was dropped. He may, of course, have been brought to trial but acquitted because of Caesar's influence.

Sallust's potential trial and his release are obviously the causes of his retirement from politics, in addition to the fact that Caesar chose for the consulship a better and abler type of man than Sallust. It is usual to regard this retirement as a voluntary choice on Sallust's part, since it is hard for us to picture Caesar as growing angry about an extortion case. Yet that must be exactly what happened. The passage which indicates this is from Suet. Iul. 43.1, where it is stated that Caesar deprived of senatorial rank men who had been convicted of extortion: Repetundarum convictos etiam ordine senatorio movit.

In 59 there had been passed the lex Iulia de pecuniis repetundis,18 a law which was especially sound and which was severe upon offenders. Naturally we should not expect to hear of Caesar's own enforcement of the law until he returned to Rome in 46. Caesar revised the list of senators in 47, and did the same thing in 46 and in 45.19 There seems to be some doubt as to whether he did this formally in 47, but we are concerned with 46 or 45, and the fact appears certain there.20 That would be just about the time that Sallust was accused. Caesar saved him from actually coming to trial, or from being convicted, for I think we must regard Sallust's guilt as established21 and his conviction as inevitable if the case had come to a fair trial. In the event of conviction Caesar would have been in the intolerable situation not only of punishing a prominent henchman, but even of having to drop from the list of senators a man who had before been expelled from the senate by the Pompeian censor of 50. Caesar therefore had no choice but to save Sallust.

Meyer22 couples with the passage from Suetonius a very interesting sentence from Dio Cassius 43.47.4, to the effect that Caesar's reputation suffered harm when he released some men who were being tried for corruption: εὐtuνoμἐνouς τε ἐπὶ δώρoiς τiνὰς καὶ ἐξελεγxoμἐνouς γε ἀπἐλuσεν, ὥστε καὶ αἰτίαν δωρoδoκίας ἔxεiν. While Meyer did not apply either passage to Sallust, Gelzer23 perceived that Sallust was possibly one of the men to whom Dio (or Dio's source) referred. This section of Dio deals with the events of 45, but that date would probably suit our argument better than 46 since it would give Sallust time to get back to Rome and since Caesar's attitude toward men guilty of extortion would have been established in 46. We might therefore well pay more serious attention to the sentence in Ps. Cic. In Sall. § 19 which specifies that, to avoid a trial, Sallust agreed to pay Caesar 1,200,000 sesterces: Ne causam diceret, sestertio duodeciens cum Caesare paciscitur. This source is reliable enough only to support Dio's statement that Caesar's reputation suffered harm. Caesar's rescue of his henchman was forced upon Caesar, but the matter became a cause of scandal since it was so completely contrary to his method of dealing with men guilty of extortion.

We can thus grasp the reason for the extraordinary hangdog tone which Sallust strikes in the prefaces to his monographs, for he had been involved in a cause célèbre, not in just the frequent accusation de repetundis which, before Caesar began to be stringent, could often be taken in one's stride.24 Sallust might well smart the more if the episode took place in 45, since it was just at that time that Caesar awarded to ten men the locus consularis although they had not held the consulship.25

It thus appears that the older writers were correct as to the cause of Sallust's distaste for further experience of public life, but that they were right for the wrong reason. It was his corrupt conduct in Africa Nova which brought him to grief, but it was because of Caesar's own attitude rather than because such a trial for extortion was a disgrace. Sallust was in much the same situation as those men who were dropped by Caesar from the senatorial rolls because of conviction for extortion, for his escape did not wipe out his guilt. And Sallust, since it was unusual enough for a new man to attain even the praetorship, was probably ready to abandon efforts at political advancement.

This sort of explanation may be adequate down to the Ides of March in 44, even though it is hard to find an example of a prominent Roman who before this time turned away from active political life and still remained in Rome. The subsequent years of Sallust's retirement, moreover, were so disturbed that, if his situation was what at first glance it seems to have been, he deserves praise just for being able to survive and to keep his fortune intact. We shall have to consider further, and perhaps new, reasons as to why Sallust continued to stay out of public life after Caesar's death, and our explanation will also have to show how he was able to stay out of politics with safety.

In the confused late 40's and early 30's it was easy to become a consul or to be granted the status of consularis,26 but it was just about 42 B.C. that Sallust published his monograph on the Catilinarian Conspiracy,27 in the fourth paragraph of which he disclaimed further political ambitions. We may take his statement to mean either that he was proclaiming neutrality, or that he was someone's partisan but that he wished to be a "non-political" partisan. I shall presently offer evidence which seems to me to prove that the second alternative was the case, but even without the evidence we might take it as almost axiomatic that it must have been impossible, especially for a wealthy man, to maintain real neutrality in the late 40's and early 30's. Some sort of political connection was imperative. The alternatives were Mark Antony and Octavian, and it would appear that the better classes were inclined to Antony,28 whereas Octavian's name of Caesar worked its magic more readily upon the populace and the soldiery.

If Sallust died in the middle 30's B.C., as seems plausible, it would have been politically feasible and satisfactory for him to have remained consistently an Antonian from the death of Caesar until his own death, for the final rupture between Antony and Octavian did not come until later than 35. The fact that Sallust disapproved of the Second Triumvirate29 does not necessarily mean that he stood aside from it. The date at which he expressed that disapproval was far enough away from the year 43 to render his expression harmless.

Once it is granted that it is reasonable that Sallust should have connected himself in some way with Mark Antony, there are three pieces of evidence which tend to support that view.30

It was an article by Otto Hirschfeld31 which first strongly attracted my attention to Fronto's letter to Verus (2.1, p. 123 N.), although the passage is in the Testimonia of the 1900 Teubner edition of Sallust and was also discussed by A. Macé.32 The passage tells us that Sallust served as ghost-writer to Ventidius when the latter needed a speech to proclaim his victory over the Parthians: Ventidius ille, postquam Parthos fudit fugavitque, ad victoriam suam praedicandam orationem a C. Sallustio mutuatus est, et Nerva facta sua in senatu verbis rogaticiis commendavit.33 The date of Ventidius' triumph was in November of 38 B.C. While the passage is useful in establishing the fact that Sallust was then still alive, it has, so far as I have been able to discover, been overlooked that the passage also indicates that Sallust was on good terms with the Antonians at that time, since Ventidius was an Antonia.34

If Sallust was an Antonian in 38 B.C., perhaps we can explain the reason why he was mentioned by Horace in such a derogatory way in Sat. 1.2. Although he is not named until verse 48, verses 41-43 are meant to apply to him.35 The allegation contained in the words I have italicized refers to the story which was certainly promulgated, if not invented, by anti-Caesarian and anti-Sallustian sources in regard to the physical and financial consequences of Sallust's misadventure with Milo's wife:36

                                                                                                                        ille flagellis
ad mortem caesus; fugiens hic decidit acrem
praedonum in turbam; dedit hic pro corpore nummos.

The satire, which cannot be dated precisely, is nevertheless of just about this date, and Horace's use of this material would be consonant with the fact that Sallust was an Antonian while Horace at least hoped to be associated with the opposite group.37

One other bit of evidence tends in the same direction. We cannot specify when Sallust adopted his grandnephew but circa 35 is undoubtedly the terminus ante quem, even if it was adoption by testament. Seneca is our source for the information that the younger Sallust was originally an Antonian.38 It is reasonable to assume that the older and younger Sallusts had identical politics at the time of the adoption.

We have now reached the point where we can synthesize these notions as to what Sallust did with himself after his profitably corrupt provincial governorship. Since Caesar was intolerant of men who were guilty of extortion, Sallust was debarred from active political life until after the Ides of March. Then he chose to become a non-political partisan of Antony, an adherent of the type of whom we have come to recognize a number on Octavian's side, as Atticus, Maecenas, the younger Sallust (at a later date), even Horace. Possibly Sallust might have held a consulship if he had so desired, but already in the late 40's he said a farewell to office-seeking and provincial governorships, since his military and political careers had brought him a series of disasters and since the means by which Caesar had rescued him from certain conviction for extortion had become a public scandal. We may likewise suspect that, while Sallust may have been useful to Antony, he was not a man whom Antony, any more than Caesar, would care to sponsor for the consulship. Sallust was not the right kind of man for that office, nor did he have the correct background for it by birth or by training. His career was a shambles, and, after he had twice been disgraced, Sallust would himself have scarcely cared to appear as a candidate before even a well-rehearsed electorate.

We may conclude that Sallust's autobiographical statements in the prologues to his monographs mean that Sallust, because of past disappointments, had no desire to become consul or to be a leader in the state. Sallust had to make such a public statement of a private matter in one monograph and then to repeat it in the other because, in addition to the Roman senator's often feeling obliged to apologize for any occupation other than the state, too many people might think that a partisan of Mark Antony39 could have the consulship if he wanted it. The parallel which at once comes to mind is Horace's insistence that he did not intend to use his lofty connections for his own political advancement.


1. M. L. W. Laistner, The Greater Roman Historians (Sather Classical Lectures, 21: Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1947), 46 f.; H. Last, "Sallust and Caesar in the 'Bellum Catilinae,'" Mélanges de philologie, de littérature, et d'histoire anciennes offerts à J. Marouzeau par ses collègues et élèves étrangers (Paris, 1948), 355-369, esp. 356 f. Mr. Laistner aimed his remarks especially at W. Schur, Sallust als Historiker (Stuttgart, 1934). The interest in Sallust's philosophy, which in some respects is a legitimate interest, is also to be found in various degrees in such works as H. Oppermann, "Das heutige Sallustbild," Neue Jahr. f. Wiss., 11 (1935), 47-53; E. Bolaffi, "I proemi delle monografie di Sallustio," Athenaeum, N. S. 16 (1938), 128-157. In this connection, as in so many others, one can read with profit an article by G. Boissier, '"Les prologues de Salluste," Jour. des Sav., N. S. 1 (1903), 59-66. He understands the psychology of Sallust, his feeling after his shabby political career, and why he sought by literary means the glory he failed to attain in politics. Boissier did not, however, use the ancient evidence by which I hope to clarify Sallust's situation.

2. I accept the reliability of the various autobiographical comments in Sallust's prefaces, particularly in his work on Catiline, despite the astonishing fact that those comments are largely translations of similar remarks in Plato's Seventh Epistle: P. Perrochat, Les modèles grecs de Salluste (Collection d'études latines publiée par la Société des études latines, sér. scientifique XXIII: Paris, 1949), 48-53. We do not here need to concern ourselves with the question of the genuineness of this epistle, which, however, is favored by the latest discussion: B. Stenzel, "Is Plato's Seventh Epistle Spurious?" Am. Jour. Phil., 74 (1953), 383-379.

3. A. Afzelius, "Zur Definition der römischen Nobilität in der Zeit Ciceros," Classica et Mediaev., 1 (1938), 40-94, confirms the fact that the consulship was the only normal office which ennobled a family; cf. H. Strasburger in RE s. v. "Novus Homo." [The best general book on this subject remains M. Gelzer, Die Nobilität der römischen Republick (Leipzig and Berlin, 1912).]

4. Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford, 1939), 94 f.

5. Syme, 247 f., cf. 111.

6. L. R. Taylor, Party Politics in the Age of Caesar (Sather Classical Lectures, 22: Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1949), 26, 178.

7. E. Meyer, Caesars Monarchie und das Principat des Pompejus2 (Stuttgart and Berlin, 1919), 241-245; J. Carcopino, César3 (Section II of Tome II in Histoire Romaine of the series Histoire Générale, Paris, 1943), 831-841.

8. Cic. Fam. 8.14.4 preserves Caelius' witticisms at Appius Claudius' expense.

9. Syme, 41, 66; Taylor, 236.

10. Syme, 66; Taylor, 236; cf. esp. the circumstantial account in Dio Cass. 40.63 f.

11. P. Willems, Le sénat de la république romaine (Louvain and Paris, 1878/1883) 1. 561 f.; cf. R. Syme, "Caesar, the Senate and Italy," Papers of Brit. School at Rome 14 (New Series 1) (1938) 11 f.

12. Taylor, 57, 154-157, 232 f.

13. Funaioli, in his article on Sallust in RE (col. 1919), accepts Mommsen's suggestion that it is the historian, who was thereby dropped from the list of senators while he was absent from Rome. The contrary opinion is expressed in the Tyrrell and Purser edition of Cicero's letters (32.251); Drumann-Groebe, Geschichte Roms 2.92; T. R. S. Broughton, The Magistrates of the Roman Republic (Philological Monographs published by the American Philological Association, 15: New York, 1951/1952), 2.242, 247 n. 2. If we should, however, accept this Sallust as being the historian, we should perhaps also include Cic. Att. 11.20.2 (Aug. 15, 47): Etiam Sallustio ignovit. ... Is venit, ut legiones in Siciliam traduceret. Since Oros. Hist. 6.15.8 indicates that Sallust was in Caesar's service prior to this date, the forgiveness could scarcely have been for an earlier political defection.

14. Ascon. 33 KS (p. 37, ed. Clark).

15. Q. Pompeius Rufus was convicted for his share in the riots, but by Caelius; cf. Meyer, 238.

16. T. R. S. Broughton, "More Notes on Roman Magistrates: 4. Cassius Dio on Sallust's Praetorship," Trans. Am. Phil. Ass., 79 (1948), 76-78. The quotation is from 78, n. 7 of that article.

17. Funaioli in RE s. v. "Sallustius" no. 10, col. 1920; cf. T. R. S. Broughton, vol. 2, the remarks on Sallust under "Praetors" for 46 B.C. and under "Promagistrates" for 45 and 44 B.C., and the remarks on T. Sextius under "Promagistrates" for 44 B.C. Dr. Broughton has very kindly given me here the benefit of his extensive knowledge of Roman magistrates, but it seems impossible to add anything to the hypothesis that Sallust was in Rome in late 45 or early 44 and that his successor T. Sextius was in Africa Nova in 44. Sallust was not, of course, required to wait until his successor arrived.

18. Cf. Berger in RE s. v. "Lex Iulia de pecuniis repetundis"; Groebe in RE s. v. "Iulius" no. 131, col. 199; Tyrrell and Purser, The Correspondence of M. Tullius Cicero 32.327 f.; p. 102 of the Butler and Cary edition of Suetonius' Iulius (Oxford, 1927). There is also an excellent discussion of the law of 59 in Drumann-Groebe, Geschichte Roms, 3.195-197.

19. Willems, 1.582.

20. Meyer, op. cit. (above, note 7) 424; Carcopino, op. cit. (above, note 7) 972 f. Carcopino (1023, cf. 720) seems to date the Suetonius passage in 46, as apparently does Meyer. Willems, 1.592, seems to incline to 45. In footnote 323 on p. 1023 Carcopino mentions Sallust's trial and acquittal as well as the Suetonius passage, but he fails to note the further significance of the passage for Sallust.

21. Ps. Cic. In Sall., in §§ 13 f., 17, 19 f., mentions Sallust's original straits and sudden affluence. It is more convincing to observe that Sallust apparently was in modest circumstances until after his provincial command, after which he possessed the famous horti Sallustiani: Gall in RE s. v. "Horti Sallustiani"; P. Grimal, Les jardins romains à la fin de la république et aux deux premiers siècles de l'empire (Bibliothèque des Écoles Françaises d'Athènes et de Rome, fasc. 155, Paris, 1943), 135-137.

22. Meyer, 424, n. 3.

23. M. Gelzer, Caesar der Politiker und Staatsmanns3 (München, 1941), 306. Gelzer's book is intended for a popular audience and is without footnotes. His remark clearly, however, indicates that he means the statement in Dio.

24. The passage in Dio Cass. 43.9.2 f. comments extensively on Sallust's disgrace but does so in connection with his activity as governor in 46. H. Last, "On the Sallustian Suasoriae," Class. Quart., 17 (1923) 93 f. points out that this section is probably confused in its chronology. I rather agree that the Dio passage refers sneeringly to the highly moral passages in the monographs and not to anything in the Suasoriae, for the Dio passage also discusses Sallust's indictment, which is thus likewise out of chronological order. We may perhaps also apply to Sallust Dio Cass. 43.27.2, which mentions the indignation aroused when Caesar in 46 returned unworthy men to their places in the senate.

25. Willems, 1.591, 629. One pertinent passage is Dio Cass. 43.47.3 f., which just precedes the other passage which we have applied to Sallust, so that we can with some justice assign the two facts to the same year.

26. Willems, 1.606, 611 f.

27. Last, (above, note 1), 360 f.; cf. Funaioli in RE s. v. "Sallustius" no. 10, col. 1921.

28. Syme (above, note 4), 221 f., 227, 234 f., 266-270.

29. Sall. Iug. 4; Syme, 247 f.; cf. Willems, 1.599 on the fact that Sallust disapproved of the men who got into the senate after the Ides of March.

30. There can be no foundation to A. Rosenberg's assumption that Sallust favored Octavian, for Rosenberg also misses a point which I discuss below, that the adoptive son was originally Antonian: Einleitung und Quellenkunde zur römischen Geschichte (Berlin, 1921), 174. Rosenberg was undoubtedly influenced by Tacitus' portrait of Sallust's adoptive son as Augustus' adherent in Ann., 1.6 and 3.30.

31. "Dellius ou Sallustius?" Mélanges Boissier (Paris, 1903), 293-295.

32. Essai sur Suétone (Bibliothèque des Écoles Françaises d'Athènes et de Rome, fasc. 82, Paris, 1900), 352 f.

33. This does not mean that Ventidius borrowed a speech from Sallust's writings; it means that Sallust wrote a speech for Ventidius to deliver: Funaioli in RE s. v. "Sallustius" no. 10, col. 1914; Schanz-Hosius 14.362, 377, 622.

The only comparable passage known to me is Ad Q. fr. 3.5 (5 & 6).7, where Marcus writes to Quintus: Quattuor tragoedias sedecim diebus absolvisse cum scribas, tu quidquam ab alio mutuaris? The reader should note that here I interpret the mutuaris to refer to 'Quintus' request of Marcus for literary assistance with a poem on Caesar's deeds in Britain, an item which is referred to in Ad Q. fr. 2.16 (15).4, 3.1.11, 3.4.4, 3.5 (5 & 6).4 (ed. Sjögren). Since there are such frequent references to Cicero's composing verses for Quintus' use, the mutuaris of the sentence quoted above seems to me to refer to that fact rather than to Quintus' career as a rapid playwright. It should also be noted that there is some scholarly disagreement as to the interpretation of the passages in Cicero's correspondence relative to the poem on Caesar's British expedition: W. W. Ewbank, The Poems of Cicero (London, 1933), 19-22; K. Büchner in RE s. v. "M. Tullius Cicero (Fragmente)" ["Tullius" no. 29], col. 1256; F. Münzer in RE s. v. "Tullius" no. 31, col. 1305. The problem is clarified by my interpretation of the mutuaris, and I hope to publish a full discussion at an early date.

Mr. Henry Traub has called my attention to the use of mutuatus in another literary connection, in the famous passage where C. Memmius said that Africanus was really the author of some Terentian writing (Suet. Ter. 3): "P. Africanus, qui a Terentio personam mutuatus, quae domi luserat ipse, nomine illius in scenam detulit."

34. There is a useful account by J. E. Seaver, "Publius Ventidius--Neglected Roman Military Hero," Class. Jour., 47 (1952), 275-280, 300. Since Ventidius had been an Antonian since the death of Caesar, I suppose that he must have remained one despite Antony's jealousy of his success against the Parthians.

35. B. L. Ullman, "Psychological Foreshadowing in the Satires of Horace and Juvenal," Am. Jour. Phil., 71 (1950), especially pp. 410-412, discusses the Horatian system by which a definite person is described by Horace through deeds or facts although his name is not given until some verses later in the same poem.

36. The prime passages occur in Gell. 17.18 and in Suet. Gramm. 15. They have wisely been discounted by Syme, op. cit. (above, note 4) 250, n. 3, since the first arose with Varro, and the second with Pompey's freedman, Lenaeus. Cf. C. Cichorius, who quite credibly dates Varro's allegations against Sallust in the early 30's: Römische Studien (Leipzig and Berlin, 1922), 228-233. Much the same slanders are repeated in Ps. Cic. In Sall.

37. Someone may object that Horace borrowed extensively from Sallust, as is summarized by Kurfess in Burs. Jahresbericht, 269 (1940), 56 f. There would no longer be a point of contention after Sallust the historian was dead and the younger Sallust was no longer Antonian.

It may be of value to recall that possibly Ventidius is meant by the Sabinus mulio of Verg. Catal. 10. E. T. Merrill, "Ventidius and Sabinus," Class. Phil., 15 (1920)), 298-300 is opposed to the identification and attempts to refute T. Frank's assertion in Class. Phil., 15 (1920), 116 f. The identification of the muleteer and Ventidius is assumed by T. Frank, Vergil, a Biography (New York, 1922), 81-84, and N. W. DeWitt, Virgil's Biographia Litteraria (Oxford University Press, 1923), 94 f. If the mulio is Ventidius, then Vergil attacked the Antonian Ventidius just as Horace attacked the Antonian Sallust.

38. Sen. Clem. 1.10.1; Syme, 266 f., 267 n. 1.

39. For the sake of completeness it is necessary to mention the observation of Linker, repeated with approval by Maurenbrecher (C. Sallusti Crispi Historiarum Reliquiae [Leipzig, 1891] 1.1, n. 2), that Sallust did not begin to write the Histories before Mark Antony left Italy in 39 because there are some strictures on M. Antonius "Creticus," father of Mark Antony, in the fragments of Book 3 (3. 2 and 3 Maurenbrecher [3.55 and 54D]). Cf. Funaioli in RE s. v. "Sallustius" no. 10, col. 1929; Schanz-Hosius 14.369 f. The more serious of these two fragments can be found in Ps. Ascon. p. 239 Stangl, p. 176 Orelli.

This possibility, even if correct, would not necessarily affect Sallust's association with Mark Antony any more than would Sallust's comments in Iug. 4. The evidence which I have presented, moreover, does not show the degree of warmth of Sallust's association with Antony, but merely that Sallust was in some way more connected with the coterie of Antony than with that of Octavian.

Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)
Allen, Walter, Jr. "Sallust's Political Career." Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, edited by Janet Witalec, vol. 68, Gale, 2004. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 16 Oct. 2018. Originally published in Studies in Philology, vol. 51, no. 1, Jan. 1954, pp. 1-14.

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1420057667