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Justin and Pompeius Trogus

Justin and Pompeius Trogus: A Study of the Language of Justin's "Epitome" of Trogus

  • Book Info
    Justin and Pompeius Trogus
    Book Description:

    Around 200AD, Marcus Junianus Justinus produced an abridged or 'epitomized' version of the Philippic Histories of the Augustan historian Pompeius Trogus. In doing so, he omitted all he did not find either intrinsically interesting or of use for historical examples. Over the centuries that followed, the abridgement eclipsed the original work in popularity, to the extent that Trogus' original work vanished and only Justin's version survived.

    In this investigation of the language of theEpitome, the first in almost a century, J.C. Yardley examines the work to establish how much of the text belongs to Trogus, and how much to Justin. His study compares words and expressions used in theEpitomewith the usage of other Roman authors, and establishes areas where diction is similar to Augustan-era Latin and less in use in Justin's time. Yardley's extensive analysis reveals that there is more of Justin in the work than is often supposed, which may have implications for the historical credibility of the document. Yardley also demonstrates how much Trogus was influenced by his contemporary Livy as well as other Roman authors such as Sallust and Caesar, and how theEpitomereveals the influence of Roman poetry, especially the work of Virgil.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7647-3
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-2)
    (pp. 3-6)

    Some time in the reign of the emperor Augustus, the historian Pompeius Trogus, a Romanized Gaul, wrote a ’Universal History’ in forty-four books, chronicling events from the time of the early Assyrians down to his own day.² Unfortunately, that work has not come down to us and seems to have been lost in late antiquity.³ However, some (probably two) centuries after Trogus, one Marcus Junianus Justinus arrived in Rome from somewhere in the provinces, came across a copy of the historian’s work, perhaps in one of the city’s now-numerous libraries,⁴ and decided to ’epitomize,’ or summarize, it. This Justin himself...

  6. PART ONE: Pompeius Trogus

    • 1 Trogus, Sallust, and Caesar
      (pp. 9-19)

      In Book 38.4–7 Justin quotes in its entirety from Trogus the famous Speech of Mithridates to incite his men ‘to the Roman or rather the “Asian” wars’ (38.3.10), the only true witness we have to the style of the Gallic historian.¹⁰ At this point Justin intrudes, as he so often does, into the work that he is purportedly anthologizing. The harangue, he tells us, merits citation as a whole; and it is composed in indirect speech, which was what Trogus favoured. For, says Justin, Trogus ‘was critical of Livy and Sallust for having transgressed the proper bounds of history...

    • 2 Trogus and Livy
      (pp. 20-78)

      If evidence for Trogus’ use of Sallust and Caesar appears slight, that for his use of Livy most certainly is not. Livian influence is deep and pervasive. Indeed, as we shall see, the opening words of Book 1 may well be a Livian reminiscence. However, a number of things must be borne in mind. In the first place, as was underlined in the Introduction, so much Latin prose has been lost – even of Livy, of course, we have only 35 of the original total of 142 books – that we cannot rule out the possibility of similarities in vocabulary...

    • 3 Trogus (and Justin) and Cicero
      (pp. 79-91)

      The other great prose author of the first century BC was Cicero, and we may well expect Trogus to have been influenced by, or to share vocabulary with, the best-known orator, philosopher, and scholar within living memory. And, indeed, we can isolate certain usages in the Speech of Mithridates that seem to be more or less limited to Cicero and Trogus (below, pp. 89–90). In this case, however, we face a particularly difficult, indeed insurmountable, problem if we wish to use ‘Ciceronian usage’ to differentiate Trogus from Justin in the rest of the work. The problem is that Justin...

    • 4 Other Possible Trogan Usages
      (pp. 92-112)

      In this section are listed expressions which, though not occurring in the three historians dealt with in chapters 1 and 2, are more likely to be from the pen of Trogus than Justin. These are tentative suggestions, and some will be found more persuasive than others. The main criterion for their assignment to Trogus rather than Justin is that they occur in the authors of the first century known to have used the work of Trogus – Valerius Maximus, Velleius Paterculus, Frontinus, Curtius³¹ – and are less frequently found, or not found at all, in the authors who are writing...

  7. PART TWO: Justin

    • 5 ‘Justinisms’ in Justin
      (pp. 116-180)

      It was noted above that there are a number of Ciceronian expressions in thePraefatiowhich could derive from Justin but which could conceivably, if Justin has reworked Trogus’ own preface to the work as well as the work itself, have appeared in the original. It is clear, however, that Justin has added material of his own.

      Praef. 2Nam cum plerisqueopus suum ardui laboris videatur

      Thought and expression is too close to Apul.Mund. Praef.(nam cum ceteri magnitudine rei territi eiusmodi laborem arduumexistimarent) for coincidence.³⁷

      Praef. 3segregatim

      Post-Trogan usage; not listed inOLD....

    • 6 Justin and Pseudo-Quintilian
      (pp. 181-187)

      It is evident from the preceding chapter that many of the ‘Justinisms’ we have tried to isolate are cases where parallels are to be seen in theDeclamationsandMajor Declamationsattributed to Quintilian in antiquity. The question of the authenticity of these declamations is beyond the scope of this study,⁴⁴ but the conclusion is unavoidable that there are clear and persistent resemblances between them and theEpitomeof Justin. Indeed, in terms of vocabulary, the previous chapter has, I believe, demonstrated that there are closer and more persistent parallels between theEpitomeand these works than there are with...

    • 7 Poetic Elements in the Epitome
      (pp. 188-213)

      In chapter 5 we noticed that a number of the suggested ‘Justinisms’ in theEpitomewere poetic words and expressions that were subsequently used by prose writers, especially those of the second century. There are also, however, a number of expressions which seem to derive directly from poetry – from Virgil above all (as one might expect, given Quintilian’s high regard for that poet),⁴⁵ but also from Ovid and later poets – but which do not become used, or are only infrequently used, by prose authors. It is to such expressions that we now turn, and we begin with the...

    • 8 Trogus, Justin, and the Law
      (pp. 214-222)

      In chapter 5 we observed that there are a large number of linguistic parallels between theEpitomeand theDeclamationsandMajor Declamationsattributed to Quintilian. We also noticed that Justin’sPraefatioto the entire work revealed two major influences, Cicero and Quintilian, and suggested that this may support the thesis that the epitomator had more than a passing acquaintance with the schools of rhetoric, that his oeuvre is in fact some sort of aid for the prospective orator. Such a work might also be expected to reveal some technical legal language. And while it is well known that sprinklings...

    (pp. 223-225)
    (pp. 226-254)
    (pp. 255-284)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 285-287)