Sophocles and the other tragedians, Apollonius Rhodius and the Alexandrines are continually imitated, and almost always improved upon. And still more is this the case with his adaptations from Naevius, Ennius, Lucretius, Hostius, Furius, &c. whose works he had thoroughly mastered, and stored in his memory their most striking rhythms or expressions.

This, too, is observable as a singular thing in Romulus, that he appointed no punishment for real parricide, but called all murder so, thinking the one an accursed thing, but the other a thing impossible; and, for a long time, his judgment seemed to have been right; for in almost six hundred years together, nobody committed the like in Rome; and Lucius Hostius, after the wars of Hanibal, is recorded to have been the first parricide.

This, too, is observable as a singular thing in Romulus, that he appointed no punishment for real parricide, but called all murder so, thinking the one an accursed thing, but the other a thing impossible; and for a long time, his judgement seemed to have been right; for in almost six hundred years together, nobody committed the like in Rome; Lucius Hostius, after the wars of Hannibal, is recorded to have been the first parricide.

The early Roman poets were patriotic men; they chose for subjects the annals of Rome, which they celebrated in noble though unskilled verse. Naevius. Ennius, Accius, Hostius, Bibaculus, and Varius before Virgil, Lucan and Silius after him, treated national subjects, some of great antiquity, some almost contemporaneous.

This may be more properly considered as the sequel to Livius, but the few fragments remaining show that his versification was based on that of Ennius. Gellius, with his partiality for all that was archaic, warmly praises this work. HOSTIUS wrote the Bellum Istricum in three books. This was no doubt a continuation of the great master's Annales. What the war was is not quite certain.

Some fix it at 178 B.C.; others as late as 129 B.C. The earlier date is the more probable. We then have to ask when Hostius himself lived. Teuffel inclines to place him before Accius; but most commentators assign him a later date. A few lines are preserved in Macrobius, which seem to point to an early period, e.g. "non si mihi linguae Centum atque ora sient totidem vocesque liquatae," and again,

The chiefs on both sides encouraged the fight, on the side of the Sabines Mettius Curtius, on the side of the Romans Hostius Hostilius. The latter, in the front of the battle, on unfavourable ground, supported the fortunes of the Romans by his courage and boldness. When Hostius fell, the Roman line immediately gave way, and, being routed, was driven as far as the old gate of the Palatium.