The last of these friends we shall notice is JULUS ANTONIUS a son of the triumvir, who, according to Acron, wrote twelve excellent books in epic metre on the legends of Diomed, a work obviously modelled on those of Euphorion, whose fourteen books of Heracleia were extremely popular; in a later age Statius attempted a similar task in essaying the history of Achilles.
And yet in other things this is less surprising; for no one is so old as to think that he may not live a year. But they bestow their labour on what they know does not affect them in any case: He plants his trees to serve a race to come, as our poet Statius says in his Comrades.
Lightfoot, as we have seen, has proved that Statius Quadratus was consul in A.D. 142; and then, by the aid of the dreamer Aristides, he has tried to show that he probably became proconsul of Asia about A.D. 154 or A.D. 155. His calculations are obviously mere guesswork. Even admitting their correctness, it would by no means follow that Polycarp was then consigned to martyrdom.
He crammed his pages with quotation from Virgil and Horace, Ovid and Tibullus, Propertius, Lucan, Juvenal and Martial, Lucretius, Statius, Claudian, Silius Italicus, Ausonius, Seneca, Phaedrus, and gave even to his 'understanding age' an overdose of its own physic for all ills of literature.
The Silvae of Statius and the letters of Pliny imply that there was a very active and generally diffused interest in science and letters; but it is easy to be somebody where no one is great. Among grammarians AEMILIUS ASPER deserves notice. He seems to have been living while Suetonius composed his biography of grammarians, since he is not included in it.
We may perhaps smile at the vanity which aspired to the title of Roman Homer, and still more at the partiality which so willingly granted it; nevertheless, with all deductions on the score of rude conception and ruder execution, the fragments that remain incline us to concur with Scaliger in wishing that fate had spared us the whole, and denied us Silius, Statius, Lucan, "et tous ces garcons la."
The commander was Statius Metius, who was sent there by Cneius Magius Atellanus, who was that year Medixtuticus and was arming the slaves and people without distinction, in order to assault the Roman camp, while the consul was intently occupied in the siege of Casilinum. None of these things escaped Fabius.
This description will therefore have a double interest by comparison, whilst, whatever may be thought of either taken separately for itself, considered as a translation, this which we now quote is as true to Statius as the other is undoubtedly faithless to Homer
During the Middle Ages a few students had possessed the poems of Vergil and the prose of Boethius and Vergil at Mantua, Boethius at Pavia, had actually been honored as saints together with fragments of Lucan, Ovid, Statius, Cicero, and Horace. The Renaissance opened to the whole reading public the treasure-houses of Greek and Latin literature.
He was able to make important additions to Silius Italicus, Manilius, Lucretius, Valerius Flaccus, Asconius Pedianus, Columella, Celsus, Aulus Gellius, Statius, and others; and with the help of Leonardo Aretino he unearthed the last twelve comedies of Plautus, as well as the Verrine orations.