[ocr errors]

Silius was perhaps owner of the very estate. An epigram of Martial gives a little support to the idea :

Silius, who possesses the land which was eloquent Cicero's, honours this monument of great Maro. As heir and owner of his tomb or dwelling no other would either Maro or Cicero choose. 13


Of course Martial may have had in mind some other estate.18 But, to make sure that the estate at Arpinum belonged to Silius, a desperate attempt was once made by emending the text of another epigram, so that it should read: Silius Arpino tandem succurit agello. The reading, however, has nothing to do with the established text which gives : Silius optatae succurrere censuit umbrae.14 I found the emended text in the Italia Antiqua of Philip Cluver ;16 but whether that eminent geographer is guilty of its fabrication or not, I have not discovered. It has recently appeared again in a paper dealing with the question of the site, written by the head of the monastery of Casamari.16 I am sure that the good monk may be entirely acquitted of intent to mislead, for he quotes as authority a certain Grossi.17

There is no other literary evidence of the first importance from Roman times. Later in the paper I shall quote additional passages from Cicero, to help in solving certain parts of the problem. But first I wish to present a review of the evidence to be derived from works of the Renaissance; and this review will form a history of the study of the problem as well as a presentation of evidence. I find no direct mention of Cicero's estate in the Middle Ages. There are lives of Saint Dominicus,18 who founded in 1030 à monastery (Monastero di S. Domenico di Sora), which still exists near the confluence of Fibrenus and Liris. There are lives

12 Martial, XI, 48. Loeb Library, translation by W. C. A. Ker.

13 Friedländer's edition of Martial, Leipzig, 1886, mentions claims for the estates at Tusculum, Cumae, and Arpinum.

14 Martial, xi, 49. 15 Published at Lyons, 1624. See below, note 43. 16 D. Mauro M. Cassoni, La Villa Natale di M. T. Cicerone, Sora, 1911,

P. 53.

17 See Mommsen, C. I. L., X, 1, p. 577, about the man Grossi.

18 Acta Sanctorum, ed. by Ioannes Bolandus, Antwerp, 1643; see under January, vol. II, p. 442 ff., the day of Jan. 22; and Analecta Bollandiana, ed. by Smedt, etc., Paris, 1882, vol. I, p. 279 ff. For a document relating to the founding of this monastery see below, and note 90.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

of Saint Restituta,19 the scene of whose martyrdom is associated with the island Carnello in the Fibrenus. They date from as early as the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and make no mention of Cicero. There is nothing, so far as I can discover, in various records and documents, now in printed form, of the monastery at Monte Cassino,20 not very many miles distant from Arpinum.

For the Renaissance the earliest writer I find quoted in studies of recent years is Cardinal Caesar Baronius; but more than a hundred years before him other writers had considered the question. Flavius Blondus was, in the words of Gregorovius, "the honored founder of the science of archaeology." 21 He was also a writer on Roman history and topography, a secretary to several popes of the fifteenth century, and the discoverer of Cicero's Brutus. So far as I can learn he is the first writer since Roman times to make mention of the site of Cicero's estate. The mention occurs in his Italia Illustrata, first printed at Rome in 1474, years after Blondus' death in 1463. But Blondus published the work in manuscript form in 1453,22 some years before the introduction of printing into Italy, and many of the manuscripts still exist. The Vatican Library has at least four.23 In two of them 24 and in the first printed edition the significant passages are as follows:

And so the Liris, now the Garigliano, has in Samnium two sources; one at Capistrellum, a castello in the Apennines and eight miles above Sora; the other at Posta, a castello four miles from Sora. . . . . These two branches, when they unite below Sora, form an island, on which are the castelli Peachum, Posta, and Lobrottulum. (Then follows more than a page of historical and topographical information about Sora and vicinity). But below also on a high place is Arpinum well known from the fame of Marcus Tullius Cicero and G. Marius whom it had as its most glorious citizens. Concerning it Livy in the ninth; 'In that year Sora and Arpi

10 Acta Sanctorum, see under day of May 27; and A. Tondi, La storia di S. Restituta, Rome, 1730, pp. 97-131.

20 Chronica Sacri Monasterii Casinensis, auctore Leone Cardinali Episcopo Ostiensi, ed. by D. Angelus de Nuce, Paris, 1668; written in the early part of the twelfth century; and D. Luigi Tosti, Storia della Badia di Monte-Cassino, Naples, 1843, especially vol. 1.

21 Rome in the Middle Ages, VII, II, p. 603 (English translation).

22 Alfred Masius, Flavio Biondo, sein Leben und seine Werke, Leipzig,


23 Pal. Lat., 948; Ottob. Lat., 1455; Ottob. Lat. 2369; Vat. Lat., 1945. 24 Pal. Lat., 948; Ottob. Lat. 1455.

[ocr errors]

num were recovered from the Samnites '; and in the tenth book; 'To the Arpinates and Trebulani citizenship was given. And below Arpinum very near to the river Melfa on the left are the castelli Fontana and Arce. But below Sora, where the two heads of the Liris unite there is Insula, surrounded by those two streams, a town which the ancients called Interamnia. And along the course of this river are found the castelli Turris, Campuslatus, and Insuletta. There is even yet, a little above, an island, small now as it always has been, to be visited with great pleasure by he eloquent. At this island Marcus Cicero was born, and not at Arpinum. For so he himself has left written in his Laws: 'But we have come to the island.' (Then follow quotations from De Legibus, II, 3, 6, and 11, 1, 3).25

The latter part of this section, which concerns directly the island, the birthplace of Cicero, and the passage from the De Legibus, does not appear in one Vatican manuscript 26 at all, and in another,27 is inserted at the bottom of the page by a different hand. Alfred Masius, who has written on the life and works of Blondus, has not noticed this difference. He has noticed that in some copies in a few places remarks complimentary to Pope Nicolaus V were added, and by Blondus himself. Possibly those additions, and this about Cicero's estate, were inserted at various times in the course of the copying of the work. This copying might take a long time, for in regard to one of Blondus' works, Roma Triumphans, it is definitely known from his own words that he em

[merged small][ocr errors]

25 Italia Illustrata, Aprutium, Regio Duodecima: Liris itaque nunc Gautianus duos in Samnio habet fontes: Vnum ad Capistrellum in Apenino castello: octavo supra Soram miliario. Alterum ad Postam castellum quatuor a Sora milibus distans: ... . duo hi rami cum infra Soram coeant insulam efficiunt. In qua sunt castella Peschum: Posta & Lobrottulum. .... Inferius celso item in loco est Arpinum fama celeberri. mum. Marci Tullii Ciceronis: & G. Marii quos habuit gloriosissimos ciues. De qua Liuius in nono. Eo anno Sora & Arpinum recepta a Samnitibus. & libro decimo Arpinatibus & Trebulanis ciuitas data. Et sub Arpino Melfae fluuio sinistrorsum proxima sunt castella Fontana & Arce. At sub Sora ubi bina Liris capita coeunt: est Insula oppidum ab ipsis duobus fluuiis circundatum: quod maiores Interamniam appellauere. Et secundum eius fluuii decursum castella Turris: Campuslatus: & Insuletta inueniuntur. Est etiam nunc paulo superior parua nunc sicut semper fuit insula magno eloquentibus gaudio inuisenda: apud quam natus est & non Arpini Marcus Cicero. Sic enim ipse in suis legibus scriptum reliquit. Sed uentum in insulam est. Hac uero nihil est amoenius.

28 Vat. Lat. 1945.
27 Ottob. Lat. 2369.


ployed several scribes and that it took more time than he liked for the completion of copies sufficient for the demand -time enough, surely, to allow the author to make insertions.

The fact that the addition about Cicero's estate was made, and its content, are significant. From the shorter version the reader learns simply that Cicero was a citizen of Arpinum. And from the form of statement it seems that that is all Blondus knew about it. The longer version gives the additional information at the very end of all the discussion about the region of Sora and Arpinum, and, of course, out of order from the point of view of topographyplainly a later insertion, an after thought. And from what source is the new information derived? Patently, from Cicero's De Legibus, which Blondus quotes at such length. Blondus was the first to work the field of Italian topography. He had no predecessor; but by hard labor he dug from Cicero, Livy, Pliny, and others much valuable information which he combined with other historical material of later times and with personal investigations. Many errors were inevitable under the circumstances; but he deserves great credit as the first to show the way in such studies. No other source than Cicero, then, was to be expected, unless it were tradition that had lived on in the region. But in Blondus there is no trace of any tradition.

On the topography of the region Blondus obviously had information other than Cicero, for he describes the island of the estate as "small now as it always has been." Perhaps the information came to him from persons who knew the region. Perhaps he visited it himself; but I am not convinced that he did, since his knowledge of the region is far from faultless. His statement about the location of Isola del Liri is not correct, nor his identification of Interamnia, nor his apparent creation of a large island 29 where the two rivers join. As for the location of Cicero's island, that is uncertain so far as Blondus' own words go. After locating, along the Liris, Turris, Campuslatus, and Insuletta (probably la Torre, Isoletta, and Campolato, all many kilometers below Arpinum), he states that the island of Cicero is "a little above." This is extremely indefinite. Does he mean to identify it with Isola del

28 Masius, op. cit. p. 58.

29 All four MSS. and the printed edition of 1474 give insulam. Alberti, whose work will be mentioned later, more correctly describes the section as a peninsula.

[ocr errors]


The Site of Cicero's Villa at Arpinum


[ocr errors]

Liri, or with the island at the mouth of the Fibrenus, or with Carnello ? He never names Carnello. And the Fibrenus he mentions only in the quotation from the De Legibus, though he plainly describes it when he refers to the branch of the Liris having its source at Posta. To be sure Blondus does not identify this branch with the Fibrenus, and it must therefore remain uncertain whether he thought the two identical or not. But, in spite of inaccuracies and uncertainties, Blondus gets the credit of being the first to call attention to the passage in the De Legibus, and the first to see that the information there given placed Cicero's estate in the valley of the Liris.

A detail may be added from the Roma Triumphans, which was published in manuscript in the year 1460.30 In this work Blondus, giving a list of the villas of Cicero, says, “To him the most pleasing of all was his ancestral Villa Arpinas, which he mentions in the dialogue of the Laws.” It gives simply another indication that Blondus looked to the De Legibus for knowledge of Cicero's home. 31

A final point may be made from the text of the edition of 1474 which is said to have been edited by a son of Blondus.82 In a brief resume of the regions of Italy, given at the beginning of the book, and evidently due to the editor and not to the author as it does not occur in the manuscripts, this statement is found: “ The town Arpinum, once the home of Cicero and G. Marius, although an effort is made to show that Cicero was born elsewhere.” 33 The phrasing seems to indicate a belief on the part of the editor that Blondus had produced an entirely new bit of information about Cicero's birthplace in his Italia Illustrata.

Petrus Marsus, who was a professor in the Collegio Romano, seems to have been the second to deal with the problem. In his edition of Silius Italicus' Punica, published in May, 1483, he gives the following note on the passage from book VIII, 399-411:

[ocr errors]

* Fibreno.' The Fibrenus river flows between Sora and Arpinum and unites with the Liris at the villa where Cicero was born, which is called

30 Masius, op. cit. p. 57.

31 Ottob. Lat. 1127, liber VIIII, fol. 13v.: illi omnium gratissimas ar. pinas paterna: cuius in legum dialogo meminit.

3. Masius, op. cit. p. 52 ff.

83 Fol. 16v.: Arpino oppido Ciceronis olim et G. Marii patria quamquam nititur doceri Ciceronem alibi natum fuisse.

« VorigeDoorgaan »