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being simple sentences, while over three-tenths show only two main analyses, a very small number showing three or more subordinate clauses. The Germania and Agricola show a somewhat smaller proportion of simple sentences, and a somewhat higher degree of organization. If, as is usual with those who study the style of Tacitus, we should be guided in our investigation by the assumption that his later works exhibit the more distinctively Tacitean peculiarities in a more marked way, the extreme form appearing in his latest work, the Annals, we should expect the Annals to show an increase in the proportion of simple sentences and a decrease in elaborateness of organization. But we must not allow ourselves to be unduly influenced by the chronological sequence of any author's works. It may be important, or it may be of trifling moment; and in just this particular is seen one of the great advantages of approaching the subject from the point of view urged in this paper, for the attention is primarily fixed upon the fundamental question as to the character of the mental processes reflected in a given work, and the time element is relegated to a subordinate place. Now what do we really find on examining the Annals? We find that the sentences on an average show a greater complexity both as regards the predicative and the attributive elements, considerably less than half the number belonging to the simpler type, - a much smaller proportion than is found in the Histories. And this is precisely what we should expect. For if the emotional tone played as important a part in Tacitus's style as it appears to have played, we should expect to see less evidence of it in the Annals than in the Histories, since the latter are historiae in the true Roman sense of the word, i.e. a history of the writer's own times, and they describe events not far removed from those in which Domitian, non iam per intervalla ac spiramenta temporum, sed continuo et velut uno ictu rem publicam exhausit, - events that must have moved Tacitus more deeply than those described in the Annals, which were more remote from him both in time and interest.
What is here said of the style of Tacitus should be supplemented by the further statement that there is a decided synthetic tendency in Tacitus's thought. The nature of this tendency and its effect upon style are clearly brought out by Dr. Boucke, who draws an instructive parallel between Tacitus and Emerson in this particular.1
An interesting and instructive comparison may here be made between Tacitus and Juvenal. Both have a strong emotional nature, both show clearly the influence of this upon their sentences, both have themselves given in their own words the clue to their interpretation. Tacitus writes sine ira et studio; with Juvenal facit indignatio versus. In Tacitus the emotion is under control, and we get the type just described ; Juvenal gives rein to his emotions, and writes in a predominatingly associative form.
A second figure belonging to the early empire, Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger, like Tacitus, has left his personality clearly impressed upon his style — and this notwithstanding the distinct rhetorical tinge which his works exhibit throughout. The study of Seneca is on the whole simpler than that of Tacitus, because he employed essentially the same type of sentence from his earliest writings to his latest. His sentences resemble those of Tacitus in some ways. In particular both have a remarkable clearness and distinctness of apperception, by which is meant that the ideas are in themselves clearly apperceived and that each is sharply marked off from the other. These qualities make the sentences of both writers brief and concise. Yet a close comparison of the two reveals some marked differences between them. In the first place Seneca's range of consciousness is much narrower than that of Tacitus. He grasps much fewer elements at once. Consequently the single impressions are more striking and intense, the sentences average much shorter, and show even less organization. In the second place the synthetic tendency in Seneca is decidedly less marked. This is shown in the more frequent use he makes of connecting particles and in the presence of predicative members (subordinate clauses) in contrast with the numerous attributive elements found in Tacitus. Consistent with the general character of
1 Op. cit. pp. 407 f.
Seneca's style these clauses are always brief. As a fairly typical example we may quote Epist. 90, 27-28: non est, inquam, instrumentorum ad usus necessarios opifex (sc, sapientia). quid illi tam parvula adsignas? artificem vides vitae. alias quidem artes sub dominio habet. nam cui vita, illi vitam quoque ornantia serviunt. ceterum ad beatum statum tendit, illo ducit, illo vias aperit. (28) quae sint mala, quae videantur ostendit. vanitatem exuit mentibus. dat magnitudinem solidam, inflatam vero et ex inani speciosam reprimit. nec ignorari sinit inter magna quid intersit et tumida. totius naturae notitiam ac suae tradit. Formula :
(añol (año | (aso (a)bajó (A)B(A)) | (a) | (a)) (28) |
(año | (a) (AJB|(ağb | (a)b (asb-(a)ā | (asb
ca This is prevailingly the isolating type, but there is one asso. ciative addition, and in three cases the relations between the successive units of thought are grasped and expressed. This is indicated by the horizontal square bracket. Such connections, which appear to be more frequent in Seneca than in Tacitus, are intermediate forms between the isolating and the synthetic, since in the isolating type the relations are not grasped, in the one here mentioned they are apperceived and expressed, while in the synthetic type this apperceptive act is followed by a second synthesis. The contrast between Seneca and Tacitus is not brought out very clearly by the formulae used above, because they take no account of the attributive (adjectival and adverbial) members, and because the passages quoted from Tacitus are rather extreme cases.
Seneca's rhetorical training appears in one particular to have had some effect upon his sentence structure. addicted in an extraordinary degree to the use of clausulae. Open a volume of Seneca almost anywhere and note how nearly every colon shows a cretic or trochaic close. Take for example de Ira, 3, 42: radicitus (UU), haeserunt
1 The quantity of the last syllable is, of course, a matter of indifference.
renascentur (-0-1-u), temperemus (-ul-u), toto removeamus (-ul-u=the Ciceronian esse videatur), malae rei temperamentum esť (-U-I-U-T-U-), adnitamur modo (-0-), etc. The recurrence of these familiar cadences again and again at the close of sentences can have had no other effect than to accentuate the close of the sentence and so direct attention to it. Thus the individual sentences are marked off with greater distinctness and sharpness and the degree of their isolation enhanced. Of course, one could hardly suppose that the use of such cadences could in itself develop an isolating style. But where both the tendency to use clausulae and the isolating style are present, each enhances the effect of the other and develops in the writer an ever-increasing facility which may eventually become almost automatic. The skill which Seneca developed in the use of clausulae is shown by the infrequency with which he disturbs the natural order of words at the close of his sentences.
In this respect he stands in marked contrast with Cicero and Nepos. It is furthermore worthy of note that both the clausulae and the isolating sentence are characteristic of the Asiatic school.
The sentence structure of Seneca is closely paralleled by that of Cato the Elder, judging from both the de Agri Cultura and the fragments of his orations. His narrow field of consciousness and his clear and distinct apperceptive power make each concept stand out sharply. Some few subordinate clauses are found (temporal, conditional, purpose), but they are always brief and concise. The successive units of thought are, however, seldom compared, and the relations between them less frequently grasped than in Seneca. See the fragment of his oration against Thermus preserved in
ab Gellius, 10, 3, 17, 1 að 6, að lão | ao laol ao 6–ab |
1 Incidentally it may be said that to this was doubtless due in large measure the fact that later grammarians were led by the study of his vocabulary to collect lists of synonyms from his works. See Isidor, Differentiarum sive de Proprietate Sermonum, ii, praefatio 5, 10 (M). The same tendency of mind led Cato to make his collection of αποφθέγματα και γνωμολογίαι, an anthology of pithy sayings gathered from other writers. Many of the acts of Cato's public life reflect this same quality of mind.
alb) (ubi societas?)| 2lb), etc. In some of his fragments, where the emotional tone is calmer, associative elements are found. Compare, for example, with the passage just quoted the sentence, scio solere plerisque hominibus in rebus secundis atque prolixis atque prosperis animum excellere, atque superbiam atque ferociam augescere atque crescere. The strong individuality reflected in Cato's sentence structure forces us to conclude, that, however much Roman editors may have modernized his phraseology, they did not materially alter the groundwork of the style in the de Agri Cultura.
A comparison of the sentence structure of Cato and Varro shows clearly how much in style depends upon the author's type of mind and how little may depend upon the subjectmatter. To the strongly marked isolating style of Cato, the equally strong analytic tendency seen in Varro's Res Rusticae stands in sharp contrast. Varro's field of consciousness is wide, and a multiplicity of minor elements enter into his sentences. When most Varronian we have sentences represented by formulae like the following:
The type is in complete harmony with the careful and systematic analysis to which Varro subjected the subjectmatter of his works.2 Sentences like the above are, of
Apud Gellium, 6, 3, 14. 2 Compare the elaborate analyses descending sometimes almost to formalism and schematism which a table of contents of his Antiquitates shows. Similar analytic treatment of his theme is shown in numerous passages in the de Lingua Latina, especially at the beginnings of the books and larger subdivisions of the matter, where he is dealing with the general aspects of his subject rather than with the details.