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autobiography in which the author describes how he was tried and condemned for the murder of three leathern bottles. He was brought back to life by a sorceress, whom he wished to follow in the shape of a bird, but owing to some mistake he was transformed instead into an ass. In his search for the rose-leaves that alone could give him back his human form, he had many strange adventures. He was bullied by his own horse and beaten by his own groom. He heard exactly what his friends thought of him, and had other fantastic experiences. The whole thing is amazingly interesting and often licentious. Boccaccio, Cervantes, and Le Sage borrowed incidents from The Golden Ass, and it was translated into English by Willian Adlington in 1566.

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius was almost the last literary achievement of the Roman Empire. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor, his rule starting in A.D. 161, but it is interesting to note that he wrote in Greek. He was a man of noble character, intent on · living a good life and fulfilling his obligations to his people. There were three persecutions of the Christians during his reign, but it must be remembered that in the Roman Empire of the second century the Christians were regarded with exactly the same popular dislike as the Jews were regarded in Tsarist Russia. The power of the Emperor was limited; he was always fearful of exciting widespread public disapproval, and, moreover, it is certain that Marcus Aurelius knew nothing of Christian ethics and doctrines. To him the Christians were merely enemies of the people.

The Meditations are a record of the Emperor's daily reflections on life and the nature of man, and are a perfect expression of Stoic philosophy. This philosophy

This philosophy is similar to that of Epictetus, a Greek slave belonging to one of Nero's courtiers, lame, in weak health, his life spent in poverty and obscurity. Slave and Emperor agreed in insisting that Virtue was its own reward, that man was helpless in the hands of God, and that whatever God did was right. The teaching of the Meditations is summarised in the following text from Epictetus:

Remember that you are an actor in a drama, of such a kind as the author pleases to make it. If short, of a short one; if long, of a long one. If it be his pleasure you should act a poor man, a cripple, a governor, or a private person, see that you act it naturally. For this is your business, to act well the character assigned you; to choose it, is another's.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The following is a list of valuable books for the student of literature and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome.

F. B. Jevons, A History of Greek Literature.
Sir Richard Jebb, Primer of Greek Literature.

Gilbert Murray, Ancient Greek Literature, Euripides and His Age, and The Plays of Euripides.

W. Warde-Fowler, Rome.

J. C. Stobart, The Glory that was Greece and The Grandeur that was Rome.

Prof. A. S. Wilkins's Roman Literature.

Translations of most of the important Greek and Latin authors are accessible in such series as the Loeb Classical Library, the Everyman's Library, the World's Classics, and Bohn's Library.

The Loeb Classical Library, of which many volumes are now ready, will ultimately include all the classical writers of importance. Every volume in this series contains the Greek or Latin text with English translation on opposite pages.

Sir R. C. Jebb’s English Prose Translation of the Plays of Sophocles.
Plato's Republic and The Trial and Death of Socrates.

The Pocket Horace (the Latin Text with Conington's translation on opposite pages), is published complete in one volume, or in two separate volumes, The Odes and The Satires, Epistles, etc.

Translations from Horace, by Sir Stephen E. De Vere, Bart.

The Works of Horace, 2 vols., translated into English verse, with a life and notes by Sir Theodore Martin.

Prof. W. Y. Sellar's Virgil, and his Horace and the Elegiac Poets.

VIII

THE MIDDLE AGES

THE MIDDLE AGES

§ 1

IN DARKEST EUROPE

T

HE Middle Ages is the name commonly given to that period of European history that lasted from the sack

and capture of Rome in A.D. 410, by the Visigoths under Alaric, to the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453. Even before the passing of the Roman Empire of the West, there had been for over two hundred years a period of stagnation in which little, if any, literature was produced. Rome was, for years, fighting a losing battle against the barbarian hordes who had crossed the old imperial frontier of the Rhine and the Danube, the most terrible of these hordes being the Huns under the leadership of Attila. The whole fabric of Roman civilisation was gradually overwhelmed by the armies of the ignorant, and was apparently, but only apparently, lost for ever.

The Gradual Creation of Nationalities

The new masters of the West cared nothing for culture, and for the most part they could neither read nor write. In the centuries that followed, Europe saw the gradual creation of nationalities and distinctive national life, by the amalgamation of races, and after persistent struggles between rival kings and

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