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MIRABILIA


337


MIRABILIA


children) their impious and absurd conception of the Divinity, their doctrine of the end of the world and the resurrection of the dead, the hardships of their life, threatened, and exposed without remedy to all sorts of dangers, cut off from the joys of life. In this debate the conception of Christianity is very limited, and is reduced almost solely to the unity of God, Providence, the resurrection, and reward after death. The name of Christ does not appear; among the apologists of the second century Aristides, St. Justin, and TertuUian are the only ones who pronounced it. But IMinucius omits the characteristic points of Christianity in dogma and worship ; this is not because he is bound to silence by the discipline of the secret, for St. Justin and TertuUian do not fear to enter into these details. Moreover in the discussion itself Octavius ends abruptly. To the accusation of ador- ing a criminal he contents himself with replying that the Crucified <^)ne was neither a man nor guilty (x.xix, 2) and he is silent with regard to the mysteries of the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the Redemption which would have made clear his reply. He merely repels the accusation of incest anfl infanticide without describing the agape or the Eucharist (xxx and xxxi). He does not quote Scripture, or at least very little; and he does not mention the fulfilment of the prophe- cies. On the other hand he makes only a brief allusion to the mannei- of proceeding against the Christians (xxiii, 3). He does not speak of the loyalty of the Christians towards the state and the emperors. Political and judicial considerations, which are given so much space in TertuUian, are almost entirely absent here. These omissions are explained by a voluntary limitation of the subject. Minucius wished only to remove the prejudices of the pagans, to pre- possess his readers by a pleasant discussion, and to show them the possibility of Christianity. He himself indicated this intention by putting off until the next day a more profound discussion (xl, 2). He addressed himself chiefly to the learned, to sceptics, and to the cultured ; and wished to prove to them that there was nothing in the new religion that was incompatible with the resources of dialectics and the ornaments of rhetoric. In a word his work is an introduction to Christianity, a Protrcpticon.

It is a mosaic of imitations, especially of Cicero, Seneca, and Virgil. The plan itself is that of the " De natura deorum" of Cicero, and Cscilius here plays the role of Cotta. However the personages have their peculiar characteristics. Caecilius is a young man, presumptuous, somewhat vain, sensitive, yielding to his first impression. Octavius is more sedate, but provincial life seems to have made him more intoler- ant; his pleading is hot and emotional. Minucius is more indulgent and calm. These learned men are charming friends. The dialogue itself is a monument of friendship. Minucius wrote it in memory of his dear Octavius, recently deceased. In reading it one thinks of Pliny the Younger and his friends. These minds exhibited the same delicacy and culture. The style is composite, being a harmonious combination of the Ciceronian period with the brilliant and short sentences of the new school. It sometimes assumes poetic tints, but the dominating colour is that of Cicero. By the choice of suljjects treated, his ease in reconciling very different ideas and styles, the arti of combinations in ideas as well as in language, Minucius Felix belongs to the first rank of Latin writers whose talent consisted in blending heterogeneous elements and in proving themselves individual and original in imitation.

MiNociDS Felix, Octavius, ed. Waltzing (Louvain. 1903): Waltzing, Studia minuciana, I and II (Louvain. 1906); Idem. Octavius de Minucius Felix, introduction, texte. commentaire, traduction, lanaue et syntaxe. appendice critique (2 vols.. Bruges, 1909); Idem, Lexicon Minucianum in Bib. de la faculte de pki- loaphie et lettres de VUniversite de Liege., fasc. iii (Li^ge and Pan.s, 1909). A complete bibliography will be found in the firstthree works, with analyses and discussion. Recently Eltek in his X.— 22


Prolegomena zu Minucius Felix (Bonn, 1909), has attempted to show the Octavius to be a "consolation" intended exclusively for Christian readers; this theory ia without probability.

Padl Lejay.

Mirabilia TJrbis Rom^e, the title of a medieval Latin description of the city of Rome, dating from about 1150. Unhampered by any very accurate knowledge of the historical continuity of the city, the unknown author has described the monuments of Rome, displaying a considerable amount of inventive faculty. From the pontificate of Boniface VIII (1294-1303) to that of John XXII (1316-34) it was revised and attained unquestioned authority, despite the increase in the already large number of miscon- ceptions and errors. Attention was first called to these different recensions by de Rossi in the first volume of his "Roma Sotterranea" (158 sqq.). Al- most simultaneously appeared two editions of the text, by Parthey ("Mirabilia Romae e codicibus Vati- canis emendata", Berlin, 1869) and by Jordan ("To- pographic der Stadt Rom im Altertum", II, Berlin, 1871, 605-43), respectively. In the third section Jor- dan discusses at some length the Mirabiha and its redactions (357 sqq.), in the fourth, the earlier divisions of the work (401 sqq.) , and in the fifth, the topography of the Mirabilia (421 sqq.), presenting most valuable information, the result of much research on all the questions involved. The latest edition is that of Duchesne in the " Liber Censuum de I'Eglise Ro- maine" (I, Paris, 1905, 262-73), being the text of the original of Cencius Camerarius with the variants of four other manuscripts. Especially valuable for a proper conception of the Mirabilia are the 125 notes appended by Duchesne on pp. 273-83, many of them of considerable length. (The concordance with the text in the "Excerta politici a presbitero Benedicto compositi de ordinibus Romanis et dignitatibus Urbis et Sacri Palatii" may be found in the "Liber Cen- suum", vol. II, 91, 92, n. 5.) A critical edition of the "Mirabilia Urbis" is still lacking. The contents of the Mirabilia fall into the following sections, the titles being taken from the "Liber Censuum": (1) De muro \xs-h\s (concerning the wail of the city) ; (2) De portis urbis (the gates of the city) ; (3) De miliaribus (the milestones) ; (4) Nomina portarum (the names of the gates); (5) Quot porte sunt Transtiberim (how many gates are beyond the Tiber); (6) De arcubus (the arches); (7) De montibus (the hills); (8) De termis (the baths); (9) De palatiis (the palaces); (10) De theatris (the theatres); (11) De locis qui inveniuntur in sanctorum passionibus (the places mentioned in the "passions" of the saints); (12) De pontibus (the bridges); (13) De ciniiteriis (the cemeteries); (14) De iussione Octaviani iniperatoris et responsione Sibille (the demand of the Emperor Octavian and the Sibyl's response); (15) Quare facti sunt caballi marmorei (why the marble horses were made) ; (16) De nomini- bus iudicum et eorum instructionibus (the names of the judges and their instructions); (17) De columna Antonii et Trajani (the column of Antony and Tra- jan); (18) Quare factus sit equus qui dicitur Constan- tinus (why the horse was made, which is called of Constantino); (19) Quare factum sit Pantheon et postmodum oratio B. (why the pantheon was built and later oration B.); (20) Quare Octavianus vocatus sit Augustus et (juare dicatur ecclesia Sancti Petri ad vincula (Why Octavianus was called Augastus, and why the church of St. Peter ad Vincula was so called);' (21) De vaticano et Agulio; (22) Quot sunt templa trans Tiberim (how many tf^nplcs are beyond the Tiber) ; (23) Predicatio sanctorum (the preaching of the saints).

The reader may consult in addition to the above-mentioned authors, the M onatsberichte of the Berlin Academy (1869), 681 sqq.; (5RA8SE. Beitrdge zur Lilteratur und Sage des Mittelal- ters: (NiBBYJ. Effemeridi letterarie di Roma (1820). 63 sqq. part of this was reprinted without alteration under the title of Mirabilia ossia le cmsc maravigliose di Roma (Rome. 1864). Id editing the second of the two recensions mentioned above^