Pagina:Zibaldone di pensieri VII.djvu/393

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384 pensieri (4450-4451)

segg. The greater is the antiquity of the legends: (dei miti ec. intorno ai fatti dei re di Roma, e ai primi tempi della città): their origin goes back far beyond the time when the annals (gli annali pontificali di Roma) were restored (furono rinnovati, dopo che gli antichi annali erano periti nell’incendio di Roma al tempo della presa della città fatta dai Galli). That they were transmitted from generation to generation in lays, that their contents cannot be more authentic than those of any other poem on the deeds of ancient times which is preserved by song, is not a new notion. A century and a half will soon have elapsed, since Perizonius (not. 627. In  (4451) his Animadversiones Historicae, c. n6). expressed it, and shewed that among the ancient Romans it had been the custom at banquets to sing the praises of great men to the flute; (not. 628. The leading passage in Tusc. Quaest. IV, 2. Gravissimus auctor in Originibus dixit Cato, morem apud majores hunc epularum fuisse, ut deinceps, qui accubarent, canerent ad tibiam clarorum virorum laudes atque virtutes. Cicero laments the loss of these songs; Brut. 18. 19. Yet, like the sayings of Appius the blind, they seem to have disappeared only for such as cared not for them. Dionysius knew of songs on Romulus [ὡς ἐν τοῖς πατρίοις ὕμνοις ὑπὸ Ῥωμαίων ἔτι καὶ νῦν ᾄδεται, dice Dionisio 1. 79. della nota favola circa la nascita di Romolo e Remo, e la vendetta da loro presa di Amulio]) a fact Cicero only knew from Cato, who seems to have spoken of it as an usage no longer subsisting. The guests themselves sang in turn; so it was expected that the lays, being the common property of the nation, should be known to every free citizen. According to Varro, who calls them old, they were sung by modest boys, sometimes to the flute, sometimes without music (not. 629. In Nonius, II, 70, stessa voce: (aderant) in conviviis pueri modesti ut