Pensieri di varia filosofia e di bella letteratura/4451

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Pagina 4451

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[p. 384 modifica] his Animadversiones Historicae, c. 6) 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, I, 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, assa voce (aderant;) in conviviis pueri modesti ut [p. 385 modifica]cantarent carmina antiqua, in quibus laudes erant majorum, assa voce, et cum tibicine). The peculiar function of the Camenae was to sing the praise of the ancients (not. 630. Fest., Epit.,v. Camenae, musae, quod canunt antiquorum laudes); and among the rest those of the kings. For never did republican Rome strip herself of the recollection of them, any more than she removed their statues from the Capitol: in the best times of liberty their memory was revered and celebrated (not. 631. Ennius