Varro was born in or near Reate (now Rieti) to a family thought to be of equestrian rank, and always remained close to his roots in the area, owning a large farm in the Reatine plain, reported as near Lago di Ripa Sottile, until his old age. He supported Pompey, reaching the office of praetor, after having been tribune of the people, quaestor and curule aedile. He was one of the commission of twenty that carried out the great agrarian scheme of Caesar for the resettlement of Capua and Campania (59 BC).
During the civil war he commanded one of Pompey's armies in the Ilerda campaign. He escaped the penalties of being on the losing side in the civil war through two pardons granted by Julius Caesar, before and after the Battle of Pharsalus. Caesar later appointed him to oversee the public library of Rome in 47 BC, but following Caesar's death Mark Antony proscribed him, resulting in the loss of much of his property, including his library. As the Republic gave way to Empire, Varro gained the favour of Augustus, under whose protection he found the security and quiet to devote himself to study and writing.
Varro studied under the Roman philologist Lucius Aelius Stilo, and later at Athens under the Academic philosopher Antiochus of Ascalon. Varro proved to be a highly productive writer and turned out more than 74 Latin works on a variety of topics. Among his many works, two stand out for historians; Nine Books of Disciplines and his compilation of the Varronian chronology. His Nine Books of Disciplines became a model for later encyclopedists, especially Pliny the Elder. The most noteworthy portion of the Nine Books of Disciplines is its use of the liberal arts as organizing principles. Varro decided to focus on identifying nine of these arts: grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, musical theory, medicine, and architecture. Using Varro's list, subsequent writers defined the seven classical "liberal arts of the medieval schools".
The compilation of the Varronian chronology was an attempt to determine an exact year-by-year timeline of Roman history up to his time. It is based on the traditional sequence of the consuls of the Roman Republic — supplemented, where necessary, by inserting "dictatorial" and "anarchic" years. It has been demonstrated to be somewhat erroneous but has become the widely accepted standard chronology, in large part because it was inscribed on the arch of Augustus in Rome; though that arch no longer stands, a large portion of the chronology has survived under the name of Fasti Capitolini.
Varro's literary output was prolific; Ritschl estimated it at 74 works in some 620 books, of which only one work survives complete, although we possess many fragments of the others, mostly in Gellius' Attic Nights. Called "the most learned of the Romans" by Quintilian, Varro was recognized as an important source by many other ancient authors, among them Cicero, Pliny the Elder, Virgil in the Georgics, Columella, Aulus Gellius, Macrobius, Augustine, and Vitruvius, who credits him (VII.Intr.14) with a book on architecture.
His only complete work extant, Rerum rusticarum libri tres (Three Books on Agriculture), has been described as "the well digested system of an experienced and successful farmer who has seen and practised all that he records."
Most of the extant fragments of these works (mostly the grammatical works) can be found in the Goetz–Schoell edition of De Lingua Latina, pp. 199–242; in the collection of Wilmanns, pp. 170–223; and in that of Funaioli, pp. 179–371.
Marcellus autem ad quem haec uolumina misit quis fuerit nescio.
Apollodorus of Lemnos was a writer of ancient Greece who wrote on agriculture. He lived previous to the time of the philosopher Aristotle. He is mentioned by the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro and by Pliny.Battle of Fidentia (82 BC)
The Battle of Fidentia was a battle that took place in September of 82 BC at Fidentia during the context of Sulla's Second Civil War. The battle pitted the Optimates under the command of Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus against the Populares forces commanded by Lucius Quincius. The battle resulted in a decisive Optimate victory.Caecilia Metella Calva
Caecilia Metella Calva was daughter of Lucius Caecilius Metellus Calvus, Consul in 142 BC, and sister of Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus and Quintus Caecilius Metellus Numidicus.
She was married to Lucius Licinius Lucullus, Praetor in 104 BC. Instead of playing the role of a virtuous married woman, Calva engaged in a succession of scandalous affairs, mostly with slaves, that eventually led to divorce. She was the mother of Lucius Licinius Lucullus (Consul in 74 BC) and Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus (Consul in 73 BC).Gaius Cassius Longinus Varus
Gaius Cassius Longinus Varus was a Roman consul in 73 BC (together with Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus).
Cassius and his colleague passed the lex Terentia Cassia that ordered the state to buy up grain in Sicily and sell it for a low price in Rome. As proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul in the next year, 72 BC, during the Third Servile War, Cassius tried to stop Spartacus and his followers near Mutina (now Modena) as the slave army was trying to break through to unoccupied Gaul, but suffered defeat and barely managed to get away alive. Two years later, Cassius appeared as a witness for the prosecution, which was being led by Cicero, in the trial against the corrupt former governor of Sicily, Verres. In 66 BC, Cassius supported the Manilian law that gave command of the war against Mithridates to Pompey; he was joined in this by Cicero, then praetor, whose famous speech in support of the same bill survives.This Cassius Longinus may have been the father of the more famous assassin of Caesar, Gaius Cassius Longinus.Hostus (praenomen)
Hostus is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was used in pre-Roman times and during the early centuries of the Roman Republic, but become obsolete by the 1st century BC. The feminine form was probably Hosta or Hostia. The patronymic gentes Hostia and Hostilia were derived from Hostus. The name was not regularly abbreviated.Hostus is best known from Hostus Hostilius, a companion of Romulus, the founder and first king of Rome. Hostus was a Roman champion who fell in battle against the Sabines under Titus Tatius in the earliest years of the city. His grandson was Tullus Hostilius, the third king of Rome. Although rare, the name was still evidently in use more than three centuries later, when Hostus Lucretius Tricipitinus was consul late in the 5th century BC. As with other praenomina, the name may have been more widely used by the plebeians and in the countryside; but writing in the 1st century BC, Marcus Terentius Varro described it as an archaic praenomen, no longer in general use.Iaia
Iaia of Cyzicus ("Marcia") was a Roman painter, alive during the time of Marcus Terentius Varro (116–27 BC).
Born in Cyzicus, she was a famous painter and ivory engraver. Most of her paintings are said to be of women. Among pictures ascribed to her was a large panel, in Naples, picture of an old woman and a self-portrait. She was said to have worked faster and painted better than her male competitors, Sopolis and Dionysius, which enabled her to earn more than them. Marcia remained unmarried all her life.
One of the six female artists of antiquity mentioned in Pliny the Elder's Natural History (XL.147–148) in A.D. 77: Timarete, Irene, Calypso, Aristarete, Iaia, Olympias. They are mentioned later in Boccaccio's De mulieribus claris.Lucius Tarutius Firmanus
Lucius Tarutius Firmanus (or Lucius Tarutius of Firmum) (unknown-fl. 86 BC) was a Roman philosopher, mathematician, and astrologer (Taruntius or Tarrutius are also used, but are incorrect).
Tarutius was a close friend of both Marcus Terentius Varro and Cicero. At Varro's request, Tarutius took the horoscope of Romulus. After studying the circumstances of the life and death of the founder of Rome, Tarutius calculated that Romulus was born on March 24 (when the date is correctly translated from the Egyptian calendar) in the second year of the second Olympiad (i.e. 771 BC). He also calculated that Rome was founded on 4 October 754 BC, between the second and third hour of the day (Plutarch, Rom., 12; Cicero, De Divin., ii. 47.).
The proximity of this date to an eclipse was discussed by Scaliger.The crater Taruntius on the Moon is named after him.Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus
Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus (c. 116 – soon after 56 BC), younger brother of the more famous Lucius Licinius Lucullus, was a supporter of Lucius Cornelius Sulla and consul of ancient Rome in 73 BC. As proconsul of Macedonia in 72 BC, he defeated the Bessi in Thrace and advanced to the Danube and the west coast of the Black Sea. In addition, he was marginally involved in the Third Servile War (a.k.a. Spartacus' War).Mythical theology
Mythical theology (theologica mythica) is one of three types of theology defined by the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro (116–27 BC) in his lost work Antiquitates rerum humanarum et divinarum. The other two are political theology (theologia civilis) and natural theology (theologia naturalis).
Mythical theology is practiced by story-tellers, especially poets, based on narratives (mythoi) pertaining to divine matters. Divine revelation was claimed or implied by some of these story-tellers, or their disciples.
Theologians of civil or political theology are administrators, defining how the gods relate to daily life and the state (see imperial cult). Theologians of natural theology are philosophers, inquiring into the nature of the gods,
as evidenced by nature and reason.
"Mythical theology" should be distinguished from the theologia mystica of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.Natural theology
Natural theology, once also termed physico-theology, is a type of theology that provides arguments for the existence of God based on reason and ordinary experience of nature.
This distinguishes it from revealed theology, which is based on scripture and/or religious experiences, and from transcendental theology, which is based on a priori reasoning. It is thus a type of philosophy, with the aim of explaining the nature of the gods, or of one supreme God. For monotheistic religions, this principally involves arguments about the attributes or non-attributes of God, and especially the existence of God, using arguments that do not involve recourse to supernatural revelation.
Marcus Terentius Varro (116–27 BC) established a distinction between political theology (the social functions of religion), natural theology and mythical theology. His terminology became part of the Stoic tradition and then Christianity through Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas.Opiter (praenomen)
Opiter ( or ) is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was used primarily during the early centuries of the Roman Republic. It is not usually abbreviated, but is sometimes found with the abbreviation Opet., apparently based on an archaic spelling of the name. No examples of a feminine form used as a praenomen are known, but from a cognomen it appears to be Opita. The name gave rise to the patronymic gens Opiternia, and perhaps also gens Opetreia.The praenomen Opiter was used by the patrician gentes Verginia and Lucretia, and several prominent members of these gentes with this name held important magistracies during the first two centuries of the Republic. The name must also have been used at one time by the ancestors of gens Opiternia. As with other rare praenomina, Opiter may have been more frequently used in the countryside. However, writing in the first century BC, Marcus Terentius Varro described it as obsolete.Paradoxography
Paradoxography is a genre of Classical literature which deals with the occurrence of abnormal or inexplicable phenomena of the natural or human worlds.
Early surviving examples of the genre include:
Palaephatus' On Incredible Things (4th century BC?)
the Collection of Wonderful Tales composed by Antigonus of Carystus (fl. 3rd century BC), partly on the basis of a paradoxographical work of Callimachus
Apollonius paradoxographus' Mirabilia (2nd century BC)It is believed that the pseudo-Aristotelian On Marvellous Things Heard (De mirabilibus auscultationibus) "contains a core of early material from the Hellenistic period which was then added to over time, including some material that was added in the 2nd century C.E. or even later."Phlegon of Tralles's Book of Marvels, which dates from the 2nd century AD is perhaps the most famous example of the genre, including in the main, stories of human abnormalities. Phlegon's brief accounts of prodigies and wonders include ghost stories, accounts of monstrous births, strange animals like centaurs, hermaphrodites, giant skeletons and prophesying heads. Phlegon's writing is characterised by brief and forthright description, as well as by a tongue-in-cheek insistence on the veracity of his claims.
Other works of this genre in Greek include Heraclitus the paradoxographer's On Incredible Things (1st or 2nd century AD) and Claudius Aelianus' On the Nature of Animals (3rd century AD).
In Latin, Marcus Terentius Varro and Cicero wrote works on admiranda (marvelous things), which do not survive.Postumus (praenomen)
Postumus is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was most common during the early centuries of the Roman Republic. It gave rise to the patronymic gens Postumia, and later became a common cognomen, or surname. The feminine form is Postuma. The name was not regularly abbreviated, but is sometimes found as Pos. or Post.Postumus was used by both patrician and plebeian gentes, including the Aebutii, Antistii, Cominii, Livii, Mimesii, Plautii, Sempronii, Sulpicii, and Veturii; and naturally it must once have been used by the ancestors of gens Postumia. Other gentes which later used it as a cognomen may originally have used it as a praenomen. Because it was not a common name, there are few examples of the feminine form, but Marcus Terentius Varro listed it together with other archaic praenomina that were no longer in general use by the 1st century BC, and Plutarchus mentions that it was given to the youngest daughter of the dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who lived during Varro's time.Sertor (praenomen)
Sertor is a Latin praenomen, or personal name. It was never common, and is not known to have been used by any prominent families at Rome. It gave rise to the patronymic gens Sertoria. The feminine form was probably Sertora. The name was not regularly abbreviated, but is sometimes found as Sert.The praenomen Sertor was used by the plebeian gentes Mimesia, Varisidia, Vedia, and perhaps Resia, and must once have been used by the ancestors of gens Sertoria, whose most distinguished member was the Roman general Quintus Sertorius. The name was familiar to the scholar Marcus Terentius Varro, who described it as an antique praenomen, no longer in general use by the 1st century BC. As with other praenomina, it may have been more common, and survived longer, in the countryside; at least one example from Umbria dates to Varro's time or later.Terentius Varro
Terentius Varro was the name used by men in a branch of the gens Terentia in ancient Rome, including:
Gaius Terentius Varro (d. sometime after 200 BC), the surviving commander of the defeated Roman army at the Battle of Cannae.
Aulus Terentius Varro, an envoy (legatus) of Aulus Cornelius Mammula, who was stationed with troops as propraetor in Greece, in 190–189. Along with Marcus Claudius Lepidus, Varro was sent to the Senate to deliver "disturbing reports" from Asia. In 189, he returned to Greece with envoys from Aetolia. In 184, he was assigned to Hispania Citerior ("Nearer" Roman Spain) as praetor, and levied a new army with which he successfully fought the Suessetani. He continued his command as propraetor in 183–182, with victories over the Ausetani and Celtiberi. In 182, he may have held proconsular powers, and upon his return to Rome that year celebrated an ovatio. In 172, Varro was part of a diplomatic embassy to Gentius, king of Ilyria, that lodged a protest against attacks on Roman allies. In 167, he was among the ten legates known to have been assigned by the Senate to assist the imperator Lucius Aemilius Paullus in organizing Macedonia as a Roman province. Either he or the A. Terentius Varro who was a legate in 82 BC was honored with a statue by the Delians.
Terentius Varro, a quaestor in Hispania Ulterior ("Farther" Roman Spain) in 154 BC. He served under the praetor Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, and was killed in a battle with the Lusitani led by Punicus that resulted in heavy Roman losses.
Terentius Varro, conjectured name of a monetalis whose coinage, issued sometime in the period 150 to 133 BC, named him as VARO.
Aulus Terentius Varro, one of the ten legates known to have been sent by the Senate in 146 to assist the consul Lucius Mummius in reorganizing Greece under Roman rule. They returned in the spring of 145.
Aulus Terentius Varro, a lieutenant (legatus) in 82 BC under Lucius Licinius Murena as propraetor in Asia. He was prosecuted twice for extortion while in Asia, but was represented by Quintus Hortensius and acquitted.
Terentius Varro, possibly a praetor in 78 BC, if he is correctly identified as the governor of Asia in 77. He is otherwise unknown, and this promagistrate of Asia may instead have been the Aulus Terentius Varro who was Murena's legate and tried for extortion.
Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus, the consul of 73 BC, born Marcus Licinius Lucullus but adopted in adulthood, the younger brother of the famous Lucullus.
Marcus Terentius Varro, usually known in English by his cognomen Varro, one of the leading scholars writing in Latin at the time of Julius Caesar.
Marcus Terentius Varro Gibba, quaestor in 46 under Marcus Brutus in Cisalpine Gaul and tribune of the plebs in 43. He died at the Battle of Philippi.
Publius Terentius Varro Atacinus, the younger contemporary of the famous Varro, a poet from Gaul usually known as Varro Atacinus.
Aulus Terentius Varro Murena, a legate of Pompeius Magnus ("Pompey the Great") in 48. He was among the Pompeians present at the conference at the Apsus river. An inscription records him as curule aedile in or before 44 BC, along with a Lucius Trebellius Fides.
Aulus Terentius Varro Murena, a Roman general who died before he could assume the consulship for 23 BC with Augustus.Tullus (praenomen)
This page is about the Latin praenomen. For the third king of Rome, see Tullus Hostilius.Tullus ( or rarely ) is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was used from the earliest times to the end of the Roman Republic. Although never particularly common, the name gave rise to the patronymic gens Tullia, and it may have been used as a cognomen by families that had formerly used the name. The feminine form is Tulla. The name is not usually abbreviated, but is sometimes found with the abbreviation Tul.The praenomen Tullus is best known from Tullus Hostilius, the third king of Rome. Other examples include Attius Tullus, a Volscian leader, in which Tullus is either a cognomen or an inverted praenomen; Tullus Cloelius, a Roman envoy, Tullus Cluvius, mentioned by the orator Marcus Tullius Cicero in the 1st century BC, and a father and son from gens Tullia who lived at Tibur. Writing at the time of Cicero, the scholar Marcus Terentius Varro listed Tullus amongst several praenomina that he considered obsolete, although the foregoing examples show that it was still in limited use.Varro (cognomen)
Varro is a cognomen used by ancient Roman men of the gens Terentia, including:
Marcus Terentius Varro, sometimes known as Varro Reatinus, the scholar
Publius Terentius Varro or Varro Atacinus, the poet
Gaius Terentius Varro, the consul defeated at the battle of Cannae
Marcus Terentius Varro Lucullus, brother of Lucullus, originally from gens LiciniaVarroa
Varroa is a genus of parasitic mites associated with honey bees, placed in its own family, Varroidae. The genus was named for Marcus Terentius Varro, a Roman scholar and beekeeper. The condition of a honeybee colony being infested with Varroa mites is called varroosis (also, incorrectly, varroatosis).
Varroa mites are recognised as the biggest pest to honeybees worldwide due to their ability to transmit diseases such as deformed wing virus (or dwv) to larval or pupating bees, resulting in death or severe deformity of the pupae.Vopiscus (praenomen)
This page is about the Latin praenomen. For a list of persons named Vopiscus, see Vopiscus (disambiguation).Vopiscus is a Latin praenomen, or personal name, which was occasionally used during the period of the Roman Republic, and later as a cognomen, surviving into imperial times. The feminine form is Vopisca. The name was not usually abbreviated, but is sometimes found with the abbreviation Vop.The praenomen Vopiscus was always rare, but it was familiar to the scholar Marcus Terentius Varro, who described it as an antique name, no longer in general use by the 1st century BC. The only family known to have used it was gens Julia, but as with other uncommon praenomina, it may have been more common amongst the plebeians and in the countryside. The name was later used as a cognomen, becoming more frequent in imperial times. Vopiscus may once have been a praenomen in families that later used it as a cognomen, such as the Flavii and the Pompeii.
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