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Coriolanus   


gifts of ours on one who is unwilling to accept them; let us, therefore,
give him one of such a kind that he cannot well reject it; let us
pass a vote, I mean, that he shall hereafter be called Coriolanus,
unless you think that his performance at Corioli has itself anticipated
any such resolution." Hence, therefore, he had this third name of
Coriolanus, making it all the plainer that Caius was a personal proper
name, and the second, or surname, Marcius, one common to his house
and family; the third being a subsequent addition which used to be
imposed either from some particular act or fortune, bodily characteristic,
or good quality of the bearer. Just as the Greeks, too, gave additional
names in old time, in some cases from some achievement, Soter, for
example, and Callinicus; or personal appearance, as Physcon and Grypus;
good qualities, Euergetes and Philadelphus; good fortune, Eudaemon,
the title of the second Battus. Several monarchs have also had names
given them in mockery, as Antigonus was called Doson, and Ptolemy,
Lathyrus. This sort of title was yet more common among the Romans.
One of the Metelli was surnamed Diadematus, because he walked about
for a long time with a bandage on his head to conceal a scar; and
another, of the same family, got the name of Celer, from the rapidity
he displayed in giving a funeral entertainment of gladiators within
a few days after his father's death, his speed and energy in doing
which was thought extraordinary. There are some, too, who even at
this day take names from certain casual incidents at their nativity:
a child that is born when his father is away from home is called Proculus;
or Postumus, if after his decease; and when twins come into the world,
and one dies at the birth, the survivor has the name of Vopiscus.
From bodily peculiarities they derive not only their Syllas and Nigers,
but their Caeci and Claudii; wisely endeavouring to accustom their
people not to reckon either the loss of sight, or any other bodily
misfortune, as a matter of disgrace to them, but to answer to such
names without shame, as if they were really their own. But this discussion
better befits another place.
The war against the Volscians was no sooner at an end, than the popular
orators revived domestic troubles, and raised another sedition, without
any new cause or complaint or just grievance to proceed upon, but
merely turning the very mischiefs that unavoidably ensued from their
former contests into a pretext against the patricians. The greatest
part of their arable land had been left unsown and without tillage,
and the time of war allowing them no means or leisure to import provision
from other countries, there was an extreme scarcity. The movers of
the people then observing that there was no corn to be bought, and
that if there had been they had no money to buy it, began to calumniate
the wealthy with false stories and whisper it about, as if they, out
of their malice, had purposely contrived the famine. Meanwhile, there
came an embassy from the Velitrani, proposing to deliver up their
city to the Romans, and desiring they would send some new inhabitants
to people it, as a late pestilential disease had swept away so many
of the natives, that there was hardly a tenth part remaining of their
whole community. This necessity of the Velitrani was considered by
all more prudent people as most opportune in the present state of
affairs; since the dearth made it needful to ease the city of its
superfluous members, and they were in hope also, at the same time,
to dissipate the gathering sedition by ridding themselves of the more
violent and heated partisans, and discharging, so to say, the elements
of disease and disorder in the state. The consuls, therefore, singled
out such citizens to supply the desolation at Velitrae, and gave notice
to others, that they should be ready to march against the Volscians,
with the politic design of preventing intestine broils by employment
abroad, and in the hope that when rich as well as poor, plebeians
and patricians, should be mingled again in the same army and the same
camp, and engage in one common service for the public, it would mutually
dispose them to reconciliation and friendship.
But Sicinnius and Brutus, the popular orators, interposed, crying
out that the consuls disguised the most cruel and barbarous action

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