Publius Syrus

, an ancient Latin author, who gained great fame by his comic pieces called “Mimes,” is supposed from his name to have been a Syrian by birth. Having been made a slave and brought to Rome when young, he there obtained his liberty by his merit; and proved so excellent a composer of Mimes, that the Romans preferred him to the best of their own or the Greek dramatic writers. Julius Caesar first established his reputation, and gave him the 1 prize of poetry against Laberius, who was an eminent writer in that style, and contended with Syrus for it. He continued to flourish many years | under Augustus. Cassius Severus was a professed admirer of him, and the two Senecas speak of him with the highest encomiums. Many moderns, and particularly the Scaligers, have launched out very much in his praise. They say, he stripped Greece of all her wit, fine turns, and agreeable raillery and that his “Sentential include the substance of the doctrine of the wisest philosophers. These” Sentences“were extracted from his mimic pieces some time under the Antonines, as the best editors say. They are generally 'printed with the” Fables of Phaedrus,“and are subjoined to thejn by Dr. Bentley, at the end of his edition ofTerence," in 1726, 4to. There is also a separate edition of them by Gruter, with copious notes, Leyden, 1708, 8vo. 1

1 Vossius de Poet, Lat. Fabric. Bibl. Lat,