The moon, being the lowest sphere and the one closest to Earth, emits the lowest sound of all, whereas the heaven emits the highest. These are the nine circles, or rather spheres, by which all things are held together. I shuddered when I recognized him, but he said: "Courage, Scipio, lay aside your dread and imprint my words on your memory. Macrobius was a Roman scholar who wrote a lengthy commentary on Cicero’s Somnium Scipionis in c. 400 AD. If it has no beginning, it has no end. But Christianity, in its anthropomorphism, which is its strongest hold on faith and trust, insures for the individual man in a Divine Humanity precisely what friends might essay to do, yet could do but imperfectly, for him. But while he was regarded as foremost among the jurists of his time, he professed himself less thoroughly versed in the laws relating to mortgages than two of his coevals, to whom he was wont to send those who brought cases of this class for his opinion or advice. He feels inadequate to bear the burdens, meet the trials, and wage the conflicts of this mortal life, alone. Jeremy Taylor, however, speaks of this feature of Christianity as among the manifest tokens of its divine origin; and Soame Jenyns takes the same ground in a treatise expressly designed to meet the objections and cavils of Shaftesbury and other deistical writers of his time. "But at this period I perceive that the path of your destiny is a doubtful one; for when your life has passed through seven times eight oblique journeys and returns of the sun; and when these two numbers (each of which is regarded as complete, one on one account and the other on another) shall, in their natural circuit, have brought you to the crisis of your fate, then will the whole state turn itself toward thee and thy glory; the senate, all virtuous men, our allies, and the Latins, shall look up to you. [1] The main reason that the Somnium Scipionis survived was because in the fifth-century, the Latin writer Macrobius wrote a Neoplatonic commentary on the work, in which he excerpted large portions from Cicero. Laelius served in Africa, mainly that he might not be separated from his friend. Shaftesbury, in his “Characteristics,” in his exquisite vein of irony, sneers at Christianity for taking no cognizance of friendship either in its precepts or in its promises. Or does it offer an encoded prediction of events to come? He is followed by the orbit of Venus, and that of Mercury, as attendants; and the Moon rolls in the lowest sphere, enlightened by the rays of the Sun. [1 ]Thus among the many proofs of the genuineness of our canonical Gospels, perhaps none is more conclusive than the fact that, though evidently written by unskilled men, they contain not a trace or token of certain opinions known to have been rife even before the close of the first Christian century; while the (so-called) apocryphal Gospels bear, throughout, such vestiges of their later origin as would neutralize the strongest testimony imaginable in behalf of their primitive antiquity. "Let me even suppose that a future race of men shall be desirous of transmitting to their posterity your renown or mine, as they received it from their fathers; yet when we consider the convulsions and conflagrations that must necessarily happen at some definite period, we are unable to attain not only to an eternal, but even to a lasting fame. Symptom Checker. But for the mediocrity of his poetic genius, he might have won pre-eminent honor from the Muse of Tragedy. While they were united in grave pursuits and weighty interests, we have the most charming pictures of their rural and seaside life together, even of their gathering shells on the shore, and of fireside frolics in which they forgot the cares of the republic, ceased to be stately old Romans, and played like children in vacation-time. In his dream, Scipio looks down at the earth from the starry sphere and speaks with his dead grandfather, who foretells his grandson’s future conquest of Carthage, but also helps Scipio understand the fleeting nature of earthly power. The tale is modelled on "The Myth of Er" in Plato's Republic. Its gods, though in great part deified men, could not be relied on for sympathy, support, or help. It was rightly seen as a condensation of important ideas from ancient philosophy and cosmology by scholars in the middle ages; an extensive commentary was written about it by Macrobius that ensured its continuing influence for over a thousand years. His future is foretold by his grandfather, and great stress is placed upon the loyal duty of the Roman soldier, who will as a reward after death "inhabit... that circle that shines forth among the stars which you have learned from the Greeks to call the Milky Way". Caius Fannius Strabo in early life served with high reputation in Africa, under the younger Africanus, and afterward in Spain, in the war with Viriathus. In such cases the erasion was so clumsily performed as often to leave distinct traces of the previous letters. And since soul is the only force that moves itself, it surely has no beginning and is immortal. The Dream of Scipio (Latin, Somnium Scipionis), written by Cicero, is the sixth book of De re publica, and describes a fictional dream vision of the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus, set two years before he oversaw the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC. When, after Marius had been driven from the city, Sulla asked the Senate to declare him by their vote a public enemy, Scaevola stood in a minority of one; and when Sulla urged him to give his vote in the affirmative, his reply was: “Although you show me the military guard with which you have surrounded the Senate-house, although you threaten me with death, you will never induce me, for the little blood still in an old man’s veins, to pronounce Marius — who has been the preserver of the city and of Italy — an enemy.”. For the earth, the ninth sphere, remaining motionless, abides invariably in the innermost position, occupying the central spot in the universe. PUBLISHED 6:45 AM ET Sep. 22, 2020 PUBLISHED 6:45 AM EDT Sep. 22, 2020. Macrobius divided dreams into types, distinguishing between non-predictive dreams that result from one’s waking concerns and predictive dreams that have some prophetic function.