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Classics: Latin Literature Print Page

Golden Age Latin

  • Golden Age Latin
    From The Macmillan Encyclopedia
    The period (70 BCE-18 CE) during which some of the highest achievements of Latin literature were produced. The first part of the period (70-43 BCE) was dominated by Cicero. The major writers of the subsequent Augustan age (43 BCE-18 CE) include Virgil, Horace, Livy, and Ovid.
  • Lucretius (ca. 99-ca. 55 BCE): Topic Page
    Titus Lucretius Carus, Roman poet and philosopher. Little is known about his life. A chronicle of St. Jerome speaks of the loss of his reason through taking a love potion. It states that in sane intervals he had written books that were later emended by Cicero. The poetry of Lucretius constitutes one great didactic work in six books, De rerum natura [on the nature of things].
  • Horace (65-8 BCE): Topic Page
    Latin name Quintus Horatius Flaccus. Roman poet and satirist: his verse includes the lyrics in the Epodes and the Odes, the Epistles and Satires, and the Ars Poetica.
  • Livy (59 BCE-17 CE): Topic Page
    Titus Livius. Roman historian; of his history of Rome in 142 books, only 35 survive.
  • Ovid (43 BCE-ca. 17 CE): Topic Page
    Latin name Publius Ovidius Naso. Roman poet. His verse includes poems on love, Ars Amatoria, on myths, Metamorphoses, and on his sufferings in exile, Tristia.
  • Vergil (70-19 BCE): Topic Page
    Roman poet, b. Andes dist., near Mantua, in Cisalpine Gaul; the spelling Virgil is not found earlier than the 5th cent. CE. Vergil's father, a farmer, took his son to Cremona for his education. Vergil worked on the Aeneid, a national epic honoring Rome and foretelling prosperity to come. The adventures of Aeneas are unquestionably one of the greatest long poems in world literature.
  • Cicero (106-43 BCE)
    From Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia
    Marcus Tullius Cicero was one of the most well known of the Roman Stoic philosophers. He lived during the time of internal discord that destroyed the Roman Republic. Cicero translated his uncertainty about the state and corporeal matters into uncertainty about the nature and end of life.
  • Gaius Valerius Catullus (ca. 84–ca. 54 BCE)
    From Who's Who in The Roman World, Routledge
    Catullus, Gaius Valerius was a poet from Verona in Cisalpine Gaul. Catullus turned to the writing of poetry, in a wide variety of styles and metres, and introduced a new perspective into Latin literature which derived partly from the Alexandrian poets, especially Callimachus, to whose work he was introduced by Parthenius, and partly from Greek lyric poets such as Sappho.
  • Sextus Propertius (ca. 50-ca. 2 BCE)
    From Who's Who in The Roman World, Routledge
    Propertius was an elegiac poet from Assisi in Umbria. He published four books of poetry, which show development both in theme and range.
  • Augustus, Emperor of Rome (63 BCE-14 CE): Topic Page
    First Roman emperor, a grandson of the sister of Julius Caesar. Named at first Caius Octavius, he became on adoption by the Julian gens (44 BCE) Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian); Augustus was a title of honor granted (27 BCE) by the senate.

Silver Age Latin

  • Juvenal
    From Who's Who in The Roman World, Routledge
    (ca. 55-ca. 130 CE) Juvenal, a satirical poet about whose life virtually nothing is known, was from Aquinum in Latium. A tomb inscription at Aquinum, now lost, if indeed his, suggests that he was a Roman knight and imperial servant as well as a local magistrate, and had served in the army as a military tribune.
  • Lucan
    From Who's Who in The Roman World, Routledge
    (39-65 CE) Lucan was an epic poet from Cordoba in Spain. The son of a Roman equestrian, Marcus Annaeus Mela, brother of the younger Seneca, he was named Marcus Annaeus Lucanus. In 40 his father migrated with him to Rome where he studied rhetoric and, under L. Annaeus Cornutus, Stoic philosophy, and proved his proficiency in those subjects.
  • Seneca the Younger
    From Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia
    (5–65 CE) Seneca was an extremely influential statesman and Stoic philosopher of the mid-first century CE. He was primarily a moralist, but he also speculated on nature in his Natural Questions, and he explored the human psyche in the Moral Letters.
  • Martial
    From Who's Who in The Roman World, Routledge
    (ca. 40-ca. 104 CE) Martial was a Latin poet, the master of the epigram. Marcus Valerius Martialis was born and brought up at Bilbilis in north central Spain and moved in AD 64 to Rome where he may have studied law; he lived briefly under the patronage of other Spaniards, the younger Seneca and Lucan, besides other patrons, Piso, Vivius Crispus and Memmius Regulus.
  • Suetonius
    From Who's Who in The Roman World, Routledge
    Tranquillus, Gaius (ca. 70–ca. 130 CE), was a writer of biographies in Latin. He was the son of Suetonius Laetus, a Roman knight who had served as a tribune in the Thirteenth Legion at the battle of Cremona in 69. He came from Hippo Regius in Numidia or possibly from Pisaurum in Umbria.
  • Tacitus
    From Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia
    (56–117 CE)Cornelius Tacitus was a historian, biographer, and ethnographer. He was a senator during the Flavian and Antonine dynasties of the Roman Principate. His works included the Annals, Histories, Agricola, and Germania. Tacitus was one of the most sophisticated Roman authors, a polymath of note, who, as an ethnologist, penned an enduring portrait of the peoples of Germany.
  • Pliny the Elder
    From Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia
    (23–79 CE) Pliny the Elder, Gaius Plinius Secundus, was a Roman polymath and author of Natural History, which is a diverse collection of anecdotes, history, geography, medical information of varying worth, discussions of astronomy and earth science, and a catalog of Roman knowledge on botany and zoology.
  • Pliny the Younger
    From Science in the Ancient World: An Encyclopedia
    (61–113 CE) Gaius Plinius Luci was nephew and heir of Pliny the Elder. He was, like his uncle, interested in a variety of topics of inquiry, some of them scientific, which are revealed in his Letters. Pliny was a consul, senator, and lawyer.
  • Quintilian
    From Philosophy of Education: An Encyclopedia
    (ca. 35-ca. 90 CE) Pleader in Roman courts and first public professor of Latin rhetoric in Rome, whose Institutio oratoria, written in retirement, is singular among ancient works of educational theory in its consideration of practical pedagogy.
  • Silver Age, Latin
    From The MacMillan Encyclopedia
    The period (18-c. 130 AD) succeeding the Golden Age of Latin literature. During this time rhetorical brilliance and ornamentation became prized for its own sake. Major writers include the satirist Juvenal, the epigrammatist Martial, the historians Tacitus and Suetonius, and the philosopher and dramatist Seneca.

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