Gallus in Roman Biography

Gallus, (Caius Cornelius,) an eminent Roman poet and courtier, was born at Forum Julii (Frejus) about 66 B.C. He served in the army under Octavius, who received him into his favour and confidence and gave him a high command in the war against Antony. After the death of Antony, about 30 B.C., Augustus appointed Gallus Governor of Egypt, which he ruled at first with success. But afterwards, being accused of oppression and peculation, he was condemned to perpetual banishment, and killed himself in 25 or 26 B.C. His Elegies, which were much admired, are all lost. Like his friend Maecenas, he patronized literary men, especially Virgil, who was his intimate friend, and who has gracefully commemorated his name and merit in his sixth and tenth eclogues. See Dion Cassius, books 1., liii. ; Quintilian, books i., x. ; Suetonius, "De illustribusGrammaticis;" Voi.ker, " Commentatio de C. C. Galli Vita et Scriptis," 1840-44; "Nouvelle Biographie G^neVale."

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Cornelius Gallus in Wikipedia

Gaius Cornelius Gallus (ca. 70 BC–26 BC), Roman poet, orator and politician, was born of humble parents at Forum Livii (Forlì)[citation needed] in Italy. At an early age he moved to Rome, where he was taught by the same master as Virgil and Varius Rufus. Virgil, who dedicated one of his eclogues (X) to him, was in great measure indebted to the influence of Gallus for the restoration of his estate. In political life Gallus espoused the cause of Octavian, and as a reward for his services was made prefect of Egypt (Suetonius, Augustus, 66 ). In 29 BC, Cornelius Gallus led a campaign to subdue a revolt in Thebes. He erected a monument in Philae to glorify his accomplishments. Gallus' conduct brought him into disgrace with the emperor, and a new prefect was appointed. After his recall, Gallus put an end to his life (Cassius Dio, liii 23 ). Gallus enjoyed a high reputation among his contemporaries as a man of intellect, and Ovid (Tristia, IV) considered him the first of the elegiac poets of Rome. He wrote four books of elegies chiefly on his mistress Lycoris (a poetical name for Cytheris, a notorious actress), in which he took for his model Euphorion of Chalcis; he also translated some of this author's works into Latin. He is often thought of as a key figure in the establishment of the genre of Latin love-elegy, and an inspiration for Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid. Almost nothing by him has survived; until recently, one pentameter ("uno tellures diuidit amne duas") was all that had been handed down. Then, in 1978 a papyrus was found at Qasr Ibrim, in Egyptian Nubia, containing nine lines by Gallus, arguably the oldest surviving MS of Latin poetry.[1] The fragments of four poems attributed to him, first published by Aldus Manutius in 1590 and printed in Alexander Riese's Anthologia Latina (1869), are generally regarded as a forgery; and Pomponius Gauricus's ascription to him of the elegiac verses of Maximianus is no longer accepted. [edit]The surviving poetry of Gallus Scholars used to believe, in the absence of any surviving poetry by Gallus and on the basis of his high reputation among his contemporaries, that his poetical gifts were little short of those of Virgil. A nineteenth-century British classicist famously asked, 'What would we not barter of all the epics of empire for ten lines of Gallus?' The discoveries at Qasr Ibrim have now given us nine lines of Gallus. Coincidentally, one of them mentions Lycoris, ('saddened, Lycoris, by your wanton behaviour'), confirming their authorship. Possibly atypical, these surviving lines are of disappointing quality. They are written in a Latin more Lucretian and Catullan than Virgilian, and a certain roughness in the composition recalls Quintilian's judgement that Gallus's style was durior (rather harsh). Their sentiments are conventional, and show little trace of originality. Four lines which probably once stood at the beginning of a poem pay homage to Julius Caesar shortly before his assassination, on the eve of his projected campaign against the Parthians: Fata mihi, Caesar, tum erunt mea dulcia, quom tu / maxima Romanae pars eris historiae / postque tuum reditum multorum templa deorum / fixa legam spolieis deivitiora tueis. 'I will count myself blessed by fortune, Caesar, when you become the greatest part of Roman history; and when, after your return, I admire the temples of many gods adorned and enriched with your spoils.' This obsequious compliment is scarcely to be taken seriously. The Augustan poets tended to distance themselves from the world of high politics, and often drew a humorous contrast between the martial ambition of their rulers and their own ignoble love affairs. The next, missing, stanza probably subverted the sense. 'As it is, while you're off winning renown by conquering Parthia, I'm stuck here in Rome, with nothing to do but make love to Lycoris.' A second, incomplete, block of four lines appears to be addressed to Lycoris. So long as she likes his verses, Gallus seems to be saying (the verb in the third line was probably placeatur, to please), he will ignore the hostile comments they are likely to attract from famously conservative critics such as Cato: . . . tandem fecerunt carmina Musae /quae possim domina deicere digna mea. / . . . atur idem tibi, non ego, Visce / . . . Kato, iudice te vereor. 'At last the Muses have made songs fit for me to lay at the feet of my mistress. So long as . . . [they are pleasing] to you, I am not afraid to be judged by you, Viscus, . . . nor by you, Cato.'

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Gallus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

C. Cornelius, was born at Forum Iulii (Fréjus) in Gaul, of poor parents, about B.C. 66. He went to Italy at an early age, and began his career as a poet when he was about twenty years of age. He had already attained considerable distinction at the time of Caesar's death, 44; and upon the arrival of Octavianus in Italy after that event, Gallus embraced his party, and soon acquired great influence with him. In 41 he was one of the triumvirs appointed by Octavianus to distribute lands in the north of Italy among his veterans, and on that occasion he afforded protection to the inhabitants of Mantua and to Vergil. He afterwards accompanied Octavianus to the battle of Actium, 31, and commanded a detachment of the army. After the battle, Gallus was sent with the army to Egypt, in pursuit of Antony; and when Egypt was made a Roman province, Octavianus appointed Gallus the first prefect of the province. He remained in Egypt for nearly four years; but he incurred at length the enmity of Octavianus, though the exact nature of his offence is uncertain. According to some accounts he spoke of the emperor in an offensive and insulting manner; he erected numerous statues of himself in Egypt, and had his own exploits inscribed on the pyramids. The Senate deprived him of his estates, and sent him into exile; whereupon he put an end to his life by falling upon his own sword, B.C. 27. The intimate friendship existing between Gallus and the most eminent men of the time, as Asinius Pollio, Vergil, Varus, and Ovid, and the high praise they bestow upon him, prove that he was a man of great intellectual powers and acquirements. Ovid (Trist. iv. 10.5) assigns to him the first place among the Roman elegiac poets; and we know that he wrote a collection of elegies in four books, the principal subject of which was his love of Lycoris. (See Vergil's Tenth Eclogue.) But all his productions have perished; for the four epigrams in the Latin Anthology attributed to Gallus could not have been written by a contemporary of Augustus. Gallus translated into Latin the poems of Euphorion of Chalcis, but this translation is also lost. Some critics attributed to him the poem Ciris, usually printed among the works of Vergil. See Völker, De C. Galli Vita et Scriptis, pt. i. (Bonn, 1840), pt. ii. (Elberfeld, 1844); NicolasA. , De la Vie et des Ouvrages de C. Gallus (Paris, 1851). His story is made the basis of the well-known work of W. Becker on Roman antiquities. See Becker.

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