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date: 02 December 2022

Cornelius Neposlocked

Cornelius Neposlocked

  • J. C. Rolfe,
  • Gavin B. Townend
  •  and Antony Spawforth


Cornelius Nepos, the earliest extant biographer in Latin, lived c.110–24 bce. From Cisalpine Gaul, by 65 bce he was living in Rome and moving in literary circles: he corresponded with *Cicero and considered *Atticus a friend and (so S. Anselm) his ideal reader; Catullus dedicated verses to him. He kept out of politics.(1)De viris illustribus (‘On Famous Men’), at least sixteen books and with perhaps 400 lives, grouped according to categories (those of generals and historians are firmly attested), and including non-Romans. It was first published before the death of Atticus, probably in 34 bce; a second, expanded, edition appeared before 27 bce. Of this we have De excellentibus ducibus exterarum gentium (‘On Eminent Foreign Leaders’) and the lives of M. *Porcius Cato (1) and Atticus from his ‘Roman Historians’.(2) Lost works: Chronica, a universal history in three books (Catull. 1); Exempla.


  • Latin Literature

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