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date: 02 March 2021

Valerius Cato, Publiuslocked

  • Edward Courtney

Extract

Publius Valerius Cato, *grammaticus and poet, born in (Cisalpine?) Gaul probably c.90 bce (see gaul (cisalpine)). Almost all of our knowledge of him comes from Suetonius (Gram.11) and nothing has survived from his writings. They included, besides works of scholarship (in which a special interest in *Lucilius(1) appeared), an Indignatio, in which he complained of the loss of his patrimony under Sulla, and two poems, Lydia (not the Lydia in the Virgilian appendix, cf. appendix vergiliana), probably amatory, and Diana (Dictynna?), a narrative poem, probably drawn on by the author of the *Ciris, on the Hellenistic story of *Britomartis. He was an outstanding interpreter and nurturer of poets; compliments are paid to him by *Helvius Cinna, *Ticida, and *Furius Bibaculus, he may be mentioned in the *Cornelius Gallus fragment (line 9), and he is probably the Cato to whom *Catullus(1) (56), another Valerius from Cisalpine Gaul with a related cognomen (see names, personal, roman), imparts a naughty episode.

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