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date: 27 November 2022

Varius Rufuslocked

, Augustan poet

Varius Rufuslocked

, Augustan poet
  • Edward Courtney

Extract

An Augustan poet, friend of *Virgil (Catal. 7, Ecl. 9. 35) and member with him, P. *Quinctilius Varus, and *Plotius Tucca of an Epicurean group (Probus, Vit. Verg.) referred to by *Philodemus. He was also a friend of *Maecenas, to whom he and Virgil introduced *Horace (Sat. 1. 5. 40, 6. 55, 10. 81). He wrote a hexameter poem De morte, probably intended on Epicurean lines (cf. epicurus) to free men from the fear of death. It was apparently written c.43 bce and contained uncomplimentary allusions to M. *Antonius(2); these and other passages were imitated by Virgil. Horace speaks of him as pre-eminent in *epic (Sat. 1. 10. 43) and suggests him as a panegyrist of M. *Vipsanius Agrippa (Carm. 1. 6), but no work of this type by him is known. His tragedy Thyestes, which was greatly admired, was commissioned by Augustus for his games of 29 bce in celebration of Actium and lavishly rewarded by him.

Subjects

  • Latin Literature

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