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Sulpicia (2), Latin poet  

Mario Citroni

Sulpicia (2), poet of the age of *Domitian. *Martial 10.38, which must have been written on her death (lines 12–14) after fifteen years of happy marriage, is to be dated between 94 and 98 ce. She wrote love poems addressed to her husband Calenus, expressing, according to Martial (10.35, 38), both total fidelity and bold sensuality, a feature confirmed by her one surviving fragment, which is a rare example in Latin poetry of married eroticism. She is mentioned on several occasions in later literature (Auson. p. 218.10 P., Sidon.Carm. 9.261, Fulgent.Myth. 1.4) and a poem in seventy hexameters, the Sulpiciae conquestio (Epigrammata Bobiensia 37), is written in her name. In it she is made to abandon minor verse (in hendecasyllables, iambic trimeters, and scazons) and to denounce the degradation of the empire under Domitian, in relation to a banishment of philosophers; the victims of this banishment supposedly include Calenus. The style, prosody, and implausibility of the piece point to its being a late text, probably from the same date as the Bobbio collection itself (end of 4th or beginning of 5th century ce).