The Ancient Library

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On this page: Sulpicia Gens – Sulpicianus – Sulpicius Apollinaris – Sulpicius Flavus – Sulpicius Lupercus Serva – Sulpicius Rufus


towards the close of the first century, celebrated for sundry gay amatory effusions, addressed to her husband Calenus. Their general character may be gathered from the expressions of Martial, Ausonius, and Sidonius Apollinaris, by all of whom they are noticed. Two lines from one of these productions have been preserved by the scholiast upon Juvenal, Sat. vi. 536. (Martial. Ep. x. 35—38 ; Auson. Epi-log. Cent. Nupt.; Sidon. Apollin. Carm. ix. 260 ; Anthol. Lat. iii. 251, ed. Burmann, or No. 198, ed. Meyer.)

We find in the collected works of Ausonius, as first published by Ugoletus (4to. Farm. 1499, Venet. 1501), a satirical poem, in seventy hexa­meters, on the edict of Domitian, by which philoso­phers were banished from Rome and from Italy (Suet. Dom. 10; Gell. xv. 11). It has been fre­quently reprinted, and generally bears the title Satyricon Carmen s. Edoga de edicto Domitiani, or Satyra de corrupto reipuUicae statu temporibus Do-mitiani. When closely examined it soon appeared manifest that it could not belong to the rhetorician of Bordeaux, but that it must have been written by some one who lived at the period to which the theme refers, that the author was a female (v. 8), and that she had previously composed a multitude of sportive pieces in a great variety of measures. Hence many critics, struck by these coincidences, have not hesitated to ascribe the lines in question to the Sulpicia mentioned above, the contemporary of Martial, and in almost all the more recent col­lections of the minor Latin poets they bear her name. In a literary point of view they possess little interest, being weak, pointless, and destitute of spirit. (Wernsdorf, Poet. Lat. Min. vol. iii. p. Ix. and p. 83.) The satire is generally appended to editions of Juvenal and Persius. [W. R.]

SULPICIA GENS, originally patrician, and afterwards plebeian likewise. It was one of the most ancient Roman gentes, and produced a suc­cession of distinguished men, from the foundation of the republic to the imperial period. The first member of it who obtained the consulship was Ser. Sulpicius Camerinus Cornutus, in b. c. 500, only nine years after the expulsion of the Tarquins, and the last of the name who appears on the consular Fasti was Sex. Sulpicius Tertullus in a. d. 158. The family names of the Sulpicii during the republican period are — camerinus cornutus, galba, gallus, longus, paterculus, peticus, prae-textatus, quirinus, rufus (given below), saverrio. Besides these cognomens, we meet with some other surnames belonging to freedmen and to other persons under the empire, which are given below. On coins we find the surnames Galba9 PlatorinuS) Produs^ Rufus.

SULPICIANUS, FLA'VIUS, the father-in- law of the emperor Pertinax, was appointed upon the death of Commodus praefectus urbi. After the murder of his son he became one of the candi­ dates for the vacant throne, when it was exposed for sale by the praetorians. He was outbid by Didius Julianus, who stripped him of his office but spared his life at the request of the soldiers. He was subsequently put to death by Septimius Se- verus, on the charge of having favoured the pre­ tensions of Clodius Albinus. (Dion Cass. Ixxiii. 7, 11, Ixxv. 8.) [W. R.]

SULPICIUS APOLLINARIS, a contempo­rary of A. Gellius, was a learned grammarian, whom Gellius frequently cites with the greatest




respect. He calls him, on one occasion " vir praestanti literarum scientia," and on another, " homo memoriae nostrae doctissimus." (Gell. ii. 16, iv. 17, xiii. 17, xv. 5.) x There are two poems in the Latin Anthology, purporting to be written by Sulpicius of Carthage, whom some writers identify with the above-named Sulpicius Apolli­naris. One of these poems consists of seventy-two lines, giving the argument of the twelve books of Virgil's Aeneid, six lines being devoted to each book (Anthol. Lat. Nos. 222, 223, ed. Meyer ; Donatus, Vita Virgilii). The contemporary of Gellius is probably the same person as the Sulpicius Apollinaris who taught the emperor Pertinax in his youth. (Capitol. Pertin. 1.)



SULPICIUS LUPERCUS SERVASTUS, a Latin poet, of whom two poems are extant; an elegy, De Cupiditate, in forty-two lines, and a sapphic ode, De Vetustate, in twelve lines. Both poems are printed in Wernsdorf's Poetae Latini Minores, vol. iii. pp. 235, &c. 408. Nothing is known of the author.

SULPICIUS RUFUS. 1. ser. sulpicius rufus, was consular tribune three times, namely in b. c. 388, 384, and 383. (Liv. vi. 4, 18, 21.)

2. P. sulpicius rufus, tribune of the plebs, b. c. 88. He was born in b. c. 124, as he was ten years older than Hortensius. (Cic. Brut. 88.) He was one of the most distinguished orators of his time. Cicero, who had heard him, frequently speaks of him in terms of the highest admiration. He says that Sulpicius and Cotta were, beyond comparison, the greatest orators of their age. " Sulpicius," he states, " was, of all the orators I ever heard, the most dignified, and, so to speak, the most tragic. His voice was powerful, and at the same time sweet and clear; the gestures and movements of his body were graceful; but he ap­peared, nevertheless, to have been trained for the forum and not for the stage ; his language was rapid and flowing, and yet not redundant or diffuse." (Brut. 55.) He commenced public life as a supporter of the aristocratical party, and soon acquired great influence in the state by his splendid talents, while he was still young. He was an in­timate friend of M. Livius Drusus, the celebrated tribune of the plebs, and the aristocracy placed great hopes in him. (Cic. de Orat. i. 7.) In B. c. 94, he accused of majestas C. Norbanus, the tur­bulent tribune of the plebs, who was defended by M. Antonius and was acquitted. [norbanus, No. 1.] In b. c. 93 he was quaestor, and in b. c. 89 he served as legate of the consul Cn. Pompeius Strabo in the Marsic war. In the following year, B. c. 88, he was elected to the tribunate through the influence of the aristocratical party. The consuls of the year were L. Cornelius Sulla and Q. Pompeius Rufus, the latter of whom was a personal friend of Sulpicius. (Cic. Lael. 1.) At first Sulpicius did not disappoint the expectations of his party. In conjunction with his colleague, P. Antistius, he resisted the attempt of C. Julius Caesar to become a candidate for the consulship before he had filled the office of praetor, and he also opposed the return from exile of those who had been banished. (Cic. Brut. 63, de Hantsp. Resp. 20 ; Ascon. in Scaur, p. 20, ed. Orelli; Cic. ad Herenn. ii. 28.) But Sulpicius shortly afterwards joined Marius, and placed himself at the head of

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