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command which enabled him to assist the poet on his journey and to protect his life when in danger from the attacks of barbarians *, and as a complimentary inscription to a proconsul Sextus Pompeius has been discovered at Athens, it is probable that he was then praetorian proconsul of Achaia, which province was usually assigned to ex-praetors*. In 767/14, the year of the death of Augustus, he was consul with Sextus Appuleius throughout the whole year, and these two were the first to take the oath of allegiance to Tiberius *. • He afterwards was appointed proconsul of Asia, and seems to have administered that province between 78o/27 and 783/3o'. Of his political life as a consular at Rome we know little ; in 773/2o he declined to defend L. Piso, who was accused of murdering Germanicus °, and in 774/21 he made a violent attack in the Senate upon M. Lepidus, in the vain attempt to prevent his selection for the proconsulship of Asia *. His death probably occurred about 792/39.
In the last years of his life Ovid seems to have centred his hopes of restoration mainly on Pompeius; for, excepting one letter to Graecinus, none other of his patrons are addressed in the fourth book of the Pontic Epistles ; while to Pompeius, to whom hitherto he had not written at all', four letters are inscribed, P. iv. 1, 4, 5, 1 5 *. In all these his attitude is one of great humility towards the condescending patron who had saved
* Lorentz assigns T. i. 5 and v. 9 to Pompeius; but the latter poem is much better suited to Cotta Messallinus (see above), and the former is, from its tone, manifestly addressed not to a social superior, but to an equal (Celsus), to one who is * post ullos numquam memorande sodales,' who is ' carissimus,' who belongs to the inner circle of loyal friends (1. 33); and the whole attitude is different from the humility adopteã towards Pompeius. - . m.
his life ', and assisted him from his own purse *, whose humble servant and chattel he asserts himself to be*, and whom, next to. the Caesars, he counts among earth's greatest *. It is interesting to notice that the eloquence of Pompeius is extolled both by Ovid and by Valerius Maximus, to whom also he acted as a munificent patron °. Ovid speaks of the great wealth of Pompeius, who, besides a mansion at Rome close to the Forum Augusti, possessed broad estates in Sicily, Macedonia, and Campania ; and Seneca cites him as a typical example of a rich man *. On the other hand, when in 775/22 the Theatre of Pompey was accidentally destroyed by fire, Tiberius undertook to restore it at his own cost, because, says Tacitus, there was none of the house of Pompey who could bear the expense, though the family was not extinct ". The only Pompeius then alive was Sextus. Hence there is a seeming contradiction, which must be reconciled by supposing either that Pompeius, though rich, was not rich enough for so enormous an outlay, which may well have overtasked the resources of any private individual ; or that, as this happened before his proconsulate in Asia, he may have vastly increased his wealth by the administration of that province. One of the Pontic Epistles (ii. 1) is to Germanicus Caesar, to whom also the Fasti is dedicated ; and one is to the Thraciam * prince Cotys, who was murdered by Rhescuporis, and who, according to Ovid, had a cultivated taste for literature (ii. 9). (ii.) It has- been possible to identify from external sources those powerful friends of Ovid who belonged to the great families of Rome. On the other hand, as we should naturally expect, our knowledge of the acquaintances of the poet, who belonged to his own station, is confined almost entirely to what we learn from his works. These friends are divisible into two categories ; a distribution suggested by the poet himself. We must distinguish
'from the general body that small circle of nearer friends who stood by him in his disgrace, who were present on the sad night of his final departure from Rome, and who, by their consolations and material assistance, did their best to alleviate the miseries of his exile'. Only four can be included in this number—Celsus, Brutus, Atticus, and Carus. Of these (1) Celsus, like Ovid himself, enjoyed the patronage and friendship of Cotta Messallinus*. His death is lamented in an affecting poem (P. i. 9), in which his integrity and lofty character are extolled. He was one of the few who remained faithful to the poet when most of his friends fled away at the time of his disgrace ; he restrained the frantic exile from laying violent hands upon himself; and such was his affection that he even offered to undertake the long journey to Pontus to visit his friend. It is possible that this Celsus is the Albinovanus Celsus of Horace, Epp. i. 8, who is mentioned in Epp. i. 3. 15 as one of the suite that accompanied Tiberius on his expedition into Armenia, and he seems to have been a minor poet*. i. 5 and iii. 6 of the Tristia are to be assigned to Celsus *. (2) That Atticus belonged to the little group of faithful friends is shown by P. ii. 7. 81 ff. He was a sodalis, on a social equality with the poet, and their intimacy had been very close ;
* This narrower inner circle offriends is constantly mentioned as the 'vix duo tresve amici.' The chief passages mre T. i. 3. 15: ' adloquor extremum maestos abiturus amicos, qui modo de multis unus et alter erant.' T. i. 5. 33: * vix duo tresve mihi de tot superestis amici : cetera Fortunae, non mea turba fuit. quo magis, o pauci, rebus succurrite laesis.' T. iii. 5. Io: * idque recens praestas nec longo cognitus usu, quod veterum misero vix duo tresve mihi.' T. v. 4. 35: “te sibi cum paucis meminit mansisse fidelem, si paucos aliquis tresve duosve vocat.' See also P. i. 9. 15; ii. 3. 29. * P. i. 9. 35. * Hennig, p. 15. * Graeber, i. xxi.; ii. 4.
in forum or colonnade or street or theatre they were always seen together'. About his personality nothing further is known ; for the conjectures which find in him the eques illustris Curtius Atticus of Tacitus, who formed one of the retinue of Tiberius in his latter days *, or the grammarian Dionysius of Pergamon, who was made a Roman citizen by Agrippa, with the name of M. Vipsanius Atticus, do not correspond with the description of Ovid, who speaks of him as a bosom friend of equal station, not as a social superior or a professional grammarian*. Am. i. 9, P. ii. 4 and ii. 7 are addressed to this Atticus ; and T. v. 4 may with certainty be assigned to him *. (3) Brutus also must be counted in the number of the two or three faithful friends*. He is spoken of as one whose affection was intensified when adversity befel the poet *. About his personality too we are perfectly in the dark ; the language of Ovid, who addresses no requests to him for intercession on his behalf, shows that the two were of equal station, and that Brutus did not occupy any prominent position, either social or political, though he held some minor judicial post, probably as Ovid himself had done, in the centumviral court '. He acted as editor of P. i-iii., which he had the courage to publish, without waiting or hesitating during the life of Augustus ; and his literary taste is further attested by recommendation to his care of the poem which Ovid had made about Augustus. P. i. 1 and iii. 9 are inscribed to Brutus in his capacity of editor, but in them his personality is kept entirely in the background ; he is the vehicle through which the whole body of readers is addressed. Thus, for our knowledge of him we are thrown entirely on P. iv. 6, where his kindly heart, his sympathetic * P. ii. 4. 19. * Tac. A. ii. 58. * The former theory, that of Lorentz, p. 31, and the latter, that of Unger, are refuted by Graeber, ii. 4. * Graeber, ii. 12 ; Lorentz, p. 33. Lorentz also assigns iv. 7, v. 6, and v. 13 to Atticus upon very insufficient grounds. * P. iv. 6. 41 and 49. 6 P. iv. 6. 2 1 ff. " P. iv. 6. 33.
nature, and loyal friendship are highly recommended. Of the 7ristia i. 7 and iii. 4 are to be assigned to Brutus*. (4) The fourth and last member of this little circle of faithful friends is Carus, who in P. iv. 13, the only letter to him of the Pontic Epistles, is described as a dear and trusty companion. Carus was himself a literary man, and wrote a poem on the achievements of Hercules*, which Ovid considered very finished in style. He was appointed tutor to the children of Germanicus*, and is implored by the poet to use what influence he may have on his behalf*. It is not stated directly in P. iv. 13 that Carus . belonged to the small number of faithful friends, but this is clearly established by T. iii. 5 (see especially 1. 7 ff.), which, since the time of Heinsius, has been generally admitted to be to Carus, as is proved by the allusion in it (I. 42) to his poem about - Hercules °. . These are all that can be definitely referred to the narrower group of friends, but there are many others addressed in the Pontic Epistles with whom the poet enjoyed considerable familiarity. (5) Among these Macer stands out prominently, his poet friend, the old companion of his student travels in Asia Minor, Sicily, and Greece ; with whom, ever and above the common ties of friendship, he was connccted in some way through his wife °. It is not unlikely that the wife of Macer was sister to the third wife of Ovid ; and Macer would accordingly have enjoyed, like Ovid, the patronage of Fabius Maximus, and thus may have come under the notice of the Emperor, and may well be the Pompeius Macer who was appointed curator of the public
* See intr. to i. 7. Both Schulz, p. 8, and Graeber, ii. 12, assign iii. 4 to Brutus; iii. 14 is also given to him by Lorentz, p. 42, but the evidence is very uncertain : see Graeber, ii. 8. * P. iv. 13. 1 1, 16. 7 ; Hennig, p. 26. * P. iv. 13. 47. * P. iv. 13. 5o. * Graeber, ii. 1 1. Though Graeber argues against it I am convinced with Lorentz, p. 47, and Hennig, p. 26, that i. 9 is also to Carus; but • Lorentz is wrong (p. 46) in assigning to him iii. 4, which is better given - to Brutus. ° See intr. to el. viii.