Marcus Furius Bibaculus - Encyclopedia


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MARCUS FURIUS BIBACULUS, Roman poet, flourished during the last century of the republic. According to Jerome, he was born at Cremona in 103 B.C., and probably lived to a great age. He wrote satirical poems after the manner of Catullus, whose bitterness he rivalled, according to Quintilian (Instil. x. 1.196), in his iambics. He even attacked Augustus (and perhaps Caesar), who treated the matter with indifference. He was also author of prose Lucubrationes and perhaps of an epic poem on Caesar's Gallic wars (Pragmatia Belli Gallici). Otto Ribbeck attributes to him one of the shorter poems usually assigned to Virgil. It is doubtful whether he is the person ridiculed by Horace (Satires, ii. 5. 40) and whether he is identical with the turgidus Alpinus (Satires, i. to. 36), the author of an Aethiopis dealing with the life and death of Memnon and of a poem on the Rhine. Some critics, on the ground that Horace would not have ventured to attack so dangerous an adversary, assume the existence of a poet whose real name was Furius (or Cornelius) Alpinus. Bibaculus was ridiculed for his high-flown and exaggerated style and manner of expression.

See Weichert, "De M. Furio Bibaculo," in his Poetarum Latinorum Reliquiae (1830); fragments in L. Muller's edition of Catullus in the Teubner Series (1870).

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