A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology

Smith, William

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. William Smith, LLD, ed. 1890

is known to us as the most voluminous and important of all the Roman writers upon rural affairs. The only particulars which can be ascertained with regard to his personal history are derived exclusively from incidental notices scattered up and down in his writings. We thus learn, that he was a native of Cadiz (10.185); and since he frequently quotes Virgil, names Cornelius Celsus (1.1.14, 3.17.4, &c.), and Seneca (3.3.3), as his contemporaries, and is himself repeatedly referred to by the elder Pliny, it is certain that he must have flourished during the early part of the first century of the Christian era. At some period of his life, he visited Syria and Cilicia (2.10.18); Rome appears to have been his ordinary residence (Praef. 20); he possessed a property which he calls Ceretanum (3.3.3, comp. 3.9.6), but whether situated in Etruria, in Spain, or in Sardinia, we cannot tell; and from an inscription found at Tarentum it has been conjectured that he died and was buried in that city.