Pacuvius, Marcus

, a Latin tragic poet, was a native of Brindisi, the ancient Brundusium, and nephew to Ennius. He flourished at Rome about 154 B. C. According to his last biographer, he was held in high esteem by C. Lelius, and particularly by Cicero, who affirmed him to be superior to Sophocles in his tragedy of “Niptra,” and classed“him in the first rank of tragic poets. They are said likewise to have looked upon every one as an enemy to Roman literature who had temerity enough to despise his tragedies, particularly hisAntiope.“We have nothing, however, of his works left except some fragments in Maittaire’s” Corpus Poetarum." Pacuvius was a painter also, as well as a poet; and Pliny speaks of one of his pictures which was placed in the temple of Hercules, and was admired by the connoisseurs of those times. He died at Tarentum, when beyond his ninetieth year. He wrote his own epitaph, which is preserved in Aulus Gellius. Annibale di Leo, who was also born at Brindisi, published in 1764 a dissertation on his life and writings, in order to do honour to his native place, which certainly would not have been less honoured if he had omitted to tell us that among the eminent men of Brindisi, was M. Lenius Strabo, the first inventor of bird-cages. 2


Vossius de Poet. Lat.—Saxii Onomast.Leo’s Dissertation in Month. Rev. vol. XXXII.