Gallus, Cornelius

, an ancient Roman poet, and a person of distinction, was born at Frejus, in Provence, or as some think Friuli, in Italy. He was the particular favourite of Augustus Caesar, who made him governor of Egypt, after the death of Antony and Cleopatra; but he was guilty of such mal-administration in his government, that he was condemned to banishment, and deprived of his estate. This disgrace so afflicted him that he put an end to his life, when he was aged about forty-three, in the year 26. Virgil has complimented him in many places; and the whole tenth eclogue is on the subject of his love to Lycoris, the poetical name of Callus’s mistress, whose cruel disdain is there lamented. Gallus had written four books of elegies on his amour, which Propertius commends; but Quintilian thinks him not so tender as Tibullus or Propertius. As to those six elegies which have been published under his name, the critics are agreed that they are spurious, and that they were written by Maximus Etruscus, a contemporary with Boethius. Aldus Manutius met with some fragments at Venice ascribed to Gallus; which, though written in a better taste than the former, Joseph Scaliger has proved to be also spurious. Some think he is the author of the little poem called “Cms,” found among the works attributed to Virgil. His fragments have been printed with the editions of Catullus, printed in 1659, 1755, &c. 2


Vossius de Poet. Lat. Fabric. Bibl. Lat. —Saxii Onomast.