Publius Pomponius Secundus


PUBLIUS POMPONIUS SECUNDUS, Roman general and tragic poet, lived during the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula and Claudius.

He was on intimate terms with the elder Pliny, who wrote a biography of him (now lost). The chief authority for his life is Tacitus, according to whom Secundus was a man of refinement and brilliant intellect.

His friendship with Sejanus and his brother made him politically suspect, and he only escaped death by remaining practically a prisoner in his own brother’s house until the accession of Caligula.

During his enforced retirement he composed tragedies, which were put on the stage during the reign of Claudius. In A.D. 50 he distinguished himself against the Chat ti and obtained the honour of the triumphal insignia. Quintilian asserts that he was far superior to any writer of tragedies he had known, and Tacitus expresses a high opinion of his literary abilities. Secundus devoted much attention to the niceties of grammar and style, on which he was recognized as an. authority. Only a few lines of his work remain, some of which belong to the tragedy Aeneas. See O. Ribbeck, Geschichte der romischen Dichtung, iii. (1892).

and Tragicorum Romanorum fragmenta (1897); Tacitus, Annals, v. 8, xi. 13, xii. 28; Quintilian, Inst. Orat. x. 1.98; Pliny, Nat. Hist. xiv. 5; M. Schanz, Geschichte der romischen Literatur, ii. 2 (1900); Teuffel, Hist. of Roman Literature (Eng. trans., 1900), 284, 7.

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