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BornTigellius Hermogenes
1st century BC
Sardinia, Province of Corsica and Sardinia, Roman Republic
Died40 BC
Resting placeRome
OccupationSinger, poet
Language Latin
Nationality Roman
Genre Lyric poetry

Tigellius (1st century BC – 40 BC), was a lyric poet during the time of Julius Caesar. The little information we have about him derives from the Satires of Horace and some letters of Cicero. From them we know that he was a Sardinian, a fine singer and a close friend of Julius Caesar. [1]

Lyric poetry formal type of poetry

Lyric poetry is a formal type of poetry which expresses personal emotions or feelings, typically spoken in the first person. The term derives from a form of Ancient Greek literature, the lyric, which was defined by its musical accompaniment, usually on a stringed instrument known as a lyre. The term owes its importance in literary theory to the division developed by Aristotle between three broad categories of poetry: lyrical, dramatic, and epic.

Julius Caesar 1st-century BC Roman politician and general

Gaius Julius Caesar, known by his nomen and cognomen Julius Caesar, was a populist Roman dictator, politician, and military general who played a critical role in the events that led to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. He was also a historian and wrote Latin prose.

The Satires is a collection of satirical poems written by the Roman poet, Horace. Composed in dactylic hexameters, the Satires explore the secrets of human happiness and literary perfection. Published probably in 35 BC and at the latest, by 33 BC, the first book of Satires represents Horace's first published work. It established him as one of the great poetic talents of the Augustan Age. The second book was published in 30 BC as a sequel.



Some scholia identified Tigellius with Tigellius Hermogenes mentioned in other parts of the Satires. Such identification was rejected by André Dacier, in his edition of the works of Horace, but few scholars agreed with him until Karl Kirchner presented a detailed argument for the interpretation of Dacier. [2] According to Berthold Ullman however, the version of the scholiasts can not be excluded nor Kirchner's arguments are irrefutable. The Tigellius mentioned in some verses of Satires is in fact the same mentioned by Cicero in some of his letters. [3]

Scholia are grammatical, critical, or explanatory comments, either original or extracted from pre-existing commentaries, which are inserted on the margin of the manuscript of an ancient author, as glosses. One who writes scholia is a scholiast. The earliest attested use of the word dates to the 1st century BC.

André Dacier French scholar

André Dacier, Latin Andreas Dacerius, was a French classical scholar and editor of texts. He began his career with an edition and commentary of Festus' De verborum significatione, and was the first to produce a "readable" text of the 20-book work. His wife was the influential classical scholar and translator, Anne Dacier.

Berthold Louis Ullman was an American Classical scholar.

Cicero, Horace and Licinius Macer Calvus used to call him either Tigellius or Sardus Tigellius ("Tigellius the Sardinian"), and never Hermogenes. Cicero spoke ill of Tigellius, stating "it is a clear gain to be free from the society of this Sardinian, who is even more pestiferous than his own homeland (pestilentiorem patria sua)". [4] Nevertheless, it is very likely that Hermogenes is the name of the Sardinian Tigellius. The combination of a Roman name and a Greek surname also reveals that he is a freedman. [5]

Gaius Licinius Macer Calvus was an orator and poet of ancient Rome.

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

A freedman or freedwoman is a formerly enslaved person who has been released from slavery, usually by legal means. Historically, enslaved people were freed either by manumission or emancipation. A fugitive slave is a person who escaped slavery by fleeing.



  1. Berthold Ullman, Horace, Catullus, and Tigellius, Classical Philology Vol. 10, No. 3, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago Jul. 1915, p. 271
  2. De utroque Tigellio in Karl Kirchner, Questiones horatianae, Leipzig, 1834
  3. B. Ullman, cit., p. 270
  4. Mastino, Attilio (2005). Storia della Sardegna antica, Edizioni Il Maestrale, pp.114
  5. B. Ullman, cit., p. 271

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