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Pollio, Gaius Asinius

POLLIO, GAIUS ASINIUS (76 B.C.-A.D. 5; according to some, 75 B.C.-A.D. 4), Roman orator, poet and historian. In 54 he impeached unsuccessfully C. Porcius Cato, who in his tribunate (56) had acted as the tool of the triumvirs. In the civil war between Caesar and Pompey Pollio sided with Caesar, was present at the battle of Pharsalus (48), and commanded against Sextus Pompeius in Spain, where he was at the time of Caesar's assassination. He subsequently threw in his lot with M. Antonius. In the division of the provinces, Gaul fell to Antony, who entrusted Pollio with the administration of Gallia Transpadana. In superintending the distribution of the Mantuan territory amongst the veterans, he used his influence to save from confiscation the property of the poet Virgil. In 40 he helped to arrange the peace of Brundisium by which Octavian (Augustus) and Antonius were for a time reconciled. In the same year Pollio entered upon his consulship, which had been promised him in 43. It was at this time that Virgil addressed the famous fourth eclogue to him. Next year Pollio conducted a successful campaign against the Parthini, an Illyrian people who adhered to Brutus, and celebrated a triumph on the 25th of October. The eighth eclogue of Virgil was addressed to Pollio while engaged in this campaign. From the spoils of the war he constructed the first public library at Rome, in the Atrium Libertatis, also erected by him (Pliny, Nat. hist. xxxv. 10), which he adorned with statues of the most celebrated 1 Vorlaufige Nachricht von einigen das Geschlecht der Pflanzen betreffenden Versuchen und Beobachtungen, 3, 4, 6 (Leipzig, 1761).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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