POLLNITZ POLL-TAX authors, both Greek and Roman. Thenceforward he withdrew from active life and devoted himself to literature. He seems to have maintained to a certain degree an attitude of independence, if not of opposition, towards Augustus. He died in his villa at Tusculum, regretted and esteemed by all.
Pollio was a distinguished orator; his speeches showed ingenuity and care, but were marred by an affected archaism (Quintilian, Inst. x. I, 113; Seneca, Ep. loo). He wrote tragedies also, which Virgil (Ed. viii. id) declared to be worthy of Sophocles, and a prose history of the civil wars of his time from the first triumvirate (60) down to the death of Cicero (43) or later. This history, in the composition of which Pollio received assistance from the grammarian Ateius Praetextatus, was used as an authority by Plutarch and Appian (Horace, Odes, ii. I ; Tacitus, Annals, iv. 34). As a literary critic Pollio was very severe. He censured Sallust (Suetonius, Gram. 10) and Cicero (Quintilian, Inst. xii. I, 22) and professed to detect in Livy's style certain provincialisms of his native Padua (Quintilian, i. 5, 56, viii. I, 3); he attacked the Commentaries of Julius Caesar, accusing their author of carelessness and credulity, if not of deliberate falsification (Suet. Caesar, 56). Pollio was the first Roman author who recited his writings to an audience of his friends, a practice which afterwards became common at Rome. The theory that Pollio was the author of the Bellum africanum, one of the supplements to Caesar's Commentarii, has met with little support. All his writings are lost except a few fragments of his speeches (H. Meyer, Oral. rom. frag., 1842), and three letters addressed to Cicero (Ad. Fam. x. 31-33).
See Plutarch, Caesar, Pompey; Veil. Pat. ii. 36, 63, 73, 76; Florus iv. 12, II; Dio Cassius xlv. 10, xlviii. 15; Appian, Bell, civ. ; V. Gardthausen, Augustus und seine Zeit (1891), i. ; P. Groebe, in Pauly-Wissowa's Realencyclopadie (1896), ii. pt. 2 ; Teuffel-Schwaben, Hist, of Roman Literature (Eng. trans.), 221 ; M. Schanz, Geschichte der romischen Litteratur, pt. 2, p. 20 (2nd ed., 1899); Cicero, Letters, ed. Tyrrell and Purser, vi. introd. p. 80.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)