was her uncle Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, who proposed the measure giving Augustus the title pater patriae in 2 BC (see Suet. Aug. 58). Messalla had fought on the side of Brutus and Cassius at the start of the civil war, but ultimately joined Octavian's side. He was consul in 31 along with Octavian. Messalla is best known now, however, as the patron of a group of writers including Tibullus and the other poets of the Corpus Tibullianum, one of whom was Sulpicia. Messalla lived from 64 BC to AD 8.
We know little about Sulpicia's own life. It is clear from poem 2 that Messalla has patris potestas over her; we can conjecture, then, that she is not yet married and that her father is dead. She may have been roughly the same age as Tibullus and Propertius (both born in the late 50s or early 40s), or perhaps a couple of years younger. We do not know who Cerinthus was, or even whether Sulpicia used a pseudonym for her lover, as male love poets conventionally did.