65. Q. Hortensius Ortulus (114-50 B.C.), Cicero>'s greatest rival as an orator, was also somewhat of a historian (Vell. II. 16. 3), and wrote erotic poems (Ov. Trist. II.441; Plin. Ep. V. 3. 5), which the Greeks at the banquet of Antonius Julianus (Gell. XIX. 9.7) characterized as invenusta, though they admitted that Catullus and Calvus wrote some verses comparable with those of Anacreon. Presuming, perhaps, upon his own gifts as a poet, Hortensius asked Catullus for a poem (c. 65.18-19), and the poet complied with the request, though with an absence of compliment that indicates no intimate friendship with his petitioner, whose much greater age and high position gave him, however, the power to become an influential patron. That the friendship made no progress seems to be indicated by the uncomplimentary allusion to the verses of Hortensius in c. 95.3 (cf. however § 25 ad fin.).
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Friends and foes.
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