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Gallus, Asi'nius

2. C. Asinius Gallus, C. F., a son of C. Asinius Pollio, bore the agnomen of Saloninus. He was consul in B. C. 8 with C. Marcius Censorinus. He was not free from the servile flattery which at the time prevailed in the senate and among the people, but he would now and then speak in the senate with more freedom than was agreeable to the sovereign. Augustus said of him, that he had indeed the desire to be the first man in the senate, but that he had not the talent for it. Tiberius hated him, partly on account of his freedom in expressing his opinion, but more especially because Asinius Gallus had married Vipsania, the former wife of Tiberius. At last the emperor resolved upon getting rid of him. In A. D. 30 he invited him to his table at Capreae, and at the same time got the senate to sentence him to death. But Tiberius saved his life, only for the purpose of inflicting upon him severer cruelties than death alone. He kept him imprisoned for three years, and on the most scanty supply of food. After the lapse of three years, he died in his dungeon of starvation, but whether it was compulsory or voluntary is unknown.

C. Asinius Gallus also distinguished himself in the history of Roman literature, in regard to which he followed in the footsteps of his father. He wrote a work in several books, entitled De Comparatione patris ac Ciceronis, which was unfavourable to the latter, and against which the emperor Claudius wrote his defence of Cicero. The writings of Asinius Gallus, however, have perished; and all that has come down of his productions is a short epigram preserved in Suetonius. (Tac. Ann. 1.8, 12, 13, 76, &c., 2.32, 33, 35, 3.11, 36, 75, 4.1, 20, 30, 71, 6.23, 25; D. C. 55.5, 57.2, 58.3; Schol. Acron. ad Horat. Carm. 2.1, 16; Suet. Cl. 41; De Illust. Gram. 22; Vit. Horat. in fin. ; Plin. Ep. 7.4; Gel. 17.1 ; Quint. Inst. 12.1, 22.)

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