a freedman of Pompey the Great, whence he is sometimes called Pompeius Lenaeus.
He was a native of Athens, possessed great knowledge of natural history, and was acquainted with several languages, in consequence of which Pompey restored him to freedom. (Sueton. De Illustr. Grammat
2, 15; Plin. Nat. 25.2
He accompanied his patron in nearly all his expeditions (Suet. l.c.
15), and by his command he translated into Latin the work of Mithridates on poisons. (Plin. l.c.,
comp. 15.39, 39, 24.9, 41, 25.6, 27, and Elench.
lib. xiv. xv. xx. xxiii. xxvii.)
After the death of Pompey and his sons, Lenaeus maintained himself by keeping a school at Rome, in the Carinae, near the temple of Tellus, the district in which the house of Pompey had been.
This fact is a proof not only of his great attachment to the memory of his late master, but also of his not having made use of his friendship with Pompey for the purpose of enriching himself. His affection for Pompey also led him to write a very bitter satire against the historian Sallust, who had spoken of Pompey in an unjust and slanderous manner. Suetonius (l.c.
15) has preserved some of the opprobrious terms in which Lenaeus spoke of Sallust. (O. M. Müller, Histor. Krit. Darstellung der Nachricht. vom Leben, &c., des Sallust,
p. 10; Drumann, Gesch. Roms,
vol. iv. p. 556.)