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[89] On the other hand, although Cornelius Severus1 is a better versifier than poet, yet if, as has been said, he had written his poem on the Sicilian war in the same style throughout as his first book, he would have had a just claim to the second place. A premature death prevented the powers of Serranus2 from ripening to perfection, but his youthful works reveal the highest talent and a devotion to the true ideal of poetry, which is remarkable in one so young.

1 Friend and contemporary of Ovid. A considerable fragment is preserved by Sen. Suas. vi. 26. The Sicilian War was the war with Sextus Pompeius (38–36) and perhaps formed a portion of a larger work on the Civil War. The surviving fragment deals with the death of Cicero. The priunus liber may therefore perhaps be the first book of this larger work.

2 Nothing is known of this poet except the name.

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