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41. CN. CORNELIUS COSSI F. CN. N. LENTULUS GAETULICUS. a son of No. 39, was consul A. D. 26, with C. Calvisius Sabinus. He afterwards had the command of the legions of Upper Germany for ten years, and was very popular among the troops, by the mildness of his punishments and his merciful rule. He was also a favourite with the army in Lower Germany, which was commanded by L. Apronius, his father-in-law. His influence with the soldiers is said to have saved him on the fall of Sejanus, to whose son he had promised his daughter. He was the only one of the relations and connections of Sejanus whom Tiberius did not put to death; and Tacitus is disposed to believe the report, that Lentulus sent to the emperor to assure him of his allegiance, as long as he was allowed to retain the command of the army, but intimating that he would raise the standard of revolt, if he were deprived of his province. Tiberius thought it more prudent to leave him alone; but Caligula, thinking his influence with the soldiers too dangerous, put hint to death in A. D. 39, apparently without exciting any commotion. Lentulus was succeeded in the command of the army in Upper Germany by Galba, who was subsequently emperor. (Vell. 2.116; Tac. Ann. 4.42, 46, 6.30 ; D. C. 59.22; Suet. Galb. 6, Claud. 9)

Lentulus Gaetulicus was an historian and a poet. Of his historical writings, which are quoted by Suetonius (Calig. 8), no fragments even are extant; and of his poems we have only three lines, which appear to have belonged to an astronomical poem, and which are preserved by Probus in his scholia on Virgil's Georgics (1.227): they are given by Meyer in the Anthologia Latina (Ep. 113). The poems of Lentulus seem to have been for the most part epigrams, and to have been distinguished by theirlascivious character (Mart. Praef. i.; Plin. Ep. 5.3.5; Sidon. Apoll. Ep. 2.10, p. 148, Carm. ix. p. 256). There are nine epigrams in the Greek Anthology, inscribed with the name of Gaetulicus, who is supposed by many modern writers to have been the same as the Lentulus Gaetulicus mentioned above; but on this point see GAETULICUS.

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  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Tacitus, Annales, 4.42
    • Tacitus, Annales, 4.46
    • Tacitus, Annales, 6.30
    • Pliny the Younger, Epistulae, 5.3.5
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