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Image ID: 1658898  Maecenas.

Image ID: 1658898 Maecenas.

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Definition: A wealthy descendant of Etruscan kings, Gaius Maecenas was a Roman literary patron and writer whose works have not survived except as titles and in fragments. He was born April 13, c. 70 B.C.

The equestrian Maecenas was an advisor and friend of Augustus. Maecenas as well as Agrippa fought for Augustus during the civil wars; Agrippa the more so since Maecenas was often in Rome where he served as magistrate. Maecenas is mentioned as having fought at Mutina, Philippi and Perusia, according to Propertius, in the 1911 Encyclopedia.

The name and patronage of Maecenas is associated with Vergil, Horace, Propertius, and Varius.

Maecenas eventually fell out of favor with Augustus for disputed reasons, but when Maecenas died in 8 B.C., he left his legacy to Augustus.

Pronunciation: mī-'sē-nɚs • (noun)

Ovid, an important Augustan age poet, never mentions Maecenas. They may not have met, although there was gossip that Ovid and Maecenas were rivals for the affections of Julia, according to The life of Maecenas : with critical and historical notes (1748), by M. Richer.

The 1911 Encyclopedia article on Maecenas, says Velleius Paterculus (ii. 88) describes Maecenas as "of sleepless vigilance in critical emergencies, far-seeing and knowing how to act, but in his relaxation from business more luxurious and effeminate than a woman."

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