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Marcus Terentius Varro (116 - 27 BC) was a great Roman scholar with academic achievement in many fields. He studied under the philogist Lucius Aelius Stilo and the philosopher Antiochus. Of equestrian birth and rank, Varro was a supporter of Pompey in the civil wars at the fall of the republic, and even served as a legate at the battle of Pharsalus. He was pardoned by Caesar and actually promoted to direct the public library in Rome, in light of his prolific writing.

After the death of Caesar, however, politics took a significant turn in his life, and Varro was proscribed by Marc Antony, having his villa confiscated and forced to flee for safety. After Octavian's victory at Actium and the establishment of artistic enlightenment in Rome, Varro returned and continued his writing on a vast number of subjects. In all, it's been estimated that he wrote up to 620 separate volumes.

Surviving Works:
De lingua latina libri (On the Latin Language in 25 Books, of which 6 survive)
Rerum rusticarum libri III (Three books on Agricultural Topics)
Satirae Menippeae (Menippean Satires, about 600 fragments of the original 150 books survives)

Did you know?

An Equestrian (Latin eques, plural equites) was a member of one of the two upper social classes in the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire.

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Varro - Related Topic: Julius Caesar


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