Gaius Cilnius Maecenas

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maecenas, Gaius Cilnius


Born between 74 and 64 B.C.; died 8 B.C. Roman political figure; adviser to the emperor Augustus. Staunch supporter of the monarchy.

Although he never held public office, Maecenas carried out important political and diplomatic missions for Octavian in the 30’s (for example, in negotiations with Mark Antony) and also private business (contracting Octavian’s marriage to Scribonia). He was known for his influence on the literary life of Rome. He was friendly with the best poets of his day, such as Horace, Vergil, and Propertius, and gave them patronage and protection. Small fragments of Maecenas’ prose and poetry have survived. His name has become a common term for a patron of scholars and artists.


Polonskaia, K. P. Rimskie poety epokhi printsipata Avgusta. Moscow, 1963.
André, J. M. Mécène: Essai de biographie spirituelle. Paris, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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