Pliny the Elder was a Roman natural philosopher, author, and army and naval commander of the Roman Empire. His work Naturalis Historia became an editorial model for the present-day encyclopedias. Today, his statue greets the visitors of Cathedral of S. Maria Maggiore in his hometown, Como.
Josephus was a Romano-Jewish historian. He played a major role during the First Jewish–Roman War, where he fought against the Romans as head of Jewish forces. However, he surrendered to Roman forces in 67 CE. As a historian, Josephus' works provide the first-known source for stories considered Biblical history. These stories include the narration of the Siege of Masada.
Horace was a Roman lyric poet who was influential during the time of Augustus. Renowned for his Odes, Horace's ode-writing style was imitated by a number of aspiring poets in England during the 17th and 18th centuries when ode-writing was considered highly fashionable.
Roman architect Vitruvius, believed to have served as a military engineer for Caesar’s army, is best remembered for his iconic work On Architecture, which consists of 10 parts, each detailing topics such as construction of temples, public buildings, and others. His book remains a vital treatise on ancient classical architecture.
Livy was a Roman historian. His seminal work, Ab Urbe Condita, covers the history of Rome through several centuries. A respected figure in society, he was on friendly terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He wrote during the reign of Emperor Augustus, who was reportedly his friend. Livy was married and had at least two children.
Lucretius was a Roman philosopher and poet. He is credited with originating the three-age system, which was formalized by C. J. Thomsen in 1836. His only known work De rerum natura, a philosophical poem, influenced several Augustan poets, including Virgil. The poem also played a prominent role in the development of atomism.
Gaius Petronius Arbiter, better known as Petronius, was a Roman author who lived during Nero’s reign. He was known for his satirical novel Satyricon, which reflected the Roman society of his time. Petronius’s noble birth aroused the jealousy of many. He apparently committed suicide after being accused of treason.
Best known for his detailed works on agriculture and farming, his 12-volume treatise De re rustica and the smaller De arboribus, Columella was a Roman soldier who later focused on farming at his multiple estates in Italy. He had previously also been a legal official in Syria.
Latin poet Claudian was noted as a panegyrist of Flavius Stilicho, the powerful military commander of Roman Emperor Honorius. Claudian’s oeuvre includes mainly poems for Honorius and Stilicho, and mythological-epic. His panegyrics addressed to Stilicho forms major source for events of Stilicho’s reign before 404. The unfinished epic, De raptu Proserpinae is considered the most significant non-political work of Claudian.
Byzantine author Theodore Prodromus is remembered for his prose and poetry. Also known as Poor Prodromus, he was initially a monk who went around for alms. He was well known during the reigns of John II Komnenos and Manuel I Komnenos. He was also known for his darks satirical tone in his works.
Ancient Roman poet Licinius Macer Calvus was also a leading orator who followed the Attic school. Often mentioned along with his poet friend Catullus, he also shared his poetic style with him. Unfortunately, only 20 fragments of his poems survive, including The Fragmentary Latin Poets.
Grammarian and poet Publius Valerius Cato of the Roman Republic was a leader of the Neoteric movement and one of the avant-garde Latin poets of the 1st century BCE who rejected conventional social and literary norms and turned away from classical Homeric epic poetry. Two notable works of Cato, who wrote several grammatical treatises and poems, include Lydia and Diana.
Augustan era Roman poet Albinovanus Pedo wrote many iconic works, such as an epic dedicated to Roman ruler Germanicus Caesar and several epigrams. However, the remains of his works have been reduced to a fragment preserved in the Suasoriae of Seneca the Elder. Some sources claim he was also a cavalry commander.