chapter  4
Sulpicia
ByElizabeth Young
Pages 3

Although the poems ascribed to Sulpicia are not in any detectable chronological sequence, they do seem to show some evidence of a purposeful order: introduction to the affair and Sulpicia's intention to publicize it; her uncle plans a trip and Sulpicia wants to stay for her birthday; happiness at the cancellation of the trip; Cerinthus as an unfaithful lover; Sulpicia's illness and Cerinthus' indifference; Sulpicia's regret for not fully expressing her love. Sulpicia identifies herself as "Sulpicia, daughter of Servius" and was, by our best guesses, a niece of the literary patron M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus and daughter of Servius Sulpicius Rufus, cos. 51 b.c.e., a jurisconsult, friend of Caesar, and, according to Cicero, a man of noble character. In 1838 the German scholar Gruppe proposed that III 14–18 were written by Sulpicia, who names herself in III 16; later critics added III 13 on the basis of style.