© Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes 2007, originally published by Oxford University Press 2007.Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes Oxford University Press
Copyright The Columbia University PressThe Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. The Columbia University Press
Maecenas (Caius Maecenas) (mĬsē´nəs, mē–), d. 8 BC, Roman statesman and patron of letters. He was born (between 74 BC and 64 BC) into a wealthy family and was a trusted adviser of Octavian (Augustus), who employed Maecenas as his personal representative for various political missions. Later he retired and devoted all his time to his famous literary circle, which included Horace, Vergil, and Propertius. Although his friendship with Octavian became strained in later years, he bequeathed all his property to the emperor. To the great poets of his day he proved a friend and a munificent patron. His name is the symbol of the wealthy, generous patron of the arts.