Sulpicia I (fl. 1st c. BCE)

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Sulpicia I (fl. 1st c. bce)

Roman poet. Flourished in the 1st century bce.

Sulpicia I moved in the cultural circle surrounding the Roman M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus, patron of poets Ovid and Tibullus. There is some debate as to whether she was also his niece. Sulpicia authored six elegiac poems that survived with the works of Tibullus. According to An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers, although the poems total only 40 lines, they represent the sole example of work by the docta puellae (educated female companions of the elegists), and were greatly admired by modernist poet Ezra Pound. In these brief lines, Sulpicia I professes her love for a man named Cerinthus and boasts that her poetry made him love her. She also touched on other common love-related themes including infidelity and the pain of love.


Buck, Claire, ed. The Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature. NY: Prentice Hall, 1992.

Wilson, Katharina M., ed. An Encyclopedia of Continental Women Writers. Vol. 2. NY: Garland, 1991.

B. Kimberly Taylor , freelance writer, New York, New York

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Sulpicia I (fl. 1st c. BCE)

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