Who was Lucilius?

   Gaius Lucilius was a Roman author: born in Suessa, 180 B.C.; died in Naples, 103 B.C. He was grand-uncle to Pompey the Great on the maternal side. He served his first campaign against Numantia under Scipio Africanus, with whom he was very intimate. Lucilius is considered the inventor of the Roman satira, because he first gave it the form under which this kind of poetry was carried to perfection by Horace, Juvenal and Persius. His satires were superior, indeed, to the rude productions of Ennis and Pacuvius, but he in turn was surpassed by those who followed him. Horace compares him to a river which carries along precious dust mixed with useless rubbish. Of 30 books of satires which Lucilius wrote only 940 fragments have been preserved. In his lifetime these satires had an uncommon popularity.