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Canidia (gens)

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Canidia (gens)

The gens Canidia was a Roman family of the late Republic. It is best known from a single individual, Publius Canidius Crassus, consul suffectus in 40 B.C., and the chief general of Marcus Antonius. Canidia was also a sobriquet bestowed upon Gratidia, a Neapolitan perfumer (according to Pomponius Porphyrion) who had deserted the poet Horace. He primarily describes her in his fifth and seventeenth epodes, and the eighth satire of his first book of Satires; she is mentioned in passing at Epode 5, Satire 2.1 and Satire 2.8. The Palinodia in the sixteenth ode of the first book may potentially refer to Canidia, though she is not specifically named.[1]

Origin of the gens

The nomen Canidius may be derived from the Latin adjective canus or kanus, meaning "white" or "grey", which could refer to the color of a person's hair. This was certainly the association that Horace intended; Gratidia conveyed the idea of what was pleasing and agreeable, while Canidia was associated with grey hairs and old age.[2]

See also

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