In the conflict between Caesar and the Pompeian party Varro was more than once actively engaged. 17-20) Caesar tells how Varro, when legate in Spain along with Afranius and Petreius, lost his two legions without striking a blow, because the whole region where he was quartered joined the enemy.
He was permitted to spend in quiet study and in writing the last fifteen years of his life. In a passage quoted by Gellius, Varro himself, when over seventy years of age, estimated the number of " books " he had written at 490; but " book " here means, not merely such a work as was not subdivided into portions, but also a portion of a subdivided work.For example, the Menippean Satires numbered 150, and are all counted separately in Varro's estimate.In politics and war he followed Pompey's lead; but it is probable that he was discontented with the course on which his leader entered when the first triumvirate was formed, and he may thus have lost his chance of rising to the consulate.He actually ridiculed the coalition in a work entitled the Three-Headed Monster (Tpuaipavos in the Greek of Appian).Nevertheless he proceeded to Epirus before the battle of Pharsalia, and awaited the result at Dyrrachium in the company of Cicero and Cato.
Like Cicero, Varro received harsh treatment from Mark Antony after the Pompeian defeat.
The later years of the author's life were therefore even more fruitful than the earlier.
The complete catalogue may be roughly arranged under three heads - (1) belles lettres, (2) history and antiquities, (3) technical treatises on philosophy, law, grammar, mathematics, philology and other subjects.
Here he imbibed in his earlier years a good measure of the hardy simplicity and strong seriousness which the later Romans attributed to the men of the early republic - characteristics which were supposed to linger in the Sabine land after they had fled from the rest of Italy. Aelius Stilo, the first systematic student, critic and teacher of Latin philology and literature, and of the antiquities of Rome and Italy.
C.), Roman polymath and man of letters, was born at Reate in the Sabine country.
But the lighter works of Varro have perished almost to the last line, with the exception of numerous fragments of the Menippean Satires.