The earlier Sulpicia is the only known woman from Ancient Rome whose poetry survives to this day. She is said to have lived in the reign of Augustus and have been probably the daughter of Servius Sulpicius Rufus and a niece of Messalla, a politician and patron of literature. Her verses were preserved with those of Tibullus, and were for a long time attributed to him. They consist of six elegiac poems addressed to a lover called Cerinthus. Cerinthus was most likely a pseudonym, if not purely fictional; in the same style as Ovid's Corinna or Catullus' Lesbia. Cerinthus has sometimes been thought to refer to the Cornutus addressed by Tibullus in two of his Elegies.
For a long time many academics regarded Sulpicia as an amateur author, notable for nothing but her gender. Recently her work has come to be seen more as genuine literature, especially since the 1970s.
However, some scholars call into doubt the identification of the author of the Sulpicia elegies as a woman, arguing especially that the poems are too risqué for a Roman woman to have written.
It is now generally agreed that the poem (the manuscript of which was discovered in the monastery of Bobbio in 1493, but has long been lost) is not by Sulpicia, but is of much later date, probably the 5th century; according to some it is a 15th century production, and not identical with the Bobbio poem.
Poetry attributed to Sulpicia II: