GAIUS HELVIUS CINNA, Roman poet of the later Ciceronian age.
Suetonius, Valerius Maximus, Appian and Dio Cassius all state that, at Caesar's funeral, a certain Helvius Cinna was killed by mistake for Cornelius Cinna, the conspirator.
This points to the identity of Helvius Cinna the tribune with Helvius Cinna the poet.
The chief objection to this view is based upon two lines in the 9th eclogue of Virgil, supposed to have been written 41 or 40 B.C. Here reference is made to a certain Cinna, a poet of such importance that Virgil deprecates comparison with him; it is argued that the manner in which this Cinna, who could hardly have been any one but Helvius Cinna, is spoken of implies that he was then alive; if so, he could not have been killed in 44.
It has been suggested that it was really Cornelius, not Helvius Cinna, who was slain at Caesar's funeral, but this is not borne out by the authorities.