The chapter begins reflectively, with a consideration of why Claudian represented an ideal subject for early study, bearing as it did on matters of history as well as of literature. The author’s subsequent research on Claudian’s contemporaries and on other court poets refined and revised the early image of Claudian as propagandist. Modern assumptions about what propaganda is and how it works do not easily apply to the early period. The elite attachment to poetry was itself part of the way that governments tried to influence opinion. Claudian was able to perform at court and circulate written copies of his works, conveying his political opinions by enfolding them in his poetry. He was not a mouthpiece for Stilicho so much as a skilled poet who put his poetry at the service of his patron.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.