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The Poetics of Late Latin Literature$
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Jas' Elsner and Jesús Hernández Lobato

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199355631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199355631.001.0001

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Polymetry in Late Latin Poems

Polymetry in Late Latin Poems

Some Observations on Its Meaning and Functions

(p.100) 2 Polymetry in Late Latin Poems
The Poetics of Late Latin Literature

Franca Ela consolino

Oxford University Press

The Latin poetic output of Late Antiquity contains, in addition to polymetric collections, polymetric poems that combine different meters in a single work. Focusing on this particular development of late Latin poetics, this chapter explores the peculiar characteristics of these individual poems, and inquires into the possible meanings and implications of the recourse to polymetry. Most problematic are the reasons that may have inspired the choice of a given metre. In certain cases, literary genre can make this clear, as happens in Cyprianus Gallus’s heptateuchos and in Ennodius’s epithalamium of Maximus. The examination of polymetric poetry casts a brighter light on the relationship of the authors concerned, both with each other and with the rest of the Latin poetic tradition.

Keywords:   Ausonius, Cyprianus Gallus, de obitu Baebiani, Ennodius, heptateuchos, Hilary of Arles, Paulinus of Nola, poema coniugis ad uxorem, polymetric poems, Sidonius Apollinaris

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