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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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Rewriting Ausonius

Rewriting Ausonius

Chapter:
(p.252) 8 Rewriting Ausonius
Source:
The Poetics of Late Latin Literature
Author(s):

Scott McGill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199355631.003.0009

This chapter examines Ausonius’s treatment of revision in the prose prefaces to his poems. Ausonius refers both to his own revision of his work and to collaborative revision, in which he asks others to edit his poetry and, thus, to help him improve it. The concern is to examine how Ausonius uses the subject of revising his work to communicate to the addressees of his prefaces and to his readership. In every instance, Ausonius uses revision to strike a pose of modesty. Yet there is more to his treatment of the topic than this strategy for attracting the reader’s goodwill. When he communicates with Theodosius and his readership about his relationship with the emperor, or advertises his bond with his own son Hesperius, he effectively makes claims about his cultural and political standing and that of his family, and demonstrates that he belongs to an ideal textual community inhabited by the cultural elite.

Keywords:   Ausonius, Catullus, Drepanius Pacatus, Hesperius, Martial, paratext, revision, textual communities, Theodosius

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