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date: 28 July 2021

Ausonius, Decimus Magnuslocked

Ausonius, Decimus Magnuslocked

  • Roger P. H. Green

Extract

Ausonius, Decimus Magnus, of Bordeaux, (*Burdigala), statesman, teacher, and writer, enjoyed one of the more meteoric careers of the 4th cent. ce. The son of a humble doctor, he taught grammar and rhetoric for 30 years before being appointed tutor of the emperor's son and heir and summoned to Trier (Augusta Treverorum) in the mid-360s. When in 375 Valentinian I died and *Gratian duly succeeded, Ausonius enjoyed a remarkable political ascendancy, placing family and friends in positions of influence and gaining for himself a praetorian prefecture and the consulship of 379. Most of his retirement he spent cultivating literary friendships in Aquitaine and writing poems which shed interesting light on his outlook and environment.His rather obscure politics have always attracted less attention than his writings, which apart from a panegyric of Gratian and a few of his letters and dedications, are all in verse. His longest and most famous poem is the Moselle, a lively and colourful description relatively untouched by contemporary tendencies to flatter or plagiarize.

Subjects

  • Latin Literature

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