The analysis of two proemial epigrams by Ausonius (Praef. 4 and 5), each of which dedicate to an illustrious personage a libellus of light poetry (probably a collection of epigrams that may have arrived, at least in part, in the larger corpus that has come down to us), reveals a sizeable debt to the Latin tradition of the short first-person poem, to Catullus and especially to Martial. The apostrophe to the book and the dialogue with it as intermediary between author and reader, the request for an addressee whose benevolence and critical judgment will assure the book protection and safety, are all motifs firmly established by the epigram of Martial taken up by Ausonius, who underscores this dependence through highly allusive language. However, it is precisely the considerable similarities that underscore the equally considerable divergences, and the point of contact with the model turns out to be substantially ambiguous, leading elsewhere. Thus, Ausonius’s disparagement of his own verse, though at times touched with irony, and his attitude of modesty are enormously emphasized and changed into a topos aimed at exalting the addressee, who takes on the role of judge, guarantor and editor of the work dedicated to him. The dialogue with the book and the importance given to its materiality find new variations in Ausonius, but they no longer serve the metaliterary discourse which identifies the genre; rather, they highlight the encomiastic element connected with a ‘patron’ of the same social elite, who will in turn bring prestige to the poet. Differently from Martial’s liber, which travels around Rome’s streets in contact with a variagated public, Ausonius’s seems familiar only with court circles, finding its raison d’être not in success with a wide public but in rites of courtesy among high-ranking personages.

Mattiacci, S. (2013). Livre et lecteurs dans les épigrammes d’Ausone: la trace (ambigüe) de Martial. In La renaissance de l’épigramme dans la latinité tardive (pp. 45-61). Paris : De Boccard.

Livre et lecteurs dans les épigrammes d’Ausone: la trace (ambigüe) de Martial

MATTIACCI, SILVIA
2013

Abstract

The analysis of two proemial epigrams by Ausonius (Praef. 4 and 5), each of which dedicate to an illustrious personage a libellus of light poetry (probably a collection of epigrams that may have arrived, at least in part, in the larger corpus that has come down to us), reveals a sizeable debt to the Latin tradition of the short first-person poem, to Catullus and especially to Martial. The apostrophe to the book and the dialogue with it as intermediary between author and reader, the request for an addressee whose benevolence and critical judgment will assure the book protection and safety, are all motifs firmly established by the epigram of Martial taken up by Ausonius, who underscores this dependence through highly allusive language. However, it is precisely the considerable similarities that underscore the equally considerable divergences, and the point of contact with the model turns out to be substantially ambiguous, leading elsewhere. Thus, Ausonius’s disparagement of his own verse, though at times touched with irony, and his attitude of modesty are enormously emphasized and changed into a topos aimed at exalting the addressee, who takes on the role of judge, guarantor and editor of the work dedicated to him. The dialogue with the book and the importance given to its materiality find new variations in Ausonius, but they no longer serve the metaliterary discourse which identifies the genre; rather, they highlight the encomiastic element connected with a ‘patron’ of the same social elite, who will in turn bring prestige to the poet. Differently from Martial’s liber, which travels around Rome’s streets in contact with a variagated public, Ausonius’s seems familiar only with court circles, finding its raison d’être not in success with a wide public but in rites of courtesy among high-ranking personages.
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Mattiacci, S. (2013). Livre et lecteurs dans les épigrammes d’Ausone: la trace (ambigüe) de Martial. In La renaissance de l’épigramme dans la latinité tardive (pp. 45-61). Paris : De Boccard.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/45887
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