Classics Ausonius
by
Roger Green
  • LAST MODIFIED: 25 February 2014
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0101

Introduction

Although the exact dates of his birth and death are not certain, Ausonius lived for almost the whole of the 4th century. He was heavily involved in teaching and imperial administration, as well as being a prolific poet. His poems are remarkably varied—in tone and topic, and in meter and genre. Many of them reflect, in various ways, the time he spent at court in Trier; many show a strong devotion to Bordeaux, where he was born and evidently lived until middle age, and where he spent his retirement. His rather fewer prose writings also vary greatly: his speech on attaining the consulship is necessarily grave, but a more intimate and lively style is seen in some of the numerous prose prefaces to his poems and in some of his letters. He sometimes uses Greek words and phrases, usually in a light-hearted way. In general, his work is valuable for the insight it gives into various aspects of Late Antiquity, for the ways in which Ausonius’s relations with various people of the time emerge, and for its copious and sensitive use of classical authors.

Reference Works

The following works include sections on Ausonius or offer useful or essential background. The fullest resource is the excellent study of Ausonius’s works in Herzog 1989. Heinen 1985 takes full and appreciative account of Ausonius and his evidence throughout the author’s fine study of the city of Trier. Browning in Kenney and Clausen 1982 gives a brief account of Ausonius’s poetry, which if not enthusiastic, improves upon derivative and dismissive treatments found in some earlier manuals and textbooks. In Cameron and Garnsey 1998 there is less than one page on Ausonius’s writings in the chapter on education and literary culture; the index of the work can be used to show how facets of Ausonius’s career contribute to our knowledge of the 4th century. There is a brief account of Ausonius, and one of Bordeaux—his homeland, in Bowersock, et al. 1999, both by H. Sivan. Goldberg 2016 contains a short, informative article on Ausonius. Jones 1973 is a very detailed guide to social and administrative systems of the period, providing the background material on the world in which Ausonius operated. Demandt 2007 refers to Ausonius frequently, in various sections, especially those on society, education, and religion.

  • Bowersock, G. W., Peter Brown, and Oleg Grabar, eds. 1999. Late Antiquity: A guide to the classical world. Cambridge, MA, and London: Belknap.

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    Eleven essays on important aspects of the period are followed by an encyclopedia, which includes an article on Ausonius by H. Sivan.

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    • Cameron, Averil, and Peter Garnsey, eds. 1998. The Cambridge ancient history. Vol. 13, The late empire, A.D. 337–425. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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      For the wider background of Late Antiquity. Chapter 22 (p. 665–707) covers education and literary culture.

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      • Demandt, Alexander. 2007. Die Spätantike: Römische Geschichte von Diocletian bis Justinian 284–563 n. Chr. Munich: Beck.

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        Masterful and comprehensive history of Late Antiquity, in which Ausonius is more prominent in the sections devoted to “Die Inneren Verhältnisse.”

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        • Heinen, Heinz. 1985. 2000 Jahre Trier. Vol. 1, Trier und das Trevererland in Römischer Zeit. Trier, Germany: Spee-Verlag.

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          Magisterial account of the city and its inhabitants.

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          • Herzog, Reinhart, ed. 1989. Handbuch der Lateinischen Literatur der Antike. Vol. 5, Restauration und Erneuerung 284–374 n. Chr. Munich: C. H. Beck.

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            This includes a first-class study of Ausonius by Peter Lebrecht Schmidt and Wolf-Lüder Liebermann, covering the text and his various writings. There is a very extensive bibliography.

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            • Goldberg, Sander, ed. 2016. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. Digital ed. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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              The latest edition of this authoritative reference work on the classical world. Originally published in 2012, Hornblower, Simon, Antony Spawforth, and Esther Eidinow, eds., theOxford Classical Dictionary, 4th ed. (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press).

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              • Jones, A. H. M. 1973. The later Roman Empire 284–602: A social economic and administrative survey. 2 vols. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

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                A still-indispensable guide to the workings of the later Roman Empire.

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                • Kenney, E. J., and W. V. Clausen, eds. 1982. The Cambridge history of classical literature. Vol. 2, Latin literature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                  The best single-volume scholarly survey of Latin literature. Part VI covers the Later Principate, including some useful pages by Robert Browning on Ausonius, “a poet of some stature” (pp. 698–704).

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                  Collections of Papers

                  Lossau 1991 offers a balanced and representative selection of high-quality articles on the poetic works, which will be listed in their appropriate places in other sections. Fontaine 1980 is a collection of papers by an authority on the Christian culture and literature of Late Antiquity as seen through Latin texts.

                  • Fontaine, Jacques. 1980. Études sur la poésie latine d’Ausone à Prudence: Recueil de travaux. Paris: Belles Lettres.

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                    Fontaine’s studies include numerous articles that touch on the wider cultural environment of Ausonius and the styles of his writing.

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                    • Lossau, Manfred Joachim, ed. 1991. Ausonius. Wege der Forschung 652. Darmstadt, Germany: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

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                      A valuable resource, with twenty items in all, including an introduction by Lossau and two original articles. Five of the articles have short and clearly signaled additional material, which will be mentioned below; some have been translated into German.

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                      Bibliographies

                      L’Année philologique contains the complete record of scholarship on Ausonius, with useful summaries of every item. Whitaker 1997– is useful for monographs up to 1980. Pastorino 1971 (cited under Critical Editions) provides an extensive bibliography in three parts: on criticism (in a wide sense); on biography, religion, and various matters; and on general works. Prete 1978 (also cited under Critical Editions) follows the first of these, adding a number of works on textual criticism. Herzog 1989 (cited under Reference Works) sets out full bibliographies, albeit in compacted fashion and in small print. The main bibliography of Green 1991 (cited under Critical Editions, pp. 729–753; also, for a select bibliography, see liii–lvi) aspired to include all material of value up to 1989, subject to the exceptions stated. Ezquerra 1991 is the fruit of the author’s translation of Ausonius’s works (see also Translations). Gruber 2006 continues this. Mondin 1994 was a response to the intense degree of scholarly activity on Ausonius in those years.

                      • L’Année philologique.

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                        The bibliography of record for the field of classical studies. In print since 1924 and available online.

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                        • Ezquerra, Antonio Alvar. 1991. Überblick über die neuesten Untersuchungen zu Ausonius. In Ausonius. Edited by Manfred Joachim Lossau, 446–462. Wege der Forschung 652. Darmstadt, Germany: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

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                          Though not claiming to be complete, this is a helpful critical and systematic bibliography for the years 1960–1989.

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                          • Gruber, Joachim. 2006. 16 Jahre Ausonius-Forschung 1989–2004: Ein Überblick. Gymnasium 113:359–382.

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                            This follows on from Ezquerra 1991. There is an online version available.

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                            • Mondin, Luca. 1994. Dieci anni di critica Ausoniana (1984–1993). Bollettino di Studi Latini 24:192–255.

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                              Responding to a period of what he calls “intense fervour” in Late Antique studies, this contribution by an outstanding Ausonius scholar discursively and penetratingly reviews more than one hundred contributions to the discussion and study of Ausonius’s text and works.

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                              • Whitaker, Graham. 1997–. A bibliographical guide to classical studies. Hildesheim, Germany: Olms-Weidmann.

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                                A catalogue of monographic publications on classical authors, covering the years 1873–1980.

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                                Biography

                                Chadwick 1955 is still useful and remains readable. Étienne 1962, a detailed survey of the city of Bordeaux now inevitably dated, includes an appendix on the life of Ausonius. Wightman 1970 sympathetically uses the evidence provided by Ausonius’s works written in or inspired by Trier. Honoré 1986 examines Ausonius’s possible contribution to law making as quaestor, and Coşkun 2001 develops this further. In Jones, et al. 1971, there is detailed evidence on the lives of Ausonius and the many other persons mentioned by him; this is amplified in important ways, and occasionally corrected, in Green 1978. Matthews 1975 is a study of social and political interaction in government, which sympathetically places Ausonius and his family and wider circle of compatriots in this context, implicitly countering earlier strictures on his apparent nepotism.

                                • Chadwick, Nora K. 1955. Poetry and letters in early Christian Gaul. London: Bowes and Bowes.

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                                  Literary essays by an expert on Gallic culture. Chapter 2, on Ausonius, covers a wide area in a small compass, including comments on the Druids that Ausonius mentions.

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                                  • Coşkun, Altay. 2001. Ausonius und die Spätantike Quaestur. Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte Romanistische Abteilung 118:312–343.

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                                    In this paper Coşkun seeks to overturn the widespread judgment that Ausonius, on the evidence available, could not have made a good quaestor. Appendices to the article make stylistic analyses of certain legal documents of these years, and refine the list of Honoré 1986.

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                                    • Étienne, Robert. 1962. Histoire de Bordeaux. Vol. 1, Bordeaux antique. Bordeaux, France: Fédération Historique du Sud-Ouest.

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                                      Excellent study of the city in the Roman period, with an appendix devoted to Ausonius.

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                                      • Green, R. P. H. 1978. Prosopographical notes on the family and friends of Ausonius. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 25:19–28.

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                                        Contains some new interpretations of the evidence, and a few corrections.

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                                        • Honoré, Tony. 1986. The making of the Theodosian Code. Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Romanistische Abteilung 103:133–222.

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                                          This paper detects the influence of Ausonius in certain constitutions from the years during which he was quaestor, on stylistic grounds.

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                                          • Jones, A. H. M., J. R. Martindale, and J. Morris, eds. 1971. The prosopography of the later Roman Empire. Vol. 1, A.D. 260–395. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                            Indispensable instrument of research, succinctly presenting the evidence for Ausonius and all those he names.

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                                            • Matthews, John. 1975. Western aristocracies and imperial court A.D. 364–425. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                              The third chapter of this important study charts and examines the ascendancy of Ausonius and places his rise to power in the wider context of developments in late Roman government.

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                                              • Wightman, Edith Mary. 1970. Roman Trier and the Treviri. London: Rupert Hart-Davis.

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                                                Scholarly and readable account of the Roman city and its environs, where Ausonius felt so much at home for almost two decades.

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                                                Family and Property

                                                Ausonius wrote copiously about members of his wider family, going back well into the 3rd century. Favez 1946, an attractive pioneering survey of the family, has been overtaken by more detailed studies. Sivan 1993, to some extent building on insights in Matthews 1975 (cited under Biography), reconstructs a “Gallic aristocracy” of the later 4th century. Coşkun 2002 helpfully collects and subjects to fuller analysis the evidence for Ausonius’s family in power, as well as setting out evidence for his involvement in political issues and, briefly, religious matters. Hopkins 1961 examines the data on Ausonius’s family and others, from the sociological and economic viewpoints, in a groundbreaking study. The various references to landed property in Ausonius are scrutinized in Grimal 1953, which concludes that there was only a single villa, variously described; responding to this, Loyen 1960 finds several.

                                                • Coşkun, Altay. 2002. Die gens Ausoniana an der Macht: Untersuchungen zu Decimius Magnus Ausonius und seiner Familie. Prosopographica et Genealogica 8. Oxford: Univ. of Oxford.

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                                                  A very thorough study of Ausonius’s career, government services, and probable policies under Gratian, and of relevant members of his family. There is also a discussion of Ausonius’s religion.

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                                                  • Favez, Charles. 1946. Une famille gallo-Romaine au ive siècle. Museum Helveticum 3:118–131.

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                                                    An accessible overview of the “Parentalia,” improving upon the older literature on the subject that it lists. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 11–33, in German translation, as “Eine Gallo-Romanische Familie des 4. Jahrhunderts.”

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                                                    • Grimal, Pierre. 1953. Les villas d’Ausone. Revue des Études Anciennes 55:113–125.

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                                                      Grimal expresses justified doubt about the value of archaeological and toponomastic evidence in attempts to identify where Ausonius lived. He contends that Ausonius refers to only a single villa, and that there is no need to postulate more.

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                                                      • Hopkins, M. K. 1961. Social mobility in the later Roman Empire: The evidence of Ausonius. Classical Quarterly 11:239–249.

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                                                        This outstanding article carefully analyses the “Parentalia” and “Professores” in social and economic terms. It also sheds valuable light on social mobility in the later Roman Empire and on the opinions of Ausonius.

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                                                        • Loyen, A. 1960. Bourg-sur-Gironde et les villas d’Ausone. Revue des Études Anciennes 62:113–126.

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                                                          Loyen identifies no fewer than five villas owned by Ausonius or his close family, and conjectures that there were two more in southwestern Gaul.

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                                                          • Sivan, Hagith. 1993. Ausonius of Bordeaux: Genesis of a Gallic aristocracy. London and New York: Routledge.

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                                                            An attractively written account of what may be called a Gallic aristocracy, and Ausonius’s rise to power and influence, with an estimate of his achievement.

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                                                            Religious Allegiance

                                                            See also Various Christian Poems. Scholarly opinion on this matter, perhaps more than any other, has seen great change since the early 19th century, reflecting not only varying expectations and experiences of Christianity in that time, but considerable variation in methodology. Mohrmann 1928 approaches the matter in the light of Christian Latin, analyzing the terminology used by Ausonius on Christian topics. Fontaine 1981, writing in the context of Christian Latin poetry, represents the once widely held view that Ausonius’s interest in Christianity is halfhearted. Green 1993 finds items of Christian practice and expression that are hardly consistent with an uncommitted Christian or a man essentially “pagan.” Amherdt 2006 examines various elements that point one way or the other, but the conclusion is disappointing. Skeb 2000 carefully notes the different contexts of relevant passages, and profiling the areas of religious experience as he sees them, finds Ausonius a Christian in some ways but not others. Cameron 2011 is an epoch-making study of “pagans,” which although not focusing closely on Ausonius, describes him as a “center-Christian,” to which category he adds many others, so that Ausonius seems no longer a singular and eccentric puzzle, but a person quite typical of his times.

                                                            • Amherdt, David. 2006. Ausone, rhétorique et christianisme. In Approches de la troisième sophistique: Hommages à Jacques Schamp. Edited by Eugenio Amato, Alexandre Roduit, and Martin Steinrück, 378–388. Collection Latomus 296. Brussels: Éditions Latomus.

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                                                              Amherdt usefully questions many of the solutions offered to the problem of describing Ausonius’s religious position, without finding any of them satisfactory. In fact Ausonius was a man of his time, a son of the Christian Empire with all its contradictions, hesitations, and questions.

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                                                              • Cameron, Alan. 2011. The last pagans of Rome. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                In this epoch-making book, Cameron looks critically at the evidence for committed pagans in the 4th century, and considerably reduces their number and virulence. With no apparent interest in pagan cult, but notable devotion to classical literature, Ausonius emerges as a typical member of a large category of “center-Christians.”

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                                                                • Fontaine, Jacques. 1981. Naissance de la poésie dans l’Occident Chrétien: Esquisse d’une histoire de la poésie latine chrétienne du iiie au vie siècle. Paris: Études Augustiniennes.

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                                                                  Ausonius receives less than half a chapter and his poems a rather pejorative epithet “mondaine.”

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                                                                  • Green, R. P. H. 1993. The Christianity of Ausonius. Paper presented at the Eleventh International Conference on Patristic Studies, held in Oxford, 1991. In Studia Patristica XXVIII. Edited by Elizabeth Livingstone, 39–48. Louvain, Belgium: Peeters.

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                                                                    Green considers some possible pointers to Ausonius’s allegiance, and makes a positive assessment of the nature and strength of his faith and knowledge as testified in certain poems. He also offers some significant “straws in the wind” that seem to reveal a depth of commitment.

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                                                                    • Mohrmann, Christine. 1928. Ausonius in zijn Verhouding tot het Christendom. Studia Catholica 4:364–391.

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                                                                      An expert on early Christian language examines Ausonius’s Christian vocabulary. It is that of an informed Christian, albeit one who may use poetic language. Continued in Studia Catholica 5:23–39.

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                                                                      • Skeb, Matthias. 2000. Subjectivität und Gottesbild: Die religiöse Mentalität des Decimus Magnus Ausonius. Hermes 128:327–352.

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                                                                        Skeb seeks a model that allows for both pagan and Christian elements in Ausonius, but does not simply ask, “pagan or Christian?” Analyzing the prayers of Ausonius, he finds a “transcendental” picture of God; in evidences of personal religion in the “Gratiarum Actio” and elsewhere, he detects the inner piety of an intellectual.

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                                                                        Teaching Activity

                                                                        Ausonius provides evidence of different kinds on this subject, with which he was intimately concerned (see also “Professores”). Booth 1982 studies the evidence of the “Professores” and reaches interesting conclusions about educational provision in Bordeaux; these are contested in Green 1985, which goes on to see evidence of the factionalism endemic in the ancient profession, and a possible impact on Ausonius’s own career. Hopkins 1961 includes the professors mentioned in Ausonius’s poem in the author’s illuminating study of social mobility (see also Family and Property). Kaster 1988 is a more broadly based collection and analysis of data on grammarians of the time, and the author gives an illuminating anatomy of the empire-wide profession.

                                                                        Critical Editions

                                                                        There is great diversity, much more than is usual in editions of a classical author, in the texts of Ausonius that are presented in modern editions. The order in which his works are presented varies considerably, and the diagnosis and signaling of works wrongly attributed to Ausonius has not always been incisive. The text of many poems is strongly debated, and this disagreement may extend to the configuration of an entire poem. The notion of multiple editions by or stemming directly from Ausonius himself is hotly disputed; in some cases it has been clearly misused. Many of the problems result from the nature of the transmission (see Transmission and Text): in a nutshell, there is great conflict between two often divergent “families” of manuscripts, which has proved no less intractable than the problems of Montagu Romeo and Capulet Juliet. All the editions mentioned here, and some editions of individual Works, attempt to describe the textual situation and to provide solutions to the problems that arise. Schenkl 1982 is an exact reprint of the 1883 edition, with a useful introduction but an overdose of textual information of minor or no importance. Peiper 1886 is still referred to, and need not be regarded as superseded by Prete 1978, which is not easy to use and has been criticized for a lack of judgment, both in its assessment of its copious assembly of manuscript evidence and in its reconstruction of Ausonius’s text. Pastorino 1971 has an extensive and useful introduction, notes on the text, footnotes to explain details, and an Italian translation. Green 1991 offers a critical text and a line-by-line commentary, with a general introduction and introductions to each poem or set of poems. Green 1999 presents a text and apparatus that are almost exactly the same as those in Green 1991.

                                                                        • Green, R. P. H. 1991. The works of Ausonius. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                          A newly established critical text with introduction, apparatus criticus, and detailed line-by line-commentary. Appendix A presents works that are certainly or possibly not authentic.

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                                                                          • Green, R. P. H. 1999. Ausonii opera. Oxford Classical Texts. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                            There are some very small changes from the text printed in Green 1991, mostly in the apparatus criticus.

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                                                                            • Pastorino, Agostino. 1971. Opere di Decimo Magno Ausonio. Classici Latini. Turin, Italy: Unione Tipografico-Editrice.

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                                                                              This text has a full and very useful introduction, an extensive nota critica on many matters of textual difficulty, brief explanatory footnotes to the text, and an Italian translation.

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                                                                              • Peiper, Rudolf. 1886. Decimi Magni Ausonii Burdigalensis opuscula. Leipzig: Teubner.

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                                                                                The introduction concentrates on the textual transmission, but also has a useful chronological list of Ausonius’s works. An appendix lists auctores et imitatores for each work.

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                                                                                • Prete, Sesto. 1978. Ausonius: Opuscula. Leipzig: Teubner.

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                                                                                  Not always an improvement on Peiper, but mentions and enumerates a very large number of manuscripts.

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                                                                                  • Schenkl, Karl. 1982. D. Magni Ausonii opuscula. Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Auctores Antiquissimi 2. Munich: Monumenta Germaniae Historica.

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                                                                                    This edition, originally published in 1883 and reprinted unchanged, has a good introduction on relevant matters, helpful provision of similar passages from other authors for comparison, and good indexes. Its versions of Ausonius’s text have worn quite well.

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                                                                                    Translations

                                                                                    Evelyn White 1985 (originally 1919) is a translation into somewhat stilted English of the complete works, minus some that he regarded as obscene and as such, unfitting. Ezquerra 1990, Dräger 2012, and Dräger 2011 offer translations of the entire works into Spanish and German, respectively. Harold Isbell (in Isbell 1965) chooses a small set to represent Ausonius in a wider anthology, and Dräger 2002 is a translation highlighting particularly attractive works, with notes. Many of the texts and commentaries include translations (see Works, passim).

                                                                                    • Dräger, Paul. 2002. D. Magnus Ausonius: Mosella Bissula Briefwechsel mit Paulinus Nolanus. Düsseldorf, Germany, and Zürich, Switzerland: Artemis & Winkler Verlag.

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                                                                                      Provides a text and German translation, with many notes, and an introduction, which is innovatively placed at the end of the book.

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                                                                                      • Dräger, Paul. 2011. Decimus Magnus Ausonius: Sämtliche Werke. Vol. 2, Triere Werke: Herausgegeben, übersetzt und kommentiert. Trier, Germany: Kliomedia.

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                                                                                        Along with Dräger 2012, offers the first annotated translation of the complete works into German.

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                                                                                        • Dräger, Paul. 2012. Decimus Magnus Ausonius: Sämtliche Werke. Vol. 1, (Auto-) biographische Werke: Herausgegeben, übersetzt und kommentiert. Trier, Germany: Kliomedia.

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                                                                                          Along with Dräger 2011, offers the first annotated translation of the complete works into German.

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                                                                                          • Evelyn White, Hugh G. 1985. Ausonius. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                                                            First published in 1919 and 1921 respectively, these volumes, which follow Peiper’s text, offer an English translation of most of the poems; its style is quite dated in places. There is an introduction and brief notes.

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                                                                                            • Ezquerra, Antonio Alvar. 1990. Décimo Magno Ausonio, Obras. 2 vols. Biblioteca Clásica Gredos 146–147. Madrid: Editorial Gredos.

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                                                                                              A Spanish translation with many useful notes, and an informative introduction.

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                                                                                              • Isbell, Harold. 1965. The last poets of Imperial Rome. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin.

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                                                                                                This sensitive translation includes “Bissula,” “Mosella,” “Cupido cruciatus,” and the poem of uncertain authorship, “De rosis nascentibus” (“On Freshly Blooming Roses”).

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                                                                                                Transmission and Text

                                                                                                Reeve 1983 gives a masterful account of the manuscripts and their relationships; Schmidt 1989 provides a detailed history of the text; Mondin 1993 responds to Green 1991 (cited under Critical Editions). Shackleton Bailey 1976 represents an outstanding example out of the many articles devoted to the emendation of the text.

                                                                                                • Mondin, Luca. 1993. Storia e critica del testo di Ausonio a proposito di una recente edizione. Bollettino di Studi 23:59–96.

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                                                                                                  A clear presentation of the manifold problems, responding to Green 1991 (cited under Critical Editions).

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                                                                                                  • Reeve, M. D. 1983. Ausonius. In Texts and transmission. Edited by L. D. Reynolds, 26–28. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                                    A succinct and authoritative account of the matter, briefer and surer than many attempts.

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                                                                                                    • Schmidt, P. L. 1989. D. Magnus Ausonius: Text- und Überlieferungsgeschichte. In Handbuch der lateinischen Literatur der Antike. Vol. 5, Restauration und Erneuerung 284–374 n. Chr. Edited by Reinhart Herzog, 268–277. Munich: C. H. Beck.

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                                                                                                      A detailed account of the transmission and of the attempts to establish the text since Peiper, with full bibliography and a concordance of the position and numbering of each poem in the various editions.

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                                                                                                      • Shackleton Bailey, D. R. 1976. Ausoniana. American Journal of Philology 97:248–261.

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                                                                                                        One of the most useful of the many articles that have presented large collections of emendations over the years.

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                                                                                                        Works

                                                                                                        The works of Ausonius with relevant works of criticism are listed here in alphabetical order, using their Latin titles (as in Green 1991, cited under Critical Editions; concordances to other editions, which seldom differ as far as the works’ titles are concerned, may be found there). At the end of the list are four sections that deal with other works, namely Dedicatory Pieces, Poems in or from the Greek, Various Christian Poems, and Various Personal Poems.

                                                                                                        “Bissula”

                                                                                                        “Bissula” is an attractive set of six varied epigrams, probably incomplete in their transmitted form, on a slave-girl acquired by the poet in Roman warfare across the Rhine. Della Corte 1977 briefly identifies various topics of interest. Dräger 2002 offers a lively translation with notes. Heinen 1995 concentrates on Ausonius’s relation to the “barbarian” and suggests various literary affiliations. Szelest 1988 is principally concerned with detecting models for this unusual work.

                                                                                                        • Della Corte, Francesco. 1977. “Bissula.” Romanobarbarica 2:17–25.

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                                                                                                          Makes various points of linguistic, social, and historical interest, pointing out the apparent philanthropy toward the “barbarian” and the military context of the poem. Cites various comparable motifs in Greek epigram. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 44–52, in German translation with the same title.

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                                                                                                          • Dräger, Paul. 2002. D. Magnus Ausonius: Mosella Bissula Briefwechsel mit Paulinus Nolanus. Düsseldorf, Germany, and Zürich, Switzerland: Artemis & Winkler Verlag.

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                                                                                                            This includes useful notes on “Bissula.”

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                                                                                                            • Heinen, Heinz. 1995. Die “Bissula” des Ausonius oder die Kunst der Romanisierung. In Historische Interpretationen Gerold Walser zum 75 Geburtstag dargebracht von Freunden, Kollegen und Schülern. Historia Einzelschriften 100. Edited by Marlis Weinmann-Walser, 81–96. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.

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                                                                                                              This paper investigates the status of the captive Bissula and Ausonius’s picture of her race. The apparent concern for her education resembles the theme of the musical My Fair Lady, and G. B. Shaw’s Pygmalion, and Heinen also links the poem with the Pygmalion of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

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                                                                                                              • Szelest, Hanna. 1988. Die Sammlung “Bissula” des Ausonius. Eos 76:81–86.

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                                                                                                                A survey of the poems that identifies poetic models, especially Martial.

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                                                                                                                “Caesares”

                                                                                                                This collection as transmitted comprises three sets of monostichs and twenty-four tetrastichs, which sum up the emperors from Julius Caesar to Elagabalus. Green 1999 points to evidence that later emperors were originally present in the sequence. Green 1981 sheds light on the value of this set for the historian.

                                                                                                                “Cento Nuptialis”

                                                                                                                “Cento Nuptialis” is an epithalamium in the form of a Vergilian cento and with the Vergilian vocabulary almost totally unchanged. It is natural to compare it in formal terms with the strongly Christian cento of Proba, also of the 4th century. Pollmann 2004 discusses the centonizing technique of the poem, looking back to Petronius and forward to Genette. Moretti 2008 compares the work with the cento of Proba (and also the earlier one of Hosidius Geta), and decides that Proba wrote before Ausonius. Adams 1981 explains in commentary form and in full detail how Ausonius applies Vergilian vocabulary to the sexual narrative in the last section, and also gives parallels from other sources of sexual vocabulary.

                                                                                                                • Adams, J. N. 1981. Ausonius Cento Nuptialis 101–131. Studi Italiani di Filologia Classica 53:199–215.

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                                                                                                                  A line-by-line study of the “obscene twists” made to the vocabulary of Vergil in these lines.

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                                                                                                                  • Moretti, Paola Francesca. 2008. Proba e il “Cento Nuptialis” di Ausonio. In “Debita dona”: Studi in onore di Isabella Gualandri. Edited by Paola Francesca Moretti, 317–347. Naples, Italy: D’Auria.

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                                                                                                                    This compares the use of Vergil in Proba and Ausonius, and from some coincidences, concludes that Proba wrote her cento first.

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                                                                                                                    • Pollmann, Karla. 2004. Sex and salvation in the Vergilian Cento of the fourth century. In Romane memento: Vergil in the fourth century. Edited by Roger Rees, 79–96. London: Duckworth.

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                                                                                                                      In the pages on Ausonius, Pollmann shows how he uses essentially the same techniques that Petronius had done before him. The relation of the contrasting final section of the Cento with what precedes can be described using Genette’s terminology of transformation and transposition.

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                                                                                                                      “Cupido Cruciatus”

                                                                                                                      The poem presents a vivid story of Cupid’s torture by mythological heroines, as evidently pictured in a wall painting in Trier. Fauth 1974, after commenting on the work’s poetic qualities, seeks to capture its origins and meaning through careful comparisons with earlier literature and art, assuming that, as the author’s preface suggests, Ausonius describes an actual picture. Mondin 2005 argues that the poem does not describe a real picture, but is a literary construct. Gindhart 2006 sees the poem as parodic, as prefigured by the generic allusions of its preface. Rees 2011 directs attention to questions of visual and literary representation in several epigrams of Ausonius, and studies the relation between the preface of Cupid and the (ostensible) ekphrasis in the poem. Vannucci 1989 adds Statius to the roll call of influences (Vergil and Ovid are prominent), and shows how Ausonius uses a particular passage. Franzoi 2002 is an edition of the text with translation and line-by-line commentary.

                                                                                                                      • Fauth, Wolfgang. 1974. “Cupido Cruciatur.” Grazer Beiträge 2:39–60.

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                                                                                                                        This detailed study of the poem interprets it as a mythological presentation of a late Hellenistic initiation scene. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 376–401, with a short addition.

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                                                                                                                        • Franzoi, Alessandro. 2002. Cupido messo in croce. Naples, Italy: Loffredo.

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                                                                                                                          A compact but generously informative edition, with text and commentary.

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                                                                                                                          • Gindhart, Marion. 2006. “Evolat ad superos portaque evadit eburna”: Intertextuelle Strategien und Virgilparodie im “Cupido Cruciatus” des Ausonius. Rheinisches Museum 149:369–385.

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                                                                                                                            Allusions to comedy and satire in the prose introduction signal intertextual games that the poem will make with the reader. With Cupid here replacing Vergil’s Aeneas, the tone is one of parody.

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                                                                                                                            • Mondin, Luca. 2005. Genesi del “Cupido Cruciatus.” Lexis 23:339–372.

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                                                                                                                              Mondin argues that the poem should not be seen as an ekphrasis, but analyzed as a rewriting of Vergil interpreted in a Platonizing way.

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                                                                                                                              • Rees, Roger. 2011. Nailing down the poet: Ausonius’ “Cupid Crucified.” In Ratio et Res Ipsa: Classical essays presented by former pupils to James Diggle on his retirement. Edited by Paul Millett, S. P. Oakley, and R. J. E. Thompson, 135–150. Cambridge Classical Journal, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society: Supplementary Volume 36. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Philological Society.

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                                                                                                                                This investigates the relationships between visual and literary representation, and focuses on a mismatch between the prose preface, which suggests that a Vergilian ekphrasis is to come, and on “disobedient” aspects of the poem itself that defeat that expectation.

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                                                                                                                                • Vannucci, Laura. 1989. Ausonio fra Virgilio e Stazio: A proposito dei modelli poetici del “Cupido Cruciatus.” Atene e Roma 34:39–54.

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                                                                                                                                  This article puts forward Statius’s claims as a source, in addition to Vergil and Ovid, and draws attention to the irony of Ausonius in his use of a grave and tragic passage.

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                                                                                                                                  Eclogae

                                                                                                                                  Eclogae are a varied and rather loose collection of “eclogues” in the common Late Antique sense of short poems. It is not certain how many poems, or exactly which ones, were in Ausonius’s set or sets of eclogae, and some of the twenty-five in Green 1991 (cited under Critical Editions) are printed separately by other editors, including the longer and more popular ones. Koster 1974 comments on the whole of Eclogue 20 Green, but pays particular attention to Ausonius’s treatment of the philosophical practice of self-examination. Schmidt 1971 pursues a rather less common philosophical theme, and pins down an exact source for Ausonius’s treatment of it in Eclogue 24 Green.

                                                                                                                                  • Koster, Severin. 1974. Vir bonus et sapiens (Ausonius 363p. 90P.). Hermes 102:590–619.

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                                                                                                                                    A valuable study of the poem’s linguistic and stylistic aspects as well as the philosophical background. It emerges that Ausonius treats the theme of moral self-examination with a lightness of touch that is typical of him. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 304–343.

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                                                                                                                                    • Schmidt, Ernst Günther. 1971. Das Gedicht des Ausonius de ratione librae und der Isorrhopie-Gedanke. In Isonomia: Studien zur Gleichheitsvorstellung im griechischen Denken. Edited by Jürgen Mau and Ernst Günther Schmidt, 111–128. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

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                                                                                                                                      A study of the notion of cosmic equilibrium prominent in this poem; Schmidt concludes that his source was not a Greek philosopher but the Roman Varro. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 421–445, with brief addition in note 69.

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                                                                                                                                      Ephemeris

                                                                                                                                      Ephemeris is a set of attractively varied poems describing the poet’s “Daily Round.” It includes a long “Oratio,” which will be considered also in the section on Various Christian Poems, a short epigram on his stenographer (not included by all editors in this set), and a now incomplete poem on dreams. Pucci 2009 seeks to establish a close relationship between the ancient colloquium on educational matters that is carefully edited and contextualized in Dionisotti 1982 and Ausonius’s sequence of poems. Koster 1991 concentrates interestingly on the extended epigram on the stenographer. Mondin 1991 rebuts the suggestion that a passage in the poem on dreams was not an original part of it.

                                                                                                                                      • Dionisotti, A. C. 1982. From Ausonius’ schooldays? A schoolbook and its relatives. Journal of Roman Studies 72:83–125.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/299118Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        The writer shows that a newly identified colloquium has significant similarities in content to Ausonius’s Ephemeris, and suggests that it stems from the same milieu.

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                                                                                                                                        • Koster, Severin. 1991. “Der Stenograph des Ausonius (Auson. P. 146 p. 12 Peiper).” In Ausonius. Edited by Manfred Joachim Lossau, 402–420. Darmstadt, Germany: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

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                                                                                                                                          After referring to earlier poems on this theme, the paper proceeds to a close reading of the poem, and concludes that Ausonius’s sympathy with his scribe suggests a degree of Christian feeling. In Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 402–420.

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                                                                                                                                          • Mondin, Luca. 1991. I sogni di Ausonio: Nota al testo dell’Ephemeris. Prometheus 17:34–54.

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                                                                                                                                            An article that persuasively answers an attempt to excise a major part of this poem as interpolated.

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                                                                                                                                            • Pucci, Joseph. 2009. Ausonius’ Ephemeris and the “Hermeneumata” tradition. Classical Philology 104:50–68.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1086/603571Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              This paper seeks to make the Ephemeris a close fit with the work described in Dionisotti 1982, a task that requires considerable liberties to be taken with the manuscripts’ text.

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                                                                                                                                              Epigrammata

                                                                                                                                              Ausonius is an important contributor to the ancient epigram tradition. Well over one hundred epigrams by him have been transmitted, in ways reflected in the varying arrangements and numberings by editors. The subset of epigrams from the Greek has attracted much scholarly attention. Kay 2001 is a first-rate commentary on the whole collection, with Latin text and introduction. Benedetti 1980 carefully analyzes the epigrams that are translated from or modeled on Greek epigrams. Lossau 1973 scrutinizes the artistry of a particular Greek-inspired epigram. Szelest 1976 discusses the numerous epigrams based on mockery or the ridicule of individuals.

                                                                                                                                              • Benedetti, Fabrizio. 1980. La Tecnica del “vertere” negli Epigrammi di Ausonio. Academia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere “La Columbaria” Studi 56. Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore.

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                                                                                                                                                A detailed and well-presented study of the epigrams from the point of view of their actual or presumed sources, which are in many cases Greek. There is also a chapter on their relation to certain Latin epigrams contemporary with Ausonius’s work.

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                                                                                                                                                • Kay, N. M. 2001. Ausonius: Epigrams. London: Duckworth.

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                                                                                                                                                  This is a first-rate commentary, wide ranging, informative, and incisive. There is a Latin text, a full bibliography, and an introduction that discusses (a) Ausonius and the epigrammatic tradition, and (b) Ausonius’s life and the date of the epigrams.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Lossau, Manfred Joachim. 1973. Quod nobis superest ignobilis oti: Zur Παιδικὴ Μοῦσα des Ausonius. In Verführung zur Geschichte: Festschrift zum 500; Jahrgang einer Üniversität in Trier; 1473, 1973. Edited by Georg Droege, 20–34. Trier, West Germany: NCO Verlag.

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                                                                                                                                                    A close study of a single epigram on a sexual theme, noting in particular its choice between two existing Greek models and its careful attention to pointe. In Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 283–303.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Szelest, Hanna. 1976. Die Spottepigramme des Ausonius. Eos 76:81–86.

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                                                                                                                                                      In this category of “mocking” epigrams, about one quarter of the whole, the majority are free imitations of Greek epigrams; only two are modeled on the Greek anthology, and no Martial is found.

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                                                                                                                                                      Epistulae

                                                                                                                                                      More than twenty letters of Ausonius survive, some in prose but most in verse (with some in both). Their number is variously computed, and the numbering differs. Of these, the letters to Paulinus of Nola, along with his replies, have attracted the most attention. Mondin 1995 is a full and illuminating commentary on the whole collection of letters, with an introduction that includes a study of the transmission, and a carefully constituted text. Green 1980 is a readable overview of the letters and their various addressees. Bowersock 1986 is helpful on the letters to (and from) Symmachus. Szelest 1996 focuses on the literary form of the letter to Petronius Probus. There is a great variety of work on the letters exchanged with Paulinus. Amherdt 2004 is a commentary with introduction, text, translation, and notes, which brings out the viewpoints of each correspondent and their views on the role of poetry. Rücker 2012 brings to the commentary a productive concern for literary form, including intertextuality. Dräger 2002 includes these letters in the author’s translation (cited under Translations; also cited under “Bissula”). Knight 2005 applies new methods to criticism of the letters, with interesting results.

                                                                                                                                                      • Amherdt, David. 2004. Ausone et Paulin de Nole: Correspondance. Berne, Switzerland: Lang.

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                                                                                                                                                        Following a useful introduction on the correspondence, this edition offers a text with French translation and notes at the foot of the page.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Bowersock, G. W. 1986. Symmachus and Ausonius. In Colloque genevois sur Symmaque. Edited by F. Paschoud, 1–15. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

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                                                                                                                                                          The correspondence between Ausonius and Symmachus is part of Bowersock’s narrative of their political activity.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Green, R. P. H. 1980. The correspondence of Ausonius. Antiquité Classique 49:191–211.

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                                                                                                                                                            A general survey of the functions, personalities, and topics of the letters. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 353–375.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Knight, Gillian R. 2005. Friendship and erotics in the late antique verse-epistle: Ausonius to Paulinus revisited. Rheinisches Museum 148:361–403.

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                                                                                                                                                              Working through each of the relevant letters, this challenging paper detects and expounds a dual affiliation to epistolarity and to erotic verse. Ausonius may not have convinced Paulinus, but these letters are a high point in Late Antique writing.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Mondin, Luca. 1995. Decimo Magno Ausonio: Epistole. Venice: Il Cardo.

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                                                                                                                                                                A comprehensive and very detailed commentary on all the letters, with Latin text and an introduction that is divided between a general introduction to the correspondence and an original study of problems raised by the textual transmission, especially with regard to the final letter sent to Paulinus. This edition is a work of high quality.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Rücker, Nils. 2012. Ausonius an Paulinus von Nola: Textgeschichte und literarische Form der Briefgedichte 21 und 22 des Decimus Magnus Ausonius. Hypomnemata 190. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

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                                                                                                                                                                  A notable feature is the stress on the literary features of the work—similarities from Ovid’s letters from exile and from Vergil are especially highlighted—with a corresponding move away from the psychological approach.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Szelest, Hanna. 1996. Perge o libelle Sirmium. Rheinisches Museum 139:334–343.

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                                                                                                                                                                    This paper demonstrates that the letter differs in two ways from the traditional pattern of the address to one’s letter or book: the work addressed is not his own, and the addressee is highly praised.

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                                                                                                                                                                    “Fasti”

                                                                                                                                                                    All that remains of this enigmatic work are four short poems; reconstructing it is the focus of both Coşkun 2002 and Green 1999.

                                                                                                                                                                    • Coşkun, Altay. 2002. Die sogenannte “Fasti” und der “consularis libri” des Ausonius: Mit einem Exkurs zur Karriere des Proculus Gregorius. Philologus 46:350–359.

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                                                                                                                                                                      On the “Fasti” and the lost consularis liber, and their date, which is also relevant to the career of Proculus Gregorius.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Green R. P. H. 1999. Ausonius’ Fasti and Caesares revisited. Classical Quarterly 49:573–578.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1093/cq/49.2.573Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        This makes various clarifications regarding the “Fasti,” and brings to bear some late mediaeval evidence.

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                                                                                                                                                                        “Gratiarum Actio”

                                                                                                                                                                        In this long speech, Ausonius thanks the emperor Gratian for his elevation to the consulship. In spite of, or perhaps because of, its length, it has been little studied, as may be seen even in MacCormack 1975. Lolli 2006 draws attention to the treatment of the two main personages of the speech, the elderly teacher and the young emperor.

                                                                                                                                                                        • Lolli, Massimo. 2006. Ausonius: Die “Gratiarum Actio ad Gratianum imperatorem” und “De maiestatis laudibus”; Lobrede auf den Herrscher oder auf dem Lehrer? Latomus 65:707–726.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Concludes that Ausonius is no less concerned with praising his own accomplishments than those of the emperor.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • MacCormack, Sabine. 1975. Latin prose panegyrics. In Empire and aftermath: Silver Latin II. Edited by T. A. Dorey, 145–205. London and Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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                                                                                                                                                                            In this wide-ranging narrative of centuries of Latin prose panegyric, there are some short but enlightening comments on Ausonius’s place in the tradition.

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                                                                                                                                                                            “Griphus Ternarii Numeri”

                                                                                                                                                                            This poem is a tapestry of threefold things, compactly expressed. Most study of it has concerned particular details, as seen in Hernández 2007.

                                                                                                                                                                            • Hernández, Lobato Jésus. 2007. Ausonio ante el enigma del número tres: Política y poética en el “Griphus.” In Munus quaesitum meritis: Homenaje C. Codoñer. Edited by Gregorio Hinojo Andrés and José Carlos Fernández Corte, 455–462. Estudios Filólogos 316. Salamanca, Spain: Universidád de Salamanca.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Strikingly absent from this miscellany are the three Augusti, with whom Ausonius was closely associated; this may in some sense be the solution to the “riddle.”

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                                                                                                                                                                              “Ludus Septem Sapientum”

                                                                                                                                                                              A very simple playlet in which each of the Seven Wise Men introduces and comments upon the saying attributed to him. Its lack of dramatic sophistication, its attempt to imitate Plautus and Terence in language and meter, and the commonplace nature of the topic have all evidently limited its appeal to interpreters and critics. Leo 1896 is a review almost as long as Brandes 1895, the work reviewed.

                                                                                                                                                                              “Mosella”

                                                                                                                                                                              “Mosella” is the longest and best known of Ausonius’s poems. It has attracted attention from a mixture of aesthetic, stylistic, and historical angles. Some modern works listed under Intertextuality refer principally to this poem. Hosius 1967 is a compact and useful commentary. Gruber 2013 has an up-to-date critical text and a much fuller and informative commentary. Cavarzere 2003 gives text, Italian translation, and full and frequent annotation that cover a wide range. Tränkle 1974 is a manifold and valuable contribution to the textual criticism; it is by no means the only such contribution, but one of the best. Posani 1962 examines the use of allusion and imitation, and their significant contribution to the poem. There has been much discussion of the work’s aims and varied valuations of the poet’s descriptions of the river and its banks. Ternes 1970 compares the idyllic descriptions of the Moselle and its valley with the picture that might be inferred from historical and archaeological sources, and draws some challenging conclusions. Kenney 1984 allows for the propagandist nature of the poem, and also compares descriptive passages from Vergil, Ovid, and Pliny the Younger, but commends the poem for its fresh presentation of the natural world. Roberts 1984 detects and exemplifies a new theme in the “Moselle,” which may at one point be intended to convey important political advice. Schröder 1998 contends that it is solely the river, and not the emperors or the state, that is the recipient of the poem’s praise. Some modern works listed under Intertextuality refer principally to this poem. See also Style, Meter, and Poetics.

                                                                                                                                                                              • Cavarzere, Alberto. 2003. Decimo Magno Ausonio: MOSELLA; Introduzione, testo, traduzione e commento; Con una appendice di Luca Mondin su La data di pubblicazione della Mosella. Amsterdam: Adolf M. Hakkert.

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                                                                                                                                                                                An edition with introduction, text, Italian translation, and a detailed line-by-line commentary that cites parallel passages copiously. The appendix studies anew the date of the poem, rejecting some recent suggestions and reviving an older one about the identity of an unnamed office-bearer whom Ausonius praises very highly.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Gruber, Joachim. 2013. D. Magnus Ausonius, “Mosella”: Kritische Ausgabe, Übersetzung, Kommentar. Texte und Kommentare 42. Berlin and Boston: de Gruyter.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1515/9783110309331Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  The ample commentary includes comments on the detail of linguistic usage, a full treatment of its contents, and a discussion of the historical situation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hosius, Carl. 1967. Die Moselgedichte des Decimus Magnus Ausonius und des Venantius Fortunatus. Hildesheim, West Germany: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    A good edition, though now outdated (there are prior editions, 1894 and 1926), with concise but valuable notes on various matters.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kenney, E. J. 1984. The Mosella of Ausonius. Greece and Rome 31:190–202.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/S0017383500028576Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      An examination of the poem that concentrates particularly on Ausonius’s use of Virgil, Statius, and Pliny the Younger.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Posani, M. R. 1962. Reminiscenze di poeti latini nella “Mosella” di Ausonio. Studi Italiani di Filologia Classica 34:31–69.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        The allusions in the “Mosella” go far beyond specific imitation, and the evocation of the ancient world is one of the most important motifs of the poem.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Roberts, Michael. 1984. The “Mosella” of Ausonius: An interpretation. Transactions of the American Philological Association 114:343–353.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.2307/284156Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Roberts shows that a major concern of the poem is the violation of boundaries, both vertical and horizontal. Ausonius’s apparent concern about the Rhine frontier shows serious reservations about Roman policy. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 250–264.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Schröder, Stephan. 1998. Das Lob des Flusses als strukturierendes Moment im Moselgedicht des Ausonius. Rheinisches Museum 141:341–369.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            The poem is not a descriptive ekphrasis, but an encomium of the river, as many passages show; nor is it a political poem.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • Ternes, Charles Marie. 1970. Passage réel et coulisse idyllique dans la “Moselle” d’Ausone. Revue des Études Latines 48:376–397.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Ternes stresses the idyllic and propagandist element in the poem, and wonders if the poet is entirely serious in some of the more far-fetched episodes. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 176–200, in German translation and with short addition, as “Landschaft und Idylle in der ‘Mosella’ des Ausonius.”

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Tränkle, Hermann. 1974. Zur Textkritik und Erklärung von Ausonius’ Mosella. Museum Helveticum 31:155–168.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                The emendations suggested in this paper are put forward with careful regard to the sense and style of the passages involved. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 229–249, with a small addition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                “Ordo Urbium Nobilium”

                                                                                                                                                                                                “Ordo Urbium Nobilium” is a collection of short poems describing from various aspects many of the cities of the Roman Empire, beginning with a single line on Rome and climaxing with a longer encomium of Bordeaux. Di Salvo 2000 is a useful edition, with good introduction, translation, and notes. Szelest 1987 brings out the variety of the component poems and discusses the literary form. Gindhart 2008 reveals complexity in the ordering of the Ordo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • di Salvo, Lucia. 2000. Ausonio: Ordo Urbium Nobilium. Naples, Italy: Loffredo Editore.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  This commentary has a lengthy introduction, much of it on the manuscript tradition, and detailed line-by-line notes in which the citation of parallel passages preponderates.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gindhart, Marion. 2008. Lineare und interactive Ordnung: Zur Inszenierung der Städte und ihres Rombezuges in “Ordo Nobilium Urbium” of Ausonius. Jahrbuch für Antike und Christentum 51:68–81.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    This study draws attention to the interconnections of various poems and a pattern of contrasts. The “order” is not a simple one.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Szelest, Hanna. 1987. Die Sammlung “Ordo Urbium Nobilium” des Ausonius und ihre literarische Tradition. Eos 61:109–122.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Description of the “Ordo,” showing the variety of elements that are highlighted. There are literary precedents for some of the details, but Ausonius has created a new kind of poem. Also in Lossau, 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 265–282.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      “Parentalia”

                                                                                                                                                                                                      “Parentalia” is a set of thirty poems commemorating deceased relatives of the poet, which cover more than a century and include some that he barely knew. Lolli 1997 is a useful edition, with good introduction, translation, and notes. Consolino 1977 considers various general aspects of the literary horizons of this set of poems. The “Parentalia” is one of the main areas to which Hopkins 1961 (see also Family and Property) applies the author’s (i.e., Hopkins’s) social and economic analysis. Guastella 1980 conducts an illuminating anthropological analysis of the individual descriptions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consolino, Franca Ela. 1977. Al limite della tarda antichitá: I Parentalia di Ausonio. Studi Classici e Orientali 26:105–127.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        An analysis of such matters as Ausonius’s relations with his public, his attachment to previous literary tradition, and his personal contribution to Latin literature.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Guastella, G. 1980. I Parentalia come testo antropologico: L’avunculato del mondo celtico e nella famiglia di Ausonio. Materiali e Discussioni per l’Analisi dei Testi Classici 4:97–124.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maternal uncles, especially as teachers, are often mentioned, and are perhaps part of the Celtic heritage.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hopkins, M. K. 1961. Social mobility in the later Roman Empire: The evidence of Ausonius. Classical Quarterly 11:239–249.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/S0009838800015548Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The analysis of the “Parentalia” in this article sheds valuable light on the circumstances of the family and also on the opinions of Ausonius.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Lolli, Massimo. 1997. Collection Latomus 232. Brussels: Latomus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              This work of Ausonius is a pioneering study of some originality, perhaps undertaken from a sense of obligation on his father’s death.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              “Professores”

                                                                                                                                                                                                              “Professores” is a set of twenty-six poems in various meters commemorating deceased teachers of grammar and rhetoric that Ausonius knew or of whom he had heard. Bajoni 1996 is a useful edition, with good introduction, translation, and notes. In Hopkins 1961 (see also Teaching Activity), this poem yields invaluable information on social mobility.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Bajoni, Maria Grazia. 1996. Professore a Bordeaux: Commemoratio Professorum Burdigalensium. Florence: Le Lettere Editore.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Text, translation, and notes, as well as an introduction that among other things discusses rhetoric in Gaul and the genre of commemoration.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hopkins, M. K. 1961. Social mobility in the later Roman Empire: The evidence of Ausonius. Classical Quarterly 11:239–249.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The light shed on social mobility by this article remains an important contribution to the ongoing understanding of the later Roman Empire, as well as highlighting this unusual monument to a teacher’s pietas.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “Protrepticus”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This poem, often used as a quarry of data on Roman education, is ostensibly addressed to a grandson, urging him to undergo the trials of education bravely. Amherdt 2010 sees the poem as addressed to the Gallo-Roman aristocracy at large, and as conveying “a very serious message in a funny and charming way.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Amherdt, David. 2010. Le Protrepticus ad nepotem d’Ausone: Rhétorique et humeur, ou Ausone est-il sérieux? Mnemosyne 63:43–60.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The writer’s view of the poem, and his enthusiasm, may be typified by phrases such as “un véritable feu d’artifice littéraire,” and “une véritable fête intellectuelle.”

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Technopaegnion”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All the lines in this tour de force end in a monosyllable. The content of the piece is notable in various ways, while the problems raised by the manuscript evidence are among the most intractable in Ausonius. Mondin 1999 is devoted to these problems. Di Giovine 1996 is a valuable edition, with introduction, text, and introduction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • di Giovine, Carlo. 1996. Decimus Magnus Ausonius Technopaegnion: Introduzione, testo critico e commento. Bologna, Italy: Pàtron Editore.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As well as discussing the text at some length in its introduction, this edition has a generous portion of line-by-line notes.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Mondin, Luca. 1999. Qualche novità sul “Technopaegnion” di Ausonio con un saggio inedito di Dante Nardo. Lexis 17:319–359.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A thorough reexamination of the text, and a presentation of the hitherto unpublished views of the late Dante Nardo.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dedicatory Pieces

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In many cases, critics have discussed the prefaces written by Ausonius along with the work they introduce (see Works, passim); Sivan 1992 performs the useful service of discussing them in one place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sivan, Hagith. 1992. The dedicatory presentation in Late Antiquity. Illinois Classical Studies 17:83–101.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A helpful survey of Ausonius’s various prefaces: dedications without texts, texts without dedications, specific dedications, and multiple dedications.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Poems in or from the Greek

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Many of the poems within the Epigrammata and Epitaphia Heroum are translated from, or inspired by, Greek epigrams. Munari 1956 takes various examples to show Ausonius’s procedures; di Giovine 1998 studies three passages from a minor work (see also Epigrammata). The various poems in which Ausonius combines Greek and Latin words, or invents hybrid words, are the subject of Rochette 2007.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • di Giovine, Carlo. 1998. Ausonio e i modelli greci: Note a Epit. 1–3 Green. Bollettino di Stud Latini 28:461–466.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Carefully analyzes how Ausonius uses the Greek models of three of his Epitaphia Heroum qui Bello Troico interfuerunt.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Munari, Francesco. 1956. Ausonio e gli epigrammi greci. Studi Italiani di Filologia Classica 27–28:308–314.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Some examples of Ausonius’s translation or adaptation of Greek epigrams.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Rochette, Bruno. 2007. Code-switching chez Ausone. In Être Romain: Hommages in memoriam Charles Marie Ternes. Edited by Robert Bedon and Michel Polfer, 175–195. Remshalden, Germany: Greiner.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A study of compositions in which Ausonius uses a Greek term integrated with Latin, and of the criteria according to which they are transcribed or not in the Greek alphabet.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Various Christian Poems

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                These are principally Versus Paschales and the “Oratio,” which is embedded in Ephemeris. Some other poems are of doubtful authenticity. Studies in this area naturally reflect the varied assessments of Ausonius’s Religious Allegiance. Charlet 1984, in a detailed study, reinforces the view that Ausonius was more interested in rhetoric than Christian devotion (others, too, have implied that the two were not compatible), while the analyses of Langlois 1969 and Martin 1971 of the long prayer (“Oratio”) within the Ephemeris detect no shortcomings in his commitment to Christianity, with Martin especially interested in his orthodoxy and Langlois in his apparent attitudes to paganism.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Charlet, Jean-Louis. 1984. Théologie, politique, et rhétorique: La célébration poétique de Pâques à la cour de Valentinien et d’Honorius, d’après Ausone (Versus Paschales) et Claudien (de Salvatore). In La poesia tardoantica: Tra retorica, teologia e politica. Edited by Salvatore Costanza, 259–287. Messina, Italy: Centro di Studi Umanistici.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  With a close study of Versus Paschales, Charlet argues that Christian theology is subordinated to the demands of rhetoric and politics; Ausonius is a lukewarm Christian, and no sign of true religious fervor can be detected here.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Langlois, Pierre. 1969. Les poèmes chrétiens et le christianisme d’Ausone. Revue de Philologie 43:39–58.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Argues, with particular attention to the “Oratio,” that the wealth of Christian knowledge present in it makes an overwhelming case for Ausonius being a Christian. Its fewer “pagan” echoes, such as are sometimes found in Christian writing, do not affect this. Also in Lossau, 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 55–80, in German translation, as “Die Christliche Gedichte und das Christentum des Ausonius.”

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Martin, J. 1971. La prière d’Ausone: Texte, essai de traduction, esquisse de commentaire. Bulletin de l’Association Guillaume Budé 30:369–382.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A study of the “Oratio,” which stresses its purity of doctrine, its concentration upon the essential texts, and its avoidance of controversy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Various Personal Poems

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Two poems are relevant here: one written for Ausonius’s father, and one addressing his son. Scafoglio 2009 examines linguistic and literary aspects of the poem “Ad patrem de suscepto filio” (one of Ausonius’s earliest poems). Önnerfors 1984 speculates about the historical context of the poem “Pater ad filium . . . temporibus tyrannicis,” and Coşkun 2002 shrewdly probes further into the significance of the manuscript data.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Coşkun, Altay. 2002. Trennungsschmerz eines anhänglichen Vaters: Zum Hintergrund von Ausonius, Pater ad Filium. Hermes 130:209–222.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A sound reconstruction of the historical context of this short poem, and also an explanation of how it came to be as it is in the manuscript tradition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Önnerfors, Alf. 1984. De Decimi Magni Ausonii carmine ad filium “Temporibus tyrannicis” scripto. Paper presented at a conference held in Trier, West Germany, 30 August–5 September 1981. In Acta Treverica 1981: De Roma et provinciis septentrionalibus ad occidentem vergentibus. Edited by Rhoda Schnur and Nicolaus Sallmann, 95–99. Leichlingen, West Germany: Rainardus Brune.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This paper—and comments on it made in the following Disputatio (comments from the floor)—debate the question of the poem’s date and circumstances.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Scafoglio, Giampiero. 2009. Il carme di Ausonio “ad patrem de suscepto filio.” Euphrosyne 37:399–406.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Examines such matters as the content, language, and style of this poem, in which he accepts his new child, and the poem’s relationship to various models.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Style, Meter, and Poetics

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There has, perhaps not surprisingly, been no monograph on Ausonius’s style in general (though there are various relevant studies of the “Moselle” (see “Mosella”). The varied items included here cover much ground. Roberts 1989, in the author’s well-received general study of style in Late Antiquity, gives much room to Ausonius, especially the “Moselle.” Sánchez Salor 1976 briefly touches upon three important aspects of Ausonius’s style. Nugent 1990 suggests that certain elements of literary theory might open new understandings of his poetry. Cavarzere 2002 shows the importance of considering an author’s style to the reconstitution of the text. Consolino 2003 has a welcome study of Ausonius’s polymetry, against the background of Late Antique practice.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Cavarzere, Alberto. 2002. Lo stile additivo nella Mosella di Ausonio. Paideia 57:46–66.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This article shows how Ausonius’s richness of expression must be taken into account when interpreting the text.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consolino, Franca Ela. 2003. Metri, temi e forme letterarie nella poesia di Ausonio. In Forme letterarie nella produzione latina de IV–V secolo: Con uno sguardo a Bisanzio. Edited by Franca Ela Consolino, 147–194. Rome: Herder.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A comprehensive discussion of which meters Ausonius chooses for his various poems, and why. While the Late Antique tendency to prefer the hexameter and elegiac meters is important, he is prepared to vary meters for experimental purposes, and polymetry within a single poem is not uncommon.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Nugent, S. Georgia. 1990. Ausonius’ “Late-Antique” poetics and post-modern literary theory. Ramus 19:26–50.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Proposes a revaluation of Ausonius’s poetry that makes use of modern theory, including that of the “open text” and “reader response,” and sketches possible new understandings of representation and Intertextuality in studies of Ausonius.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Roberts, Michael. 1989. The jeweled style: Poetry and poetics in Late Antiquity. Ithaca, NY, and London: Cornell Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In this influential study—which detects and exemplifies an aesthetic quality common to literary writing in Late Antiquity and the polychrome work of a jeweler—the work of Ausonius, especially the “Moselle,” is prominent.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sánchez Salor, Eustaquio. 1976. Hacia una poética de Ausonio. Habis 7:159–186.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Produced by Publicaciones de la Universidad de Sevilla. Sánchez Salor concentrates on three areas: the significance of Ausonius’s claims to inelegance or ineptitude, his pursuit of art and learning, and the influence of rhetoric on him. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 112–145, in German translation as “Hin zu einer Poetik des Ausonius.”

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Intertextuality

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This selection from many such studies seeks to include articles involving various classical poets (see also “Mosella”). The influence of epic in general on Ausonius is the theme of Scafoglio 2004. O’Daly 2004, concentrating on Vergil, casts a net more widely than the word ludicra might suggest in the title. Görler 1969 shows how the poet deploys passages from Vergil’s Georgics and Aeneid in presenting a central theme of the “Moselle.” Newlands 1988 reveals Ausonius, also in the “Moselle,” reacting to previous viewpoints of Statius in comparable poems. Nardo 1990 undertakes the task of assembling and commenting on Ausonius’s uses of Horace, and Sosin 1999 examines the presence of Juvenal in Ausonius, with effective study of particular passages in their contexts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Görler, Woldemar. 1969. Vergilzitate in Ausonius’ Mosella. Hermes 97:94–114.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Görler traces a systematic attempt to recall Vergil’s portrayals of Campania and Elysium through various allusions. Also in Lossau 1991 (cited under Collections of Papers), pp. 146–175, with small addition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Nardo, Dante. 1990. Ausonio e Orazio. Paideia 45:321–336.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Analysis of numerous passages that make reference to Horace, whether explicitly or implicitly.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Newlands, Carole. 1988. Naturae mirabor opus: Ausonius’ challenge to Statius in the Mosella. Transactions of the American Philological Association 118:403–419.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ausonius challenges Statius’s view of nature, and praises the Moselle for qualities that are independent of man and his works, and are superior to them. Thus he revises, rather than perpetuates, classical values.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • O’Daly, Gerard. 2004. Sunt etiam Musis sua ludicra: Virgil in Ausonius. In Romane memento: Vergil in the fourth century. Edited by Roger Rees, 141–154. London: Gerald Duckworth.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This paper draws attention to various procedures, including witty transposition and the exploitation of Vergilian pathos and eulogy. In a section on the “Moselle,” O’Daly traces the influence of both Georgics and Aeneid.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Scafoglio, Giampiero. 2004. La retractatione della poesia epica nella Mosella. Wiener Studien 117:151–172.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Various passages of the poem show reinterpretation of epic, in various subtle ways; there is no refusal to write epic, but a rethinking of it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Sosin, Joshua D. 1999. Ausonian allusions to Juvenal’s Satires. Wiener Studien 114:91–112.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sosin shows with well-presented examples how a verbal echo of Juvenal is embedded in a wider context of thematic echoes so that there arises a specific and a genre-specific tension between the two texts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Influence

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The study of Ausonius is a vast field, for Ausonius was influential down the centuries, but the field is one with few workers. Curtius 1967 is a well-known and still-useful study of themes prominent in the classical tradition, and may be consulted (via the index) for both features present in Ausonius and probable allusions to him in later authors. Charlet 1980 presents a fine analysis of Prudentius’s indebtedness to Ausonius, at the level of verbal expression and ideas. Ausonius was well known in Late Antiquity, but the varied evidence of it is less easy to access. As for later periods, Green 1986 is a preliminary and provisional survey of the influence of Ausonius after he reappeared in the Renaissance. Felber and Prete 1960 adds pieces to a jigsaw of yet-unknown magnitude, as does Ezquerra 1990, looking at epigrams from Spain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Charlet, Jean-Louis. 1980. L’influence d’Ausone sur la poésie de Prudence. Aix-en-Provence, France: Université de Provence and Librairie Honoré Champion.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A punctilious and illuminating study of the many passages in Prudentius where he was clearly influenced by Ausonian material.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Curtius, Ernst Robert. 1967. European literature and the Latin Middle Ages. Translated by Willard R. Trask. Bollingen Series 36. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Valuable for tracing features of later European literature that Ausonius foreshadows or exemplifies. Translation of the German 1948 edition.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ezquerra, Antonio Alvar. 1990. Décimo Magno Ausonio, Obras. 2 vols. Biblioteca Clásica Gredos 146–147. Madrid: Editorial Gredos.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This is a useful pioneering study of the possible influence of works of Ausonius, especially the epigrams, in Spanish literature. (See also Translations.)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Felber, Howard L., and Sesto Prete. 1960. Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin translations and commentaries: Annotated lists and guides. Vol. 4 of Catalogus translationum et commentariorum. Edited by F. Edward Cranz and Paul Oskar Kristeller, 193–222. Washington, DC: Catholic Univ. of America Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A treasury of information on (especially) commentaries on Ausonius from the Renaissance period.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Green, Roger. 1986. Ausonius in the Renaissance. In Acta conventus neo-Latini sanctandreani. Paper presented at the Fifth International Congress of Neo-Latin Studies, University of St. Andrews, 24 August–1 September 1982. Edited by I. D. McFarlane, 579–585. Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 38. Binghamton, New York: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A short, tentative essay on a period when Ausonius was widely popular.

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