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Ausonius Grammaticus

The Christening of Philology in the Late Roman West


The present volume describes the rich and complex world in which Ausonius (c. 310–395) lived and worked, from his humble beginnings as a schoolteacher in Bordeaux, to the heights of his influence as quaestor to the Emperor Gratian, at a time of unsettling social and religious change. As a teacher and poet Ausonius adhered to the traditions of classical paideia, standing in contrast to the Fathers of the Church, e.g., Jerome, Augustine, and Paulinus of Nola, who were emboldened by the legalization, then the imposition, of Christianity in the course of the fourth century. For this position he was labeled by the 20th-century scholar Henri-Irénée Marrou a symbol of decadence. Guided by Marrou’s critical insights to both his own time and place and that of Ausonius, this book proposes a hermeneutic for reading Ausonius as both a fourth-century poet and a fascinating mirror for his 20th-century counterparts.
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4280-0
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Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Aug 24,2021
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 253
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4280-0
$114.95
Your price: $91.96

The present volume describes the rich and complex world in which Ausonius (c. 310–395) lived and worked, from his humble beginnings as a schoolteacher in Bordeaux, to the heights of his influence as quaestor to the Emperor Gratian, at a time of unsettling social and religious change. As a teacher and poet Ausonius adhered to the traditions of classical paideia, standing in contrast to the Fathers of the Church, e.g., Jerome, Augustine, and Paulinus of Nola, who were emboldened by the legalization, then the imposition, of Christianity in the course of the fourth century. For this position he was labeled by the 20th-century scholar Henri-Irénée Marrou a symbol of decadence. Guided by Marrou’s critical insights to both his own time and place and that of Ausonius, this book proposes a hermeneutic for reading Ausonius as both a fourth-century poet and a fascinating mirror for his 20th-century counterparts.

The present volume describes the rich and complex world in which Ausonius (c. 310–395) lived and worked, from his humble beginnings as a schoolteacher in Bordeaux, to the heights of his influence as quaestor to the Emperor Gratian, at a time of unsettling social and religious change. As a teacher and poet Ausonius adhered to the traditions of classical paideia, standing in contrast to the Fathers of the Church, e.g., Jerome, Augustine, and Paulinus of Nola, who were emboldened by the legalization, then the imposition, of Christianity in the course of the fourth century. For this position he was labeled by the 20th-century scholar Henri-Irénée Marrou a symbol of decadence. Guided by Marrou’s critical insights to both his own time and place and that of Ausonius, this book proposes a hermeneutic for reading Ausonius as both a fourth-century poet and a fascinating mirror for his 20th-century counterparts.

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ContributorBiography

Lionel Yaceczko

Lionel Yaceczko is on the faculty of The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland, where he teaches courses at all levels in Latin and Greek. He studied classical philology at the University of Dallas and at the Catholic University of America, where he earned his PhD with a focus on classical education in the later Roman empire. His research attempts to bring a synthesis of documentary, material, and literary evidence to bear on questions relating to late antiquity.

List of Illustrations ................................................................... ix
Preface..................................................................................... xi
Chapter One. Introduction: Ausonius, Biography, and Personal
Poetry in the Fourth Century .............................................. 1
Status Quaestionis ............................................................. 1
Method and Structure ........................................................ 7
Ausonius Grammaticus ...................................................... 9
Chapter Two. New Wine in Old Wineskins: Grammar, Rhetoric,
and the Establishment of a Christian Culture ......................... 17
The Artes......................................................................... 23
The Commentarii ............................................................ 29
Classroom Methods ......................................................... 37
New Wine ....................................................................... 50
Chapter Three. Ausonius of Bordeaux: Old Wine in Old Wineskins
................................................................................ 55
The Technopaegnion ....................................................... 57
Eclogues, Epigrams, and Minora ...................................... 66
The Ephemeris or Totius Diei Negotium .......................... 70
Chapter Four. Ausonius of Trier: The Mosella as Poetry of
Court and Campaign ........................................................ 79
Chapter Five. Ausonius of Rome: The Cupido Cruciatus as
Personal Poetry in the Classical Tradition ............................ 119
The Jewelled Style ........................................................ 121
Vergil’s Personality in the Georgics? ............................... 123
Aeris in campis—In Elysium .......................................... 131
Appendix to Chapter Five: A side-by-side comparison of
Vergil, Georgics 4.507–527, and Ausonius, Cupido
Cruciatus 1–20. ...................................................... 151
Chapter Six. Iugum Discutimus: Ausonius, Paulinus, and Henri
Irénée Marrou ............................................................... 153
Part One: “Only a civilization founded on the truth alone
could merit our adherence”: Fondements d’une
Culture Chrétienne ....................................................... 155
vir eloquentissimus ac doctissimus: Augustine and the
Theopolis ............................................................... 166
Part Two: “We could not sacrifice the Truth to Communion”:
Paulinus, Augustine, and Licentius .................. 178
Ausonius and Paulinus .................................................. 187
Conclusion. From φιλόλογοι to θεολόγοι: Word-lovers to Worshipers
of the Word ....................................................... 207
“Ciceronianus es” ............................................................ 207
Ausonius in his Landscape ............................................. 213
Bibliography ......................................................................... 221
Primary Texts ................................................................ 221
Secondary Sources ......................................................... 223
Index .................................................................................... 235

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