VARIOUS collections of minor Latin poetry, extant in MSS. dating from the eighth to the eleventh century, have been put together by modern editors into the volumes which are briefly and conveniently called the Latin Anthology. They contain a considerable number of pieces attributed at one time or another, and with or without reason, to Virgil's hand. At the one end of the scale is the Culex, where the external evidence for Virgilian authorship is exceptionally strong. At the other end are pieces where the Virgilian attribution is obviously a mere piece of ignorance or stupidity; the best known instance being the Pervigilium Veneris, where the first word of the title was misread by a blundering transcriber into the words Per Vergilium. It will be sufficient here to confine our attention to the pieces printed in Professor Ellis' volume, Appendix Vergiliana sive Carmina minora Vergilio adtributa. The contents of this volume are as follows: the Culex, the Ciris, the Moretum, the Dirae, the Copa, the Catalepton, the Est et Non, the Vir Bonus, and the Maecenas. Of the last three, the Est et Non and the Vir Bonus are in the manner, and may be confidently assigned to the period, of the fourth-century revival in which Ausonius is the principal figure; while the elegy on the death of Maecenas, whether it is a piece actually written on the occasion, or an academic exercise on that theme composed at a somewhat later date, has in either case no connexion with a poet who predeceased
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Publication information: Book title: Lectures on Poetry. Contributors: J. W. Mackail - Author. Publisher: Longmans Green and Co.. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1911. Page number: 48.
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