Panegyricus de Sexto Consulatu Honorii Augusti

Panegyricus de Sexto Consulatu Honorii Augusti

Panegyricus de Sexto Consulatu Honorii Augusti

Panegyricus de Sexto Consulatu Honorii Augusti

Synopsis

Claudian is often called the last poet of the classical tradition. This edition of his last extant work offers a newly edited text with facing English translation. A superb example of the literature of late antiquity, it records in exquisite verse the splendor of the western imperial court and serves as a historical witness to the events and attitudes of the last years of the Roman empire. The introduction and commentary analyze the historical background and, more importantly, Claudian's language, style, imagery, and use of other Greek and Latin sources.

Excerpt

This book has been a long time in the making. It owes its distant genesis to a graduate seminar given by Professor R. G. M. Nisbet on De Sexto Consulatu Honorii some time near the very beginning of the last decade. This seminar I was privileged to attend, despite being at the time a singularly ill-informed, inarticulate, and unlettered undergraduate. It proved to be one of my first inductions into the pursuit of rigorous philology and textual criticism, and I have never forgotten it. My study of Claudian was of necessity laid aside while I applied myself to the business of jumping through various fiery hoops held out by the members of the Faculty of Literae Humaniores in the University of Oxford to test the mettle of the young and eager. Duly singed and scorched, I here attempt to show that in the intervening years I have at least learned a little of what I ought to have known at the start of that Trinity Term so long ago.

The innocent eye sees nothing, as a famous art critic once said; the same maxim surely applies to those who dare to explicate texts for others. I therefore make no pretence of innocence, and I am quite sure that my own views on Claudian's literary processes and on how to interpret this, his last (and, to my mind, his finest) poem will be clear enough to all but the least attentive readers. But, although the tropes of objectivity that characterize this traditional form of scholarly writing smack, perhaps, of authoritarianism, I should like to think that the present edition is more of a mushy liberal in many respects. I have, that is, done my level best to offer all the information and guidance I could to those whose readings of the poem will be shaped by scholarly and critical discourses other than those usually permitted to assume all the prestige and privilege traditionally conferred by distinguished bindings of gold and dark blue.

The introduction to this book lays out as succinctly as I could manage such basic information as I thought essential to an understanding of the background to the poem. the text presented has largely been compiled from published sources, most notably the Teubner text of J. B. Hall. From this it none the less differs in . . .

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