The allegorical conception of the bucolic genre that became general in Nero’s time led to a simplification compared to Vergil’s complex art of creating symbols. Calpurnius overcame the limits of a mere reproductive imitation exactly by making use of the possibilities of pastoral allegory; in Corydon’s figure he painted a bitterly self ironic picture of his own efforts to establish himself, of the controversies of patronage and the miserable situation of poets. In
IV he does not only reverse the lines of allusions from Vergil, Ovid and other poets but also key concepts of the Augustan age such as
rusticitas, paupertas, simplicitas, vates
and thus confronts his own age with its deficiency in view of the idealised rule of Augustus. The
exalts the Golden Age of Nero, which has often been analysed separately from the narrative frame as a document of uninhibited
, can gain its full meaning only in this context.