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  • Author or Editor: Étienne Wolff x
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The allegorical interpretations of pagan gods flourished in late Antiquity. They were the work of the pagans, who thus sought to spiritualize their religion, but also of some Christians, who thought that the pagan fables were hiding truths they needed to discover.

The goddess Hera-Juno has not escaped the phenomenon. Here we consider, taking as one basis the works of Fabius Planciades Fulgentius, African writer of the fifth-sixth century, what these interpretations are and what they tell us both about this goddess and the mentality of late Antiquity.

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We found in the work in prose and verse of Sidonius Apollinaris (5th century) a few number of brief allusions to Augustus, and it comes to him in detail in the preface of Majorien’s Panegyric (Poems IV) and, indirectly, in the dedicatory poem of the same Panegyric (Poems III). We here consider for what purpose Sidonius refers to Augustus, how he is presented, and what are the qualities that are highlighted. It appears that his relations with Virgil and Horace represent an ideal relationship between the poets and the power that Sidonius wants to give as an example.

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Ausonius and Macrobius reflect both the positive image enjoyed by Augustus in the fourth century. They also illustrate the importance of Suetonius in Late Antiquity. The manner in which Ausone shows Augustus is not original. On the other hand Macrobius’Augustus, who is neither affected nor hieratic and supports mockery, implicitly contrasts by his conduct to the solemnity of the ceremony surrounding the emperors of the Lower Empire.

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Summary

Ausonius' poetry is marked by a great deal of formal research, which takes five main aspects: metrical virtuosity, Latin-Greek bilingualism, centon, games on words, lexical elaboration. It is this last point that will hold our attention here. If the language of Ausonius is generally consistent with the classi- cal standards from the point of view of the syntax, it is not exactly the same for the lexicon. Ausonius sometimes uses late words and/or is influenced by the vulgar language. This characteristic of his language has been little studied and we must often resort to the old thesis of A. Delachaux. In this paper, we will review these late and/or vulgar words, to try to draw up a typology. We will then examine the sty- listic use that Ausonius makes of them, because, as a refined poet, he never chooses his words randomly. We will finally see if it is possible to infer some more general conclusions about the linguistic situation in Aquitania in the fourth century.

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