Publication details

Innocent Author vs. Obscene Reader: The Echoes of Ovid´s Tristia 2 in Ausonius´ Apologetic Catalogue of Literary Predecessors



Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Eirene
MU Faculty or unit

Language Centre

Keywords apology; catalogue; Ausonius; Ovid; author; reader; intertextuality
Description The paper examines the intertextual relationship existing between the apologetic catalogue of literary obscenities in Ausonius’ letter addressed to Axius Paulus and attached to his famous Cento Nuptialis and the similar catalogue of literary predecessors in Ovid’s Tristia 2. By considering these two catalogues in terms of formal features, content, and function, the paper shows how the echoes of the Augustan poet resonate with the metaliterary issues (reality vs. fiction, author vs. reader) raised in Ausonius’ apology. Finally, it demonstrates how this reflects the aesthetic changes that marked late-antique poetry, especially the general shift in focus from the author to the reader betwen the 1st and 4th centuries.

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