Manual Ausonius of Bordeaux: Genesis of a Gallic Aristocracy

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His writings range from brief poetic portraits of his family and his school colleagues to a lengthy poem on the river Moselle, letters in verse and an imperial panegyric in prose. In Ausonius of Bordeaux Ausonius' life and work are given the full context of his local and family background in fourth-century Gaul. His biography and literary output also serve as a point of departure for an overall inquiry into the formation of late Roman Gallic aristocracy.

At the start of the book, social mobility in late Roman Gaul of which Ausonius serves as an outstanding example, is examined. Evidence for Gallic wealth, social rank and office-holdings shows how crucial was Ausonius' asnt for the genesis of a Gallic aristocracy.

Ausonius - Wikipedia

Their careers, marriages, failures and successes are traced within the urban fold of their homes in Bordeaux and their estates in Aquitania. Much of the material here relies on unpublished archaeological reports. Talent, ambition and opportunism carried Ausonius' family from rags to riches. When Ausonius reached the imperial court in the late s.

Between and , the watern Roman empire became Ausonius' domain. He was a legislator, chief administrator and finally consul. His star waned when the imperial court moved to Italy. When his imperial patron died, a victim of assassination, Ausonius retired in peace to Bordeaux. He died, well over eighty, in the lap of luxury. Placing Ausonius firmly withing his historical context, Hagith Sivan presents a full socio-political survey of this critical period an dtopic.

Archaeological evidence is related to literary and historical evidence to construct a synthesis from both. Subject Ausonius, Decimus Magnus. Bibliographic information.


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    Preview this Book. Add to Wish List. Close Preview. Gratian liked and respected his tutor, and when he himself became emperor in he began bestowing on Ausonius and his family the highest civil honors.

    Ausonius of Bordeaux: Genesis of a Gallic Aristocracy

    That year Ausonius was made Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, campaigned against the Alemanni and received as part of his booty a slave-girl, Bissula to whom he addressed a poem , while his father, though nearly ninety years old, was given the rank of Prefect of Illyricum.

    In Ausonius's son, Hesperius , was made proconsul of Africa. In Ausonius was awarded the consulate , the highest Roman honor. They were, he says, his nidus senectutis , the "nest of his old age", and there he spent the rest of his days, composing poetry and writing to many eminent contemporaries, several of whom had been his pupils.

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    Ausonius appears to have been a late and perhaps not very enthusiastic convert to Christianity. His grandson, Paulinus of Pella , was also a poet; his works attest to the devastation which Ausonius's Gaul would face soon after his death.

    Although admired by his contemporaries, the writings of Ausonius have not since been ranked among Latin literature 's finest. His style is easy and fluent, and his Mosella is appreciated for its evocation of the life and country along the River Moselle ; but he is considered derivative and unoriginal. Edward Gibbon pronounced in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that "the poetical fame of Ausonius condemns the taste of his age. He is frequently cited by historians of winemaking , as his works give early evidence of large-scale viticulture in the now-famous wine country around his native Bordeaux.

    His contribution to the carpe diem topic is noteworthy if the following poem is indeed his:. Collige, virgo, rosas, dum flos novus et nova pubes et memor esto aevum sic properare tuum.


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