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Poetry of Augustan Rome

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Here is an excellent article of the poetry of Augustan Rome by Professor Wiseman from "Lapham's Quarterly" (July 31, 2019).


T.P. Wiseman is Professor Emeritus of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter. His many books include The Roman AudienceJulius Caesar, and The House of Augustus.




File:DM TI Claudius Tiberinus.jpg


Inscription from the tomb of Tiberius Claudius Tiberinus, found in the eighteenth century not far from the Baths of Caracalla:



You traveler, whoever you are who ride by the threshold of my tomb, please check your hurried journey. Read this through, and so may you never grieve for an untimely death.

You’ll find my name attached to the inscription. Rome is my native city, my parents were true plebeians, my life was then spoiled by no ills. At one time I was well known as a favorite of the people; now I’m just a little ash from a wept-over pyre.

Who didn’t see good parties with a laughing face, and (who didn’t see) that my cheerfulness stayed up late with me? At one time I was skilled in reciting the works of bards with Pierian tunefulness in swan-like measures, skilled in speaking poems that breathed with Homeric verse, poems well known in Caesar’s forum.

Of all my body, which both my parents sadly strew with tears, love and a name are now what’s left. They place garlands and fresh flowers for me to enjoy; that’s how I remain, laid out in the vale of Elysium. My fates gave me as many birthdays as the stars that pass in (the signs of) the Dolphin and winged Pegasus.




guy also known as gaius

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