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Sidonius Apollinaris and Horace, Ars poetica 14–23

Aaron Pelttari
From the journal Philologus


Sidonius knew and understood the beginning of Horace’s influential Ars poetica, the passage in which Horace pronounced in favour of artistic unity. Instead of following Horace’s advice, Sidonius opted for variety in Poem 22 and Letters Book 9. Even though he ignored the advice, Sidonius at the end of both texts invoked Horace’s authority from the Ars poetica. Sidonius even claimed to have written exactly as Horace said he should. A century before, Ausonius had translated Horace in a way that the source had specifically criticised. Both Sidonius and Ausonius engaged Horace’s authoritative text in order to negotiate their debt toward and place within Latin literature. Further study could describe the variety of ways in which late antique poets received and transformed their Classical inheritance.


I am glad to thank the anonymous readers for Philologus and the group from the Late Antique lunches at the University of Edinburgh for their various comments, suggestions, and improvements. I translated the Latin and aimed for clarity.


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Published Online: 2016-11-2
Published in Print: 2016-11-1

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