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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter (A) April 16, 2010

Lernen am Modell in der Spätantike: Eine Interpretation der Saturnalia des Macrobius. (mit einem Anhang zum Aufbau des Werks)

  • Lukas J. Dorfbauer
From the journal Philologus


Although Macrobius’ Saturnalia were, according to the preface, written for the author’s young son in order to teach him a variety of useful things in a coherent, succinct form, the work is by no means a simple textbook, but a Platonic dialogue whose speakers are mainly concerned with classic literature, especially Virgil. Many earlier readings, preoccupied with the supposed (but actually rather dubious) religious content of the voluminous work, paid little attention to the broader context of late antique didactic literature. This article discusses the didactic purpose of the Saturnalia taking into account the background of Neoplatonic theories regarding the literary technique of Plato’s dialogues; it shows that Macrobius used the traditional literary form not only to impart vast factual knowledge, but also to communicate his ideas about the social attitudes of the ideal Roman aristocrat.

Published Online: 2010-04-16
Published in Print: 2009-12

© by Akademie Verlag, Berlin, Germany

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