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Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy$
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Alan Cameron

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190268947

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190268947.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 January 2022

Claudian Revisited

Claudian Revisited

(p.133) 6 Claudian Revisited
Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy

Alan Cameron

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins reflectively, with a consideration of why Claudian represented an ideal subject for early study, bearing as it did on matters of history as well as of literature. The author’s subsequent research on Claudian’s contemporaries and on other court poets refined and revised the early image of Claudian as propagandist. Modern assumptions about what propaganda is and how it works do not easily apply to the early period. The elite attachment to poetry was itself part of the way that governments tried to influence opinion. Claudian was able to perform at court and circulate written copies of his works, conveying his political opinions by enfolding them in his poetry. He was not a mouthpiece for Stilicho so much as a skilled poet who put his poetry at the service of his patron.

Keywords:   Claudian, poetry as propaganda, Stilicho, panegyric, epic, invective

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