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Appendix: Augustan Poetry

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Chapter Summary

In Augustan poetry, several typical themes come fairly close to the ideal of an ‘unnoticed life’: the humble and frugal life of ordinary people (such as Philemon and Baucis for instance), the uncomplicated life in the primitive ages or in an aurea aetas, the bucolic way of life of simple-hearted shepherds and the simple existence of the modest farmer. The doctrine of the equality of all faults (attacked in sat. 1,3,96–98) is undeniably Stoic, that of the imperturbability of the gods (sat. 1,5,101) undoubtedly Epicurean. Horace is primarily interested in the motif because it perfectly suits his pedagogical purposes, since it enables him to raise crucial questions to which Scaeva should pay full attention. Ovid’s phrase bene qui latuit bene vixit, at least formally, remains very close to Horace’s verse, but still provides it with a completely different twist. In Ovid’s elegy, one merely finds the shadows of these εϊδωλα.

Keywords: Augustan Poetry; Epicurean; Horace; Ovid; unnoticed life



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