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The Author's Literary Culture

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Chapter Summary

The author deals with a number of studies about literary allusions in the Historia Augusta and creates an acquaintance with the works of Terence, Cicero, Sallust and Vergil. There is some incongruity in the notion of the erudite wit, amusing himself in misleading his public, and the undeniable clumsiness of the style of Historia Augusta and the weakness of the composition of the individual lives and of the collection as a whole. This incongruity has been noticed and expressed by Hohl and Syme, the two scholars who have contributed most to the understanding of the idiosyncrasies of the author. The author makes a few preliminary remarks on the regarding the distinction between the four classical school authors and authors who have written after the alleged date of composition in the early fourth century, with particular attention to possible quotations from and allusions to the poet Claudian in the Historia Augusta.

Keywords: Cicero; composition; Historia Augusta; literary culture; quotations; Sallust; verbal similarities; Vergil



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