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Commenting on Claudian’s ‘Political Poems’, 1612/1650

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Chapter Summary

The prolific Neo-Latin scholar and poet Caspar von Barth wrote scholarly commentaries on many Latin authors, among them Claudius Claudianus, whose "political poems" dealt with contemporary events of great significance for the court of the Western Roman Empire in an age of conflicts and usurpers. Claudian's poems were very popular in the Renaissance and later on, as they had been in the Middle Ages. This chapter offers a comparative study of Barth's two commentaries on Claudian, focusing on how they attest an evolution in his exegetical practice and way of reading. It presents Barth's commentary on Statius, which was published posthumously in 1664-1665 by his friend Christian Daum, but was already finished, like the second Claudian, before the mid-1640's. 'Parallel passages' offer a good opportunity to observe the changes that take place in Barth's way of commenting.

Keywords: Caspar von Barth; Christian Daum; Claudius Claudianus; Middle Ages; political poems; Statius



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