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The Hidden Model?

Influences from Oppian in Claudian’s Latin Oeuvre

Hermes
Band 143 / 2015 / Heft 4
S. 472–490

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The late 4<sup>th</sup> Century CE Egyptian poet Claudian with all probability enjoyed a thorough rhetorical education in both his mother tongue Greek and in the language of most of his extant literary work: Latin. Hence, for a long time the identification of possible traces of Greek literature in his poems has been the object of many, yet often inconclusive discussions. This paper argues that the political situation and the social status of the Latin language at the end of the 4<sup>th</sup> century also need to be considered: The apparent evocation of the specifically Latin literature and tradition was of great importance to Claudian in order to reinstate Roman identity, independently of his actual literary sources, as exemplified by Claudian’s use of the Greek epic poet Oppian.

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