Augustus and the Poets - Encounters
The years in which Octavian - later Augustus - was Rome's undisputed dominus were the same years during which Virgil and Horace composed most of their work and Propertius, Tibullus, Livy, Ovid, Vitruvius and such lesser-known authors as Pompeus Trogus produced their entire opus, along with a host of works that have been partially or totally lost such as the compositions of the unfortunate Cornelius Gallus or of Lucius Varius Rufus: in short, the complete literary output of Rome's golden age. But the age that takes its name from the emperor is being seen increasingly as a workshop whose extraordinary interest lies also in the tensions that make it an exemplary case study of issues and problems at the very core of literary experience and of the construction of a "modern" literature: issues such as the relationship between the artist and authority, the relationship between text and image, the dynamic revisitation of the past to build a collective identity and the urban dimension's central role.
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