Grattius’ Cynegeticon, a (now incomplete) Roman didactic poem on hunting with dogs, can be confidently dated to the Augustan period thanks to a passing reference from Ovid during a reflection from exile: Pont. 4.16.34 aptaque venanti Grattius arma daret. Grattius is here specifically named as part of a group of esteemed authors comparable to Ovid (Pont. 4.16.45-6). Moreover, Ovid’s reference to Grattius’ work is a conscious recollection of its final programmatic line (Gratt. 23 carmine et arma dabo et venandi persequar artis), prompting the observation that Grattius is a poet whose work has been carefully read, both by Ovid and, by inference, the learned readership for Pont. 4.16.
If modern scholarship has generally followed Ovid in connecting the exilic reference to the extant hunting poem, it has all but ignored Ovid’s intimations about Grattius’ literary standing. On the contrary, apart from a handful of important scholarly contributions, Grattius remains largely unappreciated and unread, especially by Anglophone scholars, while his Augustan contemporaries are the focus of continued scrutiny.
This conference provides an opportunity to put Grattius firmly and exclusively in the spotlight – a delayed response, as it were, to the rallying call made to an Anglophone audience by John Henderson (‘Going to the Dogs’, PCPS 2001).
LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University College of London (London, England)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Department of Greek and Latin, University College of London ; Institute of Classical Studies ; The Classical Association
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