Thursday, February 16, 2006

Echoes Between Authors

I always get excited when I come across an echo from one author to another. When I was reading Martial the other day, I found

Verona docti syllabas amat vatis,
Marone felix Mantua est...
te, Liciniane, gloriabitur nostra
nec me tacebit Bilbilis. (Epigrammata I.61, ll. 1-2, 11-12)

and immediately thought of Ovid's

Mantua Vergilio gaudet, Verona Catullo;
Paelignae dicar gloria gentis ego... (Amores III.15, ll. 7-8) .

Also worthy of note... my students always consider it arrogant when a poet boasts of his present or future fame, which brings to mind Horace's

Exegi monumentum aere perennius...
Non omnis moriar multaque pars mei
vitabit Libitinam... (Odes XXX.30, ll. 1, 6-7).

I use this as one of those "teachable moments" when I remind them that the poet's prophetic statements actually came true.

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