1st Edition

Selections from the Poems of Paulinus of Nola, including the Correspondence with Ausonius Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

By Alex Dressler Copyright 2023
    340 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume offers a broad introduction to one of the most exciting chapters of Late Antiquity through direct testimony from one of the last representatives of Roman Antiquity, Ausonius of Bordeaux, and his radical Christian protégé, the populist bishop and experimental poet Paulinus of Nola.

    The first comprehensive volume in English dedicated to these works in over a century, this book also offers representative selections from Paulinus’ vast poetic output, from the publicly performed poems that mark his contribution to the emerging cult of the saints to his experimental Christianization of a wide range of Classical genres. Preceded by a substantial introduction discussing the modern significance of these works and their original contexts, the translation is accompanied by running notes for ease of reference and an interpretive commentary rich with illustrative parallels. Taken together, the correspondence with Ausonius and the selections from Paulinus epitomize the personal, political, and spiritual conflicts of their age, offering a lively and concentrated introduction to the life and thought of these two underappreciated contemporaries of Jerome and Augustine.

    Accompanied by new and provocative interpretations with detailed but concise historical and biographical guidance, this accessible and stylish translation will appeal to scholars and students of Classics, Late Antiquity, religious studies, social history, and world literature.

    1. Introduction; 2. The Earlier Letters; 3. The Principal Correspondence; 4. Selections From the Poems of Paulinus; 5. Comments: The Earlier Letters; 6. Comments: The Principal Correspondence; 7. Comments: Selections From the Poems of Paulinus.


    Alex Dressler is Professor of Classics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His published works include Personification and the Feminine in Roman Philosophy and articles on Latin literature of all genres and periods, including Roman drama, the ancient novel, epic, epistolography, and lyric poetry, on a wide range of topics, ranging from gender and class to aesthetics and phenomenology.

    "...This volume can be recommended as an accessible introduction to Paulinus/Ausonius for the newcomer, a useful resource for the researcher, an incisive contribution to scholarship, and a poetic translation of precision and beauty."Bryn Mawr Classical Review