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Ausonius

From Academic Kids

Decimus Magnus Ausonius (c. 310-395), was a Roman poet and rhetorician, born at Burdigala (Bordeaux).

He received an excellent education, especially in grammar and rhetoric, but professes that his progress in Greek was unsatisfactory. Having completed his studies, he practised for some time as an advocate, but he preferred teaching. In 334, he established a school of rhetoric in Bordeaux, which was very popular. His most famous pupil was Paulinus, who later became Bishop of Nola.

After thirty years of this work, he was summoned by Valentinian to the imperial court, to teach Gratian, the heir-apparent. The prince greatly respected his tutor, and after his accession bestowed on him the highest titles and honours, culminating in the consulate in 379.

After the murder of Gratian in 383, Ausonius retired to his estates near Bordeaux. He appears to have been a late and perhaps not very enthusiastic convert to Christianity. He died about 395.

Although much admired by his contemporaries, the writings of Ausonius have not since been ranked among Latin literature's best. His style is easy and fluent, but overall he is generally considered derivative and unoriginal. Edward Gibbon observed in the third volume of his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that "the poetical fame of Ausonius condemns the taste of his age." However, he is frequently cited by historians of winemaking, as his works give early evidence of large-scale viniculture in the now-famous wine country around his native Bordeaux.de:Ausonius lb:Ausonius nl:Decimus Magnus Ausonius fi:Ausonius sv:Decimus Magnus Ausonius

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