Showing posts with label Publilius Optatianus Porphyrius. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Publilius Optatianus Porphyrius. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Publilius Optatianus Porphyrius 1595...poem...Carmina Figurata


Sometime around the end of the first quarter of the fourth century C.E., a former resident of the imperial city of Rome then living in exile in Achaea began a written campaign for his recall to the capitol. The campaign coincided with the Vicennalia, or twentieth anniverary, of the reign of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine, an event celebrated in July 325 in Nicomedia and again in the summer of 326 at Rome itself. The writing campaign took advantage of this event and consisted of a series of panegyric poems addressed to Constantine in commemoration of both the Vicennalia and Constantine’s earlier defeat of Licinius in 324. The series, included in what is now known collectively as the Carmina or Carmina Figurata, is of an unusual and innovative sort: the poems contain supplementary text “hidden” within the main body of the individual poems and intended to be “discovered” by the reader. These versus intexti poems were apparently intended to dazzle Constantine with their technical virtuosity and thereby inspire the hoped-for recall of their creator, Publilius Optatianus Porphyrius. The campaign was ultimately successful, and the intriguing larger body of work created by Optatianus remains captivating even today, both for its simple visual appeal and for its display of remarkable technical skill.... continued

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