Villais, Gabrielle (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This thesis aimed at studying fourth-century Gallic cities throught he lens of one of its most gifted poet, Ausonius. Born in 310, Ausonius was an Aquitanian nobleman who rose in the service of emperors Valentinian I and Gratian. First of all, it was demonstrated that the poet’s ideal city was heavily influenced by his traditional education and Ausonius enjoyed setting his literary characters in the décor of a classical city. However, his works also emphasised the rising image of the walled city, both as a topographic reality of his time, but also as a metonymic representation of the city. Finally, the poetry and letters of Ausonius also developed the image of a world structured by cities. Alongside Ausonius’ texts, the writings of Paulinus of Nola, his former pupil and future bishop of Nola, and of his friend Sulpicius Severus, the author of the famous Life of Saint Martin, will be used in order to emphasise the change that Christianity brought to the contemporary perception of cities.
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