Off the Shelf: John F. Miller

September 21, 2009

September 21, 2009 — John F. Miller, professor of classics, College of Arts & Sciences "Apollo, Augustus, and the Poets." Cambridge University Press.

Apollo's importance in the religion of the Roman state was markedly heightened by the emperor Augustus, who claimed a special affiliation with the god. This book is the only comprehensive treatment of the reflections by Augustan poets on Apollo as an imperial icon.

Topics explored include the divine self-imaging of late Republican rivals for power, poetic imaginings of Apollo's intervention at the pivotal battle of Actium, how poets 'read' Augustus' new Palatine Temple of Apollo and the deity's role in the reconstituted Saecular Games, and Apollo's key position in the emerging dialectic between poetics — as traditional divine patron of music and literature — and politics — as patron of Augustus. Discussions encompass the major Latin poets (Horace, Virgil, Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid) as well as anonymous voices in poetic lampoons, encomia and contemporary Greek verse.