Get Claudian essential facts below. View Videos or join the Claudian discussion. Add Claudian to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
De raptu Proserpinae
Claudius Claudianus, known in English as Claudian (; c. 370 - c. 404 AD), was a Latin poet associated with the court of the Roman emperor Honorius at Mediolanum (Milan), and particularly with the general Stilicho. His work, written almost entirely in hexameters or elegiac couplets, falls into three main categories: poems for Honorius, poems for Stilicho, and mythological epic.
Little is known about his personal life, but it seems he was a convinced pagan: Augustine refers to him as the 'adversary of the name of Christ' (Civitas Dei, V, 26), and Paul Orosius describes him as an 'obstinate pagan' (paganus pervicassimus) in his Adversus paganos historiarum libri septem (VII, 55).
Since none of Claudian's poems record the achievements of Stilicho after 404, scholars assume Claudian died in that year. His works don't give an account of the sack of Rome, while the writings of Olympiodorus of Thebes has been edited and made known only in few fragments, which begin from the death of Stilicho.
Although a native speaker of Greek, Claudian is one of the best Latin poetry stylists of late antiquity. He is not usually ranked among the top tier of Latin poets, but his writing is elegant, he tells a story well, and his polemical passages occasionally attain an unmatchable level of entertaining vitriol. The literature of his time is generally characterized by a quality modern critics find specious, of which Claudian's work is not free, and some find him cold and unfeeling.
Claudian's poetry is a valuable historical source, though distorted by the conventions of panegyric. The historical or political poems connected with Stilicho have a manuscript tradition separate from the rest of his work, an indication that they were likely published as an independent collection, perhaps by Stilicho himself after Claudian's death.
His most important non-political work is an unfinished epic, De raptu Proserpinae ("The Abduction of Proserpina"). The three extant books are believed to have been written in 395 and 397. In the 20th and early 21st centuries, Claudian has not been among the most popular Latin poets of antiquity, but the epic De raptu influenced painting and poetry for centuries.
The Abduction of Proserpina (ca. 1631) by Rembrandt was influenced by Claudian's De raptu Proserpinae
Panegyricus dictus Probino et Olybrio consulibus
De raptu Proserpinae (unfinished epic, 3 books completed)
Lesser poems: Phoenix, Epithalamium Palladio et Celerinae; de Magnete; de Crystallo cui aqua inerat
Editions and translations
Hall, J.B.. Claudian, De raptu Proserpinae (Cambridge University Press, 1969).
Dewar, Michael, editor and translator. Claudian Panegyricus de Sexto Consulatu Honorii Augusti (Oxford Clarendon Press, 1996).
Slavitt, David R., translator. Broken Columns: Two Roman Epic Fragments: The Achilleid of Publius Papinius Statius and The Rape of Proserpine of Claudius Claudianus, with an Afterword by David Konstan (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997).
^Claudianus, C., Hughes, J., Lucan, 3. (1716). The rape of Proserpine: from Claudian ... With the story of Sextus and Erichtho, from Lucan's Pharsalia, book 6. 2d ed. London: Printed by J.D. for J. Osborne [etc.].
^George Fisher Russell Barker (1898). "Hughes, Jabez". In Dictionary of National Biography. 28. London. p. 178.
Barnes, Michael H. 2005. "Claudian." In A Companion to Ancient Epic. Edited by John Miles Foley, 539-549. Oxford: Blackwell.
Cameron, A. 1970. Claudian. Poetry and Propaganda at the Court of Honorius. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cameron, A. 2015. Wandering Poets and Other Essays on Late Greek Literature and Philosophy. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
Christiansen, P. G. 1997. "Claudian: A Greek or a Latin?" Scholia 6:79-95.
Ehlers, Widu-Wolfgang, editor. 2004. Aetas Claudianea. Eine Tagung an der Freien Universität Berlin vom 28. bis 30. Juni 2002 München/Leipzig: K.G. Saur.
Fletcher, David T. "Whatever Happened to Claudius Claudianus? A Pedagogical Proposition." The Classical Journal, vol. 104, no. 3, 2009, pp. 259-273.
Gruzelier, C. E. "Temporal and Timeless in Claudian's 'De Raptu Proserpinae'." Greece & Rome, vol. 35, no. 1, 1988, pp. 56-72.
Guipponi-Gineste, Marie-France. 2010. Claudien: poète du monde à la cour d'Occident. Collections de l'Université de Strasbourg. Études d'archéologie et d'histoire ancienne. Paris: De Boccard.
Long, J. 1996. "Juvenal Renewed in Claudian's "In Eutropium"." International Journal of the Classical Tradition 2.3: 321-335.
Luck, Georg. 1979. "Disiecta Membra: On the Arrangement of Claudian's Carmina Minora." Illinois Classical Studies 4: 200-213.
Martiz, J.A. 2000. "The Classical Image of Africa: The Evidence from Claudian." Acta Classica 43: 81-99.
Miller, P.A. 2004. Subjecting Verses: Latin Love Elegy and the Emergence of the Real. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Mulligan, B. 2007. "The Poet from Egypt? Reconsidering Claudian's Eastern Origin." Philologus 151.2: 285-310.
Parkes, Ruth. 2015. "Love or War? Erotic and Martial Poetics in Claudian's De Raptu Proserpinae." The Classical Journal 110.4: 471-492.
Ratti, S. 2008. "Une lecture religieuse des invectives de Claudien est-elle possible?" AnTard 16: 177-86.
Roberts, Michael. "Rome Personified, Rome Epitomized: Representations of Rome in the Poetry of the Early Fifth Century." The American Journal of Philology, vol. 122, no. 4, 2001, pp. 533-565.
Wasdin, Katherine. 2014. "Honorius Triumphant: Poetry and Politics in Claudian's Wedding Poems." Classical Philology 109.1: 48-65.
Ware, Catherine. 2012. Claudian and the Roman Epic Tradition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.
Wheeler, Stephen M. 1995. "The Underworld Opening of Claudian's De Raptu Proserpinae." Transactions of the American Philological Association 125:113-134.