'Laudantes Elegi:' Ovid’s Exile and the Metamorphoses of Praise, Friendship, and Love in Late Latin Poetry
Mark Rothko, "Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow on White and Red)," 1949: oil on canvas, 81 ½ x 66 inches (207 x 167.6 cm) - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York: Gift, Elaine and Werner Dannheisser and The Dannheisser Foundation, 1978: 78.2461


Reception of Ovid
Praise Poetry
Venantius Fortunatus
Spiritual Friendship

How to Cite

Livorsi, L. (2016). ’Laudantes Elegi:’ Ovid’s Exile and the Metamorphoses of Praise, Friendship, and Love in Late Latin Poetry. Interfaces: A Journal of Medieval European Literatures, (2), 12–33. https://doi.org/10.13130/interfaces-7006


Taking a cue from the re-use of love themes as praise motives enacted by Ovid in his exile elegies, this paper illustrates the reception of such imagery in late antique Latin poetry. Touchstones for this enquiry are mainly the verse panegyrics by Claudian and the elegiac short poems by Venantius Fortunatus, considered as two different realisations of a common langue of praise in two different cultural and socio-historical milieus. More specifically, the aim of this paper is to show the increasing intermingling of languages of love, praise, and friendship (meant as the complex set of social relationships involved by the Latin amicitia): eventually, this highly stylised language survived until the early Middle Ages in the form of Christian spiritual friendship and ennobling love. Furthermore, when dealing with women patrons, this set of images results in intended literary overlaps, the most remarkable
outcomes being perhaps recognisable in Fortunatus’ elegies to St. Radegund.

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