Influence of Catullus on Latin poetry of the Augustan age
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To what extent Catullus was a factor in the poetry of the Augustan age, or more accurately, what he contributed to it in form and substance is the object of this inquiry. A sympathetic reading of his poems alone assures us that it would have been hardly possible for them to pass soon into oblivion. The poetry of the Augustan age is recognized as the highest perfection, the flowering forth, of Latin literature. Precision of form and elegance of language are the artistic excellences to which the poets attain in the realms of epic, lyric, and elegiac poetry. It is significant that in each of these fields Catullus has been practically a pioneer: that his epyllion "The Marriage of Peleus and Thetis" places him as the immediate forerunner of Vergil, the supreme Roman epic poet; that he is the only predecessor of Horace in lyric poetry and of Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid in elegiac. What he contributed to the creations of these will represent fairly well the ages' indebtedness to him.