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La mémoire des figures impériales chez Claudien

Abstract : Several references to earlier emperors can be found in Claudian’s politic poems addressed to Emperor Honorius ; among them are Theodosius, his father, and Trajan, the model for the optimus princeps. This paper aims at analysing how the poet makes use of these references to show the very young Prince of the West what a good emperor is and to legitimatize him (and, at the same time, to legitimatize Stilicho’s place, which has no legal basis) : to achieve this goal, Claudian draws on the double idea of the dynastic transfer of imperial power and the choice of the best possible man. Analysing this allows a better understanding of the functioning of the imperial panegyric, which goes beyond the mere praise in Claudian’s poetry : it creates and shapes the reality it describes – and so the figure of the Prince – in a performative way. The chronological perspective of this study shows also how Claudian’s discourse evolves as Honorius grows from childhood to maturity.
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Charlotte Tournier. La mémoire des figures impériales chez Claudien. Interférences, Ars scribendi, 2016, ⟨10.4000/interferences.5830⟩. ⟨halshs-01584761⟩



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