Article

Marcus Manilius

Katharina Volk

in Classics

ISBN: 9780195389661
Published online April 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0106
Marcus Manilius

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Marcus Manilius was a Roman poet who in the second decade of the 1st century ce wrote Astronomica, a hexameter poem in five books on the topic of astrology. Nothing is known about his person or life. His highly self-reflexive work belongs to the genre of ancient didactic poetry and is greatly indebted to Lucretius, while also showing the influence of such Augustan poets as Vergil and Ovid. Manilius describes and celebrates the workings of fate and the beauty and order of the divine universe, presenting a view of the world that is typical of cosmological ideas of his period and particularly close to Stoicism. At the same time, the poet’s subject matter carries political significance: astrology had grown popular at Rome in the late Republic and had become a tool of propaganda in the reign of Augustus, who is praised and associated with the heavens at numerous points in Manilius’s poem.

Article.  7680 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Art and Architecture ; Classical History ; Classical Literature ; Classical Philosophy

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