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Augustan age


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A term derived from the period of literary eminence under the Roman emperor Augustus (27 bc–ad 14) during which Virgil, Horace, and Ovid flourished. In English literature it refers generally to the early and mid‐18th cent. Augustan writers (such as Pope, Addison, Swift, and Steele) greatly admired their Roman counterparts, imitated their works, and themselves frequently drew parallels between the two ages. Goldsmith, in The Bee, in an ‘Account of the Augustan Age in England’ (1759), identifies it with the reign of Queen Anne, and the era of Congreve, Prior, and Bolingbroke. See also neo‐Classicism.

Subjects: Literature.


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