Decimius Magnus Ausonius

Poetry (Google Books).

Ausonius (310-394) was a Latin poet and teacher of rhetoric as well as a grammarian.

As Walker has indicated, his poetry

reflects the literary culture, the grammaticalized rhetorical poets, and the grammaticalized, literary poetry of the educated upper classes in his day.  He displays considerable technical virtuosity, but he is fundamentally conventional, deeply conservative, essentially pedantic, and often dull . . . presenting his noble audience with an aesthetically pleasing representation of their image of aristocratic refinement and pious sentiment.  1

So why did Lister read Ausonius?  The answer may lie in the fact that Ausonius was also a native of Bordeaux and discussed winemaking, particularly the vineyards along the river Mosel, which may be the reason for Lister’s interest in his works.

Lister, a keen oenologist, later donated a 1671 edition of Ausonius to Oxford.

  1.  J. Walker, Rhetoric and Poetics in Antiquity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 310.

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