The perfect general according to the late Roman Latin panegyrics


Abstract

In this article I am describing how Roman panegyric’s writers of Late Antiquity (XII Panegyrici Latini, Claudius Claudianus, Sidonius Apollinaris, Flavius Merobaudes, Priscian, Ennodius, Corippus and others) presented an im­age of the perfect general with reference to their object of praise. On the ground of detailed analysis of those features I am going to indicate the most expected ones according to the social reception. Moreover, I will point out those means which were used by the authors to create the image of the ideal general. Next, I will pay attention to how the authors change their way in presenting the perfect general and how this development was connected with the general evolution of the genre. Lastly, I will answer a quite perverse question: if the perfect general could lead his soldiers to a victory in a real battle. In the background there will be a continu­ous question, if the panegyric – despite its limitation – can or can’t be treated as a valuable historical source.


Keywords

perfect general; Late Antiquity; latin panegyric; propaganda; autopresentation

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Published : 2015-07-15


Szopa, A. (2015). The perfect general according to the late Roman Latin panegyrics. Vox Patrum, 63, 307-329. https://doi.org/10.31743/vp.3566

Adrian Szopa 
Uniwersytet Pedagogiczny im. Komisji Edukacji Narodowej w Krakowie  Poland