Department of Greek & Latin


Grattius in context(s): Hunting an Augustan Poet

25-26 June 2015
University College London

Grattius' Cynegeticon, a (now incomplete) Roman didactic poem on hunting with dogs, can be confidently dated to the Augustan period thanks to a passing reference from Ovid during a reflection from exile: Pont. 4.16.34 aptaque venanti Grattius arma daret. Grattius is here specifically named as part of a group of esteemed authors comparable to Ovid (Pont. 4.16.45-6). Moreover, Ovid's reference to Grattius' work is a conscious recollection of its final programmatic line (Gratt. 23 carmine et arma dabo et venandi persequar artis), prompting the observation that Grattius is a poet whose work has been carefully read, both by Ovid and, by inference, the learned readership for Pont. 4.16.

If modern scholarship has generally followed Ovid in connecting the exilic reference to the extant hunting poem, it has all but ignored Ovid's intimations about Grattius' literary standing. On the contrary, apart from a handful of important scholarly contributions, Grattius remains largely unappreciated and unread, especially by Anglophone scholars, while his Augustan contemporaries are the focus of continued scrutiny.

This conference provides an opportunity to put Grattius firmly and exclusively in the spotlight - a delayed response, as it were, to the rallying call made to an Anglophone audience by John Henderson ('Going to the Dogs', PCPS 2001).

For the sake of general orientation, readers might like to be aware that a Latin text and translation of the poem, contained within Duff and Duff's LOEB edition Minor Latin Poets (1934), is available online here

  • The Classical Association is providing up to 3 bursaries to enable students to attend the conference. The bursaries cover the conference fee and will contribute towards travel costs and (modest) accommodation in London on the evening of the conference (25 June). Expressions of interest, along with a supporting statement (not more than 250 words) explaining how you would benefit from a bursary, should be sent to Steven Green by Monday 13 April 2015.

For further information please contact steven.green@ucl.ac.uk