Amstelodami [Amsterdam]: Apud Ioannem Blaev, 1671. Hardcover. 822pp. Duodecimo. Full vellum. Very good. Subtle discoloring to covers, bookoplate on front pastedown, notes in pencil on front free endsheets, short notation in ink below frontis. Item #7321
Decimus Magnus Ausonius (c. 310-395), was a Roman poet and rhetorician, born at Burdigala. In 334, he established a school of rhetoric in Bordeaux, which was very popular. His most famous pupil was Paulinus, who later became Bishop of Nola. After thirty years of this work, he was summoned by Valentinian to the imperial court, to teach Gratian, the heir-apparent. The prince greatly respected his tutor, and after his accession bestowed on him the highest titles and honours, culminating in the consulate in 379. After the murder of Gratian in 383, Ausonius retired to his estates near Bordeaux. Although much admired by his contemporaries, the writings of Ausonius have not since been ranked among Latin literature's best. Edward Gibbon observed in the third volume of his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that "the poetical fame of Ausonius condemns the taste of his age." However, he is frequently cited by historians of winemaking, as his works give early evidence of large-scale viniculture in the now-famous wine country around his native Bordeaux.