Decimus or Decimius Magnus Ausonius (/ɔːˈsoʊniəs/; c. 310 – c. 395) was a Roman poet and teacher of rhetoric from Burdigala in Aquitaine, modern Bordeaux, France. For a time he was tutor to the future emperor Gratian, who afterwards bestowed the consulship on him. His best-known poems are Mosella, a description of the river Moselle, and Ephemeris, an account of a typical day in his life. His many other verses show his concern for his family, friends, teachers, and circle of well-to-do acquaintances and his delight in the technical handling of meter.
Decimius Magnus Ausonius
Monument to Ausonius in Milan.
Decimius Magnus Ausonius was born c. 310 in Burdigala, the son of Julius Ausonius (c. AD 290–378), a physician of Greek ancestry, and Aemilia Aeonia, daughter of Caecilius Argicius Arborius, descended on both sides from established, land-owning Gallo-Roman families of southwestern Gaul. Ausonius was given a strict upbringing by his aunt and grandmother, both named Aemilia. He received an excellent education at Bordeaux and at Toulouse, where his maternal uncle, Aemilius Magnus Arborius, was a professor. Ausonius did well in grammar and rhetoric, but professed that his progress in Greek was unsatisfactory. When his uncle was summoned to Constantinople to tutor one of the sons of emperor Constantine I, Ausonius accompanied him to the capital.
Having completed his studies, he trained for some time as an advocate, but he preferred teaching. In 334 he became a grammaticus (instructor) at a school of rhetoric in Bordeaux, and afterwards a rhetor or professor. His teaching attracted many pupils, some of whom became eminent in public life. His most famous pupil was the poet Paulinus, who later became a Christian and Bishop of Nola.
After thirty years of this work Ausonius was summoned by emperor Valentinian I to teach his son, Gratian, the heir-apparent. When Valentinian took Gratian on the German campaigns of 368–9, Ausonius accompanied them. In recognition of his services emperor Valentinian bestowed on Ausonius the rank of quaestor. Gratian liked and respected his tutor, and when he himself became emperor in 375 he began bestowing on Ausonius and his family the highest civil honors. That year Ausonius was made Praetorian Prefect of Gaul, campaigned against the Alemanni and received as part of his booty a slave-girl, Bissula (to whom he addressed a poem), while his father, though nearly ninety years old, was given the rank of Prefect of Illyricum.
In 383 the army of Britain, led by Magnus Maximus, revolted against Gratian and assassinated him at Lyons; and when emperor Valentinian II was driven out of Italy, Ausonius retired to his estates near Burdigala (now Bordeaux) in Gaul. When Magnus Maximus was overthrown by emperor Theodosius I in 388, Ausonius did not leave his country estates. They were, he says, his nidus senectutis, the "nest of his old age", and there he spent the rest of his days, composing poetry and writing to many eminent contemporaries, several of whom had been his pupils. His estates supposedly included the land now owned by Château Ausone, which takes its name from him.
His grandson, Paulinus of Pella, was also a poet; his works attest to the devastation which Ausonius's Gaul would face soon after his death.
Although admired by his contemporaries, the writings of Ausonius have not since been ranked among Latin literature's finest. His style is easy and fluent, and his Mosella is appreciated for its evocation of the life and country along the River Moselle; but he is considered derivative and unoriginal. Edward Gibbon pronounced in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that "the poetical fame of Ausonius condemns the taste of his age."  However, his works have several points of interest:
2. His contribution to the carpe diem topic is noteworthy if the following poem is indeed his:
Collige, virgo, rosas, dum flos novus et nova pubes
Gather, girl, roses while the flower is fresh and fresh is youth,
|—Epigrammata: «Rosae» 2:49|
Itque reditque viam totiens | uteroque recusso
Back and forth he plies his path and, the cavity reverberating,
....renowned is Celbis for glorious fish, and that other, as he turns his mill-stones in furious revolutions and drives the shrieking saws through smooth blocks of marble, hears from either bank a ceaseless din...
The excerpt sheds new light on the development of Roman technology in using water power for different applications. It is one of the rare references in Roman literature to water mills used to cut stone, but is a logical consequence of the application of water power to mechanical sawing of stone (and presumably wood also). Earlier references to the widespread use of mills occur in Vitruvius in his De Architectura of circa 25 BC, and the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder published in 77 AD. Such applications of mills were to multiply again after the fall of the Empire through the Middle Ages into the modern era. The mills at Barbegal in southern France are famous for their application of water power to grinding grain to make flour and were built in the 1st century AD. They consisted of 16 mills in a parallel sequence on a hill near Arles.
The construction of a saw mill is even simpler than a flour or grinding mill, since no gearing is needed, and the rotary saw blade can be driven direct from the water wheel axle, as the example of Sutter's Mill in California shows. However, a different mechanism is shown by the sawmill at Hieropolis involving a frame saw operated through a crank and connecting rod.
| Consul of the Roman Empire
with Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius
Year 379 (CCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Ausonius and Hermogenianus (or, less frequently, year 1132 Ab urbe condita). The denomination 379 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.Aemilia Hilaria
Aemilia Hilaria (c. 300 – c. 363) was a Gallo-Roman physician. She practiced medicine, and wrote books on gynecology and obstetrics. She was called "Hilaria" due to her cheerfulness as a baby.Baiocasses
The Baiocasses were a Celtic tribe (pagus) in ancient Gaul. They were a tribal division of the civitas of the Lexovii, in the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis.
The Baiocasses were located east of the Venelli and west of the Belgic Veliocasses. The Latin name for their territory was the Pagus Baiocensis, corresponding to the area in Normandy now known as le Bessin. This is the location of the modern city of Bayeux, which takes its name from the tribe. Their principal city was known during the late Roman Imperial era as Civitas Baiocassium ("City of the Baiocasses"), from which Bayeux derives. Earlier it had been called Augustodurum, named as were several new Gallo-Roman towns for the emperor Augustus and compounded with the Gaulish word duron, "gate" and hence "enclosed place, market, forum; walled town." By Merovingian times, the city was called Baiocas. In the time of William the Conqueror the name was already being written as Bayeaux.
Julius Caesar does not mention the Baiocasses in his commentaries on the Gallic Wars of the 50s BC, but they are listed in the Notitia dignitatum and are probably the same people Pliny calls Bodiocasses. The Celtic word badios or bodios, "yellow, blond," forms several personal names found in Gaulish inscriptions. The meaning of the element -casses is less certain; it may mean "hair, hairstyle," perhaps a particular warrior coiffure, or "tin, bronze (helmet?)."The Baiocasses minted base gold, silver and billon (base silver) coins in the denomination of one stater and in the case of gold coins sometimes quarter staters. Most of the coins show a Celtic-style male head with elaborated hair on the obverse, and on the reverse a horse with a chariot rider above or behind, and below usually either a lyre or small boar. A number of these are in existence.The 4th-century Bordelaise poet Ausonius teases a friend as a Baiocassis who claimed to be of druidic heritage and descended from priests of Belenus.Bissula
Bissula (flourished in 4th century AD) was an Alemannic woman in the 4th century. She was captured by the Romans in 368 at a young age, and became a slave of the Roman poet Ausonius. Ausonius fell deeply in love with Bissula, and released her from slavery. He wrote a poem on her, de Bissula ("About Bissula"), which he sent to his friend Paulus.David Dencik
Karl David Sebastian Dencik (born 31 October 1974) is a Swedish-Danish actor. He has acted in both Swedish and Danish films, and has also had major roles in English-language films including Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.Divona
In Gallo-Roman religion, Divona or, in Gaulish, Devona is the eponymous goddess of a sacred spring that was the source of fresh water (fons) for the city of Burdigala (Bordeaux). She is hailed (salve, compare Salve Regina) in a Latin poem by Ausonius, the 4th-century Bordelais scholar-poet who was the tutor of the emperor Gratian.
The word Divona derives from Gaulish deuos, "divinity," and may simply be an honorific title rather than the name of a particular deity. It is a likely origin for place names such as Divona Cadurcorum ("Divona of the Cadurci," modern Cahors, Δηουόνα, Dēvona in Ptolemy), Divonne (Ain) (although other derivations are suggested), and Dionne (Côte-d'Or). The territory of the Celtic Cadurci, in the modern French department of Lot, was noted for its springs in antiquity; Frontinus notes that the Cadurcan town of Uxellodunum was surrounded by a river and had an abundance of freshwater sources (fontes).In ancient Roman religion, goddesses of freshwater sources are often associated with the deity Fons, god of fountains and wellheads, honored at the Fontinalia for his role in the public water supply for the city. Ausonius invokes fons, the manmade outlet that makes the water available to the people, with a string of adjectives: sacer, alme, perennis, / vitree, glauce, profunde, sonore, illimis, opace, "sacred, life-giving, eternal, / glassy, blue-green, measureless, sonorous, free of mud, shaded." He hails fons as the "Genius of the city" (urbis genius) having the power to offer a healing draught (medico potabilis haustu). In the next line, Ausonius says that this genius or tutelary deity is Divona in the Celtic language (Divona Celtarum lingua), that is, fons added to the divae (plural).The name also appears in inscriptions.John Ausonius
John Wolfgang Alexander Ausonius (born Wolfgang Alexander Zaugg, 12 July 1953), known in the media as Lasermannen ("the Laser Man"), is a Swedish convicted murderer, bank robber, and attempted serial killer. From August 1991 to January 1992 he shot eleven people in the Stockholm and Uppsala area, most of whom were immigrants, killing one and seriously injuring the others. He first used a rifle equipped with a laser sight (hence, his nickname), and later switched to a revolver. He was arrested in June 1992 and sentenced to life imprisonment in January 1994.Kyll
The Kyll (German pronunciation: [ˈkɪl]), noted by the Roman poet Ausonius as Celbis, is a 128 km long river in western Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate), left tributary of the Moselle. It rises in the Eifel mountains, near the border with Belgium and flows generally south through the towns Stadtkyll, Gerolstein, Kyllburg and east of Bitburg. It flows into the Moselle in Ehrang, a suburb of Trier.List of Roman nomina
This is a list of Roman nomina. Each nomen is for a gens, originally a single family, but later more of a political grouping.Manius Acilius Glabrio
Manius Acilius Glabrio was the name (tria nomina) used by several ancient Roman men of the gens Acilia, including:
Manius Acilius Glabrio, a consul of the Roman Republic in 191 BC.
Manius Acilius Glabrio, a suffect consul in 154 BC. In 181 BC, he was on the two-man commission for temple dedications (duumviri aedi dedicandae): he was in charge of the Temple of Pietas in the Forum Holitorium, and a Lucius Porcius Cato the Temple of Venus Erycina near the Colline Gate. He was curule aedile in 166 with Marcus Fulvius Nobilior, in charge of presenting the Ludi Megalenses at which the Andria of the comic playwright Terence was first presented. He served as praetor in the year 157 at the latest. His father had the same name, and his grandfather was a Gaius Acilius Glabrio.
Manius Acilius Glabrio, a tribune of the plebs in 123 or 122 BC who sponsored a lex de repetundis, one of a number of Roman laws aimed at curbing extortion among Roman governors. A Lex Acilia is known from an inscription, and a Lex Rubria Acilia is mentioned in a senatus consultum—an indication that the tribune Gaius Rubrius was a co-sponsor.
Manius Acilius Glabrio, consul in 67 BC.
Manius Acilius Glabrio, possibly a lieutenant who served under Julius Caesar who is more likely a Marcus Acilius. A Marcus Acilius Caninus or Caninianus was quaestor pro praetore in Macedonia 45–44, and suffect consul in 33 BC.
Manius Acilius Glabrio, a consul in AD 91 who was put to death by Domitian.
Manius Acilius Glabrio, consul in 124, and proconsul of Africa in 139/140.
Manius Acilius Glabrio Gnaeus Cornelius Severus, also known as Manius Acilius Glabrio, consul in 152
Manius Acilius Glabrio, consul with Commodus in 186.
Marcus Acilius Glabrio, consul in 256
Acilius Glabrio, grammarian in Bordeaux in the fourth century AD, a student of Ausonius.Moselle
The Moselle (French: la Moselle IPA: [mɔzɛl]; German: Mosel IPA: [ˈmoːzəl]; Luxembourgish: Musel) is a river flowing through France, Luxembourg, and Germany. It is a left tributary of the Rhine, which it joins at Koblenz. A small part of Belgium is also drained by the Moselle through the Sauer and the Our.
The Moselle "twists and turns its way between Trier and Koblenz along one of Germany's most beautiful river valleys." It flows through a region that has been influenced by mankind since it was first cultivated by the Romans. Today, its hillsides are covered by terraced vineyards where "some of the best Rieslings grow", and numerous ruined castles dominate the hilltops above wine villages and towns that line the riverbanks. Traben-Trarbach with its art nouveau architecture and Bernkastel-Kues with its traditional market square are two of the many tourist attractions on the Moselle river.Ordo urbium nobilium
Ordo Urbium Nobilium is a Latin poem in dactylic hexameter by Decimus Magnus Ausonius. It was written after a journey Ausonius took through the Roman empire between the years 388 and 390 AD. The poem lists brief descriptions of the major cities of the Roman Empire and ranks them from the most important to the least important.
The ranking is as follows:
1. Roma (Rome).
2. Constantinopolis (Constantinople) and Carthago (Carthage).
4. Antiochia (Antioch) and Alexandria.
6. Treveris (Trier).
7. Mediolanum (Milan).
10. Arelas (Arles).
11-14. Hispalis/Emerita (Seville and Mérida), Corduba (Córdoba), Tarraco (Tarragona) and Bracara (Braga). It is unclear whether the latter three cities are ranked immediately below Emerita or are excluded from the ranking altogether.
15. Athenae (Athens).
16. Catana (Catania) and Syracusae (Syracuse).
18. Tolosa (Toulouse).
19. Narbona (Narbonne).
20. Burdigala (Bordeaux).Ostomachion
Ostomachion, also known as loculus Archimedius (Archimedes' box in Latin) and also as syntomachion, is a mathematical treatise attributed to Archimedes. This work has survived fragmentarily in an Arabic version and a copy, the Archimedes Palimpsest, of the original ancient Greek text made in Byzantine times. The word Ostomachion has as its roots in the Greek Ὀστομάχιον, which means "bone-fight", from ὀστέον (osteon), "bone" and μάχη (mache), "fight, battle, combat". Note that the manuscripts refer to the word as "Stomachion", an apparent corruption of the original Greek. Ausonius gives us the correct name "Ostomachion" (quod Graeci ostomachion vocavere, "which the Greeks called ostomachion"). The Ostomachion which he describes was a puzzle similar to tangrams and was played perhaps by several persons with pieces made of bone. It is not known which is older, Archimedes' geometrical investigation of the figure, or the game. Victorinus, Bassus Ennodius and Lucretius have talked about the game too.Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine
The Palazzo delle Scuole Palatine (Palace of the Palatine School) is a historic building of Milan, Italy, located in Piazza Mercanti, the former city centre in the Middle Ages. It served as the seat of the most prestigious higher school of medieval Milan. Many notable Milanese scholars of different ages studied or taught in these schools; Augustine of Hippo and Cesare Beccaria, among others, served as teachers in the Palatine. The current building dates back to 1644, when it replaced an older one, which had the same function and was destroyed by a fire.
The school was established in Piazza Mercanti under Giovanni Maria Visconti. In 1644, they were destroyed by a fire, and rebuilt based on the prestigious model of the nearby Palazzo dei Giureconsulti, by architect Carlo Buzzi.
The building is decorated with several monuments, including a plaque with an epigram by Ausonius celebrating Milan as the "New Rome" of the 4th century, a statue of Augustine by sculptor Pietro Lasagna, and a statue of Ausonius.Pylaeus
In Greek mythology, Pylaeus (Ancient Greek: Πύλαιος), son of Lethus, son of Teutamides, descendant of Pelasgus. He was one of the allies to King Priam in the Trojan War; he commanded the Pelasgian contingent together with his brother Hippothous. Pylaeus is hardly ever mentioned separately from his brother; they are said to have fallen in battle together by Dictys Cretensis and to have been buried "in a garden" according to the late Latin poet Ausonius.Strabo, in his comment on the Homeric passage referenced above, mentions that according to a local tradition of Lesbos, Pylaeus also commanded the Lesbian army and had a mountain on the island named Pylaeus after him.Pylaeus is also an epithet of Hermes.Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius
Quintus Clodius Hermogenianus Olybrius (floruit 361-384) was a Roman politician, praefectus urbi of Rome in 368–370 and Roman consul in 379. Olybrius has been characterized as belonging to "the breed of flexible politicians who did well both under Valentinian I [...] and under Gratian."Rufinus (poet)
Rufinus (Greek: Ῥουφῖνος) is the author of approximately thirty-eight epigrams, found in the fifth book of the Greek Anthology. When he was active is unknown. He probably postdated the Garland of Philip of Thessalonica, published under Nero, and Alan Cameron estimates that Rufinus' poems must have existed by the 390s AD at the latest as he believes he was copied by Ausonius and Claudian. Cameron dates Rufinus to before Strato, which would imply that he was active before 250 AD. Denys Page, on the other hand, places Strato before Rufinus and is in favor of a fourth century CE date for the latter. Page is more cautious about the idea that Ausonius and Claudian borrowed from Rufinus. In his dating, he has the support of Barry Baldwin, who spotted similar vocabulary between Rufinus and Patristic writers.Rufinus possibly lived near Ephesus, where one of his poems is set.
His verses are of the same light amatory character as those of Agathias, Paulus Silentiarius, Macedonius, and others; but beyond this there is no other indication of his period.
In the Anthology of Planudes, there is also an epigram ascribed to an otherwise unknown Rufinus Domesticus. He is not considered to be the same person as the Rufinus who wrote the previously mentioned epigrams of Book V.Siburius
Siburius (fl. 370s), for whom only the single name survives, was a high-ranking official of the Roman Empire. He was one of several Gauls who rose to political prominence in the late 4th century as a result of the emperor Gratian's appointment of his Bordelaise tutor Ausonius to high office.The Miser and his Gold
The Miser and his Gold (or Treasure) is one of Aesop's Fables that deals directly with human weaknesses, in this case the wrong use of possessions. Since this is a story dealing only with humans, it allows the point to be made directly through the medium of speech rather than be surmised from the situation. It is numbered 225 in the Perry Index.