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[91] I have restricted my list of poets to these names, because Germanicus [p. 53] Augustus1 has been distracted from the study of poetry on which he had embarked by his care for the governance of the world, and the gods have thought it scarce worthy of his powers that he should be the greatest of poets. But what can be more sublime, more learned, more perfect in every detail than those works to which he devoted himself in the seclusion to which he retired after conferring the supreme power upon his father and his brother? Who could sing of war better than he who wages it with such skill? To whom would the goddesses that preside over literature sooner lend an ear? To whom would Minerva, his familiar deity,2 more readily reveal her secrets?

1 Domitian.

2 He claimed to be the son of Minerva. It is doubtful if he ever wrote any poetry. Cp. Tac Hist. iv. 86, Suet. Dom. 2 and 20.

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