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The introduction makes the case for fictional biography (or ‘biofiction’) as fundamental to understanding the reception of Roman poetry. Bringing together developments in life-writing studies and recent work on ancient biography and poets’ Lives, it develops a concept of biofictional reading as a key mode of the reception of Latin poetry. Aware of ancient habits of reading poetry ‘for the life’, Roman poets wrote autofictional versions of their Lives for later readers to pick up, creating a body of literature that demands to be read in terms of Lives in reception.
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