This concluding chapter summarizes key themes. This book examines how the figure of the reader lends a sense of coherence and meaning to the Latin poetry from late antiquity. It shows that in the long fourth century, Latin poets explored the interaction between text, meaning, and interpretation, and the most distinctive forms of late antique poetry reflect upon this interplay between source and reading. As the reader came to play a central role in mediating the presence of the text, the poetics of late antiquity stand out in high relief against the classicisms of Augustan Rome. The “presence of the text” consists in the sense that the poem remains to be heard, interpreted, and lived in the particular moment at which it is encountered by the reader. The remainder of the chapter presents some directions for future study.
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