The aesthetic changes in late Roman literature speak to the foundations of modern Western culture. The dawn of a modern way of being in the world, one that most Europeans and Americans would recognize as closely ancestral to their own, is to be found not in the distant antiquity of Greece norin the golden age of a Roman empire that spanned the Mediterranean, but more fundamentally in the original and problematic fusion of Greco-Roman culture with a new and unexpected foreign element-the arrival of Christianity as an exclusive state religion. For a host of reasons, traditionalistscholarship has failed to give a full and positive account of the formal, aesthetic and religious transformations of ancient poetics in Late Antiquity. The Poetics of Late Latin Literature attempts to capture the excitement and vibrancy of the living ancient tradition reinventing itself in a newcontext in the hands of a series of great Latin writers mainly from the fourth and fifth centuries AD. A series of the most distinguished expert voices in later Latin poetry as well as some of the most exciting new scholars have been specially commissioned to write new papers for this volume.