The imagery and rhetoric of monstrosity is conspicuous in Claudian’s poems. The poet has composed two verse accounts of the Gigantomachy, one fragmentary in Greek and one incomplete in Latin; moreover, the Gigantomachy theme runs throughout De Raptu Proserpinae. Apart from these mythological poems, the foes and opponents of Stilicho appear to be monstra. Rufinus, Eutropius, Gildo, Alaric are presented by the poet as monsters that threaten the empire and destabilize the order. This dissertation intends to explore the monstra in Claudians’ poems, alike the characters of myths and historical persons and events of the poet’s era, in order to examine their multiple functions and symbolisms. A comprehensive study is going to allow the reader to interpret the meaning of monstrosity within the macrotext of the poet’s entire work.
Joint Phd with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens