Horace's Art of Poetry supplied the medieval schools with the only available classical doctrines on fiction and poetry before Aristotle's Poetics became widely studied in the fifteenth century. Horace exercized both practical and theoretical influence on literary exegesis, and shaped medieval and early Renaissance doctrines of composition by discussing the very nature of fiction, narrative techniques, authorial roles, description of character and tone, including performance and reading of a text. The anonymous commentators as well as the Dante commentator Francesco da Buti (1395) were deeply influenced by the twelfth-century “Materia” Commentary, but also by the Arabic notion of an independent art of poetics, and remained in lively dialogue with the teaching of Ciceronian rhetoric of invention, disposition, elocution, and delivery.

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