AEMILIUS MACER, of Verona, Roman didactic poet, author of two poems, one on birds (Ornithogonia), the other on the antidotes against the poison of serpents (Theriaca), imitated from the Greek poet Nicander of Colophon.
Fruitful as the 6th and 7th centuries of the Hegira were in panegyrics, they attained an equally high standard in didactic and mystic poetry.
He was a Protestant, and among other religious works translated the Psalms. His best work was Zwierciadio albo zywot poczciwego czlowieka (The Mirror or Life of an Honourable Man) - a somewhat tedious didactic piece.
After his master's death, in the third period of his own life, and during his connexion with Alexander, but before the final construction of his philosophy into a system, he was tending to write more and more in the didactic style; to separate from dialectic, not only metaphysics, but also politics, rhetoric and poetry; to admit by the side of philosophy the arts of persuasive language; to think it part of their legitimate work to rouse the passions; and in all these ways to depart from the ascetic rigidity of the philosophy of Plato, so as to prepare for the tolerant spirit of his own, and especially for his ethical doctrine that virtue consists not in suppressing but in moderating almost all human passions.
The didactic element was no longer in sole possession of the field, for the inrush of multitudes to the Christian faith and the building of large churches necessitated a return to the evangelical or proclamatory type of sermon.
Through his industry and vigorous understanding he gave a great impulse to the creation of Roman oratory, history and systematic didactic writing.
It may be defined as a didactic or homiletic development of some thought or theme, characterized by a more subjective, imaginative and ampliative treatment.
Not only as a philosophic and didactic writer, but also as a lyric and dramatic poet he surpassed all his contemporaries.
Accordingly, when there are narratives which cannot be tested in this manner, should they show all the internal marks of didactic expansion and date from an age much later than the times with which they deal, their immediate value will not necessarily lie in the details which appear to be of historical interest, but in their contribution to later forms of tradition and phases of thought.
Ennius called his didactic poem on natural philosophy Epicharmus after the comic poet.