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Title: Prudentius, Volume 2: Against Symmachus 2, Crownd of Martyrdom, Scenes from History (L398)
Author: Prudentius, H J Thomson (trans)
Publisher: Harvard University Press; Publication Date: 1953
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780674994386
Volumes: 1; Pages: 400
List Price in Cloth: $24.00 Our price: $24.00
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Prudentius has been called "the father of Christian allegory." Born in 348, Prudentius achieved distinction in government administration but retired in later life to write devotional poetry, becoming the first to use the classical Latin verse forms with complete success in the service of the new faith. His lyrical poetry includes Hymns for the Day, a cycle of twelve hymns for various times of the day, parts of which are still found in modern hymnals; and Crowns of Martyrdom, fourteen long poems celebrating the lives of martyrs, including "The Passion of Agnes." Prudentius also wrote two long didactic poems: Apotheosis, on the doctrine of the Trinity; and Hamartigenia (Origin of Sin), which attacks the Gnostic theologian Marcion. The Loeb edition includes, as well, his Psychomachia, an allegorical description of the struggle between (Christian) virtues and (pagan) vices; Contra Symmachum, a polemic against paganism based on the events of the year 384; and a series of 49 poems describing biblical scenes depicted in wall paintings on a Roman church--a valuable source on Christian iconography.