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"Fetch me a pen, lad. I mean to sing of the noble deeds of Jesus Christ, the theme of my heavenly Muse."
Born in Spain in the fourth century, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens held a position of considerable authority in the Roman imperial administration. He was thirteen when Julian, the last pagan emperor, came to the throne and attempted to suppress Christianity and restore paganism. And he watched, two years later, when Julian was succeeded by the co-emperors, Valentinian and Valens, both Christians whose courts included such men as Jerome, Ausonius, and Martin of Tours.
His lasting influence comes, however, from his work as a poet: a pioneer in the creation of a Christian literature, Prudentius is generally regarded as the greatest of the Christian Latin poets, and his legacy informed the work of future poets, among them George Herbert and John Donne. Prudentius wrote two collections of hymns: the Cathemerinon Liber and the Peristephanon. The former, a collection of twelve songs in English "The Daily Round" is translated here by David Slavitt. Essentially literary in nature, the hymns replaced mythology of the classical mode with stories from the Scriptures and enjoyed immense popularity and success for centuries in the liturgy of the church.
"Prudentius's Latin is decorative and his poetic stance is enormously appealing. I have tried to do the voice and suggest to others something of what I admire in it. If I read these poems as objets d'art, I have no objection to my Christian friends reading them another way, as devotions. Indeed, I cannot for the life of me guess which of us will be getting more out of them. The particular belief is perhaps not so much the crucial issue as the yearning for belieffor the faithful feel, in the momentary flaggings of their faith, a fervent longing most agnostics have experienced, whether they admit it or not."--from the Introduction
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David Slavitt translates the appealing works of a pioneer of Christian literature.About the Author:
David R. Slavitt, poet, novelist, critic, and journalist, has published more than fifty books. His translations include the Metamorphoses of Ovid, The Fables of Avianus, the & quot;Eclogues& quot; and & quot;Georgics& quot; of Virgil, and Seneca: The Tragedies, Vols. 1 and 2, all available from Johns Hopkins.
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Book Description The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. First. Seller Inventory # DADAX0801854121
Book Description The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0801854121
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STR-0801854121