Prudentius on the Martyrs

Synopsis

This critical study provides the first comprehensive analysis of the Latin poet Prudentius, considered one of the greatest Christian poets of the late Antique period. Palmer examines the poet's life and society, investigates the purpose of the poems--especially the Peristephanon--and their intended audience, and discusses them in relation to both the heritage of Classical literature and to sources in contemporary martyr-literature. He shows that Prudentius, writing most of his poems at a turning point in the history of the Western Empire, accepted many aspects of secular poetry and combined them with the new ideals and forms of expression provided by Christianity and its growing literature.

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