Poetry and Exegesis in Premodern Latin Christianity: The Encounter between Classical and Christian Strategies of Interpretation

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Overview

This volume investigates various exegetical possibilities in Christian Latin poetry during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the Latin West poetry was mainly associated with the powerful pagan tradition of writers like Vergil and Ovid, and by many poetry was considered to tell lies and provide mere entertainment potentially corrupting the soul. Therefore, Christians initially had reservations about this genre and believed it to be incompatible with Christian worship, literacy and intellectual activity. In practice, however, forms of specifically Christian poetry developed from the end of the third century onwards; theoretical reconciliations were developed around 400 A.D. This collection examines specimens of Christian poetry from Juvencus (the first biblical epicist shortly after 300) up to the thirteenth century. Its particular usefulness lies in the combination of literary theory and hermeneutics, close readings of the texts and new readings on a sound philological basis.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004160699
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/13/2007
  • Series: Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements Series , #87
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.57 (w) x 9.61 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet the Author

Willemien Otten, Ph.D. (1989) on The Anthropology of Johannes Scottus Eriugena, is professor of the History of Christianity and Dean of Theology at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Her publications focus on early Christian and medieval theology and intellectual culture. Among her recent publications are From Paradise to Paradigm. A Study of Twelfth-Century Humanism (Leiden 2004) and, co-edited with J. Frishman and G. Rouwhorst, Religious Identity and the Problem of Historical Foundation. The Foundational Character of Authoritative Sources in the History of Christianity and Judaism (Leiden 2004).
Karla Pollmann, Ph.D. (1990) on the Carmen adversus Marcionitas, Habilitation (1994) on Augustine’s De doctrina christiana, is professor of Classics at St Andrews University, Scotland. Among her most recent publications are Statius, Thebaid 12. Introduction, Text, and Commentary (Paderborn 2004) and, co-edited with M. Vessey, Augustine and the Disciplines (Oxford 2005). Currently, she is directing an international and interdisciplinary five-year project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, on the reception of Augustine from 430 to 2000 (www.st-and.ac.uk/classics/after-augustine), in which Otten acts as a principal collaborator.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors     vii
Acknowledgements     xiii
Introduction     1
Theory
Augustine and Poetic Exegesis   H.J. Westra     11
Quid facit cum Horatio Hieronymus? Christian Latin Poetry and Scriptural Poetics   M. Vessey     29
Time and the Integrity of Poetry: Ambrose and Augustine   M.B. Pranger     49
Individual Authors and Works
The Evangeliorum Libri of Juvencus: Exegesis by Stealth?   R.P.H. Green     65
Cantatur ad delectationem: Ambrose's Lyric Poetry   J. den Boeft     81
Technological Innovation and Poetical Exegesis: The Glass Lamp in Prudentius' Cathemerinon 5   J. Clarke     99
The Carmen ad uxorem and the Genre of the Epithalamium   R. Chiappiniello     115
Principles of Structure and Unity in Latin Biblical Epic   M. Hoffmann     139
Interpreting Cultural Change: Semiotics and Exegesis in Dracontius' De laudibus Dei   A. Arweiler     147
Exegesis by Distorting Pagan Myths in Corippus' Epic Poetry   Ch.O. Tommasi Moreschini     173
Reflections on the Meaning of the Ecloga Theoduli: Where is the Authorial Voice?   M. Herren     199
Epic Poetry as Exegesis: 'The Song of the Good War' (Eupolemius)   K.Smolak     231
The Poetics of Biblical Tragedy in Abelard's Planctus   W. Otten     245
Overviews, Comparisons
Biblical Poetry in Latin Liturgical Texts   A.A.R. Bastiaensen     265
The Saint as Preacher. Remarks on a Rare Motif in Late Antique and Medieval Poetry   H. Muller     275
Poetry and Suffering: Metrical Paraphrases of Eucherius of Lyons' Passio Acaunensium Martyrum   K. Pollmann     293
Biblical Versifications from Late Antiquity to the Middle of the Thirteenth Century: History or Allegory?   G. Dinkova-Bruun     315
Indices     343
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