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Prudentius and the Landscapes of Late Antiquity$
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Cillian O'Hogan

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749226.001.0001

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Reading as a Journey

Reading as a Journey

(p.9) 1 Reading as a Journey
Prudentius and the Landscapes of Late Antiquity

Cillian O’Hogan

Oxford University Press

An examination of the idea of the book of nature and related ideas about the world as text (and texts as navigable spaces) in late antiquity. These are related to broader Christian ideas about the incarnation of Christ as the Word made Flesh (John 1:14), as well as to the Roman tendency to acquire knowledge by reading rather than by doing. It is argued that Prudentius’ Peristephanon is presented as a literary world, into which the reader is immersed like a traveller. This reading is supported by one arrangement of the poems of the Peristephanon in the manuscript tradition, in which the poems are ordered to fit an itinerary beginning in northern Spain and circling the Mediterranean, before returning to Spain.

Keywords:   reader, manuscripts, bibliographical imagination, book of nature, transmission, pilgrimage

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