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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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Pastoral and Rural Spaces

Pastoral and Rural Spaces

(p.99) 4 Pastoral and Rural Spaces
Prudentius and the Landscapes of Late Antiquity

Cillian O’Hogan

Oxford University Press

The chapter is a study of the imagined pastoral spaces in Prudentius’ poetry, especially in the Cathemerinon, the Psychomachia, and the Contra orationem Symmachi. Prudentius differs from his contemporaries (such as Endelechius, author of the De mortibus boum), by rejecting a scenario by which Christ can actively intervene in the world to protect the flocks and crops of the faithful. Instead, Prudentius provides a model by which Christian faith has as its purpose not an expectation of deliverance from earthly woes, but rather the provision of solace to the faithful during the times of those woes. Related to this are Prudentius’ descriptions of paradise in the Cathemerinon, and the temple of the soul at the end of the Psychomachia.

Keywords:   pastoral, paradise, heaven, Cathemerinon, Psychomachia, Contra orationem Symmachi

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