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Latin Epics of the New TestamentJuvencus, Sedulius, Arator$
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Roger P. H. Green

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199284573

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284573.001.0001

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(p.135) 2 Sedulius
Latin Epics of the New Testament


Oxford University Press

Sedulius is a rather shadowy figure, though he himself describes a circle of Christian devotees, probably in Italy, to which he belongs. Almost exactly one hundred years later than Juvencus – this chapter includes a brief survey of the significant developments in Christian poetry in that time – Sedulius differs notably from him, concentrating for the most part on the New Testament miracles, which he elaborates with powerful rhetoric. Each of his five books is examined in turn, with particular attention to the first, introductory book, in which his ingenious and obviously admiring uses of Vergil are prominent. Sedulius's strong theological position centres on his attacks on the controversial Nestorius, but it is also clear throughout the work, that he too engages thoughtfully with the diction and artistry of Vergil (though not, it is argued, with his hero Aeneas).

Keywords:   Christian poetry, miracles, rhetoric, Vergil, diction, artistry, Nestorius, Aeneas

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