Prudentius’ Psychomachia

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Classical Studies




This new translation brings to life Prudentius' Psychomachia, one of the most widely read poems in western Europe from Late Antiquity through the Renaissance. With accompanying notes and introduction, this volume provides a fresh exploration of its themes and influence.

The Psychomachia of Prudentius (348–c. 405), an allegorical epic poem of nearly 1,000 lines about the battle between the virtues and the vices for possession of the human soul, led early modern scholars to refer to the late antique poet as "the Christian Vergil." Combining depictions of violent, single combats with allusions to pagan epic poetry, biblical scenes, and Christian doctrine, the poem captures the dynamism of the later Roman Empire in which the pagan world was giving way to a new, Christian Europe. In this volume, the introduction sets the historical and literary context and illuminates the Psychomachia’s prominent role in western literary history. Mastrangelo’s translation aims to capture the rhetorical power of the author’s Roman Christian Latin for the 21st-century reader. The notes provide the reader with in-depth information on Prudentius’ Latinity, the Roman epic tradition, and Christian doctrine.

This volume is directed at students and scholars across the disciplines of comparative literature, classics, religion, and ancient and medieval studies, as well as any reader interested in the history and development of literature in the West.


For more information on the published version, visit Routledge's Website.

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