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Principles of structure and unity in latin biblical epic

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with the principles of structure and unity in Latin biblical epic by examining book 3 of the Spiritual History of Avitus of Vienne. It provides some background information. Avitus succeeded his father as bishop of Vienne in southern France about 490. He belonged to the former senatorial aristocracy. His biblical epic, fully entitled The Deeds of Spiritual History, is divided into five books. The chapter then focuses on book 3. This book appears to be composed of seemingly disparate elements thrown together. Adam and Eve are judged by God and expelled from paradise. These events are narrated in the first 200 verses. The second, slightly longer part of the book contains the story of the rich man and Lazarus, together with a hymn praising the willingness of God to forgive the repentant sinner.

Keywords: Adam; Avitus of Vienne; Eve; God; hymn; Latin biblical epic; Lazarus; Spiritual History



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