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Epic poetry as exegesis: 'The song of the good war' (Eupolemius)

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Chapter Summary

The Eupolemius gives the impression of a skilful application of Prudentius' Psychomachia to contemporary history according to the Jewish concept of history as the manifestation of God's continuous intervention in the affairs of his beloved people. According to the author's conviction, this application of biblical narratives to present events corresponds to the quality of the entire biblical text as a typological forma futuri. Such an application represents the authentic exegesis of the Bible, above all the Old Testament, whereas pagan mythology is considered to be the result of false exegesis of the same Bible, leading to polytheism. In the later 12th century even the integumentum, that is, in Bernardus' terminology, pagan mythology, was conceded to contain a truth, whereas the poet of the Eupolemius, some decades prior to the French Platonist, denied truth to ancient mythology, thus faithfully adhering to the previous concept so clearly exposed in the Ecloga Theoduli.

Keywords: Bernardus' terminology; Ecloga Theoduli; Eupolemius; exegesis; pagan mythology; polytheism; Prudentius; Psychomachia



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