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Faltonia Betitia Proba: The Gospel “According To Virgil”

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Chapter Summary

The first cento is Virgilian in nature. This chapter focuses on what kind of biblical paraphrasis this is, what the cento form brings to the presentation of the biblical story, the story of Jesus in particular, whether the centos bring forth interpretations, view points, dicta, texts or events unmentioned in the canonical Gospels. It provides some conclusions as to how these texts came into being, and whether they in any way are analogies to the composition of the canonical Gospels. The cento is 694 lines, preceded by a fifteen-line dedication. Faltonia Betitia Probas own poem, which follows upon her proem, is preceded by a dedication added around 395, making up the first fifteen lines of the text. The phrase nova progenies summarizes ideas looming large in the cento, providing the basic idea on which the whole cento is composed, combining Virgilian hope as well as Christology.

Keywords: canonical Gospels; christology; Faltonia Betitia Proba; nova progenies; Probas cento; Virgilian hope



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