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Die Musen Im Dienste Christi: Strategien Der Rechtfertigung Christlicher Dichtung in Der Lateinischen Spätantike

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

The present article examines the arguments by which early Christian poets in Late Antiquity justify their attempt to combine Christian content and pagan poetical form. It focuses on the poetologically significant parts of their works, especially the proems. Whereas the earliest poets, i.e.Proba, Prudentius and Orientius, justify Christian poetry by its effects on the poet's personality and in the context of the poet's life, Juvencus prefigures another type of argument which is fully developed in Sedulius' Carmen paschale, according to which Christian poetry is justified by its material and formal qualities. This new type of argument has enormous reception in the Middle Ages and is especially adapted by Hrotsvith of Gandersheim who combines content and form as two coordinates of a more differentiated system.


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