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Le Logos et l'empereur, nouveaux Orphée « Postérité d'une image entrée dans la littérature avec Clément d'Alexandrie »

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

In the Protrepticus, Clement of Alexandria suggests Orpheus' song is a prefiguration of the power of the Word. In the fourth century A. D., Eusebius and Themistius will apply this interpretation of Orpheus' song respectively to the Logos and to the Emperor. In the image proposed by Eusebius the Alexandrian's influence is obvious, whereas its transformation in Themistius illustrates its political evolution. An examination of these two different applications shows not only Clement's role in the transfer of a symbolic figure, but also the originality of its first Christian transposition in the Protrepticus.

Affiliations: 1: CNRS—Centre Lenain de Tillemont, Paris—UMR 8167, 28 rue Serpente, 75006 Paris, France;, Email:


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