Aurelius Prudentius: Psychomachia [Soul War] (2880 words)

Thomas Tsartsidis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
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The allegorical epic Psychomachia [The Soul’s Battle] is the most influential work of the Christian poet Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (348-after 404/5 CE) and the first full-scale personification allegory in the history of European literature. It is written in 914 hexameters and is preceded by a 68-line preface (Praefatio) in iambic trimeter.

In the Praefatio, Prudentius first depicts Abraham as a model of faith (1-14) and, then, relates the story of Abraham’s rescue of Lot, his meeting with Melchizedek, his being visited by three angels and the conception of Isaac by the elderly Sara (15-49), before rounding off his preface by ascribing to the story of Abraham an allegorical meaning that …

Citation: Tsartsidis, Thomas. "Psychomachia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 March 2019 [, accessed 02 March 2021.]

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