Prudentius’ Crown of Martyrs : Liber Peristephanon book cover
1st Edition

Prudentius’ Crown of Martyrs
Liber Peristephanon

ISBN 9780815353270
Published August 27, 2019 by Routledge
180 Pages

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Book Description

Prudentius’ Crown of Martyrs offers an English translation, with introduction and commentary, of the Liber Peristephanon, Prudentius’ vivid collection of lyric hymns in honor of Christian martyrs.

To render Prudentius’ metrically varied lines for twenty-first-century readers, Len Krisak relies on the inherent iambic nature of English. The introduction offers insight into social, political, and literary features of the fourth century, the life of Prudentius, the poet’s other works, his Latinity and mastery of ancient meters, and the manuscript tradition and the reception of Prudentius in the Middle Ages and beyond.

Given Prudentius’ central place in the history of Latin poetry, this translation is a welcome resource for general readers interested in Western literary history. It will also find a home with scholarly audiences working on Late Antique and Early Christian literature and culture, in a wide variety of college classrooms and in academic libraries.

Table of Contents




I. Historical Context; the Life of Prudentius; the Poet’s Output;

II. Historical, Literary, and Poetic Contexts of the Peristephanon;

III. Textual History and Reception;

IV. The Meters of the Peristephanon;

V. Principles of Translation;

The Peristephanon;

I. A Hymn in Honor of the Holy Martyrs Emeterius and Chelidonius of Calahorra;

II: A Hymn in Honor of the Passion of the Most Blessed Martyr Lawrence;

III: A Hymn in Honor of the Passion of the Most Blessed Martyr Eulalia;

IV: A Hymn in Honor of the Eighteen Holy Martyrs of Caesaraugusta;

V: The Passion of St. Vincent, Martyr;

VI: A Hymn in Honor of the Most Blessed Martyrs Fructuosus, Bishop of the Church of Tarraco and Augurius and Eulogius, Deacons;

VII: A Hymn in Honor of the Martyr Quirinus, Bishop of the Church of Siscia;

VIII: On a Site in Calagurris Where Martyrs Suffered and Where a Baptistery Is Now;

IX: The Passion of Saint Cassian of Forum Cornelii;

X: The Declarations of St. Romanus the Martyr Against the Pagans;

XI: To Bishop Valerian on the Passion of the Most Blessed Martyr Hippolytus;

XII: The Passion of the Apostles Peter and Paul;

XIII: The Passion of Cyprian;

XIV: The Passion of Agnes;



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Len Krisak is the author of five books of poetry, Midland (1999), Fugitive Child (1999), Even as We Speak (2000), If Anything (2004), and Afterimage (2014); and of translations of Horace (Odes of Horace, 2006), Virgil (Virgil’s Eclogues, 2010), Ovid (Ovid’s Erotic Poems, 2014), and Rilke (Rilke’s New Poems, 2015). Among many honors, he is the recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Prize, the Richard Wilbur Award, and the Robert Frost Prize. His work has appeared widely in numerous venues, including Commonweal, Raritan, The Sewanee Review, The Hudson Review, Classical Outlook, and The Weekly Standard. He has taught at Brandeis University, Northeastern University, and Stonehill College (all in the US) and in 1995 was a four-time champion on Jeopardy!