1st Edition

Prudentius’ Crown of Martyrs Liber Peristephanon

By Len Krisak Copyright 2020
    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    180 Pages
    by Routledge

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    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.




    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. 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




    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!