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

Prudentius’ Crown of Martyrs
Liber Peristephanon

ISBN 9781032177526
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge
180 Pages

USD $48.95

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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. 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!