© 2016 – Routledge
Juvencus’ Evangeliorum libri IV, or "The Four Books of the Gospels," is a verse rendering of the gospel narrative written ca. 330 CE. Consisting of around 3200 hexameter lines, it is the first of the Latin "Biblical epics" to appear in antiquity, and the first classicizing, hexameter poem on a Christian topic to appear in the western tradition. As such, it is an important text in literary and cultural history.
This is the first English translation of the entire poem. The lack of a full English translation has kept many scholars and students, particularly those outside of Classics, and many educated general readers from discovering it. With a thorough introduction to aid in the interpretation and appreciation of the text this clear and accessible English translation will enable a clearer understanding of the importance of Juvencus’ work to later Latin poetry and to the early Church.
As inventor of the genre of biblical epic, Juvencus is historically significant; his poetic style is less ground-breaking. But now, he has been graced with an elegant, thoughtful translation into iambic pentameters by Scott McGill. Moreover, McGill's scholarly commentary makes clear Juvencus' many debts to his Latin predecessors. This is one of the rare occasions on which one might prefer reading the translation instead of the the original.
- Professor Catherine Conybeare, Bryn Mawr College, USA
Preface and Book One
Notes to Book One
Notes to Book Two
Notes to Book Three
Notes to Book Four