Establishing Authority in Christian Poetry of Latin Late Antiquity

Karla Pollmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Ancient Poetry in general makes the claim of divine inspiration, thus deriving authority from a supernatural source. Accordingly, it bases the validity of its message on a foundation beyond argument, which has consequences both for the relationship between poets and their poems, as well as between poems and their readers. In Christian Late Antiquity the divine foundation of poetry had to be renegotiated, and as a consequence authorities and arguments had to be given a new role in the Christian poetic discourse. This paper will analyse the various possibilities and their consequences, also looking at the issue in terms of how far pagan poetry already foreshadowed such a development. The poets taken into consideration include Commodianus, Prudentius, the Carmen adversus Marcionitas, Prosper of Aquitaine, and Venantius Fortunatus.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)309-330
Number of pages22
JournalHermes - Zeitschrift fur Klassische Philologie
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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