Prudentius is one of the major Latin poets of antiquity. A Christian living and writing in Spain in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, he was thoroughly imbued with the whole tradition of Latin poetry. The Hamartigenia is a didactic poem exploring the origins of evil and how it operates in the world. It is full of echoes and reworkings of earlier poems by Lucretius, Virgil and others, but is also a serious contribution to this important theological issue which was much discussed in Church circles of the day. This is a major new study of the Hamartigenia in the context of Prudentius' work as a whole and is striking for being as seriously interested in its theological as in its literary contribution.

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