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568

PRUDENTIUS.

paestic Dim. Cat. 11. Hymnus de natali Domini, 116 lines, Iambic Dim. Acat. 12. Hymnus Epi-phaniae, 208 lines, same metre as the preceding.

III. ApotJieosis. On the divinity of Christ and his relation to the Father. The orthodox doctrine of the Trinity is here defended against the Sabellians, the Jews, the Ebionites, the Ma-nichaeans, and other heretics, while various dis­cussions are intermingled on the Nature of the Soul, on Original Sin, and on the Resurrection. We have first a Praefatio of 56 lines in Iambic Trim. Acat. and Iambic Dim. Acat, placed alter­nately as in the first and second Epodes of Ho­race, after which follows the main body of the piece, comprised in 1084 heroic hexameters.

IV. Hamartigenia ('A/AapTtyeveia). On the origin of evil and of sin, occupied chiefly with a refutation of the heresies of the Marcionites. We have first a Praefatio of 63 lines in Iambic Trim. Acat., after which follows the main body of the piece, comprised in 965 heroic hexameters.

V. Psycho machia. The conflict and triumph of virtue in the soul of the Christian, especially of Faith, Chastity, Meekness, Humility, Moderation, Liberalky, and Concord, against their antagonistic vices. We have first a Praefatio of 68 lines in Iambic Trim. Acat., after which follows the main body of the piece, comprised in 915 heroic hexa­meters.

VI. Contra Symmachum Liber I. An exposure of the origin and worthlessness of the heathen Gods, together with an account of the conversion of Rome to Christianitv. We have first a Prae-

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fatio of 89 lines in Choriambic Trim. Acat., after which follows the main body of the piece com­prised in 657 heroic hexameters.

VII. Contra Symmachum Liber II. A refuta­tion of the statements and arguments in the cele­brated petition presented by Symmachus [symma-chus] to the emperor Valentinian, praying for the restoration of the altar and statue of Victory, cast down by Gratian. We have a second preface of 66 lines in Choriambic Dim. Acat., followed by 1132 heroic hexameters.

VIII. Peristephanon Liber (Tlepl crrecpdvoov^ a series of fourteen poems in honour of various saints, many of them Spanish, who had worn the crown of martyrdom. 1. Passio Emeterii et Chelidonii Calaguritanormn Martyrum, 120 lines. Trochaic Tetram. Cat. 2. Passio Laurentii Martyris^ 584 lines, Iambic Dim. Acat. 3. In Honorem Eula-liae Virginis^ 215 lines, Dactylic Trim. Hypercat. 4. Passio XVIII. Martyrum Caesaraugustanorum, 200 lines, in the Sapphic Stanza. 5. Passio Vin-centii, 575 lines, Iambic Dim. Acat. 6. In ho-norem B. Fructuosi episcopi Tarraconensis et Au-fjfurii et Eulogii Diaconorum, 162 lines, Phalaecian hendecasyllabics. 7. Passio Quirini episcopi eccle-siae Siscianae, 90 lines, Choriambic Dim. Acat.

8. De loco quo Martyres passi sunt, nunc Baptis-terium Calaguri, 18 lines in the Elegiac distich.

9. Passio Cassiani9 106 lines, consisting of the heroic hexameter and Iambic Trim. Acat., placed alternately as in Hor. Epod. xvi. 10. Romani Mar-tyris Supplicium, 1140 lines, Iambic Trim. Acat. 11. Passio Hippolyti Martyris, 246 lines in the Elegiac distich. 12. Passio Petri et Pauli Apos-tolorum, 66 lines, in a distich consisting of a logaoedic verse placed alternately with the Iambic Trim. Cat., being the same measure as that em­ployed by Horace, C. i. 4. 1.3. Passio Cypriani

PRUDENTIUS.

Martyris, 106 lines, a system of the logaoedic verses employed in the preceding. 14. Passio Agnetis Virginis, a system of 133 Alcaic Hende-casyU.abic verses, the same with those which form the first two lines of the Alcaic stanza in Horace.

IX. Diptyclion (or Dittochaeon). Forty-eight tetrastichs in heroic hexameters relating to re­markable events and characters in Bible history, twenty-four being appropriated to those connected with the Old and twenty-four to those belonging to the New Testament. A keen controversy has arisen with regard to the authenticity of these summaries. They are not mentioned by Pru-dentius in his autobiography, when enumerating the rest of his productions, and they have been con­sidered of an inferior stamp. Moreover, although found in all the best MSS., they are frequently placed, as it were apart, after the Epilogus men­tioned below, thus indicating some suspicion in regard to the authorship, and in one codex they are ascribed to A maenus, which some suppose to be merely a complimentary epithet, while others, con­tending that it is a proper name, have called into existence an independent Prudentius Amaenus un­heard of elsewhere. With regard to the title, we read in Gennadius that " Prudentius, vir seculari literatura eruditus, composuit AtTTo%cuov de toto Veteri et Novo Testamento personis exceptis." Now, this AiTTO%ato^, which has been interpreted to signify cibum duplicem (i. e. the Old and New-Testaments), appears under the varying shapes Dittochaeon, Ditrochaeon, Dirochaeon, Diptychon^ as the designation prefixed to the tetrastichs in the MSS., and we can scarcely doubt that Dip-tychon (aitttuxoi/) is the true form, and that the rest are corruptions. On the whole, notwith­standing the formidable array of arguments in support of the opposite view of the question, there does not seem sufficient grounds for rejecting these little narratives as spurious, or for regarding them, as some have done, in the light of abridgements by a later hand, of a more voluminous original. The circumstance, that Prudentius does not include them in his list proves nothing, since they may have been written at a later period ; and that something of the kind actually was written seems clear from the passage in Gennadius, obscure though it be.

X. Epilogus, from which we may, perhaps, infer that the preceding pieces had been composed after Prudentius had withdrawn from public life ; thirty-four lines, Trochaic Dim. Cat. and Iambic Trim. Cat. placed alternately.

The Hexaemeron and the Invitatio (or Invita-torium) ad Martyrium, placed by Gennadius among the works of Prudentius, are no longer extant, arid many doubt whether they ever existed. The clause in which the latter is named is so con­fused as to be almost unintelligible.

Although considerable diversity of opinion has always prevailed with regard to the merits of Prudentius, it is hard to understand how he ever acquired that amount of reputation which he has undoubtedly enjoyed among many eminent modern scholars. We are not at all surprised by the admiration with which he was viewed in the middle ages ; and we may not feel, perhaps, much astonished by the panegyrics even of Fabricius, Barth and Tillemont; but how one so acute as Bentley, a critic little addicted to hyperbolical commendation, could have employed the phrase

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