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Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens

The earliest of the Christian poets of any celebrity. He was a native of Spain, and was born A.D. 348. After practising as an advocate, and discharging the duties of a civil and criminal judge in two important cities, he received from the emperor Theodosius, or Honorius, a high military appointment at court; but as he advanced in years he became sensible of the emptiness of worldly honour and earnest in the exercises of religion. His poems are composed in a great variety of metres, and are brilliant in style and in the fervour of their Christian sentiment. The Latinity, for its period, is good; and his metrical skill surpasses that of his pagan contemporaries. The best editions of Prudentius are by Obbarius (Tübingen, 1845) and Dressel (Leipzig, 1860). See Faguet, De Prudent. Carminibus Lyricis (Paris, 1883); Rösler, Der katholische Dichter Prudentius (Freiburg, 1886); Puech, Prudence (Paris, 1888); and the monograph by Lease on the language and style (Baltimore, 1895). There is an English translation of selections from Prudentius by F. St. J. Thackeray, with good introduction and notes (1890).

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