Idealised Past and Contested Tradition: Claudian's Panegyric for the Sixth Consulship of Honorius and Prudentius' Contra Symmachum

Abstract : This paper focuses on representation of roman tradition in two poems published approximately during the same period, A.D. 403-404. Claudian's pagan vision of the Roman past is an idealisation of Roman tradition, which he proposes that Honorius should imitate. Honorius is to become a new Trajan, and renew for fourth-century Rome the tradition of the optimus and pius princeps. Prudentius, on the contrary, complies a list of past Roman vices and failures, and emphasises the moral, cultural and philosophical improvement that is brought by the Christian faith. Honorius becomes one of the models of christianissimus princeps. By analysing these opposing propositions, I intend to demonstrate what was an increasingly large gulf between Roman pagan identities, of which Claudian is particularly aware, and the Christian empire, of which Prudentius is the self-proclaimed champion. In fact, the first concern of both poems is how to speak of roman identity in the context of an Empire becoming ever less Roman, where traditional Roman civilization is more and more criticised and put in question by new ways of building identities
Document type :
Preprints, Working Papers, ...
Complete list of metadatas

https://hal-univ-lyon3.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00881745
Contributor : Bruno Bureau <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 8, 2013 - 7:07:24 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 2:47:40 AM
Long-term archiving on : Sunday, February 9, 2014 - 10:20:10 AM

File

Idealised_past.pdf
Files produced by the author(s)

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : hal-00881745, version 1

Citation

Bruno Bureau. Idealised Past and Contested Tradition: Claudian's Panegyric for the Sixth Consulship of Honorius and Prudentius' Contra Symmachum. 2009. ⟨hal-00881745⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

258

Files downloads

946