"Die Welt der Römer mit der Seele suchend ..." Die Religiösität des Prudentius im Spannungsfeld zwischen 'pietas christiana' und 'pietas Romana'.
Borengässer, Bonn, 1990. XX,369p. Hard bound. Pencil markings, underlinings and some pencil annotations from a reviewer. Series: Hereditas, 3. ‘The present study is rather disappointing. Kah’s monograph (…) reexamines all of Prudentius’s poetry with a special, and eventually monotonous purpose, to chart the poet’s relationship towards ‘Romantas’ and ‘Christianity’s’. A series of Prudentian topics are examined, and we are told whether their treatment is ‘pagan’ or ‘Christian’ or common to both traditions. The introduction (1-14) outlines Prudentius’s biography, his Fortuna, and his religiosity. The first chapter (15-98) examines Prudentius as Christian poet and his attitudes towards speech, rhetoric, and poetry. The ‘prefatio’ is summarised and another prefatory topos, the immoratality gained through writing (…) is identified, and the valid point made that, despite his ‘conversion’, Prudentius still placed writing at the center of his life (35). (…) The second chapter (99-251) deals with Prudentius’s political religiosity and his attitude towards Rome. Politics and religion were closely interwoven in Rome, and the Christian could choose between a variety of attitudes towards Rome and her pagan past. Prudentius, we hear, is cooperative, and patriotic. K. examines evidence of his views in various texts. (…) K., unfortunately, shows little interest in the historical and the political. (…) In the long and somewhat arbitrarily arranged second chapter an interesting topic is touched. (…) In showing the closeness of Prudentius’s concept of peace to pagan Roman concepts of peace, K. draws our attention to the use of terms such as ‘clementia’ and ‘pacare’ in pagan Roman language. She reads such language at face value, and pronounces it ‘eher christlich’ (215). It does not occur to her that this language might be disingenuous or euphemistic. (…) So P.’s use of the same peace-terminology as Roman writes does not show that the latter anticipated Christian anti-militaristic attitudes, but rather that P. wished to reassure his audience with the usual political catchwords. (…) The final chapter (256-364) examines Prudentius’s spirituality, and covers topics such as soul and body (death, asceticism, and virginity). (…) This book teaches us little that is new about Prudential, and rarely, if ever, adopts a genuinely critical standpoint vis-à-vis previous work on the subject.’ (DANUTA R. SHANZER in Gnomon, 1992, pp.676-680).