The De Mortalitate of Cyprian: Consolation and Context1

The De Mortalitate of Cyprian: Consolation and Context1 THE DE MORTALITATE OF CYPRIAN: CONSOLATION AND CONTEXT1 BY J.H.D. SCOURFIELD I The publication in 1937 of Charles Favez's monograph, La Consola- tion latine chrétienne, opened up a new horizon in the study of ancient consolatory literature. Though this subject had been one of recurring interest to scholars during the previous hundred years, Favez was the first to pay serious attention to the Christian contribution to the genre, and to consider both its relation to and, in particular, its differences from, the consolatory writing of pagans such as Cicero, Seneca, and Plutarch. His approach was essentially synchronic. Themes, topics, expressions, materials found in those Christian texts which formed the basis of his study were brought together in such a way as to create a composite picture of Christian consolation, which could be compared as a whole with the pagan literature. That such an approach has limita- tions is clear. Favez also drew on a relatively narrow range of texts. As its title suggests, the book does not consider Christian consolatory writing in Greek,' nor does it deal comprehensively with Latin work.' But it remains a fundamental study, an essential starting-point for anyone working in the field. The book http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Vigiliae Christianae Brill

The De Mortalitate of Cyprian: Consolation and Context1

Vigiliae Christianae, Volume 50 (1): 12 – Jan 1, 1996

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1996 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0042-6032
eISSN
1570-0720
D.O.I.
10.1163/157007296X00283
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

THE DE MORTALITATE OF CYPRIAN: CONSOLATION AND CONTEXT1 BY J.H.D. SCOURFIELD I The publication in 1937 of Charles Favez's monograph, La Consola- tion latine chrétienne, opened up a new horizon in the study of ancient consolatory literature. Though this subject had been one of recurring interest to scholars during the previous hundred years, Favez was the first to pay serious attention to the Christian contribution to the genre, and to consider both its relation to and, in particular, its differences from, the consolatory writing of pagans such as Cicero, Seneca, and Plutarch. His approach was essentially synchronic. Themes, topics, expressions, materials found in those Christian texts which formed the basis of his study were brought together in such a way as to create a composite picture of Christian consolation, which could be compared as a whole with the pagan literature. That such an approach has limita- tions is clear. Favez also drew on a relatively narrow range of texts. As its title suggests, the book does not consider Christian consolatory writing in Greek,' nor does it deal comprehensively with Latin work.' But it remains a fundamental study, an essential starting-point for anyone working in the field. The book

Journal

Vigiliae ChristianaeBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1996

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