Abstract

Abstract:

This article argues that Paulina's poetic eulogy of Praetextatus employs an allusion to the Magnificat as a critique of Christian ascetic practice. Highlighting her own exemplarity as a wife and mother, Paulina draws a contrast between a traditional view of female virtue and the ascetic ideal exemplified by the mother of Christ, which urged women to reject traditional social and sexual roles in favor of celibacy. Beginning with an overview of the poem and a consideration of its eschatological themes, this paper analyzes the poem's allusion to the Magnificat within the context of contemporary debates about marriage and sexual renunciation. Paulina's poem to Praetextatus confirms that late fourth-century pagans were still promoting their traditions, often in language informed by their interactions with Christianity, its practitioners, and its texts.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1942-1273
Print ISSN
1939-6716
Pages
pp. 432-453
Launched on MUSE
2018-05-02
Open Access
No
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