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Title: Discursive Constructions: Space and Time in Northern Italy in the Late Fourth Century
Authors: Cady, Alyssa
Advisors: Luijendijk, AnneMarie
Contributors: Religion Department
Keywords: Cult of Saints
Early Christianity
Late Antiquity
Literary Culture
Material Culture
Sacred Space
Subjects: Religion
American history
Ancient languages
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Late Antique scholars have become increasingly interested in questions of regionality, time and landscape, as well as the intersection between oral and visual media. A fruitful angle from which to examine these topics proves to be the cult of saints in northern Italy in the late fourth century, due to the conception of saint as exemplar and to its manifestation in physical and discursive spaces. My dissertation compares three figures who provide different viewpoints on these issues, namely: Zeno of Verona, Ambrose of Milan, and the poet Prudentius. It examines lesser-known evidence, such as Prudentius’ Tituli Historiarum, and provides the first English translations of four sermons of Zeno as well as Ambrose’s Disticha. We begin with Zeno, whose tenure coincides with the earliest sermons in Latin, as well as the earliest martyr veneration and church-building in Verona. His Tractatus illuminate a tightrope upon which this bishop balanced pious intervention against the stubborn autonomy of his congregants. Ambrose, meanwhile, enjoyed far greater resources than his Veronese predecessor, and compares contemporary substitutes to historical exemplars whom he integrated into nascent ecclesiastical institutions. In Prudentius we see the rise of the elite Christian poet, whose concerns differed from episcopal programs of authoritative expansion. He periodizes history through the lens of triumph and decline, explaining contemporary practice through exemplars. In these figures, we see a generational and professional divide in their use of space and history as ideological canvases upon which to layer ideals of Christian ethics.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Religion

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