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This project explores three autobiographical texts from the fourth and fifth centuries: Augustine’s Confessions, Proba’s Cento, and Paulinus’ Eucharisticon. In a world filled with varying literary traditions, the self-definition of life writing becomes a literary act. While Augustine aligns himself with ascetics and frames his text around scriptural prose, Proba synthesizes a Biblical story into classical form by relying upon Virgilian hexameter, and Paulinus creates a piece that represents the sacramental bread and body through its tension between poetic form and Augustinian Christian message. How does life writing locate itself through its reliance on tradition and imitation, and how does it engage with an audience to encourage conversion? This study will discuss the different methods of each writer, while drawing upon common threads of duality and metatextuality that pervade fourth and fifth century Christian Latin autobiography.
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Hodes, Rachel Abigail, "The Pen and The Heart: Studies in Christian Latin Writing of the Fourth and Fifth Centuries" (2020). Senior Projects Spring 2020. 164.
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