Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > A Study of Prudentius' Use of Vergil and Lucan In the Fifth Combat of the Psychomachia

This thesis examines what I consider to be meaningful allusions to Vergil's Aeneid and Lucan's Bellum Civile in Prudentius' Psychomachia. Crucial to my interpretation that a particular passage constitutes an intentional borrowing is that the consideration of the source text - and of the context of the verbal parallel within the source text - enhances our understanding of Prudentius' poem. My study, then, locates what I consider to be intentional allusions, analyzes them in their context within the source texts, and discusses their meaning within the Psychomachia. My focus is on the speech of Sobrietas (Psychomachia 351-406). This speech is replete with allusions to Vergil's Aeneid and to Lucan's Bellum Civile, including direct quotes, clusters of words and phrases, and verbal images. I hope to show that these allusions are deliberate and, in the case of Sobrietas' speech, often demonstrate some intentional undermining of their original context.