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Grant number: FA-57185-13

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Scott Card McGill
Rice University (Houston, TX 77005-1827)

A Translation and Introduction to Evangeliorum libri IV (The Four Books of the Gospels) by the 4th-Century Poet Juvencus

My book provides the first English translation ever of Juvencus' Evangeliorum libri IV, or "The Four Books of the Gospels." A poem in roughly 3200 dactylic hexameter lines dating to ca. 330 CE, Juvencus' text recasts the gospel narrative in verse form. It is the first poem on a Christian topic to appear in the western tradition. Juvencus' great innovation was to adapt the meter and the modes of expression and thought found in classical epic poetry to Christian content. Juvencus' poem is a good example of how early Christians assimilated the Greco-Roman classical past to forge a hybrid, classico-Christian literary tradition. This is part of the broader practice in ancient Christianity of assimilating and adapting aspects of the philosophy, art, literature, and religions of Greece and Rome. My book, which includes an extensive introduction dealing with Juvencus' cultural and historical context, casts light upon this period of change and exchange.

Project fields:

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 12/31/2013