The De Mortalitate of Cyprian: Consolation and Context.
Vigiliae Christianae, 50 (1).
The publication in 1937 of Charles Favez's monograph, La Consolation
latine chretienne,2 opened up a new horizon in the study of ancient
consolatory literature. Though this subject had been one of recurring
interest to scholars during the previous hundred years,3 Favez was the
first to pay serious attention to the Christian contribution to the genre,
and to consider both its relation to and, in particular, its differences
from, the consolatory writing of pagans such as Cicero, Seneca, and
Plutarch. His approach was essentially synchronic. Themes, topics,
expressions, materials found in those Christian texts which formed the
basis of his study were brought together in such a way as to create a
composite picture of Christian consolation, which could be compared
as a whole with the pagan literature. That such an approach has limitations
is clear. Favez also drew on a relatively narrow range of texts. As
its title suggests, the book does not consider Christian consolatory
writing in Greek,4 nor does it deal comprehensively with Latin work.5
But it remains a fundamental study, an essential starting-point for
anyone working in the field.
Repository Staff Only(login required)
||Item control page