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Cento Vergilianus Analysis

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Cento Vergilianus de laudibus Christi
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The first five lines of De laudibus Christi with a depiction of the author, Faltonia Betitia Proba, holding a scroll
Cento Vergilianus de laudibus Christi (Latin: [kɛn.toː wɛr.ɡɪl.ɪ.aː.nʊs deː laʊ̯.dɪ.bʊs kʰrɪs.tiː]; A Virgilian Cento Concerning the Glory of Christ)[nb 1] is a Latin poem arranged by Faltonia Betitia Proba (c. AD 352–84) after her conversion to Christianity. A cento is a poetic work composed of verses or passages taken from other authors and re-arranged in a new order. This poem reworks verses extracted from the work of Virgil to tell stories from the Old and New Testament of the Christian Bible. Much of the work focuses on the story of Jesus Christ.

While scholars have proposed a number of hypotheses to explain why the poem was written, a definitive answer to this question remains elusive. Regardless of Proba's intent, the poem would go on to be widely circulated, and it eventually was used in schools to teach the tenets of Christianity, often alongside Augustine of Hippo's
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The cento's 694 lines are divided into a proem with invocation (lines 1–55), episodes from the Old Testament books of Genesis (lines 56–318) and Exodus (lines 319–32), episodes from the New Testament Gospels (lines 333–686), and an epilogue (lines 687–94).[7][16] At the beginning of the poem, Proba refers to her earlier poetry before rejecting it in the name of Christ.[17] This section also serves as a repudiation of Virgil's opening to the Aeneid: whereas Virgil opened his work by discussing "arms and the man" (arma virumque), Proba explicitly rejects warfare as a subject worthy of poetry.[18] Proba then describes herself as a prophet (vatis Proba), calls upon God and the Holy Spirit (scorning the Muses), and announces her intention to record the story of Jesus.[1][17][19] At the end of the invocation, Proba states her poem's main purpose: to "tell how Virgil sang the offices of
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