Christian Apologist or Roman Patriot? Dracontius and the Exempla Virorumin His De Laudibus Dei (LD III. 250–467)

Nikolsky Ivan M.

The article deals with the religious poem by Dracontius De Laudibus Dei, particularly its third book, dedicated to the problem of self-sacrifice. Usually, this text is regarded as Christian apology, and its polemic character is linked only to anti-pagan propaganda. However, the examination of the fragment that provides examples of ‘wrong’ behaviour from Greek and Roman mythology and history leads to the conclusion that the author’s view on his pagan heroes’ ethical choices was not so simple and reflected a more complex outlook of the Late Antique poet.

Keywords: Dracontius, apologetics, Christianity, Roman Africa, Vandals

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