I consoli di dio: un topos poetico cristiano
With the conversion to Christianity in the Theodosian age, the Roman aristocracy projected their class ideology and self-representation into the conception of religious sanctity and the vision of the Afterlife. On a literary level, this gives rise to an eschatological imagery in which the holy souls are the nobility and the ‘notables’ (proceres) of the eternal res publica, they constitute the ‘heavenly senate’ (caelestis curia) seated around the throne of God, and the martyrs of Christ are given the title of ‘consuls’. This paper aims to describe the development of such images in the Christian Latin poetry of the 4th-6th centuries AD.
Keywords: Christian literature • Christian Afterlife • Late Latin poetry • Roman aristocracy • Roman consulate