Home > Catalogue > Lexis > Num. 39 (n.s.) – Dicembre 2021 – Fasc. 2 > “From the Center to the Periphery – and Vice Versa”

“From the Center to the Periphery – and Vice Versa”

On Ausonius, Ordo Urbium Nobilium, and Prudentius, Peristephanon

Kurt Smolak    Universität Wien, Österreich    



This article deals with the relationship between an urban center and peripheries in two Latin pieces of ʻcollected poetry’: Ausonius’ catalogue of cities of the Empire, Ordo urbium nobilium, and Prudentius’ cycle of hymns on Christian martyrs of the Western Romania, the Peristephanon. In both collections Rome, diametrically opposed in the initial and final positions, points to the geometric center of the orbis terrarum, in each poem for both an objective and a subjective reason: Ausonius was writing as a former consul in ca. 389, Prudentius as a pilgrim in ca. 399. The latter may have compiled his cycle as a Christian counterpart to Ausonius’ Ordo, starting with the Passio of the ideal Christian Roman by name, Romanus, and ending in historical Rome at the tomb of Agnes.

Dec. 20, 2021
Oct. 20, 2021
Feb. 24, 2021

Keywords: Agnes (martyr)Burdigala (Bordeaux)AusoniusPeripheryOrdo urbium nobiliumRomanus (martyr)PilgrimageCyprianus (martyr)PeristephanonOrbis terrarumPrudentiusRomeCult of martyrsTheodosius I

Copyright: © 2021 Kurt Smolak. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.