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The Origin of SinAn English Translation of the "Hamartigenia"$
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Aurelius Prudentius Clemens

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801442223

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801442223.001.0001

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Signs of Woe

Signs of Woe

(p.140) 7. Signs of Woe
The Origin of Sin


, Martha A. Malamud
Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses how the Hamartigeniaplaces Eve offstage in the narrative of the origin of sin, thus deviating from the literary tradition that highlighted the part of Eve in the story. She appears unnamed in the preface, identified only as the mother of Cain and Abel. She gets less than three lines in the text of the poem itself. Instead of Eve conversing with the serpent, Aurelius Prudentius Clemens writes that God had spoken directly to Adam, and it is Adam who appears to be persuaded by the serpent. Prudentius' treatment of Eve may be attributed to the difficulty in determining Eve's “real” name. Her God-given name, according to Genesis 5:2, is adam, but in Genesis 2:23, Adam names his wife ishaor “woman,” because she came from man.

Keywords:   Hamartigenia, Eve, Abel, Cain, Prudentius, Adam, isha

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