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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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Figuring It Out

Figuring It Out

(p.76) 2. Figuring It Out
The Origin of Sin


, Martha A. Malamud
Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the structure of the Hamartigenia. The poem appears in the manuscripts under a Greek title and features a preface written in a different meter—iambic preface followed by a hexameter poem—from that of the poem itself. The main topic of the poem is the origin of sin in the universe and its consequences; it is framed as a refutation of the heresy of Marcion of Sinope, a second-century-CE thinker who preached a dualistic theology. The poem proper begins with an apostrophe to Cain, who was castigated as a “divider of God” and accused of having double vision. The chapter further addresses how the poem illustrates the effects of sin on the universe, the central concept of free will, and the like.

Keywords:   Hamartigenia, hexameter poem, iambic preface, sin, Marcion of Sinope, dualistic theology

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