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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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Under Assault

Under Assault

(p.112) 5. Under Assault
The Origin of Sin


, Martha A. Malamud
Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses why the cosmic collapse in the Hamartigenia had led to the condemnation of greedy and vain women who indulge themselves in cosmetics, as well as disgraceful effeminate men who wore inappropriate clothing. Given that the word “cosmos,” which came from kosmos, is the Greek word for order or arrangement, the two subjects could be considered perversion of God's creative ordering of the universe. The chapter demonstrates that the excesses of which women and effeminate men are condemned in the poem are thematically related to the issues of figuration and interpretation raised by the simile of the robber and by humanity's status as a perverted exemplum for the universe.

Keywords:   Hamartigenia, kosmos, cosmos, figuration, interpretation, exemplum

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