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Prudentius' Psychomachia
'Conflict Of The Soul'

Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 264, Lake Constance, c.900AD

Abraham and Lot

page 61: Lot Taken Captive by the Army of the Four Kings

VICIVM FEROCES FORTE REGES COEPERANI



page 62: Abraham Pursuing the Army of the Four Kings
ABRAM SINISTRIS EXCITAIVS NVNCIIS



page 63: Abraham Attacks the Army of the Four Kings by Night



page 64: Abraham Returns Victorious
ABRAM TRIVMPHI DISSIPATOR HOSTICI



Genesis 14

Abram Rescues Lot

1In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, 2these kings made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3And all these joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 4Twelve years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled. 5In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him came and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in Shaveh-kiriathaim, 6and the Horites in their hill country of Seir as far as El-paran on the border of the wilderness. 7Then they turned back and came to En-mishpat (that is, Kadesh) and defeated all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who were dwelling in Hazazon-tamar.

8Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out, and they joined battle in the Valley of Siddim 9with Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar, four kings against five. 10Now the Valley of Siddim was full of bitumen pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some fell into them, and the rest fled to the hill country. 11So the enemy took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their provisions, and went their way. 12They also took Lot, the son of Abram’s brother, who was dwelling in Sodom, and his possessions, and went their way.

13Then one who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and of Aner. These were allies of Abram. 14When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. 16Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people.

 

Abram Blessed by Melchizedek

17After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) 19And he blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, of heaven and earth; 20and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. 21And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.” 22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, 23that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ 24I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share.”
(Genesis 14:1-24)
Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 264
Parchment · 145 folios. · 27.3/28.3 x 21.5/22 cm · region of Lake Constance · around 900
Language: Latin, German
Manuscript Summary: The richly illustrated Prudentius manuscript, created around 900 in the region of Lake Constance, is counted among the outstanding examples of Carolingian book art. It contains all seven poems published by Prudentius in the year 405 as well as a later added eighth work. The codex was given to the episcopal church of Strasbourg by Bishop Erchenbald of Strasbourg (965-991) and later came into the possession of Jacques Bongars.
Source: Bern, Stadtbibliothek, Ms. 264

Prudentius (born in 348 in northern Spain, died after 405) spent most of his life following worldly pursuits, but later turned to writing, in which he aimed to glorify God and atone for his earlier sins. One of his most popular works is a poem called Psychomachia (Conflict of the Soul), which describes the battles between female personifications of human virtues and vices.

'Chastity (Modesty) and Lust', Psychomachia by Prudentius, Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 264, Lake Constance, c.900AD
'Long-Suffering Being Escorted Unharmed Through An Army By Job', Psychomachia by Prudentius, Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 264, Lake Constance, c.900AD



Other Illustrations from Prudentius' Psychomachia manuscripts