Prudentius' Psychomachia
'Conflict Of The Soul'

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

Chastity stabs through Lust with a sword
VBI PVDICITIA LIBIDINEM TRANS FIGIT GLADIO

VBI PVDICITIA LIBIDINEM EXTINCTAM INCREPAT
Chastity rebukes the extinct Lust
page 72 = folio 36v
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.

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