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Days Linked by SongPrudentius' Cathemerinon$
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Gerard O'Daly

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199263950

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199263950.001.0001

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Before Taking Food (Cath. 3)

Before Taking Food (Cath. 3)

(p.81) 3 Before Taking Food (Cath. 3)
Days Linked by Song

Gerard O'Daly

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the poem's presentation of appropriate Christian diet, moderate, avoiding the meat of quadrupeds, with meals preceded by prayer. Praise of food as the divine creator's gift is combined with the narrative of paradise and the fall of Adam and Eve, and subsequent human degeneration, until Christ, the gentle saviour, brings victory over the serpent Satan: the Christian hope is heavenly immortality of soul and resurrected body. The poem stresses the Adam-Christ and Eve-Mary contrasts. The appropriation of themes from Virgil and Ovid is discussed.

Keywords:   food, mealtime prayer, diet for Christians, hope in Christianity, paradise, Fall of Adam and Eve, Virgil, Ovid, Satan, degeneration of humanity

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