This book is the first large-scale study of the "Metaphrasis Psalmorum" since the middle of the twentieth century. It provides a revised critical text and complete modern translation of the poem, as well as an extensive introduction, which explores in detail critical questions such as authorship and the poet's engagement with early Christian exegesis. On the basis of a thorough re-examination of the poem's theology, its relationship to other late antique poetry, and relevant external evidence, it is argued, contrary to received opinion, that the "Metaphrasis Psalmorum" is a genuine work of Apollinaris of Laodicea, the influential if controversial bishop of the 4th century. It is also demonstrated that the poet interacts in a more wide-reaching and intentional way with early Christian exegesis on the Psalms than has previously been recognized, including the exegesis of Origen's newly discovered Homilies on the Psalms.
The introduction includes broader discussion of the tradition of early Christian classicizing poetry, the poet's engagement with the Hellenic tradition, and his paraphrastic technique. The revised text and translation make more accessible a poorly known and understudied poem, which is nevertheless a major and important poetic work of late antiquity. The book aims to promote greater awareness of the "Metaphrasis Psalmorum" and act as a catalyst for future work on the paraphrase.
About the author
Andrew Faulkner is Professor of Classics, University of Waterloo, Canada and AIAS-COFUND Senior Fellow at Aarhus University, Denmark.