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CARMEN de Providentia. Reflecting on the carnage wrought by the barbarian invasions at the start of the 5th c., people asked: But what have innocent boys done, what have girls done, who committed no evil during their short life? Why were God’s temples allowed to be ravaged by fire? The honor of consecrated chastity did not protect the virgins, nor sentimental love the widows vv. 43-48. In 415 416, when the barbarians had occupied the country for ten years, the poet of the Carmen de Providentia, author of other works, tried to answer these anguished questions in 46 elegiac distichs and 876 hexameters the long reply. Best winter vacations USA He used Scripture widely to show that God is the wise creator of the world and of humanity. By the devil’s temptation, human beings have fallen into sin, but there have always been just people. God has always cared for the world and for people and has written his law in their hearts. Christ became incarnate, and with his help one can easily observe God’s law; human beings enjoy free will, so that all suffer the same temptations and difficulties; but whereas for the good, misfortune is the crown of virtue, for the wicked it is a punishment. The charge of Pelagianism has weighed on this important poetic composition, which sought to give theological answers to situations experienced by its contemporaries. Some scholars have erroneously attributed it to Prosper of Aquitaine. CPL 532; PL 51, 617-638; M.P. McHugh, Washington 1964 critical ed. with Eng. tr.; L. Valentin, Saint Prosper d’Aquitaine, Toulouse-Paris 1900; C. Tibiletti, Note sulla teologia del Carmen de providentia Dei: Augustinianum 30 1990 453-476; J.F. Drinkwater – Hugh Elton eds., Fifth-Century Gaul: Crisis of Identity?, Cambridge 1992, 101-106; W.E. Klingshirn, The Making of a Christian Community in Late Antique Gaul, Cambridge 1994.

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