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Book launch - The Homeric Centos: Homer and the Bible Interwoven

Wed 19 June

Faculty of Divinity,

Introducing The Homeric Centos

A 5th-century CE poem, The Homeric Centos is Homeric in style and biblical in theme. It illustrates the creative cultural and religious dialogue between Classical Antiquity and Christianity in the Roman Empire.

The text is attributed to Eudocia, empress and poet, who died in exile in the Holy Land ca. 460. With lines drawn verbatim from Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the poem begins with the Creation and Fall and ends with Jesus' Resurrection and Ascension.

In this blend of Homeric style and Christian themes, there are also echoes of Classical and classicising literature, stretching from Homer and drama to imperial literature. Equally prominent are echoes of earlier Christian canonical and apocryphal works, verse models, and theological works.

Anna Lefteratou’s book is the first full-length study of Eudocia’s poem. Her distinctive focus examines the double inspiration of the poem by both classical and Christian traditions.

What is the poem’s relationship with the cultural milieu of the 5th-century CE? How does it treat the different biblical scenes? Lefteratou’s in-depth analysis exposes the work’s debt to centuries of Homeric reception and interpretation as well as Christian literature and exegesis. The Homeric Centos is placed firmly at the crossroads of Christian and pagan literary traditions.

About this event
For this special event, author Dr Anna Lefteratou will be joined in conversation by Dr Aaron Pelttari (University of Edinburgh), Dr Emma Greensmith (University of Oxford) and Dr Daniel Weiss (Cambridge), to explore the theological and cultural impact of epic poetics on the cusp of Classicism and Christian faith.

About the author

Dr Anna Lefteratou is Lecturer in Patristics/Religions of Late Antiquity at the Divinity Faculty in Cambridge. Lefteratou studied Classics in Athens, La Sorbonne, and Oxford, from where she received her DPhil. Her first monograph on the Greek novels was published with DeGruyter (2017). After her DPhil she held two prestigious post-doctoral fellowships in Germany that allowed her to specialize in late antique literature.

Cost: Free

Enquiries and booking

Booking is optional.

Registration is required for access to the livestream.

Enquiries: Cambridge Interfaith Programme Website Email: hub@interfaith.cam.ac.uk


Live Stream In person

All times

Wed 19 June 4:00PM - 5:30PM


Address: Faculty of Divinity,
Runcie Room
25 West Road
Email: hub@interfaith.cam.ac.uk