Juvencus' Evangeliorum libri IV, or "The Four Books of the Gospels," is a verse rendering of the gospel narrative written ca. 330 CE. Consisting of around 3200 hexameter lines, it is the first of the Latin "Biblical epics" to appear in antiquity, and the first classicizing, hexameter poem on a Christian topic to appear in the western tradition. As such, it is an important text in literary and cultural history.
This is the first English translation of the entire poem. The lack of a full English translation has kept many scholars and students, particularly those outside of Classics, and many educated general readers from discovering it. With a thorough introduction to aid in the interpretation and appreciation of the text this clear and accessible English translation will enable a clearer understanding of the importance of Juvencus' work to later Latin poetry and to the early Church.
Scott McGill is professor of Classics at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He is the author of Virgil Recomposed: The Mythological and Secular Centos in Antiquity (Oxford, 2005) and Plagiarism in Latin Literature (Cambridge, 2012). He is also a co-editor of From the Tetrarchs to the Theodosians: Later Roman History and Culture, 284-450 CE (Cambridge, 2010) and Classics Renewed: Reception and Innovation in the Latin Poetry of Late Antiquity (Winter, 2016).