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Abstract

This chapter examines the various constructions of the fourth-century poet ‘Proba’ and their relationship to the reception of the poem. In the twentieth century the medieval and early modern representations of Faltonia Betitia Proba as a learned poet or even divinely inspired Sibyl were replaced by a general notion of her as a failed and scorned poet. Strategies to ‘save’ her were devised, and she was often presented as a mother, wife and pious Christian rather than an accomplished virtuosa. Despite the pervasive polyphonic and ambivalent qualities of her text, it was used as a source to reconstruct the feelings and intentions of the historical person.

Proba the Prophet

The Christian Virgilian Cento of Faltonia Betitia Proba

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