2. Publilius Optatianus Porfyrius, "Castalides domino virtutum tradite palmam [Carmen IX]," c. 325 C.E. (A.D.)
Published here in: Giovanni Polara, editor. Carmi di Publilio Optaziano Porfirio. Torino: Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, 2004.
Davis Library.

Optatian (or Porfyrius as he is sometimes less correctly called) flourished in the court of Constantine the Great, where he was appointed court poet in 325 C.E. Accordingly, his poems are largely panegyric (filled with uncritical praise), equating the Emperor with Christ. This trope would reoccur in visual poetry and elsewhere throughout the first millennium of the Common Era. In this poem, the highlighted letters suggest the shape of a palm tree, or one of its leaves, and all the Christian symbolism that implies.

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