cento

(Latin: rag, patchwork)

Literary composition constructed by choosing passages of prose or poetry from one or more authors so as to form a whole having no connection with the original subjects, especially popular during the Middle Ages. The Byzantine empress Eudoxia is credited with having formed a history of the fall and redemption of man with lines from the works of Homer, while the works of Vergil supplied the material for the notable "Cento nuptialis" compiled by the Roman poet Ausonius, and for a life of Christ, compiled in 1634 by Alexander Ross.

New Catholic Dictionary

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