“What is a ‘cento?’ From the Latin for ‘patchwork,’ a cento is a poem or other literary work composed of lines or passages from other, more famous works, with the meaning altered. Centos were a favorite form in late antiquity. An example is the Cento Vergilianus by Proba Falconia (fourth century), which used bits of Vergil to recount sacred history.”
Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.