EPIGRAMMA PAULINI

A poem of 110 hexameters, it appears in the Codex Par. lat. 7558 9th c. together with the Alethia of Claudius Marius Victorius to whom it was formerly attributed, and is today attributed to Paulinus of Béziers Gallia Narbonensis. Composed after the invasions of the Vandals and Alans 407–409, which devastated S Gaul, the Epigramma describes by means of a dialogue variously reconstructed by, among others, Griffe and Fo between an old monk, Tesbon, and a younger guest, Salmon, who had previously lived for a time in the monastery the regions of S Gaul devastated by the barbarians, lingering over the moral and spiritual decadence of those who did not grasp the lessons of the invasions, considered a divine punishment. The women, having abandoned Sacred Scripture, amused themselves reciting Virgil and Ovid, dressing up as Dido or Corinna and applauding, in houses turned into theaters, declamations of lyrical orations and the mimes of Marullus vv. 76-79. The composition, which has significant points of contact with the Carmen de Providentia attributed to Prosper of Aquitaine composed ca. 416 and Salvian’s De gubernatione Dei composed between 440 and 450, goes back as Smolak shows to two classical models: the satirical diatribe of Horace and Juvenal, and Virgil’s first Eclogue; the pastoral setting is well adapted to the concept of the monastic life as an anticipation of the peace of Paradise. CPL 1464. Editions: PL 61, 969-972 defective; CSEL 16, 1 1888 503-510; A. Schuller, Das sogenannte S. Paulini epigramma. Einleitung, Text, Übersetzung und Kommentar, Diss., Vienna 1999; K. Smolak, Zwischen Bukolik und Satire: Das sogenannte Sancti Paulini Epigramma: International Journal of the Classical Tradition 6 1999 3-20. Studies: E. Griffe, L’Epigramma Paulini, poème gallo-romain du Ve.

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