StudiesÉtienne Wolff, ‘Quelques jalons dans l’histoire de la réception de Sidoine Apollinaire’, in Marco Formisano and Therese Fuhrer (eds), Décadence. ‘Decline and Fall’ or ‘Other Antiquity’?, Heidelberg: Winter, 2014, pp. 249-62.Remy de Gourmont (1858-1915), Le Latin mystique: les poètes de l'antiphonaire et la symbolique au moyen âge, preface by J.-K. Huysmans [replaced by Gourmont’s own in later editions; as to Sidonius, he did not want him to be dubbed a decadent], Paris: Mercure de France, 1892.Pp. 57-60 (edition 1922) about Sidonius: ‘… Sidoine n’est pas un triste; il est gouailleur plutôt que mélancolique; il aime l’éclat des joies extérieures, même s’il doit souffrir de leur grossièreté …’The blurb on the Les Belles Lettres website reads: ‘Non pas tant une anthologie qu'un sublimé de poésie spirituelle délicieusement décadente. Un « liseur » invétéré, un « créateur de valeurs » découvre dans les fleurs nouvelles germées de la décomposition de l'empire et simultanément de la langue et des normes classiques et arrosées par la foi chrétienne, des accents accordés aux aspirations de l'âme moderne malade d'infini et une écriture inédite, parente des recherches les plus exquises d'un Jules Laforgue ou d'un Albert Samain. Cet essai, qui fut une révélation pour Léon Bloy et Blaise Cendrars, reste encore aujourd'hui l'initiation la plus passionnante à la poésie religieuse de la latinité tardive et du Moyen Âge.’ Sébastien Baudoin, ‘Présence-absence de Sidoine Apollinaire dans l’oeuvre de Chateaubriand’, in Rémy Poignault and Annick Stoehr-Monjou (eds), Présence de Sidoine Apollinaire, Clermont-Ferrand, 2014, pp. 513-24.Often quoted by Chateaubriand as an historian, Sidonius Apollinaris stands at the same time in and outside the text of l’Enchanteur. Taken as a reference legitimizing the comment, he also gives rise to a rewriting: the description of the Francs in Book 6 of Les Martyrs is thus, as Chataubriand himself admits, a free adaptation of Sidonius’ poetry in the Panegyric of Majorian. Between influence and inspiration, Sidonius Apollinaris figures as a revealing shadow which unveils complex processes of rewriting. It’s within this distance between unfaithful translation and rewriting that we analyze the creative poetic of our author.Marie-France de Palacio, ‘Mechanemata fin-de-siècle: Sidoine Apollinaire et la “décadence”’, in Rémy Poignault and Annick Stoehr-Monjou (eds), Présence de Sidoine Apollinaire, Clermont-Ferrand, 2014, pp. 525-35.After 1870, Sidonius Apollinaris makes a forcible entry into French literature. The fin de siècle fashions him into an intriguing paragon of decadence. A keen observer keeping aloof, acting as the last fence against the Barbarians, he conceals his uneasiness of mind under a dandiacal attitude. His poetry bears witness to some excessive stylistic elaboration, which made him worthy of serving as a pattern of Alexandrian affectedness, and led some critics to compare him to Stéphane Mallarmé or Jean Lombard.TranslationsVéronique Bedin and Julien Feydy, La Bourgogne dans les beaux textes. Petite anthologie historique et littéraire, vol. 1, Messigny-et-Vantoux: Éditions de Bourgogne, 2008.Contains a fresh translation of Sidonius’ poem 12 on the Burgundians. catalogue publisherForgeryLupus’ congratulation letter to Sidonius on his consecration as a bishop (Migne PL 58, cols 63-65) is thought to be a forgery ever since Julien Havet, ‘Questions mérovingiennes II, Les découvertes de Jérôme Vignier’, Bibliothèque de l’école des chartes 46 (1885) 205-71, adduced proofs for the inauthenticity of a group of fifth-century documents to which it belongs, which were published by Jérôme Vignier (d. 1661), probably inspired by recent publications from Du Chesne and Sirmond, among others. See, e.g., Ralph Mathisen, ‘PLRE II: Suggested Addenda and Corrigenda’, Historia 31 (1982) 377-78, and Frank-Michael Kaufmann, Studien zu Sidonius Apollinaris, Frankfurt am Main 1995, pp. 321-22.FictionJean Anglade (1915-), Sidoine Apollinaire, with a preface by Rector Pierre Louis, Clermont-Ferrand: Volcans, 1963 (repr. in Auvergne encore, Paris: Omnibus, 2000).Elisabeth Szwarc (text), Jean-Michel Payet (illustrations), Sidoine Apollinaire. Un Gaulois contre les barbares, Paris: Épigones, 1993.Guy Azaïs (1942-), Sidoine Apollinaire, mémoires imaginaires. Récit, Paris: Thélès, 2008. Second edition entitled Que le jour recommence. Mémoires, Paris: Société des écrivains, 2010.Denis Montebello (1951-), Au dernier des Romains, Paris: Fayard, 1999.InfluenceSidonius is among the poets quoted by Mico of Saint-Riquier (d. c. 853) in his Opus prosodiacum, a poetic florilegium to help learning words of difficult prosody.See David Butterfield, ‘Unidentified and misattributed verses in the Opus prosodiacum Miconis’, Museum Helveticum 66 (2009) 155-62. onlineAndré Thevet, Vrais Pourtraits et Vies des Hommes Illustres, Paris 1584, vol. 3,book 6, chap. 85, pp. 486v-487v.Praises Sidonius for his subventions to impoverished intellectuals (’Sidoine amoureux des gens doctes’) and prefers to remain neutral in the stylistic debate on Cicero’s presumed normativity (’Langage de Sidoine, dequoy taxé’).The Dukes of Polignac boasted a lineage which went all the way back to Sidonius. The first known history of the Polignac family is L’Histoire généalogique de la Maison de Polignac, by Gaspard Chabron (1570-after 1638), written towards 1625 (download here). It frames Sidonius’ grandfather as ‘le premier de la lignée de Messieurs de Polignac’ (p. 12), ‘le grand St Sidoine Apollinaire’ as the first to bear the title of count (p. 11), and the Castle of Polignac at Le Puy-en-Velay as their ancestral domain (p. 10). To support his claim, Chabron adduces Savaron’s authority in his comment on Ep. 4.6.2 solidae domus ad hoc aevi inconcussa securitas, ‘the security of the solid house, unshaken up to the present’ (which Sidonius is afraid might be disturbed by the enemy raids), Savaron says that this is the ancient home of the Apollinaris family in Velay, safely perched on the hill, and still visible in his day in all its age-old splendour. (Sirmond, however, saw the correct interpretation of domus: ‘family’.)Sons could be baptized ‘Sidoine-Apollinaire’ or ‘Apollinaire’, for instance Sidoine-Apollinaire-Gaspard-Scipion-Armand de Polignac (1660-1739), who made a military career, and Camille-Louis-Apollinaire de Polignac (1745-1821), bishop of Meaux. The family’s fairy-tale past made it to the gossip columns of the New York Times, 3 Dec. 1882. Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), freethinking Huguenot, whose Dictionnaire historique et critique (1697, 21702, 51740, English translation 21734) was among the most popular works of the eighteenth century, repeatedly resorted to his Savaron copy of Sidonius to cite, and, if needs, criticize him. In volume 1 alone (A-Bi, in the English edition), Sidonius is referred to in the lemmata on Achilles, Anaxagoras, Apollonius, Apuleius, Arcesilas, Athenaeum, and Balbus. Sidonius is criticized for his sloppy treatment of philosophy concerning Anaxagoras and Arcesilas in Carm. 15.79-98, and Savaron for not noticing these errors. The figure of Apollonius of Tyana is attractive to Bayle for his unconventionality and being a challenge to authorities. Here Sidonius’ opinion of Apollonius comes in, with a quotation from Ep. 8.3. Bayle comments: ‘Sidonius Apollinaris has given us a description of Apollonius, which represents him as the greatest of heroes in philosophy. The author of this description does not forget to make his excuses to the Catholic church’ (p. 383). (Bayle thought that Sidonius had written Apollonius’ Life.)Jean-Baptiste Du Bos (1670-1742), Histoire critique de l’établissement de la monarchie française dans les Gaules, vol. 1 (1734, 21742), is a sustained reading, cum extensive translations, of Sidonius’ Panegyrics and Letters, guided by Duchesne and Sirmond. Another sign of the importance Du Bos attached to Sidonius is the unexpected link he sees between Sidonius’ picture of a gallery of philosopher portraits and Raphael’s School of Athens. The passage in question is from the Réflexions critiques sur la poésie et sur la peinture, published in Paris in 1709, and repeatedly reprinted and enlarged (transl. Thomas Nugent, 1748):We find by the epistles of Sidonius Apollinaris [the passage from Ep. 9.9 is quoted in a footnote], that the illustrious philosophers of antiquity had each of them their particular air, figure, and gesture, which were peculiarly appropriated to them in painting. Raphael has made a good use of this piece of erudition from Apollinaris, in his picture of the school of Athens. This observation is adopted in Diderot & d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie, vol. 17 (1765) 484.Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), Impressions de voyage. Le Midi de la France,vol. 2, Bruxelles: Hauman, 1841, p. 132. cross-refs and textDumas writes in his chapter on Arles: ‘La puissance romaine s’éteignit à Arles avec Jules Valère Majorien. Il traversa les Alpes en 438, s’empara de Lyon, et, trouvant, comme Constantin, Arles merveilleusement située, il résolut d’y établir sa cour impériale.Ce fut pendant son séjour en cette ville et dans le palais de Constantin, qu’il invita Sidoine Apollinaire à s’asseoir à sa table ; et c’est à cette circonstance que nous devons la lettre du poëte à Montius son ami, lettre dans laquelle il consigne les détails de ce grand festin, où sept grands seigneurs avaient assisté, et où il fait la description du palais, orné, dit-il, de magnifiques statues placées entre des colonnes de marbre.’Joris-Karl Huysmans (1848-1907), À rebours, Paris: Charpentier, 1884.Jean Des Esseintes admires Sidonius’ luscious style. See David Amherdt, ‘Sidonius in Francophone Countries’, in New Approaches to Sidonius Apollinaris, Leuven (2013) 23.See R. Chevallier, ‘La bibliothèque de Des Esseintes ou le latin “décadent”: une question toujours d’actualité’, Latomus 61 (2002) 163-77.Jean Anglade, Histoire de l’Auvergne, Paris: Hachette, 1974.Sidonius figures prominently in chapter 3, L’Auvergne se latinise.Daniel Aranjo, ‘Le latin de la vingt-cinquième heure (Sidoine Apollinaire 1930)’, in Georges Cesbron and Laurence Richer (eds), La réception du latin du XIXe siècle à nos jours. Actes du colloque d‘Angers des 23 et 24 septembre 1994, Angers 1996, pp. 365-84. text available on the Contributions pageDaniel Aranjo, ‘Quatre poèmes modernes sur Sidoine Apollinaire, ses barbares, son époque (1931, 1994, 2004, 2005)’, 2014 (inedit.) on this siteRoland Barthes, The Preparation of the Novel: Lecture Courses and Seminars at the Collège de France, 1978-1979 and 1979-1980 (transl. Kate Briggs), New York: Columbia UP, 2011; see p. 8:Barthes was so delighted to have found an exception among languages in Sidonius’ unique verb scripturire (Ep. 7.18.1) that he always applied it as the word par excellence for the attitude of ‘wanting-to-write’ (’vouloir-écrire’).VariousThe name ‘Sidoine Apollinaire’ is remembered in the Lycée Sidoine Apollinaireat Clermont-Ferrand and in street names in this and various other towns in Southern France, among them Lyon.The tourist office of Clermont-Ferrand ends its booklet ‘Ville avec vues’ with Sidonius’ words ‘Une fois que les étrangers ont connu l’Auvergne, ils y perdent le souvenir de leur patrie’. A modest mention among the much more prominent Vercingetorix, Urban II, and Pascal, who are even represented in the pavements.The church of Aydat (ancient Avitacum) is dedicated to Saint Sidoine Apollinaire. see GalleryThe ‘prix Sidoine-Apollinaire’ was a literary award for an oeuvre, either documentary or fictional, which enhanced knowledge of the Auvergne or of Rhône-Alpes. It was given in 1959, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1985, and 1987.
Jean Marcel (pseud. of Jean-Marcel Paquette), Triptyque des temps perdus, vol. 3 Sidoine ou la dernière fête, Montreal: Leméac, 1993.‘Between 1989 and 1993, Jean Marcel published Triptyque des temps perdus, a trilogy of three novels shot through with generic and chronological tensions. Having defined the Triptyque as belonging to the genre of the historical biographical novel, we offer a two-part analysis of the paradoxical relationship between writing of a dim and remote past—the decline of the Roman empire—and the undeniable modernity of Jean Marcel’s work. On the one hand, through the antique figures of Hypatie, Jérôme and Sidoine, Marcel speaks of the modern era and its constituent tension between what is perishable and what is changeless. On the other hand, he starts from questions raised by modernity to renew some of the formal aspects — documentation, utterance, narration — of a genre seen as obsolete: the biographical historical novel. In terms of writing, Triptyque ultimately shares the modern literary concerns of other contemporary fictions with a biographical dimension.’ see source.On this trilogy, see Filomena Giannotti, Nei pensieri degli uomini: momenti della fortuna di Ambrogio, Girolamo e Agostino, Bologna: Pàtron, 2009, esp. pp. 127-31 and 142. Another essay will be published in Prolegomena to Sidonius Apollinaris.CzechiaOne of many lists in Jan Amos Comenius’ The Labyrinth of the World (1631), this one in particular, of philosophers in chapter 11, reminds of Sidon. Ep. 4.3.5-7 and Alanus Anticlaudianus 2.343-62 - all of them drawn up according to the determinatio figure:There I beheld Bion sitting down quietly; there Anacharsis walked to and fro, Thales flew, Hesiod ploughed, Plato hunted in the skies for ideas, Homer sang, Aristotle disputed, Pythagoras was silent, Epimenides slept, Archimedes moved the earth, Solon wrote laws and Galen prescriptions, Euclid measured the hall, Kleobulus inquired into the future, Periander measured out their duties to men, Pittacus warred, Bias begged, Epictetus served, Seneca praised poverty while surrounded by tons of gold, Socrates informed everyone that he knew nothing; Xenophon, on the contrary, promised to teach everyone everything; Diogenes, peeping out of a tub, insulted all who passed by; Timon cursed all, Democritus laughed at all this; Heraclitus, on the other hand, cried; Zeno fasted, Epicure feasted; Anaxarchus said that all things were nothing in reality, but only appeared to exist. (Transl. Count Lützow, New York, 1901) The function of ‘chains of words’ in the Labyrinth is discussed in Renate Lachmann, ‘Rhetorische Instrumentierung in Comenius’ Seelenbildungsroman Labyrinth der Welt und Paradies des Herzens’, in Holt Meyer and Dirk Uffelmann (eds), Religion und Rhetorik, Stuttgart, 2007, 48-64.For variations on this list of the Seven Sages and of classic philosophers, see Auson. Ludus VII Sap.; Aug. Civ. 8.2; Claud. Paneg. Theod. .70-83; Sidon. Carm. 2.156-81, 15.51-125, 23.111-19.
Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
In the German Baroque, Sidonius surfaces briefly on a number of occasions, as, for instance, in literary criticism and in a women’s lexicon. See the following three entries:Daniel Georg Morhof, Unterricht von der Teutschen Sprache und Poesie, Kiel, 1682, 560-61:‘Nachgehends hat man diese springende Wörtermaaß noch vielmehr beliebt / wie der Sidonius Apollinaris gethan / biß man gar auff die ομοιοτέλευτα zu Teutsch genante Reime gekommen.’ see sourceJohann Christoph Gottsched, Versuch einer Critischen Dichtkunst vor die Deutschen, Leipzig, 1730, 288-89:‘Sein [a historian’s] Zweck iſt die nackte Wahrheit zu ſagen, das iſt, die Begebenheiten, ſo ſich zugetragen haben, ohne allen Firniß, ohne alle Schmincke zu erzehlen. Thäte er das nicht, ſo würden ſeine Leſer nicht wiſſen ob ſie ihm glauben ſollten, oder nicht. […] Das iſt das Urtheil ſo man vom Curtius mit Grunde zu fällen pflegt. Man traut ſeinen Nachrichten nicht; weil ſie gar zu ſchön klingen. Florus hat es noch ärger gemacht. Seneca, Apulejus, Sidonius Apollinaris, Martianus Capella, Tertullianus sind unter den ältern; Barclajus aber und unzehliche andre, die in lebendigen Sprachen auch in neuern Zeiten geschrieben, unter diejenigen gezehlet worden, die nicht nur poetisch, sondern gantz hochtrabend, schwülstig, ja unsinnig gedacht und geschrieben haben.’ see sourceGottlieb Siegmund Corvinus, Nutzbares, galantes und curiöses Frauenzimmer-Lexicon, Leipzig, 1715, 70 s.v. ‘Argentaria Polla’: ‘Nach dem Tode ihres Lucani, dem der Tyranne Nero die Adern ſchlagen lieſſe, ſoll ſie ſich, wie einige wollen, an den Statium verheyrathet haben. Sidonius Apollinaris scheinet darauf zu zielen. Vid. Carm. XXIII [vv. 165-66].’ see sourceThe Austrian born German artist Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner (1702 Kufstein - 1761 Augsburg), one of the most outstanding representatives of Augsburg’s heyday of rococo art, contributed up to 280 oil sketches of patron saints for the illustration of a calendar for daily devotion, ‘Die tägliche Erbauung eines wahren Christen’ (Vienna and Augsburg 11753-55, 21762/63), an illustrated translation and adaptation of Giovanni Battista Mascolo’s Encomia coelitum(see below; volume 3, July-September, online here).On the huge production of similar calendar sets of saints and other devotional prints in Augsburg, see G.A. Bailey, The Spiritual Rococo, Ashgate: Farnham, 2014, 124. For Baumgartner’s contribution to ‘Die tägliche Erbauung …’, see the catalogue of the 2009 Baumgartner exposition in Salzburg, Josef Straßer, Johann Wolfgang Baumgartner. 1702-1761. Ölskizzen und Hinterglasbilder. See also Hubert Hosch’s notes on the exposition and Pia-Maria Baurek’s MA thesis on Baumgartner’s colleague in the undertaking, Franz Sigrist.The saint for 23 August is Sidonius Apollinaris (p. 705-706). He is depicted as an ecclesiastic at his desk in front of a cross; next to him on the floor are a lyre and an overturned bust of Apollo (?) with a laurel wreath. The text is the original Latin one by Mascolo (for an explanation, see below, Italy). The engraving was done by Johann Mathias Werlin. For more on this engraving, see Joop van Waarden, ‘Sidonius Edifies German Nuns’, blogpost on ‘Sidonius in Antiquity and Modernity’, 23 August 2016.Andreas (?) Kretzschmer, ‘Einquartierungsklage während der Völkerwanderung, aus dem 5. Jahrhundert nach Christi Geburt. Uebersetzung des Carmen XII. des Cajus Sollius Sidonius Apollinaris’, Zeitung für die elegante Welt 21. Sept. 1822, Nr 185, Sp. 1473-74.Source: Goedekes Grundriss zur Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung, XVI, 700. Journal available in Google Books. Read page scan here.Poem 12 on the Burgundians enjoys lasting popularity. In the translation from Heinrich Beck, Burgunden I Philologisches, 1 Sprachquellen, in RGA 4 (1981) 224-30, on p. 229 (cf. this dissertation on p. 47), it has been circulating over the past few years in the Internet, from an article on garlic to a blogpost on shaving balm, while recently surfacing in an analysis of today’s immigration crisis in Die Welt 23.08.15. [accessed 29 October 2015]Jacob Grimm, ‘Über zwei Stellen bei Sidonius Apollinaris’, a paper given on 27 February 1851 at the Berliner Akademie der Wissenschaften.Observations on Germanic language and costume in Ep. 5.5 and 4.20. Bibliographical data in Ralf Breslau, Der Nachlass der Brüder Grimm: Katalog, Wiesbaden 1997, p. 164. Text in the Berlin Academy Archive.On 19 March 1885, in the Berlin Akademie der Wissenschaften, its presiding secretary Theodor Mommsen delivered the official speech to celebrate King and Emperor William I’s eighty-eighth birthday. The speech was entirely devoted to Sidonius Apollinaris and the Germanic peoples. Its moral lesson to the king: the Germanic invasions were not much of a success, 'ein Weltreich zu gründen, ist nicht germanisch', let us modestly further peace, for we know the alternative: ‘Wir wissen es, dass unsere ganze Nation durchdrungen ist von der Empfindung des ungeheuren Unglücks, welches über die Welt kommen würde, wenn also durch Ströme von Blut dieselbe zur einheitlichen Öde gemacht würde’. Text in the Berlin Academy ArchiveMax Nordau, Entartung, Berlin, 1893.‘The truth is that these degenerate writers [like Gautier, Baudelaire, and Huysmans] have arbitrarily attributed their own state of mind to the authors of the Roman and Byzantine decadence, to a Petronius, but especially to a Commodianus of Gaza, an Ausonius, a Prudentius, a Sidonius Apollinaris, etc., and have created in their own image, or according to their morbid instincts, an “ideal man of the Roman decadence.”’ (Degeneration, trans. George L. Mosse, London, 1993, p. 301)Hans E. Latzke, Auvergne, Tarn und Cevennen, DuMont Reise-Taschenbuch, 3rd ed., 2014, begins on p. 8:‘”Dieses Land ist so schön, dass die Fremden selbst den Namen ihrer Heimat vergessen”, schrieb Apollinaris Sidonius, um 470 Bischof von Clermont, über die ins Land eingefallenen Westgoten.’
Middle Ages and Early ModernityAbout a copy of Sidon. Ep. 2.2, discovered and sent by Enoch of Ascoli to Leon Alberti:Ida Mastrorosa, ‘Tipologia edilizia e diletti bucolici in Sidonio Apollinare (Ep. II 2): Il dono di Enoch d’Ascoli all’Alberti’, Albertiana 5 (2002) 191-236. downloadIda Mastrorosa, ‘Lettera di Enoch d'Ascoli a Battista Alberti, con allegata un'epistola di Sidonio Apollinare, Roskilde, 6 dicembre 1451’, in P. Benigni et al. (eds), Corpus epistolare e documentario di Leon Battista Alberti, Florence, 2007, pp. 245-53.An article about the Laurentianus Pluteus 90 sup. 8 manuscript, Pietro Crinito’s copy of the famous codex Marcianus 554 (M), and the light which his and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s marginal notes shed on the textual transmission and fifteenth-century understanding of Sidonius:Michaelangiola Marchiano, ‘Un manoscritto di Sidonio Apollinare postillato da Giovanni Pico della Mirandola e da Pietro Crinito’, Medioevo e Rinascimento 20 (2009) 279-89, downloadable here.In 1638, the Napolitan Jesuit poet Giovanni Battista Mascolo (1582-1656) put out Encomia coelitum, a calendar of Christian saints, one for each day, which compared their glorious deeds to the superseded exploits of the Ancients. Each month is provided with an introduction in which Mascolo explains why he picked these particular saints. Each saint then receives a ‘Synopsis’ and an ‘Encomion’. Sidonius Apollinaris is selected for 23 August. His synopsis (p. 378) runs:Poeta fuit insignis ex Gallia: carmen pietate condivit, non eo usus ad fabulas, et ineptias, sed ad res divinas, et castas, quo ceteris scribendi norma(m) dedit: alluditur ad appellationem ipsius Apollinaris.He was a famous poet from Gaul, who seasoned his verse with piety, not using it for idle tales, but for divine and chaste purposes, providing others with a standard in writing. This is an allusion to his surname Apollinaris.The encomion praises him for being both a lyrical poet and a prefect of Gaul [sic], which is reflected in his name: ‘a Sidone accepit purpuram, ab Apolline lauream’. Of course his inspiration was ‘non Venus, sed virtus’. Read online here.The introduction to the month (p. 346) explains that, from amongst other ‘laureati’, Sidonius is selected because he truly chastened the laurel (‘qui laurum ex incesta, vere fecit innubam’; compare Daphne in Ov. Met. 10.92). Read online here.In the 1750s, Mascolo’s calendar was translated and illustrated in Augsburg (see above, Germany).On this subject, see further Joop van Waarden, ‘Sidonius Edifies German Nuns’, blogpost on ‘Sidonius in Antiquity and Modernity’, 23 August 2016.Modern and ContemporaryGiulio Castelli, Il romanzo dell’Impero Romano, Roma: Newton Compton Editori, 2013.‘C'è stato un tempo in cui i vessilli di Roma annunciavano al mondo un dominio immortale. Ora quel tempo è finito e i confini della città sono stati oltraggiati da torme di barbari. In un impero ormai disgregato e corrotto, tra intrighi di palazzo, complotti, assedi e passioni, rivivono personaggi pronti a sacrificare la loro intera esistenza per il riscatto di Roma. Sullo sfondo, il torbido affresco del V secolo e le decadenti province romane. Fondendo letteratura e rigore storico, Castelli ci accompagna in un viaggio senza tempo, da Roma a Costantinopoli, dall'Illiria alla Gallia, fino alla remota Britannia, per farci assistere ad un'ultima epica battaglia...’ see sourceIn a chapter on modern reception of Sidonius in Prolegomena to Sidonius Apollinaris, Filomena Giannotti (Siena), among other things, will discuss Sidonius’ role in this trilogy.Alberto Giorgio Cassani, ‘Ravenna fantastica: da Sidonio Apollinare a Michelangelo Antonioni’, in Marisa Zattini (ed.), Onorio Bravi: Ravenna fantastica! con poesie di Nevio Spadoni, Il Vicolo: Cesena, 2015, pp. 13-19[exposition catalogue 10 October-7 November 2015, Ravenna].
The Lithuanian/Russian cultural historian Levas Karsavinas (Лев Платонович Карсавин, 1882-1952) got his doctorate with a thesis entitled ‘Sidonius Apollinaris, a Representative of Fifth-Century Culture’ (St Petersburg 1908). see source
The Netherlands and Flanders
Gerard Vossius (1577-1649) repeatedly cites Sidonius as an authority on matters poetical in Poeticarum institutionum libri tres; he used Sirmond’s edition (see edition of Vossius’ book with translation and commentary by Jan Bloemendal, Leiden, 2010).[Constantijn Huygens (1596-1687)] Catalogus der Bibliotheek van Constantyn Huygens verkocht op de Groote Zaal van het Hof te ‘s-Gravenhage 1688, ‘s-Gravenhage: Van Stockum, 1903. Section ‘Libri miscellanei in octavo’ #418: Sol. Sidonii Apollinaris Opera1552/1598-.
Claude Lopez-Ginisty, Orthodox blogger, writes his own hymns for the Daily Offices. This one (22 November) remembers Sidonius as a friend of Pragmatius:Evêque tu siégeas en la ville d'Autun.Tu fus l'ami de saint Sidoine ApollinaireEt du hiérarque Avit en la cité de Vienne.[…]Saint Pragmace, intercède auprès de Dieu pour nous!
ScholarshipThomas Underdown, Ouid his inuectiue against Ibis. Translated into English méeter, whereunto is added by the translator, a short draught of all the stories and tales contayned therein, very pleasant to be read, London: Thomas East and Henry Middleton,1569.In his headnote (p. Avii), cites Sidonius to explain the Ovid-Julia affair: ‘The cause of his banishment is vncertayn, but most men thinke, & I am of that opinion also, that it was for vsing too familiarly Iulia, Augustus his daughter, who of hir selfe too much enclined to lasciuiousnes, vnto whõ he wrote many wanton Elegies, vnder the name of Corinna, as Sidonius plainly affirmeth. “et te carmina per libidinosa / notum, Naso tener, Tomosque missum, / quondam Caesareae nimis puellae, / ficto nomine subditum Corinnae” [Carm. 23.158-161]’.Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) used Sidonius repeatedly for his Decline and Fall(published 1776-1788). He famously levels this judgement on Sidonius’ style (ch. 36; vol. 3 p. 508 n. 2, cited from the edition in Everyman’s Library, repr. London 1993):‘The prose of Sidonius, however vitiated by a false and affected taste, is much superior to his insipid verses.’and keeps struggling with this issue (ch. 36; vol. 3 p. 467 n. 1, and p. 478, respectively):‘This epistle [Ep. 2.13], with some indulgence, may claim the praise of an elegant composition.’‘[…] but this composition [the Panegyric on Avitus], though it was rewarded with a brass statue, seems to contain a very moderate proportion either of genius or of truth. The poet, if we may degrade that sacred name, exaggerates […]’But he values Sidonius’ perceptive observations (ch. 36; vol. 3 p. 474):‘[…] the original picture of a Gothic king [Theodoric in Ep. 2], whom Sidonius had intimately observed […]’and acknowledges the potential ‘the learned and eloquent Sidonius’ had for writing history (ch. 35; vol. 3 p. 439):‘If the modesty of Sidonius had not discouraged him from the prosecution of this interesting work [the history of the war of Attila, cf. Ep. 8.14 and Carm. 7.319-28], the historian would have related with the simplicity of truth those memorable events to which the poet, in vague and doubtful metaphors, has concisely alluded.’Aged 52, Gibbon undertook to write Memoirs of My Life and Writings. In it, he refers to Sirmond’s Sidonius edition, which he used for his work (Miscellaneous Works, vol. 1 p. 88, cited from the edition by John Sheffield, London 1796):‘I consummated my first labour [Essay on the Study of Literature] by a short preface, which is dated February 3d, 1759. Yet I still shrunk from the press with the terrors of virgin modesty: the manuscript was safely deposited in my desk; and as my attention was engaged by new objects, the delay might have been prolonged till I had fulfilled the precept of Horace, nonumque prematur in annum. Father Sirmond, a learned jesuit, was still more rigid, since he advised a young friend to expect the mature age of fifty, before he gave himself or his writings to the public […]. The counsel was singular; but it is still more singular that it should have been approved by the example of the author. Sirmond was himself fifty-five years of age when he published (in 1614) his first work, an edition of Sidonius Apollinaris, with many valuable annotations […].’Thomas Hodgkin (1831-1913) translates eighteen letters and two poems in his Italy and her Invaders (1880-1899), aimed to illustrate Roman and Barbarian life. For a detailed list, refer to the Bibliography Older page of this website, section Translations. Some of these translations were subsequently included in two American anthologies of Great Masterpieces. Charles Bigg (1840-1908), Wayside Sketches in Ecclesiastical History: Nine Lectures with Notes and Preface, London: Longmans, 1906.On pp. 57-82, this Canon of Christ Church and Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Oxford presents a portrayal of Sidonius Apollinaris that is very revealing of its time.C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), The Allegory of Love. A Study in Medieval Tradition, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936.A brief discussion of mythological description and allegory in Sidonius is to be found on pp. 76-77. The Allegory of Love predates Lewis's literary career as author of The Chronicles of Narnia, but is his major contribution as a medievalist (Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College, Cambridge University, and subsequently Professor Medieval and Renaissance Literature). (I am grateful to Dr Paul Barnaby for pointing this out to me.)Ian Wood, The Modern Origins of the Early MIddle Ages, Oxford: OUP, 2013.Ian Wood explores how modern Western Europeans have looked back to the Middle Ages and Late Antiquity to discover their origins and the origins of their society. These biases should be kept in mind when evaluating the reception of the period.See review by Paul Fouracre, Reviews in History no 1650, and Ian Wood’s response.FictionCharlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901), ‘The Price of Blood’, in More Bywords,London: Macmillan & Co., 1890.In this short story, Sidonius figures as bishop just after his return from exile. Read here (facsimile British Library) or here (Gutenberg).John Buchan (1875-1940), ‘The Wind in the Portico’, in The Runagates Club, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1928.‘The Wind in the Portico’ is the tale of a visit by a classical scholar, Henry Nightingale, to an mysterious castle set in a park in Shropshire in order to collate a manuscript of Theocritus. The house is restored with the remains of a temple to Apollo. The owner of the house is oddly unsettled by talk of reconsecrating the shrine to Christianity, and his delving into ancient rituals leads to horrific consequences. Here Sidonius comes in:‘I don't know if you remember a passage in Sidonius Apollinaris,’ I said, ‘a formula for consecrating pagan altars to Christian uses. You begin by sacrificing a white cock or something suitable, and tell Apollo with all friendliness that the old dedication is off for the present. Then you have a Christian invocation--’…‘Could you show me the passage? There is a good classical library here, collected by my great-grandfather. Unfortunately my scholarship is not equal to using it properly.’I got up and hunted along the shelves, and presently found a copy of Sidonius, the Plantin edition of 1609. I turned up the passage, and roughly translated it for him.Buchan, who graduated in classics in Oxford, made up the idea of a passage in Sidonius for deconsecrating pagan altars (there is only one innocent cock in his works, in his park at Avitacum, Ep. 2.2.14), but the Plantin edition of 1609 exists. It is the third edition of Jean Savaron’s text and commentary, ‘multis partibus auctior et emendatior’, published in Paris by Hadrianus Perrier.Read the story here (Australian Gutenberg). For the Classics in Buchan, see Michael and Isobel Haslett, ‘Buchan and the Classics’, in Kate Macdonald (ed.), Reassessing John Buchan: Beyond The Thirty-Nine Steps, London: Pickering & Chatto, 2009 (repr. Oxford: Routledge, 2016), pp. 17-28, p. 21 for Sidonius in particular (making a case for influence of Helen Waddell’s then recent The Wandering Scholars).See also the same authors online (discussing, among other aspects of Buchan’s classical education, his preference for Theocritus and his love of the recondite).On 10 June 2016, Paul Barnaby published an article about this story, entitled ‘Sidonius in Clubland: John Buchan’s “The Wind in the Portico”’, to inaugurate the ‘Sidonius in Antiquity and Modernity’ blog of the Academic Network on Sidonius Apollinaris.Robert Graves (1895-1985), Count Belisarius, London: Cassell, 1938.The figure of Belisarius’ uncle Modestus, a verbose laudator temporis acti and still a pagan at heart, is loosely modelled on Sidonius: - ‘... a familiar type of the tinsel-age Roman man of letters’ (introduction)- ‘But Modestus could never permit himself to make the least remark without wrapping it in an approved literary allusion, a paradox, or a pun, or all three together’ (chapter 1)- ‘I have also inherited a volume of Modestus’s poems and another of his painfully composed letters, in the style of Pliny’ (chapter 2)- ‘Modestus goes on ... to point the close resemblance ... between this villa and the favourite villa of the celebrated author, Pliny’ (chapter 2)- ‘... let me copy out from Modestus’s book of poems an example of his Latin hendecasyllabics - the metre that he favoured most. It will show both the weakness and the occasional strength of his verse’ (chapter 2).(I am grateful to Prof. Gavin Kelly for pointing this out to me.)In his diary, Graves lists Sidonius among the primary sources he perused. See Shaun Tougher, ‘Robert Graves as Historical Novelist: Count Belisarius - Genesis, Gender, and Truth’, in Alisdair G.G. Gibson (ed.), Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition, Oxford, 2015, 77-98, esp. 83. In the same volume, see also Jon Coulston, ‘Graves on War and the Late Antique: Count Belisarius and his World’, 99-122.Iain Pears (1955-), The Dream of Scipio, London: Jonathan Cape (Vintage), 2002.The figure of Manlius Hippomanes is partly based on Sidonius. See Willy Evenepoel, ‘Sidonius Apollinaris en Synesius van Cyrene in de roman The Dream of Scipio’, Lampas 43 (2010) 269-83.Further TracesIsaac Disraeli (1766-1848), Curiosities of literature: Consisting of anecdotes, characters, sketches, and observations, literary, critical, and historical, London 1791:‘THE ANCIENTS AND MODERNSFrequent and violent disputes have arisen on the subject of the preference which is to be given to the Ancients, or the Moderns. With the Battle of Books, by Swift, the reader is well acquainted. The controversy of Perrault and Boileau makes a considerable figure in French Literature; yet, surely, it had been better if these acrid controversies had never disgraced the Republic of Letters. The advice of Sidonius Appollinaris is excellent: he says, that we should read the Ancients with respect, and the Moderns without envy.’As a motto for his satyrical letter to Lord Grenville by Talleyrand (published in the Morning Post for 10 January 1800), Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) chose Carm. 35.20-21 (in Ep. 8.11.3):Saxa et robora, corneasque fibras Mollit dulciloqua canorus arte!(’By the tuneful utterance of his sweet-voiced art he charms rocks and oaks and hearts of horn’; transl. Anderson.)Source: William Keach (ed.), Samuel Taylor Coleridge: The Complete Poems, London: Penguin Group, 1997.It would be worth tracing copies of Sidonius in ancient libraries. John Hannett (pseud. John Andrews Arnett), An Inquiry into the Nature and Form of the Books of the Ancients with a History of the Art of Bookbinding, London, 1837, p. 92, signals a beautifully bound Sidonius in Earl Spenser’s collection, ‘printed at Basil in 1542’. look upBertrand Russell (1872-1970) was interested in Sidonius:‘One of the men whose life has always interested me was Apollinarius [sic] Sidonius. Apollinarius Sidonius was a Frenchman at the time of the Barbarian Invasion. A very cultivated gentleman, somewhat in the Bloomsbury style, he devoted himself to writing poems which you can read backwards and forwards equally well -- a line would begin with 'amor' and end with 'roma' -- and it was a skill that was much admired among the Bloomsburyites of that period, to write poems that you could read backwards or forwards equally. Well, he devoted himself to this pursuit very successfully and very happily, but then the barbarians came and this rather interfered. It did not interfere exactly in the way that one would think from reading about the Barbarian Invasion. It interfered in a different way. He writes to a friend and says: 'It's such a bore, I have to dine with Germans tonight and they have such bad table-manners.' And this is what the Barbarian Invasion was in real life. However, in the end their table-manners so shocked him that he became a very earnest Christian, a bishop, and died fighting the Germans in the great cause of culture in order that the pursuit of poems to be read backwards and forwards might continue throughout future ages.’That's from 'Reading History as It Is Never Written' in The Collected Stories of Bertrand Russell, ed. Barry Feinberg (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1972), pp. 290-301 (292-93). It is transcribed from a tape recording made by Russell in 1959, so he should not perhaps be blamed for mangling Sidonius' name. Perhaps even more interesting is a letter Russell wrote to his brother Frank from Brixton Prison on 3 June 1918 (where he'd been imprisoned for publicly lecturing against inviting the US to enter the war):‘I am quite happy and my mind is quite active. I enjoy the sense that the time is fruitful - after giving out all these last years, reading almost nothing and writing very little and having no opportunity for anything civilised, it is a real delight to get back to a civilised existence. But oh I shall be glad when it is over! I have given up the bad habit of imagining the war may be over some day. One must compare the time with that of the Barbarian invasion. I feel like Apolinaris [sic] Sidonius. The best one could be would be to be like St. Augustine. For the next 1,000 years people will look back to the time before 1914 as they did in the Dark Ages to the time before the Gauls sacked Rome. Queer animal, Man!’That's quoted in Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, introd. Michael Foot (Routledge, 1998), p. 316. (Item contributed by Dr Paul Barnaby.)
United States of America
FictionSteve White (1948-), Legacy, The Disinherited Series 2, Wake Forest, NC: Baen Books, 1995.These novels use Geoffrey Ashe’s theory (The Discovery of King Arthur, Garden City, N.Y.: AnchorPress/Doubleday, 1985) that the British chieftain and Sidonius’ correspondent Riothamus was the historical basis for the legend of King Arthur (communication by the author).‘”It is, of course, premature to congratulate you, my dear Sidonius. We must observe the proprieties and wait until your election has become official.” Bishop Faustus of Riez chuckled patronizingly.’Legacy involves time travel rather than alternate history, as does Debt of Ages, and the characters witness Riothamus' actual campaign in Gaul. Sidonius is the viewpoint character in the Prologue. Then he reappears about halfway through; the first half is the space-adventure part, before the characters get hijacked into time travel.Steve White, Debt of Ages. The Disinherited Series 3, Wake Forest, NC: Baen Books, 1995.King Arthur saved the galaxy. Now, who will save the once and future king? ‘The Restorer was dying. I knew him for the Restorer at the moment I first met him, thought Sidonius Apollinaris, known to the world these past eight years as His Holiness Gaius II, keeper of the keys of Saint Peter.’ Hard-core SF with real-world biographical inlays concerning Sidonius Apollinaris, Ecdicius, the patriarch Acacius and pope Gelasius. In an alternate timeline, Sidonius overcomes the Visigoths and is appointed bishop of Rome. VariousEdward Hirsch, A Poet’s Glossary, Boston, 2014, p. 438, uses Sidonius’ term versus recurrentes and his example Roma tibi subito motibus ibit amor (Ep.9.14.4) to illustrate the notion of a palindrome.
General / Works of Reference
Gilbert Highet, The Classical TraditionGilbert Highet (1906-1978), The Classical Tradition. Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature, Oxford, 1949.Page 189: Sidonius in Villey’s list of Montaigne’s reading.Page 220: ‘Nearly all Greek and Roman lyric poetry was destroyed or allowed to disappear during the Dark Ages. ... In Latin we have ... the work of a few third-raters like Sidonius Apollinaris ...’Pages 471-72: A pessimistic comparison, as to the free exchange of knowledge, between scholarship in Europe and America after World War II and Sidonius’ times: ‘Are these shadows on so many of our horizons the outriders of another long night, like that which was closing in upon Sidonius?’ The equation is inspired by the Oxford archaeologist and army officer Stanley Casson (1889-1944).The Classical TraditionAnthony Grafton et al. (eds), The Classical Tradition, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Harvard, 2010, registers some classical influences on Sidonius, but contains no material on Sidonius’ reception in later times.Classical Reception in English Literature and TranslationThe first volume of The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature (OHCREL), which covers the period 800-1558, contains the following entries mentioning Sidonius:Rita Copeland, ‘The Curricular Classics in the Middle Ages’, pp. 21-3426 Alexander Neckham (1157-1217), born and grew up in England, and lived part of his life in St Albans. Also a schoolmaster at Dunstable, and then studied and taught in Paris. Around the turn of the century he joined the Augustinian canons at Cirencester, where he taught for some years before becoming abbot in 1213. In a work designed for the schoolroom, the Sacerdos ad altare (written while he was at Cirencester), Neckham lays out a course of study across the liberal arts and the specialized fields of medicine, law, and theology. As part of the early grammatical curriculum, by way of an entry into literary culture, he provides a list of authors whose works must be known. These include Sidonius.James Willoughby, ‘The Transmission and Circulation of Classical Literature: Libraries and Florilegia’, pp. 95-120105 ‘A compiler, Peter of Cornwall (1140-1220), Augustinian prior of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, in London, quoted Virgil in his vast Book of Revelations. ‘O terque quaterque beatum’ goes back to Aeneid 1.94, but the context suggests rather that Sidonius Apollinaris … was Peter’s filter, for Sidonius had used the same quotation in a letter to Gaudentius, tribune and notary at the court in Gaul …. Such quotations and their embedded context are a reflex of the writer’s art, but they are a reflex too of reading and understanding the work of classical authorities as collections of exempla, of which the compilation of (p. 106) phrases from common authorities into textbooks was a natural consequence.’106 An English copy of the Florilegium Angelicum, late 14th century, Oxford, Trinity College, MS 18, contains extracts from Sidonius.James P. Carley and Ágnes Juhász-Ormsby, ‘Survey of Henrician Humanism’, pp. 515-40524 Juan Luis Vives provided a full educational programme for Princess Mary (daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon) in his De institutione foeminae Christianae. ‘Vives’ approach to the teaching of grammar and his rigorous list of approved authors echo Colet’s earlier provisions for St Paul’s, particularly his concern to show the sound moral content of pagan writings. Accordingly, Mary was advised to draw lessons from authors frequently used in grammar schools: Cicero, Seneca, Justin, Florus, Valerius Maximus, and from Latin translations of Plutarch and Plato. Unlike the schoolboys, however, she was advised to avoid Virgil, Ovid, Horace, Terence, and Plautus because of their ambiguous morality. Vives recommended instead the writings of Augustine, Erasmus, More, and the Christian poets Prudentius, Sidonius, Paulinus, Arator, Prosper, and Juvencus.’No mention of Sidonius Apollinaris is made in the second through fourth volumes, covering 1558-1660, 1660-1790, and 1790-1880 respectively (apart from Sidonius as a reader of Statius, along with Ausonius and Claudian, in vol. 3, p. 78). In volume 4, Jennifer Wallace (‘“Greek under the trees”: Classical Reception and Gender’, 243-78, esp. 250-51) discusses Charlotte Mary Yonge’s attitude towards classical education for girls (The Daisy Chain, The Book of Golden Deeds). The series started being published in 2012 and is to comprise five volumes.No mention either in Stuart Gillespie, English Translation and Classical Reception. Towards a New Literary History, Chichester 2011. The same is the case with Peter France et al., The Oxford History of Literary Translation in English, Vol. 1 to 1500, Vol. 2 1550-1660, Vol. 3 1660-1790, Vol. 4 1790-1900, (Vol. 5 to 2000), Oxford 2005-...Classical Reception in Dutch and Flemish LiteraturePatrick De Rynck and Andries Welkenhuysen, De Oudheid in het Nederlands, Baarn (1992) 342-43, has the following entry on Sidonius Apollinaris:(Gaius Sollius Modestus (?) Apollinaris Sidonius; ca. 430-ca. 485 n.C.). Latijns-christelijk schrijver en dichter, geboortig van Lyon. In zijn 24 Carmina (Gedichten) prijst en vleit hij de groten van zijn tijd, o.m. zijn schoonvader keizer Avitus. Na zijn aanstelling tot bisschop van Clermont-Ferrand (469) schreef hij nog hoofdzakelijk brieven, achteraf gebundeld in 9 boeken. In deze 147 retorisch verzorgde maar inhoudarme Epistulae zijn vaak gedichten en metrische inscripties verwerkt.*Brakman, Opstellen, 1919, p. 147-176. - Met (proza)vert. van fragm. uit Carm. en Epist.*Duinkerken, Wereldhistorie, 1946, p. 25-26. - Vert. van Epist. 4, 20 (over een prinselijke bruiloft).*Hadas/Schwartz, Geschiedenis van Rome, 1959, p. 259-261. - Fragm. uit Epist. 1, 2 (over koning Theoderik II).*De tijd van Rome's laatste keizers; veertien brieven van Apollinaris Sidonius... vertaald en ingeleid door Engelbert H. ter Kuile, Zutphen, Walburg Pers, 1976.Brill’s New PaulySidonius in Brill’s New Pauly 13-15/3, Manfred Landfester (ed.), Rezeptions- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte: Mittellatein 15/1, 455 (Stilanalyse hoch-MA Musterautoren: Galfredus von Vinsauf 'modus et mos Sidonianus’); Niederlande und Belgien 15/1, 985; Rhetorik 15/2, 776-7 (hoch-ma. poetria: descriptio a capite ad pedes, determinatio und conversio); Rom 15/2, 874, 901; Zeitrechnung 15/3, 1190.No mention of Sidonius is made in Brill’s New Pauly Supplements 1, vol. 5: Christine Walde and Brigitte Egger (eds), The Reception of Classical Literature, Leiden 2012.