A Commentary on Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters Book 7. The Episcopal Letters 1-11
by Johannes A. van Waarden. LAHR 2, Leuven: Peeters, 2010.
Reviewed in JRS 102 (2012) 415-16.These notes have now been published in the second volume of Writing to Survive, as Addenda et corrigenda. Any further additions are marked below by an asterisk (*).Book jacket, front flapThe illustration on the front cover is used by kind permission of Dr Henri Hours, Keeper of the Archives of Puy-de-Dôme, who, together with his wife, documents the stained glass windows of the Cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand.The text on the front flap inadvertently ascribes the design of the window in which Sidonius figures to the artist Félix Gaudin. Dr Hours wrote to me: 'Voici un cliché ... du médaillon "représentant" Sidoine Apollinaire: on devine le sommet des lettres "SIDONIUS APOLLINARIS" au-dessus de la barlotière qui coupe le médaillon au quart supérieur. Il fait partie d’une verrière (située dans une chapelle latérale au sud de la nef) représentant, dans l’ordre chronologique des listes épiscopales traditionnelles, les évêques canonisés de Clermont des dix premiers siècles de l’ère chrétienne, exécutée en 1886 par le maître verrier Félix Gaudin sur des cartons de Louis Steinheil; le programme avait été défini par l’abbé Louis Antoine Chaix de Lavarène, nommé archiprêtre de la cathédrale en 1880, prêtre d’une solide érudition qui venait de publier un recueil des bulles pontificales des IXe – XIIe siècles relatives à l’Auvergne (Monumenta pontificia Arverniae […]), et à qui l’on devait déjà un Saint Sidoine Apollinaire et son temps (Clermont-Ferrand, F. Thibaud, 1866).'Page 5, section 2.2'His father, anonymous, ...': Ralph W. Mathisen, 'Epistolography, Literary Circles and Family Ties in Late Roman Gaul', TAPhA 11 (1981) 95-109, on p. 100, has made a case for Sidonius' father being called Alcimus. Cf. Patrizia Mascoli, Gli Apollinari (Bari, 2010) 18.Page 7, note 11Harries’ reconstruction of Sidonius’ consecration is challenged by Atsuko Gotoh, ‘The Consecration of Sidonius Apollinaris’, Studia Patristica 29 (1997) 40-45. Gotoh prefers to view this move as a positive choice by Sidonius himself to fulfil his sense of noblesse oblige.Page 7, note 12 As pointed out by Peter Brown. Through the Eye of a Needle (Princeton, 2012) 491, Gregory, ‘an observer of the conflict-ridden churches of late sixth-century Gaul’, for all his respect for Sidonius’ nobility, could not help but ‘remember him as a pathetic figure’, because he had apparently failed to establish effective control of the wealth of his church.Page 9 with note 15According to Alan Cameron, The Last Pagans of Rome (New York, 2011) 546-54, the translatio of the Vita Apollonii was a transcription in Greek, as were Nicomachus' and Victorianus' copies (and Flavian's for that matter). On p. 554, he concludes that 'there never was a Latin translation of the Life of Apollonius'. See also Charles W. Hedrick, History and Silence: Purge and Rehabilitation of Memory in Late Antiquity (Austin, TX, 2000) 179-81. François Paschoud, 'On a Recent Book by Alan Cameron, The Last Pagans of Rome', An. Tard. 20 (2012) 359-88 on pp. 367-69, takes a more nuanced position than does Cameron. See also Ivan Prchlík, ‘Sidonius or Flavianus: By Whom Was Philostratus’ “Vita Apollonii” Translated into Latin?’, Graecolatina Pragensia 22 (2007) 199-210, rejecting the notion of a translation by Sidonius.Pages 43, 380, 409On the revival of the cult of St Martin by Perpetuus and its specific aims, see A.S. McKinley, ‘The First Two Centuries of Saint Martin of Tours’, Early Medieval Europe 14 (2006) 173-200, at pp. 185-90; cf. Peter Brown, Through the Eye of a Needle (Princeton, 2012) 420.Pages 44-46 with note 92On p. 44, last line, 'clergy' should be 'bishops'.On p. 45, in section 'Subscriptio', line 2, ‘clergy’ should be ‘bishops’; see Ralph W. Mathisen, 'Dating the Letters of Sidonius', in J.A. van Waarden and G. Kelly (eds), New Approaches to Sidonius Apollinaris (Leuven, 2013) 221-48 on p. 240 n. 85.On p. 46, n. 92, I supposed that the uniformity in Sidonius' inscriptiones might be due to normalization at publication. Ralph W. Mathisen, Ruricius of Limoges and Friends. A Collection of Letters from Visigothic Gaul, translated with introduction, commentary and notes (Liverpool, 1999) 61 had surmised 'that there were in fact two different sets of salutation formulas that were used for different purposes: a very flowery form that was used in copies that were actually sent, and an abbreviated, more standardized, form that was used in file copies, and perhaps in rough drafts. Such a thesis could explain, for example, the high level of standardization, and even monotony, in the salutations of letters in the collection of Sidonius, especially if in this regard Sidonius was himself mimicking the published letters of his model Pliny.' Mathisen now adds: 'It is quite possible ... on the one hand that farewell salutations that were not preserved in the archived copies of Sidonius’ letters were added in a concise standardised form when he edited the letters, and on the other hand that any salutations that were preserved were replaced by the brief standardised forms' (in New Approaches to Sidonius Apollinaris, p. 241).Page 59Line 12 from bottom: instead of 'wording' read 'thought'. The connection made in this paragraph with the categories ‘word/complexity’ and ‘pattern/regularity’ is misleading. See now Volume 2 ad Ep. 7.18.2 sensuum structurarumque.Pages 60-61To the bibliography on prose rhythm add Giovanni Orlandini, 'Metrical and Rhythmical Clausulae in Medieval Latin Prose: Some Aspects and Problems', in Tobias Reinhardt et al. (eds), Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose, Proceedings of the British Academy 129 (Oxford, 2005) 395-412.Page 74Fifth paragraph: delete ‘Sidonius’ wife was born in Vienne, and’.Pages 77-80* For the importance of the Rogationes in the Middle Ages, see Nathan J. Rituccia, Christianization and Commonwealth in Early Medieval Europe: A Ritual Interpretation, Oxford, 2018, who studies them as ‘a rich case study for understanding how mandatory rituals molded European communities’ (p. 3). They got a chapter of their own in Jacopo de Voragine’s Legenda aurea (ch. 70 Graesse).Page 93Lemma coepit initiari: Hannah Rosén, ‘The Late Latin coepi + Infinitive Construction: Evidence form Translated Texts’, Classica et Mediaevalia 63 (2012) 189-215, is an attempt to disprove the communis opiniothat coepi + inf. is ingressive throughout.Pag. 94* Lemma etsi non effectu pari, affectu certe non impari: This could well be a variation on Auson. Biss. praef. pari iure, sed fiducia dispari.Page 96Lemma caelitus: add Ep. 1.2.2 stirpitus to adverbs on -(i)tus.Pages 104-109On pp. 104-105 ad 7.1.4 and on 107-108 ad ignis recussus in tergum ... sinuaretur, the motif of flames retreating before a just man is older and more general than I suggested; see Stefania Santelia, La miranda fabula dei pii fratres in Aetna 603-645 (Bari, 2012) 71-72 ad Aetna 634-35 erubuere pios iuvenes attingere flammae / et quacumque ferunt illi vestigia cedunt. She mentions the three men in the fiery furnace (Dan. 3.8-28) and Aeneas, and cites Verg. A. 2.632-33 ducente deo flammam inter et hostis / expedior; dant tela locum flammaeque recedunt, and Claud. Carm. min. 17.3-4 iusta quibus rapidae cessit reverentia flammae / et mirata vagas reppulit Aetna faces. On pp. 108-109, the phrase affuit flammae cedere per reverentiamshould have been placed in this intertextual relationship; per reverentiam stems form Claudian and is equivalent to erubuere in the Aetna poem. Bishop Mamertus is a second Aeneas, as were Martin of Tours and Pope Leo. Jerome applied the motif to Aaron as champion of his people in the face of God's wrath in Ep. 128.5 legimus Aaron pontificem isse obviam furentibus flammis ... stetit inter mortem et vitam sacerdos maximus, nec ultra vestigia eius ignis procedere ausus est. The parallel I suggested with Camilla, Verg. A. 11.653-54, is only distantly related.Pages 109-10Lemma nostri ordinis viris: Contrary to what is stated here, Sidonius does use ordo as a technical term for the town council, at Ep. 7.14.1 erat et frequens ordo.Pages 119-26* Jean Berger, ‘Droit, société et parenté en Auvergne médiévale (VIe-XIVe siècles): Les écritures de la basilique Saint-Julien de Brioude’, PhD thesis Lyon III, 2016 [inedit.], vol. 1, ch. 2 ‘L’église brivadoise et la chose publique: Une “longue Antiquité tardive”’, esp. pp. 29-37, interprets section 7 as a politely veiled, essentially harsh criticism of Mamertus’ action. He argues that Mamertus’ inventio is a blatant offence against Roman funerary law and nothing less than a malicious furtum sacrum, inspired by the earliest legends of St Julien. Sidonius appositely deploys a judicial vocabulary: iniurium, compensatio, deposcere. The reference to the revolutionary precedent of Ambrosius’ translatio would stress the shocking character of what Mamertus has done, rather than justifying it. (Berger sees another reproach of Mamertus by Sidonius at Ep. 5.14.3, where, according to him, Sidonius puts Mamertus on a par with ‘intouchables’ for instituting the Viennese Rogationes at the expense of Sidonius’ Auvergne.)* Add subsequent reception of this passage in Greg. Tur. Iul. 2 praebet tamen huic operi testimonium Sollius noster, ipsi Mamerto scribens his verbis: ‘Tibi soli concessa est in partes orbis occidui martyris Ferreoli solida translatio, adiecto nostri capite Iuliani. unde pro conpensatione deposcimus ut nobis inde veniat pars patrocinii quia nobis hinc rediit pars patroni’, and Ven. Fort. Ep. (Carm.) 5.1.10 est enim ratio consequens ut per vos illinc nobis redeat spes patrocinii quia ad vos hinc prodiit pars patroni. See Luciana Furbetta, ‘Gioco letterario e realtà: l’esempio dell’epistolario di Sidonio Apollinare’, 2016, 45-46.Page 120Lemma vel confessorem Ambrosium, second paragraph, 'In Sidonius' correspondence etc.': add 'In his poetry, confessor again refers to Martin in Carm. 31.4 (Ep. 4.18.5) and to the monk Abraham in Carm. 33.9 (Ep.7.17.2), who thus belongs to a select company.'Pages 130-31Differently from Arles which endured five sieges between 425 and 472, Marseille seems to have emerged unscathed, and even taken over the dominant position of Arles’ harbour Fos thanks to its natural deep-sea port and a sufficient volume of long-distance trade. By the late sixth century it played a crucial role in the Merovingian economy. See Simon T. Loseby, ‘Marseille: A Late Antique Success Story?’, JRS 82 (1992) 165-85, and cf. Peter Brown, Through the Eye of a Needle (Princeton, 2012) 412. Loseby mentions Amantius on p. 181 (with n. 124): ‘It is nevertheless [despite our uncertainty as to the extent of Arles’ decline] interesting to see that in the 470s a would-be entrepreneur from the Auvergne was preferring to seek his commercial fortune at Marseille rather than at Arles’.Page 144Lemma scilicet ut lector: for scilicet one can now refer to Josine Schrickx, Lateinische Modalpartikeln: nempe, quippe, scilicet, videlicet and nimirum (Leiden, 2011). In section 16.3, she provides a summary of scilicet, videlicet and nimirum as 'commitment' markers: when using scilicet, the speaker considers the enunciation as self-evident and implies that the addressee too will take it for granted; videlicet is used in a more neutral context: it indicates that, for the speaker at least, something is clear by inference (no claim on the addressee); nimirum expresses a high degree of commitment from the speaker (idem). Scilicet and videlicet also differ in scope (sect. 15.7), scilicet having a narrower scope (often in parentheses) aimed at creating a common basis for the rest of the enunciation, while the scope of videlicet is usually the entire enunciation. See also Ep. 7.8.1 videlicet. Scilicet occurs 20 times in Sidonius' correspondence, videlicet 11, nimirum 9. See below at pages 384-85.Page 165Lemma obsequiis ... officiis, line 9: 1.9.1 should be 5.3.1 (see below Index locorum).Pages 247-50On episcopal elections, see now Johan Leemans et al., Episcopal Elections in Late Antiquity, Arbeiten zur Kirchengeschichte 119 (Berlin, 2011). In the same volume, see also Johannes A. van Waarden, 'Episcopal Self-Presentation: Sidonius Apollinaris and the Episcopal Election in Bourges AD 470', on pp. 555-61.Page 273Line 1: 'Position' should have been a separate section on a par with 1 Overview, 2 Addressee, etc.Page 287Salvatore Pricoco, Eucherio, Elogio dell’eremo, Bologna, 2014, p. 102 n. 158, considers the words ecclesiasticas caulas istius aetatis lupus ... arrodat to be a borrowing from Eucherius Laus 38.1 fremit frustra tunc circuiens adversarius tamquam intra caulas ... lupus, and thus as a proof of Sidonius’ familiarity with Eucherius’ work. Cf. also ibid. pp. 78-79.Page 328Lemma non videre quo redeat, etc.: compare also the specific use of videre, 'to have before oneself', 'have at one's disposal', in Sen. Prov. 4.5 unde scio quam aequo animo laturus sis orbitatem, si quoscumque sustulisti vides?, 'how can I know how calmly you would endure to be childless, if you see all of those you have recognised around you?'Pages 350-51This suggestion of the hypotext Sil. 11.173-90 and the reference to Capua and to Decius have now been fully developed in the programmatic context of Sidonius' creation of identity from the past by Sigrid Mratschek in 'Creating Identity from the Past. The Construction of History in the Letters of Sidonius' in New Approaches to Sidonius Apollinaris, pp. 249-71 .Page 362A similar instance of concolor and a sallow colour is found in Prud. Cath. 3.153-55 tractibus anguis [the snake in paradise] inexplicitis / virus inerme piger revomit / gramine concolor in viridi.Page 373Annick Stoehr-Monjou has made a case for a Horatian reminiscence in statum concordiae tam turpis incidite which would further reinforce the indignation: Hor. Ep. 1.14.36 non lusisse pudet, sed non incidere ludum (in 'Sidonius and Horace. The Art of Memory' in New Approaches to Sidonius Apollinaris, pp. 133-69 on p. 159).Pages 384-85Lemma de minimis videlicet rebus, etc.: videlicet implies that the statement is evident to the author, but that he does not presume consensus with the addressee. Add a cross-reference to 7.2.1 scilicet ut lector, and to the new text outlined above at page 144.Page 415Second paragraph: at the end, add 'See Engelbrecht 1886: 465'.Pages 418-23* Lemmata … rhetorica partitio, … oratoriae m[ach]inae, …. grammaticales figurae. … pondera historica …. poetica schemata. See Marco Onorato, Il castone e la gemma. Sulla tecnica poetica di Sidonio Apollinare, Naples, 2016: 258-60, with similar definitions as mine. His unnecessary acceptance of Mohr’s conjecture machinae, however, does not take my argument into account.On pondera historica, see Ulrich Eigler, Lectiones vetustatis. Römische Literatur und Geschichte in der Literatur der Spätantike, Zetemata 115, Munich 2003: 146-50; the book is a study of the shifting meaning and place of the Roman past in the consciousness of elite Latin readers in Late Antiquity. Page 431Fourth paragraph: instead of Ep. 7.14.2 read Ep. 7.18.2.Pages 433-42Add the analysis of the address for its ideological and cultural background in Franca Ela Consolino, Ascesi e mondanità nella Gallia tardoantica. Studi sulla figura del vescovo nei secoli IV-VI (Naples, 1979) 91-97.Page 451Lemma ... professionis huiusce pondus ... : Add a cross-reference to (possibly a reminiscence of) Cassian. Inst. 4.33 pondus professionis huius, where it is the responsibility of being a monk.Pages 457-58* Lemma multum … honoris, plus oneris: To the instances of this proverb in Otto 1890 and Nachträge Otto 1968, add Auson. Protr. 98-99 accessit tamen ex nobis honor inclitus; hunc tu / effice ne sit onus.Pages 504-505Lemma pellitos reges ... principes purpuratos: Audrey Becker, ‘Les évêques et la diplomatie romano-barbare en Gaule au Ve siècle’, in: Michèle Gaillard (ed.), L’empreinte chrétienne en Gaule du IVe au IXe siècle(Turnhout 2014) 45-59, doubts the ‘natural’ disposition of aristocratic bishops (Mathisen), and indeed their being employed by the emperors, for diplomatic embassies. She sees the involvement of the bishops in the negotiations with Euric (Letters 7.6 and 7.7) as being limited to lobbying for their local and regional interests.Pages 528-29In the lemma quibus comparatus pater, etc., the formulation of the motif of a father's happiness at seeing himself surpassed by his son - basically proverbial in itself - might well be inspired by Ov. Met. 15.850-51 natique videns bene facta fatetur / esse suis maiora, et vinci gaudet ab illo, speaking of Caesar and Octavian.Page 537Lemma a quo contigit saepius vos videri: The construction is not as unusual as suggested; there is also Ep. 7.14.12 si vos a me videri Christi munere datur, ‘if by Christ’s grace I am allowed to meet you’.Page 550Last paragraph: After ‘... in the action.’, insert ‘The one exception, 2 in vobis, avoids making the addressee responsible in the unlikely case that he is not able to comply with the sender’s request.’ See also Appendix I below.Page 560Lemma cui, precor, ...: The reference to 3.5.1 should be to 3.12.5.Appendix E: Modes of AddressIn the table in section 1, the frequency of antistes should be 8 (in Books 1-9) and 2 (in Book 7 alone). The instances in which antistes means 'priest' had been erroneously added to the total.Appendix F: SequencesOn p. 571, add to column ADJ 3: 1.7.6 perfidum barbarum ignavum.On p. 572, 5.17.2 should be 5.17.1On p. 573, add to column NOUN 3: 7.12.1 tempus ordinem statum and 7.13.2 intentio celeritas mora.The extensive monograph by Jeffrey Wills, Repetition in Latin Poetry. Figures of Allusion (Oxford, 2006), has scarcely anything to say about Sidonius. Asyndetic sequences of three or more members are especially conspicuous in Quintilian, according to D.A. Russell, 'Omisso speciosiore stili genere', in Tobias Reinhardt et al. (eds), Aspects of the Language of Latin Prose, Proceedings of the British Academy 129 (Oxford, 2005) 257-71 on pp. 268-71.Appendix I: ‘You’ and ‘I’On page 589, letter 11, right hand column, add ‘pe - ‘you’ not responsible: ad (2 vobis)’. See above at page 550.BibliographyAdd: Laura Giuffrida, ‘Un’elezione vescovile nel V secolo. Note su una testimonianza di Sidonio Apollinare’, Studi tardoantichi 6 (1989) 143-51.Index of Latin wordsOn p. 623, sermo: add '152-53'.Index locorumOn p. 647, delete '165' as an instance of Ep. 1.9.1; the correct cross-reference is to Ep. 5.3.1 (to be inserted on p. 650).On p. 648, delete ‘560’ as an instance of Ep. 3.5.1; this should be of Ep. 3.12.5, to be added on p. 649.On p. 652, change 7.14.2 into 7.18.2.